About Anne-Marie Wegh

De auteur van dit boek, Anne-Marie Wegh, woont en werkt in de veertiende-eeuwse Sint Bonifatiuskerk in Horssen. Hier begeleidt zij onder andere retraites. In haar boeken combineert zij haar kennis van beeldtaal in het algemeen en haar eigen spirituele ervaringen met de beeldtaal van de bijbel en die van andere wereldreligies.

Healing from spiritual blindness and deafness

Healing from spiritual blindness and deafness

The knowledge of the presence of a mysterious source of divine energy in our pelvis is what connects all religions. All known prophets and enlightened teachers have discovered at some point during their search for the Greater Reality that this energy source, called kundalini-shakti in the yoga tradition, is the key to God, Allah, YHWH, the Tao, and Nirvana. Evidence of this can be found in the sacred writings and iconographies of the world religions, usually in the form of symbolism and metaphors.

 

But not only in religions, also in numerous fairy tales, myths and legends we are indirectly told that within us there is a staircase to heaven, namely at the sacrum. The name of this bone suggests that we have known for a long time that there is something sacred about this specific location in our pelvis.

Inner Angels

In the Old Testament we read about patriarch Jacob’s dream in which he sees angels ascending to and descending from heaven via a ladder (1). These angels symbolize the awakened kundalini energy that flows through the spine (ladder) of the sleeping Jacob. God speaks to him in the dream and makes him promises of protection and offspring. When he wakes up he is deeply impressed, and Jacob realizes that he will now walk throught life together with God. (2)

Patriarch Jacob dreams about a ladder to heaven

Rapunzel’s long hair hangs out of the window of the tower in which she is locked up

In Buddhism the goddess Phra Mae Thorani also has very long hair. In the illustration ( on the right) we see her depicted beneath the meditating Buddha. Water streams out of her hair. This water symbolizes the awakened kundalini energy in the Buddha himself. According to the myths, Phra Mae Thorani helps the Buddha defeat the demon Mara, who wants to prevent him from reaching the state of enlightenment.

Mara represents everything that keeps the aspirant from the spiritual path: attachment, temptation, ignorance, etcetera. The illustration shows how Mara, sitting on a large elephant (symbolizing the power of the demon), together with his followers (various demonic aspects), drowns in the water that flows from the hair of the goddess.

Long hair

The awakened kundalini energy is also symbolized by long hair. In the fairy tale with the same name, written by the Brothers Grimm, Rapunzel lets her very long hair hang out of the window of the tower (spine) in which she is locked up by a witch (symbol of matter). A prince climbs up the hair and the resulting marriage of the couple is a metaphor for the inner sacred marriage: the merging of the male and female energies; a part of the process of spiritual awakening.(3)

The Buddha calls on the goddess Phra Mae Thorani to wash away demons in a flood

Open crown chakra

Awakening the kundalini energy in the pelvis does not automatically lead to a state of sanctity or enlightenment. An intensive process of purification and healing is first needed, orchestrated by the divine energy, which takes the span of several decades. We can deduce that the Buddha has successfully completed this difficult and painful process, from his fully opened crown chakra.

In the iconography of Buddhism, the Buddha is depicted with what looks like curly hair, which some call “snail hair.” A search on the internet does not reveal the meaning of these curls. Probably because few followers know the experience of a fully opened crown chakra. This feels like small energy swirls (‘spirals’) on the top half of your head.

The Buddha’s crown chakra is fully opened. The flame on his head refers to the awakened kundalini fire.

Pharaoh Amenhotep III with a Uraeus cobra (symbol of the kundalini) on his headdress. The small circles refer to the experience of an opened crown chakra.

The apostle John’s spiraling hair refers to an opened crown chakra and a process of kundalini awakening.

A fully opened crown chakra is symbolised in the iconography of Christianity as an aureola, or a wreath of flowers, around the heads of saints.

