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JamesBryan
01-06-2009, 12:28 AM
This is a Phoenix-thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=7) from the old site (http://alchemy-forums.forumotion.com/forum.htm).

I think everyone who knows about Nicholas Flamel knows about his grave and symbols.


Anyone know about the cross with the snakes?
Any links to somewhere I can research or I could read about would be great.

Thanks,
James
I moved this topic to Symbolism and Imagery (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=16).
Anyone know about the cross with the snakes?Have a look at these two threads:

The Caduceus of Hermes (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=17)

The Staff of Asclepius (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=18)
Ok, but then how do we get the cross from these staffs?
The Bible (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=5) is filled with alchemical language, in my opinion...

Christianity is not an original religion!

Hermes is just an older Jesus... not sure why it is a cross and a snake, but it seems to have these staffs as a source. Flamel was after all an alchemist!
But if the bible is just alchemical text like you said, then why do we have the religion vs. science controversy?

Yeah, Hermes was pretty B.A.

But if the bible is just alchemical text like you said, then why do we have the religion vs. science controversy?Because humans are stupid!

It isn't exactly smooth sailing removing thousands of years of indoctrination from whole cultures. Even within religion there is controversy, whence the denominations of belief...sadly science/reason falls far to the wayside when battling these hydras. Given that the bible is alchemical isn't an easy notion for the "true believer" to follow, and science isn't exactly the most adept at conquering allegories, parables, and metaphors in general.
So, back on topic,

If the staff with snakes intervining is alchemy.

Then why do we have a religious symbol and a alchemical symbol together?

Then why do we have a religious symbol and a alchemical symbol together?Because religion, and in this case Christianity, stems from alchemy and other ancient esoterica. As easy as that... in my opinion!

But as always one can see any image as a representation of many different things... what do you yourself think?


Hmm, the way I see it?

Hah, I have no idea, I will just go out on a limb.

Let me warn you, this is just a guess.
The cross means the spirituality of the soul, and the snake means the danger's of the physical body. So with that in mind, if it was with a other sign then maybe a recipe.

Again, out of a limb, the philosopher's stone recipe. and I know its crazy to believe but maybe that's why Nicholas Flamel put this, because he deciphered the book. He was the only one, besides his wife, that knew what it meant??

So this could be a crazy theory or blasphemy.
Well I have never seen the serpent in a negative way. Here is an essay you might enjoy:

The Serpent - part 1 (http://alternative-history.blogspot.com/2007/07/serpent.html)
The Serpent - part 2 (http://alternative-history.blogspot.com/2007/09/serpent-part-2.html)

Also Flamel is just one of many alchemists that possessed all the secrets!

This is the image this thread is referring to (one version of it anyway):

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h18/deviadah/flamel-5.jpg

Here's one take on the meaning:
...the Hebrew words NChSh, 'serpent', and MShICh, 'Messiah' have the same numerical value, 358. Based on this, the crucified serpent become a rather profound symbolic shortcut for what the Messiah is supposed to represent and do, viz., redeem the Children of Adam. - source (http://www.alchemywebsite.com/a-archive_octnov02.html)And another take:
[…] a common alchemical drawing representing the “fixing of the volatile,” or, making the elixir of mercury, a legendary curative, by removing the volatile, or poisonous element. The crucified serpent is a symbol of overcoming one’s base or materially inclined nature. - source (http://www.timboucher.com/journal/2005/04/17/the-crucified-serpent/)
Oh May I ask what that stamp is!?

Oh May I ask what that stamp is!?I don't know...
Well now I am double-researching. Still on Alchemy, Nicholas Flamel, and the Philospher's stone, but also with alchemical signs and the cross symbols and snakes.
This is also the symbol of the crucified serpent: $

It's a symbol of fixing the volatile. The serpent is always fixed with a weapon of mars:
spear, arrow, iron nails...

In the Flamel work, IMO, this is utilising iron with stibnite to make the martial regulus.
That stamp is from a library, where this figure is archived.
This figure is pretty important, and I would like to know the all meaning. We can study the marks on the bottom of that cross, that peg, and compare Moses´s snake. Must be the same. Vague neaning for me is a life /snake, mercury/ in matter /cross/.
Hey, I'm back again with another question, from what my Research shows, Nicholas Flamel created this image.

