AOH :: METLASTR.TXT|
The Correspondence of Metals and Planets
"Astrology seems destined to lead all other branches of
knowledge out of the blind alley of unspiritual rationalism
Dr. Cunibert Mohlberg
Vatican Institute of Archaeology
* * * * * *
There is a long-standing tradition in astrology that recognises
qualitative correspondences between members of planet-metal
pairs, as follows:
Sun: Gold; Moon: Silver; Mercury: Mercury; Venus: Copper;
Mars: Iron; Jupiter: Tin; Saturn: Lead.
Some researchers have exploited these correspondences in
astrological research. Foremost among these researchers in modern
times is Nick Kollerstrom, a mystic and teacher with a former
career in scientific research who currently spends much time
conducting astrological research. You may be familiar with his
work (with Mike O'Neill) on "The Eureka Effect," in which he
showed a statistically significant relation between moments of
inspiration in scientific work and the presence of septiles and
quintiles among transiting planets. He also showed a
significantly higher frequency of septiles and quintiles among
natal planets in the charts of scientists who made discoveries in
moments of inspiration than in the charts of scientists who had
no such experiences. He has recently extended this work with a
study of the moments when an invention first worked.
He has done several interesting studies involving metal-planet
correspondences, and he has also given very stimulating lectures
describing astrological phenomena related to metals such as the
angularity of the modern planets during significant events
involving their associated metals. For example, in the chart for
the first creation of Plutonium, Pluto was on the ascendant:
December 14, 1940, 8:00 pm PST, Berkeley, CA, 122W16, 37N52
| Moo 27Gem09 | Jup 06Tau07r | | |
| | Sat 08Tau29r | | |
| | Ura 23Tau01r | | |
| | | | |
| | | |
| | | |
| | | |
| Plu 04Leo00r | | For 08Aqu46 |
| | | |
| | | |
| | | |
| | | |
| | Nep 27Vir38 | | Sun 23Sag03 |
| | Nod 07Lib04r | Ven 22Sco59 | Ver 19Sag14 |
| | | Mar 16Sco11 | Mer 08Sag15 |
| | | | |
In this and two subsequent postings, I reproduce (without
permission) a series of three short articles that appear in the
book, "Astrochemistry: A Study of Metal-Planet Affinities" (by
Nick Kollerstrom, M.A.Cantab., London: Emergence Press, 1984). In
a fourth posting, I will reproduce a recent article of his
showing the relation of certain planetary aspects and moments in
which alchemists were witnessed to have created gold.
Some of the figures from these articles are photographs of filter
paper, and these are important to the articles. Unfortunately, I
cannot reproduce photographs in ascii, so I will attempt to
describe the pictures as best I can wherever such a figure is
meant to appear. My descriptions appear between square brackets.
Please refer to the original publication for the photographs that
are missing here.
The graphs in this ascii version are approximations to the graphs
that appear in the articles.
(The symbol ^ appearing throughout the text means "degree(s).")
THE CORRESPONDENCE OF METALS AND PLANETS -- EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES
by Nick Kollerstrom (Chapter 5, N. Kollerstrom, "Astrochemistry:
A Study of Metal-Planet Affinities," London: Emergence Press,
(From a lecture delivered at the annual Conference of the
Astrological Association. This article also appeared in The
Astrological Journal, Vol. 18, No. 3, 1976, pp. 65-72.)
"Nitrate of Silver; formerly called Lunar Nitre, Lunar crystals
or crystals of Silver, and when fused Lunar Caustic."
