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1. The Alchemy of Nine Dimensions:
2. Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind
3. The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius,
4. The Alchemy of Finance (Wiley
5. Real Alchemy: A Primer of Practical
6. The Alchemy of Growth: Practical
7. The Complete Idiot's Guide to
8. The Path of Alchemy: Energetic
9. Saint Germain on Alchemy: Formulas
10. Alchemy and Mysticism (Hermetic
11. Stitch Alchemy: Combining Fabric
12. Alchemy and Meggy Swann
13. Alchemy: An Introduction to the
14. Psychology and Alchemy (Collected
15. The Alchemy of Finance: Reading
16. The Alchemy of Stone
17. Essence and Alchemy: A Natural
18. The Alchemy of Happiness
19. Alchemy: A Passion for Jewels
20. An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel

1. The Alchemy of Nine Dimensions: The 2011/2012 Prophecies and Nine Dimensions of Consciousness
by Barbara Hand Clow, Gerry Clow
Paperback: 320 Pages (2010-04-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1571746269
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This revised and expanded edition of Barbara and Gerry Clow's classic 2004 text. This sequel to the bestselling underground classic The Pleiadian Agenda, outlines their theory of the nine dimensions of human consciousness and how those nine dimensions have become essential to our evolutionary survival.

Incorporating the research and insight of the Swedish biologist Carl Calleman, the Clows demonstrate how recent scientific discoveries validate their theories. The existence of the nine dimensions of human consciousness can be proved by science.

The most controversial aspect of this book is their exploration of the Mayan prophecies. Counter to much of the prevailing opinion, the fulfillment of the prophecies will not result in the Apocalypse, but will usher a new and expanded era of human consciousness.

They also assert that the beginning of this new era begins not on December 21, 2012--but on October 28,2011--making the time of the great shift in consciousness just around the corner.

Provocative and informative, the Clows have provided an explanation and roadmap for the future. It will be embraced by all who are interested in the evolution of human consciousness. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars The new Alchemy
When I saw this book hit the market-place I jumped on it. I had read the earlier publication a few years ago and although I had to read the first few chapters in that book twice to grasp the content, it was one of the best books I had ever read on this subject. So needless to say I was very interested in this, "The New Version". It isn't really a refresher course as there is new material added into the text plus an additional chapter at the end. Barbara's husband, Jerry has more of a part in this edition which gives it great balance. Perhaps it was because I had read the first edition, but I liked and understood this edition better and was very glad I read it. The first edition gave me the structure to practice my life around, while the second edition gave me the opertunity to grade myself on these new ideas and necessary information for living a multidimensional life.

5-0 out of 5 stars The 'Alchemy of Nine Dimensions
This is an amazing book. Barbara's insights and ability to connect many different inputs will enlighten even the most ignorant of us. This is a book we all should read to understand where we are now, and how we can choose to change this world for the better.

2-0 out of 5 stars Just didn't get it.
I don't like giving bad reviews but the only reason why I bought this book was because it was #1 in prophecy and got excellent ratings. In light of all the 2012 fear mongering, I was hungry for something inspirational, enlightening. Personally, I found the book hard to read, dull, and just didn't get it. It seemed like 200 pages of made up stuff. I may just be too much of a skeptic to believe in channeled material. If you have your feet firmly planted in this world/dimension, you may not get anything out of this book either.

Yes, things are speeding up. And humankind is spinning out of control. But I don't think its helpful to be immersed in all the bad news and getting caught up in the blame game. That just fuels our anger and turns us into victims. I don't think that the Elite arein as much control as some believe. I think they are immature beings who happen to be highly skillful at accumulating power and wealth. Any power they have over us is what we give them through our belief system. They don't have any more control or security than we do.

And I don't think its helpful to go into denial or wishful escapism either. We're not on some galatic schedule where we (some of us) get to ride the axis into a new world. The only way we get out of this mess we're in is to face it and work through it. Reality happens whether we believe in it or not.

This is a time to get quiet and connect directly to spirit, to connect with others, to practice what we know in our hearts to be true. The only way "heaven on earth" is going to get here, is if we consciously choose to live as if we have nothing to protect and nothing to defend against. We need to live our lives as if we have the power to make a difference. Life is made up of all the little choices we make.

5-0 out of 5 stars Valuable information.
Full of useful techniques & important info.Some of it will resonate some of it will not.Give it time, work with the techniques that are harder to understand. Just carrying around the thing increased synchronicity in my life.

5-0 out of 5 stars The clearest book Clow has ever written
Maybe I'm just getting smarter, but since that's doubtful, I have to say that Hand Clow has gotten better at explaining things.This new book lays out the 9 dimensions in a way that is crystal clear and easy to apply to modern life.And, for the first time, after countless book on what the year 2112 is all about, I finally understand what the Mayan were trying to tell us.We're coming to the end of a spiral loop of evolution and getting ready for the 'harvest' as spoken of in the Bible.Those souls that 'get it' meaning they learn to love their fellow man, and the Earth and all her creatures, get to move up to the next level of humanity.Homo-smarter I'm assuming, ending countless centuries of killing each other over religions that profess loving their fellow man.It looks like in spite of ourselves, we are moving up the ladder of evolution and in 2012 we get to join the rest of the cosmos.

Hand Clow also explains crop circles and what whoever is making them is trying to tell us.Wonderful book and so sensible.I almost understood all the science behind the nine dimensions those I did sort of lose it after the seventh, but I'm guessing most people will get the whole concept.Bravo to authors like Hand Clow who spend their lives explaining the nearly inexplicable to the rest of us.
When I Dream ... Read more

2. Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart
by Tara Bennett-Goleman
Paperback: 432 Pages (2002-01-22)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$6.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0609809032
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
“May this very important and enticing book find its way into the hearts of readers near and far so that it can perform its mysterious and healing alchemy for the benefit of all.” —John Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are and
Professor of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School

The Transformative Power of Mindfulness

Alchemists sought to transform lead into gold. In the same way, says Tara Bennett- Goleman, we all have the natural ability to turn our moments of confusion or emotional pain into insightful clarity.

Emotional Alchemy maps the mind and shows how, according to recent advances in cognitive therapy, most of what troubles us falls into ten basic emotional patterns, including fear of abandonment, social exclusion (the feeling that we don’t belong), and vulnerability (the feeling that some catastrophe will occur).This remarkable book also teaches us how we can free ourselves of such patterns and replace them with empathy for ourselves and others through the simple practice of mindfulness, an awareness that lets us see things as they truly are without distortion or judgment. Emotional Alchemy provides an insightful explanation of how mindfulness can change not only our lives, but the very structure of our brains, giving us the freedom to be more creative and alive.

Here is a beautifully rendered work full of Buddhist wisdom and storiesof how people have used mindfulness to conquer their self-defeating habits. The result is a whole new way of approaching our relationships, work, and internal lives.Amazon.com Review
According to ancient legends, alchemists use a magical philosopher'sstone to transmute lead into gold. In Emotional Alchemy, TaraBennett-Goleman shows readers how they can use this alchemistmetaphor to transform emotional confusion (lead) into insightfulclarity (gold). And what does the magic stone represent?"Mindfulness," a lifelong practice that can bring readers more joy andcontentment than the gold, according to Bennett-Goleman."Mindfulnessmeans seeing things as they are without trying to change them," shewrites. "The point is to dissolve our reactions to disturbingemotions, being careful not to reject the emotion itself."

Those who have never entered this practice will find a concise and articulate teacher in Bennett-Goleman, who leads national workshops with her husband, author Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence). What make this book such an exciting breakthrough is Bennett-Goleman's ability to apply Buddhist mindfulness to Western psychology. She shows how emotional alchemy can be used to address typical habits, such as mistrust, fear of rejection, feeling unlovable. Readers will also find fascinating scientific facts on how emotional alchemy affects brain chemistry and even cancer survival. --Gail Hudson ... Read more

Customer Reviews (51)

5-0 out of 5 stars Access to self knowledge and self healing
Tara brilliantly lays out the origins of our dysfunctional behavior patterns. This book was the catalyst for my own investigation into my childhood, which resulted in a tremendous insight about myself and the related events that have affected my entire life. It helped me find the path to breakthrough emotional habits and and heal myself. An excellent, insightful read for those seeking self understanding.


5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most helpful books I have ever read
I just want to add that I agree with every positive statement made about this book. I feel when I read it, that I have a real and powerful tool in my hands. The schema's bring great insight to my life and the people in it. I am very grateful to Tara for writing it.

5-0 out of 5 stars a new approach to meditation
This book goes beyond simple meditative practices, by helping the reader free themselves from established maladaptive habits that not only harm others but deteriorate our well being. Tara Goleman combines Buddhists fundamentals with schema therapy to give us a deeper understanding about the dynamic-self that help us to come to better terms with reality.

4-0 out of 5 stars Equinimity and the emotions
This is a psychological self-help book which takes the approach of combining 'mindfulness' with 'schema therapy'.

Mindfulness is a Buddhist method of meditation in which the practitioner pays attention to the free flowing thoughts in his mind in order to understand precisely how he thinks and what is behind his thoughts.This is very different from the more well know meditation practice in which these thoughts are dismissed and the mind concentrates on a relaxing point of focus, such as inhaling and exhaling.

Schema therapy is a new form of cognitive therapy which identifies repeat patterns of behavior that originate from disturbed childhood experiences.A schema is a cluster of habits (automatic thoughts and behaviors).There are ten different schemas.The first five schemas originate in early childhood and have to do with parental influence They are Abandonment, Deprivation, Subjugation, Mistrust and Unlovability. The next five schemas originate later in childhood, or even in adulthood, and have to do with peer-group influence.They are Exclusion, Vulnerability, Failure, Perfectionism, and Entitlement.The therapy challenges these bad habits replacing them with more logical, conscious patterns of behavior.Schema therapy was developed by Dr. Jeffery Young, who is a protégé of Dr. Aaron Beck, the founder of cognitive therapy.

The main emphasis of the book is on mindfulness as a method of exploring the motivations of schemas, and of distancing oneself from the habitual behavior by maintaining a calm, distant observation of ones thoughts and emotions.The notion of building equanimity features strongly.Most chapters end with mindful exercises you can try by yourself at home.Schema therapy receives a brief three chapter overview.Then in the next eight chapters schemas are mentioned largely in terms of providing examples of maladaptive behavior on which mindfulness is demonstrated to act.The last four chapters of the book develop the idea of meditation as a method of 'spiritual' development beyond ordinary psychological self-improvement.

If you are interested in learning more about schema therapy try Schema Therapy: A Practitioner's Guide.

4-0 out of 5 stars Equinimity and the emotions
This is a psychological self-help book which takes the approach of combining 'mindfulness' with 'schema therapy'.

Mindfulness is a Buddhist method of meditation in which the practitioner pays attention to the free flowing thoughts in his mind in order to understand precisely how he thinks and what is behind his thoughts.This is very different from the more well know meditation practice in which these thoughts are dismissed and the mind concentrates on a relaxing point of focus, such as inhaling and exhaling.

Schema therapy is a new form of cognitive therapy which identifies repeat patterns of behavior that originate from disturbed childhood experiences.A schema is a cluster of habits (automatic thoughts and behaviors).There are ten different schemas.The first five schemas originate in early childhood and have to do with parental influence They are Abandonment, Deprivation, Subjugation, Mistrust and Unlovability. The next five schemas originate later in childhood, or even in adulthood, and have to do with peer-group influence.They are Exclusion, Vulnerability, Failure, Perfectionism, and Entitlement.The therapy challenges these bad habits replacing them with more logical, conscious patterns of behavior.Schema therapy was developed by Dr. Jeffery Young, who is a protégé of Dr. Aaron Beck, the founder of cognitive therapy.

The main emphasis of the book is on mindfulness as a method of exploring the motivations of schemas, and of distancing oneself from the habitual behavior by maintaining a calm, distant observation of ones thoughts and emotions.The notion of building equanimity features strongly.Most chapters end with mindful exercises you can try by yourself at home.Schema therapy receives a brief three chapter overview.Then in the next eight chapters schemas are mentioned largely in terms of providing examples of maladaptive behavior on which mindfulness is demonstrated to act.The last four chapters of the book develop the idea of meditation as a method of 'spiritual' development beyond ordinary psychological self-improvement.

If you are interested in learning more about schema therapy try Schema Therapy: A Practitioner's Guide.
... Read more

3. The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler
by Thomas Hager
Paperback: 336 Pages (2009-08-18)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0307351793
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Tragic genius, cutting-edge science, and the discovery that changed billions of lives–including your own.

At the dawn of the twentieth century, humanity was facing global disaster: Mass starvation was about to become a reality. A call went out to the world’s scientists to find a solution.

This is the story of the two men who found it: brilliant, self-important Fritz Haber and reclusive, alcoholic Carl Bosch. Together they discovered a way to make bread out of air, built city-sized factories, and saved millions of lives.

But their epochal triumph came at a price we are still paying. The Haber-Bosch process was also used to make the gunpowder and explosives that killed millions during the two world wars. Both men were vilified during their lives; both, disillusioned and disgraced, died tragically.

The Alchemy of Air is the extraordinary, previously untold story of a discovery that changed the way we grow food and the way we make war–and that promises to continue shaping our lives in fundamental and dramatic ways.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars fascinating story of science and history
This book is worth reading if only to learn about the Haber-Bosch process and it's significance.That said, the author does a commendable job weaving an engaging story by placing the invention aptly in the context of Germany's scientific community of the day, and the role of the invention not just in international commerce, but in the development of WWI and WWII.

My only criticism - the text is replete with typographical errors - otherwise fascinating and highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Read
I could not put this down.I'm a high school Chemistry teacher and I like to present material as part of a narrative, so I like reading books on the history of science.This was one of the best!What a tortured soul Haber was and Bosch also lived to see his life's work fuel Hitler's madness.If not for 2 men, and the 2 World Wars they fomented, Germany would be a truly great country.In particular I learned what IG Farben was, how they fueled the Reich, what Syn fuel was, how the Nitrogen process really worked, how Chemical Engineering was born and the amount of reparations that brought Germany to the Nazi's.

5-0 out of 5 stars We are artificial
Nature alone could not allow the current population living on earth.
Plant growth is limited by the quantity of fixed nitrogen available and this compound is naturally produced only by some bacteria, by lightnings and few other ways.
Humble nature can only produce a limited amount of fixed nitrogen , and hence limited amount of crops can be harvested, and limited amount of people can be fed and live on the earth.
At the beginning of 20th century, living population was reaching the limits of sustainability, like a bacterial colony inside a culture flask ( In the end man is like a bacteria living in the world flask, isn't it ? ).
The reaching of the limit would have had tragic consequences for humanity ( huge famines, social instability, wars, etc., like what happened in China during the fifties).

