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The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz (Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks Series) [Hardcover]

Joscelyn Godwin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Phanes Press,U.S. (Mar 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0933999348
  • ISBN-13: 978-0933999343
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a journey 1 July 2012
By andy w
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A beautifully written journey. No cause to describe further, it's on an individual basis that the benefits are taken.

Well worth taking the time to read, absorb and contemplate.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange wedding 13 Sep 2010
By Magus
A work of rare beauty and opacity. A tale in which one may invest ones own meaning. I had been meaning to read this book for many years and consider the procrastination on my part a manifeststion of supreme self denial.
If you are at all interested in esoterica and have not as yet read this book, buy it now and enjoy the ride
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Chymical Wedding 21 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What an amazing piece of work this book is!! I really loved The short story The Parabola of Hinricus Madathanus Theosophus . Anyone who wants to know more of the Great Work should read this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lynchpin of the Rosicrucian Philosophy 5 Aug 2001
By David Brehmer - Published on
Surfacing in 1616, the Chemical Wedding was the third and last commentary released by the Rosicrucians. Whereas the first two manifestos-the Fama and Confessio-were seditious declarations which seem to possess more of a fairy-tale quality than anything else, the Wedding stands on its own merit as one of the most profound and impenetrable hermetic allegories ever written. The story centers on a man who is summoned by an Angel to witness and take part in a mysterious process that bears very little resemblance to an actual wedding. Despite the success of he and his compeers (qualified by a selection where the other candidates who are not worthy to participate are killed) the story ends in sagacious irony, leaving the protagonist to stand guard over his reward, forbidding him to ever glimpse it.
Joscelyn Godwin provides the translation, and though my knowledge of medieval Latin is not complete enough to grade her work, her reputation is impeccable and warrants little scrutiny. Adam McLean provides introduction and commentary, and it is for his efforts that this volume is most valuable. He abandons the arrogance shown by J. W. Montgomery who quantified the story as an expression of Orthodox Lutheranism, and doesn't attempt a literal translation of the book's intricate symbolism as any specialized religious banter. Instead, he lists the literary symbols (actual and metaphoric) one by one and shows how they link to key Rosicrucian and Hermetic ideologies, leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions, never attempting to force feed any specific brand of Gospel. Indeed, despite the fact that the commentary's length rivals that of the text itself, my only complaint is that it is not longer, much longer, as I'm sure his valuable insight could literally fill hundreds of pages: it leaves the readers curiosity piqued more than sated.
All of the drawings and diagrams from the original are faithfully reproduced, and summarily analyzed for their symbolic content as well. As a bonus McLean shows links between the Chemical Wedding and other allegories afterwards, paying close attention to Goethe's `Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily', and includes the Parabola of Hinricus Madathanus Theosophus (an anonymous translation from `The Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians') as an appendix. If you are looking for further readings on this subject, my best suggestion is `Foucault's Pendulum' by Umberto Eco. Despite being a work of fiction, it describes a very thorough picture of the Rosicrucian's world, and other medieval secret societies too. Showing them as wildly diabolical, it stills bears the immutable signature of a dedicated and terrifyingly intelligent scholar.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Foundation of Rosicrucianism 10 July 2000
By Christopher W. Chase - Published on
An essential text. Godwin is the premier scholar in America in this area. This text, along with two manifestoes (the Fama and Confessio) made a major cultural and political impact in 17th century Europe and up through the 18th century in Germany. The Chemical Wedding is an allegorical tale of the processes of "alchemy." Written in coded and highly symbolic language, the book is historically important, but also important for the practicioner of spiritual alchemy or ritual magic in the Golden Dawn or Rosicrucian traditions. For the other two manifestoes purchase Frances Yates "The Rosicrucian Enlightenment," a controversial but excellent scholary text on 17th century Europe and the influence of Esoteric Christianity.
This is the first modern and accurate English translation of this work, attributed to a renegade esoteric Lutheran minister.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable and Engaging 5 Oct 2011
By Fritz Swanson - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are some free versions of older translations available on the web, but I found these dense, archaic and difficult to read. But this very plain translation is extremely clear and makes the text read like a modern piece. In fact, after my first reading I felt like I had discovered an obscure Italo Calvino novel, and I was very impressed. The characters are engaging, the imagery stark and lovely, in all ways this is a real surprise given that it's a 17th century German alchemical tract. A certain amount of background in esoteric and alchemical literature will help you along here, but the accompanying interpretative text at the end is informative. The scholar here is very good at keeping the reading closely anchored to the structure and the spirit of the piece, avoiding the common error in esoteric interpretation where a modern scholar imposes a pre-existent program on an antique source. I felt like I really got close to the original author's intent after reading the whole book. So, the primary text is excellent, and the scholarly accompaniment is equally useful and pleasing. If you are an esoteric scholar or enthusiast, this edition is a must have.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, Fascinating & Symbolic 12 July 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book from a friend's recommendation and I am very pleased that I did. I found the rich symbolism very intriguing and the allegory is translated well as it reads smoothly. The tale moves along quickly and the visual images that arose from it's words were a fantastical treat, yet symbolizing real spiritual processes. It has been almost a year since I have first read it and I find that I keep the book very close as I fondly refer to it upon new spiritual discoveries of my own. It is a book that I will pass down to my children when they are ready for this magical journey of alchemical work.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 9 April 2014
By Dennis Lewis - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Enjoyable read.
Great commentary.
I have given this work to several friends each time I do I need to reorder a copy for myself.
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