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Silver and the Moon
By Nick Kollerstrom
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Celestial Diane, goddess argentine
Shakespeare, Cymbeline

The pure silvery Moon was associated with the chaste Moon goddesses, Artemis, 'the Huntress with the Silver Bow', and Diana, whose images were cast from silver. The silversmiths of Ephesus who made such images are referred to in the New Testament.

Today, in the delicate chemistry of silver we may trace its Moon-nature. It is a metal which requires darkness for its reactions. A photographer needs darkness in his studio to work with this metal. Special bottles and pipettes made of dark glass are used for solutions of silver, and its salts are quickly spoilt by exposure to the light of day.

Silver and gold are the two metals which show an intimate connection with light in their chemistry, although in opposite ways. The Sun produces the different colours of day, whereas the Moon shining only by reflected light gives the black, white and grey tones of a moonlit scene. Gold itself produces the different colours, one feels its outgoing radiance, whereas silver receives light images passively, it is precipitated from solution by light. The silver images of photography are only in black white and grey, and for colour film salts other than silver must be used.

Astrologers associate the Moon with the faculty of imagination, of fantasy, as for example in imaginative writers or dreamy poets. The same property is seen in the way silver is able to create images. In photography it creates a memory-image of the past, in mirrors it gives an image of what is in present time before it. Today, most mirrors are made by coating glass with silver. When looking at a mirror we never feel we are looking at a sheet of silver. There is a certain receptiveness and passivity here, and similarly when looking at a photograph it never occurs to us that we are really looking at the differential precipitation of colloidal silver. We are not aware at all of the metal but only of the image it provides.

Silver is used by the cinema industry to form its 'images of the silver screen'. Silver has always been the staple metal used for making films, in colour as well as in black and white, and the film industry is a major drain on the world's silver reserves. From an astrological viewpoint, one can say that the dreams and fantasies which the cinema manufactures are somewhat lunar in nature, because the Moon is associated with dreams and the imagination. By its delicate and receptive Moon nature, the metal silver, in celluloid, will faithfully record light images.

The metal chromatography techniques developed by Kolisko are another example of the image-forming powers of silver. Here the varying images built up by the precipitation of colloidal silver are produced not by light but by the changing conditions of the cosmos itself. Properly used, this technique is an empirical method of investigating the correspondences here described. Silver's Moon-quality of receptiveness here manifests remarkably.

A nice point was made by the reviewer of Agnes Fyfe's work Die Signatur der Venus im Pflanzenreich (The signature of Venus in the plant-realm) (1). This follows on from Fyfe's previous work, The Signature of Mercury in the Plant-Realm. The reviewer pointed out that Kolisko's work used 'above the Sun' metals, iron, tin, and lead, whereas Fyfe's work with plant sap uses the 'below the Sun' metals, copper and mercury. So all seven of the metals have now been used for recording chromatographically cosmic events of their associated planets. In both cases silver is normally used for manifesting the images, although in the latter case gold can be used if primarily colour rather than form is desired.

Silver is a mirror-creating element: a solution of silver in a test-tube readily precipitates a mirror onto the glass, this being the school chemistry test for silver in solution. As a metal it has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of them all, as well as being the best reflector of visible light known.

Most of the world's silver occurs dissolved in the oceans, reminding us of the Moon's connection with water-processes. Silver iodide is used to make rain, by sprinkling it as a fine dust onto rainclouds, which leads to condensation. Shakespeare called the Moon 'Pale governess of floods', and rainfall as well as the tides has been shown to vary with the lunar cycle.

In the 1950s, ionic silver began to be used as a bacteriocide for water purifying systems, in the form of a precipitate on carbon granules. A U.S. Navy study, using ships passing through contaminated waters, found that a silver concentration of ten parts per billion made the water safe for drinking (homeopathically, a D8 concentration), and this method is nowadays used by shipping companies. Good domestic water-purifying systems nowadays contain, as well as an ion-exchange system, a silver tube which acts as a bacteriocide.

It has long been known that water carried in silver flagons stays fresh. Settlers moving across the American West would purify a container of water by leaving a silver dollar in it overnight. At the John Hopkins University of Maryland, researchers kept a community swimming pool clean just with a carbon-silver purifier. A report concluded, 'During the time the silver-carbon filter was in operation, there were no cases of ear infections or eye irritations. Bathers and, in particular, swim teams enjoyed the clean, crystal clear silver-treated water without the usual disinfectants that sting, irritate the eyes, bleach swimsuits and affect hair colour'.(2) Here we see silver's bacteriocide action, its action as the Moon-metal upon water, maintaining its quality. But, silver's Moon-quality of purity can be appreciated in other ways, as in the special sound of silver bells.

