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The Modern Alchemist: A Guide to Personal Transformation Paperback – 1 Jul 1994

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Phanes Press,U.S. (July 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0933999372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0933999374
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.3 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 622,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This is easily the clearest book I have read on the subject of alchemy. There are others which are more beautiful, with colour photographs of original engravings, but I have found most of them are too detailed and over academic. I like the way each chapter introduces an alchemical process with an original engraving from the Book of Lambsprinck,copied rather than photographed,by a modern artist. A poem from the early work helps to explain each picture.For example,the dragon introduces Negredo, a dark state which is linked clearly to depression, and the authors give suggestions on how to move forward to the next stage. Linking psychological processes to each stage is clear and useful.When I studied this strange subject during my transpersonal psychotherapy course, I would have welcomed this book which would have made the subject far more comprehensible to me. It goes into enough depth to show how studying alchemy links clearly to Jung's concepts of unconscious processes and the way to individuation. The authors recommend meditating on the engravings, which took the artist seven years, because they can have a transformative effect. Alchemy is after all, magic. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
this book is informative AND clearly written. the ideas/process is well presented in an engaging manner. each chapter providing MUCH food for thought :)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9bb7c744) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bb8d2dc) out of 5 stars It may be simplistic, but it's definitely helpful. 2 Jan. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A small book, but an excellent one insofar as practicality. For one beginning with alchemy (Or going through whatever spiritual path that causes changes within oneself) , it's a nice little guide to "What is happening? Why do I feel like this?" It works nicely as reassurance and confirmation through change, and also as a very basic primer on alchemy itself. Some steps appear to be missing, but as I said, it's a great book if you are searching for something basic.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bb8d768) out of 5 stars The Light shines upon Alchemy at last! 12 May 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I just read the last sentence on this most amazing book and I feel it changem me forever - and for better. I're read all the other works by Richard Alan Miller (and the ones by Iona Miller, too), and all that books are very good at least in it's path, to say so. But this book astonished me! I'm a rather complex person, as you can see at my Orkut's profile ([...] Today, I feel the effects of my past experiences upon my life. With my operational background, it seems surprising to some that I'm an occultist, or a magician, if you will. Alt. I'm an author of several books on Magick, I'm still after the "Light" on several obscure topics, some of them that really haunt me day after day. C'mom, I'm not "Average Joe", and as such many complex things haunts me and I can not leave them alone. Untill reading this "Magnum Opus", I must say my understanding of Alchemy was not practical and in no way it can change anything on me. But this book tells it all, shedding Light on the most hermetical teachings, upon the most inner secrets, guarded for centuries from the human race. Richard and Iona Miller's book s the first one to show is everything about such secrets as Baphomet and it's message (Solve & Coagula), the Dragon, the Wolf and the Dog, the Prima Materia and Materia Prima, the Nigredo, the Solutio, Coagulatio, Sublimatio, Albedo, Rubedo, Coniunctio, Solificatio, Puer & Senex, the Devouring Father, Anima & Animus, the Ultima Materia, Archetypes, the Holly Guardian Angel, the reality about the Philosopher's Stone, the origins of The Book of Lambsprinck, plus the occult side of depression, phobias, anxiety and other modern "demons", besides the profiles of great Alchemy Masters of yesterday. Joel Radcliffe's alchemical illustrations are superb, and worth the book's price alone. I must congratulate the authors and publishers for this magnificent work. This is a must for any occultist's bookshelf. It is pure gold in book format.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bb8d78c) out of 5 stars The Phoenix's Alchemy: a Doorway for New Metaphysics 20 Jan. 2013
By ray_ka_r - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Richard and Iona Miller's book, "The Modern Alchemist," is an empowering read that engages a person into the profound experience of the inner, psychological, journey guided by their interpretations of the symbolic forms such as the dragon, unicorn, Great Mother, Wise Old Man, marriage of opposites, son-father model, "prima materia," "ultima materia," "anima and animus," represented in the mystery of the sixteen century alchemical text "The Book of Lambsprinck." Every chapter of the book begins with this old, poetically encrypted text followed by the authors' reflections on the same. Additionally, the book is coded with a patina of an exceptional art--from the spectacular seventeen original engravings "rendered into pen-and-ink drawings specifically for this book by Seattle artist Joel Radcliffe," accompanying the text translation from original old German, to the original, well informed interpretations.

