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Elisa Wilson Fullmetal Alchemist: Facts And Mysteries Surrounding Transmutation Circles
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There is a lot of symbolism and arcane logos that one comes across while watching or reading Fullmetal Alchemist. However, one of the most intriguing parts of the show is the transmutation circle, which plays a crucial role for the alchemists. Although one does learn a lot about them as one goes through the whole story, much is shrouded in mystery and is yet not known. Every alchemist needs a transmutation circle to perform his alchemy; however, Edward Elric was unlike others since he could do it without using those circles. However, he ended up paying a huge price for that when he and his brother, Alphonse, lost body parts to see the Truth’s nature. They got the knowledge they needed to do alchemy without circles, but they lost their body parts in the process. 

But irrespective of how mysterious they might be, the circles play an essential part in the lore and crucial for the storyline. They come in a wide variety and differ in powers; today, we try to look at some of them to better understand how they work and the mysteries surrounding them.

 How do they work?

As their name suggests, transmutation circles are always circular in shape, and there is a strong reason for that. A circle acts as a vessel for an uninterrupted flow of energy; therefore, they are ideal for alchemy. Since there is no variance around its shape, the energy keeps on looping with no end. They, in some ways, do mirror the concept that nature has a circle of life. In alchemy, all the stages of the process are equally important, much like the circle in which no part stands out from others. 

 Who can use it?

As far as the use of the transmutation circle is concerned, only the alchemists can use it; however, their powers may vary from one person to another based on their skills and knowledge. Specific forms of alchemy do allow the change of transmutation circles with time. However, there are certain conditions that every alchemist has to take into account, like the shape must be a circle; the circles must be drawn with high precision, and they should never have any incorrect symbols or lines in them. Not only can an incomplete or wrong transmutation circle yield weak results, but in some cases, the alchemy might not do anything at all. 

In one of the movies, Edward Elric is shown to correct the transmutation circle, which was not adequately made. Once he completed it using chalk, the circle was activated; this instance gives a crucial insight about the alchemists. Although they might be powerful if they can’t draw one or their transmutation circle is damaged somehow, they are powerless. Another exciting aspect is that they can be drawn in halves, joined to later, and still work. Kimblee used to do it, and he would often join together both the halves to make a circle that would complete the transmutation circle.

What Happens in a Transmutation Circle?

Depending on the alchemical process and the alchemist, a circle might have several shapes drawn into it. There might be other visuals and icons depending on the alchemist. Sometimes there is text too, which has often been in Latin, Hebrew, or German. As far as where they can be drawn is concerned, there seem to be many imaginative ways in which different alchemists draw their transmutation circles. Some have it tattooed, etched on the skin, dug into the ground, and sometimes even drawn with blood. There seem to be several ways to be done; the only thing that an alchemist needs to keep in mind is that the circle’s marks are clearly defined and not corrupted. 

 In the Xingese alkahest, circles are drawn with pentagrams in them, and it appears quite like alchemy; however, there is a lot of difference between them. Scar’s brother had researched over them and recorded all his findings in a notebook.

 Mysteries about them

There is a lot of mystery and secrecy that surrounds the origins and true nature of alchemy. Xerxes people in ancient times also performed alchemy; however.; their process was quite different from the alchemists of Amestris. It seems that they have different origins. Although the people of Amestris were ignorant of the origins of alchemy and they had little idea that it was powered by the masses of people. The energy produced in the process was channeled all over Amestris by machinations that Father and his servants have developed. People have heard of a philosopher who believed that the tectonic plate was the source of alchemy; however, they are unaware that Father is making them use human energy as the source and has hoarded all the energy from the tectonic plate for himself.

There are also other details about alchemy that demands further explanation. Since Transmutation circles come in different shapes and sizes, how does their size impact the power or energy? We have seen an enormous variation in their shape and size, like the blood seal used in the transmutation of Alphonse’s soul or the nation-wide one created by Father for the promised day. Since Father’s alchemy needed a large-scale impact, the transmutation circle was also huge. Still, it has been observed many times that the size usually had little effect on the results, with bigger and smaller ones creating the same energy level. But one can’t be sure of it since there is a lot of confusion. It is also not known whether it is necessary to draw a transmutation circle on hand or gloves to function. So even though it has been a long time since the show ended there, we don’t know yet about transmutation circles. 

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View Profile   By Michael Vettori   1 month ago
Hey there! Huge fan of Full Metal Alchemist here. And yes, all this information is true. Transmutation circles are essential and the most crucial aspect to perform proper alchemy. According to this one article by top grade essay writers online Alchemy dates back to around 73-49 BC, practiced throughout Africa, China, Europe, and Asia.

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