Tin and Jupiter
By Nick Kollerstrom
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A main use of the Jupiter-metal tin is still in the preserving of foodstuffs. Traditionally Jupiter was the preserver, and a well-placed Jupiter in the chart is alleged to preserve youth. Ale used to be drunk from pewter mugs, a tin-based alloy. Theatres simulate the sound of thunder by shaking a sheet of tinfoil, which produces a roar like distant thunder (Jupiter-Zeus was the god of thunder, and astrologers associate Jupiter aspects with rain and thundery weather conditions).
The Periodic Table by Primo Levi (1975) the Italian novelist and industrial chemist, was a book that sketched out the essential being of various elements, in stories. Its chapter on tin alludes to 'the generous good nature of tin, Jove's metal,' and an expansive, jovial character appears: 'Emilio's father was a majestic, benign old man with a white mustache and a thunderous voice', and 'Emilio's father looked so respectable and authoritative...'
Tin metal seems only able to give us a poor expression of its Jupiter-nature. the latter is however quite well-expressed by the planet in the sky: Jupiters rich, psychedelic colouring derived from continuous lightning-flashes in its atmosphere, and it throws huge storms which reverberate around the solar system. Perhaps we should be content with that, and maybe in the future other relevant tin-properties will emerge.
The last Cornish tin mine closed in 1988, but of late steps have been taken to reopen a one, and it looks as if the oldest Cornish industry is now being resurrected. The Roman deity Jupiter was associated with both the Etruscan sky-god Tinia as well as the Greek Zeus. The supreme Etruscan sky-god was known variously as Tin, Tini tinia or tinis. This supreme sky-god was depicted with lightning-bolts, a spear and a sceptre. Basically he as the complete prototype for Jupiter (web comment). The Etruscans lived on the Italian peninsula from the eighth to the first century, B.C. There were early trade-routes to Cornwall from the Mediterranean to obtain Cornish tin Its been argued that Jupiter rules tin, and our tin came from the Anglo-Saxon tin... These and similar words must have travelled along the great trade routes' (R.H.Oliver, Phenomena 1978 2:5:26).
Bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, has been used to make sculptural objects as early as the seventh millennium BC. Pewter was introduced into Britain by the Romans in the 3rd century AD, being made from Cornish tin and Welsh lead. Pewter tableware was once commonplace, but gave way in time to porcelain and other materials; is now becoming popular again for decorative materials, but without lead (antimony is used instead). The worshipful company of Pewterers launched a Millenium pewter collection, extolling its traditional virtues solidarity, lustre, practicality of use and handling, no tarnishing which do sound quite Jovial. Tin wine-capsules, wrapped around the necks of wine-bottles, now account for some 4,000 tons per annum of tin production, a growing market, and this seems Jovial enough. The Oscar-award trophies are made from tin, coated with gold. Use of tin solder is growing in electronics, especially computer hardware, and modern laptop liquid crystal screens have a tin-oxide film for their panels.