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The Hermetic Museum
Weiser Books | 1999-09 | ISBN: 087728928X | 704 pages | PDF | 1,1 MB

A. E. Waite (1857-1942) was, without doubt, one of the more influential members of the 19th century Occult Revival, as well as one of its most learned representatives. Member of both the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Rosicrucian Society, his writings concerning eg. divination, Kabbalah and alchemy were well received even among the academic circles of the time. Waite was also the co-creator of so-called Rider-Waite Tarot deck.

Waite's translation of the 1678/1749 original, "The Hermetic Museum Restored and Enlarged" was, and still is, a notable achievement, with a cultural impact that is almost equal to that of the works by Eliphas Levi. Whether Waite's translation does real justice to the original latin, is a somewhat tricky question, as the original texts are relatively hard to come by. In addition, as the alchemists' latin is notoriously cryptic and introverted (indeed hermetic!), each translation is essentially an independent rendition of the translator, and nowhere as decisively as among the Occult writers of the 19th century. A caveat is therefore issued here for all diligent students of the Art; they would do well to trust the original latin edition instead (in this as well as other cases).

However, for the general reader - as well as any students of 19th-century occult writing - Waite's translation of the "Musaeum Hermeticum" offers a fascinating rendition of one of the most influential compilations of late alchemical material ever compiled. Researchers into alchemy as a cultural, philosophical an/or historical phenomenon could also benefit by selective reading of this classic.
I would like to finish with a general word of thanks to all publishers who still in these days care to take reprints of literary works of this kind - they are making a valuable contribution to our consciousness of one of the most intriguing currents of spirituality in the Western culture: that of alchemy.

Enjoy this great book! Brought to you by SMIRK

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