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The Alchemical Properties Of Metals - From Copper To Gold

Central to alchemy is the idea that metals have inherent properties. These properties can be harnessed and manipulated to create profound changes in the physical and spiritual realms. Discover the alchemical properties of metals and their significance in this esoteric practice.

Author:Georgia Ashcroft
Reviewer:Ava Martinez
Apr 26, 202398 Shares1.5K Views
Discussing the alchemical properties of metalsis important as alchemists believed that metals had spiritual, mystical, and physical properties.
Alchemy is an ancient practice that seeks to transform matter, typically metals, into higher states of being.
Central to alchemy is the idea that metals have inherent properties that can be harnessed and manipulated to create profound changes in the physical and spiritual realms.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the alchemical properties of metals and their significance in this esoteric practice.

The alchemical process and the SEVEN alchemical metals explained.

The Seven Planetary Metals

One of the foundational concepts in alchemy is the belief that each planet in our solar system corresponds to a specific metal.
These “planetary metals” are thought to embody the unique qualities and energies of their associated celestial bodies, and can be used to tap into those energies for transformational purposes.
Here are the seven planetary metals, along with their corresponding planets and symbolic associations:
1. Gold
  • associated with the Sun
  • symbolizes spiritual purity, enlightenment, and the unification of opposites
2. Silver
  • associated with the Moon
  • symbolizes emotional balance, intuition, and feminine energy
3. Mercury
  • associated with Mercury
  • symbolizes communication, intellect, and dexterity
4. Copper
  • associated with Venus
  • symbolizes love, beauty, and harmony
5. Iron
  • associated with Mars
  • symbolizes strength, courage, and passion
6. Tin
  • associated with Jupiter
  • symbolizes expansion, growth, and abundance
7. Lead
  • associated with Saturn
  • symbolizes transformation, death, and rebirth
Alchemical symbols of lead, which looks like a small ‘n,’ iron and tin, which looks like number ‘4’
Alchemical symbols of lead, which looks like a small ‘n,’ iron and tin, which looks like number ‘4’

The Alchemical Properties Of Metals

In alchemy, each metal was believed to have its own unique properties and characteristics.
Below are some of the alchemical properties metals traditionally associated with them:
a. Gold
It is considered the “king of metals” because of its value and rarity.
It was believed to possess spiritual and mystical qualities, and to be a symbol of perfection and enlightenment.
b. Silver
Silver was believed to have purifying and cleansing properties, both physically and spiritually.
It was often used in alchemical experiments to refine and purify other substances.
c. Iron
Iron was associated with Mars, the god of war and strength, and was believed to have protective and defensive properties.
It was also used in alchemy to help control and balance other metals.
d. Lead
Lead was considered the heaviest and most base of all metals, and was believed to represent the material world and the physical body.
In alchemy, lead was often used as a starting material for transmutation experiments, as it was thought to be capable of transformation into more noble metals.
e. Mercury
Mercury was considered a “mystical metal” in alchemy, and was associated with the planet Mercury and the Greek god Hermes.
It was believed to possess transformative and transmutative powers, and to be capable of changing its properties and state at will.
These are just a few examples of the alchemical properties of metals.
It’s important to note that alchemy is a complex and multifaceted discipline, and different alchemists may have had different beliefs and practices when it came to working with metals.

The Alchemical Properties Of Copper

As we explore the alchemical properties of metals, let’s single out one: copper.
Copper is one of the most important metals in alchemy due to its unique properties.
Copper is believed to have a connection to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, and embodies her feminine energy.
It is believed to have properties that can help balance and harmonize the body’s energy centers.
In alchemy, copper is used to represent the “base matter” that must be purified and transformed in order to achieve higher states of being.
It is also believed to have healing properties and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries.
At left is the alchemical symbol for copper; the crescent moon for silver; the sun with concave rays for gold
At left is the alchemical symbol for copper; the crescent moon for silver; the sun with concave rays for gold

Alchemical Processes

Another key aspect of alchemy is the use of specific processes to transform metals.
These processes often involve the application of heat, pressure, and other physical techniques to induce changes in the metal’s structure and properties.
To better understand the alchemical properties of metals, here are a few examples of alchemical processes:
  • Calcination -heating a metal to a high temperature to burn off impurities and refine its essence
  • Distillation -separating a metal into its component parts through heating and cooling
  • Fermentation -allowing a metal to undergo a natural decay process to release its hidden potential
  • Coagulation -combining multiple metals to create a new, more potent alloy

The Alchemical Process

The Philosophical Significance Of Alchemical Metals

The alchemical properties of metals have been studied and interpreted for centuries.
While alchemy was once thought of as a purely physical process of transmuting metals, it is now widely understood that the practice also had a deeper philosophical significance.
Each metal was seen as embodying unique properties and energies that could be harnessed and used for transformational purposes.
Yes, the alchemical properties of metals come with benefits.
For example, gold was seen as representing the perfect balance of all elements, while lead was seen as the most base and impure metal.
In addition to representing physical elements, metals were also seen as symbolizing spiritual and psychological states.

