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Sol gold is, and
Luna silver we declare,
Mars yron,
Mercurie is quyksilver,
Saturnus leed,
and Jupiter is tyn,
And Venus coper,
by my fathers kyn

(Chaucer 1386)


Planets and Metals
Kolisko's & Kollerstrom's Experiments

Lilly Kolisko's work links together the planets and their metals, thus uniting Heaven and Earth. The meetings of the planets were recorded by chemical process. She employed the age-old alchemical notion of specific correspondences whereby a particular metal 'belonged' to a planet; and got it to work by a chemical procedure using the metallic reagents in solution. The metals traced pictures on the papers, pictures having form. That form, typically, faded away during the celestial event, then came back afterwards. Thus the experiments told her when and for how long the celestial influence worked.

Lilly Kolisko trained as a nurse and then came to dedicate herself to scientific work within the anthroposophical movement pioneered by Rudolf Steiner, at Stuttgart. She did important work on the effect of homeopathic highly-diluted solutions, and also on how lunar cycles were important in agriculture. In 1926, a year after Steiner's death, she first witnessed 'the working of the stars on Earthly substance' as she later called it. She was rising solutions of silver, iron and lead in filterpapers, during a conjunction of Saturn and the Sun. The normal pattern changed:

'An invisible hand had blotted out the working of the lead in my solution. The Sun had stood before the planet Saturn and here below on Earth the lead could not manifest its activity. When the Stars speak man must stand still in silent awe.'

Such a phenomenon can only be explained, with traditional alchemical logic. Gold is the Sun-metal. This doesn't mean that the Sun contains gold. It means that the essential being of gold is solar. A wedding-ring has to be gold, because other metals wouldn't have the heart-significance and also the sense of permanence that the sun-metal has. You may know that silver is shiny and used for films and photos. This is because its lunar-nature is sensitive, receptive and impressionable. But, you may object, that's astrology. Yes, it is: the Moon is connected with dreams and fantasy as in the phrase, 'just mooning around' So silver has these qualities. All chemistry using silver has to be done in darkness because of its lunar nature. That is something to reflect upon...

Gold in contrast needs bright sunlight, and Kolisko's gold-experiments need bright daylight to develop the gold-picture. Every schoolchild should rise a gold-solution filterpaper picture - seeing its golden hue develop in response to the sunlight - and thereby sense the glory that is expressed by this metal. Kolisko's work gives us a new opportunity to appreciate the qualitative being of the metals, to replace the grey abstractions of modern chemistry with vivid, archetypal images. Seven metals in particular have intertwined through human history, and we can now appreciate them anew using the Hermetic maxim, 'as above, so below'.
Nick Kollerstrom

Nick Kollerstrom has built a website to publish the experiments that he has conducted to replicate 'the Kolisko effect'. It also contains links to further articles, studies and relevant material, including Kolisko's 1927 essay on her Nov 1926 Sun-Saturn experiment.

Visit Nick Kollerstrom's website 

Nick KollerstromNick Kollerstrom has a Cambridge science degree and has worked as a physics schoolteacher. He is recognised throughout the astrological community for his pioneering studies that have brough his scientific background into exciting fields of research on planets, plants and metals. He has been actively involved in the study of planet-metal associations and other matters of a Hermatic nature for 30 years, and has lectured on these subjects since 1975. His work in medical research resulted in his book Lead on the Brain - a plain guide to Britain's No 1 pollutant. His investigation of lunar effects upon plant growth led in the 1980s to his gardener's guide Planting by the Moon and the popular annuals Gardening and Planting by the Moon. Nick Kollerstrom's latest title, Crop Circles: The Hidden Form, published by Wessex books, offers a new way of experiencing the crop circle mystery, through the geometry of the forms revealed in crops.

© Nick Kollerstrom

Planets & Metals

Books by Nick Kollerstrom