(1826 chemical dictionary)
We shall be looking at experiments which demonstrate the
influence of planetary events upon the behaviour of metal ions in
solution: a modern investigation of a belief which stretches back
into distant antiquity, that of a correspondence between planets
Modern theories of matter explain the behaviour of metals in
terms of their atomic structure. These theories have developed
since the seventeenth century, and before then an entirely
different attitude prevailed: the characters of the known metals
were interpreted primarily in terms of the planets associated
with them. Gold and silver have always been associated with the
Sun and Moon since prehistoric times. Then in late antiquity we
find copper, iron and lead consistently associated with Venus,
Mars and Saturn respectively. Lastly, in the Middle Ages, the
metals mercury and tin become definitively associated with the
planets Mercury and Jupiter. Without going into any details as to
how these correspondences were interpreted or used, we may simply
state that they persisted up till the seventeenth century, at
which time the development of the new science of chemistry
replaced these old cosmic pictures with a totally different
approach, which appeared quite incompatible with any notion of
In the twentieth century, the possibility of a new approach
to these correspondences has been opened up. In the 1920's Rudolf
Steiner, the Austrian occultist, suggested to Frau L. Kolisko
that planetary influences should be detectable by using metal
salts in solution. He said, "So long as substances are in a solid
state they are subject to the forces of the earth, but as soon as
they enter the liquid state, the planetary forces come into
play." In addition he suggested that she might look at the
spreading out of metal salt solutions upon filterpaper.
Kolisko set about developing ways of observing simple
metallic reactions. She observed these during specific cosmic
events, principally conjunctions and oppositions.
The principle of Kolisko's experiments is as follows. At the
time of some celestial event, say a conjunction of two planets,
the chemical behaviour of the metals associated with the two
planets involved undergoes a change. Their chemical activity
changes. By means of experiments using these metals in a
sufficiently sensitive condition, this change may be recorded. A
sequence of identical experiments, performed at suitable
intervals before, during and after the event, will therefore
mirror the changes undergone by the planetary influences. The
sequence of experiments then functions as a kind of microcosmic
theatre, enabling the progress of a celestial event to be
followed. It is in a way an experiment with time, with the manner
in which a phenomenon varies with time, under conditions in which
all possible physical, i.e. earthly, conditions are maintained
Kolisko developed a chromatographic method of registering
these changes. In various ways she allowed solutions of various
metal salts singly and in combination to spread across a
filterpaper surface. She discovered that remarkable pictures were
formed on the filterpaper using a mixture of iron and silver salt
solutions. Very simply, 1% solutions of ferrous sulphate and
silver nitrate are mixed in equal quantities in a suitable dish,
and then a rectangle of filterpaper which has been rolled into a
cylinder is immediately inserted into the dish. Gradually, as the
solution is rising up the filterpaper, the iron slowly reduces
the silver nitrate to colloidal silver, and characteristic forms
appear. Around seeds of precipitated silver we see how a
progressive growth fans out in arrow-like forms. Just as silver
is the basis of photography, being so highly light-sensitive, so
here it can be used as a sensitive indicator of other influences.
This iron-silver image is used for registering Moon-Mars events.
Lead can also be added to the mixture for use with Saturn
events. This gives us a far heavier, slower-forming image: a 1%
solution of lead nitrate is added to the mixture of iron and
silver salt solutions, so that white lead sulphate is
precipitated, altering the texture of the image.
Kolisko described an experiment performed over the Sun-
Saturn conjunction of 1926, in her book, "Workings of the Stars
in Earthly Substance" <1>. This is one of the earliest
descriptions we have of a chemical record of a celestial event.
Equal amounts of 1% solutions of lead nitrate, ferrous sulphate
and silver nitrate were used. At 6 p.m. on the day of the
conjunction Kolisko found that all the forms had disappeared from
the paper, and still at 2 a.m. the next day, but at 11 a.m. the
next day the forms had begun to reappear.
Kolisko performed a large number of such experiments over
many years. Tin-silver filterpaper pictures were used to follow
Jupiter events, tin being regarded as the metal associated with
the planet Jupiter. Successive conjunctions and oppositions of
the Moon with Jupiter were followed over a number of years. For
each event three filterpaper pictures were made: the first was
made on the day before the event, the second at the time of the
event and the third on the day after the event. Each time the
pictures appeared to show an inhibition of their usual form on
the day of the event.
