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philosopher’s stone

The Monas Hieroglphica (Latin, ‘one glyph’) aka the hieroglyphic monad, is an emblem proposed originally by Athanasius Kircher and expanded on by Dr. John Dee for his sixteenth century treatise on the creation of a mystical symbolic language of the same name. It is an emblem of the Azoth, or Philosopher’s stone, the aim of alchemy.


The figure is based on the Egyptian Ankh and contains symbols of the seven planets/alchemical metals:

The sign of Aries, signifying fire:

A cross representing the four primal elements of earth, air, water, and fire:

The sign of Sol, the sun:

A lunar crescent:

The symbol appears in other places, notably, the “Speculum Veritatis,” or Mirror of truth, and Opus Medico Chymicum, alchemical texts.

Kircher’s diagram of the Monad


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