What Is The Significance Of The Planetary Metals In Alchemy?

The planetary metals play a crucial role in alchemical practice.
Each of the seven planetary metals corresponds to a specific planet and embodies its unique energies and qualities.
These metals were seen as embodying the forces of the universe and were used as a means of accessing and harnessing these energies.
Alchemists believed that by understanding the properties of these metals, they could gain insight into the deeper workings of the universe and achieve spiritual transformation.

The Role Of Metals In Chinese Alchemy

Chinese alchemy has a unique perspective on the role of metals in the transformation of matter.
Unlike in Western alchemy, where metals are seen as embodying specific planetary energies, Chinese alchemists believed that all metals were derived from the same source and represented different stages of spiritual development.
Each metal was seen as representing a different stage on the path to spiritual enlightenment, with gold representing the ultimate goal.
The focus of Chinese alchemy was less on physical transmutation and more on spiritual development and the cultivation of internal energy.
A large bronze lion statue outside a temple in the Forbidden City in Beijing, China
A large bronze lion statue outside a temple in the Forbidden City in Beijing, China

Alchemical Transmutation And The Transfiguration Of Matter

At its core, alchemy is about transforming matter, particularly metals, into higher states of being.
This process, known as transmutation, involves the use of physical techniques such as heat, pressure, and chemical reactions to induce changes in the metal's properties.
However, transmutation is not just a physical process, but a spiritual one as well.
By transmuting base matter into something more refined and purified, alchemists believed they could also achieve spiritual transformation.
This process of transfiguration was seen as a metaphor for the transformation of the self, from a base and impure state to one that was more refined and enlightened.

People Also Ask

How Did Alchemists Believe Metals Could Be Transmuted Into Gold?

Alchemists believed that metals could be transmuted into gold through a process of purification and transformation.
This process involved a series of physical and spiritual practices, such as heating, distilling, and fermenting metals to remove impurities and refine their properties.
The goal of this process was not just to create physical gold, but to achieve spiritual and psychological transformation as well.

How Did Alchemists Use Metals In Traditional Medicine?

Alchemists used metals for a variety of medicinal purposes.
They believed that each metal had unique healing properties and could be used to treat a variety of ailments.
For example, copper was used to treat arthritis and improve circulation, while gold was used to treat rheumatism and reduce inflammation.
Alchemists believed that by harnessing the properties of metals, they could promote physical and spiritual healing.

How Did Alchemists Use Symbols To Represent Metals?

Symbols were an important part of alchemical practice and were used to represent the properties and energies of metals.
For example, gold was often represented by the symbol of the sun, while silver was represented by the symbol of the moon.
These symbols were used to convey deeper meanings and associations, such as:
  • the connection between gold and the perfect balance of all elements
  • the connection between silver and the reflective and intuitive energies of the moon
Understanding these symbols was crucial to understanding the deeper meanings and symbolism behind alchemical practice.


The alchemical properties of metals offer a fascinating glimpse into the ancient wisdom and symbolism that underlies this esoteric practice.
By harnessing the unique energies and qualities of each metal, alchemists sought to transmute base matter into something greater and more profound.
Whether you’re a student of alchemy or simply curious about its teachings, there’s much to be gained from exploring the alchemical properties of metals and the processes used to transform them.
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Georgia Ashcroft

Georgia Ashcroft

Georgia Ashcroft is a seasoned astrologer and spiritual practitioner with over 5 years of experience. She holds a Master's degree in Physics from Princeton University, enriching her astrological insights with a deep understanding of scientific principles. Georgia's published works encompass insightful analyses of astrological phenomena, including zodiac signs and horoscope interpretations, establishing her as an esteemed figure in astrological circles. Beyond astrology, Georgia is passionate about tarot and regularly incorporates its wisdom into her spiritual practice.
Ava Martinez

Ava Martinez

Ava Martinez is a highly experienced author specializing in spirituality and tarot. With over 12 years of dedicated practice, Ava brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her writings. She has dedicated herself to helping individuals gain insight and clarity through spiritual practices and tarot consultations. Her deep connection to spiritual energies and engaging style make her readings a trusted resource for those seeking guidance and enlightenment. Apart from her literary world, Ava embraces nature's gifts, explores meditation's depths, and intertwines the mystical essence of spells into her holistic perspective on life's journey.
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