Alchemyby Dennis William HauckA member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
ALPHA BOOKSPublished by the Penguin GroupPenguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USAPenguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division ofPearson Penguin Canada Inc.)Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, EnglandPenguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson AustraliaGroup Pty. Ltd.)Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, IndiaPenguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore, Auckland 1311, New Zealand (a division of PearsonNew Zealand Ltd.)Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South AfricaPenguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, EnglandCopyright 2008 by Dennis William HauckAll rights reserved. No part of this book shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means,electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher. No patent liability is assumed with respect to the use of the information contained herein. Although every precaution has beentaken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Neitheris any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of information contained herein. For information, addressAlpha Books, 800 East 96th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46240.THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO and Design are registered trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.ISBN: 1-4362-3083-7Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2007939745Note: This publication contains the opinions and ideas of its author. It is intended to provide helpful and informativematerial on the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the author and publisher are not engagedin rendering professional services in the book. If the reader requires personal assistance or advice, a competent professional should be consulted.The author and publisher specifically disclaim any responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise,which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this book.Publisher: Marie Butler-KnightEditorial Director: Mike SandersSenior Managing Editor: Billy FieldsExecutive Editor: Randy Ladenheim-GilDevelopment Editor: Lynn NorthrupProduction Editor: Kayla DuggerCopy Editor: Nancy WagnerCartoonist: Steve BarrBook Designer: Trina WurstIndexer: Johnna Vanhoose DinseLayout: Ayanna LaceyProofreader: Aaron Black
Contents at a GlancePart 1:Part 2:Part 3:Introduction to Alchemy11 Your Apprenticeship in AlchemyIt is still possible to be initiated into the ancient art ofalchemy, and this chapter shows you how.32 The First AlchemistsCould the legends of the divine origins of alchemy havea grain of truth?133 The Land of KhemThe birthplace of alchemy was in ancient Egypt, and itreached its fullest expression in Alexandria.254 Medieval Alchemy and the Quest for GoldThe heyday of alchemy in the Middle Ages also carriedthe seeds of its demise.41The Principles of Alchemy575 The Secret Language of AlchemistsThe coded language of the alchemists was invented toconceal their knowledge from those who would abuse it.596 The Elusive First MatterThe alchemists attempted to reduce substances to theirFirst Matter and recreate them from the inside out.737 The Four ElementsThe Four Elements are the archetypes of matter that arosefrom the primordial First Matter at the beginning of time.818 The Three EssentialsThe Three Essentials are the primary forces of creation thatare present in all things.939 The Philosopher’s StoneThe Philosopher’s Stone is the alchemist’s ultimate tool thatwould instantly transform anything into its perfected state.103The Operations of Alchemy10 The Ladder of the PlanetsThe visible planets are like stepping stones for the alchemistto follow in achieving transformations.113115