The extraordinary invention that is the subject of this book, and that allows the transformation of atmospheric nitrogen into fertilizer, made possible for the human kind to further expand and to reach the actual population level.

The book is well written and its technical level is basic enough to be suitable for a wide audience. The author is clearly gifted and the characters development and trivia mix effectively and spice the narration.

In the end, I was appalled by the consideration that 2 billions people live on the earth only thanks to Haber-Bosch
machines ( China was dying of starvation and they survived thanks to 12 HB machines bought by the government ) and the a large amount of nitrogen inside our bodies is artificial and comes from the same process.

We are artificial.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
This should be required reading in every college in the US.A entirely new perspective on over-population, on the ability to make war, and on the paradox of good and evil played out on a global industrial scale.Fascinating and very well written and researched.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Alchemy of Air
An excellent account of the history and possible environmental concerns of the production of synthetic nitrogen compounds. ... Read more

4. The Alchemy of Finance (Wiley Investment Classics)
by George Soros
Paperback: 391 Pages (2003-07-29)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$12.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471445495
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Critical Praise forThe Alchemy of Finance

"The Alchemy of Finance joins Reminiscences of a Stock Operator as a timeless instructional guide of the marketplace."
––Paul Tudor Jones
From the Foreword to the First Edition

"An extraordinary . . . inside look into the decision-making process of the most successful money manager of our time. Fantastic."
––The Wall Street Journal

"A breathtakingly brilliant book. Soros is one of the core of masters . . . who can actually begin to digest the astonishing complexity . . . of the game of finance in recent years."

"A seminal investment book . . . it should be read, underlined, and thought about page by page, concept by idea. . . . He’s the best pure investor ever . . . probably the finest analyst of the world in our time."
–– Barton M. Biggs
Director, BKF Capital Group, Inc.

Updated to include a new Preface and Introduction by Soros, and a Foreword by Paul A. Volcker

George Soros is unquestionably the most powerful and profitable investor in the world today. Dubbed by BusinessWeek as "The Man Who Moves Markets," Soros once made a billion dollars by betting that the British pound would be devalued. Soros is not merely a man of finance, but a thinker to reckon with as well. In The Alchemy of Finance, this extraordinary man reveals the investment strategies that have made him "a superstar among money managers"(The New York Times). ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars Alchemy review
I have nothing to complain about..the product is in very good conditions and the delivery was perfect

5-0 out of 5 stars Book Review from the Aleph Blog
One trap you can fall into in life is to not learn from those that you disagree with, for one reason or another. George Soros would be an example of that. His politics are very different from mine, as well as his religious views. He's a far more aggressive investor than I am as well. I am to hit singles with high frequency over the intermediate term. He played themes to hit home runs.

The Alchemy of Finance made a big impression on me 15 years ago. Perhaps it was a book that was in the right place at the right time. It helped to crystallize a number of questions that I had about economics as it is commonly taught in the universities of the US.

First, a little about me and economics. I passed my Ph. D. oral exams, but did not receive a Ph. D., because my dissertation fell apart. Two of my three committee members left, and the one that was left didn't understand my dissertation. What was worse, I had moral qualms with my dissertation, because I knew it would not get approved.

My dissertation did not prove anything. All of my pointed to results that said, "We're sorry, but we don't know anything more as a result of your work here." I have commented before that the social sciences would be better off if we did publish results that said: don't look here -- nothing going on here. But no, and many grad students in a similar situation would falsify their data and publish. I couldn't do that. I also couldn't restart, because I had put off the wedding long enough, so for my wife's sake, I punted, and became an actuary.

That said, I was a skeptical graduate student, and not very happy with much of the common theories; I wondered whether cultural influences played a larger role in many of the matters that we studied. I thought that people satisficed rather than maximized, because maximization takes work, and work is a bad.

I saw how macroeconomics had a pretty poor track record in explaining the past, much less the present or future. In development economics, the countries that ignored the foreign experts tended to do the best. Even in finance, which I thought was a little more rigorous, I saw unprovable monstrosities like the CAPM and its cousins, concepts of risk that existed only to make risk uniform, so professors could publish, and option pricing models that relied on lognormal price movement.

Beyond that there was the sterility of economic models that never got contaminated by data. I was a practical guy; I did not want to spend my days defending ideas that didn't work in the real world. And, I felt from my studies of philosophy that economists were among the unexamined on methodology issues. They would just use techniques and turn the crank, not asking whether the metho, together with data collection issues made sense or not. The one place where I felt that was not true was in econometrics, when we dealt with data integrity and model identification issues.

Wait. This is supposed to be a book review. :( Um, after getting my Fellowship in the Society of Actuaries, I was still looking for unifying ideas to aid me in understanding economics and finance. I had already read a lot on value investing, but I needed something more.

On a vacation to visit my in-laws, I ended up reading The Alchemy of Finance. A number of things started to click with me, which got confirmed when I read Soros on Soros, and later, when I began to bump into the work of the Santa Fe Institute.

I was already familiar with nonlinear dynamics from a brief meeting with a visiting professor back in my grad student days, so when I ran into Soros' concept of reflexivity, I said "Of course." You had to give up the concept of rationality of financial actors in the classical sense, and replace them with actors that are limitedly rational, and are prone to fear and greed. Now, that's closer to the world that I live in!

Reflexivity, as I see it, is that many financial phenomena become temporarily self-reinforcing. We saw that in the housing bubble.So long as housing prices kept rising, speculators (and people who did not know that they were speculators) showed up to buy homes.That persisted until theeffective cashflow yield of owning a home was less than the financing costs, even with the funky financing methods used.

Now we are in a temporarily self-reinforcing cycle down.Where will it end? When people with excess equity capital look at housing and say that they can tuck it away for a rainy day with little borrowing.The cash on cash yields will be compelling.We're not there yet.

Along with that, a whole cast of characters get greedy and then fearful, with the timing closely correlated.Regulators, appraisers, investment bankers, loan underwriters, etc., all were subject to the boom-bust cycle.

Expectations are the key here.We have to measure the expectations of all parties, and ask how that affects the system as a whole.

In The Alchemy of Finance, Soros goes through how reflexivity applied to the Lesser Developed Country lending, currency trading, equities, including the crash in 1987, and credit cycles generally.He gives a detailed description of how his theories worked in 1985-6.He also gives you some of his political theorizing, but that's just a small price to pay for the overall wisdom there.

Now, Soros on Soros is a series of edited interviews.The advantage is that the interviewers structure the questioning, and forces more clarity than in The Alchemy of Finance.The drawback (or benefit) is that the book is more basic, and ventures off into non-economic areas even more than The Alchemy of Finance.That said, he shows some prescience on derivatives (though it took a long time to get to the promised troubles), though he missed on the possibility of European disintegration.

On the whole, Soros on Soros is the simpler read, and it reveals more of the man; the Alchemy of Finance is a little harder, but focuses more on the rationality within boom/bust cycles, and how one can profit from them.

5-0 out of 5 stars The "hidden", unrealized by many sophisticated investors
The book focuses on how to utilize fund flows.

Very different from what Value Investors considers "value", different in a way that many Values rejected this idea, but to those who are interested in using the power of speculating to maximize your investment power, I recommend you to try this out.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lengthy but worthwhile
Although the book is a bit lengthy, Soros concept of reflexivity in financial markets is a highly relevant one.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good discussion on feed back loops but fails to deliver solid advice.
How to become a billionaire?don't look here.In the end Soros provides no cookbook ways to become a billionaire.He is very intuitive and that ultimately determines his success.In the book, Soros documents his investment experience as if each is a scientific experiment.The price movement ultimately determines if his theory is correct.If he is wrong he dumps his investment.Extreme discipline.Most of us claim the market (or Mr. Market as Buffet says) is wrong and over time we will be right. Soros claims that price makes its own realities.The way he uses leverage is also a mystery at times he appears to be completely un-leveraged - rare in the hedge fund world.

The only gold in the book is his discussion of feed back loops.This I feel is so relevant to today's financial and real estate crisis.In a rising housing environment Loan to Value ratios go down, this creates success for the lender.The desire to loan is high and the supply of available money drives up prices further feeding this loop.In a declining real estate model the loan to value ratio increases exposing the lenders risk making it undesirable to lend no matter what the interest environment.The lender is stuck he can hope that his loan portfolio will be paid down or he can sell them for a loss in the open market.With loans hard to find and lenders wanting more money and higher qualifications from borrowers this assures there will be fewer buyers (buyers market).This feeds the downward loop with loan to value ratios rising even more as prices fall.

... Read more

5. Real Alchemy: A Primer of Practical Alchemy
by Robert Allen Bartlett
Paperback: 224 Pages (2009-05-01)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$11.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0892541504
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A ground-breaking modern manual on an ancient art, Real Alchemy draws on both modern scientific technology and ancient methods. A laboratory scientist and chemist, Robert Allen Bartlett provides an overview of the history of alchemy, as well as an exploration of the theories behind the practice. Clean, clear, simple, and easy to read, Real Alchemy provides excellent directions regarding the production of plant products and transitions the reader-student into the basics of mineral work--what some consider the true domain of alchemy. New students to practical laboratory alchemy will enjoy reading Real Alchemy and hopefully find the encouragement needed to undertake their own alchemical journey. Bartlett also explains what the ancients really meant when they used the term "Philosopher's Stone" and describes several very real and practical methods for its achievement. Is the fabled Philosopher's Stone an elixir of long life or is it a method of transforming lead into gold? Judge for yourself. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

1-0 out of 5 stars Simple nonsense, do not bother
Just reading the introductions and forewords to the book should trip a dozen BS meters ... it was painful to see my dollars vaporized on such droll nonsense. Here's a big spoiler alert: Alchemy, as presented, despite the book's claim, is neither practical nor a science. You will not advance as a practitioner with such dross as this book. A Tarot deck would be far more useful, and I am sure that most people reading this book have more than one deck. It is books like this one that hold back the magic community, IMO. The medicinal claims were particularly ludicrous.

5-0 out of 5 stars This work has changed my life
This is a revealing, accurate, complete, and concise (in some cases, nearly terse) set of instructions for performing practical alchemical experiments.In it, the author demystifies the code words that veiled the writings of the ancient philosophers, which is a great favor - they are so veiled that they have been taken to be mystical metaphor rather than descriptions of physical operations.He presents a down-to-earth guide for making medicinal preparations from herbs and metals, and even for creating the philosopher's stone and performing transmutations.The book contains an explanation of philosophical principles but does not dwell on the abstract.What I love about this author is that he makes things no more difficult than they need to be, and points to seeds of further development such as astrology and qabalah without belaboring them.This is great because he doesn't give the student opportunity to avoid the real work by distracting him or herself with emotionally and intectually appealing speculation.His approach is concete: if you want to get benefit from this book, you will get out of the armchair.This approach offers not knowledge, but understanding that leads to wisdom.

By the time you begin reading about the mineral works, you'll probably be wishing for a more expanded explanation, or even a series of videos; though the instructions are clear, the operations are difficult to visualize for the novice.This is not a flaw in the work, but an example of the way alchemy conceals herself to the casual intellect yet reveals herself to the hand at work.My experience of practical alchemy is that the process of doing the simple experiments makes the more advanced methods comprehensible: the only real way into this work is to start doing it.This author is a consummate practitioner, and his instructions can be relied upon to be descriptions of the work as he has done it and at which he has succeeded.I've met him and watched him perform both plant and mineral operations, and attest to the veracity of his writings.In my own work so far, I praise the efficacy of Art in creating internal change.It is worth the effort required to understand and perform these operations.

4-0 out of 5 stars A curious look into mysterious science
Reviewed by Andrey Bilko for RebeccasReads (01/10)

This book is a great anthology of everything that one needs to know about the ancient and mysterious art of alchemy. Starting with the brief history and basic theory of alchemy, the author introduces the practice, which has been around for thousands of years.

Before reading the book, I anticipated to read about the practice of alchemy; I did not expect to be reading how to actually perform alchemical experiments, the various distillations, described with step-by-step instructions. The author does a remarkable job describing basic experiments, which can be done by anyone without any scientific background in a regular kitchen, and then gradually getting into more sophisticated procedures.

My favorite aspect of the book was reading about all the symbolism, history, mysticism, and meaning behind alchemy. The connection between astrology and alchemy is omnipresent throughout the text, creating great correlations between the symbolisms of two "sciences". Of course, it difficult to label either as a science, as it is known today. In my eyes, both astrology and alchemy are pseudosciences, and the author is trying really hard to show the reader that alchemy is not necessarily a pseudoscience, but it is definitely not a science like chemistry.

In the conclusion, it is clearly stated that alchemy cannot be compared to chemistry, since two diverged into completely different paths a long time ago. Alchemy is more of a philosophy. It is a journey, which can lead alchemists to their own personal enrichment and fulfillment. However, alchemy does have a practical use, in which various elixirs are made to treat sicknesses. The herbal elixirs and mineral extracts have been known to have medicinal purposes, and some non-Western cultures still use herbs as medicines (some may call them alchemists!).

This book is a practical manual of laboratory alchemy, which can be done by almost anyone. It offers a glimpse into the past and an actual route towards reuniting with it by following an ancient tradition. It is slightly humorous though to end the book by discussing the Philosopher's Stone, which is capable of turning any metal into gold, in addition to having other magical powers, and then giving recipes for its making. As long as the reader does not get carried away by the mysticism, this is a very curious read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well researched information
This book is very well put together. His other book has more information on different alchemy processes he has found in his extensive research, but this book is perfect for the beginning student of alchemy. As someone who has researched alchemy for 12 years, I know a great deal about which methods work, and which ones were false information written in alchemy books by charlatans of the time. Bartlett did a good job of keeping out the bad info, and only telling the reader about the correct methods.

The book won't teach you a quick and easy method to make the true Philosopher's Stone, but it does explain every other area of alchemy in great detail, such as plant extracts and tinctures. I always recommend Bartlett's book to anyone I talk to about alchemy who has never heard of it, or hasn't studied it well enough, but has the desire to know more. It's a perfect starting point that I wish would have been available to me when I was first learning about alchemy; an essential read for any student of the art.

Bartlett is a good man, and through email conversations we were able to teach each other quite a lot, and he even posted a link to my alchemy site on his website, because I also write alchemy books myself. Most people who write alchemy books consider themselves masters of alchemy and won't let anyone teach them something new, because they are convinced they know everything already.

