Unicode Alchemical Symbols


From p5 of Kirchweger, Anton Joseph (1723) Aurea catena Homeri oder eine Beschreibung von dem Ursprung der Natur und natürlichen Dingen
I just really like this image. Think too of the sun's journey: The sun, winged as it flies across the sky having been birthed by the fixed sea. Only to be swallowed up and devoured at the end of the day - impregnating the sea again for the pregnant night when it will once again give birth to the day time sun.

Alchemy Timeline

A timeline showing the different people, manuscripts, discoveries, etc. from alchemy. (work in progress)
Check out Prelude to Chemistry pp34. which has a lot of this information.

Cf. §396 The Alchemical Mind
Do we create, or have we created the unconscious? Does it matter? xRef Memories Dreams Reflections p235
When Jung or anyone talks of the sun as a symbol it is important to see that the sun is not a symbol. Rather, over time man in his unconscious perceptions has placed affect onto the sun in seeking to understand and represent his unconscious or the content coming to mind. Therefore when we read it is important to remember this as where the symbol comes from as well as all alchemical images/symbols. These were complex people (there is no original thought). The you can talk of the symbol, and the sun as a symbol. Reading alchemy or any other 'symbolic' material associated with Jungian or analytical psychology it is important to know how to read it. Imagine you are trying to understand what is in your head and the processes feelings that you are going through. We so often say how something is like something else. How we feel like something. This is important because we are trying to describe what is going on in our heads and our hearts. What we go through is really difficult to comprehend. The alchemist pointed out that there is the microcosm = us, and the macrocosm = the world, the universe. That is why we seem to be able to symbolically 'match' up what is going on inside of us with what we see in the world and are therefore able to say things like we are feeling 'like' this or that. In this way, things become symbolic. Which leads us back to the first question about how the unconscious and how the content we have in our unconscious come about. How the symbols that we talk about have become engrained within our unconscious dialogue. Why is Alchemy important?

Aurea Catena or Homeric chain in alchemy is the series of great wise men beginning with Hermes Trismegistus, which links earth with heaven.

Hermes Trismegistus
Zosimos of Panoplis CW13
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535)
Paracelsus (1493-1541) CW13

Alchemical symbols from Wikipedia

See also the Alchemical Hieroglyphs

Three Primes

According to Paracelsus, the Three Primes or Tria Prima are:

Salt (base matter)
Mercury (fluid connection between the High and the Low)
Sulfur (omnipresent spirit of life)

The four basic elements

Western alchemy makes use of the Hellenic elements. The symbols used for these are:

Seven planetary metals

Seven metals are associated with the seven classical planets, and seven deities, all figuring heavily in alchemical symbolism. Although the metals occasionally have a glyph of their own, the planet's symbol is used most often, and the symbolic and mythological septenary is consistent with Western astrology. The planetary symbolism is limited to the seven wandering stars visible to the naked eye, and the extra-Saturnarian planets such as Neptune are not used.

Lead dominated by Saturn ♄ ( )
Tin dominated by Jupiter ♃ ( )
Iron dominated by Mars ♂( )
Gold dominated by Sol ☉ ☼ ( )
Copper dominated by Venus ♀ (also: )
Mercury (quicksilver) dominated by Mercury ☿ ( )
Silver dominated by Luna ☽ ( )

The Monas Hieroglyphica is an alchemical symbol devised by John Dee as a combination of the planetary metal glyphs.

Alchemical processes and the Zodiac signs

The alchemical magnum opus was sometimes expressed as a series of chemical operations. In cases where these numbered twelve, each could be assigned one of the Zodiac signs as a form of cryptography. The following example can be found in Pernety's 1758 Mytho-Hermetic Dictionary:

Calcination (Aries )
Congelation (Taurus )
Fixation (Gemini )
Dissolution (Cancer )
Digestion (Leo )
Distillation (Virgo )
Sublimation (Libra )
Separation (Scorpio )
Incineration (Sagittarius )
Fermentation (Capricorn )
Multiplication (Aquarius )
Projection (Pisces )

Dates Sign Planet ruler Element Humour Cross
22 Dec - 20 Jan Capricorn Saturn (passive) Earth phlegmatic cardinal
21 Jan - 19 Feb Aquarius Saturn (active) Air sanguine fixed
20 Feb - 20 Mar Pisces Jupiter (passive) Water melancholy mutable
21 Mar - 20 Apr Aries Mars (active) Fire choleric cardinal
21 Apr - 21 May Taurus Venus (passive) Earth phlegmatic fixed
22 May - 21 Jun Gemini Mercury (active) Air sanguine mutable
22 Jun - 22 Jul Cancer Moon Water melancholy cardinal
23 Jul - 23 Aug Leo Sun Fire choleric fixed
24 Aug - 23 Sep Virgo Mercury (passive) Earth phlegmatic mutable
24 Sep - 23 Oct Libra Venus (active) Air sanguine cardinal
24 Oct - 22 Nov Scorpio Mars (passive) Water melancholy fixed
23 Nov - 21 Dec Sagittarius Jupiter (active) Fire choleric mutable

A list of references from the text throughout the site where Δ is used to annotate the reference.

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  • Last modified: 2017/02/26 15:12
  • by janus