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Iron & Steel: Why Does It Damage Ghosts & Spirits?

Necromancy Iron Ghosts Spirits The Dead Weapons

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#1 Mugami

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 01:40 AM

A question was posed to me indirectly and I had never really thought about it, given my background.

Why does iron and steel harm The Dead (Ghosts, Effigies, Shades) and Spirits?
I'm not for the debate of iron vs. steel. (I've used both to good effect.) But rather an actual reason.

I answered thusly to the notion (paraphrased):

Iron (and steel) is an energy sink. It is the first element which takes more energy for fusion than for fission. This property causes the death of stars, as even the most massive star cannot fuse iron nuclei into a heavier element (supernova genesis aside). It is also magnetic (even most alloys of steel). This magnetic property lends it a "aura" similar to a soul or spirit.

These two properties together mean that The Non-Living can be attacked just like The Living with iron or steel weapons. I would say that the iron is highly disruptive to the energetic forms of non-life because it, itself, has both an energy sink and an aura.
Contact might then cause iron or steel to causes te energetic forms to "fight" against "the current" of the magnetic feilds in iron and iron alloys, even if the iron atoms are not polarly aligned, exhibiting normal random orientation.

Therefore, random orientation would cause a chaotic disturbance to an energetic form and polarly aligned iron or iron alloys would cause a notable "push/pull" effect on the energetic form.

This is all purely hypothetical on my part and experimentation is required, such as testing rare earth magnets on energetic forms and testing cobalt and nickel (which are also magnetic elements).

So my question for this thread is what other possibilities could there be? Mystical or scientific?
And what lore is ascribed to it?


Along The Path of our lives we may believe we have choices. It is only at the end of The Path, looking back, may we then realize, that of our choices, we had none. And know then, that Everything was Fate.


:ninja: :huh: 地火風水死無気道 :squee: :ninja:


#2 wren

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 02:34 AM

You can understand it instinctively if you bang about with some mild steel.

#3 z0b

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 02:19 PM

I have heard of this and know elemental beings hate iron as for others I would think it varies I agree with mugami on why there's a effect from iron also because when I by accident learned I could physically hurt spirits by hitting them this happened at a time when my energy field got very strong.Because before that time I would feel pain from beings attacking me but when I hit back nothing I just hit air.So my guess is any material that disrupts the flow of energy would be effective though I suggest testing it out first.

#4 PheonixAlpha

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 03:13 PM

Iron in that form is the opposite of blood. It hungers for the red and will take energy from where ever it can.
There is no such thing as ugliness there are only prejudiced eyes.

It is the wise person who looks not only from the height as an eagle or from the depths as a fish but from the view of an ant or an elephant and everything in between, but an even wiser person remembers there own perspective must not be ignored less you miss the beauty that is within you or perhaps that tiger creeping up from behind.

#5 Mugami

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 06:32 PM

Ironically, Wren, I do weaponsmithing as a hobby, particularly sword fabrication, and it's never been obvious to me.
Of course, I apply complete focus and embed ki into them during the forging process, so that may have been preventing me from noticing what you notice. I do know that steels can hold ki much better than most other materials by sheer volume and depth alone.

z0b, I never thought to connect the dots between iron/steel's ability to harm with concentrated ki feilds of humans ability to do the same thing. Lol. I geuss sometimes what is right under one's nose IS the hardest to see.

Thanks for the info about elementals. I've never attacked elementals. They avoid me due to certain aspects of my abilities and the disruption I can cause. Earth elementals are the only ones which even show themselves. They usually looked pissed off and crawl back in the ground. Some of my abilities have a large area of effect which while they have greateffect on The Dead, are indiscriminate and effect everything not Living.

Along The Path of our lives we may believe we have choices. It is only at the end of The Path, looking back, may we then realize, that of our choices, we had none. And know then, that Everything was Fate.


:ninja: :huh: 地火風水死無気道 :squee: :ninja:


#6 MRcephlapod

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 07:42 PM

Wow cool description mugami!
I would also take into consideration the long time associations with strength both offensive and defensive for those two metals

#7 PheonixAlpha

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:33 PM

View PostPheonixAlpha, on 08 May 2014 - 03:13 PM, said:

Iron in that form is the opposite of blood. It hungers for the red and will take energy from where ever it can.

