Ancient Word of the Day: Khemeia

Alchemy Welcome to the dizzying world of alchemy and the philosopher's stone in medieval times

Khemeia: The extraction of juices for medicine, from Ancient Greek

Related to the word Khumos meaning plant juice.

This word khemeia travelled from Greece to the Medieval Arabic world where it came to mean al-khemeia or alchemy.

The goal of alchemists was to bring a mystical fifth element known as the ‘quintessence’ from the divine fiery heaven and down to earth. The alchemist’s journey required him to pass through the outermost circle of the underworld…and to overcome the Greek god of time Chronos. And in overcoming Chronos, one has broken transient and sequential time and reverted to a golden age of eternal youth and divine benevolence. Through drinking a rejuvenating elixir [khemeia] or drinkable gold, it is possible to cheat age and death and become immortal.

Adapted from Alchemy and Mysticism by Alexander Roob, Taschen (1997)
Alchemy Welcome to the dizzying world of alchemy and the philosopher's stone in medieval times
Welcome to the dizzying world of alchemy and the philosopher’s stone in medieval times

References

Alchemy and Mysticism by Alexander Roob, Taschen (1997)

An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language By Walter W. Skeat (1910)

A Concise Dictionary of Middle English From A.D. 1150 To 1580 by A. L. Mayhew and Walter W. Skeat (1888)

Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

One thought on “Ancient Word of the Day: Khemeia

  1. An interesting post!
    For some reason, I have not had my usual notifications of these recent posts and they have not been in my WP Reader feed either! I shall see if un-following and re-following fixes this!

    Like

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