Buy this book, and I guarantee you will not regret it! Also if you are looking to see proof of transmutation and the Philosopher's Stone, do some research on Patrick Riviera and "France 3". He was on a French TV show in early 2009 and demonstrated to the entire country how to make the stone and did a transmutation of mercury to gold, which was then immediately taken to a lab and assayed to prove it was really gold. There is no debating the matter any further -- transmutation is a reality, not just a metaphor for changing the human mind into gold.

5-0 out of 5 stars awesome
its like being a fullmetal alchemist episode when I'm reading it.Good book to start on if you want to start learning alchemy. ... Read more

6. The Alchemy of Growth: Practical Insights for Building the Enduring Enterprise
by Mehrdad Baghai, Steve Coley, David White, Stephen Coley
Paperback: 272 Pages (2000-07)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0738203092
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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From experts at McKinsey & Company's world-renowned growth practice comes a highly practical, field-tested approach to initiating and sustaining corporate growth

Growth unleashes benefits beyond the economic. It revitalizes organizations and invigorates the people in them, creating energy, a sense of purpose, and the glow of being on a winning team. Yet growth is often elusive, achieved at unacceptable costs, or managed in fits and starts. Based on over three years of research and application at high-performing companies around the world, The Alchemy of Growth is a comprehensive, practical approach to initiating, achieving, and sustaining profitable growth-today and tomorrow.Amazon.com Review
Why do some companies come and go while others endure?According to McKinsey & Company, Inc. consultants Mehrdad Baghai,Stephen Coley, and David White, the secret to a lasting enterprise issustained growth. In The Alchemy of Growth, the authors offer apractical guide for jumpstarting expansion and keeping itgoing. "Growth is a noble pursuit. It creates new jobs for thecommunity and wealth for shareholders. It can turn ordinary companiesinto stimulating environments where employees find a sense of purposein their work," they write. "Growth's transformative power is akin tothe alchemy of old."

The authors describe the approaches that have succeeded in helpingtheir corporate clients around the world to step up the pace. Forinstance, companies must simultaneously focus on "three horizons"critical to growth. The first is the current bread-and-butter of thefirm; the second, the fast-developing entrepreneurial ventures; andthe third, the ideas that will germinate into tomorrow's profits. Thebest part of the book: the real-life examples of firms that havetransformed themselves from laggards to supercharged growthcompanies. Take Disney, for example. After founder Walt Disney's deathin 1966, the company stagnated, with its theme park and film businessslipping. But after Michael Eisner took over in 1984, Disney boostedits average annual returns to 29 percent, on the strength of growth insuch new avenues as Disney stores, ESPN, and resortdevelopment. The Alchemy of Growth is an instructive handbookfor managers interested in spurring their companies to newheights. --Dan Ring ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars Learn how to build growth into a business plan
Sustained growth is the motivation of any profit-making organization.As the authors point out, few organizations achieve sustained growth.Most have really good years, and those can be followed by really poor years.The authors see most firms faltering some point in their history unable to sustain growth.

By building growth into a business plan, the authors explain a method that will call for practical growth and help to build an enduring enterprise.Regardless of the size of a business, by following the authors' advice of managing across three "horizons" at once, the company will grow successfully and, most importantly, sustain that growth.

These three horizons reflect the company's present, short-term future, and long-term future.One must be able to manage these three horizons effectively by:
· defending and growing core businesses
· building up new core businesses for the future
· planting the seeds that may become potential businesses for the long term.

The authors point out that managing all three of these is no easy task.There will be areas where the priorities and requirements for these three horizons will conflict.This book will help leaders manage through these conflicts.

They will also learn how to:

· overcome a company's inertia
· build momentum for and through growth
· sustain growth

4-0 out of 5 stars Exhilarating and Exhausting
This book provides a easy-to-understand mental model for thinking about organizational growth. However, the concept of growing and managing three "horizons" of growth at the same time exhilarates and exhausts. This book could be enhanced by incorporating sustainable principles like the Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet, and Prosperity.

5-0 out of 5 stars A strategic stairway to business success
A perspective on corporate growth and change which works through the need to maintain a simultaneous focus on three 'horizons' - today's business, emerging businesses and longer term options and the implications forstrategy, management and structures.

As you would expect of a book out ofthe McKinsey stable, this is on an issue of importance to business, is wellresearched and analysed and very readable and well presented.As you wouldalso expect, it is focused on large corporates, and on strategies for theirbusiness success, as measured by exceptional growth and returns tostockholders.

It provides one important perspective on the issue ofcorporate growth and development, to be compared with otherperspectives.

There are obvious comparisons with Collins & Porras:'Built to Last' both in the concern with continuing exceptional performanceover an extended period and in the care taken to explain the research basefrom which the findings are derived.However, whereas Collins & Porrasare concerned primarily with values and culture, Baghai et al are primarilyinterested in strategies for the selection, development and management of aportfolio of businesses and the implications of those strategies forstructuring, staffing and operations.

The fundamental thesis is simpleand can be stated in a few propositions:

The companies that have beensuccessful in maintaining high rates of growth with superior profitabilityare those that have learnt to manage well to three different time horizonsat the same time - today's business, the next generation of emergingbusinesses, and the longer term options out of which the next generation ofbusinesses will arise.

In order to develop longer term options into 'coreprofit engines', a series of measured steps (concerned with finding ways ofprofitably building core capabilities and markets) are required, which theauthors call 'stairways'.In the nature of things, not all stairways willlead to future core businesses, so a variety of initiatives need to becarried forward together.Management of the 'stairways' should receivesignificant senior management attention.

The skills and temperamentsrequired to manage current business, to develop new business and to searchout viable future options are widely different one from the other.The keyto maximising the profitability of today's business is excellence ofexecution.Emerging businesses require business builders - the typicalentrepreneurial temperament, while the identification of future optionsrequires lateral thinkers and visionaries.

In consequence, the style oforganisation and internal culture most appropriate to each of these fociare also different.Large corporates tend to find difficulty inencompassing these very different cultures. The authors discuss in somedepth the resulting issues of internal culture, recruitment, structuringand transition, and their strategic management.

The strength of thebook is that the authors identify a key issue in business success - thedevelopment and maintenance of a vigorous portfolio of businesses over thelonger term - and work through the implications with clarity andthoroughness.

The cost of that approach is that other equallysignificant issues are assumed or left in the background.It is necessaryto balance the valuable perspective offered with others that are alsoimportant.It is also necessary to be aware of the underpinning tacitassumptions - for example, the underlying metaphor of organisation adoptedby the authors appears to me to be much nearer that of the organisation asa (money) machine, than that of the organisation as an organism.There isa marked contrast with the emphasis in, for example de Geus: 'The LivingCompany'.This is not to say that either is wrong, only that neither iscomplete.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very useful models and abstractions
It seems like a no-brainer that companies need to grow in order to survive or compete, and this book isn't interesting because it tells us what we already know. What's interesting about this book is that the authors do awonderful job of taking substantial research, abstracting the trends, andrendering their findings into very clear and usable models and messagesthat can help most managers who are thinking about growth. It wasparticularly interesting for me, as I work as an ebusiness consultant for alarge IT integrator and many of my customers are trying to start newstaircases (as described in the book) via Internet channels and I canimmediately see the applicability of Alchemy to what they're trying todo.

The book is a quick read (almost comically quick, given the price)and mercifully low on buzz words. Right now, I don't see the appendix asbeing particularly useful, but I may find it more so later. Annotating thebibliography would have added a lot of value.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good book to think about the future of your company
An useful book ! Surviving in the future requests perspectives and actions. Companies have a life cicle and gaining right to survive for a long time is not simple. So entrepreuners, directors and managers shouldthink and act carefully for ensuryng the future of their companies, becausethere's not certitude of existing for decades. ... Read more

7. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Alchemy
by Dennis William Hauck
Paperback: 336 Pages (2008-04-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1592577350
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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More than magic...

Where else can one combine chemistry and philosophy to turn base metal into gold while discovering a magical elixir to prolong life? Here's a simple and straightforward guide to alchemy that explains its basic principles. Written by one of the world's few practicing alchemists, it's a concise reference guide that provides easy-to-follow information so that anybody can be a wizard-in-training.
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Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars The complete idiot'sguide to alchemy
I have read over 3/4 of the book and have found it an excellent read. I have learned so much! It's great for the beginner who just wants to get a overview of terms, ciphers, and symbolism.I think I'm ready to start reading a little more challenging material on the subject now.I would definitely recommend this book to beginners on the subject of Alchemy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding in every way
Writing a primer on alchemy, a subject deliberately clouded in misinformation, ancient symbols, and misdirection of every sort, would present a tremendous challenge to any author, but Dennis William Hauck has instead written a concise introduction notable for clarity, concision, and as full an explanation as space in a book such as this allows.It is an excellent place to start one's research into an almost limitless subject, touching on everything from the hardest of empirical sciences to the realms of the subconscious, to magic, and to personal spiritual development.

Hauck defines terms, and gives us a very short overview of the history and development of alchemy as a pursuit, and then guides the reader through the basics.The planets, the metals, the connexions and relationships - all defined clearly.The laboratory operations are laid bare; some introductory experiments are suggested and described, some that could be perfomed in anybody's own kitchen.From there we go deeper into the effects of each metal, how they have been used.

Besides the physical/spiritual aspects of the work, Hauck is good at laying out the spiritual, social, mental and psychological aspects of alchemy, and the alchemical process in all things, principles that take us from meditational work on the self, all the way to the Unified Field Theory in physics.It is fascinating.

Finally, Hauck offers an excellent assortment of resources for further study, some old and some very new, including a long list of websites offering information, courses, and much deeper discussion of alchemy.

An excellent book if you are at all interested in the topic.

5-0 out of 5 stars "And this shall be a sign unto you of wholeness and Oneness..."
...These are the words left behind and inscribed by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung The World Within: C.G. Jung In His Own Words on a monument in his garden. For Jung it was the Philosopher's Stone and a sign that he followed the right path. Dennis William Hauck's book dispels the misconceptions and clarifies the essence of Alchemy and its principles throughout the ages and takes you on a historic and enlightening path. You may be surprised to learn of history's Alchemists which range from Greek philosopher Aristotle through most recently scientist David Bohm and the cultural influence of Hollywood's interpretation of Alchemist themes in films like The Fifth Element (Ultimate Edition), The Matrix and The Da Vinci Code (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition) and even more far-reaching J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: 10th Anniversary Edition (Harry Potter).
Mr. Hauck's book provides the tools and resources to begin your personal journey towards Quintessence, or the Fifth Element, and ultimately the Philosopher's Stone. Alchemist theories can then be applied to all areas of your life including social alchemy, marriage work and even business. What makes us, as humans, different and unique from ordinary matter is that we can consciously participate in our own perfection and we all carry this seed or pattern of perfection which can be recognized and refined through Alchemy.
This book also provides additional resources and websites in the Appendix to further immerse yourself in this ancient discipline that dates back at least 2,000 years.

5-0 out of 5 stars not for idiots guide;[ don't let title fool you]
great addition to any witchcraft; occult;library [and don't let the idiot'guide title fool you;]put together well ; very thought out;history; information;advice; i feel this book is a winner!! a marriage of science and esoteric spirit;

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Starter
The perfect book to get started in Alchemy.Mr. Hauck does an incredible job explaining the history and the principles behind Alchemy.I highly recommend it for anyone getting started or just curious about it. ... Read more

8. The Path of Alchemy: Energetic Healing & the World of Natural Magic (Pathways to Enlightenment)
by Mark Stavish
Paperback: 264 Pages (2006-11-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0738709034
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Alchemy offers tremendous insight into alternative therapies, new medicines, and the depths of the human mind. Illuminating a truly esoteric practice, Mark Stavish reveals how to create and apply "medicines for the soul" in this remarkable guide to plant and mineral alchemy.

The Path of Alchemy introduces the history and basic laws of this ancient practice, and explains how it ties into Qabala, tarot, astrology, and the four elements. Safe, modern techniques-based on spagyrics (plant alchemy)-for producing distillations, stones, tinctures, and elixirs are given, along with their uses in physical healing, spiritual growth, psychic experiments, initiation, consecration, spellwork, and more. Each chapter includes meditations, projects, and suggested reading as aids to "inner transformation," an equally important aspect of alchemy. Tools, rituals, lunar and solar stones, and the elusive Philosopher's Stone are all covered in this comprehensive guide to alchemy.

Finalist for the Coalition of Visionary Resources Award for Best Magick/Shamanism Book
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Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Alchemy 101
Brilliant, user friendly introduction to the world of Alchemy. Mark Stavish gives a approachable overview of an arduously complex field. The book is intended for beginners and guides you through some history, theory and a little practicum, and contains preparatory exercises that provide daily practice for years to come. This allows you to determine whether you want to spend more time, effort (and money!) on more advanced laboratory work. Stavish reveals much basic information on alchemy that has been unavailable outside esoteric groups clears up much confusion between historical truth and pop culture nonsense. If if you don't wish to pursue alchemy, much of the information provided will be a helpful supplement to your general magickal knowledge.

2-0 out of 5 stars A disappointment
I bought this book to get insight in alchemy and links to kabala, tarot etc. I found a very easy made book, typical American "do it yourself", with easy solutions on complicated matters, written from an outside standing point. From this I also doubt the authors insight in theese matters, as it appears as school-learning instead of well digested stuff that has developed into wisdom, as is the goal of these art.
I bought it because of the five stars in Amazon. How this book got them is the only mysterium about it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Beginner's Guide
This book was very well written and was a wonderful guide for those interested in alchemy. The book has a great overview and history of Alchemy and teaches great theory and principles for the novice. This book talks about "Vegetable Alchemy" or Spagyrics--working with plants. It has 2 or 3 basic recipes in included and several meditations to get you started on your path. It also includes appendixes on Nicolas Flamel, Planetary hours, and the Longevity Formula.

I do have to say, however, that The Path of Alchemy could have gone over certain aspects in greater detail and others less redundantly. Stavish could have also been more specific on which plants and herbs should be used for different tinctures and their effects.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disillusioning upon close inspection
This is an engaging, entertaining book, very accessible and a pleasure to read.This, unfortunately, functions as a seductive allurement to misleading or incomplete laboratory alchemy instructions.I was willing to overlook certain odd techniques such as using sea salt as the basis for a plant stone (why would you do this?why use an animal salt as a substitute for a plant salt?the seed must be planted in its corresponding womb in order to grow and become an alchemical child, so that's like trying to mate an octopus with an orchid) or doing the cohobation of the spagyric tincture one pinch at a time (this would probably work, but it's more convenient to cohobate all at once and then filter the result after they have been well-mixed), but the section on Ens Melissa really got my goat.

