I T M A Y B E O F I N T E R E S T to have a look at the meaning and purpose of what is today commonly called hermeticism or alchemy. Without going into its Arabic and before that surely Egyptian etymological origins, the word ‘alchemy’ (in the commonly adopted sense) signifies the means of transmuting base metals into silver or gold. To this is attached a still more important meaning: that of ‘universal panacaea’, i.e. the means of simultaneously combating all evil and rejuvenating humankind (or at least conserving its health). To these marvels one may add those affirmed by the mystical alchemists—in addition to health, alchemy promises the means of acquiring illumination or wisdom: the key to all knowledge.