What do these symbols mean? And how were the elements they represent used by alchemists? Here we are going over the alchemy background, the meaning of each symbol and how they can open your mind to an exciting and new way of seeing life in this modern world.
Alchemy symbols have been around for thousands of year, and people are often interested in them because they contain some magical properties and mystic meanings.
Alchemy is an ancient area of study, sometimes described as esoteric science or as a branch of philosophy that was practiced in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Alchemy originated in the early centuries, primarily in Egypt, Greece, and Rome, but eventually spread as far as India, China, and England by the 12th century. During that period of time, the occult knowledge was not known in America until the arrival of the European colonies. This knowledge was not and still not taught in public school, but some entities decided to keep it hidden from people and just teach these concepts in secrets.
Here's some background information.
Alchemist had three main goal:
• Create the Philosopher’s Stone (a legendary substance said to be capable of transforming lead into gold and giving the user eternal life)
• Create an elixir of eternal youth and health
• Transmute metals (specifically into gold)
Alchemy was a science that used the basic elements of nature to manipulate matter, then chemistry took over and separated those elements into a more complex form and created the periodic table.
Since the beginning of alchemy, alchemists have used symbols to represent different elements just like in the modern chemistry. Alchemy symbols represent different elements that sometimes are associated with celestial bodies in the sky. Using symbols helped alchemists to keep track of their work and their experiments. Today people enjoy alchemy symbol’s history and their shapes, but the modern alchemist use these symbols to represent an idea and a philosophy.
Chemistry it’s a very complicated science that involves the use of elements and compounds, energy and some techniques to create a desire result or an entire new compound. Most of the time in order to become a chemist it is required to pursue higher education to be able to perform some of the techniques that are commonly used, but what’s the purpose of that? who would like to become a chemist if the only way you can make use of it is to work for some random company.
In the other hand an alchemist uses only basic elements in which if they are correctly combined with the right energy you can be able to transform your life. Put the right intention into some of these elements and you will be able to transmute a form of energy into another.
The Three Primes
The three primes, also known as the tria prima. It is thought that the tria prima contained all the poisons that caused disease, and that by studying them, alchemists could learn how to cure them. The tria prima define humans, and they are assigned each of the elements to a different part of the human identity.
Mercury (which is also one of the seven planetary metals) can mean both the element and the planet. This symbol represents the mind, as well as a state that could transcend death. In ancient times, mercury was believed to shift between life and death. Mercury is sometimes said to represent the female energy, agility, versatility, dexterity, friendship, movement and intelligence.
Salt represents the body, as well as physical matter in general, crystallization, and condensation. Salt represents the purification processes the human body can undergo. It also represents spiritual protection and abundance. For a long time, salt was money for exchange. Actually, the word “salary” comes from the Latin “salarium” as the Roman soldiers were paid in salt.
Sulfur is the active male counterpart to mercury’s female energy. Sulfur represents properties such as dryness, heat, and masculinity. In alchemy, it could also represent evaporation, expansion, and dissolution. In terms of human body, it represent the soul. Sulfur helps to remove emotions such as anger, negative thoughts, and barriers to progress.
The air symbol in alchemy can be represented as a life-giving force and it is associated with blood and flow of energy. Air is the element of youth, increase, new beginnings, and creativity.
Earth represents physical movement, sensations, patience, stability, strength, health, grounding and centering of energies, promoting peace, fertility, business success, and comfort. Put your feet on the ground and pay attention at what's going on around you. Take care of your responsibilities and yourself but remember that Mother earth it's on your side, are you on hers?
In alchemy, fire represents emotions such as passion from inspiration, love, anger, and hate. Some of the stronger emotions that a human can feel. It also represent energy and it is a catalyst to both initiating and completing metaphysical demonstrations. Ignite the fire within yourself and light your entire world!
Water is frequently viewed as the source of life itself and it is associated with emotion and intuition. Water can be ritually blessed and serve as a spiritual symbol of God’s protection over a person touched by this Holy Water.
• Celestial body: Venus
• Day of the week: Friday
• Organ: Kidneys
Copper is the planetary symbol for Venus. As such, this symbol embodies characteristics as love, balance, feminine beauty, and artistic creativity. It is believed that Copper has the ability to conduct spiritual energy back and forth between individuals, crystals, auras, the mind and the spirit world. It is a very social symbol and also very artistic involving dance, music, drama etc. It is also associated with energy that will make people feel attractive.
