There is a wide variety of alchemical symbols due to the different traditions of alchemy on different continents and also due to the lack of uniformity between different alchemists. It must be taken into account that the alchemists always worked surrounded by great secrecy and wrote their manuscripts with cryptic symbols to prevent other people from deciphering them.
It is common for there to be more than one alchemical symbol to represent the same element or process. Even so, there are some symbols that were used by most alchemists for a long time.
The field of application of the hermetic sciences and alchemy was always very broad, ranging from philosophical and spiritual questions to more practical aspects such as the transformation of matter. Throughout the centuries, the main goals of the alchemists were:
1. Carry out the process known as Crisopea (Chrysopoeia). This process consisted of transforming ordinary metals such as lead into noble metals, especially gold.
2. Develop panaceas capable of curing any type of disease.
3. Elaborate a universal solvent, known as “Alkahest”. It was believed that this substance would allow any material to be dissolved, especially metals, to obtain elemental materials.
4. Creation of the philosopher’s stone, in many cases as a solution to the four previous objectives.
5. Achieve protection against all evil or achieve some improvements in life in general using specific alchemical symbols.
And on the last point we are going to focus on this time. We are going to decipher the secrets of these ancient alchemists that they worked so hard to hide for so many centuries.
Symbols of the classical elements
Alchemical symbols were used to describe experimental methods to attempt to create substances related to these goals. One of the common aspects among the different alchemists was the hypothesis that all matter was fundamentally made up of the four classical elements: water, earth, air and fire.
In turn, these four elements were considered to result from the possible combinations of heat or cold with dryness or humidity. The symbols for the four elements are
It was believed that the proper combination of these four elements would result in the philosopher’s stone, which was represented by the alchemical symbol:
Symbols of the Tria prima
In the sixteenth century one of the best known alchemists, Paracelsus, developed a theory of medicine to explain the nature of medicines. According to Paracelsus’s theory, the essence of any disease was contained in the combination of three basic substances: sulphur, mercury and salt.
These three substances constituted what was known as the Tria prima. Sulphur represented the fuel element, mercury was the changing element while salt represented the permanent element.
Paracelsus’s theory said that by identifying the nature of a disease from these elements it would be possible to develop the appropriate cure. The alchemical symbols to represent these basic elements were as follows:
Ancient metal symbols
Many of the methods described by the alchemists required the use of metals, especially one of the seven metals of antiquity. These seven metals are gold, silver, copper, iron, mercury, tin, and lead.
Many alchemical theories had some relationship to astrology. Because of this, the symbols of the moon and the six planets known in ancient times were used to represent these seven metals. The alchemical symbol for each of these metals was as follows:
Gold: For alchemists it represented perfection for all problems at any level, including those of the mind, spiritual and soul. The symbol for gold could also be used to represent the sun in astrology. It is a great energy, purging bad or negative vibes into something more positive.
Silver: The symbol of silver is also associated with the moon in astrology. Due to its relationship with Luna, properties of liberation and mental, emotional and physical cleansing are attributed to it. It is believed that this metal helps clarify and order ideas, reduces fever and calms nerves and stress.
Copper: Copper is well known for its fabulous property to transmit spiritual energy. One of the ways in which this effect could be seen was in diseases, since it has always been applied to alleviate certain situations. It is represented as the planet Venus ♀
Iron: The iron symbol could be used e also to represent the planet Mars in astrology. It has powerful energy against negative spirits, jinn, and other creatures. It is represented as the planet Mars ♂
Mercury: The symbol for Mercury could also be used to represent the planet of the same name in astrology. Called brilliant silver by the ancients, the Alchemists were convinced that mercury gave courage to the indecisive and enabled greater emotional intensity. gives bravery and courage. Attract abundance. It is represented as the planet Mercury ☿
Tin: The symbol for tin could also be used to represent the planet Jupiter ♃ in astrology. Considered a symbol of good fortune, spiritual development, economic expansion and good news.
Lead: is the first and oldest of the seven metals of alchemy (gold, silver, mercury, copper, lead, iron and tin). The symbol for tin is also used to represent the planet Saturn ♄ in astrology. Alchemists consider it essential for the development of extra-sensory qualities and protects whoever wears it as an amulet against envy.
Apart from the symbols used to represent substances, alchemists also used symbols to describe different chemical processes. These symbols allowed to detail how to produce substances following a set of chemical rules.