For this combination it is necessary that the metals be
risen separately up the filterpaper: first a 1% solution of
stannous chloride, and then, when dry, a 1% solution of silver
Kolisko used various other metal combinations, in particular
with gold chloride, which need not here concern us.
Kolisko proceeded very intuitively, simply letting nature's
forces express themselves on her filterpapers. Her results have
therefore been criticised on the grounds that she did not
maintain physical conditions such as light, temperature and
humidity constant throughout her experiments. This may be so.
Nonetheless we should appreciate that she developed a profoundly
simple way of letting the metals express themselves.
A repeat of the `Kolisko experiment' was performed by
Theodore Schwench over the 1949 Mars-Saturn conjunction <2>. He
used the iron-silver-lead filterpaper technique as described by
Kolisko, in the research laboratory of the Swiss Weleda Company.
His results were published in the book "The Secrets of Metals" by
Wilhelm Pelikan <2>. Filterpaper pictures were shown formed on
the 25th of November, then on the 29th, then on the 30th at 4
p.m., then at 10 p.m. on the 30th, then on the 1st of December,
then on the 6th. The conjunction took place on the 30th.
An almost complete disappearance of form at the time of the
event is shown by these pictures. Also of interest is the long
duration of this inhibition effect: it took about six days for
the forms to reappear. An event such as this one where two
planets are involved is, as we shall see, a considerably longer
event than a Moon-planet conjunction. This draws our attention to
one property of these experiments: not only do they inform us of
the time at which a celestial event occurs, but they also give us
a measure of its duration.
In 1964 Dr. Karl Voss of Hamburg, editor of an astrology
journal, followed a Mars-Saturn conjunction and published his
results in the 1964 issue of his _Neue Aspekte_ Journal <3>.
Again it was shown how the characteristic image of the iron-
silver-lead filterpaper picture, which appeared clearly both
before and after the event, disappeared completely from the
filterpaper at the time of the conjunction, leaving a formless,
diffuse darkening of the filterpaper.
100 | / /------
percent | / /
absorption | / /
(at 530 mu)| / /
60 | / /
| / /
40 | / /
| | /
20 | | /
| / /
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
(1% FeSO4 + 1% AgNO3) mins after mixing
Figure 1. Rate of precipitation of colloidal silver shown
photometrically when 1% solutions of ferrous sulphate and
silver nitrate are mixed.
Figure 2. Two iron-silver filterpaper pictures from an
experiment by the author (12.6.77), one 1/2 hour before a
Moon-Mars conjunction at 10.29 a.m. BST, and the other over
the event, showing form disappearance. [The photograph shows
the filterpaper 1/2 hour before the aspect became exact,
with comet-like forms radiating upward from points where
precipitation began; these forms are due to the flow of
solution. In a second photograph of an experiment conducted
during the conjunction, no such forms appear.]
_Agnes Fyfe and the Present Series_
In 1967 Agnes Fyfe working in Dornach near Basle published
an article "Concerning the variability of the iron-silver
filterpaper picture" in German <4>. She used smaller quantities
than Kolisko, only 1 c.c. each of the 1% solutions for iron-
silver mixtures, and 1.5 c.c. for the iron-silver-lead mixtures.
Two Moon-Mars conjunction sequences were shown apparently
demonstrating a form-inhibition effect.
I have used the method as described in this article of Fyfe
for my own experiments. Each time, three lots of solution are
mixed, and three filterpapers are started. The three different
pictures thus obtained give us a measure of the degree of random
fluctuation inherent in the procedure. Selected pictures from two
Moon-Mars conjunction events are shown, in Figure 3a. The main
effect is remarkably brief: it is a short, sharp process. It is
possible to depict the change in the reaction rate graphically by
measuring the time for the first form to appear on the
filterpaper, which is generally between two to five minutes.
Note that these events are all asymmetric with respect to
time: the main effect occurs after the conjunction or opposition,
as traditionally supposed.
