Metals as Cosmic Sense Organs

August 24, 2023
By Dennis Klocek 13 min read

Metals are cosmic activities that have come down to live in physical bodies. They are only barely incarnated.

Sense organs themselves are very incarnated but the activities of the sense organs are still living in the world of the becomings of things.

For this reason, a good linkage can be made between the sense activities and the activities of metals in the sense life of the earth. The following is a brief outline of a contribution to the possibility of establishing an ongoing dialogue on this subject.

To Paracelsus metals always had their origin in two interrelated processes. One is the formation of what he called embryonates.  The second aspect is that the dynamic in the embryonates resulted from the polarity between sulfur, salt and mercury as processes in life. An embryonate is a formation that occurs in nature. Most metals appear as concentrations of the metal-centered in a mineral mass. The metal occurs in gradual concentrations like the yolk/white/shell relationship of an egg or the kernel and nutritional portions of an almond. The metals in this process are the embryos while the minerals are the sheaths or the placenta for the embryonic metal centered in the mineral mass. This form Paracelsus called an embryonate.

The relationship between the three processes of salt, sulfur and mercury was a complex one in alchemy. In general the minerals were the salt pole, the sulfur was a form of gas or “fire” known as “rock grease” and the mercury was considered to be an ” atmosphere” that blended the other two qualities into the particular form of the embryonate. A metal-rich in sulfur like copper had a fiery cast to its color and processes. It was malleable or “greasy” and a good conductor for instance. A metal like tin has an abundance of mineral forces in it. It has a strong relationship to silica, it is brittle and a poor conductor and is the metal that arises in granite formations when the lime element is digested or has run its cycle. It is an embryonate that has a strong salt nature that had a hardening effect in contrast to the malleable nature of copper or silver.

The mercury process is the most mysterious process of the trio of sal, sulf, and merc. It is an atmospheric or mood-producing agent. It provides the mobility and transformative impetus to the less active metals. In mercury the process of transformation dominates everything. Metals with a lot of mercury can take other forms and are often unstable. The mercury process provides the metals with the forces that allow them to alloy with other metals. The alchemists considered that all metals were fundamentally mercury going through sequences of metamorphosis. Mercury is the cosmic image of the encircling round forces of the periphery that have come to a short rest in one form but are quickly shifted into other forms that also reflect the circling round forces of the periphery.

A final image is the electromotive series among the metals. The most noble metals are at the cathode end of the electrolytic solution. That is they are stable and receive the corrosion byproducts from the less noble metals as they move through the electrolyte. The anode end is composed of the less stable, less noble metals.  These metals corrode in the electrolyte and their constituents migrate to the cathode pole where they are deposited on the surface of the cathode. The series is as follows.

Electromotive series of metals

  • Cathode end (stable or noble metals) non-corrosive
    • Gold / Sun
    • Silver / Moon
    • Copper / Venus
    • Hydrogen
    • Lead / Saturn
    • Tin / Jupiter
    • Iron / Mars
    • Zinc
  • Anode end (basic) corrosive

Touch – Lead

Lead is related to the sense that transmits the activity of the forces of the inner boundaries of the body. Or we could say the forces that move along the membranes of the body. These are the forces of the nervous system. Lead is active in the processes whereby the sense experiences move from nerve to nerve and exhaust the life forces of the organism. This is the most fundamental sensory experience in terms of human physiology.  The question of boundaries is the domain of the outer planets. Lead works to disintegrate the integrity of the nervous system when it is seen as a toxic agent. This disintegration is the special property of the sense of touch. Human consciousness is disintegrated in the onslaught of the sensory processes transmitted by the nerves. These breaking down or splitting processes are the domain of touch and are a picture of the action of lead in the body.

Life / Sense of Well-being and Health – Mercury (Quicksilver)

The capacity to feel integrated into the body. In this sense, the capacity to integrate and bring disparate elements together into a wholeness is emphasized. Among the metals, this capacity for integration is imaged in quicksilver or mercury. When put into quicksilver, other metals are immediately “moistened” with the mobile metal that is like water at room temperature. It easily dissolves gold, tin, lead, copper, and zinc and moves them into a liquid form. In this action, it is an image of a sensory process that underlies the integrative forces of the body. That is the domain of the sense of life. The sense of life is carried through the organism by the processes of secretion. Secretions in the organism are regulated especially by the metal mercury or quicksilver

Self-Movement- Iron

This is the sense that allows us to know in an inner way where we are in space. The function of this sense is to help us maintain equilibrium in relation to other things. There is a subtle kind of breathing process going on in the soul at all times. This is based in the perception of the soul movements we continually make in relation to the other things of our environment. In the realm of the metals, the metal that is the specialist at monitoring and regulating the breathing processes is iron. In the realm of life iron is the link between the plant world and the animal world. It does this by forming a special relationship to magnesium. These two metals are the basis for the processes surrounding chlorophyll and blood. The plant is fixed in the earth by its magnesium and the animal is free to roam across the earth because it has iron in its blood.

