The Alchemy of Love / by Sam Abelow

This is a print by the artist Chemical Marriage

Carl Jung spent 25 years deciphering the psychological meaning behind Alchemy and yoga.

Great works by Edinger, like "Anatomy of the Psyche," explain the significance of alchemical motifs for modern man.

I believe the three main stages of alchemical transformation can be related to the experience of modern dating.

Nigredo - Infatuation

The initial stage of alchemy, similar to that of romantic relationships, relates to discovering unknowns. When we first meet someone we are interested in, we ask questions to better understand the other persons values, lifestyle and overall personality.

A major process in this initial stage of Alchemy is Mortificatio where different aspects of oneself are separated and the infantile consciousness first experiences the vast power of the soul. This can be compared to the infatuation and excitement at the beginning of a relationship.

Much of my music touches upon themes which relate to the turmoil which occurs during early infatuation, crushes and even in immature relationships. A lot of my early songs reflect the emotional impact of encountering a woman who reflects the inner feminine image (known as the Anima) and stirs attractions and fantasies.

Albedo - Transformation

The more we expose about ourselves; weaknesses, strengths and interests, struggles the closer we feel to one another. The stronger this connection, the more we can give each other advice and support, which helps us overcome any problems that occur in life.

In alchemy this secondary stage represents a purification, where all of our false beliefs and personality traits are dissolved. The main process in this stage is the Solutio, which according to Jungian studies of Alchemy can literally be effected by a relationship with a therapist, friend or lover.

Rubedo - Union

As we experience intimate and prolonged connection with another person we become a true “couple,” two people as “one.” This can be represented in marriage and relates to everything from finances being intertwined to the phrase “we’re having a baby.”

In alchemy this final stage of completion is very often symbolized by the hermaphodite! The various aspects of an individual personality are completely integrated— one has become enlightened.

The King and Queen, Sun and Moon having merged together. It is a very powerful experience and so this ideal relationship with a partner, or within oneself is something we all strive for.

My song "Home" expresses the intuitive perception many of us express in the belief that physical sex is a profound and meaningful connection between to people. The merging of two people intimately is an outward expression of the symbolic inner union that can occur psychologically.

In western alchemy, the merged King and Queen represented the integration of dualities within the psyche: this is known as the Conjunctio, in the final stage of the alchemical process.

The ancient Hindu "Ardhanarishvara" was a represenation of Shiva (masculine) and Shakti (feminine) in one form. Showing the unity of the divine force.