It's so incorrect and incomplete that someone following these instructions would waste a lot of energy creating a poison.The deliquescence of potassium carbonate is not "angel water," it was called "oil of tartar per deliquiem" - its distillate is angel water.You should use the oil of tartar.The melissa must be removed from the oil of tartar before the alcohol is added.The alcohol must be 95% pure ethanol, or it will not separate, and then your solution will be half-lye and undrinkable!

Anyway, I really wanted to like this book, but considering the trouble it takes to make the deliquescence I was taken aback that the rest of the instructions for creating the Ens were slapdash.

4-0 out of 5 stars Life changing
I think this was the book that made me change life's point of view. Some parts of it were a bit "slow", but when I got to the meaning of the processes I began to make changes in my thinking and confirm my beliefs. Just couldn't keep up with the lab thing. ... Read more

9. Saint Germain on Alchemy: Formulas For Self-Transformation
by Saint Germain
Mass Market Paperback: 540 Pages (1988-01-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$6.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0916766683
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Alchemy is a powerful method of transformation. In this greatest of all self-help books, Saint Germain reveals techniques to help you transform your life, your town, your planet. He tells you how you can harness spiritual energy, control your emotions and get rid of anxiety. Includes sections on the mystical origins of America and Saint Germain as the Wonderman of Europe. Includes 117-page glossary of alchemical and spiritual terms. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

1-0 out of 5 stars Snake oil
I am not an Alchemy pro, but I have a fairly extensive library and are well read on most matters esoteric. This book is no longer part of that library.

I admit, I picked it up on the basis of the contents of the cover. It looked like a translation or some kind of explanation of his notes. I thought it to be something along the lines of The Lost Gospel, or something in that ballpark. It also appeared to be a compilation of four books, which is common for Alchemy master writings. That made sense. I bought it.

In actuality, it is chapter after chapter of semi-spiritual semi-scientific drivel. The author's understanding of basic science is faulty, and then to cover that over with a few "Grace of God" explanations...well you don't have Alchemy. Oh, and it has a bonus section on the mystical foundations of the USA. How does that fit in?

OK, so Alchemy it isn't. There goes the main title. Let's look at the self-improvement aspects of transformation, since that is the subtitle. The "gems" of advice are well trodden, there is no real concrete substance in any teaching, and the mystery of it all boils down to "Why did I buy this book." Love, Wisdom, and Power. Not exactly groundbreaking, not alchemy, not formulas, and not explained in a transformative way. They are just explained, ad nauseum.

Now, don't think I am a harsh reviewer who just didn't get it. I do get it, and I am hoping you get what I am saying about this book. If the sense of accomplishment gained from reading a book, any book really, is enough for you to transmute your lead-based lower self into the pure and perfect golden orbs of a radiant higher-self, this book will do it. If you are looking for a way to bring the "As above" together with the "so below" in your life, get an actual book on Alchemy.

4-0 out of 5 stars An exciting adventure through time ... from 1400's - 1932
A friend gave me a brief outline of St. Germain one day and I always yearned to find more information about his life and then I found this excellent tome.

It is NOT just about Alchemy but it points out how St. Germain was a fan and follower of Jesus Christ.A very religious interpretation indeed and a worthy addition to even the deepest Christian's library this book will open your eyes.

It deals with those who swore they had seen and experienced the physical presence of St. Germain from around 1400 all the way through the 1930's. Even though the historians limit his lifespan to about 72 years in the 1400's. I was most impressed when it specifically made note that St. Germain did NOT die but ASCENDED and that he will return when necessary to help mankind during their gravest hours of need.

St. Germain does get into alchemy in this book but he is careful to explain that the TRUE alchemist must be pure of mind and body and that in order to achieve alchemy one must implore not only the 3rd dimension but also the 4th.I was thoroughly captivated by the writing which was actually NOT done by St Germain but was more a biography of his life as translated by the Prophets, as in Mr. and Mrs. Prophet.

From time to time you will notice the plot cooling a bit and you almost become bored when suddenly a new topic is opened with King Louis XIV, XV, and XVI, or for instance St Germain warns Marie Antoinette to be careful but she ignores him and is summarily guillotined.Then when you feel that things are slowing a bit St. Germain is popping in on the founders of our country during the drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence and shortly after that he is being spotted by people who swear they met him in the 1800's and finally around 1932, so the book is extremely interesting even though the time-line may be stretched and pulled and yanked and distorted, or perhaps we were just not privy to all the nuances of this persons most extraordinary life, although he did seem to live almost as long as Noah and Moses.But then I am running into current day people who have discovered how to make the Sorcerer's Stone and they are reporting similar immortality associated with such possession.Life is full of many wonders and this book will treat you to many novel thoughts and imaginations, as St Germain proves that his mastery of alchemy obviously included the manufacture of the Sorcerer's Stone, although I am not totally aware of that being specifically mentioned in the book, but as any master of alchemy knows it must be thoroughly implied.

All in all, it's a great read and I recommend it highly.It is NOT for the closed minded or the weak willed.You must have a verve and genuine interest in life and have a vivid imagination.For those rare few this book will excite you beyond belief.For the rest it will still encourage the flow of adrenaline. The mental travel through time is worth the price of admittance alone.


5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable Knowledge
This book changed my life. I randomly picked it up on the shelf of a bookstore one day with some interest in Alchemy. When I saw how inexpensive it was, I bought it. From a beginners point of view, this book was ideal for me. It's not so much about any practical laboratory alchemy as it is "Formulas For Self-Transformation." Reading about Saint Germain and his efforts put forth to help humanityis quite amazing. It gave me a personal figure to aspire to probably about the same as Jesus himself. And I wasn't at all religious before reading this book, but it helped to give me a new concept of the world of saints and of alchemy. This is a golden nugget of knowledge, highly recommended.

After flipping the first few pages and reading, "Dedicated to the disciples of East and West who would be the first alchemists of the Aquarian age," I moved this book to the top of my priority list of reading material, and am very glad that I did!

5-0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Alchemy
I loved this book. It was intense reading, but most profound books and topics are. There are many practical elements and activites. I loved the stories from Saint Germain's lives. The book touches on the physical alchemy of turning base metals to gold but goes deeper into what true alchemists seek, which is the spiritual alchemy of transforming our negative ego to our higher spiritual self.
For beginners or people just starting to get interested in these topics I found reading pocket book, Saint Germain, Master Alchemist by Prophet a nice intro. Enjoy!!!

1-0 out of 5 stars Channeled Info - That should sumamarize it...
I found little or no background on how they came about this information, other than it being "Channeled" information.This is where all the red flags went straight up.Though it is possible to get important information from channeling the other side, it is rare at best. It is subject to many of the individual's thoughts.Knowing the background of the person, you see familiar patterns of thought.All of this book could have easily come from the mind of these 2 people.

I read the first few chapters actually thinking this was the word of St. Germain, and was impressed.It lined up with many current esoteric thoughts and the whole mainstream "woo woo" community.It did actually resonate with me until about page 25 or so.Then it became obvious this was just pandering to the reader and that this book was not real at all.

Will the real St. Germain stand up and be heard? ... Read more

10. Alchemy and Mysticism (Hermetic Cabinet)
by Alexander Roob
Hardcover: 192 Pages (2009-07-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$5.03
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3836514265
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A fantastic journey through the history of esoteric lore: the great work of the alchemists (TASCHEN's 25th anniversary - Special edition) The Hermetic Museum takes its readers on a magical mystery tour spanning an arc from the mediaeval cosmogram and images of Christian mysticism, through the fascinating world of alchemy to the art of the Romantic era. The enigmatic hieroglyphs of cabbalists, Rosicrucians and freemasons are shown to be closely linked with the early scientific illustrations in the fields of medicine, chemistry, optics and colour theory. The author: Alexander Roob studied painting at the University of Fine Arts, Berlin. From 2000 to 2002, he was a professor at the University of Fine Arts, Hamburg. He has been teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts, Stuttgart since 2002.
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Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book, excellent condition
the book is amazing, and it is in brand new condition. Thank you for speedy delivery.

5-0 out of 5 stars wonderful
i picked up the full length version of this book off of clearance a while back and i must say it was one of the best books i have ever purchased. it has become the central reference book for all of my work.

almost any information you could ever imagine wanting to know is hidden in those images and everything you need to pick them out is hidden along side. a wonderful book to read if you love puzzles. its a big one.

4-0 out of 5 stars symbolism,
I'm an artist and have a large collection of reference books.
This is one of them,lots of good quality images.
Terrific value.

5-0 out of 5 stars Alchemy and Mysticism
A thick book of many pictures all very fascinating and informative. Great for a study group or bconversation starter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Alchemy & Mysticism: The Hermetic Museum
This book is a most excellent read for anyone who has an understanding of Spiritual Alchemy. It is fully illustrated with rare material which is extremely informative. This is a must for anyone who is interested in Spiritual Alchemy. This is so far the very best material on the subject I have seen. ... Read more

11. Stitch Alchemy: Combining Fabric & Paper for Mixed Media Art
by Kelli Perkins
Paperback: 128 Pages (2009-09-01)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$11.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1596681136
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Mixing the versatility of paper with the dimensional qualities of cloth, this inventive handbook to crafting with “paper-cloth” provides mixed-media artists with the knowledge to easily transform their works into collaged quilts using embellishment techniques, such as painting, stitching, needlefelting, and beading. Though the technique is inexpensive and requires less space, equipment, and skill than dyeing fabrics for quilt making, readers will learn step-by-step how the use of paper-cloth—from making the paper-cloth itself; adding color and interest to the foundation with inks, stains, paints, and glazes; texturizing; implementing printmaking techniques; and more—can allow layers of complexity and textural appeal. Common projects include art quilts, art dolls, jewelry, and artist books. Perfect for artists interested in altered art, found and recycled art, needle felting, and nontraditional elements, this original resource is the first to cross the paper and cloth mediums.

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Customer Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Get your creative synapsis popping!
Stitch Alchemy, Combining Fabric and Paper for Mixed-Media Art by Kelli Perkins is a treasure box of inspiration. Just opening the book at random will help you along your own creative journey! I swear. I opened to page 51, to the section called Clear Resist Embossing. Without reading the text, just looking at the image, an idea sparked within my mind and this is just how this book goes along. Page after page of eye-candy and creative juice stirrers.

Kelli's writing style is permissive, her directions are simple and to the point and make you realize how easy and fantastic it is to mix your medias, play with both stitch and paper and to create something as luscious and layered as Kelli.

So if you want to get your creative synapsis popping and you need to put a little bit of sparkle in your approach, just buy this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stitch Alchemy
This book is an excellent inspiration. I got so many ideas from it and couldn't wait to start my own projects. Now that I've done a couple, I realize how invaluable the book has become.

5-0 out of 5 stars A "Paper-Cloth Fusion" Home Run for Perkins
The night this book arrived, I wound up at the hospital with my daughter in anaphylactic shock. There is not a better place for one to get intimately acquainted with a book than the local ER. In the long hours after knowing she would be ok and actually going home, this book provided us with something to do - an excellent way to divert our attention, giving us something fun to focus on. Oh - and it definitely provided me with a link to sanity.

My daughter, who just turned 10, is a mixed media artist in training - but you can just call her the Princess. She loves all things mixed media, which I'm sure has nothing to do with her extreme immersion in the subject area since birth. Just because I eat, breathe, and dream art, does not mean she was destined to do the same. The great thing about Stitch Alchemy? It appeals to a wide audience - she and I both truly enjoyed it.

There are several books on the market with [many] similar techniques, but what sets this book apart is the creatively unique way Kelli lays things out. Although I own many books on fabric, fiber, painting, polymer clay, art journaling, mixed media, etc - I feel there are several new and fun projects in this book to tackle. The pictures alone are worth the price of the book - there are many wonderful close-ups full of extreme color and Kelli's great attention to detail. Next to each picture are thorough instructions, giving you the feeling that Kelli is standing next to you, anxiously leading you by the hand. You can't help but feel her creative excitement as she pulls you from one fun project to the next. For example, the whimsical Love Dolls on page 91 are begging to be made with your own style and flair.

Stitch Alchemy is bursting with ideas - this is truly a "point-and-try" book. You can close your eyes, flip to a page, and try a technique. Do that several times and there is no doubt you'll end up with a distinct project. A basic discussion of materials begins this gem, and includes pictures of the supplies so juicy, you can't believe the pages aren't sticky. Instructions and advice follow, before the main program takes the stage: an arsenal of techniques, creative ideas, in-depth instructions, and amazing inspiration fill up the remaining pages. If you don't like one technique, choose one of the other 14,739,284 other choices. (Ok, so 14,739,284 is a random figure plucked from my head...the actual number is probably closer to 21,928,411. Sorry for the discrepancy.)

I can't recommend this book highly enough. It isn't something you need to read from beginning to end - as long as you have a grasp on the materials, flip through the book and pick out what appeals most at the moment. This is the perfect book to throw in your bag and look at while you're waiting for appointments, to read as the kids go to soccer practice, or gawk at while spending an eternity at the ER. (I'm guessing.) This book will make you relish waiting - and you will actually want to drive the carpool to dance class - so you can spend time investigating all the fun encompassed in the 135 pages. Once you've thoroughly gone through everything and the binding is bent and broken, follow reviewer Katie B's advice and get it spiral bound. You'll be far too busy contemplating all the inspiration and ideas, to hold this book open while you sew, paint, draw, glue, and bead with the reckless abandon of an artistic mad woman.

This is a great book.It's so full...so bursting with ideas, you might just need to put a lock on it to keep it from continually popping open, knocking everything off the table around it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Wishlist of Paper-Fabric Techniques
This book is very different from the other mixed media, art journaling, and fiber art books I own.Kelli's technique for making paper-fabric is easy and basic, but what I really liked was all the inspiration provided in her mini-workshops for each supply mentioned and the fact that it is all in one book.This book inspired me to try things I hadn't considered before - like using walnut ink on my fiber art pieces.It truly is a potpourri of ideas and a jumping off point for trying new techniques.

