Alchemy Symbols Still Used in Science Today

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 in ancient symbols, BA, LA

Alchemy symbols still used in science today.

It is ironic that some scientific symbols today have their origins in the mystical profession of alchemy or in ancient sacred beliefs in sexuality.

According to Nolan D. C. Lewis, the modern day symbols that are used to indicate the chemical elements and compounds were once symbols used in the ancient mysteries of alchemy and chemistry and was closely related to what many scientists today would deign superstitious:

In modern times the symbols used to express chemical elements and compounds are of comparatively recent development, and have depended upon more accurate mathematical understanding of properties, atomic status and valences of the various substances. The earliest symbols had their origin in the mysteries since chemistry or alchemy in ancient times was considered to be a mysterious profession closely related to demonology.


Ancient Chemical Symbols, Psychoanaytic Review, 1927

(Source: “The Sexual Significance of Ancient Chemical Symbols” by Nolan D. C. Lewis, (1927), Psychoanalytic Review, 14:200-206)

Filipinos today may only perceive the baybayin as a set of symbols that indicate syllabication, but I find it fascinating how symbols start out with one meaning long ago, and how they may or may not have retained that meaning after hundreds of years have gone by.
I have already discussed in other Baybayin Alive posts that the BA and LA baybayin symbols, to many Filipinos, represent male/female sexuality and to some Filipinos, they have deeper, more transcendent meanings of yin/yang and Male & Female Principles.
The meanings of the symbols that baybayin have come from have been lost to westernized, linear-thinking Filipinos. I am also saying that their meanings can be uncovered again.
BA and LA
baybayin symbols
The BA baybayin symbol may have evolved from an ancient fertility symbol (see Fertility Symbols, Feminine Principle and BA).

If you have anything to share on baybayin symbols deeper meanings, please post at Baybayin Alive.


  1. Have you ever considered that the people you say have "westernised" "linear" thinking may in fact really reflect the way the people of the islands barely 500 years ago thought about these letters when they had just learned them from traders from Sulawesi and began to use them to write? Ways to write speech, a wonderful new technology; no reason to see any other meanings in

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  2. Anonymous (why be so?), previous postings in this blog have answers to your questions and oppositions. <br /><br />I have also answered another Anonymous(yours?) comment in another post with: <br /><br />&quot;…human existence is multi-dimensional. From my point of view, obviously, to share esoteric aspects of our beliefs or findings about anything is not to any degree a foolishness. Rather to

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  3. I think that Filipinos tend to look<br />through &quot;western&quot; goggles into an indigenous culture that we can&#39;t fully relate to. You are right, anonymous #1, that westerners are symbolic oriented in spirituality and esoteric traditions. Do we really know what the ancient Filipinos were thinking about their writing system? We would have to take off our &quot;western&quot; goggles and be

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  4. in response to anonymous 1&#39;s &quot;Why not speculate about the &quot;deeper meanings&quot; of your household furniture, the particular pattern in which the hair grows out of your scalp, or the shapes of clouds and the direction the wind happens to be blowing from at a particular moment? The more this kind of foolishness gets spread around, the more it makes your mga kabaybayan look foolish as

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  5. there is evident an innate Euro-centricism in the words of Anonymous: &quot;your mystical speculations probably owe everything to European mystical speculations about the supposed &quot;deeper meanings&quot; of letters, a pretty long tradition in Europe.&quot;<br /><br />Mysticism is a global and ancient thing and does not originate from the Europeans.<br /><br />Archaeologists have proof that

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  6. Does anyone know what the first symbol means in the picture above? I&#39;m talking about the one marked &quot;(a)&quot;.<br /><br />I have been looking on the internet and I can&#39;t figure out what it means. A person dear to me wrote this symbol several times shortly before he died and I would like to know what it means.<br /><br />Thank you.

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