Query - Rosarium Philosophorum

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Submitted by Marnia on
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Consider this series of drawings from an old alchemy text. They are one of several such series.
rosarium philosophorum

You may also view them here, where you can click on each image to enlarge it a bit.

These images seem to record a mystery that is often also referred to as the sacred marriage, "hierosgamos" or "conjunction of opposites." Are they strictly symbolic of some non-physical union, or do they point to the need for actual union of the sexes as part of a spiritual ritual? Can you learn anything about this mystery?

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Rosarium Philosophorum

The term "hierosgamos" typically refers to the union between two divinities -- a human and a god/godess; OR, more specifically, between a king and a hierodule (‘sacred prostitute’) . There does not appear to be much in the way of mystery; even Roman Catholicism has its "heirosgamos" -- Jesus was 'conceived' by the Holy Spirit! I think there is infinitely more symbolism than mystery. Easier to change base metal into gold!

Looks Like Sacred Sex to Me

Your original link no longer works; I used this link, instead:
http://www.alchemywebsite.com/virtual_museum/rosarium_philosophorum_room...

Wow, that is the first clear, original depiction that I have seen (or read) of what the secret practice was and what it portended.

To me, it seems clear that physical union is required for the ultimate transformation of couples to Christ. If physical union was not required, the two would be sitting, holding hands, looking at each other, or something similar, instead of being entwined in full union.

Very nice piece to bring to folks' attention!