In CG Jung’s book “Mysterium Coniunctionis” there’s a concept called “The Three conjunctions.”
Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, wrote extensively about the human psyche and the various components that make it up. In his work, Jung discussed the concept of the “three conjunctions,” which refer to integrating the conscious and unconscious aspects of the psyche.
This profound exploration sheds light on the interconnectedness of various elements within the human psyche and the greater collective unconscious.
The First Conjunction – Join your emotions and rationality.
Solificatio: This is the first stage of the conjunction, in which the individual becomes aware of the unconscious aspects of their psyche. This stage involves confronting and acknowledging the shadow self – the parts of ourselves that we do not like or that we have repressed. This stage is often associated with the element of earth, symbolizing the process of grounding and becoming aware of the physical body.
The first conjunction, also known as the Puer-Senex, symbolizes the union of opposites, specifically the youthful and mature aspects of the psyche. This encounter between the impulsive, adventurous nature of the Puer archetype and the wise, experienced qualities of the Senex archetype marks the beginning of a transformative journey towards psychological wholeness.
The first thing you do is join your emotions and your rationality so that your mind and your emotions are one thing. Jung called that the first conjunction, when your motivations, emotions, and the way you think about the world are all acting in the same direction. That would mean the incorporation of aggression and sexuality from a Freudian perspective, those parts of us that are difficult to integrate come to be integrated into one thing. So you can use your anger when you need to, you have your sexuality under control; it doesn’t have you; still, you know how to use it, and it’s a powerful tool, you’re also properly assertive in all of those dimensions.
The Second Conjunction – when there’s no distinction between you and what you do
Coagulatio: This is the second stage of the conjunction, in which the individual begins to integrate their conscious and unconscious aspects. This stage involves reconciling and integrating the shadow self into the conscious psyche. This stage is often associated with the element of water, symbolizing the process of dissolution and re-formation.
The second conjunction, the Sol-Luna, embodies the merging of the masculine and feminine principles within the individual. It represents the integration of the conscious solar element and the unconscious lunar element, resulting in a balanced and harmonious psyche. This union transcends gender boundaries, emphasizing the importance of embracing both masculine and feminine qualities within ourselves.
You vote yourself into one psychological unit and then you embody that. so that’s the second conjunction. The second conjunction is so there’s no distinction between you and what you do, between your philosophy and how act. then it makes you in second kind of unity.
The Third Conjunction – overcome the illusion of the self
Sublimatio: This is the third and final stage of the conjunction, in which the individual achieves a higher state of consciousness. This stage involves transcending the conscious and unconscious aspects and achieving a state of spiritual enlightenment. This stage is often associated with the element of air, symbolizing the process of elevation and transcendence.
The third conjunction, the Mercurius, embodies the reconciliation of the conscious and unconscious aspects of the mind. This transformative union represents the alchemical process of transmutation, where the base elements of the psyche are synthesized to create a higher state of consciousness. The Mercurius serves as a bridge between the conscious ego and the depths of the unconscious, facilitating the integration of shadow aspects and the emergence of a more authentic self.
The final conjunction, which is the most difficult one, is to stop thinking that the world is different from you. Same way, by developing discipline, you’re putting yourself in order, you’re developing a vision of the future, you’re figuring out how to dress, you’re figuring out how to take care of your things, and how to interact in the microcosmos that is in front of you. You’re learning how to balance chaos and order; there’s no difference between you and what’s around you! That’s a very difficult thing to understand. So you want to act in a way that’s good for you, and good for everyone else at the same time.
Source of The Three Conjunctions
The concept of the three conjunctions is derived from alchemy, an ancient practice that sought to transform base metals into gold and to discover a universal panacea or cure-all. Alchemists believed that this process of transmutation could also be applied to the human psyche, and that by integrating the conscious and unconscious aspects of the psyche, an individual could achieve a state of spiritual enlightenment and wholeness. Carl Jung was greatly influenced by alchemy and incorporated many of its ideas and symbols into his own psychological theories. The three conjunctions are an example of how Jung adapted alchemical concepts to describe the process of psychological integration and transformation.
Many famous alchemy books have been influential throughout history. Some of the most well-known alchemy texts include:
- “The Emerald Tablet”: This is a short but influential text that is believed to have been written by the legendary alchemist Hermes Trismegistus. It contains the famous maxim “As above, so below” and describes the process of transmutation.
- “The Corpus Hermeticum“: This is a collection of texts attributed to Hermes Trismegistus that cover a wide range of topics, including astrology, magic, and spiritual transformation.
- “The Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus“: Paracelsus was a Swiss physician and alchemist who wrote extensively on the subject of alchemy. His works are known for their practical approach to alchemical experimentation.
- The “Book of the Dead” is an ancient Egyptian funerary text that contains a collection of spells and prayers designed to guide the deceased through the afterlife and help them overcome various obstacles on their journey to the underworld. It was written on papyrus scrolls and placed in tombs with the deceased and other funerary goods. The exact origins of the “Book of the Dead” are unclear, but it is thought to have been compiled over a period of several centuries, from around 1550 BCE to 50 BCE. The text evolved over time, adding new spells and chapters as new beliefs and practices emerged. The earliest versions of the “Book of the Dead” were written in hieroglyphs on tomb walls, but later versions were written on papyrus scrolls.The text was not attributed to a single author but was instead the product of many scribes and priests who contributed to its development over the centuries. The “Book of the Dead” was one of several funerary texts used in ancient Egypt, but it became one of the most popular and enduring, and its influence can be seen in later Egyptian and Greco-Roman funerary traditions.
Jung was influenced by a wide range of alchemical texts, including those mentioned above, as well as the works of alchemists such as Basil Valentine, Michael Maier, and Gerhard Dorn. He also drew inspiration from medieval alchemical manuscripts and illustrations, which he saw as rich sources of symbolic imagery that could be used to understand the workings of the human psyche.