Tag Archives: the magic of metal

The Magic of Metal: Bronze

Natural History and Folklore

The Bronze Age began around 2100 BC and changed the evolution of mankind by hearkening a leap in technological advancements in tools. As ‘cold iron’ was said to be baneful to the fae and other mythical creatures, as it represented a break away from the natural, so too could bronze share this ideaology. Bronze mirrors were a symbol of great beauty around the world.

Chemical Information/ Toxicity
Chemical Symbol:   N/A         Melting Point: 950*C / 1,742*F
Atomic Number:     N/A         Boiling Point: 2300*C / 4172* F

Physical Properties

Bronze is an alloy made from 85% copper and 15% tin. It shares the physical properties of both tin and copper, making it a useful metal for cooks, metallurgists and artists. It is stronger than both of its base metals though. Tin darkens the brightness of copper to a reddish brown that can be polished to shining tan. It also has antibacterial properties.

Due to the copper in bronze, as it is exposed to air, it oxidizes and builds up a patina to protect the metal beneath. It is a highly ductile metal that exhibits low amounts of friction against other metals.

Practical Uses

Today bronze is used much as it was in previous eras for decorative purposes, but also now for automobile parts and for piping. Is is also utilized in the electrical industry for electrical contacts, in the production of ships propellers, and in making musical instruments.

Magical Associations/ Uses

Bronze would be useful in protection magics, spellwork to inspire creativity, in magic for employment or money, to increase your social status, sound magic, communication spells, general resilience, and opening doors of all kinds. It can also be used in spells and rituals for courage or a stronger sense of self.

If gold is the sun, and silver the moon, perhaps the brown of bronze represents the earth. As it was a key aspect of human technological advancement, it can be used in magic for moving forward, for growth and for grand changes in general.

Correspondences

  • Grand endeavors
  • Courage
  • Practicality
  • imagination/ creativity
  • protection/ resilience
  • collaboration
  • Sound magic/ music
  • Money
  • Element: Fire
  • Planet: Venus & Jupiter

Fun Facts

Most bronze today is made from copper and other metals (aluminum and zinc) as opposed to tin.

China, Egypt and Mesopotamia made a great deal of profit during the Bronze Age.

Historians don’t know the precise reason for the collapse of the Bronze Age, just that it ended abruptly.

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The Magic of Metal: Pewter

Natural History and Folklore

During the Renaissance and Medieval times this metal was one of the most commonly used, though in recent times it has become more rare. This metal is mostly tin (anywhere from 80% to 99%) The rest of this metal is usually, antimony, copper or sometimes lead (though lead is absent from modern pewter for obvious safety reasons.)

The name pewter is likely a variation of the word ‘spelter’ which is a traditional name for zinc and zinc alloys. Pewter began to be used around the Bronze Age and the earliest piece was found in an Egyptian tomb from 1450 BC.

Chemical Information/ Toxicity
Chemical Symbol: N/A           Melting Point:  170*C /330*F
Atomic Number: N/A             Boiling Point:

As long as your pewter is free of lead, it is safe to keep on your skin or to eat and drink from it.

Physical Properties

A malleable and ductile metal with either a bluish white surface or a bright finish. Pewter is tarnish resistant, keeping its color indefinitely. Most pewter work is unornamented, but those used for display purposes are painted, inlaid with other metals, gilded or enameled. It’s low melting point and ductility make it ideal for shaping and crafting.

Pewter can be cleaned with normal household chemicals and small surface imperfections can be fixed with a simple steel wool pad. Acids, however, over long periods of time an tarnish the metal.

Practical Uses

Pewter was used in tableware by the Egyptians and the Romans, then all the way into the Middle Ages, when it was eventually replaced by pottery and glassware. Some of the most familiar pewter items are lidded and unlidded tankards. More often it is used in collectible statuettes today. Also, since it has a low melting point, pewter is used for candlesticks and jewelry. This makes pewter items less than ideal for being in locations with high heat, such as ovens.

Magical Associations/ Uses

This metal (along with copper and cast iron) is most often related to kitchen witchcraft, stemming from its traditional use in plates, cutlery, and flagons. Traditionally it is associated with ‘common’ magic as opposed to higher magics (i.e. energy work, spirit work, alchemy and the like). It is believed that potions/ brews/ tinctures of any kind work better when brewed in pewter, the same goes for any magical cooking you do.

Due to its connection to decorations throughout history, tin can be used in glamour magics. Used in bronze and other alloys, this might be a good metal to use in magics for softening things, or in magic that needs a softer touch.

Correspondences

  • Protection
  • Home and Family
  • Illumination
  • Divination
  • Softening
  • Zodiac: Capricorn
  • Planet: Saturn

Fun Facts

Pewter is the fourth most precious metal in the world.

Pewter dissolves in hydrochloric acid, producing tin chloride

Pewter is less expensive than silver, but shares its color and shine

The Magic of Metal: Tin

Natural History and Folklore

Tin is one of the older metals known to man, used in combination with copper to form the alloys brass and bronze since the 4th millennia. It’s chemical symbol comes from the Latin ‘Stannum’ though the romans referred to it  by Plumbum Candidum which means ‘white lead’ as a lead and silver alloy. The Romans used it to make mirrors as well as coins. Tin is associated with the god Jupiter.

While the working of iron is referred to as blacksmithing, the working of tin is called ‘whitesmithing.’ The Romans and Greeks referred to the British Isles as the ‘Tin Isles’ for their abundance of tin. It is naturally found in the tin belt through China and Peru in the ore form. The Bronze Age was only possible through Humankind’s use of Tin.

Chemical Information/ Toxicity
Chemical Symbol:                 Melting Point: 231.9*C / 449.5*F
Atomic Number: 50              Boiling Point: 2,602*C / 4,716*F
Physical Properties

Tin is shiny and malleable and since it doesn’t oxidize and is resistant to weathering and corrosion, tin items found in archaeological digs and even shipwrecks appear as if new. It acts as a bactericide and when used in instruments like bells it has a good acoustic quality.
Practical Uses

Tin is used in canning for its non-corrosive nature. It is also used in superconducting magnets, and to coat other metals, again for its non-corrosive nature. Below 13* C it turns into a powder form, albeit slowly. Most window glass is made by floating molten glass on molten tin to make it flat. Tin has been used in various forms for ceramics and gas sensors as well as to make barnacle resistant paint for boats and ships (though this is now outlawed in most place due to its toxic nature.) Tin is also used in solder.
Magical Associations/ Uses

Tin is used in magics related to luck, business success, general prosperity, abundance, expanding your horizons, and in divination. It can be used in rituals involving sex or sexuality, and to bring to you the things which you desire most. Tin tools charged during a lightning storm are potent and powerful magical tools.

It is used in healing music magic, as tin is used to make bells and bowls. As it is used to protect other metals from corrosion, it can also be used in protection magic. Its use in solder can relate to connections and reparations within a magical or ritual setting. It can also be used in glamour magic for its traditional use in mirrors. Illumination magic, knowledge and softening.
Correspondences

  • Element: Air
  • Planet: Jupiter (& the deity)
  • Sagittarius & Pisces
  • Healing
  • Regeneration and rejuvenation
  • Lightning
  • Protection
  • Sex/ Sexuality
  • Beauty
  • Prosperity/ Money/ Abundance

Alchemical Symbol

Image result for alchemical symbol of tin

Fun Facts

The golden oscar statuettes are actually over 90% tin

When bent at room temperature, tin makes a high pitched creak called the ‘tin-cry’

It is the 49th most common element in the Earth’s crust

It does not corrode in water

Tin has more stable isotopes than any other element