1. stormcat
    Offline

    stormcat Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Somewhere beyond the sea

    How do I describe this symbol?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by stormcat, Jul 14, 2015.

    I just found the perfect symbol for use in my Novel! It's an old alchemic symbol meaning "To purify by burning". It's rather rare, and I had to really hunt it down to find a picture of it. How could I convey this shape in writing, without actually drawing it out?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Lyrical
    Offline

    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    257
    Hmm... how about a circle quartered by 4 crosses?
     
    Nicoel and A J Phillips like this.
  3. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    "The Four Point Cross"

    Let the reader imagine it.
     
    jannert likes this.
  4. Jack Asher
    Offline

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    3,571
    Likes Received:
    2,054
    Location:
    Denver
    It's a pie, with four swords stuck in it.
     
  5. BrianIff
    Offline

    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Canada
    An 'x' with crosses at the ends, its intersection encircled.
     
  6. stormcat
    Offline

    stormcat Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Somewhere beyond the sea
    But Where's the circle part?
     
  7. Ben414
    Offline

    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    785
    How you should describe the symbol would depend on how the symbol is being used. If you want it to carry a negative connotation, you might want to use a stronger/harsher word than if you want it to carry a positive connotation. "A circle severed by four crosses" might work for the former, while "a circle divided by four crosses" might work for the latter.
     
    OurJud, stormcat and GingerCoffee like this.
  8. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    You just need a name, like 'a maltese cross'. If the specific shape comes into play in the story you can describe it more specifically. But readers just need a name for symbols like this.
     
  9. AspiringNovelist
    Offline

    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    Symbols are made of primes. In your symbol the primes are;

    Circle with an X = Alchemical symbol for Verdigris (copper subacetate)
    4 Crosses = Alchemical symbol for Vinegar (crucible, acid, borax, etc.)

    Thus you are purifying some metal with borax for example as they still do with gold today.

    An easy way to describe this is to have your MC have to draw it for later reference. "John drew an x on the paper, drew a circle around the x then extended each arm of the x to support 4 crosses." -- this needs some work, but you get the general idea.

    Using Ginger's suggestion: "The Four Point Cross of Verdigris." Or, "The Four Point Cross of Purification."

    BTW: I used this as a reference: http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U1F700.pdf
     
    Lyrical likes this.
  10. Nicoel
    Offline

    Nicoel Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    330
    A circle speared by four crosses. The ends of each sticking out the other sideof a circle to form another cross.

    A pie speared by four crosses works best though!
     
  11. stormcat
    Offline

    stormcat Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Somewhere beyond the sea
    I'm gonna go with ginger's suggestion and give it a proper name. "The ______ Cross" any suggestions?
     
  12. Jack Asher
    Offline

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    3,571
    Likes Received:
    2,054
    Location:
    Denver
    The sworded pie cross.
     
  13. stormcat
    Offline

    stormcat Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Somewhere beyond the sea
    I'm not using "Pie". this is supposed to be a feared symbol, not a humorous one!
     
  14. Aaron DC
    Offline

    Aaron DC Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,554
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    At my keyboard
    The crossed wheel of death?
     
  15. OurJud
    Offline

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,028
    Likes Received:
    942
    Location:
    England
    The Cross of Purification.
     
  16. General Daedalus
    Offline

    General Daedalus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2015
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    45
    Looks like a mix between the old alchemical symbols for copper and antimony, definitely a rare symbol. The centre on it's own (circle with crosses) means "to burn" so I presume that the added crosses are to symbolise the purification (although they're different form the standard purification logo, weird). Anyway, in terms of writing, just describe it in layman's terms, people will thank you for it. You don't need to be overly sophisticated when explaining something fundamental.
     
  17. Ryan M Pelton
    Offline

    Ryan M Pelton Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2015
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    USA
    Its like Denger Sign, But we can called it Don't Cross it , it should be denger ahead

    thank you
     
  18. Aaron DC
    Offline

    Aaron DC Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,554
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    At my keyboard
    Danger?
     
  19. Selbbin
    Offline

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,247
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Australia
    A unicorn's hoof-print.
     
  20. darklingwater
    Offline

    darklingwater New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    If you're using it as a feared symbol, how does it show up? Is it scratched on a wall at a grisly crime scene or something similar? Or does your MC merely stumble across it in an old book?

    I do like @Ben414 suggestion of describing it as "A circle severed by four crosses". Or split, speared, pierced, or even emblazoned. As far as an actual name for the symbol, are you using it along the same lines of the original meaning you listed? If so I'd go with something like "The alchemist's cross" or "Cross of burning". Though if it isn't a huge point in your plot I wouldn't bother giving it an actual name. In my opinion it's bothersome when I'm reading something and the author over names things and merely recycles the name over and over instead of describing in other ways.
     
  21. Stephanie Norman
    Offline

    Stephanie Norman New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney
    In my opinion, it should be something like "Four crosses meet in the circle". The description does not have to be an exact as the picture. Let your reader to develop his/her imagine.
     
  22. psychotick
    Offline

    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,377
    Likes Received:
    316
    Location:
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Hi,

    First alchemy has no specific symbology. Symbols often vary from work to work, year to year. It's highly individualistic. So your symbol might once have meant something to a particular alchemist but not others.

    For the one you drew and given the meaning of purification you ascribe to it, I'd call it something like the "four swords meeting in the sun" and reference its meaning as describing the tips of swords being heated in fire so that they could cauterise wounds.

    Cheers, Greg.
     

Share This Page