The Seven Planets

The Seven Planets & Metals

Journeying the ladder of planets

The Classical Planets

In the tradition of alchemy, each classical planet was associated with one of the seven metals known at the time in the classical world.

Over time, as we became able to advance our ability to look further into the night sky with telescopes, more planets were added to the teachings of astrology. 

However, in the original tradition the alchemists only dealt with The Seven Planets visible to the naked eye. 

Symbolism of the Metals

Each planet is associated with a specific metal, which indicate the purification level associated with each planets properties – and where it is located in the purification process of the spiritual and mental journey of Alchemy. Also known as the Ladder of Planets.

Although, the understanding of the planet and metal properties were mostly standardized, the style and symbol varied between different schools of Alchemy. Therefore, this page lists the most commonly used. 

The Planet of Saturn Symbol

The Planet of Saturn - Lead

Lord of Karma & Time

Function:  Discipline
Action:  Control
Operation:  Calcination
Polarity:  Masculine
Phase:  Nigredo
Element:  Earth / Air
Color:  Indigo / Black / Grey

General areas of influence:
• stability & structure
• responsibility
• materialism
• the passage of time
• death & transformation
• darkness over light & matter over spirit
• stubborn protector of status quo
• the possibility of change & healing
• permissions & legal disputes
• unrevealed power
• associated with fate
• ego & limitations

The Planet of Jupiter Symbol

The Planet of Jupiter - Tin

The Great Benefactor

Function:  Protection
Action:  Expand
Operation:  Dissolution
Polarity:  Masculine
Phase:  Nigredo
Element:  Water / Fire
Color:  Blue / Violet

General areas of influence:
• light & energy
• joy & optimism (also blind)
• wealth & abundance
• truth & freedom
• higher leaning & education
• social values & wisdom
• luck & good fortune
• law & justice
• philosophy & religious matters
• charity & generosity
• enjoyment of life
• rebellion & extremism

The Planet of Mars Symbol

The Planet of Mars - Iron

The Warrior

Function:  Action
Action:  Assert
Operation:  Separation
Polarity:  Masculine
Phase:  Albedo
Element:  Fire / Water
Color:  Red

General areas of influence:
• survival instincts
• strong will, motivation & ambition
• strength & energy
• surpassing limitations
• beginnings & new projects
• applying force & determination
• creating or stopping war
• winning in competition
• sexual activity
• division & separation
• vitality & enthusiasm
• forcefulness, aggression & violence

The Planet of Venus Symbol

The Planet of Venus - Copper

The Lover

Function:  Refinement
Action:  Harmonise
Operation:  Conjunction
Polarity:  Feminine
Phase:  Albedo
Element:  Air / Earth
Color:  Green / Yellow

General areas of influence:
• sweetness, harmony & beauty
• refinement of the senses
• appreciating aesthetics & creating art
• receptiveness & adaptability
• mystical love & sensuality
• romantic relationships & love
• relating & connecting with others
• attracting possessions & wealth
• nurturing & gentle
• intuition & tranquility
• empathy & fairness
• passivity & dependence

The Planet of Mercury Symbol

The Planet of Mercury - Quicksilver

The Messenger of the Gods

Function:  Transforming Clarity
Action:  Communicate
Operation:  Fermentation
Polarity:  Feminine
Phase:  Rubedo
Element:  Air / Water
Color:  Purple / Yellow

General areas of influence:
• mental skills & insights
• intellect & open-mindedness
• conversation, debate, speech & writing
• information & knowledge 
• altered states of consciousness
• gaining hidden knowledge
• divination, astrology, alchemy & magic
• thinking, visions & imagination
• travel & safety
• sleep & dreaming
• androgyny & hermaphroditism
• inconsistency & elusiveness

The Planet of the Moon Symbol

The Planet of the Moon - Silver

Luna the Queen

Function:  Reflection & Growth
Action:  React
Operation:  Distillation
Polarity:  Feminine
Phase:  Rubedo
Element:  Water / Earth
Color:  White / Blue

General areas of influence:
• the soul & subconscious mind
• deep emotions, memory & intuition
• rhythms & cycles
• cultural heritage
• connecting to the psychic & Astral world
• fertility, growth, nurture & renewal
• compassion & sensitivity
• genuineness & loyalty
• perception, reflection & illumination
• imagination & mystery
• purity, clarity & brilliance
• spiteful & melancholic

The Planet of the Sun Symbol

The Planet of the Sun - Gold

Sol the King

Function:  Wholeness
Action:  Integrate
Operation:  Coagulation
Polarity:  Masculine
Phase:  Rubedo
Element:  Fire
Color:  Yellow / Orange

General areas of influence:
• the spirit & true inner self
• divine power
• light & illumination
• majestic & noble endeavors
• ambition & courage
• energy, vitality, endurance & health
• selfless willpower & motivation
• integration, harmony & balance
• dignity & integrity
• unity & gaining wholeness
• luck, success & true wealth
• arrogance & extravagance

Working with the Planets

It is believed that everything on Earth is influenced by the energetic rays of The Seven Planets.  Everything that exists – metals, minerals, gem stones, plants, animals and also humans – consist of an intertwined energetic combination of The Seven Planets, The Five Elements and The Three basic Prime principles. As a result, it is the combination and balance of these energies that determines what will emerge and what kind of character it/we will have.

Working with the planets is to change how the flow of these seven life energies can be transformed by outer and inner influences, and how this flow can be supported and cultivated.

In conclusion, a lot more can be said about each of The Seven Planets of Alchemy and what they govern and represent. But this page should give you a basic overview, and enable you to start working with the planets in your spiritual practice. 

Further Your Understanding

The planetary energies influence our being on all three levels of our existence. Learn about The Seven Seals of the planets and how there is a correlation between this understanding in Alchemy and the Eastern tradition of the Chakra System.