Jung, C. G. (1967) Alchemical Studies , The collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 13. Bollingen Series XX, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J.

§15 “Nonetheless, it was impossible not to feel the clash of opposites, so they sought a way of life in which they would be what the Indians call nirdvandva, free of opposites.”

Ω §41 “He took this being to be the “entelechy” of the Aristotle and the “inner Christ” of the apostle Paul, the “spiritual and substantial individuality engendered within the physical and phenomenal personality, and representing, therefore, the rebirth of the man on a plane transcending the material.”

§60 “On a low level the animus is an inferior Logos, a caricature of the differentiated masculine mind, just as on a low level the anima is a caricature of the feminine Eros.”

§61 “The anima is nothing but a representation of the personal nature of the autonomous system in question.” (taken slightly out of context here)

§62 “I have defined the anima as a personification of the unconscious in general, and have taken it as a bridge to the unconscious, in other words, as a function of relationship to the unconscious.”

Ω §68 “Death is psychologically as important as birth, and, like it, is an integral part of life.”

Ω §68 “As a doctor, I make every effort to strengthen the belief in immortality, especially with the older patients when such questions come threateningly close. For, seen in correct psychological perspective, death is not an end but a goal, and life's inclination towards death begins as soon as the meridian is passed.”

Σ §71 “for all religions are therapies for the sorrows and disorders of the soul.”

Σ §71 “anyone with a more than superficial desire to understand cannot fail to discover that without the most serious application of hte Christian values we have acquired, the new integration can never take place.”

§73 “One cannot grasp anythin metaphysically, one only can do so psychologically. Therefore I strip things of their metaphysical wrappings in order to make them objects of psychology. In that way I can at least extract something understandable from them and avail myself of it, and I also discover psychological facts and processes that before were veiled in symbols and beyond my comprehension.”

§75 “Therefore it seems to me far more reasonable to accord the psyche the same validity as the empirical world, and to admit that the former has just as much “reality” as the latter. As I see it, the psyche is a world in which the ego is contained.”

§76 “This fact could be best expressed by the words “It is not I who live, it lives me.” The illusion is shattered by a recognition of the unconscious, the unconscious will appear as something objective in which the ego is included.”

Just out of curiosity, notice that he does not say 'in which the ego is “contained”', as he said earlier at the end of §75 “As I see it, the psyche is a world in which the ego is contained.” I may be splitting hairs here, but the subtle differences seem to me to leave just enough room for interpretation by the reader as the categorical definition is not there really, as it shouldn't be. The ego is included but not 'contained' in this last explanation, but included in as though it may too be of its own existence and invited to the party so to speak.

Ω §76, footnote 2 “To a primitive mind, there is nothing disturbing in this odd mixture of the physical and the spiritual, because life and death are by no means the complete opposites they are for us.”

Ω §76, footnote 2 “It is characteristic of Western man that he has split apart the physical and the spiritual for the epistemological purposes. But these opposites exist together in the psyche and psychology must recognise this fact. “Psychic” means physical and spiritual. The ideas in our text all deal with this “intermediate” world which seems unclear and confused because the concept of psychic reality is not yet current among us, although it expresses life as it actually is.”

Ω Jung is talking about metaphysical assertions here in the context of west meets east and the metaphysical language embraced and used by the east in their philosophy. That as a westerner, we are not adept to grasping the metaphysical without firstly understanding the psychological. Only then may the metaphysical concepts, ideas and 'realities' [my words] touch us and become known to us. I find this interesting though in that he relates physical and spiritual with life and death in the primitive mind. I enjoy this as life and death are not different to the psyche, to the unconscious.

Ω §78 “This remarkable experience seems to me a consequence of detachment of consciousness, thanks to which the subjective “I live” becomes the objective “It lives me”. This state is felt to be higher than the previous one; it is really like a sort of release from the compulsion and impossible responsibility that are the inevitable results of participation mystique.”

Ω Jung is talking here of the release of consciousness in the context of a religious experience but to my mind no less valuable or viable rather when your 'church' is say something like extreme sports where a release of consciousness is possible - an ego death. It is handing over to the unconscious in a way, to the objectives of the Self. This is not possible for long periods of time though, in itself it is not possible at all. But, it is an alignment with the Self, a resonance with the objectives of your Self that bring about this imbued experience of conscious release to something more powerful.

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§86 (III, i, 2.) ”…the priest of the inner sanctuaries, and I submit myself to an unendurable torment.5 …and mingled the bones with the pieces of flesh, and caused them to be burned upon the fire of the art, till I perceived by the transformation of the body that I had become spirit.“ (III, vi, 1.) “And I saw an altar which was in the shape of a bowl, and a fiery spirit stood upon the altar, and tended the fire for the seething and the boiling and the burning of the men who rose up from it.” (this is the priest in Zosimos' dream talking)
5 literally 'punishment.' Here it means the torment which the prima materia has to undergo in order to be transformed. This procedure is called mortificatio.

§89 “This anima was set free not only by means of the “cooking”, but also by the sword dividing the “egg”, or by the separatio, or by dissolution into the four “roots” or elements.5 The separatio was often represented as the dismemberment of a human body.6 Of the aqua permanens it was said that it dissolved the bodies into the four elements. Altogether, the divine water possessed the power of transformation. It transformed the nigredo into the albedo through the miraculous “washing” ( ablutio); it animated inert matter, made the dead to rise again, 7 and therefore possessed the virtue of the baptismal water in the ecclesiastical rite.8

§90 “A Latin proverb says: canis panem somniat, piscator pisces (the dog dreams of bread, the fisherman of fish). The alchemist, too, dreams in his own specific language.”
I really like this, as it speaks I think to how we could view fairytales too.

§91 “The central image in our dream-vision shows us a kind of sacrificial act undertaken for the purpose of alchemical transformation. It is characteristic of this rite that the priest is at once the sacrificer and the sacrificed.”

§97 “The Hermetic vessel, too, is a uterus of spiritual renewal or rebirth.”

§97 “In the “Dictionary of Goldmaking,” Osiris is the name for lead and sulphur, both of which are synonyms for the arcane substance.”

§101 “He says of the round or omega element: “It consists of two parts. It belongs to the seventh zone, that of Kronos,40 in the language of the corporeal ( some Greek here); but in the language of the incorporeal it is something different, that may not be revealed. Only Nikotheos knows it, and he is not to be found41. In the language of the corporeal it is named Okeanos, the origin and seed, so they say, of all the gods.”“
40 That is, Saturn, who was regarded as the dark “counter sun.” Mercurius is the child of Saturn, and also of the sun and moon.
41 Cf. Psychology and Alchemy, par. 456, §6

§102 “Steeb goes on to say that when the celestial waters were animated by the spirit, they immediately fell into a circular motion, from which arose the perfect spherical form of the anima mundi. The rotundum is therefore a bit of the world soul, and this may well have been the secret that was guarded by Zosimos.”

§101 “As is clear from the context, the rotundum is identical with the aqua permanens ” [cf para.89 above, and §87 (III,i,4)]

Ω §104 “In the divine water, whose dyophysite nature is constantly emphasized, two principles balance one another, active and passive, masculine and feminine, which constitute the essence of creative power in the eternal cycle of birth and death. This cycle was represented in ancient alchemy by the symbol of the uroboros…” (italics mine)

§105 “In the divine water, whose dyophysite nature <Greek text here>60 is constantly emphasised, two principles balance one another, active and passive, masculine and feminine, which constitute the essence of creative power in the eternal cycle of birth and death.61 This cycle was represented in ancient alchemy by the symbol of the uroboros, the dragon that bites its own tail.62 Self-devouring is the same as self-destruction,63 but the union of the dragon's tail and mouth was also thought of as self-fertilisation.”
60 It shares this quality with Mercurius duplex.

§106 “The vision is concerned with a shining male figure wearing a crown of stars. (cf. para 273 below) …. Generally speaking, the figure of the king is associated with the motif of the mortificatio.”

§107 ”…for the head of a man signifies above all the seat of consciousness.68
68 Cf. my remards on the Harranite head mystery and the legendary head oracle of Pope Sylvester II (cf. “Transformation Symbolism in the Mass”, pp. 240f.).

§109 “As an arcanum, the egg is a synonym for the water.71. It is also a synonym for the dragon (mercurial serpent)72 and hence for the water in the special sense of the microcosm or monad. Since water and egg are synonymous, the division of the egg with the sword is also applied to the water. “Take the vessel, cut it through with the sword, take its soul … thus is this water of ours our vessel.”73 The vessel likewise is a synonym for the egg, hence the recipe: “Pour into a round glass vessel, shaped like a phial or egg.”74 The egg is a copy of the World-Egg, the egg-white corresponding to the “waters above the firmament,” the “shining liquor,” and the yolk to the physical world.75 The egg contains the four elements.76
I've not written all the footnotes here but they are worth referencing, particularly concerning the identity of Uroboros and egg.

§117 “There is a similar idea in the “Liber Quartorum”: “The vessel …must be round in shape, that the artifex may be the transformer of the firmament and the brain-pan, just as the thing which we need is a simple thing.”117 These ideas go back to the head symbolism in Zosimos, but at the same time they are an intimation that the transformation takes place in the head and is a psychic process.”
117 Theatr. chem. , V (1660), p. 134. The res simplex refers, ultimately, to God. It is “insensible.” The soul is simple, and the “opus is not perfected unless the matter is turned into the simple” (p. 116). “The understanding is the simple soul,” and “knows also what is higher than it, and the One God surrounds it, whose nature it cannot comprehend” (p. 129). “That from which things have their being is the invisible and immoveable God, by whose will the understanding is created” (p. 129)
The Liber Quartorum refers here to the “Liber Platonis quartorum,” the “Treatise of Platonic Tetralogies” found in Vol. 5 of Theatrum Chemicum (= Theatr. chem. ).

§118 “It is in truth the inner man, presented here as a homunculus, who passes through the stages that transform the copper into silver and the silver into gold, and who thus undergoes a gradual enhancement of value.”

An explanation of why metals are used so much in Alchemy - useful.
§119 “It sounds very strange to modern ears that the inner man and his spiritual growth should be symbolised by metals. But the historical facts cannot be doubted, nor is the idea peculiar to alchemy. It is said, for instance, that after Zarathustra had received the drink of omniscience from Ahuramazda, he beheld in a dream a tree with four branches of gold, silver, steel, and mixed iron. This tree corresponds to the metallic tree of alchemy, the arbor philosophica , which, if it has any meaning at all, symbolises spiritual growth and the highest illumination. …It seems that nature is out to prod man's consciousness towards greater expansion and greater clarity, and for this reason continually exploits his greed for metals, especially the precious ones, and makes him seek them out and investigate their properties.”

I like this explanation very much…
§122 “The representation of the “alchemystical” process by persons needs a little explanation. The personification of lifeless things is a remnant of primitive and archaic psychology. It is caused by unconscious identity, or what Lévy-Bruhl called participation mystique . The unconscious identity, in turn, is caused by the projection of unconscious contents into an object, so that theses contents then become accessible to consciousness as qualities apparently belonging to the object. Any object that is at all interesting provokes a considerable number of projections.”…theres more here to be read that presents a simple explanation of Alchemical projections.

§125 ” Thanks to the unconscious identity with it, man and cosmos interact . The following passage, of the utmost importance for the psychology of alchemy, should be understood in this sense: “And as man is composed of the four elements, so also is the stone, and so it is [dug] out of man, and you are its ore, namely by working; and from you it is extracted, namely by division; and in you it remains inseparably, namely through the science.”11 Not only do things appear personified as human beings, but the macrocosm personifies itself as a man too. 'The whole of nature converges in man as in a centre, and one participates in the other, and man has not unjustly concluded that the material of the philosophical stone may be found everywhere.”12
Bold emphasis mine. I find this a very good introductory statement about Alchemy and the micro/macro-cosm symbolism used.

Σ §127 “What unconscious nature was ultimately aiming at when she produced the image of the lapis can be seen most clearly in the notion that it originated in matter and in man, that it was to be found everywhere, and that its fabrication lay at least potentially within man's reach. These qualities all reveal what were felt to be the defects in the Christ image at that time: an air too rarefied for human needs, too great a remoteness, a place left vacant in the human heart. Men felt the absence of the “inner” Christ who belonged to every man. Christ's spirituality was too high and man's naturalness was too low.” … “The lapis may therefore be understood as a symbol of the inner Christ, of God in man. I use the expression “symbol” on purpose, for though the lapis is a parallel of Christ, it is not meant to replace him. On the contrary, in the course of the centuries the alchemists tended more and more to regard the lapis as the culmination of Christ's work of redemption.”

Σ §127 “Correctly recognising the spiritual one-sidedness of the Christ image, theological speculation had begun very early to concern itself with Christ's body, that is, with his materiality, and had temporarily solved the problem with the hypothesis of the resurrected body. But because this was only a provisional and therefor not an entirely satisfactory answer, the problem logically presented itself again in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, leading first to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and finally to that of the Assumption.” … “The assumption and coronation of Mary, as depicted in the medieval illustrations, add a fourth, feminine principle to the masculine Trinity. The result is a quaternity, which forms a real and not merely postulated symbol of totality.”
The Assumption of the Virgin Mary was the taking of her body to heaven at the end of her life.

§134 “Psychological research has shown that the historical or ethnological symbols are identical with those spontaneously produced by the unconscious, and that the lapis represents the idea of a transcendent totality which coincides with what analytical psychology calls the self.”

Ω §135 “Since the long sought water, as we have shown, represents a cycle of birth and death, every process that consists of death and rebirth is naturally a symbol of the divine water.”

Σ §139 “The drama shows how the divine process of change manifests itself to our human understanding and how man experiences it - as punishment, torment,1 death, and transfiguration.”
1 ….In medieval alchemy the torturing of the materia was an allegory of Christ's passion …

Δ §140 “The mystical side of alchemy, as distinct from its historical aspect, is essentially a psychological problem. To all appearances, it is a concretisation, in projected and symbolic form, of the process of individuation.”

§141 ”…from which it is clearly seen that knowledge of the light in man must emerge in the first place from within and cannot be placed there from without…“
Italics mine

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Paracelsus (born Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, 11 November or 17 December 1493 – 24 September 1541) was a German-Swiss Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer, and general occultist.

§148 ”“Magic,” he says, is “the preceptor and teacher of the physician,”5 who derives his knowledge from the lumen naturae .”

§153 “The words that flowed into his pen came less from deep reflection than from the spirit of the age in which he lived.”
I like this because I think it informs the way in which we must read not only Paracelsus but Alchemy even as Jung said above in §140. The alchemical writings I think are unconscious emanations put to paper in many ways, and this is how they need to be read. He goes on…
…“Beyond that, we succumb to the unconscious influences of our environment. Though we may not be clear in a logical sense about the deepest meanings of our words and actions, these meanings nevertheless exist and they have a psychological effect. Whether we know it or not, there remains in each of us the tremendous tension between the man who serves God and the man who commands God to do his bidding.”
I have no idea what this means really. I think here Jung raises the discussion to a point where he brings Paracelsus' comments in to relevance of the current psychological discussion and saying that they are still relevant from a psychological perspective irrespective of the epoch in which they were written.

