V.I.T.R.I.O.L (Masonic/Alchemical Motto)

In chemistry, vitriol is iron or copper sulfate salts and their derivative, sulfuric acid. The name comes from the Latin for “glassy,” after the resemblance of iron sulfate to shards of green glass. Vitriol is symbolized alchemically as the “green lion,” a poisonous substance that appears when metal is degraded by acid. Sulfuric acid, or oil of vitriol, was used in the synthesis of the lapis philosophorum- the Philosopher’s Stone. One unique peoperty of sulfuric acid is the dissolution of metals- all except for gold, on which it has no effect.

The alchemical motto for vitriol is “Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem,” “Visit the interior of the earth and rectifying (purifying) you will find the hidden stone.” The motto originated in L’Azoth des Philosophes by the 15th Century alchemist Basilius Valentinus.

The Green Lion of alchemy
Sulfate of iron The Green lion

In Freemasonry, the motto is a common component of the symbolic “Chamber of reflection,” where a Mason contemplates and reflects on the nature of death. In both Freemasonry and Alchemy, the motto refers to a process of internal, spiritual purification.

Chamber of reflection
An alchemical illustration of the nature of vitriol A Masonic “Chamber of Reflection”

Related Symbols:

Skull and Bones (crossbones)AshlarKeystone

{ 2 trackbacks }

Symbols of Death and Time (Western) | symboldictionary.net
December 9, 2009 at 6:42 am
Vitriol | mermaidcamp
September 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm


SRC December 24, 2018 at 12:00 pm

altho the commentary can be extensive, the motto itself is an instruction meant to be taken literally. absent that accomplishment, the point is missed.

Manny October 28, 2018 at 11:52 pm

All is but mental.

Miroslav Avramov June 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm

It’s a great fear widespreading within your entire being, while you wait in the “Chamber of reflection” the call from the Temple, and the chamber of reflection is outside the Masonic Temple/Lodge, but the waiting lasts too long, felt like externally, and your dear friend, who invited you to become one, is passing from time to time, saying,”It’s not to late, you still can vanish and no one will say a word, it’s normal…”. Being said like a calming words, but indeed they provide the fear, knowing, being told many times, that the process (The Acceptance Rite) is irreversible, and once being passed the tough and enormously challiging your entire being Acceptance Rite, there would be no turning back.
At the time in the “Chamber of reflection” in practice, being said in true alchemical language, the VITRIOL, that burns your heart with hyper anxious fear, that something fatal would happen, and you still can stand up and go out free, … this is the Spiritual vitriol, that burns all your human personality, to the degree, that if you really have a proper idea, where you’re about to be invited for an Acceptance by the first and most important Rite in Freemasonry (including the higher degreed Rites, like the Scottish one) – as so, as if you are a true seeker, you should know through those hundreds of books, right?!!
So, when you strive to get yourself together and accumulate such a True Grit, like you are waiting on a death row to be hanged – the feeling in the Chamber of reflection is as such, especially, when by 15en minutes, someone empathetic to your little you is coming to say, that it’s not late to get up and exit as a man throughout the he door…
All of your unholly metalls burns, as by litteraly the V.I.T.R.I.O.L – the biggest written word inside, which you don’t know a sh°t about…
Untill they call you with a high, strong and manly Nobile voice to come in front of the Temple’s doors. At this moment, psychologically – and then you just feel it by your entire self – SPIRITUALLY – YOU ARE THE PURE SPIRIT, THAT YOU ALWAYS HAVE BEEN -indeed, long before your birth, but this you SEE AND UNDERATAND MUCH LATER – so, at that point, as a pure Spirit (Gold), cleaned by all the unpure metals built-over You for the entire life of yours – of course by the “Green Lion” ☺️ – you are ready to pass the process of your Initiation as a Free and Accepted Mason, pure as 24kt. Gold – means, Spiritually. It’s the most glory day of your life. You are being initiated and invented to the Temple of God – which symbolize the Lodge’s inside hall (the Temple of Solomon, built, as a Home where G-d shall live… And all of that is so symbolical, that, I would said, there isn’t a single mistake in Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite. All is as natural, as posible, but that natural for the Spirit things are hard to be accepted by an non-purified by vitriol and then wormly accepted in the House of G-d mortals, who can’t believe, that a little part of their personality is an immortal being and their essential true Self, Who deserves the all ages motto, Know ThySelf, to be a subject of a deeper meditatation – as the Tibetan Monks are doing. Amen.

Uro July 2, 2017 at 1:48 am

I ended up here with a Google search for V.I.T.R.I.O.L after watching “As Above So Below”.

Anonymous December 22, 2014 at 3:20 am

Have anybody already watched the ”As Above So Below”?

Yll December 30, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Yes… yesterday. It is a reason I google it again.

Mark A. O'Blazney June 14, 2012 at 8:31 am

Where does it all end?

Mar April 25, 2014 at 12:11 pm

The Point is Well Made, turn 90 degrees and there is the square………… kubit.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: