or medium of realization is neither mind nor matter, but that
intermediate realm of subtle reality which can only be adequately
expressed by the symbol. The symbol is neither abstract nor concrete,
neither rational nor irrational, neither real nor unreal.
Graphic representations in the form of signs
and symbols have been used since cavemen first scratched on damp and
dank cave walls millennia ago in order to express latent ideas. Symbols
have been used to encode complex ideologies in a complete single entity
or a variety of entities, they have also been used to abbreviate
multiple items of reference into a sole figure that when viewed imparts
a myriad of intellectual and intuitive ideas at once to the
These symbols have been used as distinct signifiers and markers
throughout time, they have been used to depict specific cultural icons
and used as metaphoric extensions of speech and writing in the
advertising world, political arena, as well as for religious and psychological
modes of expression and have also been found in the areas of archeology
and anthropology, heraldry, mythology and folklore. Sometimes these
symbols have ambiguous definitions and interpretations that vary from
era to era and culture to culture and have been used in both subtle and
forceful manners. Symbols
have both magical and mundane as well as public and private uses. Symbols
both conceal and reveal. It is hoped that you may find some benefit from
the symbols and associated lore that is shared below.
Symbols used by Alchemists for the Elements say much about their
archetypal origins. The colors used here are not the important element
to consider, I have simply used alternating bright and subtle shades to draw attention to the
specific shape of the symbol. These colors that I have chosen for the
elements symbols do not follow the traditional usage of those used by
Wiccans as my own personal practice calls for a different set of
correspondences to be used.
The volatile element of Fire with
qualities both hot and dry is represented by an upwards pointing
triangle as Fire seeks to ascend.
The element of Water with
qualities of coldness and moistness is represented by a downward
pointing triangle since Water seeks to descend or condense
The symbol for Air having the
qualities of both hot and moist is the upwards pointing triangle
of Fire but a moist component blocks the full ascent of the Fire
principle as shown by the line.
The symbol for Earth is the
downward pointing triangle of Water with Earth being considered
cold and dry yet the dry component, as shown by the line, blocks
the full descent of of the Water principle.
Symbols used for the
Planets (and associated metals) have esoteric symbolism encoded into them as shown
(Associated with Lead)
The cipher for Saturn is
interpreted as a sickle that points downward with a horizontal
line that runs through it that stands for the earthly plane of
(Associated with Tin)
The symbol for Jupiter represents
the lunar crescent rising above the cross of the four elements
and becoming receptive to the light of Spirit.
(Associated with Iron)
Originally the glyph for Mars was
a circle with a cross on top signifying matter over spirit,
eventually the small cross became an arrow representing the
thrusting, aggressive energies, this symbol has also been used
to signify the male gender.
(Associated with Copper)
The sign for Venus is a circle
over the cross of elements representing spirit over matter and
it often depicted as a sign for the female gender.
(Associated with Mercury)
The sigil for Mercury represents
the union with all three levels of reality, the Marriage or
Union of the Spirit and the Soul which produces the new body of
the Philosopher's Child.
(Associated with Silver)
The symbol of the moon is a
caricature of one of the phases of this Lunar orb which
represents receptivity and protection.
(Associated with Gold)
The Solar archetype of the Sun in
symbolic form is an image of wholeness and a point for the focus
of life. It implies completeness and integration.
These symbols below have
been used by herbalists, images © Paul Huson
sigils have been used to signify the seasons and associated celebrations
by Crafters in the British Isles as well as the directional Gods that
Robert Cochrane gave homage to.
of these images are © Nigel Pennick, others were recreated by me.
Lay of the Serpent's Field
The Dame takes measure of all she spies, white thread from black soon she'll pries.
She plucks a hair from 'pon her head and makes a Spindle to hold all thread.
She turns the Spindle through the night, and gathers up the black with might.
She casts the Spindle to the skies and watches as an arrow flies.
Into the ground the Spindle strikes, black threads descend like ebon spikes.
They sink into the gloam and bloom and come to make the Cauldron Womb.
Spindle roots, and now is grown, by Blossoms then the Tree is shown.
Threads of White are left to Rise, they climb into the Starry Skies.
Red of hue with Serpent form, this creature first from Cauldron born.
Snaking up from Underground, the Serpent climbs the Tree by round.
The Dame averts the Serpent's harm and speaks a cunning birthing Charm.
From the Cauldron, come what may, now spill Sons made aught from Clay.
The Sons give Serpent wily chase and pelt it in a steady pace.
Tossing rocks and clay and dirt, they bade the Serpent fearful hurt.
They trap it in a middling spot, encased the Serpent nigh grows hot.
From this heat Blossoms are seen, brought forth by Fire ever Green.
Yet now the Sons that come from Clay wither Blossoms at end of Day.
As end to ere this killing blight, the Dame calls forth the Son of Light.
He too is come as Cauldron born, bearing Light between each Horn.
Battles then the days prevail, who shall triumph, who shall fail?
If then the Son of Light has Lost, half year shall we see Snow and Frost.
Descend the Sons of Clay to Gloom, then Green the Land and Green the Bloom.
Now comes the Turning of the Mill, Will to Bid and Bid to Will.
None shall Give and none shall Yield, as Seasons turn the Serpent's Field.
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