Is this correct information?

It's just a simple question too, I need to base my research off of it.

I have 4 books that are quite simple, one about the historic symbols, another about history of science, another one about signs, and the holy bible.

I am trying to get Flamel's writings in books and the Emerald Tablet. If anyone can give me some more books that I should get, go ahead and tell.

Play_Dough
04-05-2009, 04:21 AM
My interpretation of the 'Cross and Serpent' (as displayed above in this thread) is that it represents the 'fallen or spiritually un-evolved condition of Man'.

Rationale:
The 'cross' is an ancient symbol of 'matter' and 'the snake' is (also) a symbol of 'The Fall of Man'. To 'reverse' the condition of 'the fall' the snake must 'consume itself' (See, ouroboros).

The snake in the image (as referenced) is in such a position that it cannot put it's tail into it's mouth to begin (symbolically) the process of 'The Great Work' of self-annihilation (get rid of the snake) and subsequent rebirth.

As such, the image represents an 'eternal condition of death' because of the snake's inability to begin The Great Work (devouring itself).

A close examination of the image indicates that at least one of the nails/spikes is penetrating the snake (the one nearest to it's head) thus emphasizing the conundrum.

It seems quite ridiculous for Flamel to paint an image designed to have the unenlightened/'dead' as his audience.
So then, what is Flamel saying to 'the awakened' (his seeming intended audience) via his image?

His image depicts the condition of Man without spirit or without a personal awareness of the soul nor of God. Neither the snake nor the lumber used in the imagery is capable of expressing 'life' (both have been 'cut down' or severed from life) . It is an abstract depiction of Man without (no longer possessing) a divine component and without ability nor inclination to perform "The Great Work" of regeneration.

Perhaps a type of warning ("Keep Back 300 feet") to the awakened to avoid those (no association) who exist in a relative state of profane and perpetual death.

.

Aleilius
04-05-2009, 04:58 AM
I think Flamel meant for this to take on a certain practical meaning more so than any spiritual or psychological meaning.

The cross represents a union of two matters. The serpent represents the driving force of the Great Work.


The 'cross' is an ancient symbol of 'matter' and 'the snake' is (also) a symbol of 'The Fall of Man'.
Very close! It would be more appropriate for the serpent to represent death, or rather a catalyst for death. Death is the beginning of the Great Work.

EDIT: Isn't it funny how the dollar sign represents money, but yet is also representative of the Philosopher's Stone? No coincidence!

Seth-Ra
04-05-2009, 05:43 AM
My view of the crucified serpent emblem is this:

The snake is a symbol for death and resurrection (due to the shedding of its skin, its symbolic...), and i think it was already mentioned how it was a "short cut" to "messiah", so it could also represent Jesus.
__
*personal fav.*
The snake is the spiritual substance (when it has the wings, like my avatar) being fixed (the cross) into a physical substance. (i.e. the Stone)
__
of course it could also be like a "time line", the "13th constellation" as it were... "snake handler" i believe it was called (translated), and i forget exactly how they done this, but the thing i heard this part on, also showed the black-hole in the center of our galaxy, and some how they had it form a cross, so the snake handler and the cross line up on the same spot. (i could be mistaken, but im fairly certain thats what i remember)
__
Though i mostly hold to my personal favorite idea on it, as the snake is usually meant as a "subtle" force, and the way i understand it is the cross is matter/physical fixedness. (coagulation?) / also ill note the crosses 4 ends = 4 elements, and 3 point crown = Sulphur, Mercury, Salt, also completion. (the 3 point crown kinda only works with the one i use. With the image posted above, i think it would be the 3 nails... or perhaps the 3 mountain tops in the background. *though i might be looking to hard*) ;)

hope i helped. :)

~Seth-Ra

Play_Dough
04-05-2009, 08:20 PM
It is also interesting to note that the upper (horizontal) 'cross member' in combination with the shape of the serpent (as illustrated) forms an 'upside-down' symbol of the ancient astrological sign of Libra See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libra_(astrology)) for the glyph representing the astrological sign of Libra.
The sign of Libra also represents 'The Scales of Justice'.