§154 “Not for nothing was Paracelsus the prototype of Faust, whom Jacob Burckhardt once called “a great primordial image” in the soul of every German. From Faust the line leads direct to Nietzsche, who was a Faustian man if ever there was one. What still maintained the balance in the case of Paracelsus and Angelus Silesius - “I under God and God under me” was lost in the twentieth century, and the scale sinks lower and lower under the weight of an ego that fancies itself more and more godlike. Paracelsus shared with Angelus Silesius his inner piety and the touching but dangerous simplicity of his relationship to God.”
Italics mine. I think this is very important. They had a relationship with God that was both dangerous and simple but somehow managed to keep the balance was their piety (in part) Jung says…something being lost to the weight of the ego. I lke the idea of a simple relationship.

§155 “For him magic and wisdom of nature had their place within the divinely ordained order as a mysteruim et magnale Dei, and so it was not difficult for him to bridge the gulf into which half the world had plunged.22
22 “I'm left to struggle still towards the light:
Could I but break the spell, all magic spurning,
And clear my path, all sorceries unlearning,
Free then, in Nature's sight, from evil ban,
I'd know at last the worth of being man.”
(Faust: Part Two, Trans. Wayne, pp. 263f.) Faust's belated insight never dawned on Paracelsus.

§155 “Paracelsus was a little too sure that he had his enemy in front of him, and did not notice that it was lodged in his own bosom. He consisted of two persons who never really confronted one another.”

§155 ”…whenever anything unworthy of belief has to be insisted on in the teeth of inner resistance… The word is charged with the task of achieving what cannot be done by honest means.”
I like this - when language is so complicated for the sake of making a point.

§156 Jung goes on here about Paracelsus being lost and a little naive in the arts of magic…worth a read, and not worth re-writing the whole paragraph.

Δ §157 “With the triumph of Christianity under Constantine the old pagan ideas did not vanish but lived on in the strange arcane terminology of philosophical alchemy. Its chief figure was Hermes or Mercurius, in his dual significance as quicksilver and the world soul, with his companion figures Sol (= gold) and Luna (= silver). The alchemical operation consisted essentially in separating the prima materia, the so-called chaos, into the active principle, the soul, and the passive principle, the body, which were then reunited in personified form in the coniunctio or “chymical marriage.” In other words, the coniunctio was allegorised as the hierosgamos, the ritual cohabitation of Sol and Luna. From this union sprang the filius sapientiae or filius philosophorum, the transformed Mercurius, who was thought of as hermaphroditic in token of his rounded perfection. [Cf. fig. B2]“
filius = child of, a son, sapientiae = good taste, good sense, discernment, discretion, prudence, intelligence, forethought, sedes sapientiae = throne of wisdom. Philosophorum = philosophy.
The image/figure Jung is cross referencing is shown below, it's on p153.

§158 ”…the whole of his philosophy in so far as it is not Cabalistic. It is evident from his writings that he had a considerable knowledge of Hermitic literature.29
Hermetic = of or relating to an ancient occult tradition encompassing alchemy, astrology, and theosophy.

Δ §158 ”… the Aurora consurgens (a treatise falsely ascribed to St. Thomas Aquinas) on account of its “blasphemous character”…“
I write this here as I think it interesting that, at least at the time of Jung writing this, he does not attribute the Aurora Consurgens to St. Thomas Aquinas. Whereas, in reading Transformation of the Psyche we find the authors agreeing with Marie Louise Von Franz that it was most likely an expulsion of unconscious content by Aquinas in his last days, perhaps when he was ill towards the end of his life and perhaps going a bit nuts.

The remainder of §158 is an interesting commentary on where Paracelsus' priorities for Alchemy lay, being most likely in that of the medical benefit and not necessarily the alchemical opus. Although, as Jung points out there is evidence that suggests he saw himself as a physician - inline with alchemical philosophy - as being transformed by the 'art', but that most likely he was interested in the arcana the “secret remedies”.

§160 ”…lead us back to the known alchemical and astrological tradition, from which we can see that his doctrine of the corpus astrale was not a new discovery.”
§161 “But that other pivot of Paracelsus's teaching, his belieft in the light of nature, allows us to surmise connections which illuminate the obscurities of his religio medica.”
Emphasis mine. I put these two references together as I think it worthwhile to note the categorisation or approach Jung is taking to Paracelsus' work.

§162 “This idea of the light, with Paracelsus as with other alchemists, coincides with the concept of Sapientia and Scientia.”
Sapientia = Scientia = a knowing, knowledge, intelligence, science.

§163 “Man takes the place of the Creator. Medieval alchemy prepared the way for the greatest intervention in the divine world order that man has ever attempted: alchemy was the dawn of the scientific age, when the daemon of the scientific spirit compelled the forces of nature to serve man to an extent that had never been known before. …Science and technology have indeed conquered the world, but whether the psyche has gained anything is another matter.”

§168 “For Paracelsus the Primordial Man (Adam Kadmon) was identical with the “astral” man: “The true man is the star in us.”.55”“
Parenthesis mine

Δ §171 “The idea that the art can make something higher than nature is typically alchemical.”

§173 “Paracelsus does not fail to point out to his reader that this fire is not the same as the fire in the furnace. This fire, he says, contains nothing more of the “Salamandrine Essence or Melusinian Ares,” but is rather a ”retorta distillatio from the midst of the centre, beyond all coal fire.” Since Melusina is a watery creature, the “Melusinian Ares” refers to the so-called “Aquaster.” which stands for the watery aspect of the Iliaster, i.e., the Iliaster which animates and preserves the liquids in the body.”
The Splendor Solis, and the image above from the Rosarium. cRef §179pp. Its worth noting too that Hera gave the Sirens wings to find Persephone. Ares is the god of war (= Mars). The Salamander symbolises the fire of the alchemists (cRef §177 below), it was said to live in fire. The Salamander is also the “incombustible sulphur” - another name for the arcane substance from which the lapis or filius is produced. Read further in §178.

§173 “The symbolical names of the prima materia all point to the anima mundi, Plato's Primordial Man, the Anthropos and mystic Adam, who is described as a sphere (=wholeness), consisting of four parts (uniting different aspect in itself), hermaphroditic (beyond division be sex), and damp (i.e., psychic). This paints a picture of the self, the indescribable totality of man.”

§175 “Whereas the Iliaster seems to be a dynamic spiritual principle, capable of both good and evil, the Aquaster, because of its watery nature, is more a “psychic” principle with quasi-material attributes (since the bodies of Christ and Mary partook of it). …Of all the Paracelsan concepts, therefore, the Aquaster comes closest to the modern concept of the unconscious.”

§176, footnote “Astrologically, Mars characterises the instinctual and affective nature of man. The subjugation and transformation of this nature seems to be the theme of the alchemical opus.”
Read more in reference here to Ares = Mars, and the Wolf as the animal of Mars.

§177 “The salamander symbolises the fire of the alchemists. …The salamander is also the “incombustible sulphur” - another name for the arcane substance from which the lapis of filius is produced. The fire for heating the artifex contains nothing more of the nature of the salamander, which is an immature, transitional form of the filius, that incorruptible being whose symbols indicate the self.”

Δ §178 “It is characteristic of Paracelsan thinking, and of alchemy in general, that there are no clear-cut concepts, so that one concept can take the place of another ad infinitum.”

The Basilisk is very interesting. The king of snakes said to be able to kill with its stair as well as its venom. It is sometimes depicted with crown, it is said to have had a crown shaped crest or mitre on its head. Agrippa wrote that the basilisk “is always, and cannot but be a male, as the more proper receptacle of venome and destructive qualities.”

§180 “For anyone familiar with the subliminal processes of psychic transformation, Melusina is clearly an anima figure. She appears as a variant of the mercurial serpent, which was sometimes represented in the form of a snake-woman by way of expressing the monstrous, double nature of Mercurius. The redemption of this monstrosity was depicted as the assumption and coronation of the Virgin Mary.”

Δ §183 “And of the worthless prima materia they [the alchemists] say: “Despise not the ash, for it is the diadem of they heart, and the ash of things that endure.”“
Square brackets mine

The filius regius = Kings Son, or Rex marinus seems to me to be very important and linked to the Melusina, who is a variant of the mercurial serpent, also the Arcane Substance, see §177 pp. above.”

Δ §187 “When this is purified by the fire in the sun,77 the pure water78 comes forth, and, having returned to simplicity,79 it [the quaternity as unity] will show the adept the fulfilment of the mysteries.”
77 The sun is the birthplace of the “spiritual fire,” mentioned above. Light symbols always refer psychologically to consciousness or to a content that is becoming conscious.
78 The aqua pura is the aqua permanens of the Latin and Arabic alchemists and the <greek test here> of the Greeks. It is the spiritus mercurialis in water form, which in turn serves to extract the “soul” of the substance. The spiritus mercurialis corresponds to the spiritual fire, hence aqua = ignis. Although these terms are used indiscriminately, they are not the same, since fire is active, spiritual, emotional, close to consciousness, whereas water is passive, material, cool, and of the nature of the unconscious. Both are necessary to the alchemical process since this is concerned with the union of opposites. Cf. Psychology and Alchemy, Fig. 4.

Δ Σ §187 “In these relations between four, three, two, and one is found, says Dorn, the “culmination of all knowledge and of the mystic art, and the infallible midpoint of the centre (infallibile medii centrum).”80 The One is the midpoint of the circle, the centre of the triad, and it is also the “novenary foetus” (foetus novenarius), i.e., it is as the number nine to the ogdoad, or as the quintessence to the quaternity.81
81 Dorn, “Duellum animi cum corpore,” Theatr. chem., I (1659), p. 482. This number symbolism refers to the axiom of Maria: “One becomes Two, Two becomes Three, and out of the Third comes One as the Fourth” (Berthelot, Alch. grecs, VI, v, 6). This axiom runs through the whole of alchemy, and is not unconnected with the Christian speculations regarding the Trinity. Cf. my “Psychology and Religion,” p. 60, and “A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity, ” pp. 164ff.
Theatrum Chemicum (= Theatr. chem. ).

Λ §195 “And as a matter of fact he was right, for the human soul is not something cut off from nature. It is a natural phenomenon like any other, and its problems are just as important as the questions and riddles which are presented by the diseases of the body. Moreover there is scarcely a disease of the body in which psychic factors do not play a part, just as physical ones have to be considered in many psychogenic disturbances.”

Σ §196 “It the opus alchymicum claimed equality with the opus divinum of the Mass, the reason for this was not grotesque presumption but the fact that a vast, unknown Nature, disregarded by the eternal verities of the Church, was imperiously demanding recognition and acceptance.”

§197 “The light from above made the darkness still darker' but the lumen naturae is the light of the darkness itself, which illuminates its own darkness, and this light the darkness comprehends.”

Δ §198 “Not separation of the natures but union of the natures was the goal of alchemy.”
This is in the context of Nature, and the lumen naturae. The rest of the paragraph is a good read on the nature of Nature, and Nature worship in some way.
…“It strives not for isolation but for union, for the wedding feast followed by death and rebirth.”…I like that, it continues…“Paracelsus's “exaltation in May” is this marriage, the “gamonymus” or hierosgamos of light and darkness in the shape of Sol and Luna. Here the opposites unite what the light from above had sternly divided.”
gamo- [ Gr. gamos, marriage ]
heiro- [ Gr. hieros, holy ]

§199 “Here only the symbol helps, for, in accordance with its paradoxical nature, it represents the “tertium” that in logic does not exist, but which in reality is the living truth.”

§199 ”…for the symbol not only conveys a visualisation of the process but - and this is perhaps just as important - it also brings a re-experiencing of it , of that twilight which we can learn to undertand only through inoffensive empathy, but which too much clarity only dispels.”
Italics and highlight mine. I think this is great, a quality of the symbolic that is not often expressed. The quality to return to a symbol and recall, re-experience…I have felt this. It is important therefore not to contain the symbol or it will dispel its magic as Jung says.

§208 “This contradiction is resolved when we bear in mind that these concepts of Paracelsus were the result not of rational reflection but of intuitive introspection, which was able to grasp the quaternary structure of consciousness and its archetypal nature. The one is mortal, the other immortal.”
The contradiction Jung is referring to here is that of the immortal nature of the lumen naturae (although he mentions that Paracelsus mentions in other writings other than the Vita Longa (= long life) that the lumen naturae are mortal) and the mortal powers of the Scaiolae (the lovers of wisdom) and the 'mental powers and virtues, properties of the arts of the mind', the conscious mind, i.e. mortal.

Λ Σ §210 “I do not know how many or how few people today can imagine what “coming to terms with the unconscious” means. ….It is on the one hand an endeavour to understand the archetypal world of the psyche, on the other hand a struggle against the sanit-threatening danger of fascination by the measureless heights and depths and paradoxes of psychic truth. The denser, concretistic, daytime mind here reaches its limits; for the “Cedurini” (Paracelsus), the “men of crasser temperament” (Dorn), there is no way into “the untrodden, the untreadable regions” - “and in this place,” says Paracelsus, “the Aquaster does not break in” (the damp soul that is akin to matter). Here the human mind is confronted with its origins, the archetypes; the finite consciousness with its archaic foundations; the mortal ego with the immortal self, Anthropos, purusha, atman, or whatever else be the names that human speculation has given to that collective preconscious state from which the individual ego arose.”
See §175 for the Aquaster; ” the Aquaster comes closest to the modern concept of the unconscious .” So here we see that the Aquaster = unconscious does not break or cave in to the 'crasser temperament' or concretistic mind.
…“The more it is bound by time and space, the more it will feel the other as “that difficult Adech” who crosses its purpose at every misguided step, who gives fate an unexpected twist, and sets it as a task the very thing it feared. …Moreover, the secret doctrine of the Anthropos was dangerous because it had nothing to do with the teachings of the Church, since from that point of view Christ was a reflection - and only a reflection - of the inner Anthropos.”
Adech = Adam, Anthropos. cRef. §209, footnote 26. I wonder if this duality: immortal, and mortal nature (see end of §208) could be related to the 'dyophysite nature of Jesus' discussion. Also, in reading these last 3 paragraphs we can understand the contradiction of 'the other' perhaps appearing mortal in nature, where the more we bind it by time and space as Jung say, it becomes an annoying (“ that difficult Adech ”) other, but is the unconscious not bound by time and space. See §208

Δ §212 “…the alchemical opus, which always remains the same as a general procedure though its goal may vary: sometimes it is the production of gold (chrysopoea), sometimes the elixir, sometimes the aurum potabile or, finally, the mysterious filius unicus. Also, the artifex can have a selfish or an idealistic attitude towards the work.”
If the procedure is the same, I wonder if the procedures and rituals would still work if undertaken in this day and age, not dissimilar to the church rituals. I've always thought the rituals were there for the good reason of teaching the discipline and thought. After that, for the work to go deeper, people must look inside. But its important to have the ritual because if there was nothing there people could say, “I'll just do the work in my head”, but I don't think we can do that all the time, we need something to be structuring us, procedure'ing us…so to speak, even if its just the learning, or praying…setting time aside.

