Alchemy ‘Zines

On Alchemy and the Symbolics of Color

Alchemy and the  Symbolics of Color looks at the role of color in alchemical practice.  Alchemical practice entails physical laboratory work with minerals and metals as well as a more Neo-Platonic meditative practice concerning the ascent of the soul and union with the One.

Color is used to express the processes and stages in both of these aspects.
This zine, working with the idea that a symbolics is “contained within sensory images,” looks at how our experience of color arises. It begins with the cosmos and alchemical theory and moves to the physics and biology of color and color vision, early theories of   color perception, psychology, and spiritual frameworks. The zine touches on the writings of Grosseteste, Newton, Goethe, Kandinsky, Florensky and others. Also found in the zine are recipes for purple of Cassius and red ruby glass.

By no means exhaustive, the zine is a source, a collection of trail heads into the question of how to create a symbolics of color.

ΝΟΤΕ: This is Not a color symbol  codebook.

32 pages   $15.00

SOLD OUT Limited Edition of 103. Numbered and Signed Boxed Set of 9 zines. 

The Hermetic and Alchemical Zines .

 This is a collection of all seven zines plus an Introduction and On the Mystic, Magick, Talismanic, Alchemical Practice of Zine Making.

From the Introduction:

Re-reading this collection I’m in thrall to its tactility and analogue affect. I get a palpable sense of Cotnoir handling an incredible range of texts, of his having a muscle memory of those texts’ enduring value as well as a haptic appreciation of their potentiality, of him scissoring extracts to remix and reconfigure, handwriting and drawing elements that augment his visionary archive. I’m drawn to the elements of cut-up chaos, outsider-art graphology, polylingual sampledelia. The book’s pages feel remind me of a New York that once flourished – noisy, sometimes illicit, heterogeneous – and that still looms large in my dreams. The books wears its deep learning lightly but it never talks down to readers; its bibliography will steer them in directions both intimidating and exciting.” Sukhdev Sandhu (NYU)

SOLD OUT  Remaning copies can be found at Mortlake and Co. Seattle; Lux Mentis; ReKomando, Prague; Watkins Books, London; Treadwell’s Bookstore, London; Printed Matter, Inc. NYC, and there is one on eBay

NOTE: Eventually I will produce an “unlimited” edition of the boxed set. Until that time I am offering “The 7 Zines” as a loose collection for $55.00. 


See below for descriptions of individual zines or to order single copies.

Some of these ‘zines were produced for a lecture series for Morbid Anatomy Museum and Library.

on-the-homunculus-coverOn The Homunculus

The Homunculus (Latin: little man). An artificial, created “rational animal,” or human being that, according to Paracelsus, “has all the limbs and features of a child born of woman, except much smaller.” This ‘zine is a collection of excerpts from a range of texts and images, from Aristotle to the 17th century, dealing with the generation of life both natural and artificial. Included are translations from The Book of the Cow, and Jabir ibn Hayyan’s Book of the Concentration. This small work is more or less a little reader on the homunculus.

28pages        $10.00


Dream: The Lunar Realm of Alchemy

Is a collection of quotes, primary sources, notes, and random comments regarding the role of dream and vision in alchemical practice. Alchemy, most broadly defined, is the art and science of bringing something to it’s final completion — completion in the sense of a finished work of art.

Included is my essay “…saying these things I went to sleep…” It first appeared in “Brooklyn Rail” June 2014.

24 pages      $10.00


On the Animation of Statues  

Is a collection of quotes, primary sources, notes and comments on the late-antiquity practice of “ensouling” statues in order to commune with the gods. Drawing from Iamblichus, Proclus, Greek Magical Papyri, Corpus Hermeticum, hymns, poetry and music, although the practice is never explicitly described, a hazy outline emerges. One thing, the composition of statues and talismans is, like alchemy, a hieratic art.

Included is a translation Michal Psellos’ Epistle 187 a text on the animation of statues.

34 pages     $10.00

Alchemy and the Timing of Things

This zine is a meditation on time and its relation to alchemy and by extension any creative act.  Through a collection of primary sources, quotes, etc, Kronos (linear chronological time) and Kairos (the “now” that opens onto eternity) are explored in light of practice. Several timing systems are presented and included is a centerfold Lord of the Hours Time Snail. A very useful tool for determining planetary hours.

