The great secret of alchemy is the Divine Marriage of opposites which gives birth to the Spirit Body of transcendence associated with liberation of the soul. The exact process of metamorphosis leading to the creation and birth of the spirit body within the physical body has long been veiled in mystery and secrecy. The spirit body is not to be confused with the subtle body or subtle bodies which one already has from birth. The creation and birth of the spirit body is an entirely unique process found within the various world traditions of alchemy. The spirit body has gone by names like Deva Deha, Siddha Deha, Golden Pearl, Merkaba, Rainbow Body, Diamond Body, Star Body, and Immortal Body of Light. You can find the most revealed aspects of this process in Chinese Taoist Alchemy and East Indian Tantric Alchemy.
Traditionally, the process was taught from teacher to student in a step by step series of initiations. One did not progress until first mastering each successive step. The foundation for this process can be found in traditional Yoga comprised of physical postures, breathing and mantra sound meditation. Yoga means union with the absolute.
Depending upon the culture, the opposites were variously know as Fire and Water, Sun and Moon, Soul and Spirit, Male and Female, Mercury and Sulfur, King and Queen, Heaven and Earth, Shiva and Shakti, Kan and Li, Yin and Yang, Ka and Ba, Isis and Osiris, Soma and Agni.
Also this marriage parallels the practice of Tantric sexual union and unfoldment of the inner life energy referred to as the Kundalini. This process is also mirrored in the Jewish mystical tradition of the Kabbalah when ascending the Tree of Life, which esoterically is the seven energy centres or chakras that run up the spinal column to the brain.
The alchemical marriage of opposites can be seen in the symbolism of the intersecting triangles of the Jewish Star of David, Seal of Solomon, and the Sri Yantra of India. The upward pointing triangle symbolizes the male or fire principle, and the downward pointing triangle symbolizes the female or water principle.
The Bindu point in the centre of the Sri Yantra symbolizes the point of transcendence. The Yantra is a graphic symbol of the Mantra. The Mantra corresponds with the Five Elements and Logos or Word of God. Also the marriage of opposites can be seen in the symbolism of the Christian Cross.
The ancient Caduceus symbol used by the modern medical establishment symbolizes on an esoteric level the alchemical process. The staff represents the spinal column which correlates with the Sushumna Nadi channel of yogic esoteric anatomy. The two ascending spirals of snakes represent the solar and lunar currents known as the ida and pingala of the kundalini life force. The spiral pattern is similar to the spirals of the human DNA.
The symbolism of Jacobs Ladder or Stairway to Heaven corresponds with the Staff of Life. The sphere at the top of the staff represents the energy centre of the brain or the seventh chakra, also known as the thousand-petalled lotus.
The wings at the top of the staff represent the culmination of the alchemical process. They represent freedom or liberation of the soul from the cycle of birth and death. One transcends the bonds of ego and bodily identification. The spirit is released from the confines of matter.
Ultimately, this is the unfoldment of consciousness whereby one realizes one’s self to be infinite - also known as self-realization. Most esoteric symbolism and myth reflects the process of alchemical transformation in both its inner and outer aspects.
Dragon symbolism is a reflection of the life force. The Uraeus headdress of the Egyptian pharaohs in which the serpent protrudes from the forehead symbolizes the unfoldment of the Kundalini. The Phoenix bird rising from the ashes represents the alchemical process of transformation, rebirth, and liberation.
The Christmas tree can be seen as a reflection of this process. Also the Biblical story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, although edited by orthodoxy, also represents the alchemical process. The Fruit of the Tree of Life can be equated with Elixir and Apotheosis.
One of the most well known references to alchemy in the Bible is the passage attributed to Jesus in John 3, “I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God. The truth is, no-one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of Water and the Spirit.”
From the esoteric perspective, this is the marriage of opposites. Spirit is synonymous with Fire and breath. The Kingdom of God is apotheosis. The idea of rapture, resurrection, transfiguration, ascending to heaven and becoming an immortal is based upon this process. There are numerous stories throughout history of those who practiced alchemy becoming immortal. This relates to the development and birth of the spirit body. This is the great spiritual rebirth, enlightenment or illumination. Through the marriage of opposites, one becomes whole or holy, or to become born again. This can also be seen as the marriage of Soul and Spirit and an expression of the highest form of healing.
It is the exact process of how to create this marriage which has always been secret. Gnosis or direct experience makes up the Gnostic tradition of Esoteric Christianity. Both Jesus and Mary Magdalene are considered to be key figures in the alchemical nature of Esoteric Christianity. The exoteric or outer rituals of orthodox religion like the Seven Holy Sacraments; Baptism, Anointing, Christening, Consecration, Holy Water and the Eucharist are a reflection of the esoteric or inner practice of alchemy where faith is replaced with direct experience, and death is replaced with embodied liberation. The anthropomorphic deity is transcended and the infinite is realized.
The human body is the ultimate temple or alchemical laboratory where transformation takes place. The Spirit Body developed within the physical body is the ultimate vehicle of resurrection, ascension and transcendence. It is said that to have a human body is an extremely rare gift and there are countless souls without a body waiting to take birth. Through the body and mind, one can realize one’s true self. The focus of alchemy is to accelerate the growth of the human soul within one lifetime to completion or perfection. One overrides the process of normal evolution involving countless incarnations, where the soul is led by desire and attachment to the temporal which keeps one bound to the cycle of birth and death. The experience of the phenomenal world and its associated pleasures do not give lasting happiness.
Humans are programmed by nature to continually seek happiness which is essentially a search for one’s true self. For most, happiness is sought outwards in temporal pleasure. Self-realization is about turning inwards and finding eternal happiness, peace and fulfillment. The trials, tribulations and lessons of life reach their culmination and fulfillment in self-realization. One transcends phenomenal creation and realizes the infinite source of creation within. With this awakening of awareness, one sees all of creation as an aspect of one’s self. Alchemy accelerates the process of evolution, thereby allowing one to step off the wheel of birth and death. One transcends desire, duality, karma, space and time. One’s true nature is realized, which is infinite.
Ana-Stasi Fennell - The Divine Matrix Connection,