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Nicolas Flamel and the Philosophers Stone
By Tracy . Twyman
!riginally written "or Dagoberts Revenge Magazine# $opyright %99& '(oes not necessarily represent
author)s current *iewpoint.+
,icolas -lamel was the "irst "igure on the .riory o" /ion)s list o" 0rand 1asters who is not 2nown to
ha*e had royal blood. 3e was the owner o" a small .arisian boo2shop who became one o" the %4th
century)s most renowned alchemists. -lamel was intrigued by the concept o" alchemy# and longed to
get his hands on the "abled Sacred Book of Abra-Melin the Mage, as delivered to Abraham the Jew,
rince, riest and !evite to that "ribe of Jews #ho b$ the #rath of %od were Dis&ersed Amongst the
%a'ls 5 a boo2 which purported to disclose the secret o" the .hilosopher)s /tone. !ne night he
dreamt that an angel came to him and bequeathed him this boo2# with the promise that he would 6see in
it that which no man will be able to see.7 /hortly a"terwards# a cash8strapped student wal2ed into his
shop and o""ered to sell him a copy o" the *ery boo2 in question. -lamel# o" course# snapped it up right
away.
9t "irst he did not 2now what to ma2e o" it. Bound in copper plating and co*ered inside and out with
symbols completely "oreign to this ad*anced master o" the occult# it pro*ed# at "irst# indecipherable. :t
remained so "or the ne;t twenty8one years# torturing the aging boo2seller# until he "inally resol*ed to
see2 out a <ew con*ersant in the $abala who would be capable o" reading it. <ews had been e;pelled
"rom -rance at that point# so he went to /pain# then a sa"ety =one "or both <ewish and 1uslim
esotericists# under the guise that he was ta2ing a pilgrimage to the $athedral o" /aint <ames o"
$ompostela 5 purported burial place o" $hrist)s brother <ames. 3e "ound no help there# but on the way
bac2# he met a <ewish $abalist named 1aestro $anches# who was able to elucidate "or him the 2ey to
the boo2)s code. -lamel had not brought the entire boo2# howe*er# but only a "ew pages# and agreed to
bring the old <ew bac2 with him so that they could decode the rest o" the boo2. -lamel e*en had him
con*erted to $hristianity so that he would not technically be guilty o" smuggling a <ew into -rance.
>n"ortunately# 1aestro $anches died on the trip to .aris. But he had gi*en -lamel the in"ormation he
needed to be able to decode the rest o" the boo2# and on <anuary %?th# a date *ery important to the
.riory o" /ion. -lamel is said to ha*e transmuted mercury into gold with the use o" the .hilosopher)s
/tone.
-rom that moment on# -lamel li*ed a com"ortable# but not e;tra*agant li"estyle# well beyond the means
o" most small boo2shop owners# ob*iously ha*ing disco*ered in the .hilosopher)s /tone the source o"
perpetual wealth. 3e and his wi"e .ernelle opened a new store and "ounded a number o" churches and
hospitals# which they decorated with strange# occult symbols deri*ed "rom Sacred Book of Abra-Melin
the Mage. 3e spent the remainder o" his li"e writing treatises on alchemy. But it was only to his wi"e
and his nephew .errier that he le"t his testament re*ealing the secret o" the .hilosopher)s /tone# and
then only a"ter his purported death at age &@# in %4%&. 3e was buried at /aint <acques la Boucherie#
where his boo2shop was located. !n his tombstone were car*ed a sun# a 2ey# and a closed boo2. These#
along with the other alchemical symbols represented on his *arious properties# were remo*ed o*er time
by treasure hunters# who attac2ed his gra*e and "ormer domains searching "or his secrets. !ne o" these
persons was said to ha*e "ound# beneath the "oundations o" /aint <acques la Boucherie# *ials "ull o" red
6proAection powder.7
9s the generations passed# one o" the descendants o" -lamel)s nephew# 6(ubois#7 came into possession
o" the proAection powder# an used it in a magic show he put on "or Bing Couis D::: in which lead balls
were changed into gold. :mmediately a"terwards he was interrogated by $ardinal ichelieu# who was
trying to wrench "rom him the secret o" alchemy. 9ll this resulted in was ichelieu)s "rustration and
(ubois) e;ecution# whereupon ichelieu sei=ed all o" his property# as well as that o" his illustrious
ancestor. ichelieu had -lamel)s houses turned inside out in search o" secrets and treasure# e*en
opening the man)s co""in 5 which# according to rumor# was "ound empty. ':ndeed# 6-lamel sightings7
occurred numerous times throughout the centuries "ollowing his death.+ ichelieu success"ully got his
hands on Sacred Book of Abra-Melin the Mage# and built an alchemical laboratory in which he tried
out *arious e;periments. But he was unable to "ully interpret the boo2# and "ailed to transmute
anything. 9"ter that most o" the te;t o" Sacred Book of Abra-Melin the Mage became lost# lea*ing only
the diagrams# which ha*e been published numerous times since.
