” The breath of the west wind bore her Over the sounding sea, Upfront the delicate foam, To wave-ringed Cyprus, her isle. “
Thus sang Homer to celebrate the birth of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. Also known as Ishtar, Astarte and Venus, she was born from the blue-green waves of the Mediterranean clad only in her red-gold hair; her gentle beauty captured exquisitely by the Italian painter Botticelli.
Who has never been touched by the beauty of Venus, watching her rise brilliant as the Morning or Evening Star – turning golden-red as she sets, sinking back into the ocean of her birth? “Beauty of Life” she is called, the essence of woman reflected in the shining warmth of the metal copper.
After the Sun and Moon, Venus is the brightest light in the heavens, but contrary to the rotation of most of the other planets Venus spins in a slow retrograde motion, leading scientists to wonder if it may have flipped completely over sometime in its far distant past.
The island of Cyprus is regarded as the home of both Venus and copper where it has been extensively mined since antiquity. The word copper is derived from the Latin ‘cuprum’ from Cyprus, which in turn is said to originate in the Assyrian word for copper, ‘kipar.’ Although copper is soft and malleable, when blended with tin it forms the harder metal bronze.
After gold and silver, copper is the oldest metal known. Copper vessels have been found in Egypt dating back 4900 B.C. and earlier elsewhere. For hundreds of years copper was the main metal used; ancient races such as the Sumerians and Phoenicians made their weapons, helmets and shields of copper. From 3100 B.C. both copper and bronze were in use until the Bronze Age took over around 2100 B.C., preceding the more martial age of iron.
Copper’s veins run extensively through the planet, particularly in the ‘alkaline’ depths where it has a great affinity for sulphur; Wilhelm Pelikan describes copper and sulphur as “locked together in the earth in primaeval times.”‘ It is often found where there is volcanic activity, at present the most lucrative copper deposits being found in North and Central and South America, the Soviet Union, Central and South Africa and Australia, with smaller deposits throughout Europe.
Perhaps the oldest and most puzzling copper mines are located here in America, in the Keweenaw Peninsula and on Isle Royale in Lake Superior. Veteran author and researcher Vincent Gaddis explored the mystery of these prehistoric mines which date back to at least 5000 B.C. The extent of this vast mining empire is incredible; there are thousands upon thousands of pits ranging for 120 miles, and it is estimated that two million pounds of copper were mined on Isle Royale alone. As Vince asks,’ ‘Who were these archaic miners? How and to where did they transport this metal?”2
ALCHEMY’S “COPPER CAULDRON”
“Truly science drives out the spirit from the whole and proudly displays the separate bits. Dead, all dead.” Walter Lang
In this exploration of the Planets and Metals we are seeking in a small way to restore the spirit to the dead world of modern science. For this reason we return to the ancient and sacred science of Alchemy described as ‘a total science of energy transformation’ — dealing not only with the transmutation of metals as physical substance (the alchemists really could change lead into gold), but also as symbolic of the inner processes of spiritual transformation.
In alchemical terms we could describe the dead-world view of modern science as the ‘black phase’ of the alchemical operation, the phase of corruption and decay. Here the divine spark, or the spirit represented by the Sun appears to die, suffocated in the dark chaotic realm of Saturn-lead.
Even the physical substance of gold appears to be affected. After the early 1950s, Lilly Kolisko found in her experiments that the gold chloride solutions continually failed to crystallize into their previous colourful forms. It was as though the sun was eclipsed, somehow sickened, and gold, the sun’s element on earth reflected this. This darkening of the sun-gold coincided with the onslaught of atmospheric nuclear testing and greatly increased radio-frequency use.
Alchemists say that putrefaction precedes germination, that’ ‘the King Gold must be killed and buried, in order that he may awake again to life, and who, ascending through the seven regimes, attains his full glory.”3
These seven regimes are the seven levels of consciousness represented by the Sun, Moon and the five planets visible to the naked eye. Each of these cosmic forces corresponds to a particular metal, and in our investigations we find that the properties of these metals are intimately connected with our own nature.
Alchemically the Sun and Moon (gold and silver) express the duality of the active and receptive poles of existence. In the other five planets and their corresponding metals, either solar or lunar qualities predominate, but without reaching their full expression.
This is demonstrated in the planetary symbols which are formed from the three basic figures of the circle (sun), the semicircle (moon), and the cross of the four elements: fire, water, air and earth: the four directions of space.
In the symbol for Venus (and copper) the Sun-circle is rising above the cross, showing an infusion of solar power which, in the alchemical operation, corresponds to the inner sun rising but not yet perfected. In Venus the spirit is inspiring matter to more perfect forms of expression; the higher aspirations are tending to predominate over the material desires of the Earth.
The earliest form of Venus was the Egyptian ankh, symbol of universal life; the egg-shaped womb of the goddess, the place where life is generated, surmounting the cross of the elements. This womb from which the sun emerges is represented by the copper cauldron of alchemy. It is interesting to note that the Christian religion removed this womb-egg from the ancient symbol of life, to be left only with the unbalanced cross of matter.
- QUICKSILVER – Mercury’s Liquid Metal
- IRON ROD OF MARS