Zine Feature: On the Animation of Statues


I recently finished up one of Brian Cotnoir’s alchemical zines published by his own Khepri Press. “On the Animation of Statues” is a valuable trove of primary sources and secondary insights regarding a fascinating historical alchemical practice.

I ordered a few of Brian’s alchemical zines in May. Along with them, he sent me this entrancing 2018 print of Saturnal Dream “for the fun of it.” It’s number 31/130, so I hold it very dear and have a nice frame for it at home.

I don’t want to spoil the contents since the zine is detailed but compact. I will say it has an incredible, cut-up, pasted, and copied DIY aesthetic that reflects a serious and often frantic search into the esoteric ensoulment of seemingly inanimate figures.

Khepri Press, Cotnoir’s publishing house describes the zine:

“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.”

Khepri Press also maintains a small biography about the enigmatic Cotnoir – not nearly as visible as many of his peers in the esoteric community:

“Brian Cotnoir is an alchemist, artist and award-winning filmmaker. Author of The Weiser Concise Guide to AlchemyThe Emerald Tablet, and Alchemical Meditations, he is currently writing his next book, Alchemy: The Poetry of Matter. He has presented seminars and workshops around the world on various aspects of the alchemy. Khepri Press was started in 2014 as a place to organize and distribute my work. It is a very small press dedicated to alchemical book arts. Some of this work is publishable and others may exist only in manuscript or object form – alchemical results or talismans.”

Cotnoir has an entire series of alchemical zines, with titles like Dream: The Lunar Realm of Alchemy, On the Homunculus, and a meta-work called On the Mystic, Magick, Talismanic, Alchemical Practice of Zine Making. They can be found through the link below


Khepri Press: https://khepripress.com/alchemy-zines/

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