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Ouroboros illustration from the Chrysopoeia of Cleopatra

In alchemy, the term chrysopoeia means transmutation into gold (from the Greek khrusōn, gold, and poiēin, to make), although it is also symbolically used to indicate the philosopher's stone as the completion of the Great Work.

The word was used in the title of an alchemical textbook, the Chrysopoeia of Cleopatra, which was probably written in the late hellenistic period, although it gained wider fame only in the middle ages. The book is mainly centred on the idea of "one the all" (en to pan), a concept that is related to ouroboros and to hermetic wisdom. Stephen of Alexandria wrote a De Chrysopoeia.[1] Chrysopoeia is also a 1515 poem by Giovanni Augurello.

So delicate was the transmutation of metals it was said one could not hope to succeed except under the alignments of certain planets. Often alchemists would have knowledge of astronomy and other forms of sorcery. [2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stanton J. Linden. The alchemy reader: from Hermes Trismegistus to Isaac Newton. 2003. p.54
  2. ^ William Godwin (1876). "Lives of the Necromancers". p. 20.