A few selected filterpapers are shown from an experiment
performed over a Moon-Saturn conjunction on the 3rd of June, 1970
(Fig. 3b). We see how half an hour after the celestial event, all
form has disappeared from the filterpaper. It is plainly much
slower than a Moon-Mars event.
Figure 3(a). A sequence of selected filterpapers showing
changing precipitation pattern over a 14-hour period,
covering a Moon-Mars conjunction on 10.3.70. [The six
photographs all show the comet-like forms, but the number
and extension of these forms is greatly reduced in the
experiment of 11.45 a.m., 11 minutes after the conjunction
occurred; the forms were strongly present at 11.30 a.m.
before the conjunction, and reappeared at 12.40 p.m.]
Figure 3(b). A 3-hour sequence over a Moon-Saturn
conjunction on 3.6.70, using a lead salt. [The conjunction
occurred at 1.30 a.m.; the six photographs show that the
forms became scant at 1.32, and were entirely absent at
2.00; they had begun to reappear at 3.20 a.m.]
Two weeks later, the following Moon-Saturn opposition was
recorded, as shown (Fig. 4). As before, all forms disappeared
from the filterpaper shortly after the event. Note how it took
several days for the filterpaper forms to return to normal.
Figure 4. A 10-hour sequence over a Moon-Saturn opposition
on 16.6.70, plus two filterpapers raised on 18 and 19.6.70.
[The 8 photographs cover a range in time from 1 p.m. to
10.55 p.m.; two additional photographs show the results of
experiments on subsequent days. The opposition was exact at
5.30 p.m. The forms became rarer at 5.34 [as compared to
5.00 and earlier times], and became more frequent by 8.20.
At 6.50, no forms are present but the paper is darkened. The
forms were more strongly present on the two days after the
opposition, as they had been prior to it.]
_Comparative Reaction Times_
Figure 5 shows graphically the course of an experiment, over
a Moon-Mars conjunction, where each point is a mean from three
filterpapers risen each time. Over most of the experiment it took
about five minutes before the forms started to appear, but the
reaction was slowed down for about half an hour after the event.
The increase in reaction time was associated with a decrease in
the amount of form present on the filterpapers, shown in the
second graph. The form grading procedure is explained in the next
Figure 5. Two graphs of a Moon-Mars conjunction experiment
by the author and F.W. Hyde, FRAS, North London.
16 | Moon cnj Mars 14.1.76 at 3.41 a.m.
14 | |
time in 12 | |
mins | | /\
for 10 | | / |
1st ppn | V / |
8 | /\ / |
| / \ _____ / | /\
6 |/ \ / \ /\ __ /\ | |_____/ |
| \/ \/ \/ \/ \ |
4 | \|
11pm 12 1 2 3 4 5 6am
| \ /\
4 |----\| /\ /\ / \ /\ /\
form | \// \\// \| \/--|__/_/| /\
grading 3 | / \/ | //
| \ /\/\//
2 | | |/\/
11pm |12 1 2 3 | 4 5 6am
Moon cnj Neptune Moon cnj Mars
The top graph shows the rate of reaction, given by the time
in minutes after mixing iron and silver salt solutions when
the first trace of silver becomes visible on the
filterpapers. Each point is the mean of 3 readings. The
bottom graph shows a `form grading' of the same experiment
by two independent persons. Each filterpaper was later
graded (1-5), blind, depending on how much form was present
on it, and each point on the graph represents the mean of
the assessments of the three filterpapers used.
Figure 6 shows another experiment done over a Moon-Mars
conjunction, this one with an unusually slow reaction rate for
the iron-silver precipitation reaction.
Figure 6. Two graphs of a Moon-Mars conjunction experiment
by R.M. in Barnett, North London. The graphs show rate of
reaction and inhibition of form present on the filterpapers,
as for Fig. 5.
mins for Moon cnj Mars 7.4.76 at 3.28 a.m.
