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

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

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.


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