Dom Antoine Joseph Pernety - A Treatis On The Great Art (2.0 MB)
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UNDER the auspices of the "Universite Libre des Hautes Etudes" of Paris, a Branch of which has recently been established in America, we publish the first volume of a series of classical works whose study constitutes the foundation of the teaching of the "Faculte des Sciences Hermetiques." It is not without reason that we have chosen Pernety to inaugurate this series. Of the three thousand volumes composing the bibliography of ALCHEMY, those of Dom Antoine-Joseph Pernety are the only ones in which the theories of the Artifice... More >>>
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UNDER the auspices of the "Universite Libre des Hautes Etudes" of Paris, a Branch of which has recently been established in America, we publish the first volume of a series of classical works whose study constitutes the foundation of the teaching of the "Faculte des Sciences Hermetiques." It is not without reason that we have chosen Pernety to inaugurate this series. Of the three thousand volumes composing the bibliography of ALCHEMY, those of Dom Antoine-Joseph Pernety are the only ones in which the theories of the Artificers are exposed with method: he is the first and only writer who has endeavored to present a short, concise and complete system of the Magnum Opus.
The present work which we have entitled TREATISE ON THE GREAT ART is composed of the introductory remarks preceding the principal works on Alchemy of the savant dom Pernety, especially his "Fables Egyptiennes et Grecques devoilees et reduites au meme principe", (a Paris, chez Bauche, 2 volumes in I2, I758). This work is almost the sole source from which modern expounders of Alchemy have derived their informations, forgetting, of course, to give due credit to this author, excluding his works from the bibliographical lists terminating their compilations and even going so far, in some instances, as to mutilate his name, when compelled to quote extensively from his works. The publication of this TREATISE constitutes as much a work of justice and restitution to the learned French monk, as an effort to contribute to the renaissance of a Science containing within itself the germs of the most important and unexpected discoveries and offering a sure guide in the maze of obscure symbols of this most obscure of all Occult Sciences.
The work which we present to the public is the result of a comparative study of the writings of the Spagyric Philosophers of all times, schools and nationalities, and not merely a summary of the
author's personal ideas on the subject it is a monument of patient research, representing over a quarter of a century of investigation. The writer has carefully analyzed the classical compositions of
the Masters, preserving with religious care the dogmas upon which they all agree, and setting aside their contradictions, basing himself upon the axiom that Truth, when once discovered, is the same for
all, while error only offers opportunity for discussion.3 Pernety, following the example of Trevisan, has compared with an extreme attention the Greek, Alexandrian, Arab, French, German, Dutch,
English, Kabbalistic, Rosicrucian and Islamic schools of Hermetism, presenting the synthesis of their doctrines in the lucid manner so characteristic of the French savant, by nature the mortal enemy of all that which is obscure and incomprehensible.
The present work is divided into three parts: an Introductory Discourse, an Expose of Natural Philosophy according to Hermetists, without which all attempt to understand the Art of Transmutations is impossible, and the Theory and Practice of the Magisterium, or Royal Art, briefly, but completely presented.
The editor of this translation has preserved in the text the notes of Pernety himself, and has introduced, as foot-notes, annotations borrowed from other works of Pernety, from Albert Poisson, the Champollion of Alchemy, Dr. Papus, Jollivet-Castelot, de Guaita, etc., in the very few places where the text seemed to allow a complementary explanation. These annotations are always followed by the name of the author to whom the translator is indebted.
The work contains also a table of Alchemical Characters which are so frequently met with in spagyric works and a short Dictionary of Hermetic Symbols, compiled by the lamented Albert Poisson for his "Theories et Symboles des Alchimistes," 4 which will afford great help in the reading of alchemic pentacles. E. B.
Dom Antoine-Joseph Pernety, known as Dom Pernety (February 23, 1716, Roanne - October 16, 1796, Avignon) was a French writer. At various times he was a Benedictine, and librarian of Frederic the Great of Prussia. Together with the Polish Count Tadeusz Grabianka, also influenced by the Christian mysticism of Swedenborg he founded in 1760 the secret society of 'Rite hermetique' or Illuminati of Avignon.
At an early age he joined the Benedictine Congregation of Saint-Maur and there devoted his life to these patient studies for which Benedictine monks are justly famous; he published numerous works on theology and fine arts, geography and mythology, philosophy and mathematics, but he became celebrated for his researches in the realm of the hidden Sciences. His explorations into forgotten lore led him to the creation of the "Academie d'Avignon" a sect of Illuminati whose influence in Freemasonry has long been felt: the most famous, if not the most important, degree introduced in the Masonic nomenclature by Pernety is the Twenty-eighth of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, known as Knight of the Sun, or Prince Adept; and a considerable part of his rite is still preserved in other masonic systems, such as the Martinist Order.
Pernety took part in the 1763-64 expedition under Louis Antoine de Bougainville that established the Port Saint Louis settlement in the Falkland Islands, and published a two-volume account of his nature exploration of the Falklands and the Brazilian island of Santa Catarina. In particular, he gave the first description of the Falklands stone runs phenomenon.
Dom Antoine-Joseph Pernety is also author of Dictionnaire Mytho-Hermetique (1758) and Rituel alchimique secret du grade de vari macon (1770), Dom Pernety also created the Swedenborgian Rite while he was librarian to Frederick the Great. Here he met a Polish Count, Thaddeus Leszczy Grabianka (1740 - 1807) and in 1786 they founded the Societe des Illumines d'Avignon.
"Dom Antoine-Joseph Pernety is not to be confused with his cousin Dom Jacques Pernety, the illustrious alchemist and cabbalist who was a freemason and a member of the Loius d'Argent Lodge of Paris. Nobody knows if Dom Antoine Pernety was ever a freemason."