But, for the alchemists, the heart is the inner sun; the heart is hollow, and as I understand, it is the only muscle in the body which stays continuously hollow. Like the sun it is the only bodily organ which is self-sustaining, and with its motions of contraction and expansion it images the cosmic rhythm of the Winter and Summer Solstices. ‘ ‘One heart beat represents the same interplay of forces as there is to be found in a solar year.’ ‘5
In the structure of the heart we also find a spiral pattern. The muscular fibres of the ventricles form what is called the vortex as the fibres turn suddenly into the interior in a ‘peculiar spiral manner.’
Following this spiral path into the centre of the heart, the alchemist of old found the gold of the inner Sun to be one with the solar sphere in the heavens — an immeasurable ocean of light pulsating with vast tides and rhythms, as Blattmann describes it, reaching out from the centre to the furthest member of the solar system.
“Incessantly as breathing or heartbeat, the living rhythm of our mother star takes place.”
THE KOLISKO EXPERIMENTS
“Science must again become a holy art, if an unholy natural science is not to lead mankind to destruction.” Lilly Kolisko
After exploring these noble qualities of gold and the sun, it’s time to return to the hard world of science and the experiments of Lilly Kolisko. Stimulated by the insights of Rudolph Steiner, she began a series of experiments to demonstrate the workings of the stars and planets in earthly substances. These experiments ranged from the 1920s through the 1940s in the main, but were carried on into the 1960s. They consisted of the crystallization of solutions of metallic salts on filter paper. Each experiment, with the solution rising contra gravity, produces a characteristic ‘signature’ of the various metals modified by the current planetary conditions.
I have chosen two of her experiments here, carried out during solar eclipses, to illustrate how the influence of the sun is mirrored in the metallic salts of gold in particular, and silver.
In the case of gold, Lilly Kolisko used a solution of gold chloride poured into a glass vessel with a strip of filter paper inserted; for silver, the solution was silver nitrate.
She writes: “In the case of the pictures of silver we find that the wealth of forms is so great that it is impossible to present one picture only of silver.. .In the case of gold, the colours are so rich that many pictures must be observed before we can realise the nature and character of the metal. The colours that make their appearance vary between pure yellow and dark violet.” These colours appeared on the filter paper even in a dark chamber, proving that light had no direct influence upon their manifestation.
These twin qualities of silver and gold echo the old alchemists who stated that the sun and the moon are two poles of existence, with the sun as the source of light and the moon as the surface that reflects it. The form of the moon or silver changes, like a mirror it is colourless and reflective, and is symbolic of the soul; while gold unites in itself all ‘metallic light’ and colour and remains the same, and symbolizes the circle of the spirit.
During a solar eclipse on June 29th, 1927, with these two heavenly bodies united, Lilly carried out experiments before, during and after the darkening of the sun. She describes them as follows:
“On June 27th we have a normal picture of gold, whereas on June 28th it has become somewhat cloudy. Various specks and strokes have made their appearance and the picture looks almost dirty… The picture obtained at the time of the eclipse manifests the above-mentioned phenomenon still more strongly. A large number of specks have appeared. The colours are not so luminous as on other occasions; their tones are mostly brownish-red dirty violet. It is altogether an unpleasing picture.
“On June 29th at 5:19 p.m. the picture of the gold has become quite clean again; the colours are more luminous but they have not yet assumed their natural, inherent beauty and purity.”6During the later solar eclipse on 20th May, 1947, Lilly carried out further research at Greenwich when the path of the eclipse was elsewhere on the planet, and found that each eclipse produced specific effects reflected vividly on the filter paper no matter where the physical sun was at the time.
In a book published on these experiments she wrote: ” It means that we must look upon the sun not only as a heavenly body streaming down light and warmth to the earth from one particular spot, but surrounding, enveloping the whole globe with its sphere. When something spectacular happens, such as a total eclipse, certainly we see it happen at a definite place, observing the moon covering the sun, but the whole sunsphere is affected, and the whole earth participates in it.”7
She found the same phenomenon occurring this time, with the gold pictures turning a dirty purple-brownish interspersed with dark spots. The colour scheme was also reversed, and it looked as if the picture was burnt into the filter paper, as though from an excess of sunlight. After the eclipse had passed the gold chloride regained its power to rise and there was a definite return to the normal appearance. But some disfiguring spots showed the after effects of the eclipse still lingering.
Further experiments were carried out to study the behaviour of gold in relation to other metallic salts during the time of the eclipse. It was discovered that the relation of gold to lead was the least disturbed, but in the solution of silver and gold, the lunar influences completely eclipsed the sun-yellow sediment, leaving a washed-out grayish violet colour which turned to black.
Just as living beings are in some way affected by the sun’s eclipse, so are these other ‘dead’ substances changed in their inner texture. As the sun’s strength waned, so did the working of gold appear to weaken on earth. In olden times it was common among native people all over the world to kindle fires during solar eclipses, or shoot burning arrows towards the sun to help return its light and strength. Fires were also lit on other significant days to celebrate the tides of the changing seasons, such as the solstices and equinoxes.
- SILVER – Metal of the Moon
- QUICKSILVER – Mercury’s Liquid Metal