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Alchemy—The Great Work
A History and Evaluation of the Western Hermetic Tradition
Cherry Gilchrist
ISBN: 9781578635856
Foreword by Mark Booth
Book (Paperback)
Weiser Books
5 x 7 3/4
160 pages
June 1, 2015


“This is a history and evaluation of the Western Hermetic Tradition and a concise history of the philosophy and practice of alchemy from its beginnings to the 20th century. So nice to have all this in one volume if one is not fully acquainted with the subject. Alchemy is the art of transformation, and this is what our age is all about.” --The New Humanity

Alchemy is the art of transformation. At its simplest, the alchemist turns base metals into gold. However, this is only one dimension of alchemy—at a more sophisticated level the alchemist's "base metal" is symbolic of himself that needs to be worked upon and the "gold" produced is the alchemist himself in his or her quest to perfect his own nature. In short, true alchemy is a discipline involving physical, psychological and spiritual work aimed at producing wholeness and enlightenment.

From the origins of alchemy, both reputed and documented, Cherry Gilchrist's lively and sympathetic narrative takes the reader from the alchemical interests of the ancient Egyptians to the flowering of alchemy in the 17th century. She also elucidates the complexities of alchemical symbolism and examines the ways in which alchemy has developed in the 20th century.

Cherry Gilchrist is a long-term practitioner of the tarot. She has researched its provenance and related it to systems such as the Kabbalah, alchemy, and astrology, of which she has special knowledge. She holds MA degrees in English literature and archaeology/anthropology from the University of Cambridge.
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