• Celestial body: Mars
• Day of the week: Tuesday
• Organ: Gallbladder
Iron represents the human strength, obstinacy, fortitude, honor, courage, sharpness (of body and mind), tenacity, and confidence in power. Mars is the planet of action and it affects the areas of life where you express your enthusiasm and apply your drive.
• Celestial body: Jupiter
• Day of the week: Thursday
• Organ: Liver
This element is associated with balance, mediation, and a philosophical view of life. It is also associated with the principle of growth, expansion, healing, prosperity and good fortune. It’s also related to big business and wealth. Additionally, this element embodies logic, knowledge and maturity. It is thought that tin is the metal of the scholars and sages.
• Celestial body: Saturn
• Day of the week: Saturday
• Organ: Spleen
Lead is the metal of redemption and transformation; it is the base, degraded material that’s both the carrier of death, ruler of the dark and eternal, incorruptible life. Lead represents the exterior natural world so as age, tradition, order, structure and authority. The Saturn Symbol represents karma, law of matter and rules. Saturn also represents the soul's journey into matter in order to establish: order out of chaos, beauty out of ugliness and peace out of contention. It’s been said that some aspects of our society are being ruled by this planet’s energy.
Uranus and Neptune
These two planets were added to the list later on and are not part of the seven planetary metals but their meaning is so important and very relevant for the alchemis.
Uranus is known as the planet that started life. In the Greek mythology of creation, in the beginning there was chaos. From Chaos emerged two majestic manifestations in the deific form: Gaea (Mother Terra) and Uranus (Father Sky). It’s also known as the limitless planet where a breakthrough takes place after crossing the boundaries of Saturn in the solar system. Uranus is sometimes associated with personal growth and some of the characteristics are science, eccentricity, change and invention. Uranus Symbol represents a breakthrough and shocking change; it also brings a sudden revelation and awakening. It challenges us to look at things in a new way. It governs rebellion and revolution.
Neptune symbol represents the threefold essences of nature ( From the trident of Neptune the God of the waters also known as Poseidon).
These aspects of the Neptune symbol give us a glimpse at how diverse and expansive this energy is.
• Birth, Life, Death
• Mind, Body, Spirit
• Past, Present, Future
Neptune symbol meaning, as well as the symbolism behind the god and the planet Neptune include dreams, intuition, psychic abilities, magic, perception, psychology, philosophy, esotericism, and mysticism. Neptune can have a selfless desire to make a world a better place by showing compassion and love. It erases the boundaries that exist between races and religions, genders, sexualities etc. by having a deeper soul to soul connection with other human beings.
• Celestial body: Sun
• Day of the week: Sunday
• Organ: Heart
Gold is the most precious of all metals and the Sun is the most important planetary object in our solar system. It symbolizes humankind’s goal to obtain perfection in spirit and mind. As a transitional metal, gold is symbolic of flexibility on our spiritual path symbolizing the purity of the spiritual aspect of “All that is” . It is associated with illumination, love, compassion, courage and prosperity. Gold has also been used to open and activate the third-eye and crown chakras.
• Celestial body: Moon
• Day of the week: Monday
• Organ: Brain
Silver is one of the most well-known and precious metals, and it has been used for various purposes since ancient times. Some symbolic meanings of Moon are vision, clarity, awareness and focus. It’s a very powerful feminine energy that also signifies wisdom and spiritual connection.
It is also called the elixir of life, useful for rejuvenation and for achieving immortality; for many centuries, it was the most sought goal in alchemy. The philosophers’ stone was the central symbol of the mystical terminology of alchemy, symbolizing perfection at its finest, enlightenment, and heavenly bliss. In reality, the history about alchemy has been lost for centuries, from the burning of the library of Alexandria to the religion suppression in the medieval century and as far as this the modern times. We can only speculate what alchemy is really about and that’s the beauty of this new brand. You can make of it what you feel deep inside of you. You can turn these symbols into a way of living aspiring to become a better person. To attract that what you want. To remind yourself that you are so powerful and the creator of your own reality. If you allow them, these symbols will remind you who you really are and will take you to the next level. So the Philosopher’s stone… it’s you. You can turn any aspects of your life into gold if you desire to.
With Love, Gerry Montoya