Understanding Transmutation Circles:
Because this stuff is so super interesting, I had to share. I’m am not a very scientific person, so this is mostly copy & pasted from here (x).
Perfect Polygons Polygraphs
Circle - Base Representing a Whole
Triangle - Air
Square - Earth
Pentagon - Fire
Pentagram - Gate
Hexagon - Water
Hexagram - Human Transmutation
Heptagon - High Energy Transmutation, Ether
Heptagram - Ether
Octagon - Life
Octagram - Soul
Isosceles Triangle - Compression in Air, Alchemical Symbols Signify Elements
Hook - Symbol Representing Attachment
Wing - A leaving, release, or return of ethereal energy.
Dots - 1 - Endothermic, 2 - Exothermic, 3 - metal, 4 - pumice, 5 - sulfur, 6 - carbon, 7 - ethanol alcohol, 8 - blood
Arrow/Ray - Simple Direction
Spirals - Transmutation of exothermic energy endothermically. In Example: Creation of Ice from liquid water.
Cross - Represents a Holy, or other worldly power. A power greater than man. Usually represented in transmutation using the human soul.
Words - A personal touch, an action of good faith
Snake - Represents evil
Parts outside of the main circle - Constant change, the circles effect will last forever.
Arcs - Connected - Unification, Apart - Separation
Examination: Uncompleted connection to the gate, this is a one way transfer. 2 elements, these are arcane elements, body, and mind. Cross representing a higher power, in this case the gate. Wings representing a return of energy. 2 Rays pointing away from a central point, toward the sides of both body and mind. Hook represented by a snake, give both attachment and evil.
Final Effect: - A being is split both mentally and physically, to return to the gate. After the return the connection to the gate is broken forever, and I higher power will do something. They will be attached to the higher power forever.
Anyway, thought this would be interesting to share with you!
By the way, question: What sorts of things would you think alchemy should be used for in different areas (for story purposes)?