Day 194 Mile 194: Running On The Philosophers Stone

Day 194 Mile 194: Running On The Philosophers Stone. Today is International Rock day and it is also the 490th anniversary of the Elizabethan alchemist Dr John Dee. Dee was one of the foremost scientific thinkers of his age, personal advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, the first to apply Euclidean geometry to navigation, founder of the Rosicrucian Order, and compiler of the greatest library in England at the time, of over 4,000 books.

John Dee Ashmolean.jpgDr. John Dee Courtesy of National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, Public Domain, Link

Dee was influenced by the Hermetic and Platonic-Pythagorean doctrines that were pervasive in the Renaissance. He believed that numbers were the basis of all things and the key to knowledge. From Hermeticism, he drew the belief that man had the potential for divine power, and he believed this divine power could be exercised through mathematics. His ultimate goal was to help bring forth a unified world religion through the healing of the breach of the Catholic and Protestant churches and the recapture of the pure theology of the ancients. All together quite interesting stuff!

One of Dee’s contemporaries in the Elizabethan court was William Medley who made a name for himself apparently getting quite a long way through the process of perfecting the Philosopher’s Stone to turn base metals into gold. In 1574 Medley started working at Parys Mountain on Anglesey (where I am today) bankrolled by Sir Henry Sidney and Sir John Wynn of Gwydir. He eventually boiled powdered ‘iron’, in mineral waters and produced 10% pure copper. This transformation appeared so miraculous that:

 ‘Part was sent to the Lords of the council […] part to the nobility; and every gentleman of quality there present had part to carry in his pocket’.

So today I have gone for a run around the mineral rich moonscape that is Parys Mountain. It was done on a bit of a whim so proved quite hard in motorbike boots and jeans! It is easy to see what made them think that this area could hold magical properties. Even on an overclouded day such as this, the rocks are a riot of otherworldly colour and the prominent nature of the aspect screams of the transcendent. It has taken me about 2 decades to get around to coming here and I am so glad I finally have 🙂

I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

Distance: 2245.1 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)

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Thanks as ever for all the support!




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