Tag Archives: Alchemy

Carl Gustav Jung

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Carl Jung. Photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Creative Commons. In the autumn of 1913, Carl Gustav Jung was traveling alone by train through the rust and amber forest of the Swiss countryside. The thirty-eight-year-old psychiatrist had been lately troubled by strange dreams and a rising sense of tension, […]

The wayward Paracelsus

JMS Pearce East Yorks, England   Fig 1. Aureolus Philippus Theophrastus von Hohenheim (Paracelsus). Via Wikimedia. Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest Let no man be another’s who can be himself Paracelsus 1552   Paracelsus was the most original, controversial character of the Renaissance,1 who brazenly questioned and condemned the dictates of Galen and […]

The hectic life of Leonardo Fioravanti

Leonardo Fioravanti. Via Wikimedia. The first part of Leonardo Fioravanti’s life was uneventful; the second was tumultuous.1 Born in Bologna in 1517,1-4 he was fortunate in 1527 to survive a violent epidemic that may have been typhus. At age sixteen he began to study medicine, probably as an indentured apprentice to a barber-surgeon. At twenty-two […]

The Philosophers’ Stone: history and myth

S.E.S. Medina Benbrook, Texas, United States   The ouroboros and the squared circle. The ouroboros is an ancient symbol where the metaphysical property of infinity is represented by a serpent or dragon swallowing its own tail. Its image is often used in alchemical texts from the Middle-Ages. Contained within the ouroboros is the squared circle, an […]

The midwives of San Gimignano, 1336

Mary A. Osborne Chicago, Illinois, United States   Before the story line for Alchemy’s Daughter flew into my imagination, the idea of writing historical fiction had not occurred to me. I had penned a number of short stories, often inspired by my experiences as a home care nurse, and two semiautobiographical novels that no publisher […]

Dreams of healing

Rev. Kari Lindholm-Johnson Chicago, Illinois, USA As a chaplain at Swedish Covenant Hospital, I am continually humbled in experiencing the force of people’s desire for healing. Patients willingly subject themselves to rigorous treatments in the pursuit of life, entrusting themselves to healthcare workers. This strong yearning for healing was explored in the Dreams of Healing […]

Paracelsus: physician and alchemist

Alexandru Gh. Sonoc Sibiu, Romania   Paracelsus, 1935 F. Görtitz. Brukenthal National Museum, Sibiu, Romania. This painting shows the famous alchemist and physician Paracelsus holding a retort in his hands and standing in front of a furnace on which is placed a glass balloon. In front of the furnace a pair of bellows lie on […]

Bosch’s Stone Operation: meaning, medicine, and morality

Laurinda Dixon New York, United States   Figure 1: Hieronymus Bosch, Cure of Folly (Stone Operation), ca. 1488 or later, oil on panel, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. The Stone Operation (fig. 1) (ca. 1488 or later), also known as The Cure of Folly, by the Dutch fifteenth-century painter Hieronymus Bosch (ca. 1450-1516), is, like […]