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The Hermetic Museum

The Hermetic Museum

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Published by altaryum
A.E.Wait , Hermetic, alchemy
A.E.Wait , Hermetic, alchemy

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Published by: altaryum on Oct 14, 2009
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Hermetic Museum
Restored and Enlarged;
Most Faithfully Instructing All Disciples of the Sopho-Spagyric Art How That Greatest and Truest Medicineof 
Now First Done Into English From The Latin Original Published atFrankfort in the Year 1678
Containing Twenty-two most celebrated Chemical Tracts.
Published in London, 1893
Arthur Edmund Waite
Preface to the English Edition by E.A. WaitePreface to the Original EditionNote: not all of the items in this huge anthology of alchemical writings areavailable. The section numbering has been retained, however.
Volume 1
The Hermetic Museum - Indexhttp://www.fratermd.co.uk/waitingconversion/Hermetic Museum/index.htm (1 of 2) [27/05/2004 23:01:50]
HE HERMETIC MUSEUM RESTORED AND ENLARGED was published in Latin inFrankfort, in the year 1678, and, as the title implies, it was an enlarged form of ananterior work, which, appearing in 1625, is more scarce, but, intrinsically, of lessvalue. Its design was apparently to supply in a compact form a representativecollection of the more brief and less ancient alchemical writers; in this respect, itmay be regarded as a supplement to those large storehouses of Hermetic learningas the
Theatrum Chemicum
, and that scarcely less colossal of Mangetus, the
Bibliotheca Chemica Curiosa
, which are largely concerned with the cream of thearchaic literature, with the works of Gerber and the adepts of the school of Arabia, with the writings attributed to Hermes, with those of Raymond Lully,Arnold de Villa Nova, Bernard Trevisan, and others.THE HERMETIC MUSEUM would also seem to represent a distinctive school inAlchemy, not altogether committed to certain modes and terminology whichderived most of their prestige from the past, and sufficiently enigmatical as it was,still inclined to be less obscure and misleading than was the habit of the oldermasters. For it belonged to a period which had inherited a bitter experience of thefailures, impostures, and misery surrounding the
Magnum Opus
and its mysticalquest, which was weary of unequipped experiment, weary of wandering"multipliers", and pretentious "bellows-blowers," while it was just being awakenedto the conviction that if Alchemy were true at all, it was not be be learned frombooks, or, at least, from any books which had hitherto been written on thesubject. Running through all the tracts which are comprised in the followingvolumes, the reader will recognize traces of a central claim in alchemicalintitiation-- that the secrets, whatever they were, must be understood as theproperty of a college of adepts, pretending to have subsisted from time almostimmemorial, and revealing themselves to the select and few, while the literature,large as it is, appears chiefly as an instrument of intercommunication betweenthose who knew. At the same time, it may also be regarded as a sign and omen tothe likely seeker, an advertisement that there was a mystery, and that he must gofurther who would unravel it.While the treatises now translated are for the most part anonymous, as befitsveiled masters, the literary reader will remember the name of John de Meungconnects the allegorical "Romance of the Rose" with the parables of Alchemy;Flamel will be familiar to all Hermetic students as the most celebrated of theFrench adepts; the saintly name of Basil Valentine, investigator of the propertiesof antimony, will not even now be unhonoured by the chemist; EireneausPhilalethes, equally revered and unknown by all devout Spagyrites, is supposed tohave been the most lucid of hierorphants, and the "Open Entrance" to be theclearest of all his works. Helevetius was an illustrious chemist, and Michael Maier
The Hermetic Museum - Preface to the English Editionhttp://www.fratermd.co.uk/waitingconversion/Hermetic Museum/waitpref.htm (1 of 2) [27/05/2004 23:01:50]

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