The winged disc

Once upon a time we worshipped beneath this symbol of sovereignty:

The red mandala is emblematic of cinnabar, the volcanic ore that lends its colour to the vyapini and muladhara chakras. Indeed, we try to mix male “knowing” and female “feeling” via these refracted energy centres every day. Polarity as it relates to as above, so below means that this entanglement leads to the balancing act we call “consciousness”.

Spreading from the disc are the wings of Ma’at symbolising harmony. But unity is not the cause of duality or vice versa: wholeness and separation arise simultaneously because the circle is governed by π (both static and dynamic). So if we desire non-duality, then we only acknowledge duality—when we chase one polarity the opposite appears.

“Invert nature and you will find that which you seek.”
—Mary the Prophetess

How do we create a mirage? One of the easiest ways is to bend light. Optically, this is known as birefringence, where a single red dot can be seen as two when viewed through a calcite crystal. No surprises then, that the pineal gland is made up of calcite microcrystals in a biological nod to consciousness itself. Self-awareness then, requires a mirror.

This figure-eight pattern is also seen in quantum entanglement where aspects of one particle of an entangled pair depend on aspects of the other, no matter how far apart they are. Artistically, this is the Yin Yang otherwise known as the human soul:

Once this transverse portal is opened, it allows the life force that we call aether to travel from the enfolded to the unfolded cosmos, or from unmanifest unconsciousness to manifest consciousness. It’s like opening a gate between worlds where awareness may enter. Here we are reminded again of the fractal properties of the human lungs and brain.

Perceived opposites also appear in the axes of the Mandelbrot set. The resulting pattern is symbolic of the human soul—harmonising real and imaginary, simplicity and complexity, motif and melody. This 2D set has a simple definition that gets more complicated when it is magnified. Animations of the Mandelbrot set exhibit an infinitely complicated boundary that reveals finer recursive detail at increasing magnifications. If we look at this in mathematical terms, the boundary of the Mandelbrot set is a fractal curve.

Fractals, including the Mandelbrot set, exhibit self-similarity and recursive patterns. The figure-eight symbol can be seen as a simple, continuous loop which may evoke the idea of endless repetition and self-similarity found in fractals. The infinity sign can be a visual representation of boundlessness, akin to the infinite complexity within fractals.

Indeed, consciousness can be attained by understanding this figure-eight pattern on an artistic level—peace and bliss start to blossom when our etheric fields are harmonised. So awareness is being  fractal. One of the ways to do this is to surround ourselves with other fractals (rivers, snowflakes) or to practice movement that draws charge (yoga, tai chi). So consciousness itself has a dual quality that we associate with double refraction. This is the secret of rose granite and why every sacred Egyptian edifice was built with this stone.

Fractals are the geometry of eternity—they describe how life granted by our creator inspires more life in its own image. In a sense the Mandelbrot set reminds us of the paradox of the divided whole or mercury within cinnabar. When we are at peace that perceived opposites can be “one” and “both” at once then consciousness blooms.

The human soul can be seen as infinitely complex, with layers of thoughts, emotions and instincts that can be explored endlessly. Just like the Mandelbrot set, the deeper you delve into the psyche, the more you discover about yourself and the human condition. Indeed, our biology is fractal because our soul is fractal. Our soul is fractal because the aether is fractal. In humans, these octaves are harmonised within the recursive breath.

Car logos

Above: the Winged Disc still inspires corporate logos around the world

The twin serpents emerging from the disc represent mercury. Hg embodies the qualities of rearing snakes in the name hydrargyrum or “water-silver”. Since mercury isn’t really a solid it lacks a crystal structure and technically isn’t a mineral but rather a mineraloid. Embodying both the solid and liquid states, mercury reflects the polarity of the axes of the Mandelbrot set. With an atomic number of 80 it was often represented by a serpent. Mercury is the only metal for which the alchemical name remains the common name. In refined form, it resembles a mirror.


Above: cinnabar or mercury sulphide (HgS)

In the liquid crystal structure above the snakes are apparent. The primary mercury ore is cinnabar, which when heated readily decomposes leaving behind pure, metallic mercury which sinks to the bottom of the vessel. The richest mercury ores contain up to 2.5 per cent mercury by mass. Cinnabar occurs within volcanic veins and alkaline hot springs.

To produce liquid mercury, crushed cinnabar ore is roasted in rotary furnaces. Pure mercury separates from sulfur in this process and easily evaporates. A condensing column is used to collect the liquid metal, which is most often shipped in iron flasks.

Once mercury is purified, it can dissolve metals such as gold and silver to form amalgams. Iron is an exception, and iron flasks have traditionally been used to trade mercury. Alchemists (mystics) thought of mercury (aether) as the “First Matter” from which all metals (souls) were formed. This prima materia was known as the Philosopher’s Stone.