The First Alchemists

In This Chapter

Ancient alchemical manuscripts

A gift from the gods?

Thoth, the father of alchemy

The mysterious Pillars of Hermes

Secrets of the Emerald Tablet

The line between myth and reality

The roots of alchemy are buried in legend and mystery; allegedly the earliest books on alchemy appeared all at once, as if they had been locked away for safekeeping and were suddenly released. At the beginning of the first millennium, all around the world alchemical principles exploded into human consciousness, and these same ideas continue to inspire us to this day.

However, alchemists point to the heavens—not books—for the origin of their craft, and ancient Egyptian writings seem to back them up. Three-thousand-year-old ...

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