Homunculus: The Alchemical Creation of Little People with Great Powers
By dhwty, 2015
Although science has made much progress in the last century, there are still numerous ethical issues that need to be addressed by the scientific community. One such issue is that of the creation of artificial life. For some, this is the logical progress of scientific knowledge; for others, this is a realm that should not be intruded by human beings. Concepts relating to the creation of artificial life such as genetic engineering and human cloning are relatively modern scientific ideas. In the past, however, it was in the field of alchemy that Medieval scientists sought to artificially create life. One of the beings that alchemists were purportedly able to create was the homunculus, meaning ‘little man’ in Latin.
The homunculus is first referred to in alchemical writings of the 16 th century. It is likely, however, that this concept is older than these writings. The idea that miniature fully-formed people can be created has been traced to the early Middle Ages (400 to 1000 AD), and is partly based on the Aristotelian belief that the sperm is greater than the ovum in its contribution to the production of offspring. Continue reading
A homunculus (Latin for “little man”, plural: “homunculi”) is a representation of a small human being. Popularized in sixteenth century alchemy and nineteenth century fiction, it has historically referred to the creation of a miniature, fully formed human. The concept has roots in preformationism as well as earlier folklore and alchemic traditions.
References to the homunculus do not appear prior to sixteenth century alchemical writings; however alchemists may have been influenced by earlier folk traditions. The mandragora, known in German as Alreona, Alraun or Alraune is one example.
In Liber de imaginibus, Paracelsus however denies that roots shaped like men grow naturally. He attacks dishonest people who carve roots to look like men and sell them as Alraun. He clarifies that the homunculus’ origins are in sperm, and that it is falsely confused with these ideas from necromancy and natural philosophy. Continue reading
The Philosopher’s Stone
From Montalk, 2010
The Philosopher’s Stone is not just a spiritual metaphor but an actual substance that can transmute lead or mercury into gold. The Stone is a product of Alchemy. Unlike chemistry, which only deals with physical matter and energy, Alchemy makes use of etheric and astral energies to reconfigure matter at the quantum level. Alchemy is to chemistry what a cube is to the square; it is a superset of chemistry and is capable of so much more.
How Etheric Energy Overrides Physical Laws
Alchemical achievements require successfully gathering, concentrating, and multiplying etheric energy. When this energy reaches a critical threshold, it overpowers the normal laws of physics and allows seemingly miraculous processes to take place. I believe it does this by biasing probability. By amplifying the probability of minor quantum effects, which are normally limited to the subatomic scale, they manifest on the larger atomic scale. In this way, one Continue reading
Introduction to alchemical symbolism
Alchemical manuscripts and books have always been illustrated with symbolic figures. There are, of course, simple signs used to notate various alchemical substances and processes, but the symbolism used in alchemy went much further than the mere use of special signs.
Alchemy used symbols figuratively and allegorically, not just to represent an idea but to extend it and reveal its wider implications. For example, there is a considerable use of animal symbolism, the green lion, the black toad, the double headed-eagle, the serpent seizing its tail – various human figures, the old dying king, the white queen, the knight – as well as stylised forms of apparatus in which these figures interact. Continue reading
A Threefold Alchemical Journey Through the Book of Lambspring
by Adam McLean ©
The Book of Lambspring is well known as one of the gems from the Musaeum Hermeticum published in 1625 by Lucas Jennis in Frankfurt, especially for its series of fifteen emblematic plates. It seems that this little book was first published, under the title De Lapide PhilosophicoTriga Chemicum (Prague 1599) compiled by the Frenchman Nicolas Barnaud prominent in the alchemical circles around Rudolf II. However, this tract and its emblemmatic drawings circulated in manuscript during the last two decades of the 16th century, as is attested by a number of copies dated to this period which still survive in libraries and special collections today. [Of these we might mention Ms 16752 in the National Museum in Nurnberg, and the manuscript copy in the University of Leiden.] Continue reading
Book of Lambspring
The Book of Lambspring,
A Noble Ancient Philosopher,
Concerning the Philosophical Stone;
Rendered into Latin Verse by
Nicholas Barnaud Delphinas,
Doctor of Medicine, a zealous Student of this Art.
I am called Lambspring, born of a Noble Family, and this Crest I bear
with Glory and Justice. Continue reading
The Mysteries of Alchemy
Translated into English by Ole Jensen
Magic Chemistry of Nature
It is a form of creative chemistry one meets in Nature. It is more than just chemical formulas, circuits and exchange of matters.
The alchemists say that Nature has soul, and that it owes its life to “God’s spirit that floats over the waters.” Spirit is the spark that ignites Nature’s enigmatic machinery. It is also the catalyst and the fuel, and we cannot match its results, even though we try through genetic manipulation and DNA research.
For example where do we find the biologist who can create something as simple as a carrot seed? The carrot can, but in reality no one knows how it does so.
The genetic engineers think they have come closer to solving the riddle of life. But a link is missing—and returning to the carrot—it is its latent ability to recreate itself in its own image. This ability, or will, Continue reading