The Mercury symbol contains the three main symbols used to indicate the nature of the metals/minerals.
Gold, the highest and purest of the metals, is represented by the circle. Gold can take the highest degree of fire and still remain intact. It never rusts or patinas. Gold condenses the Electric Fluid.
Silver, which is precious but not as pure as Gold, is represented by the crescent. Silver will develop a patina. Silver condenses the Magnetic Fluid.
Earth, or decomposed/digested minerals, being the least pure, is represented by the equal-armed cross. Earth condenses both Fluids *through* the four Elements.
Gold equates to yellow and red. Silver, to white and blue. Earth, to blackness.
Thus the symbol for Venus, a circle surmounting a cross, denotes a yellow/red (Electric condensing) metal *internally*. [By "internally" I mean the metal in its purest form.] Externally however, it is corrupt. [By "externally corrupt", I mean that it oxidizes or rusts.] Hence the lower cross indicating Earthiness or blackness. This is the metal copper. The color of copper's oxidation (verdigris) is green -- the color normally associated with the planet Venus.
The symbol for Mercury is a Venus symbol surmounted by the symbol for the Moon/Silver. Thus it is a silver colored metal that contains an inner purity or redness, but is externally corrupt. The crescent over the circle symbolizes a "Volt" (in Bardonian terms), indicating that the Magnetic Fluid surrounds the Electric Fluid. The circle surmounting the cross indicates that its most common impure form is reddish -- Cinnabar. Cinnabar is yellow-to-red in color and orange is the color most often associated with
the planet Mercury. Its true color, an opalescent-silver, is only discovered when it is released from its impurities.
The Philosophical Mercury is the Volatile Principle in all things. In the laboratory work, it is what gasses off first and is therefore the most difficult to capture. It holds the essence, the spirit or mental body of the materia. It is also the Universal Solvent -- it can "open" or penetrate any thing.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
13 Feb 2002