hands Symbols of strength, authority, and power, a meaning perhaps dating to the ancient Egyptians, whose term for the hand also related to pillar and palm. In Alchemy, the right hand signifies the masculine principle and rational, conscious thought, and the left hand signifies the feminine principle and intuitive, unconscious thought. Thus clasped hands in alchemy symbolize the mystic marriage of opposites to create wholeness and also the communication between the conscious and unconscious. heart The seat of the soul, the seat of intelligence, and the locus of all emotion and of WILL. In magic, the heart is the seat of the emotions. Some curses against love, such as to break love or prevent love, involve sticking pins or thorns in the heart of a poppet or in the heart of an animal, such as a sheep or pig. In alchemy, the heart is the sun, or illumination, within a person. The heart also signifies mystical or spiritual love, the mystic center, and the temple of God. Helmont, Jean Baptista van See VAN HELMONT, JEAN BAPTISTA.

The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley Copyright © 2006 by Visionary Living, Inc.