The Philosophers Stone and Enneagram

The occult is repleat with symbols. There’s some amazing, some bizarre, some thought provoking, some fantastical. Eliphas Levi’s iconic work The Ritual of Transcendental Magic alone is stuffed full of symbols. If we ignore the large images that would become certain tarot cards we are still left with sigils, seals, and signs that represent the names of demons, exalted sorcerers, and angels. The occult symbols of the Late 19th century that are centered around mystical magic are fairly religious in nature. Often wrapped about with names of demons and angels these symbols purportedly gave one the ability to call upon.

If one goes further back and starts looking at the art of the alchemists, the symbols get a lot more simple, serious, and down to earth. They appear in strange places at strange times in strange associations. These symbols mean something more, they are not merely names. Just as surely they are not recipes for Alchemy in the chemical sense.

Sometime in the 14th century some alchemical texts started displaying a circumscribed triangle. The Atalanta Fugiens is the most well known and even comes with a rather informative description. This symbol would become the philosophers stone.

“Make of a man and woman a circle; then a quadrangle; out of this a triangle; make again a circle, and you will have the Stone of the Wise. Thus is made the stone, which thou canst not discover, unless you, through diligence, learn to understand this geometrical teaching.”

Michael Maier’s Atalanta Fugiens:

During the 1920s a strange yet very interesting character from the Western mountains of Russia on the border of Turkey named George Gurdjieff would introduce a few of his students to a symbol called the enneagram. The enneagram is a nine-pointed symbol that has the philosopher’s stone symbol from The 14th century embedded within it.

In addition to the philosopher’s Stone a six-pointed symbol has been drawn crisscrossing the triangle making an uneven triangle on each side of the symbol bilaterally. At first it looks very strange, and after a few years of studying European alchemic art, it seemed to us as something asymmetrical, like something broken. It turns out in a way we were right but in another way we were really wrong.

After reading the works of George Gurdjieff almost 15 years ago. A quest to understand this symbol was begun for us. After so many years of already looking at symbols and trying to understand what they meant, suddenly here was a symbol that just kept meaning more things.

George who?

George Gurdjieff… Thanks to Wikipedia you can get a fairly impartial history of George. We can’t emphasize enough how interesting it can be to read the works of George Gurdjieff and his followers. We have written a series of articles about how Gurdjieff’s enneagram is used, in an attempt to help everyone, understand the art from the perfect Trine.

The Enneagram is there for you to discover. enjoy!