the ancients

Alchemy has been practised since ancient times, according to legend by the Lemurians at first, who later carried it into India. Some dare trace it aeons back, even to what in Hindu time units would be the beginning of the present Kalpa. Fragments of books under the authorship of the great Rãmacandra have survived to this very day. Through the rise and fall of many races, alchemy found its way through history in lighter and darker periods, having one of its golden ages 125.000 years ago in Lemuria, practiced by the lesser Gods and the most advanced men of that race. Before Lemuria sank beneath the waters of the Pacific, it was carried into India, where it has been practiced until today. The Atlanteans however also practiced the Art. They carried it into Northern Africa with the submersion of Atlantis.

The Egyptians were the heir of this knowledge. With the fall of Indian culture in one of the more recent equinoctial cycles of evolution, the best of the race traveled westward and met the custodians of the Atlantean knowledge, and the knowledge of the two races was combined. Then finally, in the present cycle, when intellectual darkness settled towards the beginning of our current era, and through the subsequent rule and censorship of the church, Arabia became the custodian of the Lamp of hidden Wisdom.

beyond egypt

In addition to the writings in stone that were left by the Egyptians, Arabian manuscripts probably provide the most ‘original’ of sources, and the Inner Garden Foundation gratefully draws upon that heritage, most notably with regard to the Inner Work. Today the true nature of the Alchemical tradition is known by few. A steady stream of books is becoming available on the subject today, but one will often find they excel in superficiality or romantic superstitions. The discredit done to Alchemy in the last centuries has firmly marked the Art in a deleterious way. However, as mentioned, a turn towards the better is observed in the current Age of Aquarius, and its pioneers are ready to move onward, forward.

The Inner Garden Foundation is fortunate to be able to draw on the valuable resource of an ancient line of Alchemical transmission. Through the kind patronage of the Elder Brothers, the foundation has access to the Arabic teachings as they were before the dark ages of growing ignorance. We, therefore, honour the Masters of old, the Poor Knights of Christ, and our Muslim Brothers of the House of Wisdom Bayt Al Hikmah. Below is included a timeline of some crucial events in the known history of alchemy.



250,000 BCE Possible origin of mankind (homo sapiens) according to recent genetic research
30,000 BCE Golden age of previous equinoctial cycle
15,000 BCE Golden age and begin of descent into darkness of current equinoctial cycle. The height of the Lemurian civilization
12,000 BCE Indian country of Rama, remains of advanced civilization
11,600 BCE First great flood. Alchemical tradition, astrology, mathematics, nobel arts most likely survive in Atlantis
9,000 BCE Third and last destruction of Atlantis (approximately)
8,000 BCE Sphinx was build, the Atlanteans are thought to have carried their knowledge to the continent of Africa
5,000 BCE - 2,000 BCE Sumer - Sumer becomes the cradle of civilization in the West
3,000 BCE Unification of upper and Lower Egypt by King Menes, Capital is in Memphis
2,900 BCE - 2,500 BCE Old Kingdom of Egypt: Dynasties 3-6
2,900 BCE Nubian gold mines in operation.
2,160 BCE - 1,800 BCE Middle Kingdom: Dynasties 11-12
2,000 BCE - 1,600 BCE Alchemy is practiced in Chaldea
1,800 BCE - 500 CE Eleusinian Mysteries arose in Eleusis
1,500 BCE - 1,100 BCE New Kingdom, or Empire: Dynasties 18-20
1,300 BCE Zarathushtra founds Zoroastrianism
600 BCE - 492 BCE The Pythagorean School was founded in Crotona, Italy
525 BCE - 430 BCE Empedocles: Doctrine of the four elements
300 BCE Theophrastus: Philosopher and naturalist
300 BCE Lao Tzu, founder of philosophical Taoism
249 BCE - 210 BCE Shih Huang Ti, emperor, legendary founder of alchemy in China
240 BCE The Papyrus of Ani (Version of Egyptian book of the Dead)
200 BCE Bolus of Mende: ‘Virtues’ of animals, plants and stones
200 BCE - 100 CE The Essenes
200 BCE - 500 CE Mithraic Mysteries - An initiatic mystery school in which students were gradually introduced to astronomical truths through symbol, and how the knowledge of these could lead the seeker to union with the power behind all existence. This combination of scientific study, symbolic initiation and cosmic union is a feature of Rosicrucian work.
