Author: Alexander Roob
Publication Date: Feb 19, 2019
Rating: 4.09/5 out of 1560
Publisher: Benedikt Taschen
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Jun 13, 2014This is a magnificent compendium of alchemical symbols and the mystic thought behind them. Unfortunately, I was totally lost.
Nov 11, 2009Stunning works of art of pure symbology, fills almost every page of this over 700 page book. Well written description for every image helped to unravel some of the complex symbolical meaning of the alchemical art. Iâ€™ve learned a great deal from this book and it also received answers to some of my questions.
Nov 08, 20173.5 - 5 for the art and 2 for the descriptions and the narrative
Aug 28, 2007This is a must have for anyone interested in the alchemical arts or in occult philosophy. It is filled with illustrations, which convey immense amounts of information and meaning. It is a truly fantastic book.
May 03, 2017This is a good, sort of encyclopedic, introduction to the Western alchemical tradition. Goes well beyond the facile "pre-Chemistry" treatment often lazily given in historical discussions of alchemy's role in Western epistemology.
Jun 26, 2009This is the unabridged version that every one should track down right away. Simply gorgeous, and of the quality one expects from Taschen when they're on top of their game.
Apr 15, 2009This book is over 700 pages, and no, I have not read them all. It is mainly pictures however, and I have dipped into it widely. A good reference work on the art associated with alchemy and (to the degree it is possible) with mysticism.
Jul 12, 2016This book assumes you already know a lot about alchemy and don't need any explanations, so it can be very confusing, but it was still fascinating to see how desperately people tried to make sense of the world. And while it may all seem ridiculous now, it's still the precursor to modern science and we have to thank all these mystics for their unceasing curiosity.
Dec 19, 2015Want to learn about perception? The human mind? Art?
Mar 09, 2015This is not a book to read, but to contemplate. Just like walking around a museum for hours will cause you to walk past Van Goghs and Picasso's in indifference, starring at these for too long will cause insensitivity or- even worse- literal mindedness. This book doesn't go that deep into the principles of Alchemy, but it makes available unlike any other book I know of, a complete portal of sacred alchemical art both East and West. To say one has 'read' this book is deceiving ones self. To say This is not a book to read, but to contemplate. Just like walking around a museum for hours will cause you to walk past Van Goghs and Picasso's in indifference, starring at these for too long will cause insensitivity or- even worse- literal mindedness. This book doesn't go that deep into the principles of Alchemy, but it makes available unlike any other book I know of, a complete portal of sacred alchemical art both East and West. To say one has 'read' this book is deceiving ones self. To say one has grasped the truth through one of these manifold and enigmatic images, is found ...more
Feb 15, 2019The pictures were amazing, but the commentary? Entirely nonsensical and poorly written. I had no idea what it was referencing 90% of the time.
Aug 01, 2017700 pages of classical and obscure alchemical, hermetic and other less easily categorisable images - with short but excellent commentary. Taschen has published a much shorter version - 200 odd pages.
Mar 31, 2010great for research... not so great for general understanding. you'll only understand it if you already know a thing or two about a thing or two! ;)
Nov 18, 2015Very light on the subject matter, more trivial than in depth. Illustrations were interesting, but more depth would have been better.
Oct 20, 2007who doesn't like gorgeous, useful, well-bound Taschen books? Especially this one. It is a superficial and often helpful reference when it comes to my line of work.
Mar 16, 2014The one very bad thing about this book is its' binding. It is impossible to open all the way. This makes it difficult to view any whole pages.
Jan 21, 2008An eclectic and vastly interesting resource. Its images takes precedence over its text, which is used mostly to catalog the pictures. A must-have for anyone interested in the intersection of mysticism and early science.
Sep 30, 2011There's a larger version of this book I remember reading, but this particularly volume trades off some detail in the individual drawing for a far more portable and convenient size. Lots of beautiful imagery and a little bit of history as well.
Apr 24, 2011A wonderful collection, this book is mostly prints, engravings, and plates taken from centuries of Hermetic literature. It explains (or perhaps,gives an interpenetration to)all the various meanings of all those symbols that Alchemists, Mystics, "heretics", and Astrologers have used throughout history. Worth it for the illustrations alone, I lucked out and acquired a copy for $2!
Jan 16, 2013A beautiful compendium of pre-modernist info graphics when the human soul, and it's making, were thought to be a great achievement by eccentric and isolated individuals. This is a great visual porthole into the history of metaphysical thought, the early development of scientific thinking, and the romance of symbolic image-making. A great source of inspiration and just plain weird drawings.
May 17, 2012A quite awesome graphic connection between many historic characters from the "Scientific revolution" like Copernicus, Newton, Kepler ; Great authors like Dante, Swift, Goethe, Joyce; Occultist like Jacob Boehme, Aleister Crowley and Alchemy.
Feb 04, 2019This book is full of great artwork and very interesting concepts. I will definitely be going back to it from time-to-time for some references. I really enjoy learning about more abstract views of the world and "secret teachings."
Jan 29, 2019Mainly I bought this for the insane amount of Alchemical pictures that have been gathered in one place. If you're interested in Alchemy and it's history you really can't go wrong here. The descriptions aren't really the most detailed, but they do a good job of explaining some of the more obscure ideas and can help get you started researching on your own.
Jul 13, 2019I recommend making use of this as a bedside book: good dreamfood, presumably, but at the same time it very definitely puts you to sleep. I read it over several months in this way.
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