A table of alchemical symbols from Basil Valentine’s The Last Will and Testament, 1670 ce.
Alchemy (Arabic: الخيمياء al-khimia) was the precursor to modern chemistry. It was a psuedoscientific practice that attempted to use a rudimentary understanding of chemical processes to attain philisophical and material goals, namely the pursuit of substances with "unusual" properties, ultimate wisdom, and eternal life.
The fundamental ideas of alchemy are said to have arisen in the ancient Persian Empire. Alchemy has been practiced in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia (today's Iran), India, China, Japan, and Korea, in Classical Greece and Rome, in the Muslim civilizations, and then in Europe up to the 20th century—in a complex network of schools and philosophical systems spanning at least 2500 years.
In the Season 2 DVD extra Mysteries, Conspiracies and Theories, Michelle Rodriguez conjectured that Alchemy is a part of the Lost universe: "You know, Numbers are interesting, alchemy could have something to do with it, too. I think they use a lot of alchemy in the show, too, they hint at it. They hint at y'know, stars and signs and Masonry. A lot of that symbolism is in there."
Alchemic symbol on a tree
The alchemic symbol for spirit
- The Staff logo contains a Caduceus, an alchemic symbol.
- Juliet's brand is the alchemic symbol for spirit (seen right). ("Stranger in a Strange Land")
- The alchemic symbol for ammonium salt is shown as a mark on a tree. ("One of Us")
The Staff logo
- Eloise Hawking wears an Ouroboros pin, a symbol common in alchemy. ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")
- Many of the hieroglyphs under The Temple Wall resemble alchemical symbols. ("Dead Is Dead")