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Published by: Ophis on Aug 15, 2011
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or the
 A Treatise on Spiritual Alchemy
This copy was scanned by hermetics.org. from the original 1930 copy.
 Edward John Langford Garstin was a prominent member of the Alpha and Omega (A:.O:.), alater development of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. He was the author of two published works primarily on Spiritual Alchemy. The other being "The Secret Fire" (1932),which is published on our website.
Paternoster House, E.C.4Printed in Great Britain
The Title selected for this short treatise may at first sight appear to be either veryambitious or presumptuous or even both. Alternatively it may be held to be misleadingon the ground that this is not really a practical textbook.It would therefore appear advisable, from the very start, to warn the intending reader that no claim is made herein to any special knowledge of the Art other than that whichcan be gleaned from the careful study of the published works of the Alchemical writers,and the use of such powers of insight and intuition regarding their admittedly involvedand cryptic phraseology as the author may possess.
Of necessity various subjects usually classed under the general heading of Occultismwill have to be considered, and some preliminary remarks under this head may not beinappropriate.Many people fight shy of Occultism because of its undesirable associations in their minds with credulity and superstition, neurotics and hysteria, charlatanry and fraud, andbecause they are accustomed to regard what genuine residuum there may be left asconsisting in undesirable and dangerous practices.On reflection, however, it will be found that the same impression is prevalent
in toto
among many regarding Spiritualism, and in part regarding Mysticism, while theOrthodox Religions do not escape altogether scatheless.It is not intended herein to indulge in apologetics on behalf of Occultism, which,divested of the illusions held about it, is quite capable of speaking for itself as it were,and requires no defence. It is merely proposed to discuss what is termed Theurgia,which is the practical part of Spiritual Alchemy, as far as the limits of space and theavoidance of undue technicalities will permit.Theurgy, denned a little more carefully, means "The Science or Art of Divine Works,"and it is the same as the Telestic or Perfecting Work. In Alchemy it is called the "GreatWork," which is the purification and exaltation of the lower nature by the proper application of scientific principles, so that it may become united with its higher counterparts, whereby the individual may attain to Spiritual, and ultimately Divine,Consciousness.By scientific principles are to be understood "known principles," though the fact thatthese are not generally known is the origin of the term "occult," which merely means,according to the dictionary, "escaping observation, not discovered without test or experiment," which definitions apply with equal force to any department of scientificresearch.Were this definition more commonly recognised, it is possible that there would be lessmisleading talk and less misunderstanding on the part of the opponents of the ArcaneSciences than there are at present, and that there would not be so much condemnationwhere there has been no previous careful investigation.We would also say a word by way of apology to the reader who may feel that we havemade too lavish a use of quotations. Our object is twofold. Firstly, that no one mayimagine that they have to rely merely upon the speculations of some dilettante dabbler in the Occult Sciences, but that they may see for themselves the sources from whichour conclusions are drawn. Secondly, because we feel unable to improve upon thesayings of these writers, save only by bringing together the references that are notmerely scattered through their various works, but also, on their own confession, placedvery often out of their proper sequence andrelationship even in their individual books. Passages thus correlated often assume fresh
importance, and from them, sometimes, the unexpected truth emerges. If we have toany extent succeeded in thus throwing light upon the sayings of the sages, however little it may be, we shall have more than achieved our object.
Theurgy or the Telestic Work, was the very essence of the teaching of the MysterySchools of Egypt, of Samothrace and of Eleusis; of Zoroaster, of Mithra and of Orpheus.And in Egypt, the cradle of them all, were initiated many of the outstanding men of their day, such as Pythagoras, Plato, Demokritos, Eudoxus, Archimedes, Chrysippos,Euripides, Proklos, Thales and many others.In addition many of the Fathers of the Church, such as Clement of Alexandria, Cyrillusand Synesius, were also initiated into the Mysteries and regarded them as sacred andefficacious, transferring in part the very la.nguage, rites and disciplines of them to their own forms of worship, as is even to-day apparent.Proklos tells us that "The Perfective Rite leads the way as the muesis or mysticinitiation, and after that is the epopteia or beholding."Plato calls Zoroastrian Magic "The Service of the Gods," and Psellus affirms that "Itsfunction is to initiate or perfect the human soul by the power of materials here on earth,for the supreme faculty of the soul cannot by its own guidance aspire to the sublimestintuitions, and to the comprehension of Divinity."Clement of Alexandria alludes to the Mysteries as Blessed and says: "0 Mysteries trulySacred! 0 pure light! At the light of the torches the veil that covers Deity and Heavenfalls off. I am Holy now that I am initiated." While Synesius, speaking in alchemicalterms, declares that "the Quintessence is no other than our viscous, celestial andglorious soul, drawn from its minera by our magistery."Nor are the later students and masters of the art less well known, for included amongtheir number were such men as Appollonius of Tyana, Albertus Magnus, Roger Bacon,Paracelsus, Arnold de Villa Nova, Picus di Mirandola, Trithemius, Boehme, CorneliusAgrippa and many others.But to leave the historical aspect, which, however interesting, is relatively unimportant,and to come to our subject. Theurgy is inextricably associated with Religion; is, in fact,its very kernel; for on investigation we find that beneath the exoteric and allegoricalforms of all ancient doctrines, and hidden carefully within all their sacred writings, there

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