viThe Complete Idiot’s Guide to AlchemyPart 4:Part 5:11 The Black PhaseThe first stage of alchemical transformation begins withdeath and decay.12712 The White PhaseThe second stage of transformation is a purification of theessences that survived the initial operations.13913 The Red PhaseThe third stage of transformation is bringing the savedessences back to life in triumphant empowerment.149Practical Alchemy16114 Inside an Alchemist’s LaboratoryWe visit a medieval alchemist’s laboratory to learn thesecret processes that went on there.16315 The Spagyric ProcessThe alchemical process for creating tinctures and elixirs isunlike anything you might have expected.17516 The Kitchen AlchemistYou don’t need a fancy laboratory to be a practicingalchemist.18517 Working with the Planetary MetalsThe metals were considered the most powerful expressionsof cosmic energy on our planet.195Spiritual Alchemy21318 Mental AlchemyThe principles of alchemy work on the psychological leveland are the key to personal transformation.21519 Alchemy of the SoulSpiritual transformation was the major concern of genuinealchemists throughout history.22520 The Sacred MarriageThe union of masculine and feminine ways of knowing leadsto a new incarnation of body, mind, and soul.235
Contents at a GlancePart 6:Modern Alchemy24321 Alchemy and MedicineThe goal of alchemy has always been to heal imperfections inmatter and restore balance and health to individuals.24522 Social AlchemyAlchemical principles are at work in human evolution andadvances in civilization.25923 The Science of Magic275The diverse disciplines of alchemy, science, magic, and religionare slowly coming together to offer us a deeper and truer viewof the universe.AppendixesA Resources289B Glossary295Index301vii
ContentsPart 1: Introduction to Alchemy1 Your Apprenticeship in Alchemy13Why Study Alchemy?.4The Kinds of Alchemy.5Spiritual Alchemy.5Psychological Alchemy.6Artistic Alchemy.6Social Alchemy.6Practical Alchemy.7Therapeutic Alchemy.7The Perennial Philosophy.8Becoming an Alchemist.92 The First Alchemists13Lost Gems of Knowledge.14The Gods of Alchemy.14Thoth: The Father of Alchemy.16The Pillars of Hermes.16The Emerald Tablet.17The Treasures of Alexander.18The Fate of the Emerald Tablet.19The Legend of Thoth/Hermes.20The Staff of Hermes.21Hermetic Philosophy.223 The Land of Khem25Secrets of Priests and Craftsmen.26Alexandria: Center of Ancient Alchemy.26Greek Philosophy and Alchemy.29The Concept of Transmutation.30Destruction of the Alexandrian Texts.31The Growth of Alchemy in Asia.32How the Arabs Saved Alchemy.34Arabian Alchemy.35The Gibberish of Jabir.37
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Alchemy4 Medieval Alchemy and the Quest for Gold41The Beginning of European Alchemy.42The Wizardry of Roger Bacon.43Alchemy and the Church.45Medieval and Renaissance Alchemy.47Nicolas Flamel’s Powder of Projection.47Isaac Newton and the Black Dragon.50The Puffers.52The Rise of Chemistry.54Part 2: The Principles of Alchemy5 The Secret Language of Alchemists5759The Language of the Birds.60The Birds of Alchemy.60Animal Symbolism in Alchemy.62The Lions of Alchemy.63The Dragons of Alchemy.64Silent Secrets of the Rose.65Ciphers of the Alchemists.67Ciphers for the Elements.69Ciphers for the Three Essentials.706 The Elusive First Matter73What Is the First Matter?.74Properties of the First Matter.76The First Matter Is Eternal.76The First Matter Is Everywhere to Be Found.76The First Matter Is Cyclic.76The First Matter Contains All the Elements.77The First Matter Is the Source of the Philosopher’s Stone.77Working with the First Matter.777 The Four Elements81The Concept of the Elements.82The Four Humors.84Balancing the Elements.86The Quintessence.89Philosophers of Fire.90Elementary Fire.90Celestial Fire.91
ContentsCentral Fire.91Secret Fire.918 The Three Essentials93Three Children of the First Matter.94The Two Contraries.95Sulfur, Mercury, and Salt.96The Dance of Sulfur and Mercury.98The Three Essentials in People.100The Three Treasures of Taoist Alchemy.1019 The Philosopher’s Stone103The Magical Touchstone.104What the Philosopher’s Stone Looked Like.105Preparation of the Philosopher’s Stone.106The Mysterious Dr. Dee.107The Hieroglyphic Monad.108The Cipher of the Stone.109The Lost Key to the Monad.111Part 3: The Operations of Alchemy10 The Ladder of the Planets113115Correspondences of the Planets.116The Dark Powers of Saturn.118The Exuberant Powers of Jupiter.120The Masculine Powers of Mars.121The Feminine Powers of Venus.121The Transformative Powers of Mercury.123The Soulful Powers of the Moon.123The Spiritual Powers of the Sun.124The Music of the Spheres.12511 The Black Phase127The Blackening.128The Calcination Process.129Personal Calcination.131The Process of Dissolution.133Personal Dissolution.134xi
