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The Magic of Metal: Steel

Natural History and Folklore

Steel was known to cultures through antiquity and was produced in crucibles and bloomeries. Noric steel was used by the Roman military and the Warring States period in China had quenched steel. Steel wouldn’t come into more common use until later on, during the 17th century in Germany and England.

Chemical Information/ Toxicity
Chemical Symbol: N/A           Melting Point: 1370*C / 2500*F
Atomic Number: N/A             Boiling Point: 2750*C* / 4982*F

Physical Properties

Technically, a metal alloy, Steel is made of iron and a non metal (carbon). Steel is a metal with a high strength, low weight, high durability and ductility and a great resistance to corrosion. Steel cools down rapidly even from very high heats. There are many different kinds of steel, made by the different specific chemical compositions of the metals themselves.

Chromium is what we add to steel to create stainless steel and give it its resistant properties.

Practical Uses

Use widely in construction of all kinds, it is used in the construction of appliances, buildings, roads, and just about anything and everything in the modern world. Bolts, nails, screws and other construction equipment and tools are widely made from various types and grades of steel, along with household cooking utensils.

Offshore construction, ships, pipelines, aerospace and even furniture are also made from various types of steel. It is a metal that is found in almost all facets of modern life.

Magical Associations/ Uses

Due to its practical uses and associations, it is a good metal to use in magic for defensive purposes, for destructive purposes, for strength, bindings and resistance. It retains iron’s inability to hold magic itself, but can still be used to direct it. Stainless steel can be used for protection magic and glamour magics.

Since it cools down quickly from high temperatures, it can be used in both fire and water magic and rituals, especially those that involve a change in the ‘temperature’ of something, like cooling down one’s anger or lust, tempering one’s emotions. Since Iron is the base metal of steel, it shares many of its magical properties and uses.

Steel can be used in magic and magical items to guard against negativity as well as to prevent nightmares. It can also, like iron, be used in grounding magic and energy work, or to dampen magic and energy in general. Can also be used in reflective magics.

Correspondences

  • Weapons and Armor
  • Permanence
  • Energy
  • Strength
  • Cooling off
  • Directing energy
  • Technology
  • Planet: Mars
  • Element: Fire or Water

Alchemical Symbol

Image result for steel alchemy symbol
Fun Facts

Steel is roughly 1000x stronger than iron

It is the main material in most renewable forms of energy (solar, hydro and wind)

Over 60% of steel is recycled in North America every year

Steel is used in almost every industry there is

The average computer is about 25% steel

2/3 of all canned goods packaging is made of steel

The Magic of Metal: Iron

Natural History and Folklore

Iron is possibly the most common metal in witchcraft. In general it is associated with repelling magic, demons, spirits and the fae. Iron makes up the major part of the inner and outer core of the earth. The atomic symbol for iron (Fe) comes from the Latin term for iron, which is Ferrum, whose root meant ‘to create, to form or to bear forth’. It is the sixth most abundant element in the universe and iron-oxide is belied to be the reason for Mars’ red surface.

Meteorites are largely made up of iron. Iron is also an important dietary nutrient for plants, animals and humans. The Iron Age succeeded the Bronze age, starting around 1200B.C. Iron is the second oldest metal known to man, the word iron coming from the Anglo-Saxon ‘iren’ which through time meant ‘holy metal’.

Iron has been found in historical sites the world over. In Egypt some iron artifacts have been found that contain a fair percentage of nickel, indicating that they were likely meteoric in origin. Some holy sites once never allowed items of iron make to be allowed inside due to their anti-magical/ spirit repelling properties.

Chemical Information/ Toxicity
Chemical Symbol: Fe           Melting Point: 1538*C / 2800*F
Atomic Number: 26                Boiling Point: 2862*C / 5183*F
Physical Properties

Iron in its pure form is grayish, soft, and very reactive. It’s strength comes from its alloying with other metals. Easily corrodes and rusts in both air and moisture.  An excellent conductor of heat and electricity, malleable and the most magnetic of all natural elements.
Practical Uses

The largest and most common use of iron in today’s world is the manufacturing of steel, which is used in everything from buildings, ships, cars, tools and more. As it is one of the strongest metals, and most important for alloys, it is a conundrum since it rusts so easily.

Iron was once the primary structural material but has been replaced by steel. Cast iron is still used in a variety of auto parts and plumbing manufacturers. Wrought iron is also used for cookware and for home decor.
Magical Associations/ Uses

One of the most common uses of iron in witchcraft is to repel other magics or magical creatures. It is also a dousing metal, making it useful in directing magic as well as ‘pulling’ magic from someone or something. Since it is magnetic, it can be used to attract as well as repel. Iron doesn’t hold magic well, which is why it is used to direct and redirect rather than actually holding it. As it is found in meteorites, it nearly encompasses the ideology of “as above, so below”.

Since it is magnetic, iron is an ideal metal for grounding work, as well as for astral travel. Iron can be used in rituals and spells promoting energy, determination, willpower, aggressiveness, fertility rites, speed and beginnings. It is related to the element of fire, so is good for use in any working relating to fire magic. It is a good metal to use in healing magic due to the fact that it is in our blood.

It is useful in blood magic as well. Curses commonly use iron, as well as curse removal magic, as iron deflects and redirects those energies.
Correspondences

  • Attracting and repelling
  • Directing and redirecting
  • Both the earth and celestial bodies
  • Grounding
  • Protection
  • Planet: Mars (deity as well)
  • War, power, strength
  • Courage
  • Zodiac: Aries and Scorpio
  • Healing
  • Permanence
  • Opposition to nature or the natural state of things
  • Love and lust

Alchemical Symbol


Fun Facts

Iron makes up 5.6% of the earth’s crust

Too much iron in the body can be dangerous

It is a structural constituent of the sun, stars in general and planets

Cast iron is made by heating iron alloy into a liquid then pouring it into a mold

China is the world’s largest producer of iron, accounting for 33% of the world’s iron.