As we’ve discussed before, crystals, gems and metals that are frequently used in all forms of magick would probably be classified under the heading of curios in hoodoo. Many of these items are new to root work, although some use of rocks and minerals has a long-standing tradition in Voudon. Sometimes there is a bit of a cross-over, however, and today’s metal is one of those exceptions.
Copper is a very old metal that has been used in religious and ritual magick for centuries. Copper was sacred to the Queen of Heaven in ancient Sumerian, Babylonian, Persian and Arab cultures. Copper objects have been dedicated to all the goddesses of love and battle, Inanna, Astarte, Ishtar and Al-Uzza for instance. This in turn has led to copper’s association with Venus, the Morning Star. Copper talismans were common in Ancient Egypt and usually worn by people who could not purchase gold or silver. Copper was also sacred to the Native cultures of the Pacific Northwest.
As copper is an excellent conductor of energy, it is often used in the making of “magick wands”. These are used by individuals and groups to focus magickal energy.
The use of copper as both healer and protector is also long standing. Indigenous healers in Central and South America use copper, often in the form of old, all-copper pennies, as a conductor for removing physical or psychological illness from a body. This has translated to the New Age habit of wearing copper bracelets or anklets to balance bodily energy. According to Scott Cunningham, these should be worn on the left side by right-hand-dominant people, and vice versa.
Old Indian Head pennies are used in hoodoo for protection. The idea is that the Native American on the copper coin stands as a “watcher” to keep trouble away from a person or place. This usage of a copper penny is thought to be particularly effective for shady or outright illegal businesses. Such pennies are also believed to bring luck and money, particularly if minted in a leap year.
Finally, probably because of its ancient affiliation with Venus, copper is thought to attract love. Scott Cunningham advises that an emerald set in a copper ring is an excellent talisman for improving one’s love life. Bonne chance ~
Header: Babylonian Statue of Ishtar wearing copper jewelry c 1,000 BCE