The modern Hebrew word for 'copper,' and 'brass,' is the word form נחשת, nachasheth. This is the plural form meaning literally, 'coppers.' The ancient Semitic form was נחש, nachash. This is also the word for Serpent as spelled in the authorized versions of the Hebrew Old Testament. It is the Serpent in the Garden of Eden. The numeration of the Old Testament spelling for Copper, and Serpent, is 358. This is the same number for משיח, meshiach, 'Messiah.' The implications are profound. Gematria is one tool of the Literal Qabalah that reconciles pairs of opposites. It proposes that words and phrases of equal number value may have correlations in meaning. Yet these two terms, Serpent and Messiah, are obviously portraits of opposites as evangelized in western exoteric religions. So, as Qabalists reckon, sometimes it may take a third or fourth term or phrase to balance opposing ideas in Qabalah. A Greek word in the New Testament πηος, phos, meaning 'light,' is one such term. It also sums to 358. All this suggests that a force introduced at the beginning of the Old Testament commonly equated with Satan, the Tempter, is equivalent to the force introduced at the beginning of the New Testament we all have come to recognize as the Savior Redeemer. These are polar opposite expressions of but a single force Qabalists suggest is Light.
In the Old Testament creation story, Light, under the guise of the Serpent, is an involuting energy. The tale is a metaphorical narration of the Universal Light, AIN SUPh AUR, congealing itself into physical manifestation. The evoluting force within humanity is the Light of Our Savior, the Messiah and Christ Consciousness. This mode of the same One-Light evolves Human Consciousness into the Divine. It is the Desire-Light of the Creative Principle, under the second of the Three Modes of the Divine Essence, Sulphur. The VIRGIN SULPHUR (see same) of the One-Life made all physical worlds and all therein possible. It is the perpetual involution and evolution of the One Light that maintains existence.
Alchemy and mythology inform us that Copper is a metal sacred to Venus. Esoteric Astrologers tell us that Venus is a force center at the well of the throat which Yogis call the Vishudda Chakra. It is the seat of the desire nature; KAMA MANAS (see same). Copper is the desire force within humanity, reflected from the Universal Virgin Sulphur within the Creative Principle. When we achieve purification of our desires we discover the past, immature desires were but distortions of the true desire of the Christ Consciousness, symbolized as Tiphareth on the Qabalistic Tree. What we have desired and striven to realize for our separative selves, the Godhead has always wished for us since the beginning. Our personal distortions have become twisted and selfish due to our sense-life pulling us further from the Center. These have manifested within us as our subconscious impulses. Hence is the super-conscious Desire Nature personified as a Serpent tempting Eve, sub- consciousness. In turn, she goads the self-conscious mind, Adam, into desirous actions in a physical world. We fall, as the story goes. And the Messiah will herald us back into that pristine state by infusing Light through a personality that as yet reflects immature expressions.
Alchemist Friar Basil Valentine tells us that Copper as an Interior Metal is generated of much Sulphur, but its Mercury and Salt are in equality. In English this means that the Vishudda Chakra of the Yogis (the pharyngeal plexus in the throat) holds very strong, self-conscious desires which can lean equally toward super-conscious aspirations or toward sub-conscious habit patterns. The Sulphur in the Copper Center can express itself in two directions; our desires lean both inwardly (to the Center) and outwardly (into Maya). The Mercury and Salt principles within it are equal, says Valentine. Red Sulphur (downward, base desires) is that which acts upon Salt (sub-conscious habits) to suppress its Mercury (super- conscious) attributes.
Plainly speaking, Red Desires lean toward the habitual patterns that bring us immediate and selfish gratifications. When steeped in these habit patterns we cannot be bothered with aspirations toward reunion with the Higher Self. Or, contrarywise, Sulphur can act upon Mercury to suppress habitual, separative Salt tendencies. When our desires turn toward That Which Is Within then this is considered White Sulphur. When we use White Sulphur to act upon Mercury, in Copper, we eventually overcome the false desirous actions from that center that have kept us separate from the Central Divine. By this process we purify our desire nature and “make Mercury of the metal Copper.”
Sublimation of the Venus force center exalts our Inner Love nature to the level rendered in the Greek as Agape, a more open, universal love, devoid the needy and selfish expectations. This process sharpens our imaginative faculty that aids the completion of the manufacture of the Philosophers’ Stone. Our imagination gradually turns from the selfish imagery 'to have' into more mature images of 'to be'. Venus is the key power in the step CONGELATION (see same), and the exalted power of the final step MULTIPLICATION (see same). Keep in mind that all the sages throughout history have repeatedly called their First Matter, Venus. For descriptions of Red Sulphur or White Sulphur in the Metal Venus, consider all the astrology books that explore a poorly aspected planet Venus in the natal chart. Harsh aspects or poor placements in a detrimental house or sign describe some of the immature, red energies of Venus that are steeped in Salt-ish tendencies and create the challenges of turning Venus. Opposite placements enumerate the finer, Mercury qualities. Cross reference this with THREE PRINCIPLES.