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I bought my copy of the Splendor Solis on the cheap from a bargain bin at a used-book store in the Midwest. No longer in school anymore, I was now a school teacher myself-it was my first job, and I was living far from home, living as an adult for the first time. I lived an hour from the capitol city, and every weekend, I would drive along Midwestern haygrass highways and head into the capitol, where I would shop in stores which sold old remaindered books. Hermetic books, Tarot books, alchemy books, books of any exotic esoterica. I was especially attracted to books with illustrated plates, grayscale woodcut illustrations of elemental alchemical subjects like the sun & the moon, or the day & the night. Subjects at once simple and complex, iconography at once esoteric and ordinary, like life itself, when you're living as an adult for the first time.I taught myself how to do Tarot readings, and I would do readings for my girlfriend. We would go to a Chinese restaurant which served really crispy deep-fried egg-rolls, and in a shady backtable at the rear, I explained the hidden meanings of the Tarot cards. A minor alchemist who held court over a shady backtable with its deep-fried egg-rolls, I presided over my stack of alchemy books, I explained the iconography of the sun & the moon & the Hermetic haygrass highways, symbols at once simple and complex. I believed I was the heir to hidden secrets; informed by bargain-bin books on Hermeticism and alchemy, I was heir to deep knowledge about the chaotic fury of molten fire roiling below us, as if the Midwest with all its highways and used-book stores was just a thin crust above an ancient source of power which I could tap into, relic residual energy from the eggsap afterbirth of creation. I believed that here, in the Midwest of all places, at a shady backtable of a Chinese restaurant, accompanied by red lacquer dragons and esoteric alchemy books, I was able to tap into an ancient power, the legacy of ancient Hermeticists. Well, or at least it felt that way. And so, what is the legacy of ancient Hermeticists? The legacy of ancient Hermeticists? No, wait, I mean creativity. And so, what is creativity? Creativity is when you preside as an alchemical magician over symbols at once simple and complex, when you feel like you're the heir to a deep knowledge. Creativity is when your soaring mind's mind can tap into the power of the day & the night & at the very least, all the crusty crispy deep-fried egg-rolls you can eat.