5-0 out of 5 stars a whole book about making & using paper-cloth!
magazine articles only hinted at the technique of "combining fabric and paper for mixed-media art". never giving me enough information to figure out how-to, let alone understand why you would even want to. but still i was hugely curious. curious enough to seek and find this book. i was not disappointed. i've been happily and industriously making paper-cloth this week in my studio after reading this book cover to cover. the first half of the book covers all the whys and hows in great depth and full color photos. techniques for embellishing paper-cloth sheets have carry over into many other applications and have already sparked new and exciting creative results for me. so what the heck to do with paper-cloth?! in the second half of the book, the author provides a dozen ways to "transform paper-cloth into wonderful works of art" including supply lists, directions and full color photos of the finished products (fabulous eye-candy!) a practical and delightful resource from start to finish. ... Read more

12. Alchemy and Meggy Swann
by Karen Cushman
Hardcover: 176 Pages (2010-04-26)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0547231849
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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Fans of Karen Cushman's witty, satisfying novels will welcome Meggy Swann, newly come to London with her only friend, a goose named Louise. Meggy's mother was glad to be rid of her; her father, who sent for her, doesn't want her after all. Meggy is appalled by London,dirty and noisy, full of rogues and thieves, and difficult to get around in—not that getting around is ever easy for someone  who walks with the help of two sticks.Just as her alchemist father pursues his Great Work of transforming base metal into gold, Meggy finds herself pursuing her own transformation. Earthy and colorful, Elizabethan London has its dark side, but it also has gifts in store for Meggy Swann.Amazon.com Review
Product Description
Fans of Karen Cushman's witty, satisfying novels will welcome Meggy Swann,newly come to London with her only friend, a goose named Louise. Meggy's mother was glad to be rid of her; her father, who sent for her, doesn't want her after all. Meggy is appalled by London,dirty and noisy, full of rogues and thieves, and difficult to get around in--not that getting around is ever easy for someone who walks with the help of two sticks.Just as her alchemist father pursues his Great Work of transforming base metal into gold, Meggy finds herself pursuing her own transformation. Earthy and colorful, Elizabethan London has its dark side, but it also has gifts in store for Meggy Swann.

Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Karen Cushman, Author of Alchemy and Meggy Swann

Dear Amazon Reader,

Alchemy and Meggy Swann started, as all my books do, with a "what if?"What if there was a man who was a poisoner in Queen Elizabeth's court?Why did he do it?How did he feel about what he did?The idea of making the man an alchemist came later.What great cover, I thought, for a poisoner.So I immersed myself in the arcana of alchemy and the alchemist's search for transformation.

And then, as in all my books, the focus changed to a girl--his daughter--how she felt and what she did.Transformation?Did Meggy seek to be transformed?How and why, I wondered.And so her wabbling was born.

My husband once pointed out that The Ballad of Lucy Whipple told my own story of moving to California when I was ten, which came out in a book forty years later.The Loud Silence ofFrancine Green, and in a way, Matilda Bone, about a girl raised by a priest, and Rodzina, about a Polish girl from Chicago like me, are all my own stories. How then, I wondered recently, is Meggy's story my own?As I wondered, I took two more ibuprofen for my painful right knee.And there it was--after dealing over the past five years with my own pain and limited mobility, I gave these problems to poor Meggy.It seems I cannot write a book that does not in some way reflect me and my feelings and my life.

And just as Meggy is transformed in ways she did not anticipate, so too did my story transform into hers.She took on a life of her own, and breathed on the page.I hope you enjoy meeting her and watching her grow in strength and awareness.


Karen Cushman

(Photo © Crescent Studio, Vashon,WA)

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Customer Reviews (27)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Bittersweet Tale of Spunky Meggy
This book is the first-person account of Meggy, a crippled child who is sent to live with her father (the alchemist), whom she does not know and who does not really want her.She is forced to make her own way in London, faces dangers and prejudices, and ultimately finds a surrogate family where she is accepted and appreciated.I found that the semi-archaic English was difficult for my seven-year-old child to follow, even when I read it to her.The story is also pretty dark in places -- there is a murder plot, child neglect, a fire, and cruel treatment of Meggy -- simply because she is lame.Nevertheless, Meggy is spunky, finds allies, and seems to be a survivor.Though it is not a romance, there is some suggestion that Meggy and one of her friends have a special affection for each other.

Though I found the writing and period aspects of the story entertaining, the plot itself was disjoint.It seemed that the writer was not sure whether this should be astory about alchemy, murder plots, traveling play groups, or "life in Elizabethan London."I think that there are probably three or four good story lines in this book, but they do not all work together, and the plots sometimes fizzle before completion (like Meggy's nascent romance and her relationship with her rascal father).The title does not capture the storylines well; while Meggy is clearly the main character, alchemy is only one of several topics covered in the book, including poisoning, printing, nascent romance, and theater.

Given the amount of information that the author assumes that the reader has about language and history, I would recommend this book for children who are at least 11 or 12 years old.I do not think that it would hold the interest of teenagers, as Meggy is about just on the cusp of adolescence herself.

4-0 out of 5 stars Take an enthralling tour of Elizabethan London through Meggy Swan's 13-year-oldeyes as she learns who she is and who she can be.
Newbery-award winning author Karen Cushman quickly pulls us into Meggy Swann's life.A 13-year-old, rural-bred girl born with a disability, she is unwanted by both her parents and moved to "Elizabethan" London where she uses her compassion, brain, and quick wit to survive.Delivered to a small, barren January-cold room--herfather's house--he sees she is not a son, and is a cripple, and rejects her, leaving her to her misery.Determined to survive, she, with her only friend Louise, a disabled goose, enters the vile city streets in search of food.Lacking social skills, and those she does have come from living above a tavern, she cusses, curses, and spews her anger at every person she encounters.While many spat on her crippled body with fire and damnation, a few approach her with kindness.Meggy's life takes many down turns as she learns who she is and who she can be.Meggy is a delightful character and her story a pleasure to read.

Reviewed by Susan Roberts

4-0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings about this one
While I liked the premise of the character and story line, it was darker and more depressing than I expected. The language was a little more extreme than it needed to be. It had me stopping and thinking about the insults the characters were hurling at each other, just to decipher them. My nine year old read it following me and I had to explain the story line too often. She would get confused with the language and have no idea what was going on. In the end she didn't finish the book. I found that when I finished the book I liked what Meggie had accomplished, I felt sorry for her, but I didn't feel like I knew her enough to really care about what happened to her.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not up to her usual standards
I was kind of disappointed with "Alchemy and Meggy Swann," a historical novel set in Elizabethan times. Compared to Karen Cushman's other books such as "The Midwife's Apprentice," it was not that good. I thought the plot was a bit too weird and depressing. The only character I liked was the goose, and even it had to go live with someone else.

5-0 out of 5 stars GreenBeanTeenQueen Reviews-[...]
In full disclosure, I grew up loving Ms. Cushman's Catherine Called Birdy. It's one of my favorite books from my childhood. So I'll admit I may have been pre-disposed to like this book.

I really feel that Alchemy and Meggy Swann is Ms. Cushman at her best. All the reasons I love her books are here. The historical detail she puts into her writing is superb. I really think Meggy would be a great introduction to the time period. (Meggy takes place in 1573) It's fascinating to read about Meggy's daily life and how people lived during this time.

I really loved Meggy. She was somewhat annoying at the start, but she grew on me. She is such a strong girl and I loved her comebacks-she's very funny. I don't want to give away too much, but I really liked the fact that Meggy could have been negative about everything-I wouldn't really blame her for it either. Her growth throughout is what made the book for me. I think she might rival Catherine for my favorite Cushman character!

The book has an overarching storyline, but it also has the feel of smaller vignettes in Meggy's life. It all comes together in the end and it's a treat to see how Ms. Cushman pulls it all together.

The book is somewhat heavy in historical detail and language, so it might not be an easy read for some younger tweens. But if you have historical fiction fans or readers looking to "read up," give them Alchemy and Meggy Swann. This is one treat of a book you won't want to miss.

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13. Alchemy: An Introduction to the Symbolism and the Psychology (Studies in Jungian Psychology)
by Marie-Louise Von Franz
Paperback: 288 Pages (1981-01)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$18.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 091912304X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Marie Louise von Franz is excellent as always.
Alchemy is the hidden science of psychology and von Franz makes it perfectly understandable in this lovely series of lectures.I could not put it down - waiting to hear her interpretations of psychological process.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to the psychology of Alchemy
If you're reading Jung or have read Jung and are finding his ideas about Alchemy a little complex, then this is a perfect introductory text. As von Franz points out, Jung has done all the hard work for us. If so, then von Franz makes all of Jung's hard work even more accessible.

5-0 out of 5 stars "The double face of alchemy-laboratory and library-corresponds to the two-fold nature of the individuation process:
. . . the active nature of participation in outer reality and relationships, together with the process of inner reflection."

The above quote from page 83 of von Franz' book illustrates the reason that Jung and von Franz were interested in alchemy: as a symbolic portrayal of psychic processes, particularly individuation.Individuation is the goal of all psychic processes which, in a nutshell, is balance--between conscious and unconscious processes achieved in part by developing a healthy connection with the collective unconscious.

This book displays the masterly scholarship of M.L. von Franz, who wrote this book as an introduction to the more arcane and less clearly written books by Jung on the topic.The book is taken from transcriptions of a series of lectures on alchemy.

Von Franz begins with discussing some basic Jungian, mythological and alchemical concepts.She then proceeds to discuss Greek alchemy for several chapters starting with one of the oldest alchemical writings "The Prophetess Isis to her son."Isis' son is of course, Horus.In this passage, an angel comes to Isis and wants to have sex with her.She negotiates a bargain where the angel will tell her the secret of alchemy.The bargain stipulates that she cannot share her secret with anyone except her son.Hence the secret of alchemy--the philosphers stone--is known as "the secret of the widow" (Isis was the widow of Osiris).

In other chapters von Franz discusses Arabic and European alchemy, utilizing other source texts. Von Franz recounts Jung's search for a text called "Aurora Consurgens" conducted with her assistance.Von Franz subsequently translated and published this text which some sources attribrute to Thomas Aquinas.

This is an excellent introduction to Jungian alchemical concepts. The text is accompanied by black and white illustrations of alchemical symbols.

(Remember that this is a transcript of lectures so the writing is not as good as some of von Franz' other works.In particular I found some of the transcribed questions and comments from the peanut gallery to be annoying.)

5-0 out of 5 stars correction
just a note: the review above refers to Anatomy of the Psyche by Edinger.Anatomy of the Soul is a misprint.

5-0 out of 5 stars A meeting with a remarkable mind
I first discovered Marie-Louise Von Franz in her collaboration with Emma Jung in their extraordinary book "The Grail Legend", which is by far the most intellectually coherent book I have ever encountered regarding that material, in which they place those strange and surreal stories in the framework of a Jungian perspective on the history of consciousness. In these lectures on alchemical symbolism, Von Franz applies many of the same Jungian techniques to explore some important alchemical texts.

I especially appreciated her decision to explore three texts in depth, rather than simply presenting a survey of alchemical literature, since there are numerous other books that do that. The fact that this is a transcript of a lecture series actually adds a wonderful dramatic tension to the book, since it includes some encounters with the attendees that demonstrate both her tremendous humanity and her impressive understanding of the subject and its relevance to modern psychology.

One of the most provocative concepts presented is the danger of an individual experiencing an overload of revelation from the unconscious, with its accompanying challenge of integrating more insight than a mere mortal can manage. Von Franz explores this concept especially well in the discussion of the text by Thomas Aquinas, where we learn about his very stressful final years in a very moving lecture that continues to provide me with much to ponder. ... Read more

14. Psychology and Alchemy (Collected Works of C.G. Jung)
by C. G. Jung
Paperback: 624 Pages (1980-12-31)
list price: US$37.50 -- used & new: US$30.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415034523
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Alchemy is central to Jung's hypothesis of the collective unconscious. In this volume he begins with an outline of the process and aims of psychotherapy, and then moves on to work out the analogies between alchemy, Christian dogma and symbolism and his own understanding of the analytic process.

Introducing the basic concepts of alchemy, Jung reminds us of the dual nature of alchemy, comprising both the chemical process and a parallel mystical component. He also discusses the seemingly deliberate mystification of the alchemists. Finally, in using the alchemical process as providing insights into individuation, Jung emphasises the importance of alchemy in relating to us the transcendent nature of the psyche.

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Customer Reviews (9)

In his "Prefatory Note to the English Edition," Jung wrote, "In this present study of alchemy I have taken a particular example of symbol-formation, extending in all over some seventeen centuries, and have subjected it to intensive examination, linking it at the same time with an actual series of dreams recorded by a modern European not under my direct supervision and having no knowledge of what the symbols appearing in the dreams might mean. It is by such intensive comparisons as this ... that the hypothesis of the collective unconscious ... may be scientifically established."

Here are some representative quotations from the book:

"The Western attitude, with its emphasis on the object, tends to fix the ideal---Christ---in its outward aspect and thus to rob it of its mysterious relation to the inner man. It is this prejudice ... which impels the Protestant interpreters of the Bible to interpret ... the Kingdom of God) as 'among you' instead of 'within you.'" (Pg. 8)
"Accordingly when I say as a psychologist that God is an archetype, I mean by that the 'type' in the psyche... Nothing positive or negative has thereby been asserted about the possible existence of God, any more than the archetype of the 'hero' posits the actual existence of a hero." (Pg. 8)
"Has it not yet been observed that all religious statements contain logical contradictions and assertions that are impossible in principle, that this is in fact the very essence of religious assertion?" (Pg. 15)
"We do not yet possess a general theory of dreams that would enable us to use a deductive method with impunity, any more than we possess a general theory of consciousness from which we can draw deductive conclusions." (Pg. 43)
"The doctrine that all evil thoughts come from the heart and that the human soul is a sink of iniquity must lie deep in the marrow of their bones. Were that so, God had made a sorry job of creation, and it were high time for us to to go over to Marcion the Gnostic and depose the incompetent demiurge." (Pg. 102)
"The earlier talk of the 'aberration' of alchemy sounds rather old-fashioned today when the psychological aspects of it have faced science with new tasks. There are very modern problems in alchemy, though they lie outside the province of chemistry." (Pg. 279)
"However remote alchemy may seem to us today, we should not underestimate its cultural importance for the Middle Ages. Today is the child of the Middle Ages and it cannot disown its parents." (Pg. 323)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ancient yet Modern
Alchemy is an ancient science. It is often taught and understood that chemistry arose from alchemy; alchemy is outdated. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality we are coming to grips with the superiority of alchemy. Its value comes from the ability to understand alchemy in an abstract way. Although C.J. Jung's writings are complex, and not to be taken lightly, the ability to understand alchemy and hence the true meaning of chemistry are contained in this great work, "Psychology and Alchemy (Collected Works of C.J. Jung)."
Mark Traupman
BS Chemistry
The Lost Message of Israel

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful understanding of the Soul
Alchemists were the men who sought the higher things of the soul, which processes were reflected in their researches.
Jung having discovered many of his patients dream images were captured in the same imagery as the 16th/17th century alchemists.
thus establishing a foundation upon which his researches could continue.
Though Jung speaks highly of the church as
*The institution of the church means nothing less than the everlasting continuation of the life of Christ and its sacrifical function* Page 308.
This statement, like many of Jung's ideas need some revision and also context.
Perhaps when Jung wrote this in 1937 when catholicism held some mystery in the latin spoke version upon the attendees minds.
But now, especially in america, catholicism has degenerated into mere formalism. And protestantism is splintered into hundereds of sects.
Thus rendering Jung's statement far from the truth.
Which is what alchemy is all about, extarcting truth from false doctines of man.
As Von franz points out in her bio on Jung, there are double bottoms to everything Jung wrote.
Its high mysticism, wherein *the few* can truly follow.
Jung himself knew after his death there would follow a distortion of his ideas and thus the *work would be an abortion*, as per alchemic imagery.
There is too much JungISM among his students, where mental concepts are placed higher than intuitional experience. Which is gnosis. Jung never wished his ideas would become *the doctrines and dogmas* but would live inanew LIVINGform as others experiened after his death.
Sad state of affairs among the *church of Jung*. This very same phenomenon of misunderstandingthe opus happened to Plato, Christ and now Jung. Man just can not resist making afool of himself.
Paul Best
New Orleans
August 3,2008

4-0 out of 5 stars Only Four Stars For A Good Reason
In the first half of this book, Jung uses the dream analysis of a mentally ill patient to draw conclusions based on what he calls universal archetypes.Jung flagrantly filters this person's dream symbolism through his own alchemical bias, where personally I could come up with all kinds of different interpretations that seemed to me just as valid.But I'm no Jung.So moving on.The flip side to the coin, for the first half, is you do get a nice exposure to the tenets of alchemy along with it's rich symbolism.It is up to the reader to decide if the trade off is worth it.Learning about alchemy, while doing so through what many may consider questionable means.There are two principles Jung brings out that I happen to agree with.The first is concerning the psyche.In the beginning of the book, Jung categorically states the psyche is ancient and pagan.The second principle I agree with deals with archetypes.Jung makes pains to say that just because he is focusing on the archetype, which he defines as an image, he is not denying an imprinter.So the door to objectivity is left at least slightyly ajar.

