In the last few years, there has been a revival of interest in the alchemy, and it's mixture of ancient wisdom and novel experimentation. Neither a science nor a philosophy, alchemy has been the subject of controversy and fascination for centuries. Containing over 500 entries, this comprehensive illustrated dictionary is a veritable Pandora's box of information, written with an earthy sense of humour, but always retaining the exuberance of the early practitioners of the art. As a practising alchemist and linguist, Diana Fernando has been able to return to original sources and re-interpret their meanings. In particular, she has drawn on many Arabic and Kabbalistic manuscripts to provide an original viewpoint. The strong and important visual aspect is maintained by the author's skilful artistry in over 160 illustrations created especially for this book, taking her inspiration from the great symbols and emblems of every aspect of the alchemical phenomenon.
Diana Fernando's interest in alchemy started in her childhood in the Welsh Marches and the Wye Valley, among the menhirs and standing stones. Study of Chaucer and Shakespeare at school then inspired her to research the occult background of the Renaissance. Long years of training and esoteric study followed, when she met twentieth century philosophers and practising alchemists around the world, often visiting them in their homelands. Taking a year off from teaching, she obtained a degree in traditional typographical design and printing.