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The Hermetic Tradition: Symbols and Teachings of the Royal Art

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  226 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
This important survey of alchemical symbols and doctrines sets forth the mysterious worldview and teachings of the practitioners of the "royal art." One of the leading exponents of the Hermetic tradition, Julius Evola demonstrates the singularity of subject matter that lies behind the words of all adepts in all ages, showing how alchemy--often misunderstood as primitive ch ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Inner Traditions (first published 1931)
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Nov 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating and comprehensive primer on Hermetecism, perhaps the Western/Aryan 'Zen' (or better perhaps, Zen is a less dynamic, Oriental 'Hermeticism'). Evola, as always, writes with precision and erudition. Recommended for all interested in the esoteric, and especially those who think the east has a monopoly on detached spirituality and enlightenment.

This should probably be read multiple times.
Jacob Aitken
Short of it: the first half was quite good, but the second half was either incoherent or just plain wrong. Julius Evola correctly notes that the ancient teaching of alchemy wasn't simply about transmuting metals. It was about developing the soul (or ascending to higher realms). Using alchemical language, he offers a manual for purifying the soul.

In the first half of the book he decodes numerous symbols. These discussions are often exhilarating and always exciting. They reveal a robust metaphysic
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A complex and fascinating masterpiece from a master of the western tradition. If you're hoping to find a detailed manual for self initiation you will be disappointed, a crystal clear exposition and a philological approach to an immense body of sources sheds no light on the processes of western hermetic tradition, yet it's by far one of the best books about it. To be read at least twice.
Anja Weber
Feb 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Tradition and symbolism, Jung and lot of links with past..Interesting and provoking..
Oct 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The best introduction to alchemy available in English. Don't expect to understand it for a while.
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: alchemy, esoteric
It's terse, it's dense, perhaps the translation could have been a bit simpler, but wow, what a unique perspective on the Royal Art and Western Esoterica. While most of the material on Alchemy and Hermetism is filtered through the eyes of Anglo-Britain, Evola gives the Southern European. Latinized perspective if I may be so bold. Be aware this is not a book on laboratory praxis, although it can inspire the lab alchemist, Evola instead encompasses the 'bigger picture' for the gentle reader, and in ...more
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fascinating, although still obscure and infinitely unpackable look at Hermetico-Alchemical thought as a metaphysical system. The book invites multiple readings as the early crash course in Alchemical symbolism only really begins to do work later, and so a lot of revisiting is required to fully appreciate the explanations given earlier in the book as well as the usage of the symbols later in the work.
Johan Dingler
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Creo que es el libro más complicado que he leído hasta ahora. Estoy seguro de que volveré a él más de una vez en mi vida.
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fairly dense, but fascinating and worth studying.
Mitchell26 McLaughlin
Jun 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
I was looking for something Hermetic, while this was fully Alchemical.
Anabela Costa
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As usual in Julius Evola books, an excellent treatise on alchemy and hermeticism, a book which I strongly advise anyone interested in the subject
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Julius Evola, also known as Baron Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola, was an Italian philosopher, esotericist, occultist, author, artist, poet, political activist, soldier. During his trial in 1951, Evola denied being a Fascist and instead referred to himself as a "superfascist".
Evola was admired by the Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini. He idolized the Nazi Schutzstaffel ("SS"). He admired SS head
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