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Classical planets in Western alchemy

Alchemy in the Western World and other locations where it was widely practiced was (and in many cases still is) allied and intertwined with traditional Babylonian-Greek style astrology; in numerous ways they were built to complement each other in the search for hidden knowledge (knowledge that is not common i.e. the occult). 

Planets and metals

Traditionally, each of the seven "planets" in the solar system as known to the ancients was associated with, held dominion over, and "ruled" a certain metal (see also astrology and the classical elements).

The list of rulership is as follows:

One interpretation of the alchemic planetary symbols considers the nature of spirit, mind and material in order of precedence.

The circle represents spirit, or the soul,


The semicircle or crescent represents mind. 


The cross or arrow represents the physical, material nature.



Venus is

Venus symbol.svg

spirit above matter,

just as the goddess Venus represents beauty and aesthetic over utilitarian means.


Mars is

Mars symbol.svg

matter above spirit,

as martial function and necessity precedes tranquility.


Jupiter is

Jupiter symbol.svg

mind controlling material,

as a great merciful king rules over the earth,


Saturn is

Saturn symbol.svg

material controlling mind,

the encroachment of time over the works of men.


Mercury is

Mercury symbol.svg

mind above spirit over material;

the intellectual inter-actions and

conveyances of abstractions and

ideals over the objects of being.


The sun is

Sun symbol.svg

pure spirit


the moon is


pure mind.


Earth is

Astronomical symbol of Earth

material and spirit

in equal parts.


One of the two modern symbols for Pluto used this interpretation, 

Pluto's astrological symbol.svg

and was thus

spirit above mind over material;

presumably the hereafter terminating the affluence of men over the earth.


from wikipedia 

Sun Sattva Soul, king, highly placed persons, father. Sunday
Moon Sattva Mind, queen, mother. Monday
Mars Tamas energetic action, confidence and ego Tuesday
Mercury Rajas Communication and analysis Wednesday
Jupiter Sattva the great teacher Thursday
Venus Rajas wealthpleasure and reproduction Friday
Saturn Tamas learning the hard way. Career and Longevity Saturday


Mercury has a caduceus; Venus has, attached to her necklace, a cord connected to another necklace; Mars, a spear; Jupiter, a staff; Saturn, a scythe; the Sun, a circlet with rays radiating from it; and the Moon, a headdress with a crescent attached.


Astrologically, the Sun is usually thought to represent the conscious ego, the self and its expression, personal power, pride and authority, leadership qualities and the principles of creativity, spontaneity, health and vitality, the sum of which is named the "life force". 

Astrologically the Moon is associated with a person's emotional make-up, unconscious habits, rhythms, memories, moods and their ability to react and adapt to those around them.

Astrologically, Mercury represents the principles of communication, mentality, thinking patterns, rationality and reasoning and adaptability and variability.

Astrologically, Venus is associated with the principles of harmony, beauty, balance, feelings and affections and the urge to sympathize and unite with others. 

Astrologically, Mars is associated with confidence and self-assertion, aggression, sexuality, energy, strength, ambition and impulsiveness.

Astrologically, Jupiter is associated with the principles of growth, expansion, prosperity, and good fortune.

Astrologically, Saturn is associated with the principles of limitation, restrictions, boundaries, practicality and reality, crystallizing, and structures. 






most of this from wikipedia  , see :


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Comment by Nemo on August 28, 2013 at 10:11am

Very well done...thank you for posting...nice work!

Comment by ☤Tris☤ on August 26, 2013 at 10:01am

Nice breakdown, can be a valuable resource - thanks for sharing.

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