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A. Melusina and the process of individuation

§216 “The figure of Melusina is eminently suited to this purpose. The anima belongs to those borderline phenomena which chiefly occur in special psychic situations. They are characterised by the more or less sudden collapse of a form or style of life which till then seemed the indispensable foundation of the individual's whole career. …bridges back into the past broken, but there seems to be no way forward into the future. One is confronted with a hopeless and impenetrable darkness, an abysmal void that is now suddenly filled with an alluring vision, ….”

§218 “According to the legend, Raymond found himself in the catastrophic situation we have described, when his whole way of life had collapsed and he faced ruin. That is the moment when the harbinger of fate, the anima, an archetype of the collective unconscious, appears.”

§218 “Special mention should be made of Conrad Vecerius, according to whom Melusina, Melyssina, comes from an island in the sea where nine sirens dwell, who can change into any shape they want. This is of particular interest as Paracelsus mentions Melusina along with “Syrena.”“
…“Since the mercurial serpent of the alchemists is not infrequently called virgo and cRef Virgo sign, ruled by planet Mercury: 24 Aug - 23 Sep Virgo (Mercury), even before Paracelsus, was represented in the form of a Melusina, the latter's capacity to change her shape and to cure diseases is of importance in that these peculiarities were also predicted of Mercurius, and with special emphasis. On the other hand, Mercurius was also depicted as the grey-bearded Mercurius senex or Hermes Trimegistus, from which it is evident that two empirically very common archetypes, namely the anima and the Wise Old Man,13 flow together in the symbolic phenomenology of Mercurius.”
13Cf. my “Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious” and “Concerning the Archetypes, with Special Reference to the Anima Concept.”

§219 “The alchemists, and Paracelsus too, were no doubt confronted often enough with the dark abyss of not-knowing, and, unable to go forward, were on their own admission dependent on revelation of illumination or a helpful dream. …The snake form of the god of revelation, and of spirits in general, is a universal type.”

§222 “The “acts of Melusina” are deceptive phantasms compounded of supreme sense and the most pernicious nonsense, a veritable veil of Maya which lures and leads every mortal astray.”
Emphasis mine. I really like that, so full of sense, and also full on non-sense :) …“and catches the precious drops of the liquor Sophiae in the ready beaker of his soul, where they “open a window” for his understanding. Paracelsus is here alluding to a discriminative process of critical judgement which separates the chaff from the wheat - an indispensable part of any rapprochement with the unconscious.”
“It requires no art {As in the Art of Alchemy} to become stupid { Where stupid here is the encounter, not being stupid, but rather the confrontation with the phantasms, the non-sense…from which the sense must be extracted.} ; the whole art lies in extracting wisdom from stupidity. Stupidity is the mother of the wise, but cleverness never.”

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B. The Hierosgamos of the everlasting man

§223-224 about the union of conscious and unconscious as a result of an encounter with the Melusina.

Ω Σ §225 “Melusina, being a water-nixie, is closely connected with Morgana, the “sea-born,” whose classical counterpart is Aphrodite, the “foam-born.” Union with the feminine personification of the unconscious is, as we have seen, well-nigh eschatological experience, a reflection of which is to be found in the Apocalyptic Marriage of the Lamb, the Christian form of the hierosgamos. The passage runs (Revelation 19:6-10) …”

§226 “The is the specific definition of this experience of the coniunctio: the self which includes me includes many others also, for the unconscious that is “conceived in our mind” does not belong to me and is not peculiar to me, but is everywhere. It is the quintessence of the individual and at the same time the collective.”

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C. Spirit and Nature

§229 “No penal code and no moral code, not even the sublimest casuistry {Clever but unsound reasoning, esp. more questions.}, will ever be able to codify and pronounce just judgement upon the confusions, the conflicts of duty, and the invisible tragedies of the natural man in collision with the exigencies {Urgent need or demand} of culture. “Spirit” is one aspect, “Nature” another. …Nature must not win the game, but she cannot lose. And whenever the conscious mind clings to hard and fast concepts and gets caught in its own rules and regulations …nature pops up with her inescapable demands. Nature is not matter only, she is also spirit. Were that not so, the only source of spirit would be human reason. It is the great achievement of Paracelsus to have elevated the “light of nature” to a principle
A lumen naturae explanation or definition…I like this, this whole section §228-230 is good for understanding the lumen naturae
The lumen naturae is the natural spirit, whose strange and significant workings we can observe in the manifestations of the unconscious now that psychological research has come to realise that the unconscious is not just a 'subconscious' appendage or the dustbin of consciousness, but is a largely autonomous psychic system for compensating the biases and aberrations of the conscious attitude….it also extends beyond consciousness and, with its symbols, anticipates future conscious processes. It is therefore quite as much a 'supraconsciousness.'”

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D. The Ecclesiastical sacrament and the opus alchymicum

Σ §231 “Paracelsus, like many others, was unable to make use of the Christian symbolism because the Christian formula inevitably suggested the Christian solution and would thus have conduced to the very thing that had to be avoided. It was nature and her particular “light” that had to be acknowledged and lived with in the face of an attitude that assiduously overlooked them.” cRef. §232, the alchemists “less by word than by deed” replaced the “sacrament” of th echurch for that of the opus alchymicum …without, in their mind for the most part, any conflict with orthodox Christian standing.

Δ §231 “But one should not imagine Paracelsus or any other alchemist settling down to invent an arcane terminology that would make the new doctrine a kind of private code. {Alchemy} Such and undertaking would presuppose the existence of definite views and clearly defined concepts. But there is no question of that: non of the alchemists ever had any clear idea of what his philosophy was really about.

§231 is pretty good for understanding the approach to alchemy and the many 'varieties'.

§234 The Sapphire belongs to Venus. See the footnote, “The sapphirine material: that liquid in which there is no harmful matter.”

§234 “Mythologically, the personified Amor is a son of Venus and Mars, whose cohabitation in alchemy is a typical coniunctio.26
26The hermaphroditic Venus was regarded as typifying the coniunctio of Sulphur and Mercurius. Cf. Pernety, Fables égyptiennes et grecques , II, p. 119.

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The importance of Alchemy
Δ §237 “I had long been aware that alchemy is not only the mother of chemistry, but is also the forerunner of our modern psychology of the unconscious. Thus Paracelsus appears as a pioneer not only of chemical medicine but of empirical psychology and psychotherapy.”

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Part I

1. The spirit in the bottle

§240 “As you know, we can treat fairytales as fantasy products, like dreams, conceiving them to be spontaneous statements of the unconscious about itself.”

§241 “The oak stands for the still unconscious core of the personality, the plant symbolism indicating a state of deep unconsciousness.” In this context of the Spirit in the bottle fairytale being discussed in this section.

§241 4…The fox or hare is itself the “evasive” Mercurius as guide ( óδηγóς )

§242 “The roots extend into the inorganic realm, into the mineral kingdom. In psychological terms, this would mean that the self has its roots in the body, indeed in the body's chemical elements.” Again, its important to note the context of this statement in light of the discussion of the fairytale. Also though, where would the roots of a tree be otherwise. I guess in a dream or fantasy the tree could be in mid-air, but it seems to be a bit of a redundant comment about the roots. Perhaps the comment about the body relates particularly to this context of the fairytale.”

Empedocles: ( c. 493– c. 433 bc ), Greek philosopher, born in Sicily. He taught that the universe is composed of fire, air, water, and earth, which mingle and separate under the influence of the opposing principles of Love and Strife.

§243 “Presumably a magician, that is, an alchemist, caught and imprisoned it (the spirit in the bottle)Why an alchemist? I find this very interesting that Jung makes this statement without clarification. Why would it be an alchemist? I think it must be that in the context of this volume (Alchemical Studies) alchemy is clearly at the forefront. Also, that the alchemist as an investigator of the Art, and expounder of unconscious content it would be an alchemist type person = magician, who was close to engaging with the spirit mercurius, they would work in the alembic, i.e. the bottle, the sealed hermetic vase. So this would then make sense that an alchemist was at work here. That said, why in the 'dream' / fantasy / fairytale do we assume its an alchemist that was moving prior to this episode of the story? Well, I guess it was only the alchemist type person who engaged, the magician who worked with the elements to understand them and in that way highlighted the alchemist in the unconscious. So we could say that in each of us that archetype of the magician (as we know it does from Jung's other writings) exists. So the magician = alchemist is at work, and necessarily so, to contain and engage with these elements, i.e. the mercurial spirit. I spoke too soon :) ..see §244 for more detail.

Σ §243 “According to the same source, Christ himself is this tree.8 The tree comparison occurs as early as Eulogius of Alexandria (c. A.D. 600), who says: “Behold in the Father the root, in the Son the branch, and in the Spirit the fruit: for the substance [ουσια] in the three is one.”“
8 Theatrum chemicum, IV (1659) p.478 ”(Christ), who is the tree of life both spiritual and bodily.”

Σ §244 “But who is this well-intentioned Master (The alchemist from §243 above) who has the power to banish the principle of man's individuation? Such power is given only to a ruler of souls in the spiritual realm. The idea that the principle of individuation is the source of all evil is found in Schopenhauer and still more in Buddhism. In Christianity, too, human nature is tainted with original sin and is redeemed from this stain by Christ's self-sacrifice. Man in his “natural” condition is neither good nor pure, and if he should develop in the natural way the result would be a product not essentially different from an animal. Sheer instinctuality and naïve unconsciousness untroubled by a sense of guilt would prevail if the Master had not interrupted the free development of the natural being by introducing a distinction between good and evil and outlawing the evil. Since without guilt there is no moral consciousness and without awareness of differences no consciousness at all, we must concede that the strange intervention of the master of souls was absolutely necessary for the development of any kind of consciousness and in this sense was for the good.”
I've written out quite a lot here as it is very interesting what Jung is saying here I think particularly about guilt and consciousness of good and evil. cf. CW10 A psychological view of conscience.

§245 “The bottle is an artificial human product and thus signifies the intellectual purposefulness and artificiality of the procedure, whose obvious aim is to isolate the spirit from the surrounding medium. …Transparent glass is something like solidified water or air, both of which are synonyms for spirit.”

§246 ”…Mercurius, who was considered identical with the German national god, Wotan.”

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2. The connection between spirit and tree

§247 “In psychological terms, this means that the evil spirit is imprisoned in the roots of the self, (At the base of the oak tree) as the secret hidden in the principle (The tree being the principle) of individuation. …The tree of paradise serves as a prototype for this and similar tales: it, too, is not identical with the voice of the serpent (the voice of Mercurius here) which issued from it.1
1Mercurius, in the form of Lilith or Melusina, appears in the tree in the Ripley Scrowle. To this context belongs also the hamadryad as an interpretation of the so-called “Aenigma Bononiensis.” Cf. Mysterium Coniunctionis pp.68f.

§249 “The crucial point is that so long as the evil spirit can not be proved to be a subjective psychic experience, then even trees and other suitable objects would have, once again, to be seriously considered as its lodging places.” This is said in reference to the different levels of consciousness discussed in the preceding para. A subjective recognition is at the 'fifth level' of consciousness as Jung is describing it here - cF. here with On the Nature of the Psyche . This is a very interesting point really thrown in at the end of this section. It is important that Jung is presuming here a level of consciousness that accepts psychic reality.

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3. The problem of freeing Mercurius

§251 “Be that as it may, the behaviour of the boy - successfully as it worked out for him - must be described as alchemically incorrect.”
Jung mentions this in keeping with the objective of the Alchemists who kept Mercurius in the bottle at all costs with the seal of Solomon - the sealed Hermetic vase. The spirit was put there by someone (an alchemist?) and so releasing the spirit in to the world - the tale does not mention what happens with the released spirit - was not his to do.
”…he was also totally unconscious of what might follow if this turbulent spirit were let loose upon the world.”

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Part II

1. Introductory

§252 “Thus it was a philologist (Philology = the branch of knowledge that deals with the structure, historical development, and relationships of a language or languages.), Reitzenstein, whom we have to thank for preliminary researches of the greatest value…. It was he who recognised the mythological and Gnostic ideas embedded in alchemy, thereby opening up the whole subject from an angle which promises to be most fruitful.”

§253 “To begin with, of course, it is almost impossible for our scientifically trained minds to feel their way back into that primitive state of participation mystique in which subject and object are identical.”
I find this very helpful as the necessary mindset when one reads alchemy - it is invaluable to imagine how it must have been for someone of the middle ages to engage in the seemingly incomprehensible characteristics of chemistry as the scientific approach/method evolved - 'impossible' even for us, as Jung points out. He goes on:
“On the primitive level, the whole of life is governed by animistic assumptions, that is, by projections of subjective contents into objective situations.”
…priceless when it comes to understanding alchemy.
“What to the chemist seem to be the absurd fantasies of alchemy can be recognised by the psychologist without too much difficulty as psychic material contaminated with chemical substances. … On account of the primitive character of its projections, alchemy, so barren a field for the chemist, is for the psychologist a veritable gold-mine of materials which throw an exceedingly valuable light on the structure of the unconscious.

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2. Mercurius as quicksilver and/or water

Argent Vive (French) : Argent = 'Silver', & Vive = 'Life', to 'live long'.

§255 “Mercurius as the arcane substance and golden tincture is indicated by the designation aqua aurea and by the description of the water as Mercurii caduceus .”
Crazy Latin…
aurea (noun) = bridle of a horse.
aureus = of gold, golden. The adjective is aurea .
Although the reference to the horse is still interesting when you consider the 'wet fire' was known too as 'horse dung'.

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3. Mercurius as fire

§256 “He is, in fact, as another text says, “the universal and scintillating fire of the light of nature, which carries the heavenly spirit within it.”9 This passage is particularly important as it relates Mercurius to the lumen naturae , the source of mystical knowledge second only to the holy revelation of the Scriptures.”
9 Museum Hermeticum “Aquarium Sapientum” p.84 (this is p84 in the Latin copy. It is p77 in this english copies)
This reference by Jung is not accurate. The text - according to the english copy I have - is talking of the philosophers stone, not mercury per se. This is important therefore, particularly when Jung makes reference to the lumen naturae . Perhaps there are other references to mercury related to the lumen naturae , but this is not it.
Update: cf. §267 below, where an alchemical text clearly relates Mercurius to the 'light of nature'.

§257 “The mercurial fire is found in the “center of the earth,” or dragon's belly, in fluid form.”

§257 “Hell-fire, the true energic principle of evil, appears here as the manifest counterpart of the spiritual and the good, and as essentially identical with it in substance.”
Where ignis mercurialis , the fire at the center of the earth, in the dragon's belly, is the fire of hell as being discussed here, then the mercurial fire is 'manifest counterpart' to the good spiritual fire - as being stated here. Reading around this Jung is discussing God in the context of coincidentia oppositorum , God of opposites where the 'all-encompassing God must necessarily include his opposite' …so by implication here, the aspect of Mercurius must exist within God too as Jung is describing. Its more subtle than that though, as Jung references lumen naturae as related to the ignis mercurialis . I'm not convinced here.

