By my reckoning, I have now been in the Morrigu’s dungeon over a year.
As for John Dee, he has never spoken to me about the length of his own imprisonment. But it is not difficult to guess. He is supposed to have died soon after the year 1600. And I seem to recall that there was never any official record of his death.
For reasons that should be obvious, I cannot help being intensely curious about this odd companion of my captivity.
“You once called Edward Kelly a ‘gold-cook,’” I said to him today as we worked at the wall. “What did you mean?”
“‘Aurum nostrum non est aurum vulgi,’” he said.
“‘Our gold is not the gold of the common crowd,’” I translated, surprised to hear him quote from Jacob Boehme. “But where did you hear that? Boehme was not of your century.”
“Those are the words of Paracelsus. Boehme I know not.”
“Well,” I observed, chipping away at the mortar, “you should. Paracelsus had it right, of course. The true gold is from above. But it was Boehme who first taught me the secret of the Stone.”
He turned from his work and eyed me down the length of his crooked nose. “What secret?”
“‘One should not look upon the Stone and say, “I must by force set upon it.” For the Stone is nothing but the gift of the New Birth.’”
He edged closer. “New birth?”
“You have heard of it before, I think. I suppose you are also familiar with the Emerald Tablet?”
“‘That which is above is as that which is below,’ he recited as if by rote, “‘and that which is below is as that which is above.’”
“Precisely,” I said. “Or, to put it another way: ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’”
He squinted at me in the dim light. “And what of Azoth?”
I squinted back. “I’ve been hoping you could tell me more about that.”
* * * * *