Turtle (tortoise)

The tortoise represents the whole universe, it is the carrier of the world. It is a female and a male symbol at the same time.

In one of the pictures of Hypnerotomachia Poliphili a woman holds in her hands a tortoise and a pair of wings. This hermetic symbolism compares and opposes chthonic and ouranian features. The wings could represent Mercury and the tortoise could be the matter from which he produced his zither. This transformation from the tortoise to the zither resumes all the Art of Alchemy. It is the primal matter of the Work as well as Saturn or lead. It represents the beginning of the spiritualisation of the matter and the wings represent the finalisation of the Work. Continue reading Turtle (tortoise)