Alchemic symbology as an allegory of creation and transformation behind BEAST

According to LaVeyan Seven Mortal Sins, lack of aesthetics may be condemned as strongly as Pride or Stupidity. Search for different forms of beauty and harmony is considered as a virtue equal to self-improvement and nonconformism.

The iconography and the symbolic layer of the game are an important element of the inner world of the main character, who in his mission delves into the dark recesses of his unconscious and is faced with morally ambivalent tasks. At the same time, it is a story of spiritual search, sin, and corruption.

Therefore, we have decided to bring you closer to the symbolic world of the BEAST. Alchemy x Occult

Until the end of the 13th century, alchemy was practiced and studied in monasteries. Mysterious knowledge was treated as a form of „natural philosophy” based on the sequence of events described in the Book of Genesis and aimed exclusively at the knowledge of God. Over time, the Church has changed her attitude towards this issue. Some monks practicing alchemy were accused of spreading heresy and establishing secular groups unrelated to the teachings of the Church.

Uroboros (snake eating its own tail), the most common alchemy emblem, expresses the very essence of the hermetic philosophy, according to which everything is connected with all others. This means that matter and spirit are one and the same, that miracles are performed on them through actions, that transmutation is possible. Alchemy was a field which in almost every corner of the world had similar assumptions and goals. Therefore, iconography and style are similar in different parts of Europe, and deeply rooted in local belief systems and mythologies. Alchemy was a field which in almost every corner of the world had similar assumptions and goals. Therefore, iconography and style are similar in different corners of Europe.

The occultism and its various manifestations, such as chiromancy and cartomancy, originate from an alchemical approach which, through the knowledge of the matter, tries to discover the unknown in the unconscious sphere. The symbolic layer of the world of alchemy intertwines with psychology, which is proved by the Carl Gustav Jung practice of using tarot cards in therapy.

The graphic symbols developed around alchemy, later adopted by the Tarot card, became so universal that Carl Gustav Jung considered them to be a presentation of his archetypal theory.

The dark, negative side of consciousness has its universal value in every culture - the archetype of Shadow. At the junction of psychological (individual unconsciousness) and cultural (collective unconsciousness) levels, Shadow can be dogmatized or personified (e.g. the image of Satan, the personification of death, Hades, Sheol). On the social and religious level, it becomes the content of ideologies and dogmas. According to Jung, the collective unconsciousness contains many different archetypes, from the archetype of birth, rebirth, death, power, unity, archetype of hero, child, God, Demon, ani-mal, archetype of water as a symbol of motherhood and addiction, tree as a symbol of personality and unconsciousness, fire as a symbol of burnout and purification. The number of archetypes for each of us is not limited and depends on our own experiences. However, the universal core is limited and common to all people on Earth regardless of race or culture.

Alchemical practices and astrology, although this was not usually spoken of loudly, were close to folk beliefs and explored demonology. Scientists devoted themselves to recognizing the manifestations of demonic presence.

„Satan can turn back rivers, he can be enchanted as inclusion in mirrors, crystals, and various figures, he has the ability to change his form: he is an angel, a man, a lion. Not only is he able to move objects, but he also moves within the human being.”

Alchemy at court

It is no secret that the great rulers had various advisors at their service; some of them were magicians, astrologers, and alchemists.

The first mention of Russian alchemy dates back to 1596 and to the reign of Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich. In Tver, a man „let go”. (processed) gold ore and silver ore. He was delivered to the tsarist court and under the threat of torture was forced to repeat the same thing. But the alchemist, after some unsuccessful experiences, called to heaven: Lord God! Many tried before and couldn’t. I gave the same herbs, I poured the same liquids, but the transformation did not work out. The tsar also asked an alchemist’s disciple from Tver. A pathetic result: Both died in such terrible torments, poisoned with mercury. In addition, Fyodor Ivanovich’s interest in alchemy was extraordinary and manifested itself in 1586. It is known from history that the tsar, who was engaged in alchemy fashionable at that time, invited a well-known English cabalist and alchemist Dr. John Dee called Devious, who at that time was staying at the Prague court at the emperor-alchemist Rudolf II.

We also know of a report according to which under Ivan IV the Terrible there was a tarotist in the service, someone named Jelisiej Bomielij. In the Third Pskovsky Letopis, he is called a „mad wise man”. Bomielij predicted revolts and was a poisoner who removed the inconvenient people for Ivan. Unfortunately for him, Ivan the Terrible received information that Bomielij was preparing a conspiracy against him in comitology with the Archbishop of Novgorod and soon after that he was burned at the stake.

Hence, we are only one step away from the story of Slavic mythology and the beliefs of that time, which were constantly in conflict with Christian values, implemented by the authorities through religious and cultural transformations. The subject is so extensive that we will leave it for a separate entry. But in a word of encouragement - the symbolism we search for in old folk tales, alchemical treatises, and scientific works will appear in the BEAST and will accompany you during the game. We hope that it will arouse your curiosity.

- Zuzanna Zakrzewska, BEAST Illustrator


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