Balance – Gold

The sense of balance is one that allows the soul to live in three dimensions and still maintain equilibrium. It can do this because the sense of balance is the most fundamental faculty in the human being for maintaining a relationship between weight (gravity) and light (levity) the most fundamental sources of stress and disequilibrium. Gold is the metal that does this among all of the others. It does this by not being corruptible in its fundamental nature. It is found in nature in the company of sulfur, silica and iron. Sulfur in the human being is related to the metabolic realm, silica to the sense processes of the head and iron to the breathing processes of the middle realm. As a metal, gold unites these three domains into a balanced whole. As a sense it brings these three soul realms into relationship with each other.

Smell- Copper

In the sense of smell, the soul makes a first connection with the outer world. It does this by being driven out of the body itself towards the outer world but the impulse to move out is not natural to this sense. There is still a kind of inwardness that points the soul activity back into the organism where the warmth and inner consistency is at a maximum. In the sense of smell, the soul meets the world at the boundary and holds to the inner necessity of the body rather than going out into the periphery. The smell from the object moves into the nose and the soul meets it there as an impulse that goes directly into the brain. The object moves into the soul and the soul meets it at the periphery of the organism. Among the metals, copper exhibits a strong tendency towards the metabolic processes of warmth and sulfur. It is a malleable and warm metal linked to the processes that drive digestion. The forces of digestion drive out of the organism but not completely into the outer world. Copper seeks to combine readily with other metals and it is at home in the forces of the liver where a kind of cosmic smelling process is at work.

Taste – Tin

In the sense of taste the soul moves towards the outer world in a more definitive way than in the sense of smell. In taste, the soul leaves the organism and must enter into the inner life of the outer object in a more direct way. The saliva must overcome the object being tasted and begin to break it down so that it can be tasted. Even though the sensation is still within the boundaries of the organism the external object is entered into in a deeper way. We could say that the soul has to cross the boundary at the edge of its existence and exist within the object being tasted. As a metal tin relates to the outer edge of the planetary sphere. Tin, when formed into an alloy with another metal is amphoteric. This means that it regulates the relationship between melting and congealing. This is an image of the need to dissolve an object in the tasting process and to congeal it again as protein in the body. Both of these functions are linked to tin in the relationship between tasting and digestion which is the domain of the liver, a Jupiter or tin organ. Tin calls up the forming force in alloys. As sense experience in taste, the inner images that arise for this sense create strong formative imaginations that guide the whole process of digestion and the choosing of food. At the same time tin easily breaks down into salt formations due to its relationship to silica and the granitic rocks. This is an image of the chewing and dissolving processes in the mouth that surround the process of digestion. In these processes, the tin-rich organs are the oral mucosa and the skin of the digestive cavities.

Vision- Silver / Image

In the sense of vision the soul leaves the body completely and contacts the outer surfaces of the world. In this sense we move to another noble metal. Silver is the basis for the whole photographic industry. It is the metal that gives the name to the silver screen. All of these relationships point to a metal that has a great deal to do with the sense of vision. Silver is the most conductive metal for electricity. It also has a native coolness to it that allows it to transmit heat the most efficiently of any metal. The transmission of impulses along the nerves and the resulting tendency towards the strong production of images and form are analogs of the process of vision in the realm of the soul. The light that flows through the eyes moves directly into the brain where it forms images of the world that are a response to the movements of the soul as it leaves the body and touches the surfaces of the things in the world. Silver is very active in the formation of salts such as occur in seawater. There it is active in the great salt process of the world, the formation of the myriad creatures that inhabit the oceans. This is an analog of the sense of sight that “salts” out the myriad images of the world from the flowing sea of light that is the true basis for the life of the soul.

Warmth- Gold

In the soul, through the action of the sense of warmth, the consciousness moves further out into the objects of the outer world. The sense of warmth acts in the soul through enthusiasm for the world. This enthusiasm and willingness to enter more deeply than just resting on the surface of things characterizes both the forces of the sense of warmth and the activity of gold among the metals. Gold appears in many things in the finest dilutions. One part per million in both seawater and granitic rocks is a common percentage of this metal.  It is a very widespread and ethereal metal. In this, it is like warmth in the atmosphere. The most frequent source of gold is not in solid ores but spread almost homeopathically throughout many strata that don’t at first glance appear to contain gold. Gold pushes the salt pole towards the sulfur pole and vice versa. It is a dynamic catalyzing agent in many natural processes even though in parts per million it rarely is included in analysis. In this way, it is present like the sense experience of warmth. In the soul warmth is the faculty used to determine enthusiasm for people and events. We use the warmth sense to follow the destiny patterns of our lives and in this, we seek the gold hidden in the baser metals.