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4. Mercurius as spirit and soul

§263 “Worth noting is the duality of soul caused by the presence of Mercurius: on the one hand the immortal anima rationalis given by God to man, which distinguishes him from animals; on the other hand the mercurial life-soul, which to all appearances is connected with the inflatio or inspiratio of the Holy Spirit. This fundamental duality forms the psychological basis of the two sources of illumination.”

§266 “So far we have concerned ourselves with, statistically, the commonest synonyms such as water and fire, spirit and soul, and it is now possible for us to conclude that these exemplify a psychological state of affairs best characterised by (or, indeed, actually demanding) an antinomian nomenclature. Water and fire are classic opposites and can be valid definitions of one and the same thing only if this thing unites in itself the contrary qualities of water and fire. The psychologem “Mercurius” must therefore possess an essentially antinomian dual nature.”
This antinomian labeling is very curious to me. I assume it to mean the blatant paradoxical nature of opposites existing within the psychologem “Mercurius”. Where antinomian emphasises the working of the inner Holy Spirit, and not the works….this points to an almost apparent contradiction in Christianity. Etymologically Jung could just mean 'against rules' by using this term.

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5. The dual nature of mercurius

§267 “Mercurius, following the tradition of Hermes, is many-sided, changeable, and deceitful. … He is duplex 3 and his main characteristic is duplicity. It is said of him that he “runs round the earth and enjoys equally the company of the good and the wicked.”4 He is “two dragons,”5 the “twin,”6 made of “two natures”7 or “two substances.”8

§267 “He is the “giant of twofold substance,” in explanation of which the text9 cites the twenty-sixth chapter of Matthew, where the sacrament of the Last Supper is instituted. The Christ analogy is thus made plain.
9“Aquarium Sap.,” Museum Hermeticum p. 111. [Cf. infra, §384]
Again, I'm not convinced of this reference, in the english translation I have of the Museum Hermeticum p100 seem to be the section under reference (search for Matthew xxvi) …I see the twofold nature of Mercury, but not the reference to Christ directly. Rather Christ is related to the Philosophers Stone…not Mercury, unless I'm not understanding it correctly…which may well be the case. For e.g. the english text says “Again, as the physical and earthly water-Stone of the Sages has, on account of its unsearchable excellence, been called by a great variety of names by the multitude of philosophers, so the Heavenly Light, the one Noumen and Illuminant, whose riches and glory are past finding out, is designated in Holy Scripture by a large number of titles .” So it seems there is naming going on of both the Philosophers Stone, and Mercury perhaps?…also, interestingly in the text, in the naming, the Stone is called “the double and living mercury which has in itself the heavenly spirit - the cure for all unsound and imperfect metals - the everlasting light - the panacea for all diseases - the glorious Phoenix - the most precious of treasures - the chief good of Nature - the universal triune Stone”, and a naming for Mercurius is “Chief Good of the Universe”. I think I'm going to put this down to confusing Alchemical texts. The alchemical text clearly relates Christ to the Philosophers Stone (see my annotations in the Alchemical text)
Update: cf. §270 below, where Jung talks of Mercurius in 'his form as the lapis.' …so a clear reference to the analogous view of Mercurius and the Philosophers Stone (I'm assuming Lapis = Philosophers Stone).

§267 “He is both good and evil. The “Aurelia occulta” gives a graphic description of him:16

By the philosophers I am named Mercurius; …I contain the light of nature; I am dark and light; …I am the carbuncle (a bright red gem, in particular a garnet cut en cabochon) of the sun, ….

16 Theatr. Chem. , IV (1659), pp. 501ff.
Here clearly Mercurius is coupled with the light of nature, the Lumen Naturae . cf. §256 above.

§268 ”…where are also the four elements and the quinta essentia (quintessence, the fifth element) which they call Heaven.”
“…he is the “man rising from the river,”31 probably a reference to the vision of Ezra.32 In Trismosin's Splendor Solis (cf. Transformation of the Psyche) (sixteenth century) there is an illustration of this.”33 … “The terms Adam and microcosm (in reference to Mercurius) occur frequently in the texts,35 but the Abraham le Juif forgery unblushingly call Mercurius Adam Kadmon.36 As I have discussed this unmistakable continuation of the Gnostic doctrine of the Anthropos elsewhere,37 there is no need for me to go more closely now into this aspect of Mercurius.38 Nevertheless, I would like to emphasize once again that the Anthropos idea coincides with the psychological concept of the self. The atman and purusha doctrine as well as alchemy give clear proofs of this.”
33In Aureum vellus (1598), Tract 3: Splendor Solis (1920 facsimile). p23, Pl.VIII
36Eleazar, Uraltes Chymisches Werck , p.51. Adam Kadmon is the Primordial Man; cf Mysterium Coniunctionis , ch. V.
37“Paraclesus as a Spiritual Phenomenon,” supra, §165ff., and Psychology and Alchemy , index, s.v.

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6. The unity and trinity of Mercurius

Σ §270 “In spite of his obvious duality the unity of Mercurius is also emphasized, especially in his form as the lapis.(cf. this with §235 and my notes on Mercurius being related to Christ) “In all the world he is One.”1 The unity of Mercurius is at the same time a trinity, with clear reference to the Holy Trinity, although his triadic nature does not derive from Christian dogma but is of earlier date. Triads occur as early as the treatise of Zosimos, (Concerning the Art).2 The triadic character is an attribute of the gods of the underworld, as for instance the three-bodied Hecate, … Mylius represents him as a three-headed snake.11
2Berthelot, Alch. grecs , III, vi, 18: “The unity of the composition [produces] the indivisible triad, and thus an undivided triad composed of separate elements creates the cosmos, through the forethought of the First Author, the cause and demiurge of creation; wherefore he is called Trismegistos, having beheld triadically that which is created and that which creates . (I just like that last bit)
Mercurius as a three headed-snake as the chthonic counterpart to the Christian Trinity.

The Typhon (three in one)

Σ §271 “From all this one must conclude that Mercurius corresponds not only to Christ, but to the triune divinity in general. The “Aurelia Occulta” calls him ” Azoth …“
cf. my notes above §267. Also, the Museum Hermeticum p78

Also, cf.

“Since Mercurius is often called filus, his sonship is beyond question. he is therefore like a brother to Christ and a second son of God, though in point of time he must be accounted the elder and the first-born. … he is also the counterpart of the Trinity as a whole in so far as he is conceived to be a chthonic triad. According to this view he would be equal to one half of the Christian Godhead. He is indeed the dark chthonic half, but he is not simply evil as such, for he is called “good andevil,” or a “system of the higher powers in the lower.””

§272 “One peculiarity of Mercurius which undoubtedly relates him to the Godhead and to the primitive creator god is his ability to beget himself. …But although Mercurius, in many texts, is stated to be trinus et unus , this does not prevent him from sharing very strongly the quaternity of the lapis, with which he is essentially identical. He thus exemplifies that strange dilemma which is posed by the problem of three and four - the well-known axiom of Maria Prophetissa.”

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7. The relation of Mercurius to Astrology and the doctrine of the Archons

Archons and Æons

§273 “In the first case quicksilver is simply the planet Mercury as it appears in the earth (just as gold is imply the sun in the earth); in the second, the “spirit” of quicksilver is identical with the planetary spirit. Both spirits individually, or the two as one spirit, were personified and called upon for aid or magically conjured into service as a paredros or “familiar”.”
Would the latter be 'sophic mercury' then? …and the quicksilver in the earth, the metal, or physical element.
”… He plays the same role in the remarkable dream-vision recorded in “Aurelia occulta,” where he appears as the Anthropos with a crown of stars.6 As the little star near the sun, he is the child of sun and moon.7 … “Because of his half-feminine nature, Mercurius is often identified with the moon10 and Venus.11
6 Theatr. Chem , IV (1659), p.510 [Supra, par. 106] He corresponds to the stella semptemplex (septemplicis from semptemplex = 'seven plated', of seven layers.) which appears at the end of the work. ”…cook, until the seven-fold star appears, running about through the sphere” (ibid., p.508). Cf. the early Christian idea of Christ as the leader of the “round dance” of the stars. (“Transformation Symbolism in the Mass,” pp.273ff.)
7“Tabula smaragdina”

Definitely check out §106 above for the reference to the dream. Also, cf. the Splendor Solis, in Transformation of the Psyche, Plate III

§274 “But the most important of all for an interpretation of Mercurius is his relation to Saturn. Mercurius senex is identical with Saturn, and to the earlier alchemists especially, it is not quicksilver, but the lead associated with Saturn, which usually represents the prima materia. …quicksilver is identical with the “water of the moon and of Saturn.” …Saturn says: “My spirit is the water that loosens the rigid limbs of my brothers.” This refers to the “eternal water” which is just what Mercurius is. …Mercurius is the “salt of Saturn,” or Saturn is simply Mercurius. … Like Mercurius, Saturn is hermaphroditic. Saturn is “an old man on a mountain, and in him the natures are bound with their complement [i.e., the four elements], and all this is in Saturn.” The same is said of Mercurius. Saturn is the father and origin of Mercurius, therefore the latter is called “Saturn's child.””

Σ §275 “One of the manifestations of Mercurius in the alchemical process of transformation is the lion, now green and now red. …From ancient times the lion was associated with Saturn. …Khunrath calls him “the lion of the Catholic tribe,” paraphrasing the “lion of the tribe of Judah” - an allegory of Christ. He calls Saturn “the kion green and red.” In Gnosticism Saturn is the highest archon, the lion-headed Ialdabaoth, meaning “child of chaos.” But in alchemy the child of chaos is Mercurius.30
30For Saturn's day as the last day of creation, see infra, par. 301.

§276 “The relation [ of Mercurius ] to and identity with Saturn is important because Saturn is not only a maleficus but actually the dwelling-place of the devil himself. …A contemporary marginal note in a seventeenth-century treatise in my possession explains the term sulphur, the masculine principle of Mercuriurs,33 as diabolus . If Mercurius is not exactly the Evil One himself, he at least contains him - that is, he is morally neutral, good and evil, or as Khunrath says: “Good with the good, evil with the evil.”“
33Sulphur is the “fire hidden in Mercurius” (Trevisanus in Theatr. chem , I, 1659, p.700). He is identical with Mercurius: “Sulphur is mercurial and Mercurius is sulphureal” (Brevis(short) manuductio (guide),” Mus. Herm p. 788 (p254 in the English copy Museum Hermeticum)).

§276 “His nature is more exactly defined, however, if one conceives him as a process that begins with evil and ends with good. …(the poem is rather entertaining and worth a read)

Σ §277 “In the poem Mercurius is describing is own transformation, which at the same time signifies the mystic transformation of the artifex; for not only Mercurius but also what happens to him is a projection of the collective unconscious. This, as can easily be seen from what has gone before, is the projection of the individuation process … But if consciousness participates with some measure of understanding, then the process is accompanied by all the emotions of a religious experience or revelation. As a result of this, Mercurius was identified with Sapientia and the Holy Ghost.”

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8. Mercurius and Hermes

§278 ”…Michael Maier …said that he found on his mystic peregrination a statue of Mercurius pointing the way to paradise,1 and that he was referring to Hermes the mystagogue when he made the Museum Hermeticum Vol I)</fc>. </sub>

§278 “Maier's words might also be a reference to Eros. And in fact, in Rosencreutz's Chemical Wedding , Mercurius does appear in the form of Cupid,9 and punishes the adept for his curiosity in visiting the Lady Venus by wounding him in the hand with an arrow. The arrow is the “dart of passion” ( telum passionis ), which is also an attribute of Mercurius.”
9Also in the form of the boy showing the way and the “age-old son of the mother.”

§278 “Again, Mercurius represents the “continuous cohabitation”15 …“
15For this motif see Symbols of Transformation , pp. 209f.

There is a lot in this §278 about the different guises of Mercurius. There is an interesting footnote, 18 on page. 232, about the 'Dog as Logos' referring to Mercurius.

§278 “Another aspect of this dark Mercurius is the mother son incest, which may be traceable to Mandaean influences. …”

§279 “This dark Mercurius must once again be understood as representing the initial nigredo state, the lowest being a symbol of the highest and vice versa …He is the uroboros, the One and All, the union of opposites accomplished during the alchemical process …”

Σ §280 ” of Mercurius … in contrast to the route followed by the Christian Redeemer, who comes from above to below and from there returns to the above, the filius macrocosmi starts from below (following the 'Tabula smaragdina'), ascends on high, and, with powers of Above and Below united in himself, returns to earth again. He carries out the reverse movement and thereby manifests a nature contrary to that of Christ and the Gnostic Redeemers, …”

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9. Mercurius as the arcane substance

§282 “Mercurius, it is generally affirmed, is the arcanum, … He is also the ultima materia, the goal of his own transformation, the stone, the tincture, the philosophic gold, the carbuncle, the philosophic man, the second Adam, the analogue of Christ, the king, the light of lights, the dues terrestris , indeed the divinity itself or its perfect counterpart.”

§283 ” …Mercurius is also the process which lies between, and the means by which it is effected. He is the “beginning, middle, and end of the work.”6 Therefore he is called the Mediator, Servator, and Salvator.”

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10. Summary

(4) He is the devil, a redeeming psychopomp, an evasive trickster, and God's reflection in physical nature.
(6) As such, he represents on the one hand the self and on the other the individuation process and, because of the limitless number of his names, also the collective unconscious.1
1Hence the designation of Mercurius as mare nostrum . (= 'our sea')

On of the things I find interesting with this summary is that it seems to me poignant that there needs to be a figure like Mercurius when it comes to the unconscious rhetoric and less impressive Mercurius himself. This is for me so interesting that there is something in us, something that requires this type of reflection / projection - that words needed to just keep coming in a way, the more he was described, the more we found we could tap on to him and that it seems too, Mercurius is still not complete. This is for me so wonderful - there is stuff going on in our hearts and minds and spirit that we cannot know or explain and it is connected. The alchemists have worked to explain but the more the investigation went on the more they discovered that it was connected. Thus rightly then brings the designation of mare nostrum to Mercurius.

§285 ”…of great concern to alchemy. But a still greater, more impassioned concern …the experience of the unconscious. That this side of alchemy - (some Greek here) - was for so long misunderstood is due solely to the fact that nothing was known of psychology, let alone of the suprapersonal, collective unconscious. So long as one knows nothing of psychic actuality, it will be projected, if it appears at all.”
This is pretty ball'sy of him to say, that the only reason was that they knew nothing of psychology. It may not have been called that, but for someone (Jung) who doesn't believe in anything original, i.e. that man has had the collective unconscious for a while now, and that there is 'nothing new under the sun', it is a pretty bold statement.

