Human association with metals goes a long way back in history. The
ancient people viewed metals as mysterious materials found deep inside
the earth and believed them to be full of spiritual powers and
potential for creation as well as destruction.
ancient civilizations practiced the sciences of Alchemy and
Astrology and related the different metals to specific planets. While
Alchemy tries to understand the meaning of the metals and elements,
Astrology is concerned with interpretation of the zodiac and planets.
The two were always considered to be related and an understanding of
one was thought to be helpful in understanding the other. As such,
metallurgy and spiritual alchemy went hand in hand. The metals were
believed to have a spiritual connection and every metal carried a
special significance. The alchemists believed that each element had a
physical representation and also a philosophical meaning.
Let us take a look at the symbolic meaning of the seven metals of Lead,
Tin, Iron, Gold, Mercury, Copper and Silver which are referred to as
the ‘Metals of Antiquity’ as they are the metals
around which different civilizations were founded.
||Governed by the
planet Saturn, Lead has
dark connections and is related
to death and transformation. This toxic metal represents impurities, of
the metals as well as the humans and its burning is metaphoric with
cleansing and removal of imperfections. It was associated with
divination spells. Lead was one of the earliest metals known to man and
was widely used by the ancient Romans, Egyptians, Greek and Chinese.
representative of Jupiter. It
embodies wisdom, logic, education,
maturity and knowledge and is believed to be the metal of the sages and
scholars. It is associated with mediation, balance and a philosophical
view of life. This metal is also connected to prosperity and wealth.
The popularity of tin is dated to the Bronze Age with civilizations
around the world making extensive use of it.
||One of the most
abundant elements in the
universe, Iron is dominated by
the planet Mars. The metal was widely used by the Asian, African and
European civilizations. Iron symbolizes the male energy and is
connected to physical power, aggression, growth, dependence and
protection. It promotes emotions such as lust, confidence, courage,
strength, stamina and resilience. It is considered to be the most
‘human’ metal and so, is distrusted by the ethereal
entities and spirits.
||The celestial body
represented by Gold
is the Sun. The metal was highly
valued by the ancient Egyptians, Irish, Romans, Asians, Africans and
Central Americans. It was believed to represent perfection and purity.
Gold was often used as offerings for the gods, for ceremonial purposes
and for beautification of the chieftains’ courts. Most of the
cultures across the world have seen this metal as a symbol of wealth,
prosperity, authority and charisma. It was supposed to aid in healing,
protection, growth and knowledge.
the planet of the same
name, Mercury is an unusual
metal that exists in the liquid form at room temperature. It is a toxic
metal and is associated with death, mystery and transformation. It is
connected with divination and scrying. Mercury is also related to
travel and movement, be it of physical or spiritual nature. The metal
was known to the ancient Romans, Greeks, Hindus and Chinese. The
alchemists considered it one of the 3 principal substances on Earth,
along with salt and sulphur.
||Copper is ruled by
the planet Venus. It
is one of the oldest metals and
copper metallurgy has flourished in different cultures, including the
Middle Eastern, Asian, European, Central & South American and
Native American. Copper embodies the nurturing aspect of women and
their youthfulness. It is associated with the matters of love &
lust, and symbolizes characteristics like charisma, feminine beauty,
artistic creativity, affection, caring and balance. It is also
considered a healing metal that teaches about living a fulfilling life.
||This is a regal
metal and is connected
to the Moon. It is one of the
most versatile metals, one of the 3 base metals in Alchemy. It is
associated with philosophical traits of intuition, self-reflection and
inner wisdom. It is a feminine metal, a symbol of purity and is
connected to the goddesses and spirits. Its energies include
divination, healing, protection, emotion, love, wisdom, dreams, luck
and wealth. It is symbolic of attributes such as vision, clarity,
awareness, focus, persistence and subtle strength.
||Antimony is a regarded as a cooperative metal because it works best when it is combined with another metal, notably lead, brass and bronze. It is actually a metalloid that does not react chemically as a metal, but has metal-like appearance & physical properties. It is a protective metal and teaches the values of transformation and adaptability. It teaches of wisdom and strength that can be gained from others and also given in return. Antimony represents the free spirit, wild nature or animal power dwelling within all humans. A person can benefit by wearing this symbol when feeling meek.