(BEING CONTINUED FROM 15/10/16)
THE MAGIC OF METALS AND GEMS
According to the teachings of the Mysteries, the rays of the celestial bodies, striking the crystallizing influences of the lower world, become the various elements. Partaking of the astral virtues of their source, these elements neutralize certain unbalanced forms of celestial activity and, when properly combined, contribute much to the well-being of man. Little is known today concerning these magical properties, but the modern world may yet find it profitable to consider the findings of the early philosophers who determined these relationships by extensive experimentation. Out of such research arose the practice of identifying the metals with the bones of the various deities. For example, the Egyptians, according to Manetho, considered iron to be the bone of Mars and the lodestone the bone of Horus. By analogy, lead would be the physical skeleton of Saturn, copper of Venus, quicksilver of Mercury, gold of the sun, silver of the moon, and antimony of the earth. It is possible that uranium
From Christie’s Disquisitions upon the Painted Greek Vases.
The Primitive custom of worshiping the gods in the form of heaps of stones gave place to the practice of erecting phallic pillars, or cones, in their honor. These columns differed widely in size and appearance. Some were of gigantic proportions and were richly ornamented with inscriptions or likenesses of the gods and heroes; others–like the votive offerings of the Babylonians–were but a few inches high, without ornament, and merely bore a brief statement of the purpose for which they had been prepared or a hymn to the god of the temple in which they were placed. These small baked clay cones were identical in their symbolic meaning with the large hermæ set up by the roadside and in other public places. Later the upper end of the column was surmounted by a human head. Often two projections, or tenons, corresponding to shoulders were placed, one on either side, to support the wreaths of flowers adorning the columns. Offerings, usually of food, were placed near the hermæ. Occasionally these columns were used to uphold roofs and were numbered among the art objects ornamenting the villas of wealthy Romans.
will prove to be the metal of Uranus and radium to be the metal of Neptune.
The four Ages of the Greek mystics–the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age–are metaphoric expressions referring to the four major periods in the life of all things. In the divisions of the day they signify dawn, midday, sunset, and midnight; in the duration of gods, men, and universes, they denote the periods of birth, growth, maturity, and decay. The Greek Ages also bear a close correspondence to the four Yugas of the Hindus: Krita-Yuga, Treta-Yuga, Dvapara-Yuga, and Kali-Yuga. Their method of calculation is described by Ullamudeian as follows: “In each of the 12 signs there are 1800 minutes; multiply this number by 12 you have 21600; e.g. 1800 X 12=21600. Multiply this 21600 by 80 and it will give 1,728,000, which is the duration of the first age, called Krita-Yuga. If the same number be multiplied by 60, it will give 1,296,000, the years of the second age, Treta-Yuga. The same number multiplied by 40 gives 864,000, the length of the third age, Dvapara-Yuga. The same multiplied by 20 gives 432,000, the fourth age, Kali-Yuga.” (It will be noted that these multipliers decrease in inverse ratio to the Pythagorean tetractys: 1, 2, 3, and 4.)
H. P. Blavatsky declares that Orpheus taught his followers how to affect a whole audience by means of a lodestone, and that Pythagoras paid particular attention to the color and nature of precious stones. She adds: “The Buddhists assert that the sapphire produces peace of mind, equanimity, and chases all evil thoughts by establishing a healthy circulation in man. So does an electric battery, with its well-directed fluid, say our electricians. ‘The sapphire,’ say the Buddhists, ‘will open barred doors and dwellings (for the spirit of man); it produces a desire for prayer, and brings with it more peace than any other gem; but he who would wear it must lead a pure and holy life.”‘ (See Isis Unveiled.)
Mythology abounds with accounts of magical rings and talismanic jewels. In the second book of his Republic, Plato describes a ring which, when the collet was turned in ward, rendered its wearer invisible. With this Gyges, the shepherd, secured for himself the throne of Lydia. Josephus also describes magical rings designed by Moses and King Solomon, and Aristotle mentions one which brought love and honor to its possessor. In his chapter dealing with the subject, Henry Cornelius Agrippa not only mentions the same rings, but states, upon the authority of Philostratus Jarchus, that Apollonius of Tyana extended his life to over 20 years with the aid of seven magical rings presented to him by an East Indian prince. Each of these seven rings was set with a gem partaking of the nature of one of the seven ruling planets of the week, and by daily changing the rings Apollonius protected himself against sickness and death by the intervention of the planetary influences. The philosopher also instructed his disciples in the virtues of these talismanic jewels, considering such information to be indispensable to the theurgist. Agrippa describes the preparation of magical rings as follows: “When any Star [planet] ascends fortunately, with the fortunate aspect or conjunction of the Moon, we must take a stone and herb that is under that Star, and make a ring of the metal that is suitable to this Star, and in it fasten the stone, putting the herb or root under it-not omitting the inscriptions of images, names, and characters, as also the proper suffumigations.” (See Three Books of Occult Philosophy.)
The ring has long been regarded as the symbol of attainment, perfection, and immortality-the last because the circlet of precious metal had neither beginning nor end. In the Mysteries, rings chased to resemble a serpent with its tail in its mouth were worn by the initiates as material evidence of the position reached by them in the order. Signet rings, engraved with certain secret emblems, were worn by the hierophants, and it was not uncommon for a messenger to prove that he was the official representative of a prince or other dignitary by bringing with his message either an impression from his master’s ring or the signet itself. The wedding ring originally was intended to imply that in the nature of the one who wore it the state of equilibrium and completion had been attained. This plain band of gold therefore bore witness of the union of the Higher Self (God) with the lower self (Nature) and the ceremony consummating this indissoluble blending of Divinity and humanity in the one nature of the initiated mystic constituted the hermetic marriage of the Mysteries.
