The vast number and variety of technical terms, images, and concepts found within alchemical texts requires considerable competence of any would-be student. The employment of intentional ambiguity and polyvalency by the authors of such texts serves to prevent ready comprehension by those not possessed of a certain minimum quantity and quality of attention, knowledge and experience.

No mere dictionary, lexicon, or glossary of terms will avail to strip away all ambiguity so as to reveal the carefully guarded arcana of the alchemical tradition. Indeed, stripping all ambiguity away would serve only to destroy the value of both content and process. Rather than a simple glossary (or lexicon) we have created a ‘cyclopaedia’ of technical terms, concepts and symbols. We have also provided links on each page with which seekers can dig deeper and begin to explore related terms and concepts. This format allows the researcher a degree of self-directed inquiry; provides a modicum of guidance to help one stay focused and motivated while one continues to explore a conceptual thread; promotes development of the requisite quantity and quality of attention; conveys basic information; and clarifies issues through the experience of authorities.

Our alchemystical cyclopaedia, then, differs in many respects from the lexicon of Ruland, the encyclopedia of Pernety, the symbol dictionary of Poisson, and the recent literary dictionary of Abraham. Our intent in assembling this cyclopaedia was not to assist the merely curious or academic researcher, but to provide assistance for the spiritual/philosophical practitioner.

We hope you find our cyclopaedia informative and suggestive. Used judiciously in combination with the search functionality, it should serve to provide inquirers into the hermetically sealed mysteries of alchemy a sense of direction sufficient to begin work of a preparatory nature.

Note – this cyclopaedia represents the understanding of a specific ‘school’ or ‘lineage’ within the alchemical tradition and therefore its content may be unfamiliar and its process uncomfortable to those who follow other interpretative templates.

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