The bodhi tree under which the Buddha reaches his state of enlightenment also symbolizes the awakened kundalini energy that flows through his spine to the crown chakra. In many spiritual traditions we find a tree (of life) with special characteristics or fruits, which refer to the experience of the divine and an expanded (enlightened) consciousness. (4)

During his famous night journey (mi’rāj) with the archangel Gabriel, the prophet Muhammad arrives at the tree Sidratul Muntaha, which stands on the border of the seventh heaven (the seventh, or crown chakra), where he receives divine instructions. In the Hadith (oral tradition), Sidratul Muntaha is mentioned as the tree that is under the Throne of God (Allah). (5)

Walking trees

The New Testament is also full of symbolism that refers to the kundalini energy. The physical healings that Jesus performed during his travels through Judea are metaphors for the processes of purification and healing that are part of a kundalini process (6). In Mark’s Gospel, a blind man is brought to Jesus:

He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Then he touched the man’s eyes with saliva and laid his hands on him. “Do you see anything yet?” he asked. The man looked around and replied, “I see trees – no, they must be people because they are walking.” Jesus placed his hands on his eyes again. Now he saw clearly, his eyes were clear again and he could see everything clearly. (7)

People who have excellent medical vision may still be blind by Biblical standards if they are still in a state of darkness and ignorance spiritually. Blindness then is denying God’s presence and focusing instead on matter. We may conclude that in the Bible story above it is a matter of spiritual blindness, from the remarkable statement that during healing the blind person initially sees trees instead of people.

With this, the author of the gospel wants us to know that the man becomes ‘seeing’ through the awakening of his kundalini energy. His third eye is opened. Jesus first applies his saliva to the man’s eyes. This symbolizes the transfer of divine energy from Jesus to the blind man.

Jesus puts his fingers in the ears of a deaf man

Spiritually deaf

Jesus also uses his saliva to heal a deaf and mute man. Once again the story contains a strange element. Jesus puts his fingers in the deaf man’s ears:

And they brought him a deaf man who could hardly speak, and asked him to lay his hand on the man. Jesus took him aside, at a distance from the people. He put his fingers in the man’s ears and touched his tongue with some saliva. Then he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and taking a deep breath, he said to him, “Ephphatha”; that means: Open up. And his ears opened, his tongue loosened, and he could speak normally. (8)

Why does the Son of God, who can calm a storm and bring the dead back to life, need his fingers to do this? This is symbolism to tell us what the man is suffering from: he is not open to the spiritual dimension of life. He has put his fingers in his ears and will not listen to God. He is spiritually deaf.

Jesus lifts his eyes up to heaven during the healing. This symbolizes the rising of the kundalini energy to the sixth and seventh chakra. The man’s tongue loosens, he can speak again: anyone who is touched by the divine cannot help but talk about it. What the heart is full of, the mouth overflows with.

The kundalini is patient

Anyone who sees the kundalini symbolism that can be found in spiritual traditions all over the world becomes so enthusiastic that he or she, like me, cannot help but tell others about it. “Take your fingers out of your ears!”, I would sometimes like to shout at people who are clearly locked up in their ego and only attach importance to material things. At the same time, I know that grass will not grow faster by pulling it. The kundalini waits patiently in the pelvis of every person. She will awaken when the time is right.

Notes:

(1) Gen. 28:10-22
(2) For an analysis of Jacob’s complete dream, see my book Kundalini Awakening in the Bible
(3) For more analyzes of the meaning of fairy tales click here
(4) More about the Buddha and kundalini in my book Kundalini Awakening in the Bible
(5) More about the Prophet Muhammad in my book Kundalini Awakening in the Bible
(6) See my book Kundalini Awakening in the Bible
(7) Mark 8:23-25
(8) Mark 7:32-35

This article was published in Paravisie magazine (Oct ’23)
Copyright Anne-Marie Wegh 2023

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Anne-Marie wegh is author of the book:
Kundalini Awakening in the Bible

By |2024-02-06T10:50:33+00:00September 24th, 2023|Anne-Marie|Comments Off on Healing from spiritual blindness and deafness

The Bible is written in the language of dreams

The Bible is written in the language of dreams

Wild animals that threaten you, wars and natural disasters, funerals, marriages and births, an exciting journey with perilous adventures. You experience it at night in your dreams, and the Bible is also full of it. That’s no coincidence. The Bible is written in the same symbolism in which dreams package their messages for us. And both use this language, consisting of archetypes, metaphors and universal patterns, for the same purpose: to give us insight into the way to wholeness, or the way to God.