Some of these processes are still used in modern chemistry while others were only of hypothetical application in the world of alchemy.
In some alchemy manuals it is considered that there are only 12 elemental alchemical processes. In this case, the 12 symbols of the zodiac are used to represent the different processes. These 12 processes are as follows:
Calcination: Calcination is the decomposition of a substance by the application of heat. This process was represented by the sign of Aries.
Freezing: This process is equivalent to the crystallization or solidification of a substance from the decrease in its temperature. The alchemists referred to this process by the sign of Taurus.
Fixation: Fixation was an alchemical process through which a volatile substance could theoretically be transformed into a fixed or solid state, rendering it immune to fire. The Gemini symbol is associated with this process.
Dissolution: The dissolution is produced by mixing a gaseous, liquid or solid substance in a solvent giving rise to a solution. Alchemists identified different solvents to carry out this process. The symbol used to represent it was the sign of Cancer.
Digestion: The digestion process consisted of applying heat to a substance for a long period of time. This process was associated with the sign of Leo.
Distillation: Distillation is the process through which it is possible to separate the components of a liquid mixture by evaporation and condensation. The alchemists represented this process with the sign of Virgo.
Sublimation: Sublimation is a phase change of substances between their solid state and their gaseous state without passing through the liquid phase. This process was represented by the sign of Libra.
Separation: The separation included the different processes to separate the components of a substance, whether it is in a solid or liquid state. This process was represented by the sign of Scorpio.
Ceration: The process of ceration allowed alchemists to soften substances and give them a wax-like consistency. One technique for carrying out this process was to inject liquid and heat the substance. The alchemists represented this technique with the sign of Sagittarius.
Putrefaction: This process was related to the decomposition and degradation of an organic substance. It was represented with the sign of Capricorn.
Multiplication: The multiplication was an alchemical process that theoretically allowed to increase the potency of the philosopher’s stone. This process was indicated in alchemical manuscripts by the sign of Aquarius.
Projection: Projection is the process by which an alchemist could transmute an ordinary metal into gold. This process somehow involved the philosopher’s stone. The alchemists represented projection by the sign of Pisces.
MAKE YOUR OWN PROTECTION SYMBOLS:
Why is it better to make it by ourselves?
Numerous alchemists over the years have affirmed that the best symbols of protection are those made by the person himself, since by doing it with our own hands we transmit our intentions to the symbol and the last one is made solely by us.
In this way we attract our objectives and unconsciously keep in mind what we have written. If you need a little push to achieve what you set out to do or just carry a little bit of magic with you; take note that here we tell you how to do it.
What do you need?
For this you need:
- Feather or down of the color you want (you can combine it with your intention)
- A candle (optional)
- Incense (optional)
- And all your energy.
The first thing you have to know is that alchemical symbols are not for you to be doing left and right. Remember that our words are very powerful and we have to be careful what we want to attract. Think of it as an extra boost to your energy and be careful with your words.
Choose a day when you are emotionally calm, you have to be alone in a clean and cozy place. Light incense and meditate before beginning this process. You can listen to spiritual music while doing it. The idea is to create a positive energy that is recorded in your subconscious.
Write on the piece of paper a sentence that describes exactly what you want to achieve. For example:
“I have good health”
Once you have it written, take the first letter of each word, in this case it would be (I.H.G.H)
Draw your Symbol with these letters and add alchemical symbols like the ones shown above to make it unique and yours alone. While you do it repeat in your head the phrase and what you want to achieve and charge it with all your energy.
Clean it up and carry it in your bag or put it under your pillow. In this way you are also creating good luck or protection charms so that you have them with you at any time.
You can also draw symbols on white candles to increase their intention (remember to always light them in the morning and in a clean and harmonious place).
Once you have finished you can activate it by copying it or passing it clean to another paper. While you redraw it put all your intention in that purpose and then, the most important thing is that when you finish it you forget about it, it may sound strange but energetically if you obsess about what you want to achieve you create an obstacle that does not allow that energy to manifest, so it is best to activate it while you draw it and then you can save it in a place where you will not see it permanently and only trust the process you just did.
Use them wisely and never abuse them. Recharge them with your moonlight quartz, put them together with your moonlight stones once a month. Make them yours and let yourself soak up the energy.