xii The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Alchemy12 The White Phase139The Whitening.140The Separation Process.141Personal Separation.142The Conjunction Process.143Personal Conjunction.14413 The Red Phase149The Peacock’s Tail.150The Reddening.151The Fermentation Process.152Personal Fermentation.154The Distillation Process.155Personal Distillation.157The Coagulation Process.158Personal Coagulation.159Part 4: Practical Alchemy14 Inside an Alchemist’s Laboratory161163A Tour of a Medieval Laboratory.164The Athanor.165Alchemical Glassware.166The Chemicals Used by Alchemists.167Vitriol.168Natron.168Liquor Hepatis.169Pulvis Solaris.169Hidden Energies in the Lab.170The Oratorium.171Alchemists and Chemists.173Women in Alchemy.17415 The Spagyric Process175The Doctrine of Signatures.176Types of Medicines.176Allopathic Medicine.177Homeopathic Medicine.177Spagyric Medicine.177The Planetary Signatures.178
Contents xiiiThe Star in Plants.179The Three Essentials in Plants.180Planetary Influences in Spagyrics.181Planetary Hours.181Paracelsus the Great.18216 The Kitchen Alchemist185Setting Up Your Kitchen Lab.186Making Alchemical Compounds.187Making Tinctures.188Making Elixirs.19117 Working with the Planetary Metals195Saturn’s Metal: Lead.196Lead and Silver.197Saturn Signatures in Lead.197Lead Poisoning.198The Hidden Promise of Lead.199Jupiter’s Metal: Tin.199Jupiter Signatures in Tin.200The Tin Plague.200Mars’s Metal: Iron.200Iron’s Love for Carbon.201Mars Signatures in Iron.202Venus’s Metal: Copper.203Venus Signatures in Copper.203The Love Affairs of Copper.204Mercury’s Metal: Quicksilver.205Mercury Signatures in Quicksilver.206The Dual Nature of Mercury.207The Moon’s Metal: Silver.208Lunar Signatures in Silver.209The Moon’s Influence Over Silver.209The Sun’s Metal: Gold.209Solar Signatures in Gold.210The Sun’s Influence Over Gold.211
xiv The Complete Idiot’s Guide to AlchemyPart 5: Spiritual Alchemy18 Mental Alchemy213215The Salted Personality.216The First Matter in People.217The Four Elements in People.218The Planets in People.219Jung and Alchemy.220The Black Phase of Mental Alchemy.222The White Phase of Mental Alchemy.222The Red Phase of Mental Alchemy.22419 Alchemy of the Soul225The Dragons of Spiritual Alchemy.226The True Imagination.227Alchemical Meditation.228The Azoth of the Philosophers.229The Operations of the Azoth.231The Ray of Saturn.231The Ray of Jupiter.232The Ray of Mars.232The Ray of the Sun.233The Ray of Venus.233The Ray of Mercury.233The Ray of the Moon.23320 The Sacred Marriage235The Sacred Marriage in You.236The Inner Marriage.236Birth of the Philosopher’s Stone.237The Sacred Marriage in Christian Alchemy.239The Three Marriages in Alchemy.240The Sacred Marriage in Psychology.240Part 6: Modern Alchemy21 Alchemy and Medicine243245The Life Force.245Paracelsian Medicine.246
ContentsHealing with the Metals.248Healing with Lead.249Healing with Tin.249Healing with Iron.250Healing with Copper.250Healing with Mercury.252Healing with Silver.254Healing with Gold.25522 Social Alchemy259The Alchemy of Relationships.260Calcination in Relationships.260Dissolution in Relationships.261Fermentation in Relationships.261Distillation in Relationships.262Coagulation in Relationships.262The Relationship Laboratory.263Alchemy in the Workplace.264Calcination in the Workplace.265Dissolution in the Workplace.265Separation in the Workplace.266Conjunction in the Workplace.266Fermentation in the Workplace.267Distillation in the Workplace.268Coagulation in the Workplace.269Transforming the Workplace.270Wealth: The First Matter in Society.27123 The Science of Magic275The Science of the Future.276The Mystical Nature of Light.277Early Theories of Light.277The Alchemical Rebis.278Quantum Alchemy.280Twentieth-Century Alchemists of Science.281Albert Einstein (1879–1955).282Werner Heisenberg (1901–1976).282Barbara McLintock (1902–1992).283David Bohm (1917–1992).283Wolfgang Pauli (1900–1958).284xv
xvi The Complete Idiot’s Guide to AlchemyThe Philosopher’s Stone of Physics.285The Projection of Consciousness.286The Alchemy of Evolution.287AppendixesA Resources289B Glossary295Index301
