Magnum opus (alchemy)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Great Work (Latin: Magnum opus) is an alchemical term for the process of creating the philosopher's stone. It has been used to describe personal and spiritual transmutation in the Hermetic tradition, attached to laboratory processes and chemical color changes, used as a model for the individuation process, and as a device in art and literature. The magnum opus has been carried forward in new age and neo-hermetic movements which sometimes attached new symbolism and significance to the processes. It originally had four stages.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Magnum opus (alchemy)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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