The Mystery and Romance
Alchemy and Pharmacy is still one of the more accessible books on the mysterious art of alchemy. It presents an overview on the subject extending over two millennia. Although alchemy of the puffer genre, i.e. the forerunner of modern pharmacy, is discussed, Thompson also pays a lot of attention to the mystical and magical dimensions. The result is a book that takes you on a fascinating journey, starting with the discovery of medicine in Ancient Egypt, via Greece and Rome to the legendary Merlin, Albertus Magnus, Raymond Lulli, Roger Bacon, Cornelius Agrippa, Dr. Dee and alchemical symbols.
The composition of the Philosopher’s Stone is discussed, as well as the relationship of alchemy with occult arts and disciplines such as oneiromancy, necromancy, astrology, pyromancy, demonology and black magic. Thompson further discusses the medical or magical effect of stones and herbs, the use of magical amulets and love potions by the Greeks and Romans. Read about Egyptian, Grecian, Roman and Chinese amulets, knightly, talismans, precious stones as talismans, metallic amulets, written amulets, amulet rings, curious articles used as amulets, medical charms, toad-stones, the medicinal virtues of the toad and a special Roman charm for prolonging life.
An important chapter is dedicated to alchemy and herbs.