||On a trip to Egypt, as I was floating down the Nile, it was easy to envision the alchemists observing the mystical powers that transformed the desert. Black silt borne down the river is deposited on the land when the water overflows its banks during flood time. The black earth gives a rich lining to the longest river in the world and the contrast of that darker, fertile soil is stark against the endless bone colored sand. Cities, villages and farms line the banks of the Nile where life flourishes in that precious soil. It is from the magic of this Egyptian black earth that alchemy emerged.