The night is fairly light as the crescent Moon shines brightly. Still, the cliffs and woods are dark and
dangerous at this time of night. Looking out across the blackness, a remote fiery light catches your eye. It
will soon be sunrise and you decide to set off toward the light, carefully in the dark, as come dawn the light
may be gone.
Walking towards the light proves harder than you anticipated. The ground is uneven and full of brambles
and loose rocks. Perhaps you should have tried to rekindle a torch from the embers of last night's fire?
At last you draw near and make out the shape of a man labouring at bellows and furnace. As you draw
closer you see a man of about late middle age dressed in modest garb. He has various oddly shaped glass
vessels, stills, reflux flasks and alembics and works by torch and furnace light. He has not seen you as you
stand outside his light in the darkness. You call out a greeting and step into the light. He seems a little
startled at first, but soon the alchemist speaks:
"Ah a traveller I spy. Well you will have to sit and wait if food you wants for I have work to do and I shall not
rest yet. Many days and nights have I laboured."
"What are you making?" You enquire, hoping to get an answer without irritating the old man.
"Gold, I'm making gold." The Sun is rising.
"Out here, alone, aren't you afraid someone might steal it and rob you of your riches?" You reply.
"Hehehe, do you think that you will find yellow metal to give you a big house and rich robes? Do you think
that I would be so foolish as to labour here so long just to make Fool's gold? Do you think there is
something here for you to steal? I have no interest in yellow metal that you might use to trade with worldly
Odd, surely he said he was making gold, and yet now he says he has no interest in the stuff.
"There, now I add what was the first matter, now much purified by repeated application of heat. Not too much
heat you understand... . Now with burning sulphur, I gently heat the mixture. Well, now look at that...".
The alchemist has heated a flask of water and to your surprise you see a flame dancing on the surface of
the water, in the flask. Sometimes you see two flames, one red and one white, and sometimes just one fiery
orange flame. Then, to your utter astonishment, within the flame you see the Globe of the Earth. The
alchemist laughs to himself, clearly delighted to see your amazement. After a few moments a further change
occurs, the flames fade and then a white star of light rises from the Earth. This star turns a brilliant red and
dazzles you with its light. Squinting you notice that after a few moments the Earth turns red hot and then
evaporates in a bright spark and then no Globe can be seen, the flask is empty except for two stars, one
red and one white.
"... I heard something rustling behind me, as though someone were wearing a silken
garment. Suddenly I grew afraid and looked behind me. There appeared an old ice-
grey man with a long beard that reached to his belt. He was wearing a long black
garment. In one hand he held a compass, in the other a carpenter’s square.
As he went wordlessly past me, toward the ball, he grew ever taller and larger, until the
ball reached only to his belt (although it was really higher than a house) and his head
reached to the Sun. Then he set his compass in the centre and circumscribed the ball,
so that it became perfectly round. After this, he placed his compass on the carpenter’s
square, and spoke. “It is one times three multiplied by itself.” Then he placed the
compass again on the top of the ball and measured the distance from this to the
firmament, and again from the firmament to the highest Star. He cried with a terrible
voice, “This is one out of four separated by the three.” Next he drew two lines from the
uppermost star to the ball, such that they intersected one another, so that a triangle
After this he made a quadrangle from the centre with the compass, such that one
corner was at the centre of the ball, and a white dove sat on the opposite corner,
which he called the Spirit of the Conjunctions and the Vivificationis. But the two
remaining corners were united with the two corners of the triangle. Then a flame of fire
shot forth to the lines made by the triangle and remained there.
Up from below there came a white glistening star, whose rays spread outwards and
intermingled in the middle of the quadrangle. This star grew blood-red and shined so
brightly that I could not look directly at it. It had a threefold circle or halo around it, the
innermost ring golden-yellow, the second red, and the third blood-red. The light from
this star grew so intense and powerful that the uppermost Star, and the Sun and the
Moon of the firmament lost their radiance and turned blood-red.