Jung on Astrology
§285 “On the other hand, the peculiar connection between character and the astronomical determination of time has only very recently begun to turn into something approaching an empirical science. The really important psychic facts can neither be measured, weighed, nor seen in a test tube or under a microscope. They are therefore supposedly indeterminable, in other words they must be left to people who have an inner sense for them, just as colours must be shown to the seeing and not to the blind.”

Jung on Alechemy … this is very helpful. This whole paragraph actually is very helpful as a view on where Jung is coming from and how he sees Alchemy.
Δ §286 ”…the alchemical projections represent collective contents that stand in painful contrast - or rather, in compensatory relation - to our highest rational convictions and values. they give the strange answers of the natural psyche to the ultimate questions which reason has left untouched. Let us, however, not delude ourselves: no more than we can separate the constituents of character from the astronomical determinants of time are we able to separate that unruly and evasivev Mercurius from the autonomy of matter . Something of the projection-carrier always clings to the projection … In these projections we encounter the phenomenology of an “objective” spirit, a true matrix of psychic experience, the most appropriate symbol for which is matter . Nowhere and never has man controlled matter without closely observing its behaviour and paying heed to its laws, …The same is true of that objective spirit which today we call the unconscious: … If a man puts his hand to the opus, he repeats, as the alchemists say, God's work of creation. The struggle with the unformed, with the chaos of Tiamat, is in truth a primordial experience.”
Emphasis mine.
Tiamat = Chaos monster involved in creation.
I find this paragraph very interesting and the ideas of matter in relation to the projections of Alchemy. Jung is not wrong in the creation element of the opus, and how that must have resonated with the unconscious, the creator and created aspects. The creation myths able to bear out in a way with the working of matter = alchemy. This is a very interesting perspective on the alchemical desire, and how rich then must have been the potential for projections.

§287 ”“Rosinus ad Sarratantam” cites a saying of “Malus Philosophus”3 which attempts to formulate the psychological relation of the lapis to consciousness:
“This stone is below thee, as to obedience;
above thee, as to dominion;
therefore from thee, as to knowledge;
about thee, as to equals.”4
Applied to the self, this would mean: “The self is subordinate to you, yet on the other hand rules you. It is dependent on your own efforts and your knowledge, but transcends you and embraces all those who are of like mind. This refers to the collective nature of the self, since the self epitomizes the wholeness of the personality. By definition, wholeness includes the collective unconscious, which as experience seems to show is everywhere identical.”
I have no idea what this last bit means, '…since the self epitomizes the wholeness of the personality.' ???

§288 “One of his (Mercurius) aspects is the female serpent-daemon, Lilith or Melusina, who lives in the philosophical tree.”

Jung on comparing the symbol of Mercurius to Christ …
Σ §289 “This lapis is at most a counterpart or analogy of Christ in the physical world. its symbolism, like that of Mercurius who constitutes its substance, points, psychologically speaking, to the self, as also does the symbolic figure of Christ.6 In comparrison with the purity and unity of the Christ symbol, Mercurius-lapis is ambiguous, dark, paradoxical, and thoroughly pagan. It therefore represents a part of the psyche which was certainly not moulded by Christianity and can on no account be expressed by the symbol “Christ.” . On the contrary, as we have seen, in many ways it points to the devil, who is known at times to disguise himself as an angel of light. The lapis formulates an aspect of the self which stands apart, bound to nature and at odds with the Christian spirit.”
6[Cf. Psychology and Alchemy , ch. 5. “The Lapis-Christ Parallel,” and Aion , ch. 5. “Christ, a Symbol of the Self.” - Editors.]
Emphasis mine

Σ §289 “Although I have stressed that the lapis is a symbol embracing the opposites, it should not be thought of as a - so to speak - more complete symbol of the self. That would be decidedly incorrect, for actually it is an image whose form and content are largely determined by the unconscious. For this reason it is never found in the texts in finished and well-defined form …”

Σ §290 “Opposed to this figure (Mercurius) ..there stands, sharply outlined by dogma, the Son of Man and Salvator Mundi, Christ the Sol Novus, before whom the lesser stars pale. …As a result a tension of opposites such as had never occurred before in the whole history of Christianity beginning with Creation arose between Christ and the Antichrist, as Satan or the fallen angel. (Cf. this with §289 above where Mercurius is pointed to as the devil.) At the time of Job, Satan is still found among the sons of God. “Now there was a day,” it says in Job 1:6, “when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.” …”

§291 “The emphatic differentiation of opposites is synonymous with sharper discrimination, and that is the sine qua non for any broadening or heightening of consciousness.”
This paragraph - starting with the previous - presents a pithy but decent explanation on the development of conscious, and the consequences towards the darker opposites that are thus pushed aside, or unable to be brought to consciousness and therefore manifest in the metaphysical and projections, resulting as it has with Christianity for e.g. in the split between powers of darkness and light.

§294 “Reason, however, has set itself free and proclaimed itself the ruler. … The stirrings in the darkness necessarily seem like a devilish betrayal of the ideal of spiritual development.(Alchemical stirrings I should imagine as opposed to classical Christian stirrings.)
This is an interesting paragraph I think. Jung is describing the rise of 'reason', the enlightenment really. The 'logic' of the Christian dogma predominates and the anima rationalis - potentially recognised at best - remains subordinate. Reason and enlightenment have taken over at the repression of all else. The compensatory energies abound in this landscape. Jung words this much better :)

Σ §295 ”…Mercurius and created a symbol which, according to all the psychological rules, stands in a compensatory relation to Christ. It is not meant to take his place, nor is it identical with him, for then indeed it could replace him. It owes its existence to the law of compensation, and its object is to throw a bridge across the abyss separating the two psychological worlds by presenting a subtle compensatory counterpoint to the Christ image.”

Σ §296 “One can hardly escape the conclusion that Mercurius as the lapis is a symbolic expression for the psychological complex which I have defined as the self. Similarly, the Christ figure must be viewed as a self symbol, and for the same reasons. But this leads to an apparently insoluble contradiction …“
§297 ” …The figures of Christ and the devil are both based on archetypal patterns, and were never invented but rather experienced . Their existence preceded all cognition of them,9 …“
§298 ”…then we can also understand that the gods came first and theology later. Indeed, we must go a step further and assume that in the beginning there were two figures, one bright and one shadowy, and only afterwards did the light of consciousness detach itself from the night and the uncertain shimmer of its stars.”
9Evidence for this is the widespread motif of the two hostile brothers.
These paragraphs are very interesting around the discussion of Christ, Mercurius = light, dark = enlightenment and the resultant shadow.

§299 “So if Christ and the dark nature-deity are autonomous images that can be directly experienced, we are obliged to reverse our rationalistic causal sequence, and instead of deriving these figures from our psychic conditions, must derive our psychic conditions from these figures.”
What Jung is saying here is pretty huge really. Our enlightened minds did not create the gods, they were there all along.
“From this standpoint Christ appears as the archetype of consciousness and Mercurius as the archetype of the unconscious.”

cognitio vespertina = knowledge of the evening, or evening knowledge = knowledge of man
cognitio matutina = knowledge of the morning, or morning knowledge = self-knowledge. Cf. §301

§299 “If we equate cognitio with consciousness, then Augustine's thought would suggest that the merely human and natural consciousness gradually darkens, as at nightfall. But just as evening gives birth to morning, so from the darkness arises a new light, the stella matutuna , which is at once the evening and the morning star - Lucifer, the light-bringer.”

§300 “Mercurius is by no means the Christian devil …”

Σ §301 “Thus, with Augustine, the first day of creation begins with self knowledge, cognitio sui ipsius ,13 by which is meant a knowledge not of the ego but of the self, that objective phenomenon of which the ego is the subject.14
13“And when it [the creature's knowledge] comes to the knowledge of itself, that is one day” (Et hoc cum facit in cognitione sui ipsius, dies unus est). - The City of God , XI, vii. This may be the source for the strange designation of the lapis as “filius unius diei.” (son of a single day) [Cf. Mysterium Coniunctionis pp. 335, 504.]
More reading here about self knowledge and the days of creation, the day of rest etc.

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I Individual representations of the tree symbol

Jung goes through 32 images drawn by patients containing the tree motif.

§304 “An image which frequently appears among the archetypal configurations of the unconscious is that of the tree or the wonder-working plant, …If a mandala may be described as a symbol of the self seen in cross section, then the tree would represent a profile view of it: the self depicted as a process of growth.”
Tree as a symbol is important as it continues to grow through the seasons of death and rebirth - like our psyche's. Our bodies on the other hand employ more of the bell / Gaussian curve Jung presented. We, in our physical bodies, experience one cycle if you will of growth and rebirth, but our psyches continue to grow throughout our lives like the tree.

§306 ”…bring to mind the world-tree and the world-axis - attributes with which the tree symbol is almost universally endowed.”

§310 “The symbol of the fountain, the fontina , is known in alchemy; in the alchemical pictures it is often shown as a medieval town fountain,2 and the upright part in the middle would correspond to the tree.”
2[Cf. “ The Psychology of the Transference,” Fig. 1.]

§316 “The tree corresponds to the passive, vegetative principle, the snake to the active, animal principle. The tree symbolises earthbound corporeality, the snake emotionality and the possession of a soul.”

Σ §331 “Man's efforts to achieve wholeness correspond, as the divine myth shows, to voluntary sacrifice of the self to the bondage of earthly existence.”
This is succinctly summed up here - the reference to Christ on the cross.

§332 “…it is important not to succumb to an inflation, …if, at the moment when the self became recognisable, she identified with it and thus blinded herself to the insight she had attained. If the natural impulse to identify with the self is recognised, one then has a good chance of freeing oneself from a state of unconsciousness. But if this opportunity is overlooked …gives rise to a repression coupled with dissociation of the personality. The development of consciousness which the realisation of the self might have led to turns into a regression. I must emphasise that this realisation is not just an intellectual act but is primarily a moral one …”

§339-340 Figure 24 Krishna says of himself, “I am the game of dice.” …Jung mentioning the Bhagavadgítá here, interesting points on Krishna, and the game of dice = Agni.

§344 “The concept of the alchemical Mercurius derives exclusively from masculine psychology and symbolises the typical opposition in a man between Nous and sex , owing to the absence of the feminine Eros which would unite them.”

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II On the history and interpretation of the tree symbol

1. The tree as an archetypal image

§350 “Like all archetypal symbols, the symbol of the tree has undergone a development of meaning in the course of the centuries. …The psychoid form underlying any archetypal image retains its character at all stages of development, though empirically it is capable of endless variations.
…but the richness and vitality of a symbol are expressed more in its change of meaning. The aspect of meaning is therefore essential…“
Emphasis mine.
This is very interesting on a number of levels. Firstly, the 'development of meaning' that may occur - it makes me think of so many elements and symbols the analytical world assumes to be more archetypal if the images or symbols of a dream for e.g. are those of myth and historical legend, like dreaming of a Greek God. However, the archetype has moved with the centuries no doubt. This really does need so more thought.
Also, Cf CW 8, On the Nature of the Psyche .
Jung goes on here to discuss the commonest associations to the tree symbol; growth, life, protection, shade, shelter, fruits, source of life, solidity, rootedness…etc.

§352 “An image can be considered archetypal when it can be shown to exist in the records of human history, in identical form and with the same meaning.”
Some interesting points here on Archetypal images and their 'archetypal creation' as opposed to tradition for e.g. …and the images universality across human history and culture. In particular, the need for comparative research into symbols for medical psychology.

Why is it important to look back in human history to understand symbol formation when doing research into archetypal symbols?
§353 “For this purpose the investigator must turn back to those periods in human history when symbol formation still went on unimpeded, that is, when there was still no epistemological criticism of the formation of images, and when, in consequence, facts that in themselves were unknown could be expressed in definite visual form. …medieval natural philosophy, which reached its zenith in the seventeenth century, and in the eighteenth century gradually left the field to science. It attained its most significant development in alchemy and Hermetic philosophy .”

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2. The tree in the treatise of Jodocus Greverus

Jodocus Greverus

§355 “A typical example of this process is to be found in the treatise of Jodocus Greverus, which was first printed in Leiden, 1588. The whole opus is depicted as the sowing and nurturing of the tree in a well-tended garden, into which nothing extraneous might enter. The soil consists of purified Mercurius; Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus form the trunk (or trunks)4 of the tree, and the sun and moon supply their seeds.”
See footnote 4 in reference to the Tetrasomia, the four-fold tree trunk.

Worth a read here as Jung discusses the treatise, but also touches on some other interesting points about astrology, and the opus being a 'gift of God'.

Σ §355 ” …the goal of the opus is “not of this world.” Accordingly, at the conclusion of his treatise on the “universal process of our work,” the author avows that it is a “gift of God, containing the secret of the undivided oneness of the Holy Trinity.”

Σ §356 “They obviously saw a parallel between thE alchemical process and religious ideas - a parallel which is certainly not immediately perceptible to us. A bridge between two such very different realms of thought [The 'science of alchemy' and the 'mysteries of religion'] can be constructed only when we take into account the factor common to both: the tertium comparationis is the psychological element.”
Although I don't disagree with Jung here right off the bat, it is a pretty bold statement bringing once again the psychological element to religion. Although the text is cunningly worded by Jung as he never really makes the verbose comparison but leaves the reader to assume and find their own particular stance on this vast field of religion and the 'science of alchemy'.

Σ §357 “No matter what the ideas refer to, they are always organized by the same psychic laws, that is, by the archetypes. In their way, the alchemists realized this when they insisted on the parallelism between their ideas and religious ones, as when Greverus compares his synthetic process with the Trinity. The common archetype in this case is the number three. …
The four that are to be united into one refer to the tetrasomia of Greek alchemy, where, corresponding to the planets, they stand for lead, tin, iron, and copper. Hence in his process of henosis (unification or synthesis), as Michael Maier correctly understood it, what Greverus had in mind was not the three basic Paracelsan substances but the ancient tetrasomia, which at the end of his treatise he compares with the “union of persons in the Holy Trinity.” …“
This makes me think of the alchemical images like, the guy sowing the seeds in image 8 from the Twelve Keys of Valentine, or the one from 'Viridarium Chymicum' - The Chemical Pleasure-Garden, page 58, or the discussion in by NICHOLAS FLAMELL in Musaeum Hermeticum Vol I page 144 where he writes,
“The mercury of perfect or imperfect metals is the parent tree, and the grain (of gold) can be nourished with nothing but this mercury.”
All these in reference to the tree and the seed.
Jung's discussion here starts with the tree symbol and its archetypal antecedents. The overlap between religion and alchemy, and then the discussion of the matter of 3 and 4. Continuing on…

“For him the triad of sun, moon, and Mercurius was the starting point … This is the so-called coniunctio triptativa [The relationship between the Sun, the Moon, and Mercurius is referred to as coniunctio triptativa]. But here he is concerned with the coniunctio tetraptiva , whereby the four are joined in the “union of persons.”” [In alchemists' treatises … when the four elements were united it was called “coniunctio tetraptiva”.

