I'll just copy my post from the other forum I posted in.
I realized that there was a lot more symbolism in FMA then I thought. I knew there was a lot of symbolism when I first watched it. There was the whole idea of humoculus and being named after the seven deadly sins. The idea of the deadly sins were used in Dante Aligieri's Divine Comedy, and Dante is the person controlling the homunculus.
In addition, a lot of the symbols used in the series are real symbols used, like the snake and cross or the Ouroboros, which is the what I'm mainly focusing on.
So I was browsing through curious articles are Wikipedia when I came across this in the Ouroboros article.
"Homunculi represent the seven deadly sins in the series and which were created by various alchemists in the attempt to bring humans back to life. This reflects an outstanding similiarity to Jung's belief of Ouroboros as an archetype of Death & Rebirth, as the Homunculi themselves are reborn humans made by alchemists. It is also interesting to note that Homunculi have a tendency to come back to life after being killed, and furthermore bring about their own demise, thus a snake biting its own tail and recreating themselves. The tatoo itself has some special abilities as well when touched by an alchemist. On a related subject, all alchemists in the series use Alchemy arrays which are circular designs (again circulating power as a tenet of both the symbol of Ouroboros and Alchemy itself within the series). Some alchemists however, have the ability to clap their hands together thus forming a circle with their body and arms, once again manifesting the power of Alchemy through circulating power." (Collective Essays on Archetypes of Modern Culture)
The Fullmetal Alchemist ouroborus contains another symbol within the circle. The symbol, in alchemy, is the seal of solomon. While the symbol has other obvious meanings, in the context of alchemy it represents the union of the fire symbol (up pointing triangle) and the water symbol (down pointing triangle). In alchemy the union of elements in opposition is symbolic of both transmutation and ultimately the quest for the Philosopher's stone.
Fullmetal Alchemist Ouroborus
Fullmetal Alchemist Ouroborus
In Fullmetal Alchemist, several characters adopt the symbol of a snake fixed on a cross. That symbol can be taken as the opposite of the Ouroboros. The winged snake on the cross representing the fixation of the volatile. As the Oroborus represents the cycle of birth and death, the snake on the cross represents fixed continuing life.
Wow, I've never noticed it before until now. The ouroboros symbol representing Death & Rebirth, while contrary, the snake and cross symbol representing continuing life. Plus the whole human transmutation thing forming the creation of the homunculus.
And contrary to most beliefs, alchemy isn't only the transmutation of metals into gold. It's also the transmutation of a person's soul and the spiriual transformation of the self.
Damn, I sound like my English teacher with this post.