symbol of phyrexia real life origins

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okay, where did the symbol for phyrexia originate? i'm speaking for the R&D team. where did they come up with that symbol. because i'm at home and i'm watching an anime called Claymore-and zip i swear i just saw the symbol for phyrexia go flying by. so i head to google and find out its the symbol for the character Ophelia. and for google thats as far as i got. i went to symbols.com, could not find it. so i'm asking you guys, where did this symbol come from? i find it hard to believe that someone in japan and someone in america came up with the same symbol at almost the exact time; of course it is just a circle with a vertical line through it so it maybe possible but i don't think so. plz respond.

It's the letter phi. (Wiki link.)

It's really a very basic symbol - hence why it can be memorable - and it's not surprising that it shows up a lot.
Yeah, Irandura's got it as far as i know. If all you had was a claw and you tried to draw a capital letter Phi, it would look a lot like the phyrexia symbol.
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It might also be worth noting that Phi is the symbol that generally is used to indicate the golden section, probably one of the most important mathematical concepts for artists. It's probably not a coincidence that the Section is often associated with perfect harmony of parts to whole and general ideas of absolutely perfect design. I really think the symbolic link was intentional, especially since it has the pun (Phi-rexia? Heh).

Now, that doesn't explain its development as a sign in-world. That... I don't have an explanation for. It does seem to play a role in Phyrexian script, in both the modern and archaic Phyrexian civilizations, but how the letters developed--especially a letter that requires a circle, which seems to go strongly against the natural flow of the rest of the script--is kind of a mystery. Modern Phyrexian, at least, seems to have no links to the Thran sigils from which I imagine Archaic Phyrexian was derived. So, presumably the oil transmitted this particular symbol along with other aspects of philosophy and methodology, while the rest of the written script developed organically. This suggests that the symbol had, at some point, a deeper significance to The Ineffable himself and Old Phyrexia.
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"Modern Phyrexian, at least, seems to have no links to the Thran sigils from which I imagine Archaic Phyrexian was derived."

its been a long time since i read the Urza's Saga books (Brother's War, Planeswalker, Timestreams, Bloodlines) and the reference may be in Mercadian Masques, found by Hana. i'm not sure, but somewhere (it was a big shock to me, so much so i still remember it.) that the word or sigil for thran was the same for Phyrexia. meaning the Phyrexians were Thrans in origin, or the Thran became Phyrexians.

"especially since it has the pun (Phi-rexia? Heh)."

that is funny, but the i saw the symbol for Phi. \varphi\,\! it looks lit an & sign backwards. i don't think this was the progression of thought here.

the closest thing i've come to is here www.symbols.com/encyclopedia/41b/41b1.ht...

from the website symbols.com

direct quote
"41b01 
This is one of the most ancient ideograms. Round stones with this structure in red paint has been found in the Mas d'Azil cave.
    This sign occurs in several ancient alphabets as well as in the runic alphabet, where 41b01 during a certain period signified the m-sound instead of 3922. "

thats the best i can comeup with its not the exact symbol but i would love to hear someone from R&D to tell us.

okay lookin somemore i found that i was looking a the wiki page for golden ratio where the phi symbol looks like an & sign, i swear my 6th grade teacher used that symbol for "and"; varphi (\varphi\,\!).

but looking at wikipedia's Phi page

Phi (uppercase Φ, lowercase φ, or math symbol ϕ)

GREEK PHI SYMBOL  \phi\,\! ϕ  used in mathematical and technical contexts
LATIN SMALL LETTER PHI  Xsampa-pslash.png  ɸ  used in IPA to symbolise a voiceless bilabial fricative

This makes much more since now, since the thran were a technical based society. Phi is a good symbol to use. in case of the phrexian symbol, its edgier the tips are points, the circle looks spikey. Yawgamoth believed that biology wasn't perfect. so through natural and forced selection, biology could be perfected. so its a symbol of mathematics and science it fits perfectly with the ideaology of Phyrexia. i think you were right before Keep, Phi-rexia.

thank you for helping solve this mystery of the phyrexian symbol.


"Modern Phyrexian, at least, seems to have no links to the Thran sigils from which I imagine Archaic Phyrexian was derived."

its been a long time since i read the Urza's Saga books (Brother's War, Planeswalker, Timestreams, Bloodlines) and the reference may be in Mercadian Masques, found by Hana. i'm not sure, but somewhere (it was a big shock to me, so much so i still remember it.) that the word or sigil for thran was the same for Phyrexia. meaning the Phyrexians were Thrans in origin, or the Thran became Phyrexians.

