Like crystals, metals have vibrations, energies and other properties that can be useful in ritual workings. In this section we have provided information on the most common metals – those used in alchemy and spellcraft for centuries, in the hope that it will assist you in finding the right balance and the most effective energy patterns for your own rites.
Gold is heavy – almost twice as heavy as lead. With a hardness of less than 3, it is quite soft. Since it can be hammered into thin sheets or drawn out into thin wires, gold is sought after for a wide range of applications, including jewelry and electronics. “Gold leaf” is gold that has been beaten into a sheet less than one tenth of a millimeter thick. The latin name for gold is Aurum, which is why the symbol for gold is Au.
The process of turning Lead into Gold is the aspiration of the alchemist. It is seen by some as a physical transformation, and by others as a spiritual metaphor for cleansing and purifying the soul.
Gold adds energy to a ritual. It aids in developing courage, confidence and will power. It promotes wisdom, and attracts wealth and success.
Mercury is the only common metal that is liquid at ordinary temperatures. Mercury rarely occurs free in nature and is mostly found in Cinnabar ore in Spain and Italy. A heavy, silvery-white liquid metal, Mercury (or Quicksilver as it is sometimes called) is a rather poor conductor of heat. It alloys easily with many metals, such as gold, silver, and tin. These alloys are called amalgams.
Its ease in amalgamating with gold is made use of in the recovery of gold from its ores. The symbol for Mercury is Hg, which comes from Mercury’s Latin name Hydrargyrum, which in turn comes from the Greek word “hydrargyros” (“hydor” for water and “argyros” for silver). Mercury can therefore be seen as an agent of change, and a catalyst. Sometimes associated with luck, it was used in older time as a scrying mirror and for protective charms. Note! Do not use – Mercury is poisonous by touch, ingestion or aspiration.
The word copper comes from the Latin word “cuprum”, which means “ore of Cyprus”. Copper is the only naturally occurring metal other than gold that has a distinct color. Copper’s color is a slightly reflective brown red. As it oxidizes, Copper turns to a Teal Green which is (why the Statue of Liberty is green). Also like gold, copper is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity.
Copper is a very versatile and useful metal, and Its earliest known use dates back to 4000 BC where it was used in ornaments and vessels. Today it is used for wiring and industrial applications but it remains highly popular for ornamental use. The seventies saw a resurgence of its use for medicinal purposes, including treatment for arthritis, headaches and motion sickness. In addition, Copper can be used to attract love, bring luck, to draw prosperity. It’s electro-magnetic properties make it useful aligning auric energies, and adds power to spells.
Silver’s latin name is Argentum (hence the Ag abbreviation). Silver is an extremely useful metal and is used in decoration, industry and photography. It is the believed to be the best conductor of electricity and heat. Because of its value and durability, it has for a long time been used to make coins and bullion. It’s sensitivity to light has lead to its use in photography.
Like Copper, silver has a very ancient history and has been found in sites dating back to nearly 3000 BC. Silver is used today in dentistry and surgical implants. Silver is believed to act as a conductor for spiritual energy, and as a conduit to channel energy from stones and minerals into the body. This is why gemstones are usually hung on silver necklaces. Silver is also used in healing to correct chemical and hormonal imbalances, and to improve the transmission of nerve impulses, all of which can affect one’s mental state. It is also associated with improving communications, reducing conflicts, increasing popularity, and cleansing/balancing emotions.
The symbol for Iron (Fe) comes from it’s latin name ferrum. This hard, abundant metal has been used for thousands of years for making weapons and tools. It can be combined with Carbon to make steel, the key resource of the industrial revolution. It is essential to the human body which uses it to make hemoglobin, yet too much of it is poisonous. The core of the planet Earth is solid Iron.
Like Steel, Iron is highly magnetic, and so it has become extensively used in navigation, electricity production, the entertainment industry (video and cassette tapes) and computing. Iron is a very good grounding metal, as it stops the flow of psychic and emotional energy. It is used defensively as a protection from negative energy in all forms, and also represents physical strength.
The symbol for Tin (Sn) comes from the latin name Stannum. It is found in a variety of locations and has been used at least since about 3500 BC in Western Iran. Primarily today tin comes from Malaysia, Boliva, Indonesia, Zaire, Thailand, and Nigeria. Since tin is expensive and not very strong, it is primarily used to coat other metals to prevent corrosion –
Tin plate over steel is used to make cans for food. Tin is non-toxic and easily mixes with the majority of other metals, it is this quality together with the low melting point which makes it an essential ingredient of most solders. Tin encourages Inspiration and creativity. It promotes enthusiasm, tolerance and trust. Assist in healing in the central nervous system, respiratory tract and liver function. Tin can also be used to assist in cleansing areas of the body that have become infected or diseased. Some believe it is another “luck metal” and can bring prosperity.
The Latin name for this cheap, relatively abundant metal is plumbum, and gives rise to the symbol Pb. Lead is a bluish-white lustrous metal. It is a poor conductor of electricity, and quite heavy. Lead is unique amongst common metals, in that it has little mechanical strength, virtually no elasticity and is extremely soft. It is an easy metal to work, but cannot support any weight, so its structural uses are limited. It is also highly toxic, which is why it is being phased out of gasoline.
It has been used by humanity for a long time, because it is very resistant to corrosion. Lead pipes from the baths the days of the Roman Empire are still in service. Alchemically speaking, Lead is the basest of metals, and represents the impurity of man that must be stripped from the soul if one is to progress and ascend. Lead is used for Protection, both physically (from radiation) and spiritually (from negative energies).
Remember that some metals, particularly lead and mercury, can be toxic when handled, and certainly when digested in large enough quantities. Always take appropriate precautions when incorporating these metals into your rituals!