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Global Hermetic Circle

Review: David Chaim Smith’s work on Kabbalah and Alchemy

September 19th, 2017

David Chaim Smith’s 2017 book Deep Principles of Kabbalistic Alchemy is unique in the literature of western esotericism. In my opinion, until this point, no text had directly addressed the root basis of all phenomenal appearance in such a way that the reader is introduced to the concept and how it functions in technically accurate […]

Where more is meant: Alchemical Imagery in Milton’s “Il Penseroso”

March 4th, 2015

WHERE MORE IS MEANT: ALCHEMICAL IMAGERY IN MILTON’S “IL PENSEROSO” by Joanna Gardner On the surface, John Milton’s poem “Il Penseroso” seems to be a lighthearted work of mythopoesis, addressing an invented goddess named Melancholy who presides over the inward-looking preoccupations of the contemplative life. However, the poem includes an overt, centrally-placed reference to Hermes […]

Spaces of Silence by Winnie Teschmacher

September 26th, 2014

Following on from the Enchanted Modernities project and the collaboration with dr. Marco Pasi on the occasion of the exhibition and publication Beauty as the Imprint of the Cosmos in autumn/winter 2013-2014, the Ritman Library intends to build a bridge between her literary treasures and the world of art. From this perspective, Ritman Library director Esther […]

Preface Divine Wisdom – Divine Nature | Göttliche Weisheit – Göttliche Natur

August 30th, 2014

PREFACE ‘TO THE READER WHO UNDERSTANDS WISDOM’ The preface to the Fama and Confessio Fraternitatis R.C. in the Frankfurt edition addresses ‘the reader who understands wisdom’ and begins with a definition of wisdom according to Solomon. Wisdom is here described as: ‘an infinite treasure, as she is the breath of divine power and a beam of […]

And there was Light! – Part II Minerva Art Academy

July 24th, 2014

And there was Light! (En er was Licht!) is an educational project by the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in collaboration with the Jan van Rijckenborgh School, the Hanzehogeschool Academie Minerva and the Theosophical Library Amsterdam, made possible through a grant from the Iona Foundation. And the Elohim said, let there be Light! And there was Light… On Friday May 9th, […]

Alchemists and artists: the art of transformation

May 25th, 2014

An impression of Alchemy – Das Geheimnis der Verwandlung, an exhibition in the Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, 5 April – 10 August 2014. The visual arts and alchemy have so much in common that we are easily inclined to take a painter for an alchemist. The earliest texts in the alchemical canon are concerned with imitating pearls, […]

V.I.T.R.I.O.L. – An Alchemical Artwork by Mireille Robbe

May 15th, 2014

Recently, the library received an artwork by the Belgian artist Mireille Robbe called V.I.T.R.I.O.L. The acronym refers to the famous alchemical motto ‘Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem‘ meaning: ‘Visit the Interior Parts of the Earth; by Rectification Thou Shalt Find the Hidden Stone‘. The words may also be taken to refer to a Grail-like […]

And there was Light! – BPH Educational Project

April 23rd, 2014

And there was Light! (En er was Licht!): an educational project by the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in collaboration with the Jan van Rijckenborgh School Hilversum and the Minerva Academy Groningen, made possible through a grant from the Iona Foundation. And the Elohim said, let there be Light! And there was Light… On 15 April, 21 […]

White Radiance

February 26th, 2014

De Ketelfactory, Schiedam, January 12th 2014 Last month, Esther Ritman, director and librarian of The Ritman Library, spoke with three artists – Bernadet ten Hove (1957), Frank Sciarone (1951) and Ton Mars (1950) – about their work in De Ketelfactory in Schiedam. Below is a selection of the fragments which Esther put before the artists, and […]

Word and Image: A Dancing Interplay by Alfred Bast

February 20th, 2014

Project notes. 21 December 2012 – 21 December 2013. Every day I am drawing an image or writing a text. Sometimes only a word, on the two pages of an opening in a Reclam Universal Notebook. The two pages, who are at the same time one („Doppelseite“, a double spread), are already encouraging. They correspond to […]