Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of…
In this image from the Mutus Liber, or "Silent Book", a 17th-century pictorial book, the philosopher's stone is shown (below) in the Athanor (alchemists' furnace), while its archetype is personified as Mercury (above) in the hands of the angels. The image emphasizes that the physical operations of alchemy mirror a spiritual reality.
In alchemy, the combination of the fire and water symbols (up and down triangles) is known as the Seal of Solomon. The symbol is representative of the combination of opposites and transmutation. By combining the alchemical symbols for fire (upwards triangle) and water (downwards triangle), the alchemical symbols for earth and air are also created.
The ouroboros is traditionally depicted as a serpent or dragon in the process of swallowing its own tail, resulting in the formation of a circle. Unsurprisingly the ouroboros is most often regarded as a symbol of infinity and renewal, though it is also widely interpreted to be demonstrating the principles of cyclical transformation and the creation of life through death. It has also been used as a symbol for totality, self-sufficiency, androgyny, mercury, and truth.