The Emerald Tablet, a key text of Western Alchemy, in a 17th-century edition Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose practitioners have, from antiquity, claimed it to be the precursor to profound powers. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied, but historically have typically included one or more of the following goals: the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone; the ability to transform base metals into the noble metals (gold or silver); and development of an elixir of life, which would confer youth and longevity. Overview Alchemy is 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. Modern discussions of alchemy are generally split into an examination of its exoteric practical applications and its esoteric aspects. Relation to the science of chemistry Scientific apparatus in the alchemist's workshop, 1580 Q.
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