Author: Julius Evola
Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Inner Traditions
Publication date: 1995
List: US$16.95, C$24.50
Price & More Info: Click Here
This work, which is translated form the Italian for the first time, will be
of limited appeal due to a couple of items. First, even though it ".is
among the clearest works on alchemy ever written" it is heavily annotated,
Second, the very subject of alchemy, whether seem "merely" as the precursor
to modern chemistry or as an integral part of the overall hermetic
tradition, is of limited appeal.
The book is composed of two parts - one concerned with the symbols and
teachings of the art, and the second part with the techniques and effects.
It was revised and expanded twice between its original publication in 1931
(revisions in 1948 and 1971) by the author prior to his death in 1974.
His theories were not always well-received and his drawing inspiration from
widely divergent sources (alchemy, theurgy, and magic from cultures ranging
from Neoplatonic to Arab to medieval) was intended to show the universality
of the concept conveyed by the words of the adepts of all the ages. To
many, this approach may seem too eclectic to be workable.
This is not a text on Hermetic magic. If that is what you are looking for,
your seeking must continue. If you are looking for a simple explanation of
alchemy, this is not the book you want.
There is no way this text is going to be understood in one reading, nor is
it intended to be. The first read-through in intended to provide an
overview of the subject. Concentrated study is then necessary to begin the
process of making this information part of your life.
To be honest, I had a great deal of difficulty with this text, since alchemy
is not an area I have much knowledge about. If I had more background data,
I would not have had the amount of difficulty I had, I am sure. For those
looking to expand their knowledge of alchemy, I would recommend this book.
If, on the other hand, you are seeking to begin studying the subject, this
book has best be put to the side for a while.
Reviewed by Mike Gleason