That left rather a long gap between now and then, during which I slept with the worms, a boring occupation, so I decided that I had also been an alchemist who, needless to say, discovered the Philosopher’s Stone.
I also read about Moses being trained in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and Daniel in the wisdom of the Babylonians. We hear a lot about Daniel in the lion’s den, but we hear nothing at all about Daniel in his official capacity as Belteshazzar, head magician to the king of Babylon and satrap of Chaldea.
Another thing that interested me was that curious business of the battle of the kings in the valley, four against five – Amraphel, king of Shinar; Arioch, king of Ellasar; Chedlorlaomer, king of Elam, and Tidal, king of nations. I knew nothing whatever about them, but their names were magnificent and sang in my head.
Then there was the even odder incident of Melchisedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who went out to meet Abraham, bearing bread and wine after the fight was over and the kings were all sunk in the slime-pits. Who was this priest of a forgotten worship whom Abraham honoured?
I admit candidly that there is a great deal about the Old Testament worthies that I do not find admirable, but I found these fascinating. So I added a Chaldean incarnation in the days of Abraham to my collection.
Then my efforts met with a setback. I saw a lecture on reincarnation advertised at the local lodge of the Theosophical Society, so I went to hear it, and it sounded good to me. But i the question-time at the end a lady got up and said that she was the reincarnation of Hypatia, and the chairman got up and said she couldn’t be, as that was Mrs Besant; then the lady started to argue, and they played a tune on the piano to drown her voice, and I went home with my tail between my legs.
I was a bit shy of reincarnation fantasies for some time after that, and took up my old interest of communing with the Moon..
Dion Fortune, The Sea Priestess