What is Alchemy?The Hermetic ArcanumAlchemy and Hermetic Philosophy: An OverviewThe Hermetic Writings Of ParacelsusThe Stone Of The PhilosophersThe Golden Tractate of Hermes TrismegistusThe Pictorial Symbols Of Alchemy
WHAT IS ALCHEMY?
By Arthur E. Waite
The Introductory Notes are taken from "Hermetic Papers of A.E. Waite",edited by R.A Gilbert (Aquarian Press,1987). The text of "What isAlchemy?" reproduced here is scanned from the periodical "The UnknownWorld", and formatted and corrected by hand. [Adepti.com] IntroductoryNotes: [First printed in the monthly journal
The Unknown World
fromAugust to December 1894 and in April, 1895. It was reprinted in
The Alchemical Papers of Arthur Edward Waite,
ed. J. Ray Shute, Monroe, N.C.,1939, a privately printed collection limited to seventy copies.] In his earlierwritings on alchemy Waite maintained that the spiritual interpretation of alchemy was first systematically presented by Mrs. Atwood in her
Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery
-a point of view that he waslater to reject completely, to the extent of saying that the book 'is not,however, final or satisfactory as a critical study, indeed, in some respects itis a morass rather than a pathway'
(The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry,
Vol.2, p. 414). For this he was taken to task, in the pages of the
by Isabelle de Steiger; but he justified himself by stating that 'WhatI said of the
in 1888 and 1893 was in the light of myknowledge at those dates; that which I have recorded since has been undera fuller and clearer light'
Vol. 15, No.1. January 1912, p. 50).Nonetheless, his early essays on alchemy retain their value for the obscure