1st ppn |
26 | V /\
24 | /\/ |
22 | | |
20 | | |
18 | | |
16 | /\___ / \ _______/\
14 | \_________ / \ / \ / \
12 | \/----/ \/ \/
1am 2 3 4 5
| /\ |
4 | /__ \ |
| \ \ |
3 | \ | ____/\ V ____/\
| \|___ / / \| /__/ \\___/
2 | \____\_/___/ |\ // ---/
| \|/\__/\ //
1am 2 3 4 5
For Saturn events, where lead is used as well as iron and silver,
the reaction is much slower. Likewise a Saturn-event is a far
slower process than a Mars-event.
The occultation of Saturn by the Moon (Fig. 7) lasted about an
hour. As before, each point shown on the graph is a mean of three
readings. During the occultation, all form disappeared from the
filterpaper. After 80 mins. or so, slight precipitation appeared
at the top of the paper. I would like here to quote Kolisko's
description of the Sun-Saturn conjunction referred to. "To our
great astonishment, a long time elapsed and nothing appeared on
the paper. In normal circumstances the first forms appear in 10-
15 mins. In this case a whole hour elapsed before the first forms
made their appearance."
Figure 7. Graph showing rate of reaction in a Moon-Saturn
occultation experiment, by the author, at Emerson College,
Forest Row, Sussex. Each point on the graph shows a mean of
three readings, of the time in minutes after mixing the
iron, silver and lead salt solutions, when the first trace
of silver became visible on the filterpaper.
Moon cnj Saturn 5 a.m. 21.6.74
80 | | +
average 60 | | +
time in mins | + |+
for 1st ppn 40 | + + | + +
|+ + + + | +
20 | + |
8 9 10 11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
We see in this graph a comparable arresting of the silver
precipitation while Saturn passed behind the Moon. The
precipitation of silver was determined by the exact position of a
planet one thousand million miles away...
These experiments can be studied from three different points of
view: firstly, as forms and changes in form -- a purely visual
approach; secondly, as a time-process, as in these graphs; and
thirdly, as a chemical reaction -- what proportion of the silver
nitrate was reduced to silver at different stages of this event?
By merely observing these filterpaper pictures we cannot infer
what is in chemical terms taking place. Did the activity of the
lead ions increase or decrease as Saturn passed behind the Moon?
There is a simple technique described by Kolisko which may
possibly give an approach towards being able to answer this. It
consists of growing crystals of metal salts by dropping them into
a solution of silica gel. Sequences of stannous chloride crystals
dropped into a silica gel solution before, during and after a
Moon-Jupiter conjunction, and then later over a Moon-Jupiter
opposition were shown. These results of Kolisko would seem to
show that a minimum in the growth of the tin-salt crystals was
connected with the occurrence of a Moon-Jupiter event; in other
words, that the activity of the tin salt was decreased during the
event: less of the metal silicate "tree" was formed. But this is
not nearly so sensitive a method as the filterpaper-picture
This completes our brief and very partial survey of "The
Why, you may wonder, has virtually no one at least in this
country taken up Kolisko's work since it was first published
fifty years ago? All I can say is that in my experience those
people who have an interest in these phenomena do not have the
necessary laboratory amenities, those people who have laboratory
amenities do not have the interest, and the very few people with
both of these lack the time. Or, maybe, these experiments
appeared too simple to be taken seriously.
1. Kolisko L. "Workings of the Stars in Earthly Substance."
2. Pelikan W. "The Secrets of Metals." Anthroposophic Press,
N.Y., 1973, p. 24.
3. Voss K. Weitere Folgerungen aus Steigversuchen. _Neue
Aspekte_, 1964/5; 15:1-11. Summarised by R.C. Firebrace as
`Confirmation of the Kolisko experiments.' _Spica_ 1965; 4:4-8.
4. Fyfe A. Uber die Variabilitat von Silber-Eisen-Steigbildern.
_Elemente der Naturwissenschaft_, Easter, 1967; 6:35-43.
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