Animal Alchemy Symbols
Alchemy is an ancient philosophically-based tradition in which practitioners claim to be able to complete at least one of the following tasks: create the philosopher’s stone, change base metals into gold and silver, and/or develop an elixir of life that promotes longevity and youth. It was a fundamental basis to the formation of modern science and is still considered a protoscience today. Unlike other sciences, though, alchemy bases its practices in mythology, religion, magic, and spirituality.
Animals have long since been considered very symbolic totem creatures, and considering them through a lens of alchemy is no different. Many animals have been considered in this realm, each with their own characteristics and values. Below are some of the most common animal alchemy totems and some of the most widely accepted symbolisms associated with each.
Animal Alchemy Symbol : Phoenix
The mighty phoenix is another quintessential symbol to animal alchemy. It sacrifices itself to fire and death, rising out of the ashes reborn. Thus, the phoenix is the ultimate symbol of death and rebirth. In the practice of alchemy, the phoenix was used an emblem denoting the purifying and transforming of fire and sulfur. It was also associated with the color red.
Animal Alchemy Symbol : Fox
Foxes are one of the most notable animals associated with the spiritual aspects of alchemy, as they are considered the cultivators of the Elixir of Life. Alchemists of the past also believed that the fox animal totem had the ability to transform themselves into human form at night to visit the sick and elderly. In doing this, foxes were enabled to provide those people with their mysterious elixir in order to promote their health and prolong their lives. The fox is also a solar animal attached to the symbol of fire and all of its meanings.
Animal Alchemy Symbol : Ostrich
The ostrich also had a small, albeit important role in alchemy. Legend states that its stomach was capable of digesting anything at all, which prompted alchemists to name specific types of acids after them. These acids were used in the processes of transforming ordinary gold and silver into their grand philosophic counterparts.
Animal Alchemy Symbol : Ibis
As an alchemical symbol, the magnificent ibis bird is an omen of the moon and all of its lunar functions, such as the pulling of the tides, the cycles of time, measurements, and movement. In the past, there was a great amount of importance placed on the moon. As the moon’s personal totem, the ibis was featured on alchemical scripts for the purpose of inspiring and ensuring successful transmutations. Thus, we see that it was and is a crucial symbol in this study and should not be overlooked.
Animal Alchemy Symbol : Lion
In animal alchemy, the lion spirit guide is a highly valued traditional symbol. It is a solar creature that represents gold (the ultimate metal) and the sun. These characteristics are at the peak of individual ascension and enlightenment, making the lion a regal creature in this field. Lions were also seen as the greatest protectors of the alchemical secrets, due to their strength, courage, and virility. Additionally, they were considered the keepers of the underworld.
Animal Alchemy Symbol : Uroboros
The uroboros, a circular serpent, was an animal symbol representing the cyclical nature of alchemic work. This serpent is depicted swallowing its own tail, which is representative of the eternal processes and cycles found in these practices. Like the phoenix, this creature was considered symbolic of the concept of rebirth and regeneration, which were important themes in alchemy and in life. Above all, though, the uroboros was alchemy’s most powerful symbol for the fundamental belief that “one is all” and “all is one”.
Animal Alchemy Symbol : Peacock
Another large and regal bird, the peacock also held great value in animal alchemy. These majestic creatures were the symbols of great glory, immortality, and incorruptibility. Some of the most admired and desired attributes for humans. The peacock was also seen as a symbol of integrity, teaching humans about the elegant beauty that we can achieve when we choose to better ourselves.
Animal Alchemy Symbol : Raven
Black ravens were viewed as king of taboo in ancient alchemy. These birds were associated with the transformative powers of death and decay and were also noted for their ability to decompose everything in their paths. Although somewhat dark and unsavory, this is a necessary process in order for the body and soul to be joined. Although ravens were an omen of death, they were called upon in alchemy during difficult and complicated operations and transmutations.