156 BCE - 87 BCE Wu Ti, Chinese emperor, patron of alchemy and allied arts.
145 BCE - 87 BCE Ssu-ma Ch’ien, historian, first mentioning alchemy in Cinese literature
100 BCE - 150 CE Wei Po-yang, called the ‘Father of Alchemy’, author of earliest treatise devoted wholly to alchemy
4 BCE - 33 CE Jesus founds Christianity
1 BCE - present Hermetic Tradition
23-79 CE Pliny the Elder: Natural History
46 CE St.Mark meets Ormus the Egyptian sage. Together they found both the Coptic Church and the beginnings of the Brotherhood of the Rose Cross (according to Masonic legend)
100 CE Democritus the alchemist: Recipes for colouring or alloying base metals
100 CE Mary the Jewess: Leading experimental alchemist
100 CE - 200 CE Cleopatra: Experimental alchemist
100 CE - 300 CE Composition of Corpus Hermeticum, a collection of several Greek texts from the second and third centuries, survivors from a more extensive literature, known as Hermetica.
276 CE Mani, Persian high priest of Zoroaster crucified (Manichaesim)
281 CE - 361 CE Ko Hung, the foremost Chinese alchemist
296 CE Diocletian: Supposed ban on alchemy
300 CE Zosimos of Panopolis (Hellenistic alchemist) writer of one of the oldest surviving alchemical tractates
500 CE Arab conquest of Egypt. Arabs re-discover Alchemy and Hermetics
600 CE The Sefer Yetzirah, an important Qabalistic text, is edited. It is the earliest extant book on Jewish esotericism.
650 CE Khalid Ibn Yazeed, Arabic Alchemist
700 CE 8th century. Copy of an Alexandrian Ms gives first recorded mention of the word Vitriol. The same Ms gives first mention of cinnabar (mercuric sulfide)
776 CE Geber, the Arabian alchemist whose real name has been variously stated as Jabir Ben Haiyan or Abou Moussah Djafar al Sofi, is active. According to the tenth-century Kitab-al-Fihrist, Geber was born at Tarsus and lived at Damascus and Kufa.
900 CE Al-Tamimi Muhammad Ibn Amyal, Arabic Alchemist
920 CE Rhazes, an Arab physician
940 CE Ibn Wahshiyh, Abu Baker, Arabic Alchemist and botanist
950 CE Al Majrett’ti Abu-alQasim, Arabc alchemist and astrologer
954 CE Alfarabi, an Arab Alchemist
1000 CE Codex Marcianus 299: Earliest surviving Greek alchemical MS
1030 CE Avicenna, an Arab physician
1054 CE Rome splits from orthodox church, forms Catholic church
1099 CE Godfri de Bouillion takes Jerusalem
1100 CE Foundation of the Ordre de Sion by Godfri de Bouillion. Its headquarters were established on Mount Sion outside Jerusalem city
1100 CE Al-Tuhra-ee, Al-Husain Ibn Ali, Arabic Alchemist
1110 CE Kalid, a king in Egypt
1128 CE Knights Templar get Papal Charter and become Monastic Order.
1144 CE Earliest dated Western alchemical treatise - Robert of Chester De compositione alchemiae
1150 CE Turba philosophorum translated from Arabic
1160 CE Artephius (alchemist) asserts in his ‘Secret Book’ that he has lived for 1000 years before this date due to his use of the Elixir of Life.
