Tag: history

There are a few books coming out that I’m really excited about. If you read this blog regularly, you should be excited about them, too. First, Dan Attrell’s translation of the Picatrix is finally available for pre-order. I interviewed him back on episode 29 of My Alchemical Bromance and have been eagerly awaiting his book…. Read more »

In case it hasn’t been made abundantly clear by my numerous podcast appearances, public lectures, and short list of published articles, I’m a Freemason. This generates a lot of curiosity in those who aren’t Masons. Occultists and esotericists, the main audience for this website, have lots of misconceptions about Freemasonry, so I get asked frequently… Read more »

What is Alchemy?

Alchemy is an ancient practice that can be considered in part as a precursor to chemistry. However, like Freemasonry, it can be said to have both a speculative and an operative side. While “operative” alchemy deals with the transformation of base metals into gold, “speculative” alchemy uses similar symbolism, allegory, and language to speak of spiritual truths and a path to inner light and wisdom.

Who is Asclepius?

Who is Asclepius? In addition to being a figure from Greek mythology, Asclepius has an entire book of the Hermetica named after him. Let us take a look at this important Hermetic personality and learn more about who he is and why he’s important to Hermetic philosophy.

Monotheism in Hermetism

How is monotheism addressed in ancient Hermetism? The Corpus Hermeticum and other Hermetica talk about God all the time, so let’s take a look at the Hermetic views on God and what monotheism means in that ancient religion. Scholars have been working to categorize the various views of God and divinity in the Hermetica for years. There are two general categories that most use: optimistic monist and pessimistic dualist.

The Kybalion serves as an introduction to so-called Hermetic philosophy to many. However, after more study, it is clear that The Kybalion is not a book about Hermetic philosophy at all.

Giordano Bruno’s Art of Memory

Learn about Giordano Bruno’s Art of Memory from De Umbris Idearum: On the Shadows of Ideas, recently translated by Scott Gosnell.This book contains both De umbris idearum and Ars memoriae, which are Bruno‚Äôs work on the nature of ideas and imagination as well as his complex mnemonic system.