"When the masculine and feminine
truly become one,
all duality ceases to exist."
- Joseph Panek
Ancient cultures were aware of, understood, revered and utilized
the complementary aspects of duality. They realized that the
masculine and feminine, the yin and the yang, complemented each
other and, when utilized together, create a powerful synergy;
wherein the combined Union of the two aspects of duality is more
potent and creative than the sum of each of the two when acting
The various indigenous cultures which occupy the most distant
and remote places on our planet are also aware of this timeless
and Divine Law.
"Modern" society, however, by way of its multiple institutions and
organizations promotes an entirely different agenda in regards to
duality. Instead of focusing on the complementary aspects of
duality so revered by ancient and indigenous cultures, "modern"
society Indoctrinates its members to focus only upon the divisive
aspects of duality. These aspects are the concept of me against
you, us against them, masculine against feminine, etc., etc., etc.
Modern society Indoctrinates its members how to "pick things apart"
instead of Instructing its members to be Aware of, to observe and
to understand how Nature, Natural Laws and duality work in unison
to create, expand and prosper.
And except for the indigenous cultures, and the very small
number of individuals who are aware of and understand Divine Law,
the divisive aspects of duality governs the behavior of the masses
while the complementary aspects of duality are ridiculed,
discredited and scorned.
Hence the misery we experience in today's fractured world of
personal Relationships and interpersonal interactions. These
fractures are the chief cause of the antagonistic attitudes which
exist between the various races, cultures and nations occupying
this planet today.
Symbolism is a great Teacher. The purpose of Symbolism is to
show us in pictures, characters and designs those things which
are very difficult to convey by way of clumsy Words. Symbolism,
in effect, manifests abstract concepts into visible images.
The paintings and artwork pertaining to The Alchemical Marriage
are the Symbolist's way of portraying the powerful interplay of the
complementary aspects of duality. Therefore, the Alchemical
Marriage is, in fact, a Symbolic depiction of the Union of Duality.
The Symbolism of the Alchemical Marriage:
The Alchemical Marriage is the most sublime and potent
expression of the Union of Duality. It represents the ultimate
conjunction, or intimate bonding, of all aspects of duality and
represents the pure Harmony which can exist when the masculine
and feminine aspects of Nature are solemnly blended into One.
Symbolically, the Alchemical Marriage is expressed in many
different ways. Some examples are:
A naked man and woman sharing a passionate physical
embrace which entwines all parts of their bodies. In such
instances the man is wearing the crown of a king and the
woman is wearing the crown of a queen. Sometimes the man
has the face of the sun and the woman has the face of the
moon. And other times the sun may appear over the body of
the man while the moon appears over the body of the woman
Not always do we find the man and woman being portrayed as
sharing a passionate embrace. Often we see them, again both
naked, either holding hands or simply looking at each other with
a longing gaze. Again, in these instances the man may be either
wearing the crown of a king, be portrayed with the face of the sun,
or have the sun displayed above his head. While the woman may
be wearing the crown of a queen, be portrayed with the face of the
moon or have the moon displayed above her head.
In other instances both the man and woman may be clothed in
the garments of magicians and bonded together by a cord or have
a bird, which represents the Uniting Spirit, hovering above and
between them in the appearance of giving spiritual blessing to
their sublime Union. In these instances the man may be wearing
a garment of red or gold, which represents his solar aspects, while
the woman may be wearing a garment of white or silver which
represents her lunar aspects.
And yet, in other instances, we may find an androgynous figure
representing the Union of Duality which is at the heart of the
Alchemical Marriage. An androgynous figure is one in which both
the masculine and feminine are portrayed in one body. This can
be depicted by way of a single a body which contains both the
head of a man and the head of a woman. An androgynous figure
can also be one whose facial features can appear to be either
masculine, feminine or both at the same time.
There are still other ways in which the Alchemists portrayed the
Alchemical Marriage but they all contain the same themes as
We also find the Union of Duality, which again is at the heart of
the Alchemical Marriage, in other ancient and mystical teachings.
The Chinese yin and yang Symbol depicts both the yin and yang
essences perfectly balanced, and in union with each other, while
Harmoniously enclosed within the womb of the Circle.
In the Tarot, we find the Alchemical Marriage (Union of Duality)
expressed in the card of "The Lovers".
Androgynous figures also appear in astrology, mythology and
In mythology and astrology the Greek god Hermes and the
Roman god Mercury are portrayed as androgynous beings.
Hermes and Mercury are later day representations of Thoth,
the ancient Egyptian Neter of whom it was said "contained the
Wisdom of the heavens and all that is contained within the
In the Tarot we find the concept of androgyny portrayed in the
character of "The Fool".
The Symbolism of the Total Solar Eclipse:
The ultimate example of the Alchemical Marriage, and the
Union of Duality, which can be actually observed and
experienced in the physical realm is that rare and perfect
conjunction of the sun and moon which we call the Total
During a Total Solar Eclipse the moon completely covers,
and entirely unites with, the sun. In that brief and rare moment
the moon and sun occupy the exact same point in the heavens.
In that one brief and rare moment the moon and sun, the cosmic
feminine and masculine, are Symbolically and celestially One.
And In that final and brief cosmic moment, when the moon and
sun unite in the heavens as One, a flash of solar brilliance shoots
forth from the sun's corona Symbolizing that orgasmic cosmic
moment when the sun and the moon, the masculine and feminine
aspects of the heavens, experience their blissful Union of Duality
in a magnificent consummation of their celestial Alchemical Marriage.
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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.
© copyright Joseph Panek 2013