1188 CE Knights Templar split from Ordre de Sion at the cutting of the Elm. Ordre de Sion changes its name to L’Ordre de la Rose Croix Veritas and adopts the second title of "Ormus".
1199 CE Approximate date Grail romances appeared in Western Europe
1200 CE The Picatrix (The Goal of the Sage [in sorcery]) is a grimoire of uncertain origins, isprobably written circa 1200 AD. Offering talismanic and astrological guidance, the text clearly comes from a non-European ethos. It has been attributed to al-Majriti (an Andalusian mathematician), but this attribution is doubtful, and the author is sometimes listed as Pseudo-Majriti. Originally written in Arabic, a Latin translation appeared in 1256 from the court of Alphonso X of Castile.
1214 CE Roger Bacon, alchemist, occultist and Franciscan friar, is born. Bacon, also known as Doctor Mirabilis (Latin: ‘wonderful teacher’), eventually places considerable emphasis on empiricism and becomes one of the earliest European advocates of the modern scientific method.
1231 CE First mention of alchemy in French literature - Roman de la Rose. William de Loris writes Le Roman de Rose, assisted by Jean de Meung, who also wrote The Remonstrance of Nature to the Wandering Alchemist and The Reply of the Alchemist to Nature
1232 CE Abraham Abulafia, Sicilian Qabalist, founder of ecstatic Kabbala, is born in Saragosa.
1232 CE Raymond Lull, an alchemist believed to possess titanic physical and mental energy, who threw himself heart and soul into everything he did, is born. Writings attributed to Lull include a number of works on alchemy, most notably Alchimia Magic Naturalis, De Aquis Super Accurtationes, De Secretis Medicina Magna and De Conservatione Vitoe.
1234 CE Albertus Magnus - alchemist , scholar, philosopher, and scientist is born. No fewer than 21 alchemical folio volumes are attributed to him
1235 CE Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, discusses transmutation of metals in De artibus liberalibus and De generatione stellarum.
1256 CE King Alfonso the Wise of Castile orders translation of alchemical texts from Arabic. He is supposed to have written Tesoro a treatise on the Philosophers’ stone
1270 CE Roger Bacon, the inventor of gunpowder
1270 CE Thomas Aquinas is sympathetic to the idea of alchemical transmutation in his Summa theologia. In his Thesaurus Alchimae, Aquinus speaks openly of the successes of Albertus and himself in the art of transmutation.
1272 CE Provincal Chapter at Narbonne forbids the Franciscans to practice alchemy.
1275 Ce Ramon Lull Ars Magna.
1280 CE Sefer Ha-Zohar, an essential Qabalistic text, makes its first written appearance, written by Moses de León but attributed to Simon ben Yohai.
1280 CE - 1368 CE YUAN (MONGOL) DYNASTY, bringing China and Europe into direct contact nearly a century,
1289 CE Albertus Magnus, Bishop of Ratisbon
1298 CE Alain de Lisle. There are also earliear acounts of Alanus de Insulis, born in Rijssel in 1114 CE in the Netherlands, later abbot of Clairvaux and bishop of Auxerne
1300 CE Sefer Raziel HaMalakh "Book of Raziel the Angel"
1300 CE Peter of Abano or Apone
1300 CE Arnald of Villanova writes a number of important treatises on alchemy Quaestiones tam esseentiales quam accidentales, Epistola supe alchemia ad regem Neapolitanum, De secretis naturae, Exempla de arte philosophorum
1307 CE Templars settle or seek refuge in Scotland
1310 CE Al-Jildaki, Muhammad Ibn Aidamer, Arabic Alchemist which shared knowledge with certain Templars
1312 CE The Knights Templar become extinct, except for a few, when the order is dissolved by the Council of Vienne. All the property owned by the Templars is transferred to the Knights of St. John (The Hospitallers)
1314 CE Raymond Lully, a Spanish prelate
1314 CE Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, is burned at the stake
1317 CE The first Rosicrucian order is formed: the French Ordre Souverain des Frères Aînés de la Rose+Croix
1317 CE Pope John XXII’s Papal Bull, Spondet quas non exhibent, is issued against those who practice alchemy. The Cistercians ban alchemy.
