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Symbols

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As a mystery comic, Gunnerkrigg Court uses heavily symbolism throughout the story, the most prominent is the use of symbols. Several characters, places and species in-comic have symbols associated with them.

Alchemical Symbols

Discussion thread on the forum; earlier discussion In order of appearance:

Symbol Description
Antimony Alchemy
The alchemical symbol for Antimony. Found on Antimony's pendant, represents Antimony herself and is used to mark the end of a chapter. It also appears on Reynardine's forehead while he's under Annie's control.

Curiously, the symbol used in-comic is actually the modern spiritual symbol of Antimony. The original alchemical symbol is an upside down female symbol. The comic's symbol is an inverted antimony crowned (meaning controlled) by the symbol for quicklime, in alchemical symbolism this means that it symbolizes man's control of nature through Alchemy.[1] First appears (here.)

Lead
The alchemical symbol for Lead. Found on Sir Eglamore's armor and represents the protector of the court. First appears here. Also appears on one of the court's entrances.
Mercury Alchemy
An alchemical symbol for Mercury, called Quicksilver by the ancient alchemists.[2] The symbol in-comic is one of the older symbols, the more modern symbol has a circle in the centre: Appears on Rey's forehead when in spirit form and represents the ability take over bodies.[3]


It appears on pages 52, 53, 54, 712, 713, 715 and 719.

Bismuthwindow2
Symbol for bismuth also the alchemical symbol for rock salt.
Alchemy fire symbol 32x32
Alchemical symbol for fire
Element Wasser 37x32
Alchemical symbol for water.
Alchemical symbol for gold. In Alchemy, Gold represented the perfection of all matter on any level, including that of the mind, spirit, and soul. The symbol for gold could also be used to represent the sun in astrology.[6]
A first quarter moon, the alchemical symbol for silver. The symbol for silver is also associated with the moon in astrology.
Star of David, Alchemical symbol for inhibition.
Zinc Alchemy Symbol1 Alchemical symbol for zinc, Chapter 9, Page 2
Phosphorus Symbol
Alchemical symbol for phosphorus. Note: this is seen in-comic as Hetty's symbol and is combined with the symbol for Oil Oil Symbol and Oil essence Oil Essence Symbol.

First seen here

Arsenic6
Alchemical symbol for arsenic. Seen here

Symbols made for the comic

Symbol Description
Symbol of Creator The mark of the creator (comic), first associated with Diego, but after his death left a void it was filled by Kat whom was then bestowed with this symbol. (discussion)
Gunnerkrigg donlans — DNH6D6t The symbol used by the Donlans to represent their etherically powered computer program.[7]
Anjas Eye Symbol Another symbol used by the Donlans for their program, this one helps trap or ward off Reynardine with his powers. Primarily used by Anja. [8]
Fire elemental symbol Represents Fire Elementals, and by extension, Antimony.[9]Suggestion on interpretation: the Crown represents stylized fire of the fire elemental, and also "royal succession", as in sense that "only one person can wear the crown at a time", referring to the fire elemental mothers' early death.[10]
Humanity symbol A symbol that possibly represents humanity.[11]
Anwyn symbol Symbol representing the Anwyn. Similar symbols have also been seen carried by individuals of other families.[12]
Wandering eye Jones' Wandering Eye symbol.
Signal Symbol Representing the forest, used to summon the court to meetings. Seen here
Court Summoning Symbol Symbol Representing the court, used to respond to the Gillithe Forest's request for a meeting.Seen here
Mystsmbol Symbol shown on some court employees. Shown on certain court workers here, including Jeanne here.

Other Symbols

Unidentified Symbols

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=163


Treatises

  • The first treatise has the classical symbol for antimony (wrapped in a caduceus), water within mercury, fire and water and star of David, sun and moon. The sign language is discussed here (XF) and in the first alchemy thread.
  • The second treatise (discussion) has mercury, sun and bismuth, fire and water, classical antimony, bismuth, and Kat and Annie's symbols.
  • The third treatise (discussion) has Kat and Annie's symbols as well as bismuth.
  • The fourth treatise (discussion) has Kat and Annie's symbols, mercury, and bismuth between sun and earth. Reynardine is marked with both Antimony and his variant of mercury.
  • The fifth treatise (discussion) has Kat, Annie and Jones' symbols, photoresistors, and the sun.
  • The sixth treatise (discussion) has a tree dividing the court - containing Kat, robots, Renard and the Moon - from the forest - containing Annie, Ysengrin and the Sun.
  • The seventh treatise (discussion) marks the end of the sixth volume and approximately maps the characters to the Kabbalistic Tree of Life: immortality and incomprehensible primordial energy at the top, physical universe lower; left column as severity/Boaz, right as Mercy/Jachin; Jones as Understanding/Binah top left; Annie's fire elemental as Wisdom/Chokhmah top right; Anthony Carver as judgement/Gewurah mid-left; Coyote as loving-kindness/Chesed mid-right; Kat gesturing to Knowledge/Da'at upper centre, apparently leading Antimony towards Balance/Tiferet lower centre to mediate between severity (Court, her father) and mercy (Forest, Coyote); Ysengrim possibly as strength,victory/Netzach lower right; Robot and Shadow/Paz/Reynard at Intellect/Hod lower left; Court, Annan Waters chasm and Forest as a connection/Yesod with Jeanne at the bottom as some kind of vessel or filter/Malkuth. (adapted from http://gunnerkrigg.proboards.com/post/133466/thread)

References

  1. suggests control
  2. http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/alchemy/80/mercury
  3. http://chrysoprax.org/gunnerkrigg/results?term=mercury
  4. [1]
  5. http://chrysoprax.org/gunnerkrigg/results?term=Bismuth
  6. http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/alchemy/79/gold
  7. http://gunnerkrigg.com/?p=516
  8. http://gunnerkrigg.com/?p=516
  9. http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=820
  10. http://gunnerkrigg.proboards.com/thread/3255/1572-fire-head-girl?page=2&scrollTo=125137
  11. http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=820
  12. http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=847

Further Reading

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