Likewise the earth lost its greenness, and everything turned red, for a fire shot forth
from the star, which burned up the ball together with the entire firmament, so that
nothing more remained, neither Sun, nor Moon, nor anything in heaven or on earth.
After this the star split in two, like a mirror or a round disk, and a new ball appeared in
it. This was bright and transparent and green as an emerald. Above it stood the sun,
also transparent and very bright, indeed, much brighter than it had shined before. The
entire firmament was there as well, but it did not revolve. Then the old man cried
“Praise be to God, for Evil has now been suppressed, and Truth has again been
revealed. Delight, you children of light; the darkness has an end. The Sun
shall never set again, but rather it shall shine on you from Eternity to Eternity, and
shall never more be darkened,” And then he vanished.
Then the Principal said to me: “Observe and note this figure well, which for you is the
meaning of the entire Work. In this the whole Secret of Secrets resides, in natural as
well as supernatural things, which are not possible for men to comprehend."
From Franz Kieser, Cabala Chymica, 1606.
"The Natural round Physick or Philosophy of the Alchymical Cabalistical Vision
The Sun and Moon with all the firmament appeared first, they stood still, a colour
indeed they had, but gave no light. Beneath them also there appeared the globe of
the Earth having a colour. In whose centre there was a little globe of a most white,
shining colour, like snow.
While I beheld all these, there was made a most horrible thunder with a great noise
and fiery flash, which much affrighted me. A great cloud came also, which going
away, a star was seen above the Sun, Moon, and firmament, whose shining was so
bright, I could not fix my eyes upon it, with its redness it exceeded the redness of the
Sun. As soon as ever this star appeared the whole firmament with the Sun and Moon
began to run their race, and dance. In the meantime the said star darted fiery rays
from above, through the exterior firmament. Of which sometimes more sometimes
fewer, some also but by halves were carried upon the globe, but the little globe
received the smallest part of these rays. Those rays whose halves only, entered the
globe, moved the waters, that they might flow and fish might be seen in them. The
other rays made the great globe begin to live, and bring forth all sorts of trees and
fruits, on which also animals and men did walk. But the part of the rays, which
entered into the small globe, so moved it, that it begun to boil like water in a pot, and
disperse out of itself a white clear and pure vapour in the form of a star even unto
the root of the trees, and herbs.
Then out of this globe or white, shining star, there began, but yet slowly enough to
grow all sorts of trees, and herbs, and tended towards the circumference of the
globe, and when they almost attained to it, behold two white, stony mountains arose
and were opened out of each end of the globe. In the mean time I saw the herbs and
trees continually go forward in their growth, that the mountain at length bore flowers
of all sorts and colours, which again were shut and changed into red, yellow, green
and white knots. The knots of the mountain on the right hand were small and
transparent, but those of the left greater but not transparent. In the meantime the
superior and greater star sent continually more rays by the benefit of which more
herbs and trees always grew. At last a voice was heard crying out thus clearly and
aloud: Blessed be God who created this star; This shall be called always the Star of
Wisdom and the eternal Light."
Franz Kieser’s Cabala Chymica, 1606
The star fades, and a new Earth takes its place. This new Globe is translucent and a pure brilliant green,
like an emerald. The reaction is complete and the alchemist removes the source of heat.
You stare at the alchemist in amazement, but he clearly does not seek your praise. He is modest as with skill
he harnesses the forces of Nature, but only because Nature allows him to. You ask him when will all this
come to pass. The alchemist replies:
"It is the Alchemists' Dream, but only time will tell. Despite this dream, practitioners of our art have been
shunned for centuries, chastised and outcast by those who do not understand our art, for many have eyes
but cannot see and ears but cannot hear. That is one reason why I live here, in the wilderness, in solitude. I
have seen many temples of stone and wood crumble and decay, but the Truth is everlasting. 'Despair not if
the World hates you, for it hated me first.' Many are those who adorn themselves in expensive robes and
place crowns of gold upon their heads, but all the while they grope around in the darkness. For now there is
much you can do to help fulfill this dream, would you like me to show you how?" ...