"especially since it has the pun (Phi-rexia? Heh)."

that is funny, but the i saw the symbol for Phi.  it looks lit an & sign backwards. i don't think this was the progression of thought here.

the closest thing i've come to is here www.symbols.com/encyclopedia/41b/41b1.ht...

from the website symbols.com

direct quote
"41b01 
This is one of the most ancient ideograms. Round stones with this structure in red paint has been found in the Mas d'Azil cave.
    This sign occurs in several ancient alphabets as well as in the runic alphabet, where 41b01 during a certain period signified the m-sound instead of 3922. "

thats the best i can comeup with its not the exact symbol but i would love to hear someone from R&D to tell us.

okay lookin somemore i found that i was looking a the wiki page for golden ratio where the phi symbol looks like an & sign, i swear my 6th grade teacher used that symbol for "and"; varphi ().

but looking at wikipedia's Phi page

Phi (uppercase Φ, lowercase φ, or math symbol ϕ)

GREEK PHI SYMBOL   ϕ  used in mathematical and technical contexts
LATIN SMALL LETTER PHI  Xsampa-pslash.png  ɸ  used in IPA to symbolise a voiceless bilabial fricative

This makes much more since now, since the thran were a technical based society. Phi is a good symbol to use. in case of the phrexian symbol, its edgier the tips are points, the circle looks spikey. Yawgamoth believed that biology wasn't perfect. so through natural and forced selection, biology could be perfected. so its a symbol of mathematics and science it fits perfectly with the ideaology of Phyrexia. i think you were right before Keep, Phi-rexia.

thank you for helping solve this mystery of the phyrexian symbol.



Sure thing.

I still would love to know the development in-world, though. Ah, another mystery of the Multiverse...
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I find the phi symbol apropriate for Phyrexia's basic nature; it combines the perceptions of time seen in the west (straight line), and in traditional east asian cultures (circle). Both are combined, not in a perfect spiral, but in a circle above the line; phyrexians strive for advancement, but are ultimately stalled by themselves.
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I find the phi symbol apropriate for Phyrexia's basic nature; it combines the perceptions of time seen in the west (straight line), and in traditional east asian cultures (circle).



That's... a really bad thing to say.

I mean, for a start, it's wrong. That is, there is no particular East Asian culture I can think of which does use the circle in such a defining way. Secondly, 'East Asian cultures' are actually quite diverse. Lumping them together is at best a gross oversimplification and at worst actually offensive.

You could be talking about reincarnation, the circularity of history, the idea of an eternal regress, a dying-and-rising divine cycle, etc., etc., all of which do make some sense in terms of the circle symbol... but all of those are ideas with just as much of a pedigree in Western cultures, if not more so. Reincarnation? Plato did it. The circularity of history? Spengler. The eternal return? Egyptian and Greek. Dying-and-rising? Any number of Semitic and Hellenic deities. Hell: remind me which culture came up with the ouroboros again? Oh, right: that was Western too.

Anyway. The point is that you're wrong. :P
Actually I always thought that they use the Greek phi as a pun for Phyrexia (Phi-rexia).

Which is interesting since Phyrexian is a play on the word "pyrexia" which is "fever". So if WOTC went for "Pyrexia" the symbol used would be... pi?

*cues images of Phyrexians quoting pi to the 1000000000....th digit* 
The Thran symbol appears on some cards and it is a different shape, although it has a vague resemblance to the Phyrexian sign.

As for in-world development, how's this?

The circle represents the Nine Spheres of Phyrexia, the circular shape of each world, and the cycle of life and death unimproved by Phyresis. The line is the mark of the Ineffible who transcends the cycle of life and death, who encompasses all Spheres and all worlds, and who breaks the cycle of death and life to bring immortality and perfection to the Phyrexians.
Please note: unless I'm trying to be sarcastic or humorous, most of my posts are very literal. Don't try to "read between the lines" because there is usually nothing there. I try not to imply anything when I write.
Hah, that could actually work. Didn't Phyrexian Creations mention the idea of Yawgmoth killing himself so that he could know, and become master of, Death?
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Yes, according to their crackpot religion, he died so that he could escape his body, which he had already compleated to the limits of biology, and then he caused it to rot and since his body was the entire multiverse everything that exists was eaten by microbes, which then ate each other and evolved. And that's the reasonable part of the story.
Please note: unless I'm trying to be sarcastic or humorous, most of my posts are very literal. Don't try to "read between the lines" because there is usually nothing there. I try not to imply anything when I write.
The phyrexian symbol is aletter in a few alphabet, Greek and russian are two I can think of off the top of my head.
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The Cyrillic alphabet (which Russian uses) was developed from the Greek alphabet and shares many letters with it.
Please note: unless I'm trying to be sarcastic or humorous, most of my posts are very literal. Don't try to "read between the lines" because there is usually nothing there. I try not to imply anything when I write.
Yes, according to their crackpot religion, he died so that he could escape his body, which he had already compleated to the limits of biology, and then he caused it to rot and since his body was the entire multiverse everything that exists was eaten by microbes, which then ate each other and evolved. And that's the reasonable part of the story.



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