Most stories in the Bible are not meant to be taken literally. They depict inner processes of the spiritual seeker. Jesus walking on water, for example, informs us that he was completely in control of his emotions (water). Unlike his disciple Peter who wants to walk on the water to Jesus, but fails. (1) The raging waters and near-drowning represent Peter’s fears. Fear is a great stumbling block on the spiritual path. Peter will have to meditate, let go and detach even more, in order to make the crossing to Jesus (God) with dry clothes. Similarly, we can dream about high waves, or floods, that threaten us, if we are ‘overwhelmed’ by our emotions during the day.

A journey

Another classic theme is the journey. There is a lot of traveling in the Bible and in our dreams. These are miniatures of the inner journey we travel. They show us something of the spiritual growth process to which we are all called. Carl Jung called this the individuation process. Indivisibility, wholeness or sanctity; whatever words you use for the final goal, the language of symbolism that expresses our ups and downs on this road in dreams remains the same.

All the details of a dream about a journey can yield interesting self-insights. Is the journey going smoothly, or not? What does the landscape look like? Is it a bare, like a desert, or lively and full of green? If there is a vehicle, who is behind the wheel? Is that you, or have you handed over control to someone else? Do you know the way, or are you lost? These kinds of metaphors are usually not difficult to translate to what is going on in your life during the day.

Wild animals in a dream represent your own emotions and urges

In the Bible, Jesus begins his travels with a forty-day stay in the desert. This barren place, where “heaven remains shut,” represents being cut off from God. During this time, Jesus is tested by Satan (his ego) and confronted by wild beasts (2). Wild animals represent our animal instincts, which must be overcome. Who has never had a dream about a terrifying animal chasing you? As long as you are still afraid in your dreams and flee from animals, you have not yet mastered your instinctive life.

In the Bible we find many heroes who were not deterred by a few predators. For example, the legendary Samson slays a lion with his bare hands (3) and the prophet Daniel miraculously remains unharmed after a night in a lion’s den. (4) If you dream about wild animals that pose no threat at all, it is a wonderful spiritual milestone!

Day and night

The amount of light in a dream also says something about your growth process. As your consciousness expands your dreams will more ‘illuminated’. You will also begin to perceive more details and colors. Every now and then you will also dream of something that takes place in the twilight. This is about an aspect that is still in your subconscious.

In the Gospels, the Pharisee Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night and asks him about the Kingdom of God. Jesus responds in surprise: Are you the teacher of Israel and do you not know these things? (5) The spiritual ignorance of Nicodemus is consistent with the statement that the conversation takes place at night: his consciousness is totally unenlightened. According to the Bible writers, the consciousness of the apostle Judas is also completely darkened when he betrays his master on the eve of the crucifixion:

When he had taken the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. (6)

The amount of light in a dream says something about your consciousness

Healing

Emotional healing is an important aspect of spiritual growth. Our emotional injuries are often expressed in dreams as physical ailments. A stomach wound, for example, depicts unprocessed emotions. Not having hands can indicate an inability to connect. Also, if other people or animals are injured in a dream, it generally refers to your own injuries.

Jesus heals a blind man

The Bible is teeming with the lame, blind, dumb, and deaf. Jesus is busy! He spends much of his time healing. We may translate these ‘miracles’ that he performs to the spiritual level. He opens the ears, eyes and mouth of those who are closed off to the divine. He puts the spiritually paralyzed moving in the right direction.

