In preparing for my upcoming class Cosmology in Hermetic Alchemy and I find myself really enjoying the great resource Alexander Roob's book can be. Taschen puts out so many of these so-called brick books but Alchemy and Mysticism is certainly one of my favorites. Alchemy is also known as the Royal Art and this stems from the fact the alchemists work with nature to bring about transmutation of matter into a new state, but also because the books and manuscripts often express the esoteric concepts in artful ways. This full color tribute to alchemical art is packed full of imagery covering the many byways of the magnum opus and gathers many of the images into distinct subjects such as the various stages of the work to anthropomorphic forms common to alchemical themes. This is one of those books that deserves a place in any esoteric library.
Meanwhile Dom Antoin-Josef Pernety's Mytho-Hermetic Dictionary supplies us not only with mythological and symbolic imagery but also with illuminating definitions of the alchemical opus which unlock the mysteries of the allegories of the myths in alchemical texts. This English language translation from the original French, executed by Joseph Zabinski, gives great insight into what the exotic and abstract imagery and terms in alchemical texts are meant to convey both in practical and allegorical arenas. Whereas Roob's book is more accessible to beginners, the Pernety book allows a deeper dive into the Hermetic Arcana. Referring to the Mytho-Hermetic Dictionary repays the effort every time.
Publisher, Hermetic Qabalist and Symbol-Systems researcher and educator.