Alchemical Traditions


Tabula Contentorum, Pars I : Cornerstones : Antient Alchemies

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Capitulum

Auctor/-trix

Paginae

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I.0

Circumambulating the Alchemical Mysterion

Aaron Cheak

18-43

1

I.1

The Perfect Black

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44-91

2

I.2

Telestic Transformation & Philosophical Re-birth

Algis Uz^davinys

92-149

3

I.3

Metallourgy & Demiourgy : Hephaistos

Rod Blackhirst

150-66

4

I.4

History & Dynamics of Taoist Alchemy

Aaron Cheak

167-206

5

I.5

Hindu Alchemical Tradition

David Gordon White

207-28

6

I.6

Tibetan Alchemy in the Kalacakra Tantra

Kim Lai

229-87


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name

University

books authored

magazine-articles in

Aaron Cheak

of Queensland;

of Philosophical Research


KHTHONIOS (2003), THUNDERBOLT (2003-4), J.A.S.MAGIC (2004),

OCCULT TR. (2012)

Algis Uz^davinys (1962-2010)

Vilnius (Acad. of Fine Arts)

Philosophy and Theurgy (2010),

Ascent to Heaven (2011)

SACRED WEB,

SOPHIA,

EYE OF THE HEART

Rod Blackhirst

La Trobe [in Bendigo, Queensland]

Primordial Alchemy and Traditional Religion (2008)


David Gordon White

of California [at Santa Barbara]

Kiss of the Yogini (2003),

Sinister Yogis (2009)


Kim Lai

La Trobe

Astronomiae Correspondences (PhD diss)



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Capitulum 0 (I.0)


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--

I.0

Circumambulating the Alchemical Mysterion

Aaron Cheak

18-43


pp. 21-3 \khumeia\

p. 21

"alchemy ... : al-kimiya. ... ( alkimiya becomes Spanish alquimia, Latin alchimia, French alchimie, German Alchemie, etc.)

p. 21, fn. 8

"See in particular : ... Z. R. W. M. von MARTELS, ed., Alchemie Revisited (Leiden : Brill, 1990); Charles BURNETT, 'The Astrologer's Assay of the Alchemist : Early References to Alchemy in Arabic and Latin Texts,' Ambix 39.3 (1992):103-9."

p. 22

"an origin from the term ... (chyma, ... 'ingot, bar'; metaphorically, ... 'materials, constituents'), whence ... (chymeia, 'the art of alloying metals') named from its supposed inventor, ... (Chymes)."


p. 23 \khemia\

"kimiya has also been traced to the Egyptian name for Egypt, km.t (Coptic keme, kemi), which Plutarch gives as ... (chemia), 'the blackest earth' (... malista melangeion)."


p. 24, fn. 18

"Joseph NEEDHAM, et al., Science and Civilisation in China, vol. 5, part 4 : Spagyrical Discovery and Invention ... (... Cambridge University Press, 1980), 353 ... jin i, gold 'juice ...'; ... of jin i, Needham remarks : 'the ancient pronunciation [...] would have been kiem iak'. Cf. Homer H. DUBS, 'The Origin of Alchemy', Ambix 9 (1961):34 : "This Chinese phrase, jin yi [...], was pronounced in T>ang times at the imperial capital as ki[e]m-io:k. This phrase means, literally, 'the juice (or sperm) of gold'."


pp. 36-7 Ostanes

p. 36

"the ouroboric formulas {formulae} ... are linked to a mysterious Persian magos nsamed Ostanes, who allegedly passed the knowledge of his science on to the Greek philosopher, Democritus. The tradition of linking Ostanes to Democritus was transmitted ... by the Hellenistic alchemist Bolus of Mendes (c. 200 BCE), who tells

p. 37

us that Ostanes was summoned from Hades in a rite of necromancy to divulge the secrets of his alchemical science. According to the text, Physika kai mystika, Ostanes


directed his necromantic inquirer to the temple, where Democritus reportedly found the lost texts inside a pillar (stele)."

{This mode of disclosure is typical of Bon, and of rN~in-ma, legend; suggesting that Ostanes is Bon rather than Zarathustrian.}


[Berthelot 1893, vol. 2, p. 312] "the correspondence {communication} ... between a Persian magos called 'Ostron' {cf. Hellenic \ostrakon\} ... and an Egyptian philosopher by the name of Pebechius. Pebechius announces to Ostron that he has discovered the books of Ostanes, written in Persian, in Egypt, and he asks for Ostron's assistance in translating them. The books contain ... a series of inscriptions on 'seven sacred stelae ... of Hermes' ..., which are hidden behind seven portals, each associated with {one of} the seven planetary metals." {Could this have any relationship to "The revelation of Dositheos about the three steles of Seth" (GB, p. 202)?}

Berthelot 1893 = Marcellin Berthelot : La Chimie au moyen a^ge. 3 voll. Paris : Imprimerie Nationale.

GB = Willis Barnstone & Marvin Meyer : The Gnostic Bible. Shambhala, Boston, 2003.


pp. 38-9 antient depictions of the ouro-boros ('tail-swallowing') divine serpent

p. 38, Fig. 1

"Stylised ouroboros from pseudo-Cleopatra's Chrysopoeia (Aurifaction; Gold-making). ... Left-to-right, the symbols at the centre are the Hellenistic signs for moon, mercury and sun."

{This is, of course, a variant of the so-called "Ophite Diagram", depicting the universe as contained within a divine serpent "called Leviathan" (GSL"OD").}

p. 39

"images of ancient Chinese tail-eating dragons are attested as early as the Zhou dynasty (nin{e}th to sixth centuries BCE)." (Needham; Lu; Sivin 1980, pp. 382-3)

GSL"OD = "The Ophite Diagrams". http://gnosis.org/library/ophite.htm

Needham; Lu; Sivin 1980 = Joseph Needham; Lu Gwei-djen; Nathan Sivin : Science and Civilisation in China. Vol. 5: Spagyrical Discovery and Invention. Pt. 4. : "Apparatus, Theories, Gifts". Cambridge Univ Pr.


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Aaron Cheak (ed.) : Alchemical Traditions from Antiquity to the Avant-Garde. Numen Bks, Melbourne (Victoria), 2013.