It is additionally interesting to note that in astrology the Sign of Libra is 'ruled' by the planet Venus.
The glyph for the planet Venus is a circle above a cross
(See, http://astrology.about.com/od/foundations/ig/Astrological-Symbols/Venus_symbol.htm )

In Flamel's image the cross embedded in the Earth (as a planet or 'circle' or 'sphere') is an additional representation of an upside-down astrological symbol of Venus.

It seems likely that the image discussed in this thread is one of a series (12 or more) depicting one astrological sign (Libra, ruled by Venus in this instance) each.

There is no doubt that Flamel's image contains two upside-down astrological symbols (as mentioned above), both of which are closely associated in the ancient astrological cosmology.

The image also (to me) seems to depict 'Dark Matter' or 'prima materia' as the images contains no evidence of 'life' (nothing still alive).

.

Hephælios
04-06-2009, 04:09 PM
And what of the sharp nails?

Seth-Ra
04-06-2009, 05:42 PM
And what of the sharp nails?

looking to the Azoth, Iron has the symbol for sulphur also. So it could be that the Iron is a key to the fixing of Spirit. It could also represent the Three Essentials. (if there are 3)

Dizardos
04-06-2009, 06:13 PM
And what of the sharp nails?

A very good question. I had not given it much thought before, but I shall give it a try.

Sharp nails. Nails are commonly made out of iron. I is the letter Iod in Hebrew Alphabeth and represents the creative force that is god. This is better seen from the number 0 which denotes infinite potential and becomes something tangible represented by the letter 1 which is a straight line from which all other forms can be derived. O is the Hebrew letter Ayin which means eye, but also fountain. N is the Hebrew letter Nun which means a fish. A Babylonian God was Dag-on, the fish god. R is the Hebrew letter Resh and a direct reference to the destructive principle, Satan, Shiva and Saturn. That which is dead is therefore also kept in an urn. 'On' also means sun.

Iron is a direct reference to Urim which also leads to the word urine.

'Thou shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim.'
- Ex. xxviii. 30.
'And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.'
- 1 Sam. xxviii. 6.

Ur means light. Urim will thus likely represent sulfur, while the Thummim is likely the mercury. The closest word to Thummim I could find is
'hum'. To sing with one's mouth closed or be in a state of busy activity. Even better said it is the continuous inward vibration or movement.

Iron in Latin is ferrum and σίδηρος in Greek.

Ferrum appears to contain the word 'Ram'. A ram charges and hits. A ram opens closed gates. Ram also appears to represent sulphur plus mercury. Strength.

σίδηρος appears to be a word of two opposites. My intuition says that σίδ means hate while ηρος means love.

Iron is often forged into tools to give other materials shape. It is given a shape, but gives others a shape too. It is an actor. Iron is the tool that is used so often in mythological and religious stories by which a certain feat is accomplished. Iron represents the force that, once harnessed, can be used to accomplish great things. Iron furthermore represents Mars, the red servant, whose children form the Stone. Interesting iron tools would grammatically be 'axe' and 'sword'.

In phonetic contexts nail could refer to humility (kneel), movement, death (flail) (kill), pain (ail), slippery, elusive (eel), fading power (stale), drinks and refreshment (ale).

There appear to be multiple cross references at different levels to the same subject. The serpent, the messiah, would in that context be mercury, while the sharp iron nails would represent sulfur.

I will have to look up some aspects in more detail when I do have the time, since I have very little time for the next two weeks. Maybe I will buy a Greek and Latin lexicon in the future.

Aleilius
04-06-2009, 09:23 PM
I have to admit that my previous interpretation may not be right. I must say that it's more of a personal opinion than anything else.

Two of the nails/stakes appear to be made of iron, and the other one appears to be wood. Two iron nails affix the serpent to the horizontal beam of the cross (1/2 the side of the vertical beam). One nail/stake (seems more appropriate to call this one a stake) fixes the cross to the mound of earth.

Χριστός = χριστός =κριός =χρίω

κριός & κέρας
1. ram

battering ram
the constellation Aries

2. sea-monster

Aries = Ares = Eros = Eris = Iris = Siris = Sirus = Sirius = Seirios = Siras = Sira

Aleilius
04-06-2009, 09:44 PM
Hmm, this might represent a different process than I had originally thought. The cross might indeed represent a crucible.

