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Last modified: 2004-08-14 by
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Astronomical symbols

symbol “planet” alchem. ass. symb. origin/mnem.
Moon silver (Ag)
Mercury mercury (Hg)
Venus copper (Cu) handheld mirror
Sun gold (Au)
Mars iron (Fe) shield and spear
Jupiter tin (Sn)
Saturn lead (Pb)
(combined from contributions below)

The traditional astrological symbol for Mars is also used as the scientific symbol for male, in the same way that the astrological symbol for Venus, a circle with a cross below it, is used scientifically for female. All the planets (plus the sun and moon) have similar representations.
James Dignan, 19 Jul 2004

The symbols all date from the middle ages. The Mars symbol is basically a shield and spear (Mars/Ares was the god of war.) Each of the “planets” (that included the sun and moon in those days) was also associated with a metal in medieval alchemy
Albert Kirsch, 19 Jul 2004