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Some alternatives for Expensive Planetary Metals


As part of my studies I've been working with Agrippa and the Picatrix quite a bit lately, and often you'll find that metals required are crazy expensive, or worse dangerous (such as mercury or lead). Many of us use paper for our Planetary images, and it does work, but doesn't in my opinion or experience make for a talisman that can long contain the Virtue of a planet. I've got a couple of fixes that I use to deepen the power of the paper talisman when I'm unable to afford  the metal, and of course I'll share them.

My reasoning for experimenting with some of these methods was that, as Names are descriptions of a given entity/thing and as such have power over the thing, a proper and true description may serve well in the place of a thing. May even Be the thing, as far as Magic is concerned. I also reasoned that the Virtue of the planet is the important thing, and that the metal served as a container of that virtue and That is why it was valuable in my Magic; not because of the physicality of the Metal, but because it serves as an excellent container and Body for the virtue to inhabit because of it's nature.

I've found that properly Fixed paper will hold the virtue of a Planet nearly indefinitely; I've yet to have a talisman made from Fixed paper lose it's virtue or efficacy over time alone. (De-consecration is of course a different matter).

Fixing the paper isn't easier than using the metal--it is in fact more difficult, it is only less expensive in currency. It is more expensive in time and understanding. I find that the extra research and magical work--time--spent on fixing the paper makes it as valuable to me as the currency I could spend on the metal alone, while re-enforcing the correspondences and links that make the Magic. You aren't cutting corners, you're using an equally valid alternative.

My method for Fixing the paper is usually twofold, sometimes threefold--First I use Electional Astrology to Elect a time that is good for the Planet (The Planet needs to be in it's Exaltation or Rulership, and in it's Planetary hour, preferably with the Moon unafflicted and no Square or Opposing aspect) and take up a good piece of vellum. The paper should be of better quality than lined or regular printer paper. I light the appropriate incense and Candle, and then recite the Hymn to the Planet--usually a Planetary invocation as found in Picatrix of late, although I've gotten plenty of use from the Orphic Hymns--and then meditate upon an Image of the Planet as given in Agrippa or Picatrix. Now that the atmosphere in the temple is pregnant with the Planet's virtue, I take up the paper and draw a Circle on it, signifying that I want to contain within that which will be placed in the circle. Inside the circle I place a thorough and accurate Description of the Metal....I use the atomic number, weight, and electron configuration of the Metal as found in the Periodic Table (for example, my description of gold would be as follows:


I grew up with the idea that this is the root of what the metal is, it's very nature. It works like a charm. Why not put it to work?

If I haven't been able to find a solid Election, I use a Spagryic Elixir to fix the paper with the Planetary power, and then create the circle and Description of the Metal as described above. I thank the Planet and close, and put the Gold away somewhere special.

Just thought I'd share; I'm sure there are a number of interesting methods that folks use, and I would love to hear them!




  1. This is a brilliant idea. Right up my alley.

    Consider it deployed! (ie stolen)

  2. Actually I should point out it's up my alley because it's all sciency and shit... Not because I am cheap.

    Not JUST because I am cheap, anyway. :)

  3. This is a neat idea. I especially like the way you are using a circle. I will remember that.

    One way to incorporate mercury into a talisman is to use vermilion ink (mercury sulfide). In addition to being metallically right, it's orangeish. I wonder if this pigment is where the planetary color association comes from.

    Something I am experimenting with is incorporating scents with planetary associations into the inks used to make a talisman.

  4. Frater,

    This is brilliant!


    Thank you :)

  5. I haven't had a chance to try this, but having a background in chemistry I've always toyed with the idea of making a solution of a metal salt (say, a few milligrams of gold chloride that I could get relatively cheaply) and soaking the vellum in that. To make it even cooler I could then soak it in a solution of something like sodium citrate, which would reduce the metal ions back to their metallic form. Basically, you'd have vellum infused with millions of tiny gold (or whatever metal) spheres. How wicked is that?

    I have a similar plan sketched out for when I get myself a proper (wooden) wand. It will take multiple soak/dry phases in chloroauric acid and citrate and over a month or so to do properly, but damned if I won't have a wand with gold nanoparticles in every cell of its being!

  6. @ Fra Gordon

    Right on, and thanks much! Also, no one who travels as much as you do could possibly be considered "cheap". =)

    I've got kids to feed, can't blow a $1k on an ounce of gold in good conscience. Not without my wife administering a vicious and deserved beat-down, haha. So, instead of cheap, let's say we are being pragmatic. Lord knows Magicians need more of that these days...

    I can't transmute things physically (yet) but, I can transmute using meaning!

  7. @ Fra Harold,

    Vermilion ink? That is awesome!

    There are some instructions for rings of power and the like that require liquid Mercury contained within...that idea is officially stolen, and thank you kindly!

  8. @Fra Pallus Renatus

    Absolutely fantastic idea! I've got no experience with that sort of chemistry, or I'd lift it.

    That sounds like physical transmutation to me; you are now obligated to make this happen. Get to work! I've got about a dozen different items I'd like you to work your Chymical magic upon, haha.

    You could make yourself a decent bit selling your Golden Parchment to other Magicians, I imagine.....

  9. @Fr. A.I.T.: It's indeed a wonderful process to watch. It's basically the same method for making colloidal gold, you just get the colloid stuck in your target in the process =) Watching the solution turn from clear to blood red to royal purple to golden yellow gives a whole new meaning to "peacock's tail".

    And you're welcome to be my first customer; anything that soaks up water is up for grabs. Drop me a line if your ever find yourself interested ;)

  10. You guys rock! Thanks for all the inspirations...!!

  11. Frater,

    it also works very well to do one fo the following, if you feel like experimenting.
    1 make your own papyrus using flowers of the correct planetary attribution.
    This is easier then it at first might seem, You can also "bake" cakes, by making a very fine powder of the plant matter mix with water and then bake, they come out as rough mass host pieces.

    2 you could also use a mixture of metals or glass for mercury :D, I honestly don't remember where I read this.

    3 probably more expensive in this day and age then the metals, but to use the hides or bones of the animals linked to the planets are also old fashioned ways of securing that the talisman can hold planetary virtues.

  12. @ Fra Argent,

    I like your idea re: using papyrus made of appropriate plants! I'll incorporate it...thank you much for sharing Frater.-AIT


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