copperCopper has been mined for over 10,000 years. The name is derived from the Latin word "cuprum, meaning 'from the island of Cyprus', one of the main mining sites for copper during the days of the ancient Romans. Copper has an almost infinite recyclable life and has earned the status of being the world's most reusable resource, which is a very good thing as most copper mines are now defunct and sources of native copper (that which occurs naturally without being combined with any other mineral or metal) are all but depleted. The main sources for copper mining today are sites which are rich in copper ore, meaning sites that have large deposits of other minerals that happen to contain a lot of copper. The largest copper ore deposits are found in the U.S., Chile, Zambia, Zaire, Peru, and Canada.

Copper has been used for jewelry and in medical treatments since man first discovered it. In fact we can't live without it, copper is one of those metallic elements which are essential to human health. And since the body can't manufacture it, it must absorb the essential element by other means. The old wives tale of wearing copper jewelry to reduce the pain of arthritis has a lot of validity. It's also involved in the formation of collagen and the protective coverings of the nerves.

The use of copper during meditation or simply wearing a piece of copper jewelry can help to stimulate physical activity and overcome lethargy and passivity. It increases intuition and promotes channeling, auric cleansing, luck, prosperity, purification, self-esteem, and communication. Said to help balance sexual energy and to bring the body back into harmony with its environment

Copper corresponds to Venus Aphrodite/Earth-Fire/Sun

research submitted by Carmen Reyes, High Priestess of The Apple Branch - A Dianic Tradition

Since ancient times copper has been known as the great healing and sacred metal. Fashioned into jeweler before recorded time, copper is the first metal our ancestors utilized. Metalworkers were often regarded as magicians in early societies. A copper pendant was found in what is now northern Iraq that dates to 8700 BC, a time when the inquisitive Neolithic humans, first started noticing the curious lumps of native copper, probably scarce and precious. The earliest known artifacts made from smelted metal were copper, and excavations at Catal Huyuk near Konya (the first Neolithic settlement) in Southern Anatolia (now central Turkey), showing slags derived from the smelting of copper, have been dated to as early as 7,000 BC. Copper smelting is the refining of copper from simple copper oxides such as Malachite or Azurite. A Stone Age fireplace and residues from copper smelting, both dating to about 6000 BCE, have been discovered in southern Bulgaria. Other civilizations in the Near and Middle East, Hindustan and China also developed the use of the vital metal. In Europe, Oetzi the Iceman, a well-preserved male dated to 3200 BCE, was found with a copper-tipped axe whose metal was 99.7% pure. High levels of Arsenic in his hair suggests he was involved in copper smelting, and he was a powerful leader or perhaps a shaman, for copper was very precious and a symbol of power at that time. .

Copper shows up in Sumerian metallurgy circa 3900 BCE. The Sumerians of Mesopotamia were the world’s first writing civilization, located between the Tigris River and Euphrates (meaning "river of copper"). By 3100 BCE, Sumerian Coppersmiths had developed sufficiently to produce a Copper relief showing a lion-headed eagle holding two stags by their tails. During these ancient Mesopotamian times, copper was associated with the Queen of Heaven as well as to goddesses Inanna, and later Ishtar and Astarte (all goddesses associated with Venus.) It has also been sacred to the Sun in Babylon. The Sumerians developed considerable skill in fabricating copper and from these centers, the rudiments of craftsmanship spread to the river-dwelling people of Egypt, where it continued to flourish for thousands of years long after their own civilization had degenerated.

The ancient Egyptians loved ornamentation. Jeweler was designed, crafted and worn with great thought and care. In their typical holistic fashion, fine jeweler was valued not only for beauty but also for the magical and spiritual protection, it provided for its wearer. In their picture, writing the Egyptians used the Ankh sign for copper. Appropriately, it was also the symbol of Eternal Life. The Ankh was the symbol of Isis, the goddess of Motherhood, healing, and immortality. Many of the Egyptian Gods/Goddesses also carried the Ankh. The oldest Egyptian copper artifacts, including beads and small tools, date to the early 4th millennium BCE. Archeologists have also recovered a portion of a water plumbing system from the Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. After 5,000 years, the copper tubing was still in serviceable condition. Many of the great buildings of the Egyptian civilization were built with stones that had been quarried and shaped using copper tools. The Egyptians did their mining of copper in the Sinai Peninsula. The scale of copper mining in the Sinai reached a size that made it the first real industry of the ancient world. The Egyptians mined deposits of the green copper mineral malachite. Malachite, a copper carbonate, was prized because it was the easiest copper mineral to reduce to copper metal. The closely related blue copper carbonate mineral azurite also was discovered. Near these two copper ore minerals, the early prospectors often found another copper mineral, blue-green turquoise. Turquoise is still prized around the world as a gemstone. Ruins of the old mines, the miners' huts, and inscriptions to the Goddess Hathor, the Lady of the Turquoise, can be found to this day in the Sinai. Copper mining in the Sinai Peninsula continued until the reign of Ramses III, in 1150 B.C., over 2,000 years later.

Throughout the world copper became known as the metal of great power. Throughout Africa, copper became known to have great power as a talisman, as is found throughout African Literature and Sanskrit. Tibetan elders keep copper bracelets as holy relics. In Chinese Medicine, copper is known to increase the flow of ‘chi’ (life energy).Arab shepherds believe copper bracelets to store and release power as needed. Inca and Aztec tribes believed that the Gods dictated that copper should be worn by warriors in battle to increase agility and prowess in the field. Celtic tribes wore copper bracelets to avoid rheumatism. The Greeks believed copper represented the goddess Venus, whom arose from the waters of Cyprus looking at herself within a copper mirror, and that copper was used to attract love and protect against evil.