An old name for sulfur, derived from Brimo, a title of Athena, Hecate, and Demeter. The term meant «raging one,» the Destroyer aspect of the Goddess. The alchemical symbol for sulfur is the same as the symbol of Athene, a triangle surmounting a cross,: female genital sign over the male, like the symbol of Venus.
Even the raging Brimo made appearances as the Virgin Mother at purification feasts at Eleusis, where the advent of the Holy Child was announced with a cry, «Holy Brimo has borne the Holy Child Brimus.»
Because of her cleansing and purifying powers, the stone of Brimo was supposed to be proof against disease. Even in Medieval times burning sulfur was used to fumigate sickroom and avert the plague. The use of brimstone for purification accounts for its appearance in the cauldron in Purgatory containing «fire and brimstone» to burn away sins.
Alchemists tried to «marry Hermes and Athene» by combining mercury with brimstone, hoping to create gold. Their experiments never succeeded. A.G.H.
Source: 56, 118.