The lion is always standing for fixity, is the male for excellence. The winged lion is the same undergoing a solution, or aerial-flowing phase, thus a male during a female phase. It is not a so common allegory, though. We are more likely to find it in german symbology, indeed. And we cannot forget my venetian flag, of course.
Well, so far we have all considered, but the very reason I posted this article: the division of the four elements into male and female. As a matter of fact this symbology is way less uncommon than winged lions. Here Wolfgang Georg Stoll wanted to give a personal hint to pick up the right element for the purpose: so water and air for dissolving propositions and the remaining earth and fire for fixing ones. An operation which might seem quite supernatural back then. But indeed it helps to underline again the same Solve et Coagula concept of apparently senseless repeated fixations and volatilizations, thus distinguishing Alchemy from chemistry and spagyric. I said apparently senseless, because Secret Fire working is so far from our architectural mind.
Some alchemists have extensively discussed on the four elements, among them Dorneus and Stuart Chevalier (5), nevertheless this may be seen as an involute topic and to some extend it is. I can safely define it as a sort of superstitious chemical belief of ancient chemistry. You may think of them as harmless chemical changes of state. Mercurius is Water and Air and Sulphur is Earth and Fire. This division appears to be more sensible than the artificial sequence of cold, humid, warm and dry. Gerard Dorneus is particularly against this scheme, observing that often warm and dry applications can lead to liquefy a substance instead of hardening it, and hence to solve instead of fixing. In fact these schemes seem to me quite chemical: our Universal Dissolvent can wash, no matter its texture, because is the Secret Fire within to perform all operations. The more alchemical work we have succeeded to perform, the less chemical we need in order to achieve something in which volatility and fixation are perfectly united in a single substance.
Even if is quite impossible to see with a naked eye, there are a tiny sun and moon inside the circle crossed on the column top. Quite impossible to notice, as very few could think our fixed product also retains in itself all the dissolving potential when it was volatile. Additionally it is said there is something obscure hidden at the tree-column roots. It is really very hard to identify, and to be honest I can only distinguish some two wings which have nothing to do with the tree-column engraver filling. I guess the other Alchemy foundation: the putrefaction, the start of any volatile phase.
A special thanks to Wolfgang Georg Stoll, whose humble introduction to “Margarita Pretiosa oder neu-erfundene köstliche Perle” I will try to translate in coming articles.
- See also Sun & Moon in the end of the First Millennium and Philosophia Reformata, Father Sun & Mother Moon ;
- See also Wenceslaw Lavinius and the Sky and Earth Properties and Atalanta Fugiens & The Golden Apples and Atalanta Fugiens & Coral from Waters ;
- See also Kamala Jnana, from Black to White ;
- See also Basilius Valentinus & the Solve et Coagula Tree and Harran School & Coagulated Rust ;
- See also Dorneus & the Third Level ;