26 Pages   $10.00

The Alchemical Wedding 

The Alchemical Wedding, or the union of opposites, is the sought after moment, the turning point in the process to perfection. This is often depicted as a King and Queen in sexual union, or as a “Rebis,” a hermaphroditic being with two heads. This zine looks at this union in relation to ideas of perfection, the “place” of this union, and ideas of perfectibility through human action both on an inner personal level and in the social political sphere.

12 pages   $10.00

The Golem and How He Came to Be

A golem is a man of clay brought to life through the power of the word – the written word. Of all the legends and stories of golems, perhaps the most famous is the story of Rabbi Loew and the Golem of Prague. Rabbi Loew, as the story goes, in the 16thcentury during the reign of Rudolph II, in Prague using secret practices from the kabbalah, brought to life a clay man to defend against anti-Semitic attacks. This story has resonated for generations and has been retold many times in a variety of media. What truths are there in this story, how did this Golem come to be? This zine looks into the mystical practices of Judaism that are at the heart of the legends and examines how this story evolved over time and was re-told in a variety of media, such as Paul Wegener’s silent film Der Golem, the play The Golem by Leivick and Julien Duvivier’s 1936 Le Golemfilmed in Prague and in the Altneu synagogue. Included in the zine are some of the earliest legends and stories of the golem. Most notably, translated here for the first time, is Franz Klutschak’s 1841 Der Golam Des Rabbi Löw, one of the earliest versions of the Rabbi Loew and Golem story.

24 pages   $10.00

On the Hieratic Art: or the Alchemy of Talismans

The Hieratic Art, or Priestly Art, is the art of composition for affecting change in the world. The composition is of symbols. These may be material things, images, words, letters, or elements. The Hieratic Art is also concerned with the ascent of the soul to the one, the divine, as is alchemy. Starting from first principles this zine explores this non-discursive way of thinking, speaking, writing in affecting change. The aim of all art.

20 pages    $10.00

On the Mystic, Magick, Talismanic, Alchemical Practice of Zine Making

This zine is a description of alchemical practice through the making of zines. Alchemy is the art and science of bringing something to its final perfection or completion. And, being perfected, can in turn perfect. It is about making change in the world for the betterment of the world and the soul. You know, like Marx said, “the philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.”

12 pages   $10.00

The Empty Chair

The Empty Chair is a visual guide to a thought experiment, or a meditation, however you wish to think of it, on how to open up an object and explore its borders and its creation. It is an alchemical dissolution where creation and change may take place.

Accordion Format. 20 pages.  H 4.5 cm x W(closed) 3 cm, W(open) 35 cm.  Risograph Printed 2018

$3.00    SOLD OUT

The Bushwick Grimoire

The Bushwick Grimoire is a response to stories I have heard over the years of folks “working” with grimoires and other magickal texts and then finding “things” that won’t go away. It is a tongue-in-cheek commentary.

Four Sided Single Sheet Folded. Closed H 12.3 cm x W 9.3 cm Title and Back. 1stOpen H 12.3 cm x 18.8 cm Text. 2ndOpen H 18.8 cm x 24.5 cm Grimoire Images. 3rdOpen H 24.5 cm x 37.6 cm Verso Narrative Images. Risograph Printed 2018

$5.00    SOLD OUT

The Time Snail

Time Snail is a visual representation of “The Lords of the Hours” – a means of determining the planetary influence of a particular hour and day. This idea was used in early medicine in the composition of medicines. Makers of talismans used it as well to determine the rhythms of their compositions and to increase their efficacy. Quotes on time from Aristotle, Marsilio Ficino, and other Hermetic, Neo-Platonic writings are scattered throughout and are to be considered and meditated upon. In general this graphic device is a useful tool for herbalists and other artists who wish to work with a larger composition.



Prelude to a Hymn to Hekate

Based on key phrases from the Chaldean Oracles, a journey after death guided by Hekate, goddess of the crossroads is imagined.This zine is part one of a two part zine. It is the Prelude to a forth-coming zine on alchemy and music Hymn to Hekate which will explore music as a means of ascent.

A Flexi-disk recording of compositions is planned for the second zine.

12pages   $15.00

Visions. August 7, 1994

This zine is about an experience I had with ayahuasca in 1994. Ayahuasca is a potent entheogen concocted from Banisteriopis caapi and Psychotria viridis and I was interested in it from an alchemical/theurgic point of view. The text and images are from my notes and drawings I made in the week following the experience, edited and organized here 25 years later.

32 pages   $15.00