Peoples before us had such reverence for the celestial objects, they saw their gods in the planets. In a search for meaning, they turned to the sky. They believed the planets of our solar system have significant power over their destinies.
The word planet has its roots in the Greek word planētēs, meaning “wanderer”, because certain celestial objects moved across the sky relative to the fixed stars. They called these objects asteres planetai – wandering stars. There were 7 classical planets that they could observe with the naked eye: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
During the times of Ancient history, there were 7 important metals which humans had identified and widely used. These are gold, silver, mercury, copper, iron, lead, and tin. Although several other elements were known in certain ancient cultures, like zinc, arsenic, or antimony, they did´t have such widespread use and importance.
When humans discovered metals and how to use them, it had a such profound impact on the human culture and progress of civilisation. Today we call the early time periods of the past that followed the Stone Age by their use of metals: the Bronze Age, the Iron Age. The discovery of metals was revolutionary, and probably started in the ancient Near East, today called one of the ‘cradles of civilisation’.
These 7 classical metals were so prominent that they were associated with planets-gods. In alchemy, this association was so indisputable that the alchemical symbols used for these 7 metals were most commonly the corresponding planet symbols.