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.

The Red King and the White Queen; illustration of conjunctio
Related Symbols:
Coptic Cross

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Juan Cruz July 18, 2018 at 3:17 am

Learn and need more on angel & demons


Diane June 2, 2018 at 6:57 pm

Does the White Queen have a symbol?


Jennifer July 4, 2018 at 3:48 am

Not as such, at least not an equivalent in that work. She is most often symbolized with a crescent moon.


500se October 12, 2017 at 6:52 pm

The tattoo on his arm, now I’m speculating, more than likely is notating the sulfur part. Sulfur is mentioned a lot in the movie whenever demons are around. Who better to command the fire than the king of sulfur.


S January 6, 2016 at 2:32 am

Just a thought, I watched Constantine and the symbol on his forearms isn’t used to summon Gabriel specifically, but to reveal the unknown. After Chas gets killed in the pool by an unseen foe, Constantine puts his arms together and repeats “Into the light, I command thee.” Gabriel appears and Constantine is surprised it’s the angel.


Stopaccius January 4, 2016 at 7:32 am

The symbol would be either that of mercury or of sulphur. Everything starts from this world ( Prima materia, body) and ends to this world (lapis, Spirit). The dirty matter is purified and becomes spiritual. The earthly king Is killed and born again spiritual. The whole process is a circle that ends to the same spot where it started from. That’s why the symbols don’t change. What matters is your personal research and what you gain is spirituality.
The book I use is The hermetic Museum. Alchemy and mysticism. Taschen editions. You can find symbols and images illustrated.


Pason December 25, 2015 at 9:36 pm



vic April 18, 2013 at 11:12 am

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


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.


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


Kaysif December 2, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Judging from its description there is no counterpart. Mercury would be the counter part to Sulfur (Male to Female) and Red King is a marriage of both. So it stands to reason that it is both sides.

Just a thought.


Marius September 18, 2016 at 9:23 pm

Igen! Köszönöm!:)


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