Tin - For Body & Soul: The History and Use of Tin in the Far East
Since the discovery of tin in Thailand over two millennia ago, it has helped to shape the world as we know it, not only as material for tools and utensils but also as an important part of our spiritual and cultural make up.
History of Tin
The earliest mining of tin ore (SnO2) was performed in the Kathu district of Phuket in Thailand.
Master craftsmen in the Far East discovered that by smelting a small quantity of tin with copper, great advantages ensued.
The new metal that was created was called bronze and not only was it hard and strong, it was also immune to corrosion.
This compound was very useful, and was used to make weapons for use in battle, such as spearheads, swords, arrows and axes.
Tin & Spirituality
Tin has a strong spiritual link to the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter. This planet is known as the Planet of Expansion due to it being wider than all the other planets combined.
Jupiter is a ruler, a teacher to the sacred, thus placing it above other influences in the galaxy. It is described as a life giver (Jiva), a knowledge giver (Jhana) and a provider of happiness (Sukha).
It supports children in their growth, teachers and ministers. It enhances intellect, increases an enthusiasm for life, and highlights the honor and kindness of the individual.
When in good aspect in transit, Jupiter can bring exceptionally good harvest, prosperity and peace.
It governs health and education and has been known as an aid to alleviate human suffering. These advantages are seen through its metallic correspondence, tin.
Uses of Tin
Due to its soft white shiny appearance and the influential effect it had when used in alloys, tin was known as "Jupiter's gift to mankind."
Not only was it used to make weaponry but it also came to be used to make religious artifacts such as temple bells, cauldrons and bowls.
As the primary constituent of pewter, tin found its way into the home too. Mugs and beer tankards made from pewter came to be used on a wide scale and tin cups are still popular in today's culture.
Connected with the nature of the planet Jupiter as a preserver of youth, tin has been proved to be important in preventing fatigue and depression.
Tin cups are said to help those who use them to combat these ailments. They also smooth the taste of alcoholic beverages and naturally purify the water that is drunk from them.
Tin in Japan
Many Asian countries have benefited from the use of tin. For thousands of years it has been used in the temples and shrines of Japan and continues to be used to this day.
The Imperial Court is just one of many institutions that has taken on tin. An alloy of tin known as sahari is used to make water storage jars for the tea ceremony.
Japan's modern love affair with tin began in 1874 when the tin toys were first introduced to the country.
Their popularity increased as domestic manufacturers began to make toys linked with Japanese culture such as jinrikisha (or "rick shaw" as they are known in the west) and baby turtles.
After the First World War, the Japanese tin toy industry surpassed that of Germany and Japan became the world's leading producer.
After World War II, the major use of tin was no longer for entertainment purposes. It was once again, as in ancient times, used as a means of survival. Japan's defeat saw it lose over three million civilians and forty three percent of its territory.
Many cities and towns had been reduced to ashes and people were desperate. Due to the lack of housing, makeshift homes were built, covered by tin roofs.
Tin is still abundant in the Far East and "tin shack", "tin roof" and "tin can" still feature in today's vocabulary. Tin is not only non-toxic but also requires no harmful detergents to maintain its upkeep.
A rare and beneficial material, tin is eco-friendly, very marketable and, most importantly beneficial both physically and mentally due to its spiritual links to the planet Jupiter otherwise known as the "Lord of Plenty".