Since the days of old, codes have been devised and utilized to various ends: to relay secret messages, to identify friend from foe, or to record secret formulae.

What ancient dark art is at work here?


Text version:

▢▢◯◯▢▢▢ ♂♌︎🧗🍸🍴-(🐓🔪)☾💪👅👑☉
▢▢◯◯▢▢▢ ♃♆☉
▢▢▢◯▢▢▢ ♂3♌︎🚶👀❙☉💪👅♃
◯▢▢▢▢▢▢ 🏁25♂☾
◯▢▢▢▢▢▢ ☰8♂☾❘♂3⛰♀👑☉👨‍👧‍👦☨☾
◯▢▢▢▢▢▢ ☉3♌︎🚶👀♃👅💪♂
◯▢▢▢◯▢▢ /▬♂♃(🐮📯✸📯🏵←🌙→)☉
◯▢▢▢◯▢▢ ☾✚♂5🍍🥿☉


These tinctures are not to be consumed.

Hint 2:


  • $\begingroup$ It's crazy to see a text version (+1). $\endgroup$
    – WhatsUp
    Dec 30, 2021 at 22:07

1 Answer 1


Well, this one took a while. I was on the right track when it first appeared, but got stuck until the recent second hint confirmed the direction I was going was correct.

So, the short answer first:

Each line gives us a rebus for the coat of arms of a seven letter country (all but one in Europe), and they are:
- Bohemia
- Ukraine
- England
- Croatia
- Hungary
- Estonia
- Moldova
- Jamaica

Lining those up with the grid of circles and squares, and taking the letters in the circles gives us:


Which is a portmanteau of heraldry, alchemy and emoji

Full explanation

The ancient dark art at work here is:

Heraldry, which uses its own arcane language to describe coats of arms (🧥🧥💪💪).

The hard part was working out the right interpretation of each character, and then translating that into the arcane language of blazons in order to look up the correct arms.
It didn't help that different sources have different blazons for the same arms, which lead to much confusion and head scratching.

The planetary symbols in particular seem to have multiple meanings, including Sun = gold and Moon = silver. I'm still not sure how to get ♂ (Male/Mars) = red (possibly the red planet?) ♀ (Female/Venus) = green and ♃(Jupiter) = blue.


This is actually the most complex, and one of the last to be solved.
The following table give the meaning of each symbol and the heraldic language used (if different from English).

 ♂        Red                         Gules
 ♌︎        Lion(Leo)
 🧗       Climbing?                   Rampant
 🍸🍴      Cocktail, knife and fork
 -(🐓🔪)   - cock, knife
          = Forked tail               Queue fourché
 ☾        Silver                      Argent
 💪       Armed
 👅       Tongued                     Langued
 👑       Crowned
 ☉        Gold                        Or

Which gives us:
(Gules,) a lion rampant queue fourché argent armed, langued and crowned Or
Which is the Coat of arms of Bohemia


This one is much shorter and simpler:

 ♃   Blue            Azure
 ♆   Trident
 ☉   Gold            Or

Which gives us:
Azure, a tryzub (trident) Or
Which is the Coat of arms of Ukraine



 ♂   Red                     Gules
 3♌  Three Lions(Leo)
 🚶   Walking                 Passant
 👀   Looking                Guardant
 ❙   In a vertical line       In pale
 ☉   Gold                    Or
 💪   Armed                  Armed
 👅   Tongued                Langued
 ♃   Blue                    Azure

Which gives us:
Gules, three lions passant guardant in pale or armed and langued azure

Which is the Royal arms of England



 🏁   Checquered            Chequy
 25  25
 ♂   Red                     Gules
 ☾   Silver                  Argent

Which gives us:
Chequy of twenty-five gules and argent

Which is the Coat of arms of Croatia



 ☰8  Eight Bars             Barry of eight
 ♂   Red                     Gules
 ☾   Silver                  Argent
 ❘   In a vertical line      In pale
 ♂   Red                     Gules
 3⛰  3 peaks                Trimount
 ♀   Green                   Vert
 👑   Crown
☉ Gold Or 👨‍👧‍👦 Family? ☨ Cross of Lorraine/Double cross ☾ Silver Argent

This one isn't a perfect fit. I'm not sure what the family group is for, and there are different descriptions depending where I look for the blazon:
Per pale: 1 barry of eight Gules and Argent; 2 Gules, on a mount Vert a crown or, issuant therefrom a double cross Argent.
Barry of eight Gules and Argent, impaling Gules, on a trimount Vert a ducal coronet Or issuing therefrom a Patriarchal cross Argent

But it's still definitely the Coat of arms of Hungary



 ☉   Gold                    Or
 3♌︎ Three lions(Leo)
 🚶   Walking                 Passant
 👀   Looking                Guardant
 ♃   Blue                    Azure
 👅   Tongued                Langued
 💪   Armed
♂ Red Gules

Which gives us:
Or, three lions passant guardant azure, langued and armed gules

Which is the Coat of arms of Estonia



 /   Diagonal to the left    (Bend sinister)
 ▬   Horizontal              Fess
 ♂   Red                     Gules
 ♃   Blue                    Azure
 🐮📯  Aurochs
 ✸   Star                    Mullet
 📯   Between the horns
 🏵←  Rose to the right       Rose to dexter
 🌙→  Crescent to the left   Crescent to sinister
 ☉   All Gold                All Or

Not sure what the bend is for.
Also note that left and right here are from the point of view of the shield bearer, so swapped for the viewer. And that gives us:
Per fess gules and azure, an aurochs head cabossed overall, accompanied by a mullet of eight points between the horns, a heraldic rose to dexter and a crescent decrescent to sinister, all or.

Which is the Coat of arms of Moldova



 ☾   Silver                  Argent
 ✚   Cross                  Cross
 ♂   Red                     Gules
 5🍍  Five pineapples
 🥿   Slipper?               Slipped
 ☉   Gold                    Or

This give us:
Argent on a Cross Gules five pineapples slipped Or

Which is the Coat of arms of Jamaica

  • $\begingroup$ Very nice. The associations between the symbols and the rot13(urenyqvp gvapgherf jrer "cbrgvp" naq ner yvfgrq ng uggcf://ra.jvxvcrqvn.bet/jvxv/Gvapgher_(urenyqel). Gur sngure jvgu puvyqera rzbwv va Uhatnel'f oynmba vf fhccbfrq gb ercerfrag gur jbeq "cngevnepuny") Thank you for solving and the detailed answer. $\endgroup$
    – caPNCApn
    Jan 26, 2022 at 21:00

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