Many of you will recognize who Adam McLean is – founder of the Alchemy website on Levity.com – www.levity.com/alchemy – a recognized authority on alchemical texts and symbolism, author and publisher of over 50 books on alchemical and Hermetic ideas. His site includes a wealth of material on alchemical texts, imagery, emblems, esoteric articles, study courses, information on practical alchemy and more.
None of the books presented on McLean’s site are offered through any other outlet. The books are done by hand, and are works of art in and of themselves. The one that I just finished reading, “The Preparation of Potable Gold”, was written by Marco Eugenio Bonacina, and translated by Paul Ferguson (who also wrote the introduction). There are several full color figures in this book, all copyright Adam McLean.
This is the type of material that one reads not just one time, but many times. I am impressed with both Bonacina’s writing (which is not self serving, and does not wander around in the hope of hearing his own voice), and Ferguson’s introduction and translation.
Part of the introduction focuses on Bonacina’s background – where he was born, where he studied, and why he dedicated this work to Ladislav Velen, the Moravian nobleman whose court he was to join as Ladislav’s personal physician, alchemist and astrologer.
The whole process of preparing the “Potable Gold”, or the Hermetic Egg, as it is also known, is quite interesting (and very specific). More than once it is mentioned that those who wish to rush the procedure are bound to fail. At the end of the book there are instructions for taking the “medicine” in a specific manner that differs depending on what it is being taken for. There is also a notation that there are some disease processes that the medicine will not cure, as these processes are visited upon those who have sinned.
Reading this book was an experience well worth the purchase. I encourage you all to visit Adam McLean’s site – the material offered there is incomparable and invaluable.
© July 2009