Check these out:

Dizardos
04-06-2009, 10:08 PM
Below the belly of the snake is another symbol. The signs near the iron nails are interpretable, but I have a hard time making out what it is all taking place near the wooden stake. I see something different than earth. It might sound strange, but I see a tiny tiger with a small black dog/wolf in front of it. On the back of the tiger appear to sit two birds. I am not sure, but there appears to be more hidden there.

What was your interpretation to arrive at the crucible, Aleilius?

Aleilius
04-07-2009, 12:18 AM
Oh wow, you have good eyes! There is another symbol to under the midsection of the serpent. You're also right about there being more to the wooden stake at the bottom of the cross. These are really difficult to make out. I'm doing some photo manipulation on it, and will post again in this thread in a hour or two.

Also, in between the red dots on the serpent are symbols! They appear to be astrological symbols. I can clearly make out a few of them, but the others are too pixelated.

We need a high resolution image!

About the crucible symbolism: It's just another wild speculation on my part! Fulcanelli mentions the cross representing a crucible. I think mention of this occurs a few other times in alchemical literature. Is this the Flamel dry path? I'm not too sure in all honesty. One of the symbols threw me for a loop and this caused me to change my mind, but maybe I was right in my original supposition.

Dizardos
04-07-2009, 12:58 AM
Oh wow, you have good eyes! There is another symbol to under the midsection of the serpent. You're also right about there being more to the wooden stake at the bottom of the cross. These are really difficult to make out. I'm doing some photo manipulation on it, and will post again in this thread in a hour or two.

Also, in between the red dots on the serpent are symbols! They appear to be astrological symbols. I can clearly make out a few of them, but the others are too pixelated.

We need a high resolution image!

About the crucible symbolism: It's just another wild speculation on my part! Fulcanelli mentions the cross representing a crucible. I think mention of this occurs a few other times in alchemical literature. Is this the Flamel dry path? I'm not too sure in all honesty.

Deviadah surely keeps us of the streets with such images. :p

Aleilius, you are indeed right about the cross. Phonetically it of course represents the entire alchemical process as proven by Hephaelios.

I found something else as well. A face is visible in the water to the left of the cross. I notice a strange similar pattern to the right side of the cross as well. It is a blueish image. The wooden stake could very well be an animal horn instead. The inside appears to be hollow.

Aleilius
04-07-2009, 01:13 AM
Aleilius, you are indeed right about the cross. Phonetically it of course represents the entire alchemical process as proven by Hephaelios.
Very true, Fulcanelli also mentions the phonetic associations/similarities too.


I found something else as well. A face is visible in the water to the left of the cross. I notice a strange similar pattern to the right side of the cross as well. It is a blueish image. The wooden stake could very well be an animal horn instead. The inside appears to be hollow.
I haven't been paying attention to the background, but I will look for what you mention. It's really tough to make out some of the details in the background. You're absolutlely right about the animal horn and the wooden stake! I was thinking about the upside down luna symbol near the stake. It doesn't appear to be to a crescent moon at all, but rather a horn!

EDIT: I think the tiger/dog depiction you mentioned at the bottom of the cross near the wooden stake or horn is a frog. There does appear to be something else, like a feather or something, but maybe this is just an illusion caused by pixelation.

Dizardos
04-07-2009, 02:08 AM
The horn is of an animal nature and thus represents the lower principle, the Soul also known as Sulfur. The serpent, the inner and higher principle, is the savior. It is the Spirit also known as Mercury. The cross thus represents the crossing of the fixed with the volatile to create the Stone.

The serpent might also be a reference to the story of Cadmus. Hermes was worshipped in Samothrace under the name Cadmus.

I understand what you mean. It nevertheless appears that we are reaching the limits of our deciphering abilities with the current quality of the image.

Aleilius
04-07-2009, 02:28 AM
Indeed, the cross represents a double matter composed of the Sulfur principle and the Mercury principle! I didn't really want to say much about this, but you went ahead and mentioned it. :)

I think the serpent might actually mean something else in this image. I think it represents the activating principle, the redeeming principle, and the force of our work. If this image represents what I think it does then I must say that the fire of our work is not a vulgar fire! The alchemists are VERY adamant in this respect. To understand the nature of our fire is the greatest difficulty.