He also heals diseases such as dropsy (bloating, arrogance) and leprosy (uncleanness), and casts out demons (ego aspects). Everything that stands between the spiritual seeker and God is healed or removed  by him. The underlying message of this is that wholeness is a prerequisite for the inner realization of the Kingdom of God. We must return to the state of wholeness of a child:

And He said, Verily I say unto you, Unless ye change and become as little children, ye shall by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. (7)

Cleaning and tidying up

Purification is another important aspect of growing towards God. In the language of dream symbolism, a house is a so-called ‘I-symbol’; it represents the dreamer himself. To dream about cleaning or redecorating a house means that you are working on yourself. Floors and walls that are being scrubbed, a new wallpaper, maybe furniture will be replaced. The attic (symbol for the head, the mind) is cleaned up, or the basement (the subconscious) is emptied. You will encounter huge amounts of dirt. More than you expect.

If the house becomes larger and lighter on the inside, this indicates an expansion of consciousness. New colors on the walls or floor – especially if they are striking colors – often refer to an increased activity of certain chakras, as a result of your growth process.

This necessary inner purification is beautifully depicted in the Gospels by the famous temple cleansing. In a fit of rage, Jesus drives all the merchants and money changers out of the temple of Jerusalem. The tables and chairs fly through the air, if we are to believe the Gospel writers:

And they came to Jerusalem; and when Jesus had entered into the temple, he began to drive out those who sold and bought in the temple; and the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, he overturned…(8)

The merchants symbolize qualities such as materialism and greed. From this the heart (the temple) must be cleansed in order to experience God. The pieces of furniture that are knocked over by Jesus must give us the image of an ‘upturning’ of our inner self. A purification process may sound appealing, but in reality it is a tough time. In addition to uplifting dreams of cleaning processes, there will also be many nightmares, which are a representation of ballast that is being removed.

The Cleansing of the Temple

The end of the world

If the purification process touches the core of your being, it will be accompanied in your dreams by images of death and destruction. Earthquakes, collapsing buildings, destructive fires, and atomic bombs hitting symbolize your “old world” disappearing. No matter how intense these nightmares are, they are often a positive sign.

The Second Coming of Christ is also depicted in such images in the Bible and many a believer has been waiting for this Last Judgment with fear and trembling ever since. A fragment:

And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be terrified, for this must be done, but it is not yet the end. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be earthquakes in divers places and there will be famines and disturbances. These things are the beginning of the contractions…
But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light. And the stars of heaven will fall from it, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken violently. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with power and great glory. (9)

However, as in our dreams, these apocalyptic images are not about the end of THE world, but about the end of the old world of the spiritual seeker, who stands at the gates of the Kingdom of God. The Second Coming of Christ is about an inner process. The wars Jesus speaks of are images of the inner battle to be waged between our higher nature and our lower nature – between the divine and the animal in man – before God can make his home in us.

Significantly, Jesus concludes his argument about the horrors and devastations of his Second Coming with the following metaphor:

And learn from the fig tree this parable: When its branch is already tender and its leaves sprout, then you know that summer is near. So you too, when you see these things happening, know that it is near, at the doors. (10)

With this tender image of sprouting branches, he confirms that we may interpret the violent images of war and disaster as positive transformation symbolism. New life – a birth of a baby or an animal – refers to new aspects in the dreamer’s life. This can also concern something in the outside world. A new job or a new hobby, for example. Plants and trees generally refer to inner, spiritual aspects. A plant gets new shoots, or an old tree is cut down and a new tree grows on the old trunk.

Renewal

The persistent spiritual aspirant will also have dreams of a “new world” forming within him or her. A beautiful city, with impressive buildings and lots of green (the color of the heart chakra), for example. These kinds of transformation images are often accompanied by feelings of euphoria and wonder.

