Alchemists Through the Ages (eBook)

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Alchemists Through the Ages

Alchemy-the word itself conjures up images of charlatans mixing potions and concocting remedies during the Middle Ages in a futile quest to transform lead into gold. But the roots of alchemy can be traced back more than 2,500 years to locales as disparate as Egypt, India, and China, and it was considered serious science until as recently as the 16th century. In this highly regarded volume first published in 1888, Arthur E. Waite examines the lives and works of more than fifty alchemists, from the year 850 through the end of the 18th century. Readers will learn about such renowned figures as Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon, and Pope John XXII, and decide for themselves whether alchemy was the true precursor to modern chemistry or a pseudo-science populated by quacks.

All the many personalities who have immortalized themselves in alchemical research through the centuries are introduced in this very readable, compact presentation for today’s interest in this fascinating, age-old quest in the metamorphosis of the human being. Mr Waite shows that the real alchemist quest was no the goal of turning base metals into gold, but rather the unfolding of the human being, the releasing and manifesting of the higher self. Seen in this light, alchemy is of profound interest and vital concern to awakened interests in development of spiritual powers and potentialities. Throughout the book are beautiful, historically significant illustrations.

About the Author

Arthur Edward Waite (1857 – 1942), commonly known as A. E. Waite, was an American-born British poet and scholarly mystic who wrote extensively on occult and esoteric matters, and was the co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. As his biographer R. A. Gilbert described him, “Waite’s name has survived because he was the first to attempt a systematic study of the history of western occultism—viewed as a spiritual tradition rather than as aspects of proto-science or as the pathology of religion.”

Additional information



Paul M. Allen




January 1970






Steiner Books


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