Entering the 17th Century Argonautic Alchemical Portal | Ancient Origins Members Site


Entering the 17th Century Argonautic Alchemical Portal

Entering the 17th Century Argonautic Alchemical Portal

Every proper myth and legend features a door, gateway or mirror acting as portals to other dimensions of reality. In modern mythology this component features as children venturing to ‘Narnia’ through a cupboard and Alice entering the rabbit hole to ‘Wonderland’. Historian Ashley Cowie investigates a real gateway in Italy that leads anyone who dares to interpret it, to other times and spaces, a door so exceptional that historical accounts hint of alchemists vanishing through it, never to be seen again.  Built at about 1680, as one of five entrances to the villa of Roman nobleman Massimiliano Palombara, the Porta Alchemica or ‘Alchemical Door’ is located on the Esquiline Hill, near Piazza Vittorio, Rome.

The Alchemist by Adriaen van Ostade (1661) (Public Domain)

Palombara, was said to have been fascinated with esoteric sciences and having great wealth and social stature, he employed several alchemists, kept company and shared conceptual ideas with the famous astronomer Domenico Cassini; the Swedish queen Christina, resident in Rome after having abdicated; and not to mention the renowned alchemical scholar, Father Athanasius Kircher. Before interpreting the alchemical symbolism of the Porta Alchemica, it is necessary to look into the background of the two myths associated with the creation of this mysterious portal to alchemical dimensions.


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