In alchemy the primordial symbolism of colour is represented by the colour schemata of Nigredo and Albedo (Blackness and Whiteness) . There's a strong case to be made for Urn Burial as a symbolic realization of the Nigredo stage of alchemy. As the first of four stages in the alchemical opus, the Nigredo (Blackness) represents the psychological state of melancholic gloom and despair which the adept faced beginning the alchemical opus. The historical circumstances in which Urn-Burial was written, its many grave and sombre meditations upon Death, mortification, putrefaction, embalmment, funerary urns and monuments, its repeatedly condemnation of the vain-glory of being remembered after death as a futile hope, makes it utterly exemplary of the Nigredo . Browne's poetic phrase, 'lost in the uncomfortable night of nothing' encapsulates the Nigredo stage of alchemy, which C. G. Jung describes thus-
The 1650's decade saw the greatest volume of esoteric literature ever published in England. Many important esoteric titles were translated or made available in English for the first time under the liberalisation and relaxation of printing press licensing laws during the Protectorate of Cromwell. The antiquarian Elias Ashmole tested the waters of this new liberalisation in order to publish in 1652 his anthology of British alchemical authors, the Theatrum Chemicum Brittanicum, a copy of which is listed as once in Browne's library. It was followed by Cornelius Agrippa's influential Three books on Occult Philosophy and by Thomas Vaughan's translation of the Fama and Confessio of the Rosicrucian Fraternity. Incidentally, the spiritual alchemist Thomas Vaughan (c.1621-65) who knew of, and admired Thomas Browne, may have had the diptych Discourses in mind when alluding to the dominant symbol of each Discourse he declared Mercurius, the patron 'deity' of alchemy, to be, 'not only a two-edged sword, but also our true, hidden vessel, the Philosophical Garden, wherein our sun rises and sets'. And a copy of Vaughan's evocatively titled A Hermetical Banquet drest by a Spagyrical cook (1652) is listed as once in Browne's library. 
It must have been nigh on impossible for an avid bibliophile such as Browne to be unaware of this publication trend throughout the 1650's decade. And the temptation to add his own influential voice to the chorus of esoteric literature which poured forth from England's printing presses, must surely have inspired him. This creative urge, along with experiencing extreme psychological distress from the uncertainty and vulnerable social status of being a defeated Royalist with a profession to protect in order to support his large family, may well have induced Browne, consciously or unconsciously, to construct his own personal mandala, for according to Jung-
'the Mandala encompasses, protects and defends the psychic totality against outside influences and seeks to unite the opposites and is an individuation symbol'. 
Individuation symbols such as those produced by the mandala were in Jung's view spontaneous products of the psyche which arise whenever the psyche is in crisis and in need of transforming or protection. C.G. Jung observed that alchemical symbolism frequently incorporated geometric forms stating -
Alchemical symbolism has produced a whole series of non-human forms, geometrical configurations like the sphere, circle, square, and octagon, or chemical configurations like the Philosopher's Stone, the ruby, diamond, quicksilver, gold, water, fire, and spirit (in the sense of a volatile substance). 
Urn-Burial focusses almost hypnotically upon the symbol of the Urn or Vessel which in alchemy was the womb-like matrix where the Philosopher's Stone incubated. ('Incubation' being yet another Of Browne's neologisms). In complete contrast The Garden of Cyrus is jam-packed with symbols, geometric forms, numbers and hieroglyphs - the triangle, square, hexagon, pyramid, Egyptian Ankh, the letter X as well as the Quincunx pattern , all of which are utilized by Browne in his demonstration of the interconnection of the worlds of art, nature and religious mysticism. For Jung such symbols were none other than variants upon the foremost symbol of the psyche, the mandala , writing - 'Empirically the self appears spontaneously in the shape of specific symbols and its totality is discernible above all in the mandala and its countless variants'. 
C. G. Jung was a keen scholar of comparative religion. He became familiar with the Quincunx symbol from his long study of alchemy. Originally, little more than a unit of measurement of 5/12th in the Roman era, the Quincunx gained its esoteric associations when the German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) named it as an aspect of both astronomy and astrology. Kepler's books are well-represented in Browne's library. 
Although its unlikely that C. G. Jung knew of The Garden of Cyrus other than from hearsay, Browne's discourse being utterly untranslatable, nevertheless he did know that - 'The quinarius or Quinio (in the form of 4 + 1 i.e. Quincunx ) does occur as a symbol of wholeness (in China and occasionally in alchemy) but relatively rarely.' 
Jung even utilized the Quincunx pattern for his own purposes, stating in an essay, 'Their union in a quincunx signifies union of the four elements in a world-body' . Astoundingly, in 'Flying Saucers: A modern myth' (1958) Jung likens the Quincunx to be, 'a symbol of the quinta essentia which is identical with the Philosopher's Stone. 
As the centrepiece of Browne's mandala, the Quincunx pattern is thus a symbol of totality and wholeness, representing the achievement of Unio mentalis or self-knowledge of the alchemists. As Jung succinctly observed - 'The self is a complexio oppositorum itself'. 
