"Workshop of Telescopes" as written by and Pearlman/roeser/bouchard/bouchard/bloom/lanier....
By silverfish imperetrix, whose incorrupted eye
Sees through the charms of doctors and their wives
By salamander, drake, and the power that was undies
Rise to claim Saturn, ring and sky
By those who see with their eyes close
They know me by my black telescope

Your green tree mantle from which these things derive
A lens of quartz and refract spoke that crystal lens
Whose crystal rope once bound me to those
Doctors and wives

When my vision was oh, so cloudy
And I saw things through two eyes
I am a sailor on the raging depths
And I know a thing or two
Back to the corner mates and over the side
Yes I know a thing or two

By silverfish imperetrix, whose incorrupted eye
Sees through the charms of doctors and their wives
By salamander, drake, and the power that was undone
Rise to claim Saturn, ring and sky
By those who see with their eyes closed
you'll know me by my black telescope

Before my great conversion when the ridge was closed
Before my visit to the workshop of telescopes

By silverfish imperetrix, whose incorrupted eye
sees through the charms of doctors and their wives
By salamander, drake, and the power that was undone
Rise to claim Saturn, ring and sky
By those who see with their eyes closed
you'll know me by my black telescope


Lyrics submitted by shut, edited by kreniigh

"Workshop of the Telescopes" as written by

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Workshop of Telescopes song meanings
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  • +2
    My InterpretationI don't know all the exact details, but the overall message is that first, he was bound to the material world, and material success especially (symbolised by the "doctors and wives", at least that's the vibe I get from that line). After his "visit to the workshop of telescopes" he gained insight into the supernatural (probably tying into the whole Imaginos mythos). Also, some loose bits of information that I don't know how to intepret but which might be useful for someone else:

    A silverfish is an insect which has compound eyes.

    An undine is a water nymph.

    Saturn was a Roman god of agriculture, time and change (death and rebirth, sowing and harvest). The planet Saturn is associated with law and also with a lot of mostly negative things like death, cold and sadness in astrology.
    Noilenon March 15, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe lyrics need to be changed from "undies" and "undone" to "Undine" (sea nymph)

    This song is possibly talking about Edward Kelly (alchemist) or his main employer John Dee (astronomer, etc. and advisor to Elizabeth I) My reasoning for this is from the chorus. By salamander (a type of cannon), Drake (capitalized because it is Sir Francis Drake), and the power of Undine (the sea), rise to claim Saturn ring and sky (the three pieces, sea power, a strong commander and privateer and sea itself gave the English the power to destroy the Spanish armada and eventually rule the seas and much of the Earth).

    The reason I think the song is speaking of Edward Kelly is that he looked into a "magic" obsidian mirror (possibly his black telescope) to see the future such as the victory of England over the Earth. He used his "knowledge" from the mirror to entice John Dee into letting him sleep with Dee's wife (doctors and their wives). Just my musings on the subject, but many things seem to fit together.
    charthason September 06, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSilverfish Imperatrix seems to have a hidden meaning. Silver=the moon, it is her metal in alchemy. Fish=a marine creature with ties to the female genitalia. An imperatrix is an empress. So the Silverfish Imperatrix is likely the moon, Queen of the Night. And this makes sense because the lyric then refers to her "incorrupted eye" which is the orb itself. She sees through the charms of doctors and their wives. This seems to have a double meaning: she knows what it is in the heart of every astrologer, magician and alchemist and knows their fakery and tricks. Doctors and wives refers to a male-female team of deceivers. The doctor and his wife (playing the nurse or the lovely assistant) are often a con team taking people's money. But the line also refers to the charms that are spells, enchantments, talismans that are often cast or made during the light of the full moon with appeals to the moon for her magical aid. Talismans are often made at night while the light of the moon falls upon them to imbue them with her lunar power. Hence, she "sees through" these workings. She observes/controls the affairs of men through the charms we cast upon one another.

    The salamander in alchemy is the higher self that eats and lives within fire and yet unscathed and unconsumed by it but to unite with it, we must conquer the flames. Then we will master life and death and see with the second sight. Drake is a male duck--a water fowl--and water symbology is dominant in this open song of the song--fish, moon, salamander (lives in water), drake and Undine. Also later when the singer claims to be a sailor on the raging depths. But the drake is also a dragon and the dragon and the salamander are of a type.

    The Undine is a water nymph who is first mentioned in the writings of alchemist Paracelsus. Paracelsus was also an astrologer, a hermeticist and--surprise--a doctor. Is Paracelsus the doctor mentioned in the song? Not likely since, as far as I know, he never married although his "wife" could be a metaphoric or symbolic usage. Undine could be thought of as a mermaid--the Silverfish Imperatrix. She could take full human form but lacked a soul and so had to marry in order to become immortal. If the husband was unfaithful to her, he would die. The power that was Undine involves enchanting others. Maybe the raging depths is a demonstration of this power.

    Once ensouled and betrothed, she rises to claim Saturn ring and sky. Saturn in alchemy was death and putrefaction. His metal is lead. He is Azrael, the angel of death, and also Father Time. To claim him ring and sky means the total conquering of death and aging. That is, they have gained immortality.

    By those who see with their eyes closed, i.e. those with the second sight, those with the power who see without needing eyes, you'll know me by my black telescope. The black telescope is this inner sight that allows one to see great distances as if they were close. Nothing can be hidden from with this power. One sees even beyond death, beyond the universe, It is black in that it is hidden and perhaps a bit sinister as well. But those with this sight automatically recognize one another--by those who see with their eyes closed, you'll know me by my black telescope. Those not of this very exclusive club see and know nothing.

    Later, the song states, "When my vision was oh, so cloudy And I saw things through two eyes" again refers to the second sight, the sight beyond normal seeing through two eyes. "I am a sailor on the raging depths And I know a thing or two Back to the corner mates and over the side." The raging depths is the power of Undine and he first sought to escape her clutches but then, knowing a thing or two, he realizes he must join her and so "back to the corner, mates, and over the side."

    Now the magical eye is open. Same with the line, "Before my great conversion when the ridge was closed Before my visit to the workshop of telescopes" refers to the gaining of the second sight or the attaining of the Philosopher's Stone, if you will. The ridge is a sensory nerve path in the brain that needs to be unblocked if one is to truly see and this conversion was accomplished by a visit to the workshop of telescopes, i.e. the place where second sight in given. In this case, the witch's laboratory or den or coven. The feminine symbology is undeniable--the Queen Moon, the salamander (seen as feminine), the fish, the silver, Undine.

    He marries to this feminine power to ensoul and is now forever hers. In return, she gives him second sight and immortality.
    kirke18210on December 18, 2017   Link
  • -1
    General CommentI love this song, but have yet to figure it out! Does anyone have any ideas?
    internalnoiseon October 21, 2008   Link

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