Hearing – Copper

In the soul, the sense of hearing allows a person to enter into the other in a deeper way than even the sense of warmth. Through this sense, we can experience the qualities that sound is capable of revealing to our understanding. Among the metals, copper marks a shifting point from the basic minerals to the acidic minerals. The acidic rocks are found near to the surface of the earth in the quartz-rich granites. The basic rocks are found in the deeper levels of the plutons where the sulfur processes of the igneous rocks dominate. Copper is found in the depths where sulfide formations occur. Copper forms in the zone between these areas where cementation or embryonation arises. This means that as a metal copper is found below the surface as an embryonate form. The embryonate form is like an almond or walnut in its shell. This is an image of the formation of the vesicle that houses the ear in the embryo. Copper is the metal most prone to forming embryonates. It is a malleable, heat-conducting metal. As a sense, hearing requires a malleable soul force that is manifest by allowing the hearer to sleep to the sounds made by the other. This sound force then must be conducted into the ear and the nerves where it arises as an inner picturing process. The position of copper in the metals is an image of this sensory process that is just below the surface of the body drawing in the sense impressions from the environment. 

Tone/ Word – Tin

In the soul the sense of the word or tone is active when the consciousness enters into the feeling life of the other person through the moods engendered by the tone of the speech. This requires the soul to move a bit deeper into the other and a bit farther out from the self. In the sense of the word or tone of the word, the person and the meaning of the other soul must meet and mingle in a flowing meaning structure composed of the feelings of both souls. This is an image of the role of tin in the forming of the pyrites so useful in liver therapies. One form of pyrite is the mineral marcasite. This metal is a combination of iron, copper and sulfur brought together by the action of tin. Tin here, unites the two poles of the sulfur (copper) and the salt (compounding) forming processes of iron. The forces of tin create an “understanding” between the sulfur and the salt, between the hearing of the sound of the spoken word and the hidden inner meaning of the tone of the spoken word.

Idea of other – Iron

In the sense for the idea of the other, the soul enters further into the other person in order to experience the meaning of their thoughts. The realm of thoughts can be experienced as the realm of boundless illusion. The actual meanings of a specific thought can be multiplied exponentially. The sense for the meanings of these ideas needs to be able to go in any direction from any place in order to link what is being expressed with a particular meaning. The movement of the soul in this sense of the idea of the other is imaged in the particularly active linking and bridging that iron accomplishes in its activities in nature. Because of its extreme anodic position in the electromotive series, iron readily ionizes with other elements to form an extremely wide range of substances. In this process, it links to carbon, sulfur, water and oxygen to form the majority of mineral substances that support life forms. To do these myriad linkages in order to form compounds, iron must give its own nature away to the imagination of the substance it wishes to “understand”. This is a very clear picture of the soul activity present in the sense of the idea of the other.

Ego of other – Gold

In the sense experience of the ego of another person, the soul is required to enter completely into the other to experience the true beingness of the other. It may seem strange to use gold as the image for this sense experience. Gold is the most noble of metals. It will not combine with others in compounds and is at the opposite end of the combining spectrum of the electromotive series from the ubiquitous iron. However, as was stated earlier, although the gold does not readily form compounds and is above corrosion in any way, it is present almost everywhere in the finest dilutions as a representative of the forces of light among the metals. In the earth body it is found in the central places of the mineral strata where the sulfur forces from below, meet the silica forces from above. The gold is the balance point where the cosmic light meets the earthly darkness. The gold in human physiology is centered in its action on the rhythmic system. There the feelings of self and other are the focus of its action. In homeopathic provings, the gold forces produce the shadow forces of a heightened sense of self-righteousness. The person exhibiting the shadow of gold cannot bear being corrected or contradiction in any way. They are quarrelsome in extreme and can be obsessive in their adherence to personal beliefs. These one-sided tendencies in the soul are rectified by the action of the fine homeopathic forces of gold in our environment. When they are balanced it is possible for a person to willingly enter into the life and being of another without the fear that this exploration will endanger their own self-awareness.


Dennis Klocek

Dennis Klocek, MFA, is co-founder of the Coros Institute, an internationally renowned lecturer, and teacher. He is the author of nine books, including the newly released Colors of the Soul; Esoteric Physiology and also Sacred Agriculture: The Alchemy of Biodynamics. He regularly shares his alchemical, spiritual, and scientific insights at

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