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3. The Tetrasomia

§358 “The aim of the tetrasomia is the reduction (or synthesis) of a quaternio of opposites to unity. The names of the planets themselves indicate two dyads, one benevolent (Tin / Jupiter &#x2644; and Copper / Venus &#x2640;), the other malefic (Lead / Saturn &#x2643; and Iron / Mars &#x2642;), and such dyads often constitute an alchemical quaternity.1
….This is expressed particularly clearly in another archetypal form of the same idea: in the structure of the royal marriage, which follows that of the cross-cousin marriage.4
1“And in our opus there are two earths and two waters.” - “Scala phil.,” Art aurif ., II, p. 137.
4Cf. CW 16 “The Psychology of the Transference,” ch. 2.

§359 “As a rule, the lapis is synthesized from the quaternity of the elements or from the ogdoad of elements plus qualities (cold/warm, moist/dry).”

See footnote 5, §359, p.279. There is an interesting discussion of the grape and the vine.
5 Vitis [Latin for 'Vine'] was the name given to the philosophical tree in late antiquity, and the opus was called the “vintage” ( vindemia ). [L. vindemia “a gathering of grapes, yield of grapes,” from comb. form of vinum “wine” + stem of demere “take off” (from de- “from, away from” + emere “to take;” )] Cf. Hoghelande in Theatr. chem ., I (1659), p. 180: “Man's blood and the red juice of the grape is our fire.” Uvae Hermetis = “philosophical water” [Uvae = a grape, berry of the vine] (Ruland, //Lexicon// ,p. 325). Vinum is a frequent synonym for the aqua permanens . …

§360 “The four forms of Hermes in Egyptian Hellenism are clearly derived from the four sons of Horus.”
Jung is talking here in the context of the 'fourfold Mercurius' and is bringing the Hellenistic Hermes into things :) He continues to talk of the sons of Horus and how they came to replaced the old gods of the four quarters of heaven. Further…
“The quaternity is in fact a leitmotivin the ritual for the dead: … Horus begot his sons with his mother Isis. The incest motif, which was continued in Christian tradition and extended into late medieval alchemy, thus begins far back in Egyptian antiquity.”
The four sons are often shown with (from wikipedia):
- Duamutef, the jackal-headed god representing the east, whose jar contained the stomach and was protected by the goddess Neith
- Hapi, the baboon-headed god representing the north, whose jar contained the lungs and was protected by the goddess Nephthys
- Imseti, the human-headed god representing the south, whose jar contained the liver and was protected by the goddess Isis
- Qebehsenuef, the falcon-headed god representing the west, whose jar contained the intestines and was protected by the goddess Selket.
Notice the one quarter human, and three quarters animal. Also, the human part is protected by the goddess Isis, their mother and their fathers mother (the incest motif mentioned)

§361 “The analogy with the vision of Ezekiel (chapters 1 and 10) is at once apparent. There the four cherubim had “the likeness of a man.” Each of them had four faces, a man's, a lion's, an ox's, and an eagle's, so that, as with the fours sons of Horus, one quarter was human and three quarters animal. ….13
13The one human head would indicate consciousness of an aspect or function of the individual psyche. Horus as the rising sun is the enlightener, just as the vision of Ezekiel signifies enlightenment. On the other hand magic, if it is to be effective, always presupposes unconsciousness. …

There follows an ongoing discussion around the vision of Ezekiel here…

§363 “As attributes of God and also symbols in their own right, the quaternity and the cross signify wholeness.” §364 “In the spontaneous symbolism of the unconscious the cross as quaternity refers to the self, to man's wholeness.19 The sign of the cross is thus an indicaiton of the healing effect of wholeness, or of becoming whole.”
19Cf. "Concerning Mandala Symbolism" CW9i

Σ §366 “The four gospels are as it were the pillars of Christ's throne, and in the Middle Ages the tetramorph became the riding animal of the Church. But it was Gnostic speculation in particular that appropriated the quaternity. … I would only draw attention to the synonymity of Christ, Logos, and Hermes,21
21[And Adamas : cf Aion , pp. 208f. - Editors] Hippolytus, Elenchos, V, 7, 29ff.

§367 “The alchemical tetrasomia and its reduction to unity therefore have a long prehistory which reaches back far beyond the Pythaorean tetraktys into Egyptian antiquity. From all this we can see without difficulty that we are confronted with the archetype of a totality image divided into four . The resultant conceptions are always of a central nature, characterise divine figures, and carry over those qualities to the arcane substances of alchemy .”
This last sentence is interesting to me in that it reiterates the manifestation of the unconscious templates on to the physical matter we engage with - unconsciously. Hence why alchemy can be so valuable. As Jung says in the next paragraph, 'spontaneous psychic products.'

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4. The Image of Wholeness

§370 “On of the commonest and most important of the arcana is the aqua permanens …”

§371 “With regard to the central significance of the aqua permanens I must refer the reader to my earlier writings.2 The “water” is just as much the arcanum of alchemy as are Mercurius, the lapis, the filius philosophorum , etc. Like them it is a totality image, …It is the “silver water” (= hydrargyrum ), but not the 'ever-moving water,' i.e., ordinary quicksilver which in Latin alchemy was called Mercurius crudus as distinct from Mercurius non vulgi . In Zosimos the quicksilver is a (spirit).3
2 Psychology and Alchemy , pars. 336f.
3Berthelot, Alch. grecs , III, vi, 5. Cf supra, “The Spirit Mercurius,” pars 264f.

§372 “Zosimos's “whole” is a microcosm, a reflection of the universe in the smallest particle of matter, and is therefore found in everything organic and inorganic. Because the microcosm is identical with the macrocosm, it attracts the latter and thus brings about a kind of apocatastasis, a restoration of all individua to the original wholeness. Thus “every grain becomes wheat, and all metal gold,” as Meister Eckhart says; and the little, single individual becomes the “great mand,” the homo maximus or Anthropos, i.e., the self. The moral equivalent of the physical transmutation into gold is self-knowledge, which is a re-remembering of the homo totus.4
4Cf. Aion , pp. 162ff.
homo totus = a symbol of the Self
“Complete is something more than the simple sum of its parts ”. Plato
Homo totus - latin. - People a holistic, in unity with nature and the cosmos. Homo = man, totus = whole, entire

Jung goes on here to discuss 'Self knowledge'. He quotes Berthelot who says:
§372 “But when thou knowest thyself, thou knowest also the God who is truly one.6
6Berthelot, Alch. grecs , II, iv, 26.

It's worth taking a look at footnote 5 on this page (285) where Jung talks of the omniscience and infinity of God (related to the Self) and the limiting in space of the 'daemon' (related to the ego). The explanation resonates with the explanation of the ego in contention with God. Man as the microcosm, psychologically speaking, his ego - separated and split off from God. The former (the ego) seen then as evil. The latter is put at the behest of the ego.

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5. The Nature and origin of the philosophical tree

§374 “In my book Psychology and Alchemy I devoted a special chapter1 to the projection of psychic contents (hallucinations, vision, etc.) and therefore need not dwell here on the spontaneous production of the tree symbol among the alchemists. Suffice to say that the adept saw branches and twigs2 in the retort, where his tree grew and blossomed.3 …It was called oak,7 vine,8 myrtle.9 … It (the philosophical tree)has seven branches.12
1Pars. 342
12“Galen speaks of the Philosophical tree, which has seven branches” ( Art. aurif ., I, p. 222).

Jung goes on here to quote Gerard Dorn. This leads to a brief mention of the conflict between nominalism and realism. Worth noting that Dorn's work, the Speculativa Philosophia was included in Vol. 1 of Theatrum Chemicum , that Jung referenced quite a lot.

§376 “In this text Dorn draws an impressive picture of the growth, expansion, death, and rebirth of the philosophical tree. Its branches are veins running through the earth, and although they spread to the most distant points of the earth's surface they all belong to the same immense tree, which apparently renews itself. The tree is obviously thought of as a system of blood vessels. …and when this comes out it coagulates into the fruit of the tree.16

§378 “Dorn was a Platonist and a fanatical opponent to Aristotle and, …”

Realism :
The doctrine that universals or abstract concepts have an objective or absolute existence. The theory that universals have their own reality is sometimes called Platonic realism because it was first outlined by Plato's doctrine of “forms” or ideas. Often contrasted with nominalism.
The doctrine that matter as the object of perception has real existence and is neither reducible to universal mind or spirit nor dependent on a perceiving agent.
Idealism :
Philosophy any of various systems of thought in which the objects of knowledge are held to be in some way dependent on the activity of mind. The group of philosophies which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial.
Nominalism :
The doctrine that universals or general ideas are mere names without any corresponding reality, and that only particular objects exist; properties, numbers, and sets are thought of as merely features of the way of considering the things that exist. Important in medieval scholastic thought, nominalism is associated particularly with William of Occam.
Nominalism is a metaphysical view in philosophy according to which general or abstract terms and predicates exist, while universals or abstract objects, which are sometimes thought to correspond to these terms, do not exist. Thus, there are at least two main versions of nominalism. One version denies the existence of universals—things that can be instantiated or exemplified by many particular things (e.g. strength, humanity). The other version specifically denies the existence of abstract objects—objects that do not exist in space and time.

§378 “Hermetic philosophy had for its goal an explanation that included the psyche in a total description of nature. The empiricist tries, more or less successfully, to forget his archetypal explanatory principles, that is, the psychic premises that are a sine qua non of the cognitive process, or to repress them in the interests of “scientific objectivity.””

§379 “In the case of Dorn we can see how the archetypal tree, which consisted of the ramifications of the bronchi, blood vessels, and veins of ore, was projected upon the empirical world and gave rise to a totalistic view which embraced the whole of organic and inorganic nature and the “spiritual” world as well.”

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6. Dorn's interpretation of the tree

§380 Jung quotes Dorn here with some interesting notes …worth reading. Even more interesting I think are some of the footnotes.
2An allusion to the many colours of the caudo pavonis (peacock's tail), whose appearance heralds the attainment of the goal.
4The terrestrial equivalent of the sponge was said to be the puff-ball. Sponges could hear and were sentient. When torn up, they exuded a juice like blood. Cf. the mandrake, which shrieks when it is torn up. “When they are torn from their places, it is heard and there will be a great noise.” (Calid. “Liber secretorum,” Art. aurif ., I, p. 343.) For the sponge, see Mysterium Coniunctionis , p. 134 and n. 205.

§382 “This remarkable text explains the tree as a metaphorical form of the arcane substance, a living thing that comes into existence according to its own laws, and grows, blossoms, and bears fruit like a plant. This plant is likened to the sponge, which grows in the depths of the sea and seems to have an affinity with the mandrake (Cf footnote 4.). …A sponge that bleeds and a mandrake that shrieks when pulled up are neither “vegetabilia materiae” nor are they found in nature, at least not in nature as we know it, though they may occur in that more comprehensive, Platonic nature as Dorn understood it, that is, in a nature that includes psychic “animalia,” i.e., mythologems and archetypes. Such are the mandrake and similar organisms. …At any rate the “stone that is no stone, nor of the nature of stone” (Cf. footnote 9) comes into this category.”
This last sentence is interesting I think and the reason I tried to write a lead up to the context of this sentence. The quote from Dorn is an interesting read.

9Here too Dorn may be referring to Calid, who says (ibid., p. 342): “Take this stone that is no stone nor of the nature of stone. Moreover, it is a stone whose substance is generated on the top of the mountains … … The stone is found in the head of a snake or a dragon, or is the “head-element” itself, as in Zosimos. World-mountain, world-axis, world-tree, and homo maximus are synonymous. Cf. Holmberg, Der Baum des Lebens , pp. 20, 21, 25

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7. The Rose-coloured Blood and the Rose

§384 “In the “Aquarium sapientum” the “son of the great world” ( filius macrocosmi , the lapis) is correlated with Christ,3 who is the filius microcosmi , and his blood is the quintessence, the red tincture.”
3 Mus. herm ., p. 118: “Christ is compared and united with the earthly stone …it is an outstanding type and lifelike image of the incarnation of Christ.” (This reference is the the text Aquarium Sapientum in the Museum Hermeticum . Jung references the latin version. I'm not entirely sure where in the English version it references then - the Aquarium Sapientum treatise is named 'THE SOPHIC HYDROLITH' in the English translation I think. Reading this text, the message there is the same, but can't be sure of the exact reference.

§385 “it obviously never occurred to the author, (of Aquarium Sapientum ) as we with our prejudiced view are quick to assume, that he had simply transferred God's attributes to the stone.”

§386 “It is evident from this that the stone for the alchemists was nothing less than a primordial religious experience which, as good Christians, they had to reconcile with their beliefs. This accounts for that ambiguous identity or parallelism between Christ as the filius microcosmi and the lapis philosophorum as the filius macrocosmi , or even the substitution of the one for the other.”
§387 “The lapis-Christ parallel was presumably the bridge by which the mystique of the Rose entered into alchemy.”

§388 “The rose has the same meaning in Mechthild of Magdeburg. The Lord spoke to her, saying: “Look at my heart, and see!” A most beautiful rose with five petals covered his whole breast, and the Lord said: “Praise me in my five senses, which are indicated by this rose.” … ”

§389 “In the spiritual sense the rose, like the hortus aromatum (garden of spices),9 … is an allegory of Mary, but in the worldly sense it is the beloved, … so the rose has the significance of a mandala, as is clear from the heavenly rose in Dante's Paradiso . Like its equivalent, the Indian lotus, the rose is decidedly feminine. In Mechthild of Magdeburg it must be understood as a projection of her own feminine Eros upon Christ.17

Σ §390 “It seems as though the rose-coloured blood of the alchemical redeemer18 was derived from a rose mysticism that penetrated into alchemy, and that, in the form of the red tincture, it expressed the healing or whole-making effect of a certain kind of Eros. The strange concretism of this symbol is explained by the total absence of psychological concepts.”
I find this last sentence very interesting. Is Jung saying that there is an intentional lack of any psychological concepts associated, or that there were no psychological concepts at the time of concretisation of the symbol, hence the concretism? I think it is the latter - and thus this idea is applicable to most alchemical concepts I'd say, which makes it strange to me that Jung highlights this one symbol with this reasoning (that I have seen).
Jung's continuing discussion sheds some light on what I think is his intentions here, to elucidate using - amongst other things - aspects of philosophy. Where he says of the 'rose-coloured' blood that was understood by Dorn as:

“vegetabile naturiae,” in contrast to ordinary blood, which was a “vegetabile materiae.”
Where ' Vegetabile' = Latin for animating, enlivening, vivifying, able to produce and support growth, vegetative. So the rose-coloured blood is the support, vivifying liquid of naturiae , the natural world, nature. Whereas ordinary blood is that which supports the material world, the reality of things, the physical.
In regard to Dorn, this view of the rose-blood as the 'vegetabile naturiae' would align with his Platonic philosophy and Hermetic understanding, Cf. §382 above.

