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The Red Lion: The Elixir of Eternal Life Hardcover – January, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 377 pages
  • Publisher: Horus Publishing (January 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965262170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965262170
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #334,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

paper 0-9652621-8-9 Originally published in 1946 in Hungary, this ambitious and relentlessly arcane novel reshapes the stuff of legend into a compelling, if ponderous, philosophical melodrama. Subtitled ``The Elixir of Eternal Life,'' it recounts the harrowing adventures endured, over a span of four centuries, by Hans Burgner, a 16th-century alchemist's apprentice who murders his master in order to possess a potion rumored to confer the gift of immortality. Having drunk this elixir, Burgner is condemned to be repeatedly reborn, century after century, as a cursed visionary who sees, but is powerless to prevent, the injustices and cruelties that lie in wait for his fellowmen. Eventually purified by his sufferings, Cornelius (Hans's final incarnation) fulfills his destiny: to prophesy, to a world ravaged by war, the reappearance of the Messiah. Discursive and hyperbolic, The Red Lion, a bulky mixture of biblical, alchemical, and historical lore (which rather resembles Eugene Sue's epic romance The Wandering Jew), nevertheless explores with passionate intensity its deeply flawed hero's passage from sin and error, through a world more flawed even than he, to a paradoxical state of grace. It's a very imperfect novel, but a memorable reading experience all the same. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

One of the most potent novels i have ever read.
A. Stern
I will read it again and I know I will find it as interesting as before.
Moonflower
I thought it was well written and engaged me throughout the entire book.
Neil

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Mark Stavish, The Institute for Hermetic Studies on June 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Red Lion is one of those rare books that comes along once or twice in a generation. Written under the stress of constant terror and death, as Budapest was under siege during the final days of World War Two, the author brings to her readers a message of hope that surpasses the many New Age slogans about 'love and light' that are passed off as truth or 'occult novels' that are either psuedo-pornographic or just plain dull. If you are interested in reading about the nature of human evolution, the Western occult traditions, and the role of personal relationships across lifetimes, and how it all will come to make sense in the end, then The Red Lion is for you. The Red Lion is more than just an accurate book about alchemy and tantric mysticism, it is a book about life.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
The eternal verities of life unfold in this fast-paced, thrilling novel projected against the background of the last four centuries of European history with such astonishing accuracy as if it were an eye-witness account. As the main character evolves through several incarnations from "the lowest point of the deepest depth" to the pinacle of human achievement, he becomes a Magus, an Adept. Following his struggles, one is lead through the terrors of Gothic scenes of medieval Alchemy and through the full scale of human emotions from the basest sex and power-driven desires to the noblest, selfless service of humanity. One is moved through the tantalizing maze of the psychic world up to the calm and majestic realms of the highest mental worlds. His path takes him through the humble homes of peasants and laborers, through alchemical labratories, possession, exorcism, the inquisition and insane asylums, to royal courts and dark castles of nobility. He meets the Rosicrucians and Freemasons, lives through the French Revolution and World War II. His path crosses the paths of simple folks and kings and queens, fakers and seekers, great and small, the Count St. Germain and Cagliostro, Marie Antoinette and many others. Every one is portrayed with an amazingly clear vision. They become pyschological prototypes leaving the reader with the feeling of having personally known them. The author fullfils her promise as she says in the first chapter: "Come with me. Like a priest of the Orphic Mysteries, I will lead you into the darkness of night, through deep, moonless forrests, down the paths of the netherworld leading to the gates of Hades. Do not be afraid; I have a torch and I know my way. You will not get lost. And at dawn we come to the temple of the rising sun."
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A. Ali on March 29, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Though this work is a novel, no-one should be deceived into thinking that this is anything less than a major alchemical work. A whole range of philosophical and esoteric issues are discussed. This reviewer could only absorb the book in small doses; there was so much to mull over. It's amazing it took over 50 years for this book to be translated into English.
The writer does exhibit a Rosicrucian slant at places. For example, reference to the "Chemical Wedding". The emphasis on the Comte de St. Germaine. At other places Szepes refers to Eastern practices, e.g. the Tibetan practice of bringing to life an inanimate statue which subsequently has to be demolished. Thus the polarity between pyschological projection and 'external' reality is re-established, which tends to become blurred when one sets out on the esoteric path and realizes that there is no distinction between psychological and physical reality. The notion of the homunculus is discussed at length. The Emerald Tablet is given in both Latin and English. The list could go on. A spell-binding book that this reviewer found edifying.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
The Red Lion puts together, in a narrative form, the secrets of alchemy and its effects on the on the consciousness of those striving to discover the ways of transforming lead into gold. For any true alchemists this is merely a metaphor for the tranformation of body into sprirt. The story of this book traces the experience of one seeker, as he awakens through the pre-mature ingesting of the philosopher's stone in a mad quest for immortality. In this case, the adept had not been spirtitual qualified to undergo such transformation and is consequently thrown up against his own demons. The awakening that occurs, for the main character as well as the reader, is due to the confrontation of the darkness and bringing of light to the deepest part of being. Maria Szepis had written a superb tail about this act of confrontation and draws on much Hermetic research to bring out the theosophical truth in discovering the God of our being.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Laura De Giorgio on November 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
When I got this book and I began reading it - I couldn't put it down. The book is a fictional alchemical novel and covers the span of four lifetimes of an individual from the point he became curious about the alchemy and the mess he made out of his zeal for the possession of the philosopher's stone before he was mentally, emotionally and spiritually ready to have it, through karmic retributions (consequences) of his errors and the side-effects of going through few lifetimes fully remembering his past deeds and mis-deeds - and all the way to his ultimate spiritual attainment - the rightful possession of the philosopher's stone, all the lessons learned and inner refinements accomplished.
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