The Mistery of the Cathedrals
162 pages / 6 x 9 inches
This edition of The Mystery of the Cathedrals offers an English translation of the original 1926 edition of Le Mystère des Cathédrales, retaining the original drawings from that edition.
In 1957, long after Fulcanelli’s disappearance, a second edition of Le Mystère des Cathédrales was published in France, with important changes. Most of the drawings were replaced by photographs. The 2nd edition also added a new preface and a new chapter, “The Cyclic Cross of Hendaye”, with more images.
Eugène Canseliet, a disciple of Fulcanelli and in charge of his manuscripts, wrote the preface to the 2nd edition and to many other editions of Fulcanelli’s works, but he never explained why the original drawings were replaced by photographs. Most of the photographs in the 2nd edition are similar to the original drawings, although they are not the same, and in three different images the differences are noticeable.
The current English edition of Le Mystère des Cathédrales, translated by Mary Sworder, is based on the second edition of 1957, and shows photographs instead the original drawings.
This new translation faithfully preserves the drawings of Julien Champagne and the original numbering of the images, from 1 to 35. The text of the original edition was also translated anew, without introducing any of the changes found in most recent editions.
The first edition of Le Mystère des Cathédrales fills an important place in the history of Alchemy. Newer editions added more material, but they couldn’t replace the first one. Eugène Canseliet, said, in the preface for the 1926 edition: “the key to the major arcane is given, without any fiction, by one of the figures that adorn this work”. Photographs and drawings are not the same and serve different purposes; photographs only show the same things that the naked eye can perceive, but drawings offer the illustrator a way to accentuate different aspects of the images, and thus add more symbolic depth to the scenes depicted.
There are also many small details that differ between the drawings and the photographs, but we will say no more, it is up to the reader to extract the symbolic meanings of the original drawings, aided by the masterful exposition of Fulcanelli, which is shown in this translation as originally presented in its first edition, including the dedication to the brothers of Heliopolis and the strange coat of arms at the end of the text.
Dwellings of the Philosophers
Fulcanelli284 pages / 6 x 9 inches
This is the second and last book written by the mysterious Fulcanelli, published in 1929 in France, as two volumes in a short-run edition. This translation follows faithfully that edition, including the original drawings by Julien Champagne.
It is believed that Fulcanelli was able to discover the philosopher’s stone shortly before 1930, and it is thought that this discovery had much to do with his disappearance.
Although many speculate that Fulcanelli may have been the artist Julien Champagne, or Eugene Canseliet (who wrote several introductions to Dwellings of the Philosophers), no one knows for sure who Fulcanelli was.
Dwellings of the Philosophers is a fundamental work for alchemy scholars. It is a general treatise on alchemy, enriched by many explanations and comments on the main traditional authors texts. Also, analyzing the hermetic symbolism applied to civil constructions, Fulcanelli sheds light on many alchemical riddles.
This book analyses in depth the architectural elements and motifs of different buildings, from a modest house built in the 16th century in Lisieux (a small Norman town), the Dampierre Castle, the Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, and several other chosen examples.
Likewise, Fulcanelli offers much information about the operations and procedures of the alchemical work, analyzing and unveiling the allegories used by many writers of hermetic art to veil the knowledge from those who are not deserving of it.