Tag: alchemy

As Above, So Below [spoilers]

By Bianca Lee | October 1, 2014 | Leave a comment

As Above, So BelowAs Above, So Below
As Above, So Below
Directed by, John Erick Dowdle, 93 minutes, 29 August 2014

Scarlett, the main character, is an artifact hunter, à la Indiana Jones, driven by her pursuit for the elusive philosopher’s stone. She is looking for the physical stone of alchemical myth that grants immortal life and magical powers, and it is clear from the outset that the threat of death means nothing to her.

To appreciate As Above So Below, you may need to issue a few forgiveness tokens.

For a start, this is a found footage film. Scarlett begins recording the journey on her own and later recruits a friend to act as videographer capturing her quest. Cameras hang on, keep ticking (even surviving rocks!), and recording without losing much in the way of continuity. Continue reading


A Druid’s Handbook to the Spiritual Power of Plants, by Jon G. Hughes

By DragonHawk7 | September 1, 2014 | Leave a comment

A Druid's Handbook to the Spiritual Power of Plants, by Jon G HughesA Druid's Handbook to the Spiritual Power of Plants, by Jon G HughesA Druid’s Handbook to the Spiritual Power of Plants: Spagyrics in Magical and Sexual Rituals, by Jon G. Hughes, illustrations by Damien Switzer
Destiny Books, 9781620552650, 310 pp. (incl. index), 2014

In the introduction, author Jon G. Hughes writes that he “began with the intention of comparing the plant-based preparations, rituals, and magic of the Welsh Druidic tradition with those of the broader and infinitely more documented spiritual traditions practiced all over the world.” However, he continues, writing that he “came in contact with the works of ancient and modern alchemists,” and his “fascination was spurred by the alchemical search for immortality and the involvement with sexual ritual, as both have their place in the Druidic tradition.”

In the first section, Hughes goes into detail about the history of Druidic practices and alchemy. He explains that each practice was created and spread in separate parts of the world, yet they are similar when broken down to their individual workings. Continue reading


Chemical Serpents, by Anton Channing

By Freeman Presson | April 29, 2014 | 1 comment

Chemical Serpents, by Anton Channing
Chemical Serpents, by Anton ChanningChemical Serpents: The Symbols of Illumination, by Anton Channing, illustrations by Janice Duke
When Illuminated Press, 978-1-909279-01-8, 100 pp. (incl. appendix, bibliography), 2013, Silver First Edition

I started falling in love with this book as it came out of the packaging. It’s tight, and has good, heavy cover stock and glossy high-quality pages. The cover art (an interpretation of Baphomet within an ouroboros) is a feast for the eyes and mind. The notebook-sized format, 8.5 x 11″, gives plenty of room for the text and lavish illustrations throughout its 100 pages. The print is done with accent colours, which takes a little acclimatization, rather like one’s first time playing poker with four-colour cards, but then the effect is pleasing.

The plan of the book is Pythagorean, in the sense that it starts with serpent symbolism, including the ouroboros, as the one, moves into egg-and-serpent and other generative symbols for the dyad, then has sections on the trinity, the four elements of the manifest world, then the pentagram, hexagram, and heptagram in the section on the microcosm and macrocosm before synthesizing in the long chapter on world trees, and ending in a Gnostic lecture on illumination. Continue reading


Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook, by Karen Harrison

By Gesigewigu's | June 6, 2013 | 1 comment

The Herbal Alchemist's Handbook, by Karen HarrisonThe Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook: A Grimoire of Philtres, Elixirs, Oils, Incense, and Formulas for Ritual Use, by Karen Harrison
Weiser, 9781578634910, 239pp., 2011

In this book, we explore Herbal Alchemy as practiced in the West, through the uses of the plants and their Planetary signatures as developed by the 14th century philosopher and Alchemist Paracelsus.

A book on this topic couldn’t start with a more hopeful introduction. After a brief description of alchemy in different forms (lead to gold, internal alchemy, alchemy as a path to the divine), the author states this as her purpose for the book. While it sounds good, this is the beginning of my problems with the book: her use of the terms “alchemy” and “alchemist.” Continue reading


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