Dizardos
04-12-2009, 02:07 PM
Probably the best representation of the symbolism behind serpents comes from Egypt. Apep (also called Apepi, Aapep and Apophis) is the God of darkness and chaos and thus opponent of Ma'at, Goddess of light, order and truth. Apep is often represented as a giant snake, a serpent and sometimes even as a crocodile or a dragon. Apep fought an eternal battle with the Sun God, Ra. Apep as a giant snake (whose movements mimic those of rivers) would swallow Ra which caused darkness upon the earth, but in the end Ra would always be victorious and shine his light upon the earth once more. It can thus easily be seen that Apep is Leviathan, the great sea serpent, Mercurios, the Lord of the Waters.

The horn that is planted into the ground could also represent the Horn of Plenty, referring to the bountiful harvest that is to come.

Hephælios
04-13-2009, 02:27 AM
Interesting iron tools would grammatically be 'axe' and 'sword'.
Paracelsus was said to be an excellent swordsman...

Andro
05-09-2010, 01:04 PM
http://i861.photobucket.com/albums/ab172/androgynus_album/Serpent_Cross.jpg
__________________________

http://i861.photobucket.com/albums/ab172/androgynus_album/colon.jpg
__________________________

Awani
05-10-2010, 07:47 PM
Good point!

:cool:

Andro
05-10-2010, 07:51 PM
;)
Good point!

It's the Mutus Androgynus...

:D

IMO, we often miss the divine simplicity of ancient symbolism by over-analysing it with fragmented minds.

And the irony is that the Ancients were actually COUNTING on this, as a filter of automatic discernment...

However, the importance of the Iron-Y shouldn't be underestimated, I would say...

:cool:

Andro
05-13-2010, 02:18 PM
Also, along similar lines, here's a pair of interesting 'Doves of Diana' :

http://i861.photobucket.com/albums/ab172/androgynus_album/Doves_Of_Diana.jpg

;)

Andro
05-13-2010, 06:40 PM
Iron is a direct reference to Urim which also leads to the word urine.

So finally, to hammer the nails...

http://i861.photobucket.com/albums/ab172/androgynus_album/CrucifiedSerpent3.jpg
_____________________________________________

To summarize, quoth 'Hemetic Arcanum':


Knows Dame Venus Birds
And him to whom of Doves a lucky pair
Sent from above shall hover 'bout his Ear.
_______________________________________________

Note: The above quote and related symbolism can be interpreted on multiple levels - this is only one possible interpretation out of many.

solomon levi
05-14-2010, 11:34 PM
:D
Kidney in french is "rein", like the reins which guide the horse/cabalos!

Andro
05-15-2010, 12:04 AM
Kidney in french is "rein"!

Rein/Rhein-Gold

Golden Rain/Golden Shower/ etc... etc... etc...

We could go on playing forever with words, but once the Spirit is distilled from its wordly/wordy form and properly uploaded and internalized, I do not believe wordplay to be necessary any longer (although quite fun, nevertheless :)) - unless you wish to convey without disclosing that which you already know.

But on the other hand, we also shouldn't make the mistake to limit ourselves to only one interpretation - after all it is an Archetype which can only be made tangible by its manifest applications, and some applications are much better than others, even though the Matter is One.

The problem lies also with the fact that many aspiring Philosophers lack the proper Vessel and Furnace, which may greatly diminish the outcome of their Practice.
This IMO is not a question of who has the sharper wits, but rather to what extent one has been truly chosen by the Art and provided with the most fitting Instruments.

Salazius
05-15-2010, 07:40 AM
Rein and Reine and Rêne, are different words in french. And Rein is pronunced without the "n" sound. The word Reine is 'queen', and Rêne is used to control a horse. The two last are pronunced in the same way.

Same story with the "verre" "ver" "vert" "vers" "vair" whic is another story, but interesting too.
Verre : glass
Ver : worm
Vert : green
Vers : to (somewhere, in direction of)
Vair : vair (white and grey fur)