Nicholas and Pernelle Flamel
The French alchemist, Nicholas Flamel, was born at Pontoise at the beginning of the fourteenth century. His family was poor but well respected and they managed to provide him with a good education.
One night Nicholas was visited by an angel in a dream. The angel showed him a book and told him that he alone would come to understand its contents. It wasn't long before his dream showed signs of becoming reality when he paid two florins for a manual of 21 pages. A diagram appeared on every seventh page: the 1st showed a serpent swallowing rods; the 2nd, a serpent crucified; the 3rd, a treeless desert, at whose centre a fountain bubbled, with serpents trailing from side to side.
The author of the mysterious book claimed to be Abraham the Jew, Prince, Philosopher, Levite, Priest and Astrologer. Within the pages was a complete exposition on the art of transmuting metals.
However, there was one problem with the book, it was addressed more to the adept than the novice - it took for granted that its student was *already* in possession of the Philosopher’s Stone...
"Look well at this book, Nicholas," the angel told him. "At first you will understand nothing in it - neither you nor any other man. But one day you will see in it that which no other man will be able to see."
The more Nicholas Flamel studied, the less he understood. He sought counsel with the wise men of France to no avail. For more than twenty years he poured over the pages of the manuscript. As parts of the text were written in ancient Hebrew, his wife, Pernelle, suggested he consult a Jewish Rabbi. Knowing that many of the Jews forced out of France had migrated to nearby Spain, Flamel travelled there and stayed for two years.
On the course of his journey he met a Hebrew sage who was able to shed light on the mysterious manuscript, giving him the keys with which he would eventually decipher the entire contents of the book. Joyous and with renewed vigour for his studies, Flamel returned home to his wife and small Paris bookshop.
In February 1392 he made silver, then in April he created gold. Eventually it would be said that he also discovered the elusive Elixir of Life.
The Flamels spent their new found wealth on the churches, charities and hospitals of the district, but continued to live modestly themselves. Nicholas continued to write treatises on Alchemy which can be read today.
Pernelle 'died' two years before her husband - it is believed that Nicholas lived for 116 years. Nicholas made extensive preparations for both their funerals in minute detail, including the heavy slab of stone that was to cover his coffin and the arrangement of monthly services to take place at his own grave.
However, when thieves ransacked his home and tomb after his death, hoping to find any clues to the Alchemist’s great wealth and longevity, rumours spread that the grave was found empty and that Nicholas Flamel was still alive.
In the 17th century the archaeologist, Paul Lucas, was sent to the East by Louis VIV. At Broussa, Paul met with a man in Turkish dress. The man spoke several languages and talked of immortality and the Elixir of Life. He went on to say that Nicholas Flamel was one of few people to have discovered it. He also told Paul that the Flamels were both very much alive. Their funerals had been an elaborate sham.
Copyright © Amethyst Ray, Robert Coon 2001-2021All rights reserved.