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Phoenix
01-03-2009, 07:53 PM
This is a Phoenix-thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=7) from the old site (http://alchemy-forums.forumotion.com/forum.htm) created by Gunderic Mollusk.

Certain animals figure prominently in Alchemy, and I was possibly wondering what connection, if any, the other denizens of this forum may have with the animal language of Alchemy? Each of the animals mentioned in alchemy have strong resonances in other forms of study, magical and mythological. Have any strong feelings for the animal realm given purchase to

For instance, during my time studying in a Pagan household, I had a very, very strong resonance with the Hindu/Sri Lankan paradox god Murugan (also known as Skanda, Kartikkeya, and countless other titles). Not only did he have the six-pointed star as one of his emblems, he also rode upon the back of a peacock named Paravani, or Year. Peacocks are often depicted as standing on serpents, and are in truth known to eat them, and Paravani is no exception. Another strong contact was with the Serpent, which was the first totem animal that I had ever made contact with (consciously. In retrospect, I felt very strongly about the mantis, to the point of stepping on one as a small child and carrying the guilt with me for 16 years). Upon hearing of the stage of the Cauda Pavonis (the peacock's tail), where the stone refracts all light entering into a prismatic spectrum around itself, spreading like the aforementioned tail, I felt affirmed of my study of the Great Work.

Certain animals figure prominently in Alchemy, and I was possibly wondering what connection, if any, the other denizens of this forum may have with the animal language of Alchemy?
What a great topic...

There are so many that I think almost each one deserves its own thread because each is a massive topic. Here are some: Salamander, Serpent, Lion, Phoenix (not really a real animal), Toad, Dragons (not real either I guess) and various birds.

I have a personal connection with wolves although I have failed to find it in alchemy... have you?

Edit: started a thread on one of these creatures: Salamander (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=52)
Hm... I would think that wolves would have a strong resonance with Iron, considering the strong associations with Mars. They're a great example of polarization, as social/communal animals that in the ancient world seemed inimical to humanity. Hence, in the Ogham of Ivy and in numerous European sources, the Wolf seems to have a strong Shadow resonance. Less so now, due to context, but it may be something to examine.

I would think that wolves would have a strong resonance with Iron, considering the strong associations with Mars.
They are also deeply connected to the moon so in a way they could, in alchemical terms, be part of that silvery group: feminine, moon, water, Isis etc.

But they also have this feral quality of course, it all depends on what you want to look at when you decide what something may symbolize I guess.
I feel like often times, symbols connect in a web, where Mars and Iron connect with Moon and Silver through the learnings of the wolf, as an example. Yet, as you said, it's often a personal interpretation. Whether or not alchemists from before had seen or described a connection doesn't mean that one's own symbolism becomes invalid as being specifically part of the alchemical process.

Whether or not alchemists from before had seen or described a connection doesn't mean that one's own symbolism becomes invalid as being specifically part of the alchemical process.
Of course not, that would be a very ineffectual system if it was.

We are the creators of the world and our own reality, so everything that comes from within effects that which is without. As within so without...

And I think mythological animals are just as valid as real ones, only weakness is that they might not be seen physically per se, but then again we see what we want to see!

I have a personal connection with wolves although I have failed to find it in alchemy... have you?


Yes, wolves are beloved in alchemy...though they are a hard lot to deal with. Generally speaking the grey wolves of alchemy are placed with the metal antimony. I don't here- speak of crude stibnite as many would readily profess with regard to their Star Regulus that many still work on since Isaac Newton. Nor do I believe Valentine would ascribe to this practice either. The sharp clear vinegar of the Philosophers is made with antimony or more to the point the water of paradise as Hollandus would call it. Wherever there is a wolf, there is most certainly a crow near by.


Twelve Keys Of Basil Valentine:
If you would operate by means of our bodies, take a fierce grey wolf, which, though on account of its name it be subject to the sway of warlike Mars, is by birth the offspring of ancient Saturn, and is found in the valleys and mountains of the world, where he roams about savage with hunger.
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll195/carabric/key1.gif
Some have interpreted this above image from Basil's keys to mean
wolf/antimony used to purify gold(the king standing above) and saturn/lead used to purify silver(the queen).