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History of alchemy

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The Church thought his writing and experiments to be especially harmful. “The Church took her place as one of his foremost adversaries, and even the friars of his own order refused his writings a place in their library. ” (Cockren, 2012). Bacon was sent to prison in 1279 and forced to repent his actions. Ancient Chinese folklore refers to alchemy, specifically the first Taoist pope Chang Tao-Ling born in A. 35, who was entirely devoted to meditation study refusing offers of high positions in the ruling regime. He preferred to live in the mountains of Western China where he studied alchemy and spiritual matters.

He led a mystical life and according to ancient myth possessed a formula that extended life. Alchemy was practiced in China before the Christian era and its origins likely extend further back in Chinese history. An alchemy practice that includes a chemical, spiritual and personal aspect to create the Philosopher’s Stone was called the Magnum Opus, or The Great Work. The Stone was a red colored material capable of transforming metals like iron into silver and gold. “Discovering the principals of the Philosopher’s Stone was one of the defining and at the same time seemingly unobtainable objectives of Western alchemy. ” (Cockren, 2012).

The seven metals of alchemy; gold, silver, mercury, copper, iron, lead and tin were used in a medical capacity. The remnants of this line of thought linger even today. Copper bracelets are sold in stores and on television claiming to have healing properties. Metals correspond to seven “planets” which, in turn, directly relate with particular fundamental personalities, qualities and body functions. Mars is viewed as active and masculine aligned with iron, blood circulation and muscles.

Venus is passive, artistic and feminine associated with copper, the kidneys and nutrition. Jupiter the theorizer is connected to tin, the liver and gall bladder. Saturn the master of death is associated with lead, the skeleton, hair, nails and skin. Mercury the communicator connects with the nervous system and lungs. The Sun the day-king, fittingly, is associated with gold, the heart and spine. The Moon, the night goddess, is associated with silver, brains and the fluids. Alchemy is an ancient and often misunderstood art that combined elements of astronomy, philosophy, the earth, the human body, chemistry, mysticism and metals intended to

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preview essay on History of alchemy
  • Pages: 3 (750 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Chemistry
  • Level: Undergraduate
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