My friend Michael McConnell is designing a gallery exhibit about the periodic table of the elements. I am a rabid Alchemy enthusiast, so Michael gave me a special assignment: By Spring 2013 I shall create a 10 minute (or 10'x10'x10') presentation on the elements as understood by the Alchemists. To prepare for the project I wrote this "thesis" to base my work around. Here I shall take a "just the facts, Ma'am" approach to the history of Alchemy and focus mainly on what was pertinent to the periodic table. Still, talking about Alchemy is not an exact science because Alchemy itself was not an exact science, but rather, a "philosophical art" for which each Alchemist had his own unique approach and theories about what he was doing.
The origin of Alchemy:
ca 300 BC. Greek colonists look at
the religion of the Egyptians and see similarities between their god Hermes and
the Egyptian god Thoth (The-Thrice-Great). Both were gods of language, gods of magic and psychopomps
(in charge of transmitting souls from one world to the next, like the grim
reaper) In the minds of some, the two figures merge into one character called