Alchemy and Symbolism

We travelled to Europe to examine the mysterious alchemical art of the Renaissance period, in hopes of deciphering some of its symbolism.  We learned that the word “alchemy” and “chemistry” originated from the ancient name for Egypt, “Kemet”, where early Egyptian alchemists experimented with the art of transformation. We discovered that alchemists attempt to understand the laws of nature and transmute matter, as well as the self, from one form to a higher and more purified form.  We took a look at some images from important alchemical texts like Splendor Solis, and speculated on the meaning of the mysterious Voynich Manuscript. After studying some alchemical symbols, we set to work on our own texts which we stained with coffee to create an aged effect.  We filled our texts with drawings and coded language from our own constructed alphabets, and everyone enjoyed trying out olden-day tools such as quill pens and wax seals!

 

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