Alchemy texts archives - Alchemical tradition in SpainBack to Alchemy texts archive.
Date: Sun, 06 Apr 1997
Thank you very much for the information about Kybalion (to Noel, George,
Michal, Dan...). It is my understanding that this message will contribute
to the discussion but in an indirect way. The subject of it is
mainly the alchemic and esoteric tradition in Spain, unfortunately most
references only available in Spanish. Most of the data I submit come
from the book:
Gargoris y Habidis: Una historia magica de Espana (1985), by
Sanchez-Drago, Fernando, Ed. Planeta, Barcelona (Spain).
The book is an essay about the unofficial history of Spain that won a
National Prize of Literature.
Other references (I am sorry, some of them still incomplete- working on
- Selected works of Ramon Llull (1213-1316) by Llull, Ramon; other author
Bonner, Anthony. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, (1985).
- The defence of age, and recouery of youth, by Arnaldus de Villanova, d.
1311; other author Drummond, Jonas. Publisher, London, imprinted by Robert
Wyer. The University of Arizona Library, Main Library Micro-Film 420
- The Zohar in Moslem $ Christian Spain, by Bension, Ariel. Hermon Press,
New York (1974).
- Escritos condenados por la Inquisicion, by Arnaldus de Villanova; other
author Canovas, Elena. Biblioteca de visionarios, heterodoxos y
marginados; 2a ser., 10, Madrid: Editora Nacional (1976).
- Armesto, Victoria (1971), Galicia Feudal, 2th edicion, Vigo (Espana).
- Menendez y Pelayo (1965), Historia de los heterodoxos espanoles, Madrid.
- Fuente, Vicente de la,(?) Historia de las sociedades secretas y modernas
en Espana y especialmente de la francmasoneria, 3 vol.
- Finally I have a reference of a large anonymous book about alchemy of
which exist two exemplars at least, one in the National Library in Madrid
(La Biblioteca Nacional) and other in the University of Granada Library,
the title is "Libro de la Celidonia por separacion de elementos" something
like The book of Celidonia by separation of elements'?. The title doesn't
make any sense to me in Spanish neither.
Now I want to share whith you an interesting (and controversial)
theme about the alchemic and esoteric implications of the St. James of
Compostela Route. Starting in France it crosses throughout the north of
Spain and ends in Santiago de Compostela city (NW corner of Iberian
It is full of alchemic symbols everywhere: the stonemason marks carved in
the walls of dozens of Romanic churches along the Route that are similar
to those used by Egypt, Caldeos and Greek architects; the very staff that
the sculpture of St. James holds (since AD 1188) has the form of the letter
"tau", the symbol of the pilgrims is the shell that it is too (meanliness
coincidence?) the symbol of Venus and believe it or not the gargoyles and
sculptures that cover a lot of Romanic churches walls are a very alive
summary of "Kamasutra teachings", bestialism, sodomy, obscenities in other
words (again the spiny theme). It is said that the purpose was to show to
people what not to do, the absurdity of this theory doesn't deserve
It is well known that during the Middle Ages it was a spiritual route as
well as a sort of initiatic path. It is said that important alchemists
traveled across it: Nicholas Flamel, Raimundo Lulio, Jacques Coeur,
Officially the Apostle St. James the Great is buried in the
cathedral of that city: "In AD 813 a tomb discovered at nearby Padron
(small town close to Santiago de Compostela) was said to have been
supernaturally revealed to be that of the apostle St. James the Great
martyred at Jerusalem in about AD44, the town that grew up around the tomb
became the most important Christian place of peregrination after Jerusalem
and Rome during the Middle Ages: (The New Encyclopaedia Britannica-
Micropaedia,Vo 9,-Santiago de Compostela).
But (here come the most interesting) there are strong pieces of
evidence, as well as traditions and legends that let suspects that a very
different person is or was buried originally there. In fact it was never an
agreement in Spain about who was venerated there, almost every Spanish
Historian have doubted in some way about the veracity of the official
version. Tired of speculations the archbishop of Compostela ordered
archaeological excavations in 1879 that found, surprise! some rests, without
name of course. Only after this the Pope Leon XIII confirmed officially the
veracity of the legend.
The archeology has showed that a paleochristian village existed
in Santiago de Compostela well before the 8th century, where someone tomb
was worshiped. What kind of magnetism made to surge the third Christian
religious city in importance (after Rome and Jerusalem) from a small
celtic settlement of secondary category?- Sanchez Drago, 1985).
