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refer to the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and the Jewish Zohar as 

particularly fine mystical records.

From the sanctuary of Harran, there was a transfer of alchemy 

and metallurgy to Islamic Sufism. During the Italian Renaissance, the 

same knowledge became available from Constantinople through the 

enthusiastic acquisition of manuscripts by Cosimo de Medici. From 

Renaissance Italy, it made its way to Britain where the Elizabethans 

received it enthusiastically.

Ancient Harran generated chains of alchemy and architecture. 

These led through French cathedral building to the definition of Scottish 

and English Freemasonry. Links in the chain include the Phoenician 

Dionysian Artificers, the Roman Collegia, the Magistri Comacini of 

Como and the Compagnonnage.

From Jerusalem, the Jewish stream split into the Rabbinical 

Kabbalahists of the city of Alexandria, the Qumran Essenes and the 

Gnostics. The Alexandrian stream spilled into Greece, Spain and Ireland 

where it appears to have all but petered-out. The Essene stream ended 

abruptly with the total Roman suppression of Jewish nationalism in the 

first and second centuries CE. Yet, there are faint but intriguing lines of 

survival of Melchizedek Priests in the Diaspora of Southern France 

through to today. The Roman Catholic Church suppressed both the 

Gnostic stream and the Great Heresy of the Bogomils. The former 

culminated with the Albigensian Crusade and violent assault on 

MontsĖgur in 1245CE. Yet, again, stories emerged from the Inquisition 

that four Parfaits smuggled the Cathars' treasure to safety.3

Another chain commences around 1128CE with discoveries by 

the Knights Templar in Jerusalem. Sheltered in Scotland after their 

dissolution, the Knights Templar traditions fused into Scottish guilds of 

the Compagnonnage and later into English Freemasonry. Subsequently 

the German Rosicrucians fled to the protection of James I of England 

during the Thirty Years War in the early 1600s. From there, the 

Rosicrucians developed a very close affinity with English Freemasonry. 

They were to amalgamate with the upper degrees of Freemasonry, 

bringing organizational structure to the whole movement.

Alchemy has fundamentally influenced Western society, 

particularly in medicine and religion. In religion, for example, the 

Eucharist ceremony symbolizes alchemy. We find the rituals of the 

Roman Catholic Church, involving the congregation as the living church


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