Absolutely, Alchemy

written by Hermione Potter

Brilliantly written, German Alchemist Marin Bratsch delves into the basic essential knowledge of alchemy, its history, and its famous works. Brief, concise instructions are emblazoned within every spell and every potion. Many references founded by the famous alchemists of our time are featured in the text with special chapters dedicated to Nicholas Flamel, Albus Dumbledore, and Harry Potter, the boy who lived.

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Introduction to Alchemy

Chapter 1
Introduction to Alchemy

The Emerald Tablet in Translation:

Tis true without lying, certain most true.
That which is below is like that which is above that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing.
And as all things have been arose from one by the mediation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
The Sun is its father, the moon its mother,
The wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth its nurse.
The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.
It ascends from the earth to the heaven again it descends to the earth and receives the force of things superior and inferior.
By this means ye shall have the glory of the whole world thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.
Its force is above all force. For it vanquishes every subtle thing and penetrates every solid thing.
From this are and do come admirable adaptations whereof the means is here in this
Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world.
That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished and ended.

The Emerald Tablet is also known as the Smaragdine Table, or Tabula Smaragdina, is a compact and cryptic piece of Hermetica reputed to contain the secret of the prima materia and its transmutation. It was highly regarded by European alchemists as the foundation of their art and its Hermetic tradition. Although Hermes Trismegistus is the author named in the text, the first known appearance of the Emerald Tablet is in a book written in Arabic between the sixth and eighth centuries. The text was first translated into Latin in the twelfth century. Numerous translations, interpretations and commentaries followed. The layers of meaning in the Emerald Tablet have been associated with the creation of the philosopher's stone, laboratory experimentation, phase transition, the alchemical magnum opus, the ancient, classical, element system, and created the basic building block for alchemy.

Alchemy is a branch of magic and an ancient science based on the belief of the four elements, earth, fire, wind, and water; the four pillars of the world. The elements were presumed to consist of all basic properties and principles. Of all fundamental powers which everything are based upon, and of cryptic symbolism and ancient mysticism. Through the practice of transmutation of various substances, it is thus intimately connected with potion-making, charmwork and transfiguration. The practice dates back to antiquity, although there are still wizards actively studying and practicing it in the twenty-first century.

Throughout the years, alchemy has been practiced in Greco-Roman Egypt, the Islamic world during the Middle Ages, and then in Europe from the 13th to the 18th centuries. During the Renaissance, alchemy achieved its height of interest, and many of the spells and potions known today were created in that time. Dominated by the pursuits of enlightenment and perfection, the pursuit of alchemy is best described by an unknown alchemist as, "the art of liberating parts of the Cosmos from temporal existence and achieving perfection which, for metals is gold, and for man, longevity, then immortality and, finally, redemption. Material perfection was sought through the action of a preparation (Philosopher's Stone for metals; Elixir of Life for humans), while spiritual ennoblement resulted from some form of inner revelation or other enlightenment (Gnosis, for example, in Hellenistic and western practices)". In modern times, alchemical practices has since been classified by either of the following three distinctions: purpose, time period, or creator, though they usually included more than one.

The word alchemy comes from the Arabic al-kimiya or al-khimiya and the Greek word khumeia, meaning “cast together”, “pour together”, “weld”, “alloy”, etc. (from khumatos, “that which is poured out, an ingot”). Another etymology links the word with “Al Kemi”, meaning “the Egyptian Art”, since the ancient Egyptians called their land “Kemi” and were widely regarded as powerful magicians throughout the ancient world.

Before diving any further, a brief introductory to charmwork and transfigurations are in order. Charms are defined as spells that may add or alter certain properties to an object or creature. Charms focus on altering what the target does, unlike transfiguration spells which focus on altering what the target is. The fundamental essentials to charms are concentration, wand movements, pronunciation, and visualization.

Transfiguration, on the other hand, is a difficult discipline to master. It is systematic and very exact; one wrong syllable or flick, and disastrous effects may occur.There is little to no margin of error allowed in Transfiguration. A few details much be kept mind while attempting to transfigurate. First, there is the intended transformation (t). It is directly influenced by bodyweight (a), viciousness (v), wand power (w), concentration (c) and spell incantation (Z).

If anyone of these factors are off, the Transfiguration will fail.

Most Transfiguration spell difficulties range from basic, somewhat basic, intermediate, somewhat difficult, difficult, expert

The levels of each variable are as follows:
t= end result.
a= caster must be heavier than the object being transformed
v= mild, medium-mild, medium, medium-strong, strong, extreme
w= any, medium, strong
c= fair, moderate, complete
Z= well-spoken, perfectly-spoken - and - as clear as possible, completely clear

The limitations of Transfiguration are many, but are separated by Nature and Law. Nature Limitations are limitations that attempt to keep Transfiguration from defying nature or the rules of nature. For example, one cannot revive the dead (no matter how recently deceased) with Transfiguration, the object's size and mass must be taken into account (the larger the object, the more difficult to transfigure), an animagus form is limited to one animal form, one cannot conjure food, and, by will of nature, things that are conjured do not last.
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