View Full Version : The Unicorn in Alchemy

12-16-2009, 06:38 PM
The unicorn belongs to the sacred animals in the alchemy.

In the "Metropolitan Museum ot Art" there in a tapestry showing:

" The Unicorn in Captivity"

A unicorn tied to a pomegranate tree, the alchemical prize, with a chain.
Around the neck a band showing spirals.
Sitting in a meadow full of flowers, but the tree and the unicorn are surrounded
from a fence, which is building a circle.

Only have the black and white photo, so no conclusions about the colors.

Right now I try to find out, why the unicorn is chained.

Should this mean, it has to be tamed?

12-21-2009, 07:19 AM
The unicorn represents the sacred marriage, symbolizing mercury
with his male and female aspects ... the androgynous!

Even today the image of the unicorn inholds vital magic, it leads
transformation energy in our life.

This is shown, when the unicorn puts the horn in poisend water, to clear it.

Albrecht Dürer, a german painter, made a wonderful engraving:

" The Rape of Persephone"

Showing Pluto riding on a back of a unicorn, carrying a naked Persephone off to
the underworld.

The unicorn looks wild and fierce, all under male controll ...

12-21-2009, 11:04 AM
IMO unicorn = spirit. /deer = soul/

Its quite interesting, that 4 this nonexistent animal were devised min. 2 hunting methods. :D Study them.

12-21-2009, 03:38 PM
Is this the picture Joy?

Pluto & Serephone (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/album.php?albumid=29&pictureid=107)

The unicorn looks a little worried


12-26-2009, 06:05 PM
Horticult ... :) At times I might call you the ridler and I will try to unfold your meanings.

Ghislain :) Thats the picture all right, the only way Pluto could get hold on the
unicorn, cause it was tamed by the maiden. The unicorn is not worried, there is
always a way out, as soon, as the emotions are calmed down, which are fiercy!

Right now I look at the connection between unicorn and lion and than comes
the hunting part.

As a preface to the hunting:

12-26-2009, 06:16 PM
A medieval German folk song:
The hunter stood beside me

Who blew the mighty horn;

I saw that he was hunting

The gentle unicorn-

But the unicorn is noble,

He knows his gentle birth

He knows that god has chosen him

Above all beast on earth

The unicorn is noble;

He keeps him save and high

Upon a narrow path and step

Climbing to the sky;

And there no man can take him,

He scorn`s the hunters dart,

And only a virgain`s magic power

Shall tame his haugthy heart.
(out of James Cross Giblins research)

solomon levi
06-29-2010, 06:59 PM
Uni-corn, the "One Kernel" or seed of all - this is the same symbol as the Christ -
only begotten son.
It must be chained/fixed. See the thread on Nitrogen. It sort of explains this. ;)


06-29-2010, 10:41 PM
Check out this image:


Here the lion and the unicorn are represented opposite one another. The virgin, in very symbolic clothes, is seemingly taming the unicorn by showing the unicorn its reflection in a mirror. Another reference to the equilibrium of Nature perhaps? The lion sits beside an acorn tree, the unicorn before a tree of holly. Interestingly enough holly berries were a common source of food for many birds and even the developing larvae of a species of moth, lending the symbolism of the plant to volatile things, much as the horse is seen as symbolic of the volatile.

solomon levi
06-30-2010, 05:38 PM
Remember that the unicorn and the Christ represent the same matter,
the first matter of metals.
This "reflection" that tames/fixes the unicorn is also called a twin.
Recall that Christ (you won't hear this at church) also had a twin -
Didymus Judas Thomas, which is to say "twin, the praised one, twin" -
both names mean twin or double.

The volatile mercury is captured by a fixed sulphur.
One is agent, the other is patient.
One is our Chalybs, the other our magnet.

The mirror is also the symbol of Venus, and of females in general
(see copper glyph).

Sendivogius tells us, "The first matter of metals is twofold (twin ;)), and
one without the other cannot create a metal. The first and principle substance
is the moisture of air mingled with warmth. This substance the Sages have
called Mercury, and in the philosophical sea, it is governed by the rays of
the Sun and the Moon.The second substance is the dry heat of the earth
which is called Sulphur. But as this substance has always been kept a great
mystery, let us declare it more fully, and especially its weight, ignorance of
which mars the whole work." :D
..."You will have all you want if you find the point of Nature, which you must
not however look for in the vulgur metals... (which are dead)... But the metals
which we advise you to take are living and have vital spirits. Fire is the life
of metals while they are still in their ore, and the fire of smelting is their death..."

If interested, you should read on - the third treatise of "The New Chemical Light"


06-30-2010, 06:55 PM
I had also made a connection in some other representations of the Unicorn (in Alchemical Symbolism) that it was correlated to Prima Materia. In the "spiritual Alchemies," Prima Materia relates to the divine pattern of our inner self (read: soul?). If I may be so bold, to interpret the mentioned symbols as you've said them, Joy: The Prima Materia is fettered to a tree (a symbol inherent to not just nature but the nature of a thing), and if the chain is silvery this picture is more prolific in symbology. The tree is a pomegranate tree, known for being a fruit of passions even in the ancient world. It could be important to note that connection of strong emotion, particularly lusts or base instincts. The scene is also fenced, as if to say that chaining the Unicorn is not enough. It is still yet also contained in a "pasture" that limits it's freedom. A fence commonly symbolizes notsomuch a barrier, but a marker of territory. Some external force or being erected said fence, as surely the Unicorn did not. I am compelled to humanize the symbols here and create my own interpretation of the message, which would be that it's artist was conveying the soul's desire to be absolutely free, but he or she had felt weighed down, held back, or chained by natural passions, lusts, instincts, and our very human survival mechanisms. It would be hard enough to earn freedom from the tree, but then one must jump the fence of limited human experience. If enough sharp triangular angles are illustrated in the fence, it is a fence that the artist feels was put there by a massive external force that seeks humanity's control, or corralling.

That's merely my input, and I have no form of expertise, just experiences.

solomon levi
07-08-2010, 01:42 AM
Uni is the supreme goddess of the Etruscan pantheon.
Equivalent to roman Juno and greek Hera.

Juno was also known as Saturnia, the daughter of Saturn/Cronos.
Cronos was also known in Celtic religions as Cernunnos the great horned one - Satan/Saturn.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/63/Detail_of_antlered_figure_on_the_Gundestrup_Cauldr on.jpg/220px-Detail_of_antlered_figure_on_the_Gundestrup_Cauldr on.jpg

So Saturnia/Juno/Hera is Uni-cernunnos, the unicorn.

The pomegranate is one of Hera's symbols.