SYMBOLISM. Alchemy

SYMBOLISM: ALCHEMY

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The word alchemy conjures up images that are magical and mystical.

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Alchemy differs significantly from modern science in its inclusion of Hermetic principles and practices related to mythology, magic, religion, and spirituality.

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Alchemy is an ancient art. The philosophers stone, sits at the heart of it.

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The mysterious stone was said to transform base metals such as lead, into gold.

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However, the gold in this instance symbolizes not just the valuable metal, but the transformation of the spirit, e.g. enlightenment.

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It was also to represent eternal life.

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Alchemists are concerned with their own spiritual and personal development.

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The motto of the alchemists is ‘solve et coagula’ meaning ‘solution & coagulation’

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The early alchemists were secretive about their work.

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Their secrets are still held within symbols, pictures, riddles.

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Alchemical symbolism features birds, animals, colours and parables, as well as archetypal symbols such as the cosmic egg.

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The Smaragdina (Emerald) tablet illustrates the key tenets of alchemy. It was found by Alexander the Great, in the tomb of Hermes.

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Those who dabbled in alchemy include Isaac Newton.

The most commonly used symbols include;

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– The 4 basic elements of Air, Earth, Water, Fire

– The 4 seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter

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– The 7 planetary metals, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn

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– Alchemical sprits of World, Silver, Mercury, Copper, Tin

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I create under the name ‘Punctured Artefact’. I create tattooed leather art, custom tattoo & flash. My work features a lot of symbolism. Have a look at my website 

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