In the Book of Revelation we read about the “New Jerusalem” coming down from heaven:

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. She had the glory of God, and her radiance was like a very precious gem, like a crystal clear stone of jasper. (11)

This recorded vision is a representation of the spiritual awakening of the (unknown) author himself. He too first had to completely let go of his “old world”. The passage in Revelation that describes this is known as the Battle of Armageddon:

And there came voices, thunders and lightnings. And there came a great earthquake, such as has not been since men have been on the earth: such an earthquake, so great! And the great city fell into three pieces, and the cities of the nations fell… And all the islands have fled, and mountains were not to be found. And great hailstones, each weighing about a talent-pound, fell from heaven upon the people. (12)

The dismantling of the ego

Who does not know Jesus’ statement:

Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who enter in by it; but narrow is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it. (13)

The broad and the narrow way

The broad, easy way is a life focussed on material possessions, filled with greed and selfishness. The narrow, more difficult way is to choose a spiritual life, including austerity and service. Only the narrow way leads to God. But how are we to interpret the wide and the narrow gate? The size of the gate is a measurement of the ego. You can only go through the narrow gate that gives access to the Kingdom of God if your ego is small enough.

We also see this theme in dreams: the spiritual seeker is confronted with doors or openings that – much to his or her frustration – are too small to pass through. The theme of “luggage” fits in seamlessly with this. What you carry with you in a dream can bring a lot of self-understanding. According to Jesus, this is ideally nothing at all. He sends his disciples out with the words:

Do not equip yourself with gold or silver or copper money in your belts, or a bag for your journey, or two sets of tunics, or sandals, or a staff. (14)

What’s wrong with bringing fresh, clean clothes? You could even see this as a form of compassion toward fellow travelers… However, we should not take this literally, but as symbolism: the disciples must leave behind their “ego-luggage”. You can’t go through the narrow gate carrying all that “stuff” with you.

The wedding

Finally, the theme of the wedding: the crowning of the diligent spiritual work. An image of the inner fusion of the opposites (the duality); of the masculine (animus) and feminine (anima). This inner unification restores the connection with God, the ultimate goal of the journey.

For the dreamer, the marriage partner can provide surprises. The person one marries can be a brother or sister. Relatives often figure as anima or animus in a dream, because they are so close to us (“blood relatives”).

The famous wedding at Cana where Jesus turns water into wine also depicts the inner process of this so-called SACRED MARRIAGE (click here). Although everyone has heard of the spectacular wine miracle, no one knows who the bridal couple actually were. The Gospel writers have hidden this between the lines, for those “who have ears”: it is Jesus himself who marries his mother, whom he addresses in this story as the impersonal “woman”, to underline the anima-animus symbolism. The water being turned into wine is a direct result of this marriage. It symbolizes the deification of the person who has completed the process of kundalini awakening. (15)

The Wedding at Cana

The wedding theme can be supplemented in a dream with a communal meal. A table full of acquaintances and strangers celebrating and eating together symbolizes inner integration. Aspects of the dreamer that have never blossomed, or that have been pushed into the subconscious (the unknown persons present), are absorbed into the total personality. A feast is a powerful symbol of healing.

Source of inspiration

There is something else that dreams and the Bible have in common: they are not always valued. With this article I hope to have shown that both can be a great source of inspiration and nourishment for the spiritual seeker.

Notes:
1. Matthew 14:24-30
2. Mark 1:12-13
3. Judges 14:5-6
4. Daniël 6:17-24
5. John 3:10
6. John 13:30
7. Matthew 18:3
8. Mark 11:15


9. Mark 13:7-8 en 24-26
10. Mark 13:28
11. Revelation 21:10-12
12. Revelation 16:18-21
13. Matthew 7:13-14
14. Matthew 10:9-10
15. For a complete analysis of the wedding at Kana, see my book: Kundalini Awakening in the Bible

This article was published in Mantra magazine (Dec ’16)
Copyright Anne-Marie Wegh 2016

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Anne-Marie wegh is author of the book:
Kundalini Awakening in the Bible

By |2023-10-29T09:58:37+00:00September 19th, 2022|Anne-Marie|0 Comments

The End of the World?

The End of the World?

