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Alchemy symbols meanings

Alchemy Symbols - Alchemy Meanings

Alchemy symbols.  Alchemy which gained significant popularity in Medieval Europe, is the precursor to modern-day chemistry, philosophy and scientific method.
Alchemists performed experiments, attempting to turn base metals, such as lead, into gold. They sought to develop an elixir that would grant immortality or eternal life, as well as a cure-all medicinal panacea. Famously, alchemists attempted to create a ‘philosopher’s stone’ in order to achieve these aims.
Though the symbols in this category relate to European alchemic practices, similar experiments and projects existed in the Indian subcontinent, the Far East, and the Islamic world.

Alchemists developed theories and method, as well as laboratory techniques, that would later develop into modern scientific practice. However, they continued, at the same time, to place importance upon ancient elemental notions, as well as magic, esotericism, and mythology.
For a time, alchemists were persecuted across much of Europe. This led to the adoption of cryptic symbolism, disguising alchemical work. Some were borrowed from astronomical symbols, creation associations between cosmic and elemental concepts.
Alchemy and the pursuit of transmutation persisted well into the 18th century, when the development of modern science and empiricism largely put an end to the practice.

Philosopher’s Stone Alchemy symbol

Philosopher’s Stone

The Philosopher’s Stone symbol consists of a large, unfilled circle, within which is a triangle, containing a square, within which is a circle. The Philosopher’s Stone was said to transmute base metals (like lead) into gold, and thought to hold the key to eternal life.

Lead Alchemy symbol

Lead

The Lead symbol consists of a long vertical line, intersected by a shorted horizontal line. From the median point of the vertical line, a curved line moves away to the right. Lead is a malleable metal with a low melting point. It is associated with Saturn.

Iron Alchemy symbol

Iron

The Iron symbol consists of a large, unfilled circle. On top of which is an arrow pointing away and to the upper right. It resembles the symbol for masculinity. Iron is the most common element found on Earth and is associated with the planet Mars.

Potash Alchemy symbol

Potash

Potash symbol consists of a regular rectangular shape, below which is a cross made from an intersecting vertical and horizontal line. These lines are bookended by small, unfilled diamond shapes. Potassium Carbonate is a salt that forms an alkaline solution, often referred to it as the ‘salt of tartar’.

Zinc Alchemy symbol

Zinc

The symbol for zinc consists of a matrix of two sets of intersecting parallel horizontal and vertical lines. The lines are bookended by small, unfilled diamond shapes. A rectangular shape in created in the centre of these lines, containing two small, unfilled circles. Alchemists would sometimes refer to zinc as ‘Philosophers’ wool’.

Magnesium Alchemy symbol

Magnesium

The Magnesium symbol consists of an unfinished circle, dissected by a vertical line. A horizontal line emanates from the median point of the vertical, while a smaller vertical intersects to the right. Magnesium, in small quantities, is extremely volatile and difficult to smother once alight. It represents infinity, eternity, and ascension.

Bismuth Alchemy symbol

Bismuth

The Bismuth symbol consists of an unfilled circle. Above the circle is a curved, semi-circle shape. The symbol represents bismuth a relatively uncommon and unknown element, frequently mistaken for tin and lead. It’s not clear what part it played in the alchemic process.

Phosphorus Alchemy symbol

Phosphorus

The Phosphorus symbol consists of a triangle shape with a horizontal base and the apex facing upwards. It is placed on top of a vertical line that is intersected by two horizontal lines. Phosphorus was the name given to Venus, seen as the Morning Star. It seemed to alchemists a substance that could capture light.

Arsenic Alchemy symbol

Arsenic

The Arsenic symbol consists of a narrow, inverted triangle shape, which is place on top of a line that resemble the inverted shape, but does not connect at the horizontal base. Arsenic is a dangerous poison. It represents transformation.

Platinum Alchemy symbol

Platinum

The Platinum symbol consists of a crescent moon shape, inverted to face left. This shape is connected to an equally-sized unfilled circle, itself containing a significantly smaller circle. Platinum was thought, amongst alchemists, to be the combination of silver and gold. The symbol incorporates the signs of the sun and moon, associated with these metals.