Ehat is there to indicate that ,icolas -lamel was in "act a member o" the .riory o" /ion? Eell# "or one
thing# the manner in which he ('st ha&&ened to come across Sacred Book of Abra-Melin the Mage#
which he had been searching "or his entire li"e# and then ('st ha&&ened to run across the right man to
help him interpret it# is indicati*e o" the in*ol*ement o" a secret society# rather li2e the way in which
Berenger /auniere came across the parchments# and then had them interpreted at /aint /ulpice# a"ter
which he# li2e -lamel# became ine;plicably wealthy. Then there)s the title o" the boo2 itsel"# Sacred
Book of Abra-Melin the Mage, as delivered to Abraham the Jew, rince, riest and !evite to that "ribe
of Jews #ho b$ the #rath of %od were Dis&ersed Amongst the %a'ls. This indicates a .rince o" a
<ewish tribe that became dis&ersed in 0aul# now -rance. <esus supposedly "led to 0aul a"ter the
cruci"i;ion partially because there already e;isted a large <ewish and semi8<ewish population in that
region# perhaps the remnants o" one o" :srael)s lost tribes. Then there is the "act that -lamel learned the
boo2)s secret on a pilgrimage to /aint <ames o" $ompostela. 1ore interesting is that "act that the
pilgrim route to /aint <ames o" $ompostela passes *ery near ennes8le8$hateau. Then# o" course#
there)s the date o" the "irst presumed alchemical transmutation# <anuary %?th# the date o" Berenger
/auniere)s stro2e# 1arie de Blanche"ort)s death# and the -east (ay o" /aint /ulpice. Then there)s the
absolute secrecy with which he guarded the 2ey to the .hilosopher)s /tone# only di*ulging it to "amily
5 his wi"e and his nephew. 9nd "inally# there are the actions o" $ardinal ichelieu# indicating that he
2new "or a "act that -lamel was in the possession o" a real secret.
:nterestingly# $ardinal ichelieu is discussed e;tensi*ely in )ol$ Blood, )ol$ %rail . (uring the %F@@s#
he constituted the real power behind Couis D:::)s throne. 9nd in %FGG# out o" a desire to wrench
/outhern -rance "rom the in"luence o" /pain and 9ustria# he brought -rance into the Thirty Hears Ear
against those two nations# who represented the $atholic side o" the con"lict# in "a*or o" the .rotestant
armies o" /weden and 0ermany# whose leader# Ilector -rederic2# .alatinate o" the hine# was strongly
supported by the osicrucian thin2ers o" the time. This is a strange position "or a $atholic $ardinal to
ta2e# and the authors o" )ol$ Blood, )ol$ %rail indicate that ichelieu may ha*e been a osicrucian
himsel" 5 which# you)ll recall# would mean that he was connected with the .riory o" /ion. .erhaps
when ichelieu raided -lamel)s domains# he was Aust acting as an agent o" the .riory# attempting to
repossess property that was right"ully theirs. !r perhaps he was a double8agent.