Alchemy and theurgy have as their goal the ascent of the soul through a material practice. Alchemy does so with matter and theurgy through material symbol and ritual. Where they overlap is in the purification rite known as the animation of statues in which a god is embodied.
Although mentioned in the Corpus Hermeticum; in Iamblichus’ On the Mysteries; even in a Neo-platonic commentary on Euclid; as well as other hermetic and gnostic texts, nowhere is the practice described.
Tonight’s talk will examine the mentions and stories throughout the Greco-Roman world, the Greek Magical Papyri, Chaldean Oracles, the practices of poetry, music, theurgy and alchemy. And from this an outline will emerge of what this animation entailed and perhaps some ideas for deepening practice.
Copies of the new alchemy ‘zine On The Animation of Statues will be available.
$8 presale, $12 at the door
Brian Cotnoir is an artist and an independent researcher in alchemy. A contributor to Frater Albertus’ Parachemy, he is also the author of The Weiser Concise Guide to Alchemy, Alchemical Meditations, On the Quintessence of Wine, and the recently published Emerald Tablet, his translations of and commentary on, the earliest Arabic and Latin versions of this seminal text. Currently at work on his next book, Alchemy: The Poetry of Matter, he occasionally gives talks based on his alchemical research. Khepri Press, launched in 2014 with the publication of the Emerald Tablet, is the vehicle and portal for his alchemical work.