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