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Alchemical allegories

Alchemical texts often use elaborate extended allegories as a means of communicating key philosophical points, or to illustrate a particular alchemical process. In these allegorical texts a figure, with which the reader is supposed to identify, goes on an journey in search of wisdom or understanding of the mysteries of alchemy. There this figure meets various archetypal characters, kings, queens, various alchemical birds and animals, and witnesses a process of transformation. This parallels the use of series of symbolic illustrations in various alchemical books and manuscripts - these allegories are in essence the working out in text of similar alchemical ideas and processes as are found in the sequences of emblematic symbols.

The Allegory of John of the the Fountain
The Fountain allegory of Bernard of Treviso
The Parabola of Henricus Madathanus
Lumen de lumine
An adept's allegory to a certain scholar
The Duenech allegory
The Globe allegory
The Golden Age Restored
The allegory of Merlin
Muller's allegory
Ruland's allegory
Sendivogius' Enigma of the Sages
Thomas Vaughan's allegory of the Mountain
Allegories of Zosimos of Panoplis

Other related allegorical works:-

Thomas Campanella's City of the Sun
Francis Bacon's New Atlantis
Jan Comenius The Labyrinth of the World
The allegorical tale in Novalis' novel Heinrich von Ofterdingen
The Mystic Tower from The Mystic Rose from the Garden of the King

If you have problems understanding these alchemical texts, Adam McLean now provides a study course entitled How to read alchemical texts : a guide for the perplexed.