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The Forge and the Crucible: The Origins and Structure of Alchemy 2nd Edition
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(1) The Forge and the Crucible - Eliade
This is an excellent prehistory of alchemy showing the patterns of thought out of which Alchemy most probably arose. An easy read.
(2) Anatomy of the Soul - Edinger
Set out according to seven processes involved in alchemy Calcinatio, Solutio, Coagulatio, Sublimatio, Mortificatio, Separatio, Coniunctio, this is an accessible book that puts each process in reasonably neat boxes, (though the considerable overlap and intermingling is acknowledged). The approach is somewhat mechanical.
(3) Alchemy, an Introduction... - Von Franz.
More 'organic' than Edinger, Von Franz has a very warm and human touch. She deals with the origins of alchemy in Egypt and Greece and delves into the 'Aurora Consurgens', attributed to Aquinas. She includes relevent and interesting case material. Being a transcription of lectures, it is a little haphazard, though none the less informative for that.
Still, well worth reading for the ideas.