Red King (Sulfur)

This image is taken from the 23rd image in a series of drawings from the seventeenth century alchemical work attributed to Eugenius Philalethes, the Speculum Veritatis (Mirror of Truth.) This simple symbol of a fire triangle with three radiating arrows below represents the “Perfect Red King,” the Sulfur of the Philosophers.

In alchemy, sulphur represents Sol, the fiery male element (the counterpart of Luna, mercury, the female element) of the Celestial marriage (conjunctio). Chemically, the red sulfur was a mixture of mercury (spirit) and sulfur (soul), the marriage of which also represented the spiritual goal of alchemical work. This emblem appears in the Constantine, the movie adaptation of the Hellblazer Comic Book series, as a tattoo worn as a protective device by the title character, used to summon the angel Gabriel.

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The Red King and the White Queen; illustration of conjunctio
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Related Symbols:
Coptic Cross
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

vic April 18, 2013 at 11:12 am

Could you give me a source for where the info comes from? Thanks!

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Jennifer May 2, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Hi, Vic, the information is from my own alchemical research. I used to provide a copy of the source text, but the hosting has become unmanageable.

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Don Carter May 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Em…does anyone know what the counterpart of this symbol looks like?…I’d really like to know. I really want to get this and the counterpart tattooed on my wrists…(not like constantine has by the way) hahaha

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