What I had meant to say is, the iron in that form acts the same as the iron in blood but is in an opposite situation. The iron in blood is full of "the red" (spirit force/energy), where as cold iron is not. Iron as a substance loves energy of any kind and will take it.
There is no such thing as ugliness there are only prejudiced eyes.

It is the wise person who looks not only from the height as an eagle or from the depths as a fish but from the view of an ant or an elephant and everything in between, but an even wiser person remembers there own perspective must not be ignored less you miss the beauty that is within you or perhaps that tiger creeping up from behind.

#8 PheonixAlpha

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:38 PM

View PostMugami, on 08 May 2014 - 06:32 PM, said:

I do know that steels can hold ki much better than most other materials by sheer volume and depth alone.


Iron in blood binds oxygen, the breath. So something made of lots of iron can take lots of breath, ki.
There is no such thing as ugliness there are only prejudiced eyes.

It is the wise person who looks not only from the height as an eagle or from the depths as a fish but from the view of an ant or an elephant and everything in between, but an even wiser person remembers there own perspective must not be ignored less you miss the beauty that is within you or perhaps that tiger creeping up from behind.

#9 wren

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:43 PM

I've only taken a week-long class on blacksmithing, but I've found that the steel hums, especially when annealed.

#10 voidgazing

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 09:42 PM

It may also be a talismanic effect. It works because we say it does, and we say it does because it seems like it ought. That said, I do get kind of a heavy vibe from it (and most especially from hematite).
This is a postcard sent from the dining room of the HMS Russel's Teapot. Wish you were here- the band is spot on tonight, and we're having "all the way down" turtle soup!

#11 RoseRed

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 11:13 PM

What an awesome thread!

I love iron. I still get a kick out of knowing that there's more iron in steel than there is in cast iron. So weird.

Hematite - that is one hell of a stone.

I've never actually thought about the how and why it works - just that it does.
When my wings get tired I grab my broom.

#12 Kuroyagi

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:30 AM

Interesting sciento-mythological theories there. Some of the traditional symbolism chimes in well with it insofar as iron can be considered the ‘blood of the earth’- the parallel to our human blood is obvious due to its iron content and smell. But thus it would be-like salt- a sort of essence of element earth that could drive away or trap spirits that are traditionally more airy will o the wispy...airyness is a very prominent feature of many magical aspects- from qi/ki (see etymology and the character containing ‘steam, vapour’) to designations for breath and various types of soul.

The magnetic attraction and congruence of blood and iron can also be further explored under the modern term biomagnetism I believe...

edit: here is an experiment I devised to test the features of salt and iron in respect to their magical properties. Take a large plastic bowl of water- the conductor- with either salt or iron filings in it, and place it over night in a room that is either 'haunted' or into that you evoke/call spirits, don't forget the barriers- and check it the next day. In my experience salt is great for neutralizing and cleansing, notice maybe the changed colour and patterns, but iron good for being charged and energized.

Edited by Kuroyagi, 09 May 2014 - 01:00 PM.


#13 Mugami

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 01:50 AM

I might do something like that, Kuro. Though I will say Water is not a conductor. In it's pure form, water is an insulator. It's the impurities (like salts, oxylates, sulfides, chlorides, and oxides) that are conductive.

(That's why saltwater has different effects than distilled, purifed water. Sidenote: Distilled water should never be drunk as it actually pulls electrolytes OUT of your cells and swells the cells leading to brainswelling, seizures and heart failure; See Hyponatremia.)

Water is a solvent and in that aspect is dissolves most of the above readily. Therein lies the chemistry behind most of its occult uses.


Along The Path of our lives we may believe we have choices. It is only at the end of The Path, looking back, may we then realize, that of our choices, we had none. And know then, that Everything was Fate.


:ninja: :huh: 地火風水死無気道 :squee: :ninja:


#14 voidgazing

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 03:52 AM

Quote

But thus it would be-like salt- a sort of essence of element earth that could drive away or trap spirits that are traditionally more airy will o the wispy...airyness is a very prominent feature of many magical aspects- from qi/ki (see etymology and the character containing ‘steam, vapour’) to designations for breath and various types of soul.

Iron was used in the long-ago in Greek, Jewish and (IRRC) Egyptian magic as a 'keep the bad away', but interestingly primarily against chthonic and infernal entities rather than the airy kind- although that may be because most of the things you'd want to get away from were considered underworldy (earthy and infernal). There's a whole set of operations involving Hekate for example in which one uses an iron ring to keep her from getting all wrathy on you once you'd called upon her for help (it was also a common practice in the latter years of her popularity to call on her at the crossroads, leave the sacrifices, and then run like hell ). Iron knives buried on the threshold as witch-repellant...