It is probably too, that the St James Route followed ancient celtic
migratory paths that conducted to the end of the known world at that time:
"finisterre" called by the Romans, beyond that point started the land of
the deaths. "It is a strange peregrination what you are doing because as you
travel toward the west you are approaching the cult to the deaths"
(Walter Starkie, "The Route of St. James).
There are reasons to suspect that maybe who is buried there is
Priscillian, bishop of Spain and initiator of what was called later
Priscillianism heresy: "Priscillian (b. 340, Spain- d. 385, Trier,
Belgium, Gaul). Early Christian bishop who was the FIRST HERETIC to
receive capital punishment. He founded Priscillianism, an unorthodox
doctrine that persisted into the 6th century. Priscilian was condemned in
384 by a synod at Bordeaux, he was judged guilty of SORCERY and
IMMORALITY and was executed"- The New Encyclopaedia Britannica-
It is a historic data that four years later a group of Priscillian
followers traveled to Trier to recover the corpse (he had been
decapitated) and to take him back to Spain, following in France the route
that would be later the French reach of the St. James Route, the procession
stopped in Paris, Orleans, Tours and Bordeaux, later in the South of
France disappears the traces. They probably embarked towards Priscillian
natal land ("Iria Flavia", ancient name of Padron where the legend says
Santiago tomb was discovered a few hundred years later. Doesn't say
the legend that (coincidence?) the corpse of St. James the Great arrived
to Padron decapitated and in a boat?.
Priscillian writings and his defence during the trial sound to me
pure hermetic, the concepts are amazingly similars to that expressed in The
Kybalion (of course I am not the first to consider hermetics the teaching
of Priscillian). He said during the trial that the substance of God
participates in plants, rocks and animals, that everything is borned on God`s
bosom by conjunction of the male and female principles. In his Hymn to
Jesus Christ he wrote: "I am a lamp for you that look at me, I am a door for
you that knock at it, you see what I do, don't tell anybody. The word
deceited to everybody but I was not completely deceited". His disciple
Dictinio proposed an ethic bassed in the Hermetic principle that the truth
should be reveled only to those that accep it IN ADVANCE. Priscillian
confessed to have practiced magic in his youth, but not any more after his
conversion to Christianism. Officially he was accused of consecrating the
harvests to the sun and the moon and of throwing a curse against those that
would try to damage them. Under torture he confessed three infamies:
witchcraft, nocturnal prayers in necked promiscuity with women and
intercourses practiced after the liturgical ceremonies. We'll never know
the truth taken in account the circumstances of such confession. He could
have been initiated to esoteric tradition when he was a student at Bordeaux.
His followers went relatively tranquils to the trial, neither
of them thought that when the master returns to Spain it would be
death. Never in the young history of the Christian church someone had
been killed by theologic or ideologic reasons.
Priscillian was descendent of a wealthy family, born in the area of Spain
(NW corner-Galicia-) with strongest celtic influences (music, folklore in
general, population), he probably practiced Christian religion mixed with
older pre-Christians practices, that explains why the heresy extended so
I hope this data will be useful in the task of following the track of
hermetic concepts and biographies of writers.
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997
Regarding Spanish alchemy, you may also want to verify the following
address and contact their forum :
Date: Mon, 07 Apr 1997
> From: calhhh
> Regarding Spanish alchemy, you may also want to verify the following
> address and contact their forum :
The address really is functioning, information in Spanish about
alchemy. Thanks! I have taken only a quick look, interesting but the
quality is inferior to Alchemy Web site, in my opinion at least.
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 1997
>The address really is functioning, information in Spanish about
>alchemy. Thanks! I have taken only a quick look, interesting but the
>quality is inferior to Alchemy Web site, in my opinion at least.
Dear Maria :
My previous reference was not intended in to suggest that the given address
was in any way, shape or form "better" than the Alchemy Web Site. Adam's McLean
site is without a doubt the most complete alchemical site to my knowledge in terms
of the resources available and the services it provides. However, ALCHEMY in my
opinion is in many ways a Beautiful Labyrinth, and sometimes in the humblest of
corners of its path, there is Truth to be found.
When I suggested this site, I specifically proposed to you to contact the FORUM
since in it, there are already participating members of 14 different countries, many
of them from Spain, and among them I have even seen messages of lovers of the
art, that truly are scholars with regard to Spanish Alchemy, in which I thought you
were interested. The frequency of participation is quite less active that Mr. Mclean's
Forum, but so far I have never seen any message attacking anyone's views or being
disrespectful to any other participants. Certainly in that site, there are no gurus,
nor magical solutions for inmediate knowledge.
