SILVER – Metal of the Moon
“Every process in nature, rightly observed, wakens in us a new organ of cognition… creating in the wake of an ever-creative nature…” – Goethe
Silver is one of the most precious metals known on Earth. Prized for its strength and lustrous beauty throughout history, silver was regarded as a sacred metal long before it became a measure of commercial transactions.
The ancient moon-worshipping religions treasured this metal, crafting it into rings and other jewelry, ritual ornaments, cups, mirrors, bells, etc., and engraving it for use as talismans. Silver was synonymous with the moon itself, and was believed to be fluidic and impressionable to the human mind and will. Even the form of natural pure silver is organic, preferring plant-like rather than crystalline forms.
According to occult belief the planets each had their own spirit, or supreme angel which ruled over the function of the planet and its sacred metal. The angel ruling over the moon had the power to transmute anything and everything to silver, and the power to rule over water and the tides of the oceans.
Astrologically the connections between the zodiac and the planets are interpreted in relation to the human being, for example, the moon rules the zodiac sign of Cancer, the cardinal water sign — “The restless tides of the ocean; the surging and ebbing of emotions.” It is a feminine and receptive sign, ruling the womb, the breasts and stomach in the human body. Silver is the metal associated with Cancer.
In alchemy, where the relationship of the elements and metals to the planets is studied, the moon — or silver — incarnates the materia prima, the pure, unformed, plastic primordial substance, described as being like water. Alchemical silver is passive, mirrorlike and virginal, and according to Titus Burckhardt:” The moon was considered to be analogous to the soul in its state of pure receptivity; whereas the soul transmuted and illumined by the spirit was analogous to the sun, and the metal gold.”1
In the Qabalistic tradition the moon is assigned to the sphere of Yesod on the Tree of Life. It is called the “Foundation,” the subtle etheric basis of the material world. This fluidic astral substance is in a continual state of flux, ebbing and flowing with the lunar tides, an invisible ocean of energy permeating the dense physical world in which we live. Knowledge of the lunar phases is extremely important in the work of the occultist, for to work in harmony with the cosmic tides ensures success in the subtle and complex transformation of consciousness — the goal of alchemy and magic.
It is interesting to note that Yesod has a dual quality like the moon itself with its new and full phases. Yesod is assigned the reproductive organs in the human body and the sexual energy which is the driving force behind the phenomenal world. But Yesod is also called the “Pure or Clear Intelligence,’ ‘ and in occult teachings there is another centre, or chakra, of subtle energies ruled by the moon in the cerebellum.
Called Qoph, which means’ ‘back of the head,” here where the brain floats in lunar liquid is known to be a powerful ‘reservoir’ of psycho-sexual energies, the true seat of the sexual forces in the human organism.
So we see in the occult tradition this relationship of silver to the moon and the lunar tides very clearly outlined. We have also noted the inherent affinity between the moon and the forces of reproduction in the human body, both in the sexual organs and in the brain itself. But what does science have to say about these subtle occult connections between the planets, the metals and human consciousness? Not very much, if we look towards orthodox science for answers.
The ancient knowledge has been submerged beneath a wave of materialism, and to the one-eyed view of modern scientists these mysterious connections between Cosmos, the sphere of the stars and planets, Earth, the world of matter, and the human organism, are inexplicable and are ridiculed by calling them superstition originating in the mind of primitive humanity.
How far we have come from the ancient spiritual sciences which did not study the dense material world as something separate from spirit, but rather the universe (macrocosm) and the human (microcosm) were considered to correspond to one another as reflections; whatever exists in one, must also in some way be present in the other. Science has cut itself off from the perception of living interacting energy and sees instead a world of dead matter devoid of spirit.
THE SCIENTIFIC CONNECTION – The Kolisko Experiments
Yet earlier this century there were scientists who drew on the earlier occult knowledge and discovered through their experiments that there is in fact, a demonstrable relationship between metals and the planets they were ascribed to by the ancients ~ and also that this relationship extends to and permeates the human being.
Two of these pioneering scientists were Eugen and Lilly Kolisko, who were closely associated with Dr Rudolf Steiner. Through experiments observing the effect of the various phases of the moon on silver salt solutions they were able to demonstrate that there is a definite relationship between the moon, or the moon forces, and the metal silver.
This manifests visually in the appearance of silver, which when melted and then solidified, expels the oxygen absorbed in its liquid state and hardens into formations looking exactly like miniature craters on the moon.
Silver has a strong affinity to light and silver compounds, being extremely sensitive to light, are used for photographic purposes. The Koliskos discovered after years of experimentation that the silver salt solution has the property of being influenced by the moon to produce “pictures” — each day and night producing another picture, with the full moon and new moon having their specific characteristic expressions.
- GOLD – The Metal of the Sun