Alchemy is the art and science of bringing something to its final perfection. The Emerald Tablet, a root text of alchemy, embodies all aspects of alchemical work and can be read as both a physical and non-material process. The challenge in the practice of alchemy is in the union of these two views. Working with a new translation of the Emerald Tablet, I will examine this text in light of the inner and outer practices of alchemy and its implications and possibilities for any creative work.
Brian Cotnoir is an alchemist, artist, and award-winning filmmaker. A contributor to Frater Albertus’ Parachemy, he is also the author of a series of Alchemy Zines. His books include Alchemy: The Poetry of Matter, The Weiser Concise Guide to Alchemy, Alchemical Meditations, On the Quintessence of Wine, and the Emerald Tablet, his translations of and commentary on, the earliest Arabic and Latin versions of this seminal text. He has presented workshops and seminars around the world on various aspects of alchemical theory and practice based on his research. His film work has been screened at Museum of Modern Art, Sundance Film Festival, HBO, PBS and other international venues.