In the second half, Jung focuses on alchemy as a science that predated christianity, and that though it was pagan, it's motifs were certainly congruous with christian ideals.Parallels are drawn between the Virgin Mary and Prima Materia.Between a metal's blackening, whitening and sublimation to the philosopher's stone as the state of the christian soul through it's stages of redemption.In this section of the book, Jung characterizes the royal art as being objective and practical, but also subjective and spiritual.The author can't rid himself of the possibility that the earliest philosophers were projecting their unconsiousnesses into their art.He also brings out the gnostic feel of alchemy in that the art attempts to separate the pure spirit out of foul matter.Some readers may question his veracity as he states in one of his footnotes christianity actually was subsumed into gnosticism due to the presence of Simon Magus.This reader said 'what'?Also, alchemy is monadic in that the philosopher's stone comes out of one, becomes few, and is returned to one, now ennobled, higher state.Philosophically, monadism can lead to problems of it's own, and again, it is left to the reader's discrimination as to what to accept and reject.

The capstone, of course, is the epilogue.Jung finally tips his hand that he is a modern through and through and relegates the art to a purely subjective level.He hints that it is the the breadth of the modern psyche that as Auguste Comte said, poses such endless need and endless danger to ourselves.And in this, the pieces all fall neatly into place.

4-0 out of 5 stars Difficult but impressive work
Jung explored alchemy as if it were a mystery novel--relishing every clue, interpreting (nominally) each symbol as it arose.His conclusion that it paralleled his psychological observations & model satisfied his incredible yearning to know that he wasn't crazy or a voice crying in the wilderness--yeah, verily, the alchemists pursued the same goal though in a slightly different way--vindicating Jung's quest for individuation=personal salvation.Thus, Jung's love for alchemy.It's unfortunate that even so-called scientists have ego's so wounded that they disavow their roots: chemists tend to downplay alchemy as astronomers downplay astrology--denigrating their roots.This shows an appalling lack of courage--something Jung had no lack of.Just think of what courage it must have taken for Jung to write about alchemy as having psychological truth embedded in its very heart.Yet he wrote 2 books worth on it CW12 & CW13.I'm in awe of his courage, let alone of his genius.Try reading some alchemy works yourself--if you think Jung is hard to read, think twice.Alchemical works are far more difficult.It took Jung's supreme effort to decipher them.So, if this work seems obtuse to you (& it is), consider how obtuse it was to Jung.Some of the best (& most profound) quotes in this work (from the hardback version) are:

p. 3 Even the most unqualified layman thinks he knows all about psychology as the psyche were something that enjoyed the most universal understanding.But anyone who really knows the human psyche will agree with me when I say that it is one of the darkest & most mysterious regions of our experience.

p. 117 paragraph 152.Only a fool is interested in other people's guilt, since he cannot alter it.The wise man learns only from his own guilt.He will ask himself: Who am I that all this should happen to me?To find the answer to this fateful question he will look into his own heart.

p. 222 Sense and nonsense are merely man-made labels which serve to give us a reasonably valid sense of direction. ... Read more

15. The Alchemy of Finance: Reading the Mind of the Market
by George Soros
Hardcover: 367 Pages (1994-05-03)
list price: US$162.50 -- used & new: US$128.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471043133
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Critical Praise . . .

"The Alchemy joins Reminiscences of a Stock Operator as a timeless instructional guide of the marketplace." - Paul Tudor Jones from the Foreword

"An extraordinary . . . inside look into the decision-making process of the most successful money manager of our time. Fantastic."- The Wall Street Journal

"A breathtakingly brilliant book. Soros is one of the core of masters . . . who can actually begin to digest the astonishing complexity . . . of the game of finance in recent years."- Esquire

"A seminal investment book . . . it should be read, underlined, and thought about page-by-page, concept-by-idea. . . . He's the best pure investor ever . . . probably the finest analyst of the world in our time." - Barton M. Biggs, Morgan Stanley

George Soros is unquestionably the most powerful and profitable investor in the world today. Dubbed by BusinessWeek as "The Man Who Moves Markets," Soros has made a billion dollars going up against the British pound. Soros is not merely a man of finance, but a thinker to reckon with as well. Now, in The Alchemy of Finance, this extraordinary man reveals the investment strategies that have made him "a superstar among money managers" (The New York Times). ... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

4-0 out of 5 stars Theory of Reflxivity
In the chapter titled "Theory of Reflexivity."Mr. Soros begins the book by stating that market participants continuously adjust and prices fluctuate, making equilibrium unreachable.Economic theory uses assumptions and distortions to represent equilibrium as reality through logical manipulation.Perfect competition held back by the influence of future prices on participants, and the attraction of rising prices to buyers.

The difference between a participant and a natural scientist is that the scientist attempts to not interfere while participants try to mold situations to their own satisfaction.The deductive nomological model does not apply to situations with thinking participants.

There is a shoelace connection between perceptions and facts.The cognitive function continuously affects the participating function and vice versa.

Stock market valuations influence values through repurchase of shares and options, mergers, acquisitions, going public, private etc...

Two points made in the beginning chapters are that:

1) Markets are biased in one direction or another.
2) Markets influence events that they anticipate.

4-0 out of 5 stars An explanation of his interesting theory of reflexivity
There is something disreputable about speculation, with George Soros having the name of the speculator par excellence.Unfortunately for the book he really did help push sterling out of the ERM creating a lot of excitement and adding to a fortune of billions of dollars in the process.

Political / financial thrillers are made of this kind of material so one would suppose that the people who bought the book did so to relive the action or maybe (hopefully) to learn the art for themselves. They'll all be disappointed since Soros comes across as a politico/economic theorist with The Alchemy of Finance reading more like a set of (interesting) academic articles.

He highlights an aspect of economic or rather historical events that doesn't appear in economics textbooks giving it the awkward name of "reflexivity". His view is that the standard classical text (from Adam Smith) only paints part of the picture of economic change, namely that part of change that takes place in an orderly stable environment.

In the standard terminology things tend to move towards an equilibrium as consumers and producers adjust to present market conditions with a closer approximation to equilibrium being the efficient "good thing". Soros's insight (rediscovery) is that a real approach to the ideal of equilibrium implies a stagnation and freezing of change in society. His healthy norm therefore becomes a world of permanent disequilibrium as prices and production never stabilise, being constantly overtaken by changing tastes and technology.

"Reflexivity" is more a case of instability taking on a life of its own that may or may not be positive. The essential element is that a feedback process is set in motion that is the exact opposite of an equilibrium seeking system. A boom in stock prices will tend to get more extreme as it progresses making new capital abnormally cheap, encouraging excess investment and giving a false picture of real demand.

In a sense, the first stages square with the traditional equilibrium seeking concepts of entry and exit but the latter stages are shown by Soros to be the destabilising aspects - as he says, "My point is that there are occasions when the bias affects not only market prices but also the so-called fundamentals. This is when reflexivity becomes important."

In the preface to the later 1994 edition he draws back from the wider application of economic reflexivity that he was initially proposing, accepting that conventional equilibrium analysis holds true much of the time and he also generalises the idea to non-economic events.

This is surely a landmark book, not only in economics.

Soros and the theory of reflexivity of social sciences

There is no doubt that George Soros is one of the leading finance wizards of the contemporary world able to make a lot of money in both the Capital and Money markets. He is also very knowledgeable about economic theory and its application. Despite all this knowledge and talent in making money he has a serious misconception of the theory of reflexivity of the social sciences. Reflexivity is his central theme in this book. He says it is a term he has developed. Soros states that unlike natural sciences, social sciences have thinking participants which affect the outcome of social events. There is a reflexive relationship between the social phenomena ( events ) and the social scientists who analyze them. The thinking of the social scientists affects the social events and changes their outcome and the changed outcome affects the way the social scientists think about the social events. This is what he means by the principle of reflexivity. Based on this Soros concludes that the social sciences can not be objective like the natural sciences and therefore they should not be termed science but alchemy. Hence the title of this book The Alchemy of Finance. He gives many examples from the stock, foreign currency and credit markets. For example the restriction and easing of credit availability affects the value of the collateral taken for the credit which in turn affects the volume of credit in a reflexive relationship.

Soros's misconception

The misconception here is to confuse social / economic events with the scientific study of these events. There often is a reflexive relationship between social events and their thinking participants ( humans ) but it can not be said that this reflexive relationship also exists between the scientific sudy of these events i.e. the thinking participants ( social scientists studying the social events ) and the social events. For example it is true that expectation by humans that inflation will increase often causes inflation to increase. Because with an expectation of increase in inflation consumers, suppliers, workers, capitalists etc. adopt behaviors that accelerate the inflation. For example they start stocking goods causing shortages which further drive up the prices of those goods. Workers demand higher wages and we enter an upward spiral. Those increases in turn feed the expectations and a vicious circle continues reinforcing inflation and expectations of inflation. By Soros's terminology this is reflexive relationship between inflation and its thinking participants ( humans experiencing inflation ). However, how can we say that the same kind of reflexive relationship exists between the thinking and behavior of economists who study and develop theories of inflation and and the phenomena of inflation ? This means that the more economists think and theorize about inflation and develop policies to control it the more inflation is affected either upward or downward which in turn affects the way economists think about inflation. This is absurd !

Another example we can give is the collapse of the stock market. In the history of stock markets around the worldcollapses in stock prices have very often led to panic selling by speculators and short term investors which accelarated the collapses which in turn caused more panic selling in a deflationary spiral. This is an example of a reflexive relationship between a social / economic event ; i.e. the collapse of the stock market and panic selling ; the behavior of the thinking participants. But there is no such reflexive relationship between the thinking and attitudes of economists / financial analysts studying and developing theories about the behavior of stock markets and the way the stock markets behave. However this is exactly what Soros means when he says that unlike the natural sciences there is a reflexive relationship between the thinking and behavior of the social scientists and the social events studied by those social scientists.

Social events and the scientific study of social events should not be confused

The two are very different ; there often is ( not always ) a reflexive relationship between social events and the thinking participants of these social events, but there is no such reflexive relationship between the scientific study of the social events and the social events. Soros is wrong in claiming the latter in his theory of reflexivity and in inferring from this that therefore social sciences lack objectivity and are actually not sciences but alchemy. According to the dictionary the latter term is the initial form in history of the activity of chemistry. It is amazing that a leading finance wizard with an abundant knowledge of economics can make such a thinking error.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Soros market reflections
This is a remarkable book by a remarkable man. Billionaire George Soros is one of the most notorious, successful speculators of the 20th century and one of the most freehanded philanthropists. Here he outlines a theory that leads to the conclusion that markets are not morally good, that the financial system is rigged to protect the interests of the rich and powerful, and that economics is a spurious science. Much can be said in criticism of this book. It is replete with logical fallacies, muddies the arguments of those with whom the author disagrees, sets up straw men, and does not take adequate account of work done by philosophers and psychologists in some of the areas the author explores. But, getAbstract finds that there is also a great deal of good that can be said. Soros is an original thinker, at his best when he is talking about his own direct experience. He is straightforward about how his ideas have changed, and about his trading and forecasting errors. And why shouldn't he be, when, as he says, his errors are the keys to his success?

4-0 out of 5 stars Wordy, Windy, but Valuable
It's funny to see the criticism of Soros and his book.I suspect much of it is politically driven, but there are fair comments to be made about his opaque and digressive writing style.He could have used a good editor, and probably a competent ghost.Since he's the king, however, that clearly didn't happen.The king doesn't need an editor.OK, so we know that about the book.Let me clue you in on a secret.Most financial writing that has any value at all (and most of it doesn't) could express all crucial points, with examples, in a 20-100 page essay.That's it.That's all that is necessary.But that isn't a book and no one would buy a 50 page essay, thinking it was too light on content.So 50 pages of real insight gets larded with 200 pages of anecdote, example and just plain silliness.This is the reality of books on many subjects, not just finance.

Here's another thing.George Soros is a self-made billionaire.You aren't.Neither am I.Some have commented that he had charges of insider trading against him.This is true.But what you may not know is just how much European securities and trading regulators hate him.He broke the pound, for God's sake.To dismiss him as "a criminal" is silly at best, reactionary at worst.

Even worse are the geniuses who say Soros is "shallow" "trivial" "obvious" or "invalid".These comments smack of utter arrogance, and likely, ignorance.

Look at the problems of today.They were caused by people applying "valid" academic financial theory and "sound" models.There is a veritable mountain of data and modeling supporting the catastrophe at hand.But the academics will handwave the actual result of application of theory with some phrase like "It wasn't properly applied.If only you'd asked ME!"

