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Study Course on alchemical symbolism
by Adam McLean
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This is a course of instructions and exercises in inner alchemy and the interpretation of its symbolism. It will focus entirely on European alchemy. The 24 lessons are sent as e-mail attachments every two weeks, and are in the form of Adobe Acrobat files, as these include text and much graphic material. The lessons are self-contained, though it will be best if students read more widely and also build up their own library of alchemical emblems on which to develop their work. This is not a correspondence course and students should not expect me to be able to write to them individually on particular matters, as regrettably I just do not have time to enter into individual correspondence.

Each lesson includes a theory section in which I outline the approach I am taking to interpreting symbolism, and a series of exercises that the student should then undertake over the following weeks.

These lessons outline an entirely original approach to the interpretation of alchemical symbolism, based on my long study and investigation of the source material. Most writings on inner alchemy actually interpret alchemy from the outside, and view it through eastern meditative practices, or western occult visualisation techniques, such as "pathworkings". In these lessons I provide a coherent way of investigating the symbolism of alchemy from inside alchemy, without projecting external ideas upon it. Thus the student will gradually develop an ability to read alchemical symbolism using the language of alchemy itself, and hopefully can find their way to experiencing the inner life of the symbolism of alchemy.

The lessons include:
How to recognise alchemical symbols - The geometry of alchemical emblems - Triangles, squares and circles in emblems - Symbols in opposition to one another - Resolution of opposites (Male/female) - Resolution of opposites (snake) - Trees - An initial look at Birds - Variations between different versions of emblems - Animals in the emblem space - The human figure - The Lion - The Dragon - Different types of emblems - Reading some emblems.

The modest fee of £25 for the first year will be charged. Payment can be made using your credit card.

If there is sufficient interest a second year of lessons may be issued.

This study course is for serious students of alchemy who want to actively work with the symbolism. It is not really suitable for the merely curious. It will be pointless to merely skim read the lessons each fortnight. Students must be prepared to do some inner work on the material, otherwise they will lose the thread of what I am trying to communicate.

This will be an opportunity for people to view alchemy through the symbolism of alchemy itself, and this course is based on my deep exploration of this material over 30 years.

The course began in November 1999, though people can join at any time, as they will receive the lessons sequentially from lesson 1.

To register for this course please email Adam McLean

These lessons are copyright © Adam McLean, and no part may be reproduced or distributed in any form (including the Internet) without the permission of Adam McLean.