IntroductionMy initiation into alchemy came while I was attending the University of Vienna. I hadgone there to study mathematics in the tradition of the Viennese logician Kurt Godel.However, within three months of my arrival, I was sidetracked into studying a mucholder tradition.Four hundred years earlier, Vienna and nearby Prague were at the heart of Europeanalchemy, and hundreds of alchemists flocked to the area to study. I was unaware ofVienna’s rich alchemical tradition until one day when I stumbled into a basementroom in the university library that was full of old alchemy books.The German and Latin manuscripts were in antique typesetting that was very difficult to read, but the drawings in those books were strangely profound and resonateddeeply with me in ways I could not put into words. All I knew was that whatever wasgoing on in those drawings was more real than anything that was going on in my lifeat the time, and I wanted to be part of it.I resolved to learn as much as I could about alchemy and began translating the oldmanuscripts I found in Vienna and Prague. My research led me to even larger collections of alchemy books in Switzerland, Germany, and Holland. Finally, an Italianfriend directed me to Merus Favilla, a practicing alchemist living in Prague who occasionally took on new students.After some painstaking negotiations, Merus agreed to take me as a student. EveryWednesday for over a year, I took the train from Vienna to Prague to be initiatedinto the mysteries of the ancient craft. The cost of my weekly tuition was a carton ofCamel cigarettes for my master and a box of Mozart Balls (chocolates) for his wife.I learned much during my strange apprenticeship in Prague—mostly about the hidden signatures and correspondences of things. But the most important thing I learnedwas that the real trick to grasping alchemy was making it come alive within me. As theGerman alchemist Gerhardt Dorn once put it: “You must transmute yourselves fromdead stones into living Philosophical Stones.”Unlike academic disciplines, alchemy can actually take root in you and grow intosomething that is more than the sum of its parts. This is when the true secret teachings of alchemy begin and when the magic happens. There is some sort of energeticconnection to the principles of alchemy that is very empowering. True alchemistsknow exactly what I am talking about, and I hope you will, too, by the time you aredone with this book.
xviii The Complete Idiot’s Guide to AlchemyThe objective of this book is to teach you the alchemists’ coded language so you canappreciate and work with the ancient wisdom they have passed down to us. For mypart, I promise to be honest and direct, with no unnecessary secrecy, no pompoustheorizing, and no special allegiance to any particular tradition or organization. Myfocus in this book is to help you understand the principles of alchemy and apply themin practical ways in the modern world.So let your apprenticeship begin with this book. All you have to do is assume the roleof a “complete idiot” and become an empty vessel. Forget everything you thoughtyou knew about alchemy and alchemists. You are now at the beginning of a new pathtoward enlightenment. And don’t worry—you have everything you need hidden awayinside you. Just come as you are.How This Book Is OrganizedThis book is divided into six sections:Part 1, “Introduction to Alchemy,” traces the roots of alchemy into the distant pastand shows how the discipline developed from the mythic writings of godlike beingsinto the practical treatises of the Alexandrian alchemists. From alchemy’s origins inancient Egypt to the founding of the Great Library, the basic tenets of alchemy werewell developed long before the heyday of the medieval alchemists.Part 2, “The Principles of Alchemy,” takes a look at the fundamental concepts ofalchemy and traces their development in the Hermetic arts, philosophy, religion, psychology, and
vi The Complete Idiot's Guide to Alchemy 11 The Black Phase 127 The first stage of alchemical transformation begins with death and decay. 12 The White Phase 139 The second stage of transformation is a purification of the