I have the greatest opinion of not only this forum and Mr. McLean's web site, but truly
and sincerely admire the extremely hard work, profound knowledge, and almost
apostolic service that Adam has and continues to contribute to all of us that so
cherished with passion this Sacred Art.
So in order to put everything in perspective, my suggestion was only a means
of providing not, an alternate way, but a complimentary one, specially for those
that spoke spanish, given that many of them for language limitations can not
make use of the treasures found on this site.
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 1997
From: Michal Pober
>Now I want to share whith you an interesting (and controversial)
>theme about the alchemic and esoteric implications of the St. James of
>Compostela Route. Starting in France it crosses throughout the north of
>Spain and ends in Santiago de Compostela city (NW corner of Iberian
and much more that was truly fascinating!!
i have been interested in the idea of pilgrimage for some years; one
inspiring book was was "longing for darkness" by china gailland [sp?]
which sought to connect the tibetan buddhist goddess tara with the black
madonna. part of the text described an annual pilgrimage to jasna gora in
poland, a monastery where a picture of the black madonna is the most
revered icon in poland [and that means pretty well revered!]
i recently met someone who had made the santiago da compostela pilgrimage
and had already been forming a strong desire to do likewise, before knowing
any of the information which you shared. now my interest is redoubled (at
least!) and it has even become a serious practical possibility that i could
find the time and energy for an undertaking of this kind.
if you or any other member has easy access to more information, both of the
kind which you have already elaborated and also nuts and bolts info. about
routes and so on i would really appreciate it. if its information that is
outside the scope of interest of the forum i can be reached by e-mail at:
thank you! in exchange i'll keep you posted along the way about significant
discoveries and experiences..
ps i would envision a departure date at the earliest the beginning of
october, and obviously seasonal factors would be relevant. perhaps next
spring would be more sensible. perhaps there is a traditional time to make
the journey also?
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997
Dear Maria E. Castro de Moux
and other forum members :
Within the context of the increasing interest in Alchemy as
evident in many countries, there certainly are many new
SPANISH written books being published on alchemical
For example, EDITORIAL INDIGO have just published :
- LA TURBA DE LOS FILOSOFOS
- AURORA CONSURGENS
- EL JARDIN DE LAS RIQUEZAS (George Aurach)
- INSTRUCCION DE UN PADRE A SU HIJO ACERCA DEL ARBOL SOLAR
Given that the name and addresses of spanish editorials may be of
interest only to a few members of this mailinglist, I will be glad to
be of help by supplying this data to anyone who would contact me
Also, spanish speaking people may visit AIIES Home page at
where some alchemical material is available on line. Also
may subscribe to an alchemical forum that runs indistinctly
on spanish and portuguese by sending a message to
writing on the area of " Subject :" the word SUBSCRIBE
Just as a matter of record, I will also like to say that this
message is in no way a commercial anouncement, since
the internet references mentioned are not commercial
endeavors nor offer any material nor service for sale
whatsoever, nor I am personally related in any way to
any editorial or publishing business of any kind.
Given however that spanish alchemical material is not
as widely available as english or french material, it is
my pleasure to be able to assist others on their search.
Best Regards to all,
Date: Mon, 19 May 97
From: Maria Moux
Following are the last books that I bought in Spain on alchemy:
1) de Luanco, José Ramón. La alquimia en España. Escritos inéditos,
noticias y apuntamientos que pueden servir para la historia de los adeptos
españoles. Barcelona: Ediciones Obelisco, 1995. ISBN 84-7720-418-7. Luanco
was a contemporary of Menendez Pelayo.
It includes information on alchemy and alchemists in Spain, plus the following
texts edited from manuscripts and out of print editions.
Contents of original works: Letter of the 20 Cordoban sages to D. Enrique de
Villena (possibly from the 17th century. Anonymous.).
From an anonymous Catalan ms, in parchment, dated 1687, contains alchemical
procedures. No title.
Letters from the King of Aragon Pedro IV (15th century) to his son Juan I,
Letters from Juan I (15th Century) of Aragon paying Jaime Lustrach for
Stanzas on alchemy by don Luis de Centelles.
Several chapters providing information on Spanish alchemists.
2) García Font, Juan, Historia de la alquimia en España. Barcelona: MRA,
1995. ISBN: 84-8865-04-X. A History of alchemy in Spain. Well
researched. Links to philosophy, theology and science.
María E. Castro de Moux