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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Homunculus


Homunculus: (Latin, “little human”) In alchemy, a miniature but living human being created artificially by alchemical means. Recipes for creating a homunculus usually involved placing semen, alone or with other substances, in an alchemical vessel, which was kept at very mild heat for forty days. At the end of this time a small, half-transparent human shape could be observed. The alchemist was then instructed to feed it each day with the Arcanum (an alchemical preparation) of human blood, keeping it at the same low heat, for forty weeks. At the end of this time it would have matured into a miniature human child, which could then be taken out of the vessel and raised like any other child.

The traditions concerning the homunculus are probably related to those of the golem, the artificial human whose construction is discussed in Jewish folklore and Cabalistic magical texts.

Sitting here in the dark, watching the moon shine over the autumn landscape (my favorite time of year) I find myself reflecting on the question that is most frequently asked of me: "How do I know if my house is haunted?" The question seems so simple, so endearing and direct, but it is as complex as the human mind or the spiritual realm and it... read this article
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