I myself wonder if the underlying error is in believing that finance is a scientific discipline, and that it will yield its secrets when the method is properly applied, like the production of industrial chemicals, or something like that.The tangible results of the application of increasingly complex models and theory are, to be mild, not encouraging.

In my observation, the greatest investors apply simple concepts with great discernment and acuity.They rarely, if ever, let even a well-understood "portfolio theory" tell them what to think, let alone how to invest.It might be that such investors really can't explain how they do it, it's simply a gift from heaven. That seems entirely possible.Lots of people try to be like Warren Buffet, no one succeeds at the same level, despite Buffet being quite open about his methodology and thought processes.But let's assume you can learn something from these sports of nature.

I find many of Soros' thoughts quite penetrating, despite his often baroque ornamentation.Applying them is hard, because you can't easily throw it into a model.You have to think, analyze and understand conditions with subtlety and precision.Then you have to be incredibly brave and believe in your analysis against the weight of the world's opinion and action.You have to accurately gauge the effect of a constantly altering, and self-referential decision loop on you positions and outlook.Soros is trying to provide a method for you to do that.He may not have succeeded, but dismissing him outright is the action of an idiot. ... Read more

16. The Alchemy of Stone
by Ekaterina Sedia
Paperback: 304 Pages (2009-11-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1607012154
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Mattie, an intelligent automaton skilled in the use of alchemy, finds herself caught in the middle of a conflict between gargoyles, the Mechanics, and the Alchemists. With the old order quickly giving way to the new, Mattie discovers powerful and dangerous secrets - secrets that can completely alter the balance of power in the city of Ayona. This doesn't sit well with Loharri, the Mechanic who created Mattie and still has the key to her heart - literally. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good concept, but could've used more focus on the main issue
First off, I really like that the protagonist is a robot - well automaton. You feel sorry for Mattie as no one sees her as an individual and only uses her like a tool. So that was all well done.
Originally, the plot is that Mattie has to find a solution, through alchemy, to cure the gargoyles before they turn to stone. If the author had just stuck with this as well as the time constraint that was placed Mattie (she needs a wind up every so often or she shuts down) this would have continued to have been good. However, the author's plot gets split between the gargoyle dilemma and the civil war crisis. You would think the civil war would heighten the interest, but see, Mattie could care less about the whole thing, which makes you the reader not care either. Mattie some how gets dragged into it but she doesn't really add anything to it. Sure, she helps her creator's old lover, but it wasn't a turning point in the war. The fact is, Mattie should have stuck with the gargoyle dilemma, because **spoiler** when she does solve it, the book felt finished, yet it went on for another 20 pages. And it bugs me, because if I had been the editor, I would have put all that civil war stuff in the background, since all it really was was background noise. Mattie would have felt triumphant that she had saved the gargoyles with her last hours of life left in her and the gargoyles would go on to honor her memory. And then everyone else that used Mattie could just die. Still would have had the bitter-sweet ending, but with more focus on the central plot and no distraction from the civil war. However, it isn't a bad read and if you don't mind being frustrated by the plot derail then I would recommend this.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dark Steampunk Fantasy
Ayona is known as the "City of Gargoyles" as much for the dark statues along the city's architecture as it is a concession to the way Ayona was conceived: birthed through the magic of the gargoyles who once had an ability to manipulate stone.Now these reclusive creatures are part of a triumvirate of government leaders including the Alchemists and the Mechanics.The Alchemists are preoccupied with spiritual and magical concerns; the Mechanics are focused on things physical. Together they represent the gargoyles who "shape the physical with their minds" (p.69).When the Mechanic Loharri constructs Mattie, an automaton, he doesn't intend for her to be more than a helpmeet. In the unorthodox manner that will forever mark her character, Mattie is asked to be emancipated to learn the art of alchemy. As she gathers ingredients for bizarre concoctions to sell in her little shop, a war begins brewing between opposing sides of the city. Ayona has been polarized by an explosion that changes Mattie's life. Now the gargoyles are flying into her window with a request...
The Alchemy of Stone is a wonderfully thematic book.With concerns over alienation, immigration, origin, ownership, trust, power, and industrialization it's a testament to Sedia's skills as a writer that this book wasn't longer.Though, the best things often come in the smallest of packages.In just under 300 pages, The Alchemy of Stone explores these themes (and others) through government, class, and what it means to be an automaton in a world full of humans.The alchemical government, for one, was one of the most interesting aspects of the novel. From the very start it's a combination putting sides often opposed in the same arena and told to work together toward the same end. This is a bit like asking Church and State to get along and ignore the friction of their underlying belief systems. The awkward relationship is one of tension and thinly veiled hostility, but serves to represent on a larger scale the unique relationship between Mattie and Loharri.
Loharri is, unfortunately, one of the nicer Mechanics. At first it seems he might be well-intentioned, if a bit problematic. As the narrative unfolds we discover he's merely the best of the worst. Fixing things that aren't broken are the least of his problems, especially as those relate to Mattie-the C-3PO to his Anakin Skywalker. He doesn't trust her, is wildly possessive and only manages to achieve an underhanded loyalty. Loharri is a loathsome character, to say the least, but he's an ugly necessity. If it weren't for him, Mattie wouldn't exist.
For having no soul, Mattie's managed to become quite a complicated thinker when it comes to love and friendship. She feels petty slights against her just like anyone else would and it's not entirely clear if Loharri intended this or not.Mattie has a right to be wary of him-a man she can barely tolerate for his cruelty.She pities him his rare moments of vulnerability, but cannot stand his selfishness at using the key she needs to wind her body as leverage.He's an abusive manipulator in this way, but Mattie has used this to her advantage.She's learned to manipulate human emotions to elicit desired responses, responses she can recognize in herself in the analytical and detached way she has.She's keenly observant of her own actions (particularly, her loudly ticking heart) as well as of those around her.Mattie's point of view reflects her mechanical nature as much as it does her desire to emulate very human emotions and behaviors; she's acutely aware of how many in society view automata.
She must choreograph her world against the human demands that make certain alleviating gestures necessary. Mattie realizes she is not human; most humans are distrustful of automata, especially one that can talk.Therefore, putting humans at ease is important, especially since she's required to interact with them on an almost daily basis.I like how Mattie is still questioning whether her actions are believable. I think that doubt is wonderful in how human a reaction it is.It shows how marvelous Mattie has adapted to not being human and the extremes Loharri went to produce an automaton that works above and beyond the typical mindless drone.At the same time, though, her humanness makes her vulnerable to Loharri's unfairness and trickery.
I love how brilliant Mattie is. She's so inquisitive and eager to be as human as is possible. Ironically, she comes across as one of the most human characters, especially in comparison to Loharri. A few days after finishing, I'm still thinking about Mattie and what an impressive heroine she is.While Mattie had most of my attention, the gargoyles were also quite interesting.I'm not sure what to make of the stylistic choice to have their point of view all in italics. It does graphically show the leap from Mattie to the gargoyles, but adds something urgent to their speech. A dying breed would speak urgently, I would think.I wish I could have learned more about their magic or how it works.The vague explanations seemed a bit too ethereal for a book that also focuses on concrete things such as Mattie's alchemy or the Mechanic's machines. Granted, we never question how Mattie sentience works either, it just does. I suppose the magic of stone operates under the same presumption.
Sedia has created an amazing character in Mattie; I think the book is worth reading for her alone.She's strong and assertive, at one point telling another, "I am not a thing" (p. 119). The Alchemy of Stone is a complicated study of humanness that grapples with complexities of the heart.Mattie's story must be read. Her convictions and desires are enough to convince you she could be human, if she just wished hard enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars a book of many great things!
i almost didn't read this book, wavering in my interest based on the synopsis.now that i've read it though, i can see that this is a book about so many things and it would be impossible to do it any justice in a few words.my ultimate faith in the person who recommended it (Calico Reaction) prevailed and i am definitely glad i gave in and read it.

the political face-off between the Alchemists and the Mechanics is at a breaking point and the underground political movement is threatening all out war. the gargoyles, as builders and protectors of the city, are dwindling in their numbers and have turned to the Alchemist Mattie, to help them find a cure for their eventual turn to immovable stone.at the core of the story is Mattie, who is an intelligent automaton, the highly sophisticated product of the mechanic Loharri. in her quest to assist the gargoyles, Mattie is drawn to the most varied and surprisingly tangible cast of characters, including the lonely, yet resigned Soul Smoker Ilmarekh and the sexy rebel Sebastian.

honestly, though, the plot lines are secondary to the characters and the writing here. Mattie, with her human-like abilities to feel pleasure and pain, and her programmatic increased sensory capacity, make her a very descriptive and emotionally driven narrator, one that is very easy to be sympathetic towards.her unique position of being an Alchemist and the creation of a Mechanic gives the reader an insider's view to both political factions and equates to a highly readable and rather fascinating book.this is a dark and twisting story that is both thoughtful and engaging, with a great amount of depth to it.

by using Mattie and Loharri's unique parent/child relationship, Sedia seamlessly weaves in the themes of identity, freedom, and obligation, in addition to the overlaying political and societal themes of prejudice and survival.despite the fact that Mattie was emancipated, Loharri holds power over her, not only because he is her creator and is necessary for her maintenance, but also because he refuses to hand over the key to her ticktock-ing heart.it reminded me very much of a twisted, steampunk Pinocchio mixed with a Wizard of Oz quest for a heart story.and oddly enough, it really worked.

"Numb, Mattie obeyed.It was just like before, and no matter what had happened to her since, no matter how powerful or emancipated, she still did as she was told - because she could not do otherwise, because he was the one that made her.Just like the gargoyles obeyed the stone - or was it the other way around? she could not remember - she obeyed Loharri."

this is one of those rare books that could probably be enjoyed by a vast range of readers - sci fi to literature, paranormal romance to science lovers,The Alchemy of Stone manages to have a little bit of it all.

4-0 out of 5 stars All about an automaton
I had one of the most engaging experiences when I opened this book and started the tale of Mattie the automaton; I don't remember when I last felt immediately drawn into a world so seamlessly. Sedia's writing is beautiful and it made me feel very nostalgic (whether that's on purpose, I don't know).

Sedia creates a steampunk city and populates it with Mechanics who engineer automatons and other contraptions, the Alchemists who deal with those of flesh and bone (a fine line), and the Gargoyles. I really loved, in particular, the use of alchemy as a major subject because it really sets the darker tone of the book for me (such as the homunculus). Mattie herself was my favorite part of the book. She's an automaton but she is so real and so endearing that I really attached myself to her. I wanted her to succeed, to be happy, even though she's a machine. I wish more of her past and creation were revealed.

I felt that near the end of the book that the charm of the book slowly dissipated perhaps because of the fact that the political plot catches up with Mattie and everything is thrown into chaos in her world. Mattie herself wants the world to go back to how it was, to the simpler time before the interference of the Mechanics and Alchemists. I almost think this was done this way for us to feel the same as Mattie, that things aren't quite right and we wish we could go back to the beginning.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and think anyone interested in steampunk should give it a try.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the 20 Best Science Fiction Books Of The Decade
Recently named by [...] as 'One of the 20 Best Science Fiction Books Of The Decade' ... Read more

17. Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume
by Mandy Aftel
Paperback: 256 Pages (2004-10-06)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$8.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1586857029
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Publishers Weekly called this unique title an "extraordinary treatise on the history and making of perfume" and hails author Mandy Aftel's ability to "bring sheer delight in the bouquet of aromas in the natural world" and her "irreverent sensibility that embraces 'little-acknowledged' aphrodisiacs like the smell of sweat."

Renowned perfumer Mandy Aftel explores the primal nature and fundamental importance of aroma in everyday life, teaching people about the nature of smell and the idea of "olfactory consciousness" in Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume. With gorgeous illustrations, the book also serves as a practical guide to making custom scents for a variety of uses, and explains the process of selecting "base notes", "heart notes" and "head notes" to create truly personal aromas and perfumes.

Writer and perfumer Mandy Aftel was a founder and chief perfumer of all-natural perfume company Grandiflorum, and went on to create Aftelier, a company that concentrates exclusively on creating custom perfumes for men and women. As an authority on natural essences and custom perfumes, she has participated in panels for the perfume industry, and demonstrated and taught the art of natural perfumery across the nation. Her work has been featured in publications including In Style, Vogue, W Magazine, Self, O (Oprah) Magazine, Allure, Health and Elle. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

4-0 out of 5 stars Lovely book, but lacking in safety guidelines
First, I want to state that I do love this book. I find it inspirational, beautiful, and entertaining. The history of perfumery was especially enjoyable. The sections on creating your own perfume also have a lot of wonderful information.


This book was published in 2001, so perhaps that has something to do with this issue (i.e., perhaps certain safety and/or ethical issues were not then widely documented or understood). I'm happy to cut the author some slack on that count, but I really must clearly state that some of the author's recommendations for oils are questionable for safety and ethical reasons. Readers would do well to do their own research and not just take the author's word for it when she tells you to put cold-pressed bergamot oil on your skin (even diluted, there is a risk of phototoxicity!), or recommends the use of Mysore sandalwood (which is an endangered species and is subject to a great deal of criminal black market trafficking as well as adulteration).

Other things to look out for include the recommendation of costus root (highly allergenic, forbidden for use in fragrances as per International Fragrance Association guidelines, plus the plant is threatened or possibly endangered by now), boi de rose (Brazilian rosewood, which is endangered and the subject of highly unethical exploitation), civet (unethical due to treatment of the animals from which it is obtained), castoreum (as with civet), and those are just the things that I can recall off the top of my head. To her credit, Mandy Aftel no longer uses civet or castoreum or any other ethically questionable animal products in her work; as noted, this book was published in 2001, and she appears to have had some change of heart or mind since then, at least on the issue of animal products.

She does give a brief nod to safety and advises patch testing (although phototoxicity cannot be tested that way) and she directs the reader to the IFRA website for further guidelines. The reader is WELL ADVISED to do this, and to really look into the issues involved in which oils are and are not safe to put on your skin, and in what dilutions and quantities. Essential oil safety shouldn't be taken lightly, and what you don't know can harm you, others, and the environment, and possibly contribute to the extinction of a species.

Now, I really do not want to leave anyone with the impression that this is not a worthwhile book, because it most emphatically is worthwhile! It is beautifully written, full of delightful quotations, sensual prose, and fascinating ideas, it's a little mystical, maybe a little magickal, too, and a wealth of inspiration to anyone wanting to learn the art of natural perfumery. This book, in fact, started something of a revolution, a renaissance in the art of natural perfumery, and it is very clear to me why that is and how it happened. This is an incredibly inspiring and beautiful book, and one I am sure I will refer to and cherish for many years to come.

