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The Dwellings of the Philosophers Hardcover – March 5, 1999


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Hardcover, March 5, 1999
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 550 pages
  • Publisher: Archive Pr & Communications (March 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963521160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963521163
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,234,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A spate of books have appeared in France speculating on the identity of the master alchemist who published Les Demeures Philosophales (1930)under the pseudonym of Fulcanelli. They have not revealed Fulcanelli's identity; whomever Fulcanelli may have been, or be, he has succeeded in the alchemist's oath, to keep silent and to disappear after accomplishing the Great Work. There are tales, possibly apocryphal, of the OSS unsuccessfully searching for him in Paris after the war. Fulcanelli is aslo alleged to have met with one of France's atomic physicists in the late 30s and warned him about the dangers of unlocking atomic energy, suggesting it had been done before. Fulcanelli disappeared, leaving no traces, almost as if he had never existed. His pseudonym, Fulcanelli, is derived from Vulcan, classical god of fire, smithing, the working of metals, and artifice. Legend suggests that Fulcanelli is still alive, but what is not legend is his work, the magisterial expos! ition of the alchemical secrets encoded in medieval architecture and literature.

Customer Reviews

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See all 8 customer reviews
This book really caters to the avid student of Alchemy.
Jason Wolf
"Dweelings" is amazing, there are similarites in De Lubicz "Temple in Man" as well as the "Rosicrucian Manuscripts" of the 15th century!
Shawn Vernon Lloyd
We all know that these pictures are meant to be metaphorical, but Fulcanelli suggests that they incorporate visual puns as well.
Harold A. Roth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Laura Knight-Jadczyk on April 14, 2006
Fulcanelli's second book, Dwellings of the Philosophers , was originally one volume consisting of some six hundred pages divided into twenty chapters. In his foreword of the book, written in April 1929, Eug?ne Canseliet reveals the key enabling one to penetrate his master's writings. It lies in the following excerpt:

His method differs from the one that was used by his predecessors: it consists in describing in detail all the operations of the Work after having separated them into various parts. He thus deals with each phase of the work, begins to explain it in one chapter, interrupts it to pursue it in another chapter, and then completes it in yet a last one. This breaking up, which transforms the Magisterium into a philosophical jig-saw puzzle, is not to scare the learned researcher, but it promptly discourages the outsider, incapable of finding his way in this labyrinth of another kind, and unable to restore the order of the manipulations.

At the beginning of the book, Fulcanelli reverts to the subject of stone edifices; the custodians of hermetic science:

[...] Our preference remains for the Middle Ages such as revealed by the gothic edifices, rather than that period of time as described by historians.

Further on, he alludes to Huysmans' statement:

History is the most solemn of lies and the most childish of catches!

He seizes that opportunity to question the authenticity of certain tombs - crypts allegedly containing the remains of this or that historical figure, maintaining that it stands to reason that they are empty, unless corpses were substituted! He then again evokes the primacy of the Middle Ages over the period of the Renaissance:

[...
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jason Wolf on August 9, 2000
I've read every Alchemical and Hermetic Chemistry book I could get my hands on over the last 3 years and this was up there with some of the best. It's not for the beginner because it makes some assumptions of general and basic knowledge about Alchemy that could leave the casual read in the dust. This book really caters to the avid student of Alchemy. It is none the less a book for your alchemical collection because the beginner one day will be no longer, and this book will offer knowledge without a doubt. "The lips of wisdom are closed except to the ears of understanding"
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Harold A. Roth on September 20, 2007
This is the most thought-provoking work on alchemy I have come across. There is so much here, that it's difficult to know where to start.

Fulcanelli is the first practical alchemist I've read who came out and said that without divine inspiration and the aid of the stars, one will not be able to carry out the Work. So often it seems that folks concentrate purely on the practical side or worse, purely on the spiritual side. Most seem to ignore the astrological aspects, I guess considering that "as below, so above" is referring to the practical and spiritual, not to the celestial. It is refreshing to hear someone reiterating the importance of all three aspects--material, spiritual, and celestial--for success.

Fulcanelli is very explicit when discussing aspects of the Mineral Path, to the extent that I don't understand why I have not seen this book more often referred to when alchemists working on the Mineral Path discuss their operations. I wonder how many people have actually read it. Perhaps folks are put off by the apparent topic, the alchemical decorations on various buildings. But while the book does discuss these decorations, they are only a jumping-off point for discussing alchemical concepts and steps in the process. For instance, when touching upon salamander decorations, he gives many excellent clues about the nature of the Secret Fire.

One of the especially interesting things he discusses is what he calls "cabala." This refers not to Kabbalah or Qabalah but is instead a system of transmitting meaning by using visual puns that was especially popular in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, according to him. Anyone who is even slightly interested in alchemy knows the importance in it of graphics.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Vernon Lloyd on September 2, 2011
Fulcanelli, the mystery Alchemist designed to embodie and thus give off the conception of a ancient system of Poetic writing displays this skill in yet another work. "Dweelings" is amazing, there are similarites in De Lubicz "Temple in Man" as well as the "Rosicrucian Manuscripts" of the 15th century! We must look at this work in various ways to decipher its coded secrets, of which there will be only hand full, if that. All the great Alchemist's did their work in such a way that was really indivdaul yet universal. Men like Jacob Boheme, Basil Valentine and Da Vinci, even Shakesphere. In my own cross refferencing and research, I see common ties, one is that it's speaking of Poetry! I suggest the reader not read the book as much as one should emmerse themselves in the text, behind the text, peirce the veil of its shroud and you'll eventaully discover a story being told in a very poetic way! All the other variables are there as a means to distract you from it's true purpose, it's really meant for those with eyes to see and ears to ear. Mystics, Adepts and Initiates will have a better chance then the average person. Anyways, check out this book, its amazing! Thanks!
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