In The Weiser Concise Guide to Alchemy, Brian Cotnoir offers a detailed, step-by-step introduction of Alchemy that explores its mysteries while illustrating its use as a modern spiritual system of attainment. He provides an overview of the history of Alchemy, from the first meldings of Egyptian technology, through the Middle Ages--the golden age of alchemy--right up to contemporary techniques. He demystifies the relationship between Alchemy and chemistry, and he provides evidence to detractors that Alchemy is much more than a medieval form of psychotherapy. (The guide includes practical laboratory experiments that safely, and intelligently, lead readers to an understanding of this ancient art and spiritual practice.)
"Brian Cotnoir's book provides an excellent and rare Ariadne's thread, allowing the reader to safely penetrate the labyrinthine mysteries of alchemy, and an excellent concise method to elucidate its enigmatic wonders and the practical possibility to discover its secrets. I highly recommend it."
-- Stanislas Klossowski de Rolla, author of The Golden Game: Alchemical Engravings of the Seventeenth Century and Alchemy: The Secret Art
"This is a lucid and sympathetic introduction to the inner and outer hermetic art of alchemy written by someone with a deep knowledge and love of the subject. Brian Cotnoir is committed to upholding the spiritual purpose hebind practical alchemical endeavour and his book is an indispensable guide to the Great Work." -- Nicholas Goodrich-Clarke, Professor of Western Esotericism, The University of Exeter, and author of Paracelsus, Essential Writings.
"Brian Cotnoir is a practicing alchemist. He contributed to Parachemy: Journal of Hermetic Arts and Sciences and is the author of Alchemy: The Poetry of Matter. This is one of his finest works to date, and it will serve as a reliable guide for those genuinely interested in magick and alchemy.
A product of over thirty years of dedicated research, this book is one of the very finest introductions to alchemy in print. Concise, accurate, and entertaining are three words which best describe this well-written account of alchemy.
Information on distilling and extracting aqua vitae and the "spirit of wine" is given. As well as information concerning the purifying of salts, and obtaining different oils of metal from stones and minerals. The material shared with the reader is clearly written, and what could be heavy duty stuff in a less competent writer's hands, comes across superbly clear and genuinely educational in the words of Brian Cotnoir. This writer knows how to explain well and write well. He is a master of his material and shares it openly and freely with the reader. It is an enjoyment to read what he has to say about alchemy.
The introduction is written by James Wasserman in his usual lucid and creative manner, and its content is highly enjoyable reading. Cotnoir's book is a small masterpiece, a book that educates in the true sense of helping learn and applying alchemy to one's personal life. For those interested in alchemy and related topics, this is a fine reading experience." ~Lee Prosser, Ghostvillage.com