From such considerations we see how the following adjectives apply to silver:
   Reflective,  image-forming (imaginative),  receptive,  impressionable,  sensitive,  pure
Are these lunar traits? I think they are. Compare them with a list of traits which the Gauquelins obtained in their attempt to define a 'lunar personality':
   Doux,  impressionable,  nonchalant,  parle bien,  reveur,  sensible,  spirituel,  subtil,  sportif (pas) (3)
-a modal personality which they found most pronounced in imaginative writers, poets and dramatists.

Modern Uses

Nowadays, the main growth in silver markets comes from its use in jewellery and ornament – mainly in India. The 1990s have seen tremendous growth in this Indian market, much in the form of heavy-weight investment jewellery – bangles, ankle-rings and necklaces. Virtually every Hindu woman wears an ankle chain, which is nearly always silver. How appropriate that the Moon-metal should be used in these feminine and decorative contexts. Many domestic and decorative utensils, often given at the time of marriage, are silver, as likewise are those used in devotional ceremonies. Muslims use much less silver because of strictures imposed by the Koran, which seems odd considering the lunar symbolism inherent in Islam.

Photography is the main use for silver, despite competition from digital cameras. The firm Britannia Refined Metals in Kent extracts around 500 tonnes of silver from crude lead per annum, using lead shipped over from Australia. It refines the silver to 99.9% purity and then sells it to London bullion markets. The illustration below shows trading at the London Metal Exchange. They are trading silver, as shown by the crescent-Moon glyph! The LME is the world’s largest centre of trading for non-ferrous metals. Metal-dealers have always used the traditional alchemical glyphs.

Silver trading at the London Metal Exchange

Silver’s Healing Powers

The healing properties of silver appear as rather maternal and protective as befits its lunar essence. Here’s a website-testimony of a cure, by ‘Jeana’ who was ill and sore with mastitis - “I was very, very ill and the antibiotics were not helping at all,” and then her father suggested she try some colloidal silver. “Being a sceptic, I drank the glass of silver very slowly, trying to taste any strange aftertaste etc. … By the next morning, my mastitis was completely gone. My breast was no longer red or swollen. My baby had not been nursing well at all during this bout of mastitis; I had to use hot compression to get even one drop of milk from my right breast. But by the next morning my milk was free flowing, and I felt great.” Colloidal silver is regarded as safe to use during pregnancy and lactation.

Silver has a dynamic way of healing injured and damaged tissue. This was pioneered by Dr Robert Becker in “The Body electric” 1973. He found that by using silver electrodes he could stimulate bone-forming cells and stimulate healing of the skin and soft tissue, as described in a recent review by Mr Best:  “Partly as a result of Becker’s work silver has been used in bone healing for many years now and is incorporated into bandages to speed up healing … a recent US study reported that silver catheters can prevent urinary tract infections much better then uncoated ones (4).”

There is a resurgence of interest in colloidal silver for combatting colds and viruses, and it could well be that there is no more useful bottle to have available in the family medicine cupboard. To quote Best again, “Ongoing research may eventually restore silver to its once-accepted status as probably the most versatile and effective natural agent against bacteria, fungi and, recently, viruses available – with the hugely important bonus that the latter finds it almost impossible to develop any resistance to it.”  Also, colloidal silver is being used in skincare creams for its antiseptic properties, being effective on oily skin which is prone to spots and itches. “Colloidal silver is Nature’s antibiotic and has an antimicrobial effect,” a herbalist at the London Fermacia clinic remarked, adding that it purified the skin.

Doctors are likely to continue opposing these gentle, healing powers of silver, because their theories can’t account for it. As Luna (the Moon) tends to elude the categories of rational explanation, remaining enigmatic in a manner that baffles astronomers, so her metal silver may do likewise.

For medical uses of silver, see:


1. The Astrological Association Jnl., Spring 1980, p.50.

2. A Brief History of Silver in Water Treatment, p. 10, John D. Collins, Ionics, John Hopkins University.

3. 'gentle, impressionable, nonchalant, well-spoken, a dreamer, receptive, spiritual, subtle, not the sporting type', M. Gauquelin, La Cosmopsychologie, Paris 1974, p.155.

4. Caduceus, Autumn 2001, Simon Best’s report on Colloidal Silver pp.31-35