Alchemical Study Group – Five


(from the book)

Five. Five centers four by adding a spiritual element. In alchemy, this is the quinta essentia, which adds a spiritual unity to the material wholeness expressed by four. Five represents the spirit of humankind. It is the number of the Hierophant in the Major Arcana, who holds the open book of the mysteries.

Five is also the microcosm, and symbolizes the physical body (four limbs plus the head) and the five senses; thus, it can connote sensuality and pleasure.

Five divides the perfect number, ten, equally into two parts, and so represents equilibrium. It also represents the center of the first decades uneven numbers, which express the masculine principle.

In alchemy, five is represented by the rose, which has an underlying five-petaled structure.