Antimony Alchemy symbol

Antimony

The Antimony symbol consists of a large, unfilled circle, with a small cross emanating from the uppermost median point. Antimony represents man’s free spirit or animal nature. It was sometimes associated with the wolf.

Tin Alchemy symbol

Tin

The Tin symbol consists of a curved line that connects to the horizontal, itself intersected by a large vertical line. The symbol represents tin and also Jupiter. Tin is sometimes called the ‘breath of life.’ It represents the idea that the whole is stronger than the sum of its parts.

Gold Alchemy symbol

Gold

The Gold symbol consists of an unfilled circle, surrounded by lines that curve in an anti-clockwise direction. The symbol is a depiction of the sun. Gold is considered a noble metal, the ultimate goal of alchemical transmutation. It represents perfection of the mental, physical and spiritual.

Silver Alchemy symbol

Silver

The Silver symbol consists of a crescent moon shape. Silver, along with the moon, are associated with femininity. The symbol represents contemplation, intuition and wisdom.

Copper Alchemy symbol

Copper

The Copper symbol consists of a large X shape, intersected by three horizontal lines at the median point and upper and lower thirds. The upper and lower horizontal lines are bookended by small, unfilled circles, while the line that crosses the median point is shorter and bookended by unfilled diamond shapes. The symbol represents copper. The symbol is associated with Venus, and represents love and femininity.

Mercury Astrology symbol

Mercury

The Mercury symbol consists of an unfilled circle placed on top of a cross, which connects with the lowest median point. Above the circle is a curved, semi-circle shape. Mercury (called quicksilver) is one of the three prime materials of alchemy. It represents the mind, as well as the life force. It is associated with the spirit, the thing that survives beyond death.

Salt Alchemy symbol

Salt

The Salt symbol consists of a large, unfilled circle, the diameter of which is defined by a solid, horizontal line. Salt is one of the three prime materials of alchemy, being necessary and essential for life. It represents condensation, crystallization. It is associated with the essence of all things in nature.

Sulphur Alchemy symbol

Sulphur

The Sulphur symbol consists of a triangle with a flat base and the apex facing upwards, placed on top of a cross, which connects with median point of the base. Sulphur is one of the three prime materials of alchemy. It represents evaporation and dissolution. It is associated with heat and dryness, as well as masculinity.

Air Alchemy symbol

Air

The Air symbol consists of a triangle with a flat base and the apex facing upwards. A horizontal line intersects the centre of the triangle. The symbol represents air. It is the inverse of the earth symbol. It represents wetness and warmth.

Fire Alchemy symbols

Fire

The Fire symbol consists of a triangle with a flat base and the apex facing upwards. The symbol represents fire. It is the inverse of the water symbol. It represents heat and dryness, as well as masculinity.

Water Alchemy symbol

Water

The Water symbol consists of a triangle with the apex facing downwards. The symbol represents water. It is the inverse of the fire symbol and is thought to resembles a glass or cup. It represents wetness and coldness, as well as femininity.

Earth Alchemy symbol

Earth

The Earth symbol consists of a triangle with the apex facing downwards. A horizontal line intersects the centre of the triangle. The symbol represents earth. It is the inverse of the air symbol. It represents coldness and dryness.

Alchemy font

Alchemy font

The Alchemy font is a serif font based on an old-style type typical of 1500/1600 print industry, with a low line contrast.
You can find decorations like point in the middle of “o”, cross line like a compass v, or other decorations took from the alchemy symbolism.
The main inspiration are manuscripts of the Middle Ages containing a rich diversity and ingenious use of capital lettering.
During this period the monastic scribes twisted and stretched their illuminated letters into graphic forms of almost infinite variety. The decorated pages of the celebrated Lindisfarne Gospels (c.689 AD) contain Anglo-Saxon capitals that take on many alternate forms. These are freely used together to enhance a word’s shape. The highly decorated opening page to Saint Matthew’s Gospel provided particular inspiration for several of Alchemy’s letters.
The Alchemy font comes together with a family of 20 symbols from Alchemy symbolism.

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