Σ The ongoing discussion here is really interesting. First, it is important to understand the difference between the Latin
putus : meaning 'pure', unmixed, unadulterated. (Cf. footnote 5, p. 290)
purus : meaning clear, clean, transparent.

Σ “Since the stone represents the homo totus ,19 it is only logical for Dorn to speak of the “putissimus homo” when discussing the arcane substance and its bloody sweat, for that is what it is all about. He (As we'll see, it is the He still to come, it isn't Christ) is the arcanum, and the stone and its parallel or preconfiguration (Emphasis mine) is Christ in the garden of Gethsemane.20 This “most pure” or “most true” man must be no other than what he is, … he must be entirely man, … This man will appear on earth only “in the last days.” He cannot be Christ, for Christ by his blood has already redeemed the world from the consequences of the Fall .21
Christ may be the “purissimus homo,” but he is no “putissiumus.” Though he is man, he is also God, not pure silver but gold as well, (See Jung's e.g. earlier in the text of “Argentum putum” = unalloyed silver. He is not saying here that Christ is like silver in the alchemical symbolism) and therefore not “putus.”“
This is very interesting - Christ is a pre - configuration of and parallel to the stone, but is not the stone so to speak.
19Cf. Psychology and Alchemy , “The Lapis-Christ Parallel,” and Aion , Ch. 5.

Σ ”…but rather of the alchemical servator cosmi (preserver of the cosmos), representing the still unconscious idea of the whole and complete man, who shall bring about what the sacrificial death of Christ has obviously left unfinished, namely the deliverance of the world from evil. Like Christ he will sweat a redeeming blood, but, as a “vegetabile naturae,” it is “rose-coloured” …a psychic substance, the manifestation of a certain kind of Eros (Cf. Mechthild of Magdeburg, §388. The feminine influence.) which unifies the individual as well as the multitude in the sign of the rose and makes them whole, and is therefore a panacea and an alexipharmic.”

Σ On the matter of Eros and Logos as opposites and balancing forces, and the church…
§391 ” …the Rosicrucian movement, whose motto - per crucem ad rosam (Attaining the Cross through the way of the Rose) - was anticipated by the alchemists.
Love alone is useless if it does not also have understanding. And for a proper use of understanding a wider consciousness is needed, … The blinder love is, the more it is instinctual, and the more it is attended by destructive consequences, … Therefore a compensatory Logos has been joined to it as a light that shines in the darkness. A man who is unconscious of himself acts in a blind, instinctive way and is in addition fooled by all the illusions that arise when he sees everything that he is not conscious of in himself coming to meet him from outside as projections upon his neighbour.”

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8. The Alchemical Mind

This is a very interesting and informative section. This whole section in fact is worth a re-read a few times over.

§392 Jung quotes from Petrus Bonus of Ferrara who in turn quotes a certain letter by Rhazes. Bonus was convinced that the ancient authorities of the art, Hermes Trismegistus, Moses, Plato, and others knew the whole process long ago and consequently had prophetically anticipated the coming salvation in Christ …but rather, it was the Alchemists who were influenced by the ecclesiastical teachings… (as an aside, Rhazes (865-925) lived after Christ)
§393 ”…the alchemists were drawing on ecclesiastical tradition and subsequently approximated their operations to the sacred legend.”
Jung continues in this para about the alchemical adept being consumed by the opus and spontaneously being confronted with the contents of the unconscious, and thus …“forms of thought emerge in which one can afterwards discover parallels with mythological motifs, including Christian ones; parallels and similarities which perhaps one would never have suspected at first sight. …Because they were ignorant of the laws of matter, its behaviour did not do anything to contradict their archetypal conception of it.”
I think this is important when one considers how to read alchemy, trying to understand what the alchemists were thinking. As pointed out, they were ignorant about matter and projected without prejudice their unconscious archetypal onto their work. This coupled with the lack of psychological framework with which to explain what they were going through (Cf. para 390), it is easy to see how they might be consumed by the unconscious content.

Σ §394 “In their efforts to fathom the secrets of matter the alchemists had unexpectedly blundered into the unconscious, and thus, without at first being aware of it, they became the discoverers of a process which underlies Christian symbolism among others.”
No wonder the religions were getting angry at Jung when he writes stuff like this, basically attributing Christian symbolism to a product of the unconscious.
…“It did not take more than a couple of centuries for the more reflective among them to realise what the quest for the stone was actually about. …the stone revealed to them its identity with man himself, with a supraordinate factor that could actually be found within him, with Dorn's “quid,” which today can be identified without difficulty with the self, as I have shown elsewhere.4
4 Aion pp.164f.

§395 Interesting discussion here of the withdrawal of projection from matter towards metaphysics and more personal projections:
“Only in the following centuries, with the growth of natural science, was the projection withdrawn from matter and entirely abolished together with the psyche. This development of consciousness has still not reached its end. …Projection is now confined to personal and social relationships, to political Utopias and suchlike.”
Projections are now too, put into 'metaphysics'. There is an interesting statement here by Jung about the projected content not being understood entirely in its time, or rather, the actual meaning was not clear, “but one which only the future could formulate.”
“Whenever we have to do with mythologems it is advisable to assume that they mean more than what they appear to say. Just as dreams do not conceal something already known, or express it under a disguise, but try rather to formulate an as yet unconscious fact as clearly as possible, so myths and alchemical symbols are not euhemeristic allegories that hide artificial secrets. …
By becoming conscious, the individual is threatened more and more with isolation, which is nevertheless the sine qua non of conscious differentiation.”

Σ §396 “This fact is expressed in a general way by the religions, where the relation of the individual to God or the gods ensures that the vital link with the regulating images and instinctual powers of the unconscious is not broken. Naturally this is true only so long as the religious ideas have not lost their numinosity, i.e., their thrilling power. Once this loss has occurred, it can never be replaced by anything rational.”
This last statement is very interesting to me, I think of the engagement and wonder of science. There are many unexplained things, which I guess could be considered then 'irrational' in their non-understanding, but these can grip people too. Poetry too, and computers can be poetry - it is another language after all - are beautiful and can be thrilling.
He continues…

” … consciousness reacts to these revelations in the same characteristic way: the alchemist reduced his symbols to the chemical substances he worked with, while the modern man reduces them to personal experiences, as Freud also does in his interpretation of dreams. Both of them act as though they knew to what known quantities the meaning of the symbols could be reduced. And both, in a sense are right: for just as the alchemist was caught in his own alchemical dream language, so modern man, caught in the toils of egohood, uses his personal psychological problems as a facon de parler . In both cases the representational material is derived from already existing conscious contents. The result of this reduction, however, is not very satisfactory …” Definitely worth reading on. Jung highlights Freud and the incest archetype. An interesting comment:“He [Freud] thus found something that to some extent expressed the real meaning and purpose of symbol production, which is to bring about an awareness of those primordial images that belong to all men and can therefore lead the individual out of his isolation.” (Emphasis mine. Cf §394 above, where Jung talks of the consequence of individuation and the resulting isolation.)

§397 ”… symbols mean very much more than can be known at first glance. Their meaning resides in the fact that they compensate an unadapted attitude of consciousness, an attitude that does not fulfil its purpose, and that they would enable it to do this if they were understood.5
5As archetypal symbols are numinous, they have an effect even though they cannot be grasped intellectually.
Jung closes out this paragraph with a comparison of the alchemical work and that of analysis. Sure, the laboratory work is needed in alchemy as the personal, conscious ego issues need to be dealt with, but the healing comes from allowing the symbolic archetypal content to still shine through - without pinning or reducing it down to a specific meaning for then it loses its power. ”…the analyst keeps an eye on their symbolic aspects, for healing comes only from what leads the patient beyond himself and beyond his entanglement in the ego.”

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9. Various aspect of the Tree

§398 “What the tree meant to the alchemists cannot be ascertained either from a single interpretation or from a single text. In order to discover this, a great many sources must be compared.”
From here I think we head into a roller-coaster ride of all the various intimations and impressions and symbols around the tree…and I'm sure there are many!

§398 “Sometimes the prototype is the tree of paradise, hung not with apples but with sun-and-moon fruit, like the trees in the treatise Michael Maier in the Musaeum hermeticum,1 or else it is a sort of Christmas tree, adorned with the seven planets and surrounded by allegories of the seven phases of the alchemical process.”
1P. 702. Cf. “Symbolum Saturni,” in Mylius, Philosophia Reformata [To be found in Theatrum Chemicum, Vol 3, p457] , p.313: ” …
An example of this image can be found in Musaeum hermeticum Vol II, p199 as copied here : A subtle allegory concerning the secrets of alchemy very useful to possess and pleasant to read . By Michael Maier

(English copy) Musaeum hermeticum, Vol II, p199 A subtle allegory concerning the secrets of alchemy very useful to possess and pleasant to read . By Michael Maier

Here's the page referenced by Jung from the original Latin version, p702

Then Jung changes reference having referred to the above image and now is speaking of this image, p202 Musaeum hermeticum Latin version, or p166 Vol I English version. Also to be found in Mylius, Philosophia Reformata which is in Theatrum Chemicum but I can't find it there.

“Standing beneath the tree is not Adam and Eve but Hermes Trismegistus as an old man and the adept as a youth. Behind Hermes Trismegistus is King Sol sitting on a lion accompanied by a fire-spitting dragon, and behind the adept is the moon goddess Diana sitting on a whale accompanied by an eagle.2
2 Psychology and Alchemy Fig. 188.

Cf Prelude to Chemistry - The Emblems of Johann Daniel Mylius for some more info on Mylius.
The Viridarium Chymicum - The Chemical Pleasure Garden has many of Mylius images from his Philosophia Reformata

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The motif ascent and descent of the tree

§399 “In the Ripley Scrowle 4 the serpent of paradise dwells in the top of the tree in the shape of Melusina - “desinit in [anguem] mulier formosa superne.”5 This is combined with a motif that is not in the least Biblical but is primitive and shamanistic …
In medieval Christianity the shamanistic anima was transformed into Lilith,6 who according to tradition was the serpent of paradise and Adam's first wife, with whom he begot a horde of demons.”

Cf. the painting 'The fall' by Hugo Van Der Goes c.1475 showing Melusina in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve.

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The motif of the leafless or dead tree

§400 ”…is not common in alchemy, but is found in Judaeo-Christian tradition as the tree of paradise that died after the Fall. An old English legend7 reports what Seth saw in the Garden of Eden. …”

The motif of the truncated tree

Worth reading the context here as the quotes below may seem a little out of context.
§401 ”“Tree of death” is synonymous with “coffin.” The strange recipe, “Take the tree and place in it a man of great age,”11 should probably be understood in this sense. This motif is a very ancient one, and occurs in the ancient Egyptian tale of Bata, …
This image probably goes back to Cassiodorus, who allegorises Christ as a “tree cut down in his passion.”13
13A parallel to the pine tree of Attis.

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More recent depictions in Alchemy, so circa 13th - 14th century - the fruit bearing tree.

§402 “More frequently the tree appears bearing flowers and fruit… four kinds of blossoms as red, midway between white and black, black, and midway between white and yellow.14 The four colours refer to the four elements that are combined in the opus. …
The motif of the double quaternity, the ogdoad, is associated in shamanism with the world-tree: the cosmic tree with eight branches was planted simultaneously with the creation of the first shaman.”

I'm not sure these colours are entirely accurate but given the description above they seem close for this context at least.

§403 “The Turba has much to say about the fruit-bearing tree. … From the Turba : “I say that that old man does not cease to eat of the fruits of that tree …until that old man becomes a youth.”18 These fruits are here equated with the bread of life in John 6:35, but they go back beyond that to the Ethiopic Book of Enoch (second century B.C.) .. This is a clear hint of death and renewal . It is not always the fruit of the tree, but of the granum frumenti , the grain of wheat, from which the food of the immortality is prepared, as in Aurora consurgens I …“
Emphasis mine. He continues…&lt;br/.&gt;”In the Book of Enoch the fruits of the tree of wisdom are likened to grapes, and this is of interest inasmuch as in the Middle Ages the philosophical tree was sometimes called a vine,22 with reference to John 15:1, “I am the true vine.”“
Cf. §359 above here for the vine as the philosophical tree.
“The fruits and seeds of the tree were also called sun and moon,23 to which the two trees of paradise corresponded.24 The sun and moon fruits presumably go back to Deuteronomy 33:13. …”

§404 ”… the tree representing the opus and the fuit its results, i.e., the gold of which it is said: “Our gold is not the common gold.”29
“God himself dwells in the fiery glow of the sun and appears as the fruit of the philosophical tree and thus as the product of the opus, whose course is symbolised by the growth of the tree. This remarkable saying loses it strangeness if we remember that the goal of the opus was to deliver the anima mundi , the world-creating spirit of God, from the chains of Physis.

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10. The habitat of the Tree

§406 “The philosophical tree usually grows alone and, according to Abu'l Qâsim, “on the sea” in the Western Land, which presumably means on an island. … In a parable in Mylius2 the sun-and-moon tree stands on an island in the sea and grows out of the wonderful water that is extracted by the power of the magnet from the rays of the sun and moon.”More here about the 'coral tree', and sea-water, i.e. salt water being the “maternal Sophia from whose breasts the filii Sapientiae , the philosophers, drink.”

§407 “The tree (or wonderful plant) also has its habitat on the mountains. …
Mountain and tree are symbols of the personality and the self, as I have shown elsewhere; Christ, for instance, is symbolised by the mountain9 as well as by the tree.10

§408 “As we have seen, the tree has a special connection with water, salt, and sea-water, and thus with the aqua permanens , the true arcanum of the adepts. This as we know is Mercurius, who is not to be confused with Hg, the mercurius crudus sive vulgaris .13 Mercurius is the tree of the metals.14 He is the prima materia,15 or else its source.16 …the artifex and the arcanum are one and the same.(i.e. the work and the mystery are one and the same) The water that makes the tree grow but also consumes it18 is Mercurius, who is called “duplex” because he unites the opposites in himself, being both a metal and a liquid. Hence he is called both water and fire. As the sap of the tree he is therefore also fiery, that is to say the tree is of a watery and fiery nature.”
13Cf. “The Spirit Mercurius,” supra, par. 255. above
15Cf. “The Spirit Mercurius,” supra, par. 282ff. above

The motif of the tree represented as metallic

§409 “The tree is often represented as metallic,22 usually golden.23 Its connection with the seven metals implies a connection with the seven planets, so that the tree becomes the world-tree, whose shining fruits are the stars. …”

Interesting point in footnote 28, Mars is the ruler of Aries, which is the first spring zodion.

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11. The inverted tree

Think of the Baobab tree :)

§410 “The tree is frequently called the “inverted tree” ( arbor inversa ).”
There is some discussion here of the Cabala's Sefiroth as a symbolic tree of life and as a symbol of man.

§413 “In Hindu literature the tree grows from above downwards, whereas in alchemy (at least according to the pictures) it grows from below upwards. …Figure 27 in my picture series contains the same motif, and indeed the upthrusting stalks of asparagus are a graphic representation of the way previously unconscious contents push into consciousness. In East and West alike, the tree symbolises a living process as well as a process of enlightenment, which, though it may be grasped by the intellect, should not be confused with it.”