The authors' key to interpretation enmeshes Carl Gustav Jung's psychoanalysis and his theory of archetypes. Every chapter is written in a way to instigate one's participation encouraging the reader to decode his/her own mysterious subconscious through identifying the repressed symbols, which are already realized in one's mind and dreams. This process is also presented as a search for the art, where art is viewed as a quest for the highest expression of the self--becoming aware of who we are and what we stand for "γνῶθι σεαυτόν." This art is not only the skill that could be gained by training in the specific art expression, but is rather the "axis mundi," the art which feeds itself from the cosmic consciousness or the whole of the world. My suggestion is to read this book slowly and to take time to contemplate on every chapter as long as one needs before moving any farther in the text.

Whichever way the alchemist or esoteric philosophers interpret the transformation from the matter (prima materia--the subconscious pull of life forces) to the consciousness--traditionally referred to as the soul and spirit--this qualitative change represents the perennial symbol of the inner struggle for preservation of the life-powers that would lead a person to the enlightenment and a self-governed, balanced life. Richard Alan Miller states that traditional, organized religions have failed to offer a deeper spiritual search for the believer by imposing too many restrictions on how to understand or access "the spirit," which always resides in the realm of freedom without any boundaries. This boundless "spirit" is the source of all human genius of imagination, so no one should restrict this access to the source. The boundless spirit is the best presented in Baruch de Spinoza's metaphysics as "natura naturata"--the material and created nature which shines as alive in "natura naturans"--nature that expresses itself as creation in a continuous process. In traditional metaphysics the active mind is always presented as the self-growth into an ecstatic state of conscious where one can sense the whole of reality, where the matter becomes the light and the thought, the mind. The pinnacle point of the self-growth is achieved when a person acts morally, ethically, and reaches the virtuous plane, as Baruch de Spinoza, pointed to--expressing love, compassion, and awe, or as in Eastern spiritual traditions expressed "bowing to the superiority" and surrendering to the boundless source (Tao-te-Ching, Yoga traditions, Buddhist meditation techniques). Miller's focus on the esoteric tradition offers for the spiritual seekers the study and practice that in our time corresponds not only with the spiritual traditions of the Humanities disciplines, philosophy, and arts, but also tunes a person to understand better the discoveries of a New Science, which recognizes the importance of micro and macro worlds inter-connectiveness in Physics and brain studies, empowering psychology unlike psychology as pathology only, and necessity of rich interdisciplinary connections.

The authors' "alchemical" path explains well why it is important for a person to collapse upon his/herself false "cave-like dwellings" and become a phoenix, expressing the urge and necessity to renew one's life depending on the person's psychological needs.

This is the second book I have read written by R. A. Miller, and each time it happens that the read is a step to magic; whilst reading the book, I equally create prospective realities. The majority of academic philosophers today would agree that Metaphysics is only the matter of past--history, but with the awaking of a New Science and the re-interpretation of the symbolic, alchemical texts in terms of new holistic psychology offered by R. A. Miller and authors of the same direction like Nick Begich, Metaphysics again shines a new lite--the only way to understand the world around us as the system and our finite existence is to transform matter into the individual's active mind, which recognizes all levels of reality whilst not losing the uniqueness of our personal life powers aligned with "ethos."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bb8d750) out of 5 stars Daily meaningful therapy. Great. 25 Mar. 2015
By Crafts lover. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book to regenerate the energy lost in our lives due to stresses and happenings that occur in our daily life. It has been a long time that I've read a book so gratifying. It has helped me rethink my path and return to an easier and healthful life.
Thank you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d1c85c8) out of 5 stars This is one of the best books on alchemy i've ever read - it is ... 25 April 2016
By JUSTINE HUXLEY - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books on alchemy i've ever read - it is practical and applicable in daily life and very thoroughly understood and clearly presented. I read this about 20 years ago and have never found anything that surpasses it. Thank you to Iona Miller for this great contribution to the field.
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