Hello, SleepyHeads!  This week on Witness Prophecies, we discuss Sleepy Hollow Season 4 Episode 5, entitled Blood From A Stone, which originally aired on February 3, 2017.   Ichabod Crane learns about Malcolm Dreyfuss and his evil plans. 

Jobe finds another talisman being used by a charlatan preacher, and takes it, but before he can bring it back to Malcolm Dreyfuss, a shadowy, demonic figure attacks him and takes the rock.  It is Dreyfuss’s former partner, Ansel (Bjorn Dupaty), whom Dreyfuss betrayed years earlier.  

Meanwhile, Ichabod Crane and Diana Thomas learn from Jenny Mills, Jake Wells, and Alex Norwood that Dreyfuss has connections to all the supernatural events they have seen in Washington, D.C. thus far.  SH WP S4E5 Crane and Dreyfuss picCrane and Diana confront Dreyfuss, but while they are there, Ansel attacks the facility locking it down.  Dreyfuss confesses that he is gathering the pieces of the Philosopher’s Stone so that he can cheat death through eternal life, and void his contract with the Devil.  He doesn’t want to lose his soul.  

Jenny, Jake, and Alex learn how to thwart SH WP S4E5 Alex Jenny Jake pic
Ansel by using an incantation, preventing him from using his “sigils” which are demonic symbols that cast different killing spells.  Jenny arrives in time to stop Ansel, and Diana catches his tube of Greek Fire before it can explode on the ground, but Dreyfuss escapes with all the pieces of the Philosopher’s Stone.  

Diana tells Molly that she and Mr. Crane have a special mission.  They are witnesses, charged with making the world a better place, and they will do great things.  

Finally, Jenny, Jake and Alex determine that Jobe stole the map of ley lines for Dreyfuss from the Smithsonian, and Jenny compares the lines to the scan of the Blavatsky map she owns.  They realize that the ley lines mark the site of each piece of the Philosopher’s Stone, and the remaining piece can be found… in Sleepy Hollow.

It was interesting to watch Malcolm Dreyfuss, the man we thought was a master manipulator, become a shriveling coward when Ansel came after him.  Crane was more assertive in questioning Dreyfuss than what we have previously seen, and we wonder is it because he lost one partner (Abbie Mills), because he has a new partner to protect (Molly Thomas), because he has learned to take the offensive, or some other reason?  It seemed to be a new aspect to Crane’s personality – not the restrained gentleman we have been accustomed to seeing.  We also speculated that Jobe would not allow Dreyfuss to escape from his obligation – giving his soul to the devil when he dies – therefore Jobe must be obtaining the talisman pieces of the stone for his master’s benefit.  Dreyfuss should surely be intelligent enough to know that!

Jake is a delight.  He has an optimistic outlook, is a complete geek, and is very intelligent.  SH WP S4E5 - Crane and Jake picHe provides comic relief and has been a wonderful addition to the team.  We look forward to seeing him interact more with Crane and Jenny, although the later is clearly annoyed by the puppy dog looks he is constantly throwing her way!  We’re wondering when his inquisitive nature is going to get him into trouble in the supernatural world, and which of our other team members will save him!

History Lesson of the Week – The Philosopher’s Stone

The philosopher’s stone, or stone of the philosophers is a legendary alchemical substance capable of turning base metals such as mercury into gold or silver. It is also able to extend one’s life and called the elixir of life, useful for rejuvenation and for achieving immortality; for many centuries, it was the most sought-after goal in alchemy. The philosopher’s stone was the central symbol of the mystical terminology of alchemy, symbolizing perfection at its finest, enlightenment, and heavenly bliss. Efforts to discover the philosopher’s stone were known as the Magnum Opus (“Great Work”).

Mention of the philosopher’s stone in writing can be found as far back as Cheirokmeta by Zosimos of Panopolis (c. 300 AD).  Alchemical writers assign a longer history. Elias Ashmole and the anonymous author of Gloria Mundi (1620) claim that its history goes back to Adam who acquired the knowledge of the stone directly from God. This knowledge was said to be passed down through biblical patriarchs, giving them their longevity. The legend of the stone was also compared to the biblical history of the Temple of Solomon and the rejected cornerstone described in Psalm 118.

Sir Isaac Newton, of England (1642/3 – 1726/7) had an interest in the philosopher’s stone.  One of his 17th-century alchemy manuscripts reveals his recipe for philosophic mercury thought to be an ingredient used in concocting the magical stone.  This manuscript was purchased at auction by the Chemical Heritage Foundation, on February 16, 2016.

Philosophic mercury was just one of the steps of the alchemical process and was the most sought-after substance in alchemy, also called “chymistry” in 17th-century England.

Newton’s recipe for philosophic mercury was originally written by an American chemist named George Starkey, per James Voelkel, the curator for rare books at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Starkey studied at Harvard University and moved to England in 1650 to work with eminent chemists of the time. He ended up working with Robert Boyle, one of Newton’s contemporaries. But Starkey published under the pseudonym Eirenaeus Philalethes, allowing him to control other chemists’ access to his experiments, Voelkel said.

“This manuscript links Newton’s alchemical practice to the American figure George Starkey,” Voelkel said. “He’s probably America’s first renowned, published scientist.”

Although historians can’t tell if Newton carried out Starkey’s alchemy experiment himself, Voelkel said it was very likely that he did. In fact, Newton made notes and corrected a mistake in Starkey’s original text. On the back of the manuscript, he also wrote down one of his own experiments for distilling lead ore.

Link to Wikipedia article: Philosopher’s stone

Link to the LiveScience.com article, Isaac Newton’s Recipe for Magical Philosopher’s Stone Rediscovered

SleepyHeads!  Will Malcolm Dreyfuss get the final piece of the Philosopher’s Stone or will Ichabod Crane and the team stop him?  Tune in next week to find out!

February 10, 2017 – Season 4 Episode 6 – “Homecoming”

And SleepyHeads – don’t forget about the book, Sleepy Hollow – Creating Heroes, Demons & Monsters, by Tara Bennett and Paul Terry.  You can order it on Amazon, by using the Golden Spiral Media link.  

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