Browne's creative motivation in penning his twin discourses is to share his psychological understanding of the Self, the true Philosopher's Stone, in order to provide his reader with an unique spiritual text. His alchemical mandala is both a portrait of himself personally with his hobbies of archaeology and botany and of the Collective Self, with all the irrational fears and inspired ideas we share; it operates upon the reader primarily through the effects of synergy, which is defined as - the interaction of two or more agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects'.
Like all good empirical scientists, Browne knew that simply by juxtaposing object A with object B, a new perspective upon each object is gained, inasmuch as differences and similarities are heightened whenever objects, or indeed whenever philosophical discourses are placed within close proximity to each other. As C.G. Jung puts it - ''A judgement can be made about a thing only if its opposite is equally real and possible'. 
Its the resultant synergy from reading these two quite different discourses which generates Browne's alchemical mandala and which effectively operates upon the reader. The individual reader's conscious and unconscious association of Browne's highly original, home-grown symbolism, their comprehension of his many Classical and Biblical references along with receptivity towards the dominant themes of each respective discourse which contribute towards psychic realization and activation of Dr. Browne's alchemical mandala.
To repeat, Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus adhere to mandala symbolism in their circularity and symmetry as well as their frequent usage of symbolism. Crucially, they engage in the mandala's highest function - as art-objects of great beauty worthy of contemplation and which remind their beholder of their own 'soul- journey' and place in the cosmos, thus bestowing spiritual enlightenment.
Augmenting and summarizing in Adam Maclean's words- 'Hermetic philosophers such as Thomas Browne can be said to be pioneering proto-psychologists who were open to their inner worlds and perceptions which they 'projected' onto outer symbols, in doing so they discovered a universal language which transcended words to communicate their experience of the soul's architecture. Thomas Browne's ability to lucid dream is a vital contributing factor in this alchemical act of active imagination. If we choose to contemplate the symbolism of alchemical mandalas, whether they are visual, auditory or couched within literary works such as Thomas Browne's two philosophical discourses, they can lead us deep into the mysteries of our inner world. Thus, far from the received wisdom of Urn Burial being a gloomy antiquarian essay, with an essay on gardening appended, in order to bulk out for the printer, as was once believed, Urn-Burial and The Garden of Cyrus can be conceptualized as an alchemical mandala, capable of unlocking the mysteries of the soul's architecture. 
 Opening quote from Heideman M.A. 'Hydriotaphia and The Garden of Cyrus' A Paradox and a Cosmic Vision' University of Toronto Quarterly, XIX 1950 .
Next - Green, P. Sir Thomas Browne Longmans, Green & Co (Writers and Their Work, No.108 1959) followed by Browne Religio Medici 1:12
 Recommended recording : Bach: Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue) - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. Harmonia Mundi 2011
 See Wikipedia The Layer Monument
 Collected Works of C.G. Jung vol. 11: 92
 Huntley, Frank . Sir Thomas Browne: A Biographical and Critical Study, Ann Arbour 1962
 Collected Works 11. 92 and Vol 14 :759
 Agostino's book is listed in the 1711 Sales Catalogue of Browne's Library p. 38 no. 5. The full title of Agostino's book is - Ant. Agostini Dialoghi intorno alle Medaglie, Inscrissioni & altre Antichita Romanze tradotti di Lingua Spagnola in Italiana da D Ottav. Sada, e dal Medisimo accresciuti, con Annot. & illustrati con disegni di molte Medaglie &c. Rome 1650.
 Link to Book 18, lines 478-608 of Homer's Iliad .https://poets.org/poem/iliad-book-xviii-shield-achilles
 C. W. 14: 93
 C. W. vol. 9 ii : 230
 CW ? 373
 CW 14 Foreword
 Religio Medici Part 2 Section 11
 CW 11:150
 CW 12:557
 CW 11: 738
 The Soul's Code James Hillman Bantam 1991
 CW 10:621
 CW 11:276
 CW 9ii:426
 See 1711 Sales Catalogue page 29 no. 18 S.C. page 29 no.34 S.C. page 28. no. 13
 C.W. 10:737
 CW 11:190
 CW 18:1602
 CW 11: 92
 CW 11:247
 Adam Maclean's words adapted from 'The Alchemical Mandala'.
Thomas Browne: Selected Writings ed. Kevin Killeen pub. OUP 2014
Adam Maclean -The Alchemical Mandala : A Survey of the mandala in the western esoteric traditions
James Hillman - The Dream and the Underworld pub. Harpur 1979
James Hillman - Pan and the Nightmare pub. Phanes 1989 second edition 2002
C.G. Jung Collected Works vol. 11 Psychology and Religion
C'.G. Jung - CW 9 part one - 'Concerning mandala symbolism'
C.G. Jung - Collected Works vol. 14 Mysterium Coniunctionis
1711 Sales Catalogue of Edward and Thomas Browne's libraries -J.S. Finch pub. Brill Leiden