§414 “It is clear from this that the life of the tree represents the opus, which as we know coincides with the seasons.22 The fact that the fruits appear in the spring and the flowers in the autumn may be connected with the motif of reversal (arbor inversa!) and the opus contra naturam .
22The opus begins in the spring, when the conditions are most favourable (cf. “Paracelsus as a Spiritual Phenomenon,” supra, pars. 190ff.) and the “element of the stone is most abundant” (Ventura, Theartr. chem ., II, 1659, p.253). The relation of the opus to the zodiac is shown in Psychology and Alchemy , Fig. 92.

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12. Bird and snake

§415 “Birds …have a special relation to the tree. …”

§416 “The snake, too, with obvious reference to the Bible story, is connected with the tree, first of all in a general way since it is properly speaking the mercurial serpent which, as the chthonic spiritus vegetativus , rises from the roots into the branches, and then more specifically because it represents the tree-numen and appears as Melusina.3
There is some more interesting text here about the uroboros, Christ identified with the dragons head and the tail with the devil or Antichrist:
According to our text the whole of the dragon's body is absorbed by the head, so that the devil is integrated with Christ. … “The whole body obeys the head, and the head hates the body, and slays it beginning from the tail, gnawing it with its teeth, until the whole body enters into the head and remains there for ever.”5

§417 “Lightening in alchemy, as in Jakob Böhme, signifies sudden rapture and illumination.8
22Cf. "A Study in the Process of Individuation," pp. 295ff.

The stork bird
§417 “Since ancient time it was held to be the “pia avis” (devout bird), and appears as such in Haggadic tradition,9 despite being listed among the unclean beasts in Leviticus 11:19 …
In imperial Rome the stork was an allegory of piety, and in Christian tradition it is an allegory of Christ the judge, because it destroys snakes. Just as the snake or dragon is the chthonic numen of the tree, so the stork is its spiritual principle and thus a symbol of the Anthropos.”

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13. The feminine tree-numen

§418 “As the seat of transformation and renewal, the tree has a feminine and maternal significance. We have seen from Ripley's Scrowle that the tree-numen is Melusina.”

The tree of knowledge
§419 “The feminine-maternal nature of the tree appears also in its relation to Sapientia. The tree of knowledge in Genesis is in the Book of Enoch the tree of wisdom, whose fruit resembles the grape.4

An interesting comment here about the gnosis of Justin, and the motherly angels = Naas.

§420 “The picture in Pandora (woodcut 1), where the tree trunk is a woman's body, refers to Mercurius in his feminine role of wisdom, who in his masculine aspect is symbolised by the figure of Mercurius Senex or Hermes Trismegistus.”

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14. The tree as the Lapis

§422 ”“The prima materia is an oily water and is the philosophic stone, from which branches multiply into infinity,” says Mylius.2 Here the stone is itself the tree and is understood as the “fiery substance” or as the “oily water.” As water and oil do not mix, this represents the double or contrary nature of Mercurius.”

I like this, the stone is both the creator and created of itself…
§423 ”“Thus the stone is perfected of and in itself. For it is the tree whose branches, leaves, flowers, and fruits come from it and through it and for it, and it is itself whole or the whole [ tota vel totum ] and nothing else.”3

The motif of the hostile stone
§426 “This motif of the hostile stone is formulated in the “Allegoriae spientum” as follows: “Unless they stone shall be an enemy, thou wilt not attain to the desire.”6 This enemy appears in alchemy in the guise of the poisonous or fire-spitting dragon and also as the lion. The lion's paws must be cut off,7 and the dragon must be killed, or else it kills or devours itself on the principle of Democritus: “Nature rejoices in nature, nature rules over nature, and nature conquers nature.” 8
7See illustration in Reusner's Pandora, p.227. Also Psychology and Alchemy , Fig. 4.
Emphasis mine

§427 “Melusina corresponds to the Edem of the Gnostics and represents the feminine aspect of Mercurius, i.e., the female Nous (Naas of the Naassenes), which in the form of the serpent seduced our first parents.”

Jung mentions here the legend of Khidr and Moses.

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15. The dangers of the art

Basically…notwithstanding the actual laboratory dangers working with chemicals, there was the assimilation of the unconscious content they encountered.
§433 ”…namely, the integration of the unconscious and the process of individuation.”

Also, footnote 17, §434, inflation is a real danger.

§435 “It is clear from what happens in the Chymical Wedding That it was not concerned solely with the transformation and union of the royal pair, but also with the individuation of the adept. The union with the shadow and the anima is a difficulty not to be taken lightly. The problem of opposites that then makes its appearance and the unanswerable questions that this entails lead to the constellation of compensating archetypal contents in the form of numinous experiences. What complex psychology discovered only late was known long ago to the alchemists - symbolice
I.e. to be able to symbolise in order to understand and extract meaning from the unconscious content, to assimilate.
I like this next quote as it sums up in many ways the autonomy of the unconscious to push images upon us.

“Laurentius Ventura expresses this insight in a few succinct words: ” The perfection of the work does not lie in the power of the artifex, but God the most merciful himself bestows it upon whom he will. And in this point lies all the danger.”19

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16. Understanding as a means of defence

Cf. Ostanes quotation, section 14, p320…quoted here. I'm quoting it here (in part) as I think the '3 weapons' in defence of the Andalusian prince (= Lapis, or unconscious content) are intriguing.
The sages are powerless to oppose him. I can see no weapon against him save resignation , no charger but knowledge , no buckler but understanding . If the seeker finds himself before him with these three weapons, and slays him, he [the prince] will come to life again after his death, will lose all power against him, and will give the seeker the highest power, so that he will arrive at his desired goal .

The motif of knowing the name
§436 “It is not only a well-known fairytale motif (Rumpelstiltskin!) but also a very ancient primitive belief that he who can guess the secret name has power over its possessor. In psychotherapy it is well-known fact that neurotic symptoms which seem impossible to attack can often be rendered harmless by conscious understanding and experience of the contents underlying them.”
Jung continues here - importantly - highlighting the dangers of inflation (although he doesn't use that word) and the modern man thinking that insight or understanding puts the unconscious content at their disposal - this is not the case obviously. As he quotes earlier, “The philosopher is not the master of the stone, but rather its minister.”

§437 “We neither can nor should try to force this numinous being, [Unconscious content - the Lapis, Christ] at the risk of our own psychic destruction, into our narrow human mould, for it is greater than man's consciousness and greater than his will.”

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17. The motif of torture

§440 “These quotations show that the concept of torture is an ambiguous one.
(1) In the first case it is the bodies, the raw materials of the work, that are tormented;
(2) in the second case the tormented things is without doubt the arcane substance, which is often called res;
(3) and in the third case it is the investigators themselves who cannot endure the torments. This ambiguity is no accident and has its deeper reasons.”

There is discussion here now of the torture of the body and the torture of the soul (“§442 The “soul” corresponds as a rule to the arcane substance, either the prima materia or the means by which it is transformed”)
There is more here about the need to be tormented, to suffer and meditate in the art. 'It is not surprising' the analogy with Christ and the suffering on the cross that is so often used in Alchemy.

§446 “The quaternity of the tree goes back beyond the Christian era. It is found in Zarathustra's vision of the tree with four branches made of gold, silver, steel, and “mixed iron.”27 This image reappears later in the alchemical tree of the metals, which was then compared with the cross of Christ.”

Σ §447 “The tree also appears as a symbol of transformation in a passage in Dorn's “Speculativa philosophia,” which is very interesting from the point of view of the psychology of religion:
”[God] hat determined to snatch the sword of his wrath (The double edged sword of Gods word) from the hands of the angel, substituting in place thereof a three-pronged hook of gold, (the trinity?) hanging the sword on a tree: (i.e. crucifixion of Christ, gods word made man, John 1:1 'in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.') and so God's wrath is turned into love.”30 Christ as Logos is the two-edged sword, which symbolizes God's wrath, as in Revelation 1:16.
27 Theatr. Chem ., I (1659), p. 254. … insert some Latin here :)

The dual aspect of the snake as Sophia / Wisdom, and also Instinct, chthonic
Σ §448 “Christ as Logos is synonymous with the Naas, (Cf. the Naas above) the serpent of the Nous amount the Ophites. … Hence it (The snake) is an excellent symbol for the two aspects of the unconscious : cold and ruthless instinctuality, and its Sophia quality or natural wisdom, which is embodied in the archetypes.
The Logos-nature of Christ represented by the chthonic serpent stop is the maternal wisdom of the divine mother, which is prefigured by sapientia in the Old Testament. The snake-symbol thus characterizes Christ as a personification of the unconscious in all its aspects, (i.e. the instinctual and the natural wisdom, Sophia) and as such he is hung on the tree in sacrifice (“wounded by the spear” like Odin).”

What the fuck does this next bit mean!! … §449 “Psychologically, this snake sacrifice (the snake = Christ, hanging on the cross = tree) must be understood as an overcoming of unconsciousness and, (this is the part I'm not sure of) at the same time, of the attitude of the son who unconsciously hangs on his mother (Before or after it's sacrificed on the tree, or hanging on the tree??). The alchemists used the same symbol to represent the transformation of Mercurius,34 who is quite definitely a personification of the unconscious, as I have shown.35

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18. The relation of suffering to the coniunctio

§452 “According to these Gnostics, it was not the Primordial Man who was cast out as a bait into the darkness, but the feminine figure of Wisdom, Sophia-Achamoth. …”

Jung quotes from Irenaeus, a Gnostic writer, who presents the separation of Sophia-Achamoth from the whole, the Pleroma. Here is a copy of the version I have (Against Heresies - Book 1, Ch IV) which is similar to that of Jung's…


1. The following are the transactions which they narrate as having occurred outside of the Pleroma: The enthymesis of that Sophia who dwells above, which they also term Achamoth,(14) being removed from the Pleroma, together with her passion, they relate to have, as a matter of course, become violently excited in those places of darkness and vacuity [to which she had been banished]. For she was excluded from light(15) and the Pleroma, and was without form or figure, like an untimely birth, because she had received nothing(16) [from a male parent]. But the Christ dwelling on high took pity upon her; and having extended himself through and beyond Stauros,(17) he imparted a figure to her, but merely as respected substance, and not so as to convey intelligence.(18) Having effected this, he withdrew his influence, and returned, leaving Achamoth to herself, in order that she, becoming sensible of her suffering as being severed from the Pleroma, might be influenced by the desire of better things, while she possessed in the meantime a kind of odour of immortality left in her by Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Λ §453 “This strange creation myth is obviously “psychological”: it describes, in the form of a cosmic projection, the separation of the feminine anima from a masculine
and spiritually oriented consciousness that strives for the final and absolute victory of the spirit over the world of the senses, as was the case in the pagan philosophies of that epoch no less than in Gnosticism. This development and differentiation of consciousness left left a literary deposit in the Metamorphoses of Apuleius, and more particularly in his tale of Amor and Psyche , as Erich Neumann has shown in his study of that work.”

Jung talks here now of the separation of the anima, Sophia, from the masculine and the desire to rejoin and become whole again. …worth a read.
§456 “The one will not darken its radiance, (i.e. the light of Christ, the principal of masculine spirituality) and the other will not give up its gratifying emotions. (The suffering of Sophia in her separation from the Pleroma) Neither of them notices that their suffering is one and the same and is due to the process of becoming conscious, whereby an original unity is split into two irreconcilable halves. There can be no consciousness without this act of discrimination, nor can the resultant duality be reunified without the extinction of consciousness . But the original wholeness remains a desideratum for which Sophia longs more than does the Gnostic Christ. It is still the case today that discrimination and differentiation mean more to the rationalistic intellect than wholeness through the union of opposites. That is why it is the unconscious which produces the symbols of wholeness.3
3 Psychology and Alchemy , pars. 122ff., and "A Study in the Process of Individuation,"
Emphasis mine

I like this…
Λ Σ §457 “These symbols are usually quaternity and consist of two pairs of opposites crossing one another (e.g., left/right, above/below). The four points demarcate a circle, which, apart from the point itself, is the simplest symbol of wholeness and therefore the simplest God-image.4 This reflection has some bearing on the emphasis laid on the cross in our text, since the cross as well as the tree is the medium of conjunction. … The coniunctio is a culminating point of life and at the same time a death, for which reason our text mentions the “fragrance of immortality.” On the one hand the anima is the connecting link with the world beyond and the eternal images, while on the other hand her emotionality involves man in the chthonic world and its transitoriness.”
4“God is a circle whose centre is everywhere and the circumference nowhere.” Cf. Mysterium Coniunctionis p.47.

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19. The tree as man

§459 “In so far as the tree symbolizes the opus and the transformation process “tam ethice quam physice” (both morally and physically), it also signifies the life process in general.”

§462 “The process usually consists in the union of two pairs of opposites, a lower (water, blackness, animal, snake, etc.) with an upper (bird, light, head, etc.), and left (feminine) with a right (masculine). The union of opposites, which plays such a great and indeed decisive role in alchemy, is of equal significance in the psychic process initiated by the confrontation with the unconscious, so the occurrence of similar or even identical symbols is not surprising.”

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20. The interpretation and integration of the unconscious

§473 “Neuroses, like all illnesses, are symptoms of maladjustment. Because of some obstacle - a constitutional weakness or defect, wrong education, bad experiences, an unsuitable attitude, etc. - one shrinks from the difficulties which life brings and thus finds oneself back in the world of the infant. (Cf. above, the return to the mother and hanging on the cross, §449) The unconscious compensates this regression by producing symbols which, when understood objectively, that is, by means of comparative research, reactivate general ideas that underlie all such natural systems of thought. In this way a change of attitude is brought about which bridges the dissociation between man as he is and man as he ought to be.”

Λ §475 “Anyone who wants to live will refrain from these tricks and will at all times carefully inquire into the body's and psyche's needs. Once a certain level of consciousness and intelligence has been reached, it is no longer possible to live onsidedly, and the whole of the psychosomatic instincts, which still function in a natural way among primitives, must consciously be taken into account.” How!! :)

§476 “Consciousness immediately fills it (the Archetypal form supplied by the unconscious) with related or similar representational material so that it can be perceived. For this reason archetypal ideas are locally, temporally, and individually conditioned.”

§477 “The integration of the unconscious takes place spontaneously only in rare cases. …”

There is some good stuff here on dream interpretation and symbols; personal and representation collective

§481 “As I have said, the confrontation with the unconscious usually begins in the realm of the personal unconscious, that is, of personally acquired contents which constitute the shadow, and from there leads to archetypal symbols which represent the collective unconscious. The aim of the confrontation is to abolish the dissociation. … This means not only bringing the conflict to consciousness; it also involves an experience of a special kind, namely, the recognition of an alien “other” in oneself, or the objective presence of another will. …” Worth reading on.

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  • Last modified: 2018/09/19 03:01
  • by janus