1323 CE Dominicans in France prohibit the teaching of alchemy at the University of Paris, and demand the burning of alchemical writings
1329 CE King Edward III requests Thomas Cary to find two alchemists who have escaped, and to find the secret of their art
1330 CE Nicolas Flamel is born. Flamel becomes a successful writer, manuscript-seller, and alchemist. Flamel is attributed as the author of the Livre des Figures Hiéroglypiques, an alchemical book published in Paris in 1612 then in London in 1624 as ‘Exposition of the Hieroglyphicall Figures.’ Flamel is reputed to have succeeded in the two goals of Hermetic alchemy - to have made the Philosopher’s Stone which turns lead into gold, and to have achieved immortality in a single incarnation, together his wife Perenelle. Pope John XXII gives funds to his physician to set up a laboratory for a ‘certain secret work.’
1338 CE Hospitallers acquire Templar Holdings in Scotland
1340 CE Jean de Meung, author of the Romance of the Rose
1356 CE Pope Innocent VI imprisons the Catalan alchemist John of Rupescissa, who insists that the only real purpose of alchemy is to benefit mankind. Rupescissa’s works abound with medicinal preparations derived from metals and minerals and he emphasizes distillation processes which seemingly separate pure quintessences from the gross matter of natural substances.
1357 CE Hortulanus’ commentary on the Emerald Tablet of Hermes
1376 CE The Dominican Directorium inquisitorum, the textbook for inquisitors, places alchemists among magicians and wizards.
1380 CE King Charles V the Wise issues a decree forbidding alchemical experiments
1380 CE Bernard of Trevisa
1388 CE Geoffrey Chaucer Canterbury Tales discussed alchemy in the Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale
1394 CE Christian Rosenkreuz begins his pilgrimage at the age of sixteen. This leads him to Arabia, Egypt and Morocco, where he comes into contact with sages of the East, who reveal to him the "universal harmonic science"
1396 CE Order of the Dragon is confirmed to exist at this time, though the date of foundation is unclear
1398 CE Supposed date that Christian Rosencruez founds Rosicrucian Order
1403 CE King Henry IV of England issues a prohibition of alchemy and to stop counterfeit money
1415 CE Nicholas Flamel, a benefactor of the poor of Paris
1450 CE Basil Valentine, prior of a Benedictine monastry
1453 CE Joost Balbian, Dutch alchemist born in Aalst, died in 1616 in Gouda
1456 CE 12 men petition Henry VI of England for a license to practise alchemy
1470 CE Der Antichrist und die funfzehn Zeichnen (the book of the antichrist) associates alchemists with demons and Satan
1471 CE George Ripley Compound of alchemy. Ficino’s translation of the Corpus Hermeticum
1476 CE George Ripley writes Medulla alchemiae.
1484 CE Christian Rosenkreutz, Frater C.R.C., the founder of the Rosicrucian tradition, passes according to the Confessio Fraternitatis. Avicenna writes De anima.
1484 CE Avicenna’s De anima. Hieronymous Bosch Garden of earthly delights
1485 CE Summa perfectionis, attributed to Geber, is published. In this important alchemical text, the sulphur-mercury theory forms the theoretical basis for an understanding of the metals, and the alchemist is informed that he must arrange these substances in perfect proportions for the consummation of the Great Work. Geber describes in considerable detail the laboratory processes and equipment of the alchemist
1493 CE Paracelsus, alchemist, physician, astrologer, and general occultist, is born. Born Phillip von Hohenheim, he later takes up the name Philippus Theophrastus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim, and still later takes the title, Paracelsus, meaning ‘equal to or greater than Celsus.’ Celsus was a Roman encyclopedist from the first century known for his tract on medicine.
