7. Coniunctio (conjunction), called by a few “baptism with spirit“.
This “connection” is the result of all previous dynamic transformation phases. Both in alchemical laboratories, and in our internal processes, a distinction should be made between the so-called “small” and “big” conjunctions.
The small one leads us to the connection between the polar forces, the opposites, the mercury and the sulfur in alchemical terminology. On a spiritual level, these opposites, which create the movement of the external forms, are complementary parts. The result of this unity is the so-called Philosopher’s Stone, which turns all things to perfection through “coloring” (or turning into gold) – initiating the process of transformation in everything it touches. Or if we use another alchemical term, it is the Elixir of Life that cures all diseases.
However, it is good to pay attention to the fact that, despite their frequent synonymous use by alchemists, the Philosopher’s Stone and the Elixir of Life are two different aspects of this process – we could say “male” and “female”. The Stone is the spiritual seed, and the Elixir – the spiritual ground for it. The interaction between them in Christianity is illustrated by the Virgin Mary’s (pure matter) conception by the Holy Spirit. Jesus explains it to Nicodemus as “being reborn of water and spirit”.
In relation to this, many engravings were created in the Middle Ages, depicting a king and queen’s marriage. Hence the expression “Alchemical Wedding” (as in the title of a remarkable Renaissance work) became popular. The idea of the Groom (Christ) and the maiden (the soul) also occupies a central place in the New Testament.
The big conjunction, which is only possible in High Alchemy, is the ultimate unification of the soul with the unchanging, eternally creative forces, which is unambiguously reflected in the words of Christ: “I and the Father are one.”
Linking Alchemy with the New Testament may sound surprising to some, but in reality, the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and John’s Revelation are very serious alchemical works – the most significant texts of the Western world that direct us to the transformation of the soul qualities („metals“). The concrete examples for this are probably countless, but in the light of the seven phases described above, everybody can now discover them himself. For example, what can Coagulation be, but Resurrection? What about the sevenfold process explicitly emphasized in the Revelation of John – with the seven seals, and with the letters to the seven churches? The processes are also concisely summarized in the Second Epistle of Peter, a text that has often been discussed as illustrating a sevenfold path of initiation: “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love”[i]. The following words of Paul in his Epistle to the Ephesians (2:13-15), could not be more alchemical and describe more fully the Conjunction: “[…] you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances […]. We can also add his well-known expression: “Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians, 15:54).
Also, one of the greatest mystics, Jakob Böhme, declared directly in the XVII century that the Philosopher’s Stone is the Spirit of Christ, that must penetrate into the soul of the individual.
The path from Bethlehem to Golgotha is precisely the path of transformation, and describes the nigredo-albedo-rubedo processes, as bridges in the passage of Jesus between the phases of baptism, transfiguration, death on the cross, and resurrection. They are also reflected in the characters of: Herod, the power hungry (including the spiritual) ego; John, who lives in the desert (purification), and comes to “straighten the paths before the Lord“; Jesus, born from a virgin in the crib of the heart, who alone can be Christ, the son of God.
So Alchemy is a boundless field. But no information on this or any other spiritual subject can help us in any way, unless it has actually taken place in our hearts, heads and hands.
The central Latin expression that sums up Alchemy is “Solve et Coagula“, translated as “Dissolve and Coagulate“. And although no one has so far articulated this, the expression may also translate as “Solve the problem and create a (new) ability for distinguishing.” The ability for distinguishing is something that each of us thinks he owns, just like King Herod. Let us now ask for a higher discernment ability, and to be able to build it, as much as we can. This article even describes how it is done 🙂
[i] The Bible (English Standard Version), The Second Epistle of Peter, 1:5-7.