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The Hermetic Tradition: Symbols and Teachings of the Royal Art Paperback – January 1, 1995
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"An extremely cogent elucidation of the alchemical Great Work." (Daniel Pinchbeck, Bookforum, Summer 2002)
"This book is a good place to use as a center for your alchemical studies." (John Gilbert, The Tarot Institute, February 2004)
"Evola writes serious books about serious subjects, yet manages to present the material in a manner that is both meaningful and practical. . . . occultists who want to understand a man who was a major force in Italian esotericism . . . will find a wealth of knowledge and esoteric insight." (Institute for Hermetic Studies, Mar 2006)
"Considered one of the clearest and strongest works on the art of Alchemy ever written." (Robert James Buratti, New Dawn, July/August 2002)
"This book has been hailed as one of the clearest works on alchemy ever written." (New Dawn, May-June 2003)
"The Hermetic Tradition is not a book to be read once for the value of its information about European alchemy--which admittedly is great--but to be revisited as one's own alchemical work, in whatever form, proceeds. Each reading will bring new levels of insight." (Gnosis Magazine)
"Evola is a major force in the area of modern European esotericism, but is little known in the English speaking world. Author of numerous works on esoteric practices and philosophy, Evola is a name that all serious students of esotericism should be familiar with. Evola discloses in clear and meaningful terms the ideas present and their use in practice. Evola is not for the feint of heart or brain however. He deals with difficult subjects and presents them in an intelligent and experienced manner. Anyone seeking a literary initiation into the world of deep thought and practices can do no better than to start with Evola." (Institute for Hermetic Studies, Feb 2006)
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian
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Where this book excels is in its goal: Providing material for a seeker to internalize and understand alchemical processes. This is the best book on that subject, hands down.
The historical part is routinely cited, eschewing the author, to teach the sacred symbols and teachings Magnos, in short, an introductory book to the sacred science, so better read Evola before Guenon.
In the first half of the book he decodes numerous symbols. These discussions are often exhilarating and always exciting. They reveal a robust metaphysics which has strong affinities with Christianity and Torah/Prophets. For example, "chaos" simply means the realm of undifferentiated potentiality--prime matter. Saturn is heaviness, inertia. "The Tomb," infamous in Plato, notes the body By itself and apart from the animating spirit, it is dead matter, the flux of chaos. The hermeticist does not want to escape the body because it is bad, but to temporarily separate to reestablish a dominating and causal solar principle.
All well and good. And then comes the second half. To be honest, I am not sure what he was getting at. And it's probably best I didn't. My Christian presuppositions aside, I find Rene Guenon a better handler of the material.