In describing the regalia of a magician, Eliphas Levi declares that on Sunday (the day of the sun) he should carry in his right hand a golden wand, set with a ruby or chrysolite; on Monday (the day of the moon) he should wear a collar of three strands consisting of pearls, crystals, and selenites; on Tuesday (the day of Mars) he should carry a wand of magnetized steel and a ring of the same metal set with an amethyst, on Wednesday (the day of Mercury) he should wear a necklace of pearls or glass beads containing mercury, and a ring set with an agate; on Thursday (the day of Jupiter) he should carry a wand of glass or resin and wear a ring set with an emerald or a sapphire; on Friday (the day of Venus) he should carry a wand of polished copper and wear a ring set with a turquoise and a crown or diadem decorated with lapis lazuli and beryl; and on Saturday (the day of Saturn) he should carry a wand ornamented with onyx stone and wear a ring set with onyx and a chain about the neck formed of lead. (See The Magical Ritual of the Sanctum Regnum.)
Paracelsus, Agrippa, Kircher, Lilly, and numerous other magicians and astrologers have tabulated the gems and stones corresponding to the various planets and zodiacal signs. The following list has been compiled from their writings. To the sun is assigned the carbuncle, ruby, garnet—especially the pyrope–and other fiery stones, sometimes the diamond; to the moon, the pearl, selenite, and other forms of crystal; to Saturn, the onyx, jasper, topaz, and sometimes the lapis lazuli; to Jupiter, the sapphire, emerald, and marble; to Mars, the amethyst, hyacinth, lodestone, sometimes the diamond; to Venus, the turquoise, beryl, emerald, and sometimes the pearl, alabaster, coral, and carnelian; to Mercury, the chrysolite, agate, and variegated marble.
To the zodiac the same authorities assigned the following gems and stones: To Aries the sardonyx, bloodstone, amethyst, and diamond; to Taurus the carnelian, turquoise, hyacinth, sapphire, moss agate, and emerald; to Gemini the topaz, agate, chrysoprase, crystal, and aquamarine; to Cancer the topaz, chalcedony, black onyx, moonstone, pearl, cat’s-eye, crystal, and sometimes the emerald; to Leo the jasper, sardonyx, beryl, ruby, chrysolite, amber, tourmaline, sometimes the diamond; to Virgo the emerald, camelian, jade, chrysolite, and sometimes the pink jasper and hyacinth; to Libra the beryl, sardius, coral, lapis lazuli, opal, and sometimes the diamond; to Scorpio the amethyst, beryl, sardonyx, aquamarine, carbuncle, lodestone, topaz, and malachite; to Sagittarius die hyacinth, topaz, chrysolite, emerald, carbuncle, and turquoise; to Capricorn the chrysoprase, ruby, malachite, black onyx, white onyx, jet, and moonstone; to Aquarius the crystal, sapphire, garnet, zircon, and opal; to Pisces the sapphire, jasper, chrysolite, moonstone, and amethyst
Both the magic mirror and the crystal ball are symbols little understood. Woe to that benighted mortal who accepts literally the stories circulated concerning them! He will discover–often at the cost of sanity and health–that sorcery and philosophy, while often confused, have nothing in common. The Persian Magi carried mirrors as an emblem of the material sphere which reflects Divinity from its every part. The crystal ball, long misused as a medium for the cultivation of psychical powers, is a threefold symbol: (1) it signifies the crystalline Universal Egg in whose transparent depths creation exists; (2) it is a proper figure of Deity previous to Its immersion in matter; (3) it signifies the ætheric sphere of the world in whose translucent essences is impressed and preserved the perfect image of all terrestrial activity.
Meteors, or rocks from heaven, were considered tokens of divine favor and enshrined as evidence of a pact between the gods and the community in which they fell. Curiously marked or chipped natural stones are occasionally found. In China there is a slab of marble the grain of which forms a perfect likeness of the Chinese dragon. The Oberammergau stone, chipped by Nature into a close resemblance to the popular conception of the face of Christ, is so remarkable that even the crowned heads of Europe requested the privilege of beholding it. Stones of such nature were held in the highest esteem among primitive peoples and even today exert a wide influence upon the religiously-minded.
The number five was peculiarly associated by the Pythagoreans with the art of healing, and the pentagram, or five-pointed star, was to them the symbol of health. The above figure represents a magical ring set with a talismanic gem bearing the pentalpha, or star formed by five different positions of the Greek Alpha. On this subject Mackey writes: “The disciples of Pythagoras, who were indeed its real inventors, placed within each of its interior angles one of the letters of the Greek word ΥΓΕΙΑ, or the Latin one SALUS, both of which signify health; and thus it was made the talisman of health. They placed it at the beginning of their epistles as a greeting to invoke a secure health to their correspondent. But its use was not confined to the disciples of Pythagoras. As a talisman, it was employed all over the East as a charm to resist evil spirits.”
(TO BE CONTINUED)
by Manly P. Hall
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK THE SECRET TEACHINGS OF ALL AGES