So long as you educate yourself on the issues I mentioned, this book will serve you well, and even if you never intend to buy an essential oil or make any perfume whatsoever, the book is a lovely read if you're a perfume lover, if only for the wonderful history section and musings about alchemy as it relates to perfumery. As I said, it's a beautiful book, and well worth reading.

2-0 out of 5 stars Cheaply printed and not the best writing - but overall okay.
I really have to get my major gripe out of the way before I continue.This book has sections, especially the recipes, that are nearly impossible to read.Either the printer was running out of ink or they didn't realize how lightly these areas would print.It's practically invisible but if I squint really hard I can make it out.A lot of the chapter and section headings have the same lightness in the ink.I wish I could give this book more than the "just okay" rating, but aside from the printing issues the author didn't offer the most interesting story behind perfume (maybe I was just expecting something more exciting?) and I found the information and writing style pretty repetitive.

I don't recommend this book mostly for the fact that some of the most interesting parts of the whole book are completely unreadable, though.

2-0 out of 5 stars More Than You Wanted to Know about Perfume
I read this book for my book group, and did not really care for it.This was a non-fiction history of the art of perfume-making going back to ancient and Biblical times.I found the writer's style to be very repetitive; she said the same thing in several slightly different ways, sometime on the same page or even in the same paragraph.It just contained too much detailed information for my interest level.It also contained dozens of "how to" recipes for concocting your own fragrances or perfumes. solid perfumes, bath oils, bath salts, etc.For someone who practices massage or aromatherapy, this book probably would have been more relevant.I am an accountant at a major university, and I think I will stick to classic fiction, thrillers, etc.

3-0 out of 5 stars An overview of perfume, but somewhat unfocused
This book was an entertaining read, but it was hardly a good historical account of perfumery. It did have a brief overview at the beginning of the book, but it quickly goes into a collection of quotes and historical quirks about perfume. I think that the "alchemy" part of the book where the author repeatedly ties perfume making to the thought processes of alchemists gets old fast. While alchemical processes did play a part in perfume's beginning the parallels she draws seem to be more of her own making.

I think this book also didn't quite live up to my expectations of a book to help a beginner start making their own perfume. It did list items a beginner needs and go into a discussion of the different notes and the ratios they need to be in, and it also described the characteristics of a sampling of fragrances as well. However, a majority of these passages seemed to drift into (and worse yet start out as) lengthy paragraphs on the "spiritual" aspects of perfume, while others simply dwell on the intangible and almost go as far to qualify as "purple prose".
The author also has a preference of natural scents over synthetics which I don't have a problem with especially since she explained why, but she does mention that synthetics can cheaply extend natural scents for perfumers on a budget but at no time during the book does she discuss the use of synthetics for scents that cannot be naturally derived such as with the "ozone" smells.

This book did have a few recipes for scents (only about four I think), and it did have a list of beginning supplies as well some website retailers of these items, but no where did it go into a lot of detail as to why someone would want to do this on their own (given the large starting cost) outside of creating personalized scents. I think I would have liked the book better if there was more information or at least if the information contained was more easily accessible. As is, the useful parts of the book are often hidden between the author's comparison of perfumery to alchemy and while I may find the imagery of combining the sun and moon interesting it isn't incredibly relevant to what people who want to start making perfume need to know.

2-0 out of 5 stars Essence & Alchemy by Mandy Aftel
I was very excited when I ordered this book , but on arrival my excitement quickly turned to disappointment !! The cover looks very colorful , but upon opening the book the printing is very very light, and all the headings in the entire book
are so light as to be almost invisible !! It's as though the printer tried to use as little ink as possible !! I have to use a magnifier to read all the headings and titles in the book ! This is very frustrating to say the least ! The subject
material in the book seems to be well done, and I'm sure it's all very informative
with much knowledge on the subject available to the reader if only you knew what the author was talking about in each chapter without having to strain your eyes at
every turn!! Probably a good book , but spoiled by a very very bad printer ! ... Read more

18. The Alchemy of Happiness
by Mohammed Al-Ghazzali
Hardcover: 124 Pages (2010-05-23)
list price: US$35.95 -- used & new: US$24.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1161400168
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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1873. This remarkable treatise is a translation from one of the numerous works of the Arabian philosopher, Abou Hamid Mohammed ben Mohammed al Ghazzali, who flourished in the 11th century. Mohammedan scholars of the present day still hold him in high respect. This treatise on the alchemy of happiness is well-adapted to extend our knowledge of the writings of Ghazzali and of the opinions current then and now in the Oriental world. In form, the book contains a treatise on practical piety and the author finds a place for observations reaching far wide of his apparent aim, making many observations which develop his notions in anatomy, physiology, natural philosophy and natural religion. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars wonderfulbook
I disagree with the other person! Although this book cannot be compared to Imam's orginal book in persian language,it is still a wonderful translation for those who are not familiar with Ghazzali's works.I highly recommend it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a translation of the original
There is now a full translation from the Persian of this work by Jay Crook published by Great Books of the Islamic World (2 volumes, 1003 pages).Field's translation is a very abridged version translated from Urdu.If you really want to read the Alchemy, get the Crook translation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Remarkable!
One of the best books I have read on the divine and sublime nature of the Islamic religion's path to peace and happiness.I highly recommend it.

2-0 out of 5 stars This book is a great disservice to the Imam's original!
Without doubt the original work by Imam al Ghazzali, entitled "Keemiya-i-Sa'adaat" (Alchemy of Happiness) is one of the great works of world religious literature, especially mystical. However, although it is an abridgement of Imam Ghazzali's magnus opus, "Ihya al Ulum ud-Din" (The Revival of the Religious Sciences) made by the master himself, this translation presents but a TINY portion of the abridged work. To give you an indication of just how much has been left out of this book, I have seen a full Urdu translation of the Keemiya and it runs to approx. 1000 pages. This work is 122 small sized pages!! (The Ihya of course is about 4000 large pages).Obviously therefore most of the book is missing. Secondly, this is an English translation of a French translation of the Urdu version of the Persian from the original! The number of errors in that sequence will be large. Also the translator has made some glaring errors in the translation of some technical Sufi terms used by the Imam. e.g. the word "sama'" has been translated, incorrectly, as it almost invariably is by Orientalists as "music". Now, "sama'" as understood by the Sufis themselves does NOT mean music. Its actual meaning is to listen to melodious voices or singing without musical accompaniment.That is what sama' gatherings were: gatherings of Sufis and disciples to listen to mystical poems sung in melodious voices with the rules of musical rhythms etc. with NO accompanying instruments NOT musical concerts as is often implied.

Therefore as a general taster of the great work by Imam Ghazzali this is ok but it is a poor substitute. Alas, the English speaking world must still wait for the first complete and accurate translation of the Alchemy of Happiness.

5-0 out of 5 stars "To know Thyself is to know Thy Lord!"
Clear guidance for this age old wisdom propounded by so many enlightened souls from Socrates to Muhammad, peace be upon them.A potent source of inspiration and guidance for purifying the soul and attaining The DivinePresence. ... Read more

19. Alchemy: A Passion for Jewels
by Temple St. Clair
Hardcover: 224 Pages (2008-10-01)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$17.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003V1WD96
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

An exquisite look into the art of fine jewelry making, through the eyes of famed designer Temple St. Clair

A Southern girl with a nomadic spirit and a voracious appetite for history and culture, Temple St. Clair grew up spending summer vacations in Morocco and Bavaria, studied at an international boarding school in Switzerland, and went night diving in Honduras with the son of Jacques Cousteau. In her early twenties, St. Clair landed in Florence, where she completed a master's in Italian literature. In fact, she had no exposure to jewelry making until her visiting mother bought an ancient coin and asked St. Clair to commission a local goldsmith to make a piece of jewelry around it.

Armed with the coin and a sketch, St. Clair entered the ancient Palazzo dell'Orafo of Florentine goldsmiths, where she first discovered the centuries-old art of fine Italian jewelry making. Inspired by the distinctive craftsmanship, St. Clair continued to work with artisans to bring her designs to life. A new world soon began to open up to her—a world that engaged her multicultural education, vast experiences, and rich curiosity; a world that awarded her with a new identity as "an amateur anthropologist, a hopeless hunter and gatherer, a bit of a wanderer, and a self-made jewelry historian who loves to dream and draw."

With an artist's eye for detail and an unwavering esteem for the historic, St. Clair creates one-of-a-kind pieces that combine ancient influences with traditional craftsmanship and contemporary flair. In Alchemy, she takes readers on an idiosyncratic excursion into the intricate history and craft of jewelry making—from the ancient origins of talismans and charms, to the complicated pursuit of the perfect gemstone—all through the lens of her own fascinating experiences. The result is a mesmerizing and visually stunning book that will appeal to jewelry lovers, artistic dreamers, and anyone who suffers from wanderlust.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Pictures But...
I bought this book yesterday from the bargain bin at my local store due to skimming it and see the gorgeous jewelry photos. I was hoping, no, expecting, it to at least have some information on the designing of said jewelry. Instead, what I got was how the designer was deeply privileged growing up, traveled/s a lot, had great parents, and was lucky enough to study abroad, all of which inspired and influenced and lead her to be a designer.
While there were some sketches, there was only a handful of pages and the process was not described at all (in terms of technicality). There was some tidbit information on a few gems and jewels, but nothing major.
Basically, it's a sparse autobiography with great photos. I will admit that her passion clearly comes through, though. It makes a good coffee table book, but not much else.

The construction of the book itself was very nice. It has thick pages and a heavy dust jacket, but still pricey in my opinion.

3.5/5 stars

5-0 out of 5 stars alchemy a passion fr jewels

Beautiful photographs of incredible pieces of jewelry,also some insight into the creative process!

1-0 out of 5 stars Can we get a real review?
I would like to see this book reviewed by someone who is not a friend of the author.The book is expensive enough, that I would like to read an honest review of the book.I've been on the author's website and the jewelry, while beautiful, is not photographed from all angles, and very little description is given about the gems and metals used.Also, many pieces seem very overpriced for what they are.

5-0 out of 5 stars part memoir, part treatise, all stunning!
First, a confession: I might not have known about "Alchemy: A Passion for Jewels" if Temple St. Clair's mother had not contacted my mother to tell her about it. Temple and I were childhood pals, although even then it was not hard to tell that her life would take her in directions that many of us Southern Girls could hardly dream of. I enjoy collecting books by people I know, so there was no question that I would buy this one, sight unseen.

Well, dear readers, "Alchemy" blew me away! The photography and design, combined with the subject matter, make it one of the most physically beautiful books I have ever seen. Seamlessly interwoven among the many gorgeous pictures of St. Clair's jewelry pieces are conceptual sketches, details of fine art and architecture that have helped inspire some of her creations, photos from her travels, and nostalgic images from her early life. But the text is every bit as enaging as the imagery. St. Clair not only recounts her experiences but melds them with her interior journey as a creative artist, including healthy doses of art history, philosophy, mythology, and spirituality that lend authenticity and gravitas to her life's work.

Socrates said, "An unexamined life is not worth living." With "Alchemy," Temple St. Clair has offered a thoughtful examination of her own life that can serve as an inspiration to any reader. This book is -- dare I say it? -- a gem.

5-0 out of 5 stars A truly lovely book, Temple
Temple, the book is lovely, and I am so glad it came out so beautifully.I know it will find an enthusiastic audience. ... Read more

20. An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain
by Diane Ackerman
Paperback: 320 Pages (2005-09-27)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$3.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743246748
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Does the mind reflect or dictate what the body sees and feels? What is the language of emotion? Is memory a function of our imaginations? Are we all just out of our minds?

In this ambitious and enlightening work, Diane Ackerman combines an artist's eye with a scientist's erudition to illuminate the magic and mysteries of the human brain. With An Alchemy of Mind, she offers an unprecedented exploration of the mental fantasia in which we spend our days. In addition to explaining memory, thought, emotion, dreams, and language acquisition, Ackerman reports on the latest discoveries in neuroscience and addresses such controversial subjects as the effects of trauma, nature versus nurture, and male versus female brains. In prose that is not simply accessible but also beautiful and electric, Ackerman distills the hard, objective truths of science in order to yield vivid, anecdotal explanations about a range of existential questions regarding consciousness and the nature of identity. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Marvelous Read
In her latest exploration of living fully, Ackerman demonstrates again her erudition, insight and compassion.Ackerman recognizes the complexity of our world, and while she offers no easy answers or pat formulas for getting on in the world, she encourages our best instincts -- to be fully present, to stay curious, to experience lovingly.Reading Diane Ackerman is to be reminded of the happiness in being alive.

5-0 out of 5 stars fine writing on a deep subject . . .
ackerman is a fascinating writer. the three books i bought are all excellent . . . let this be the review for the other two, as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars great promises fulfilled...again
Once again I am pleased with my purchase of merchandise through Amazon and from this seller. From an historical perspective, I get when I asked for and am never disappointed!! Thank you.Patt Thompson, Phoenix

5-0 out of 5 stars A Sensualist's Portrait of the Brain
"I'm picturing the brain as a lightning-filled jar, where neurons fire millions of electrical bursts each moment, a silent crackling, while potent chemicals flow into and out of each neuron...through that lightening storm, the body speaks to the brain." ~ pg. 66

Diane Ackerman is fascinated by life and her enthusiasm is contagious. In "An Alchemy of Mind" she explores memory, dreaming, the mind's eye, traumatic memories, personality, happiness, laughter and such diverse topics as zoopharmacognosy and magnetoencephalography. Through her own vivid experiences she makes complex concepts understandable. She has lived an exciting life and draws on her experience, weaving facts with reflection. As a sensualist she is naturally inclined to take the reader on journeys to scented rose gardens even though her tales of harrowing mountain climbing experiences vie for your attention.

Diane Ackerman's writing style is intellectual and vivid all while invoking a sense of comfort, like you are talking to an intellectual friend. As she captures moments and then propels your mind into new territories she subtly teaches you more about the world and makes you curious for more. Fortunately she has written quite a few books and after reading one, you may feel compelled to duplicate the experience by reading them all.

~The Rebecca Review

3-0 out of 5 stars used alchemy:
arrived within a week wrapped in a manilla envelope. cover intact, student ID sticker with name and address on inside cover. Probably not a good idea to have personal info.
Copy okay, readable but pages dry and a bit brittle. No obvious marks as I flipped through it.
Perhaps a bit overpriced for the quality of this paperback edition. ... Read more

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