When you wanted to work with underworld types and weren't a pussy about it, bronze was the thing.
This is a postcard sent from the dining room of the HMS Russel's Teapot. Wish you were here- the band is spot on tonight, and we're having "all the way down" turtle soup!

#15 PheonixAlpha

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 07:59 AM

View PostKuroyagi, on 09 May 2014 - 07:30 AM, said:

Interesting sciento-mythological theories there. Some of the traditional symbolism chimes in well with it insofar as iron can be considered the ‘blood of the earth’- the parallel to our human blood is obvious due to its iron content and smell. But thus it would be-like salt.

I don't really see a link with salt like that. Iron is "the blood of the earth" because when it rusts with water it is "the bleeding stone".
There is no such thing as ugliness there are only prejudiced eyes.

It is the wise person who looks not only from the height as an eagle or from the depths as a fish but from the view of an ant or an elephant and everything in between, but an even wiser person remembers there own perspective must not be ignored less you miss the beauty that is within you or perhaps that tiger creeping up from behind.

#16 Kuroyagi

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 08:59 AM

Mugami: I meant that the spirits are 'conducted' into the salt via the water, impurities are drawn into the bowl much more than if you only would eg put a small heap of pure salt in the room.

Phoenix: the link is earth element and the fact that they are both said to hurt and or banish spirits, so I only compared those two substances.

Edited by Kuroyagi, 10 May 2014 - 09:23 AM.


#17 Mugami

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 02:04 PM

Void, I don't know about being a pussy. Bronze just doesn't hold and edge as well. :)
And my sweat turns it green. When I do summon; I only use my weapons to denote a purpose.
My scythe for station; if dealing with Psychopomps or The Dead.
My katana to show inherent fortitude.
My odachi to show physical strength.
And Emanation Wards to show outright power and for defense.
Consecration for purification of an area and assuming control of it.
Golden Light (protection) and Crown of Fire (protection/offense) vs. Spirits
Death Shroud (backlash) vs. The Dead.

I don't do more than that. One or two Wards and a weapon has always been enough, when Summoning.
Though I have always been curious as to all the ritual behind goetian summoning.
I'll start with Ose, the way I Summon, and ask his advice one day about Summoning the others my way.

Along The Path of our lives we may believe we have choices. It is only at the end of The Path, looking back, may we then realize, that of our choices, we had none. And know then, that Everything was Fate.


:ninja: :huh: 地火風水死無気道 :squee: :ninja:


#18 voidgazing

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 09:04 PM

The metals weren't used in an explicitly martial sense in those rituals. You would use a bronze sickle to gather herbs 'at the noon of night', a bronze stylus to inscribe your prayer (especially if you were working with Hekate). Iron was generally thought to be protective- magnetized iron most especially- against chthonic stuff, but for airy stuff- like the Olympians- not so much.

Of course these generalizations are very broad and period and locality might show contradictory evidence for any of this... But these ideas (and deities) were continuously cross pollinating amongst Jewish, Egyptian, and Greek (and later Roman) magical traditions (and others of course). It could well account for the current notion, which itself could be why it is effective, is what I'm trying to say here.
This is a postcard sent from the dining room of the HMS Russel's Teapot. Wish you were here- the band is spot on tonight, and we're having "all the way down" turtle soup!

#19 Kuroyagi

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:20 PM

Void: I actually meant that *all* spirits whether cthonic or not tend to have an airy nature. I didn't mean gods btw. I thought of spirits more in a shamanic sense…Like in ghosts, apparitions or spirits of wind water and the mountains etc...it is an issue of dispute that could get complicated, maybe.

Edited by Kuroyagi, 13 May 2014 - 11:20 PM.


#20 voidgazing

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 12:48 AM

Oh its already complicated :-D I'm not making any assertion about the nature of spirits or their interaction with iron... Just tracing where this idea came from, and trying to suss out whether there is inherent value in iron for such purposes or if we give it that value.
This is a postcard sent from the dining room of the HMS Russel's Teapot. Wish you were here- the band is spot on tonight, and we're having "all the way down" turtle soup!





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