View Full Version : Spiritual Alchemy - Interpreting Representative Texts

01-04-2009, 03:14 PM
This is a Phoenix-thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=7) from the old site (http://alchemy-forums.forumotion.com/forum.htm) created by Radiant Star.

I found this:
Spiritual Alchemy - Interpreting Representative Texts and Images by Karen-Claire Voss (http://www.istanbul-yes-istanbul.co.uk/alchemy/Spiritual%20Alchemy.htm)
This writer provides her definitions and then goes onto explain her ideas very clearly, its worth a read I think.
In the frame, we see a figure lying on the ground sleeping. On the ladder between heaven and earth are two angels - one descending, the other ascending - who are blowing trumpets by the sleeping figure in order to awaken him. This ladder, a sign of meditation between heaven and earth, connotes Jacobís dream at Bethel (Gen.28:11-12). Jung has commented that this figure represents a person who is profoundly unconscious of himself... who have not yet integrated their future, more extensive personality, their wholeness, or, in the language of the mystics, the ones who are not yet enlightened.

This observation underscores the traditional esoteric meaning of Jacobís Ladder. Before Jacob went to sleep, he did not know the sacrality of the place, but when he awakened, he did... Heaven is above, and separated from the earth; the divine is separated from the human. The ascending angels and the ladder symbolically represent the means of connection between these spheres; it is here a mediated connection. This symbolism, together with the two branches bearing thorns and flowers that are tied together, refers to the alchemical oppositions that will be resolved; it also tells us something about the initial understanding of causality. When we have two material objects that we want to join, we use glue, or nails, or, as pictured here, we tie them together with a knot. In other words, a mechanical means is used to join two things that are separate. A clear distinction is made between the means or method of performing an action and the thing that is the object of the action. Mechanistic causality is precisely what is symbolized for us here.
From the link you provided Radiant Star, and I like the essay. And the concept of causality has always been an interest of mine. The Ladder is of course a symbol that can be found in almost any esoteric movement from alchemy to freemasonry! It also looks a lot like DNA!


And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. - from Genesis 32:30