“What brought you back?”
– The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey
…The rest of the Night and into the Dawn is something of a blur for us.
One can only take so much after all.
We turned the leaves of the little book…
We took in the contents or at least we hoped we did.
We did our best to transcribe them as accurately as possible.
Even so it is likely there are mistakes.
Should tents and curtains have borne capital initial letters?
Each image and phrase played out like a rapture of increasing intensity.
Could the compilers of, ‘The Book’ be complicit in The Work?
Leaves ‘Seven’ and ‘Eight’:
But no, as it turned out, many were the tongues and many the hands employed in the endeavour though the Mind alone appeared to be one…
The illustrated operations were clearly linked to that first image and to the directions and descriptions of the ‘second’ leaf.
For ‘glory’ read gold, the incorruptible metal…
The symbols were those familiar to any magician as the elements, Water, Air, Fire and Earth.
What deeper meanings did they contain?
What lay behind the reflected image?
We turned the ‘Eighth’ Leaf…
…And found the earlier reflection split.
Leaves ‘Nine’ and ‘Ten’
THE CONVERSION OF ADAM:
We call you Red-Rock
We breathe and you move
Amazed and wondrous
Made ponderous and slow by millennia…
How can you
When naming beasts of air
River and sea
Field and tree
Loathe the toil of earth?
And inevitably of the First Matter which comprises three Spirituous Essences…
And suddenly the ‘penny drops’…
There are only three elements because we comprise the fourth,
Or the first: Salt is not of Earth it is of Water,
Fire is Sulphur and Mercury is Air.
…And then the ‘cogs’ begin to turn.
Just like the leaves of an ancient tome…