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The Rose in Alchemy

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A lady recently called me with an interest in learning more about the symbolism of the rose in alchemy, particularly in the polarity of the red and white roses. She referred me to the pictures in the text 'Alchemy' by E. J. Holmyard, numbered 13, 14 and 21a & b. The lady has had a life-long attraction to Alchemy.
I explained something of the male/female polarity and how it figures in alchemical work and the sulphur/mercury pair which predated the later trinity of sulphur/salt/mercury. She was somewhat surprised to see the white rose as feminine, the red as masculine. She is an expert in the essential oil of the rose, and has spent much time in Bulgaria, the primary source of rose oils in Europe. There, the oil of the white rose is considered masculine, the red is considered feminine.
I would be interested in passing on to her the combined wisdom of the alchemy forum.


Russ House