1505 CE Levinus born in Zierikzee, the Netherlands
1516 CE Trithemius of Spanheim; and abbot
1519 CE Braunschweig’s Das Buch zu distillieren
1527 CE John Dee, noted Welsh mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, occultist, and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I, is born in London.
1530 CE Georgius Agricola Bermannus, book on mining and extraction of ores
1532 CE The earliest version of the Splendor Solis, one of the most beautiful of illuminated alchemical manuscripts. The work consists of a sequence of 22 elaborate images, set in ornamental borders and niches. The symbolic process shows the classical alchemical death and rebirth of the king, and incorporates a series of seven flasks, each associated with one of the planets. Within the flasks a process is shown involving the transformation of bird and animal symbols into the Queen and King, the white and the red tincture.
1536 CE Cornelius Agrippa, occult philosopher
1415 CE Paracelsus, physician and professor
1541 CE In hoc volumine alchemia first alchemical compendium
1550 CE The Rosarium philosophorum, attributed to Attributed to Arnoldo di Villanova (1235-1315), is first published, although it had circulated in manuscript form for centuries.
1552 CE Emperor Rudolph II is born. Astronomy and alchemy become mainstream science in Renaissance Prague and Rudolf was a firm devotee of both. His lifelong quest is to find the Philosophers Stone and Rudolf spares no expense in bringing Europe’s best alchemists to court, such as Edward Kelley and John Dee. Rudolf even performs his own experiments in a private alchemical laboratory.
1555 CE Agricola
1560 CE Denis Zachaire
1560 CE Heinrich Khunrath is born in Leipzig. It is evident that the first Rosicrucian manifesto, the Fama Fraternitatis, is influenced by the work of this respected Hermetic philosopher and author of "Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae" (1609), a work on the mystical aspects of alchemy, which contains the oft-seen engraving entitled ‘The First Stage of the Great Work’, better-known as the ‘Alchemist’s Laboratory.’
1566 CE Michael Maier, Rosicrucian alchemist, and philosopher, physician to Emperor Rudolph II, is born. Meier becomes one of the most prominent defenders of the Rosicrucians, clearly transmitting details about the "Brothers of the Rose Cross" in his writings.
1571 CE Johannes Pontanus, born in Hardewijk, the Netherlands, studied the path of Arthepius together with Tycho Brahe. Died in 1640
1589 CE Edward Kelley embarkes on his public alchemical transmutations in Prague
1599 CE First appearance of a work of Basil Valentine, the German adept and Benedictine monk, in alchemical philosophy is commonly supposed to have been born at Mayence toward the close of the fourteenth century. His works will eventually include the Triumphant Chariot of Antimony, Apocalypsis Chymica, De Microcosmo degue Magno Mundi Mysterio et Medecina Hominis and Practica un cum duodecim Clavibus et Appendice.
1608 CE Seton the cosmopolite
Isaac Hollandus
1608 CE John Dee, an English clergyman
1609 CE Andrew Libavius
1612 CE Flamel figures hierogliphiques (first publication). Ruland’s Lexicon alchemiae.
1614 CE The Fama Fraternitas, the first Rosicrucian manifesto is published. The Rosicrucian manifestos, Fama Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis (1614), Confessio Fraternitatis (1615), and Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz (1616) cause immense excitement throughout Europe.
1617 CE Oswald Croll
1620 CE Jean d’Espagnet, author of the Hermetic Arcanum
1626 CE Goosen van Vreeswyk, the Dutch mountain master. Died in 1690
1628 CE Theodor Kerkring, bron in Amsterdam, died in Hamburg in 1693
1636 CE Michael Sendivogius
1638 CE Robert Fludd, theologican and mystic
1640 CE Albaro Alonso Barba Art of metals
1643 CE Johannes van Helmont
1646 CE George Starkey
1648 CE Elias Ashmole, the antiquary
1650 CE Rudolf Glauber, physician
1652 CE Georg von Welling, a Bavarian alchemical and theosophical writer, is born. Von Welling is known for his 1719 work Opus Mago-Cabalisticum et Theosophicum.
1666 CE Helvetius’ account of the transmutation in the Hague. Crassellame Lux obnubilata
1668 CE Rober Boyle, chemist
1667 CE Johan de Monte Snijder performed a transmuation in 1667 for Guillaume in Aken, the Netherlands
1667 CE Eirenaeus Philalethes An open entrance to the closed palace of the King
1675 CE Olaus Borrichius
1677 CE Mutus Liber
1690 CE Publication of the English translation of the Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz
1691 CE Birth of Saint Germain
1710 CE Samuel Richter begins to form the Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross
Lascaris, A greek Adept / monk that live in the Netherlands for a while, and thereafter went to Berlin, where he gave J.F. Böttger the stone
1717 CE Grand Lodge of English Freemasonry founded
1719 CE Georg von Welling’s "Opus Mago-Cabalisticum et Theosophicum" is published. This is an important and influential esoteric work, which influences numerous subsequent authors, including Goethe, who perused it during his alchemical studies.
1723 CE The Golden Chain of Homer, written or edited by Anton Josef Kirchweger, is first issued at Frankfurt and Leipzig in four German editions in 1723, 1728, 1738 and 1757. A Latin version is issued at Frankfurt in 1762, and further German editions follow. This work has an enormous influence on Rosicrucan alchemy and on the Golden and Rosy Cross order. In the late eighteenth century
1735 CE Abraham Eleazar Uraltes chymisches Werck
1737 CE Jean Christophe Kunst, a German Professor
1739 CE Matthieu Dammy, one of the last famous Parisian Alchymists, published ihis works in Amsterdam
1750 CE Dr. Sigismond Bacstrom, physician who was also an alchemist and a Rosicrucian, is born. Believed to be of Scandinavian origin, he spent some time as a ship’s surgeon.
1776 CE Adam Weishaupt forms the Order of Illuminati of Bavaria
1780 CE The order of the Asiatic Brethren (Fratres Lucis) is founded by Hans Heinrich von Ecker und Eckhoffen as a schismatic order from the Golden and Rosy Cross. The Asiatic Brethren admits Jews and the Order’s theosophic doctrines and ceremonial regulations are based upon the Qabalah
1785 CE Geheime Figuren The Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians
1791 CE Dr Sigismund Bacstrom is initiated into a Rosicrucian society by the Comte de Chazal on the Island of Mauritius. The Count, then a venerable old man of some 96 years, seems to have seen in Bacstrom his greatness as an hermetic student and offered to take him on as a pupil and teach him the great work. During this period, Bacstrom was allowed to perform a transmutation under Chazal’s guidance and using his substances. The Comte de Chazal was connected with the French stream of Rosicrucianism probably linking back to the Comte de St Germain.
1858 CE Pascal B.Randolph founds Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor
1884 CE Martinist Order Founded. (French school of mysticism)
1888 CE The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is formed by Mathers, Westcott, Woodman
1909 CE AMORC founded
1921 CE Pansophia Lodge is founded by Heinrich Traenker
1959 CE Paracelsus Research Society is founded by Frater Albertus
1970 CE Roger Caro reveals the existance of the Frères Aînés de la Rose+Croix
1979 CE Les Philosophes de la Nature (LPN) is founded by Jean Dubuis
1980 CE The Paracelsus Research Society is renamed to Paracelsus College
1984 CE The Ritman Library (Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica) is established.
1990 CE Gallaecia Arcana Philosophorum group is established. Dissolved in 2002
2003 CE The Alchemy Guild is established
2007 CE First International Alchemy Conference
2010 CE Inner Garden Foundation is established
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