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

From the moment that disease and war have come to dominate the daily news, voices have been heard calling that these are signs. Signs described in the Bible book of Revelation, with the visions of John, that the end of the world is near. However, the surreal images of destruction and death portrayed in Revelation are not of our planet’s final convulsions, but of a spiritual awakening, where the “old world” of man perishes and gives way to the “New Jerusalem” of God.

The natural disasters, diseases, wars and horrific monsters in Revelation represent the inner turbulence and strife that precedes the ultimate mystical experience: the reunion with our Creator. The famed Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who in the visions herald the end of times, show that all aspects of our being are involved in this inner transformation.

The White Horse

About the first horseman John writes:

“And I looked, and behold a white horse, and He that sat on it had a bow. And a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.”

This is the image of the purified soul of man who has conquered (the crown) his animal nature (the horse). This symbolic meaning is also echoed in our well-known expression the “prince on a white horse”: the ideal man is pure (white) of heart and has his primitive urges (the horse) under control. The bow was the weapon used to hunt and kill animals in the time of Christ.

The Red Horse

The second rider sits on a red horse:

“…and to him that sat upon it was given power to take away peace from the earth, and to cause men to slaughter one another. And he was given a great sword.”

This rider represents our emotional life. Red is the color of passion, but also of anger. Strong emotions take away our inner peace and are responsible for bloody conflicts all over the world.

The Black Horse

Then a black horse appears:

“…and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice say in the midst of the four living creatures, A measure of wheat for a denarius + and three measures of barley for a denarius. And do not harm the oil and the wine.”

This rider represents our thoughts. In our head everything that the senses experience is ”weighed” and judged. In spiritual terminology: the mind moves between the opposites of duality (the scales). And is focused on making money. Oil and wine are metaphors for the Divine in the Bible. Every mystic is (painfully) aware that his thoughts, which are directly related to his emotions, can be a great obstacle to experiencing the Divine.

The Pale Horse

The fourth horse is pale in color:

“…and he that sat on it, his name was death, and the realm of death followed him. And power was given them over the fourth part of the earth to kill with the sword, with famine, with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”

This is a description of our body, the fourth aspect of man. The body is ravaged by hunger, death, destruction, and primitive urges (the wild animals). Pale is the color of a corpse. The body has nothing to offer us spiritually, the vision says.

Follow your soul

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the world will be destroyed by God. This will at most be a result of our own materialistic, self-indulgent way of life and territorial instinct. Rather, the book of Revelation warns not to crown the horsemen responsible for war, suffering, and death, but to let the first horseman, our soul, take the lead, and let the other three follow.

This article was published in Paravisie magazine (September ’22)
Copyright Anne-Marie Wegh 2022

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Anne-Marie Wegh writes books on the symbolism in the Bible

By |2023-10-29T09:58:13+00:00August 27th, 2022|Anne-Marie|Comments Off on The End of the World?

The Alchemy of Love

The Alchemy of Love

The alchemists knew that the goddess Venus held the key to the inner gold they so passionately sought. Love as the road to the Magnum Opus, to the realization of God. A road with many obstacles and pitfalls. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone whose life path has crossed with Venus!

Transformation process

Alchemy is a relatively unknown spiritual tradition. The general idea that most people have of an alchemist is that he was concerned with turning lead into gold. However, for most alchemists this was just a metaphor for an inner transformation process they called the Magnum Opus (the Great Work).

They were fully acquainted with spiritual knowledge that we regard as “Eastern”. They knew that in our pelvis, near the sacrum, there is a mysterious source of powerful energy, which can open for man the door to the divine. The yogi calls her the kundalini-shakti. In alchemy she was seen as Venus, the goddess of love.

This association is not so strange. Mystics know: God can be experienced as a burning, all-consuming love. A love so pure and overwhelming that the human body and mind must be thoroughly prepared receive it. And this preparation is what the alchemists secretly engaged in.

The language of symbolism

They had to conceal their knowledge in symbols and metaphors, because practising or communicating anything that went against the teachings of the church was forbidden, and the consequences were severe. Excommunication (banishment from the church) soon followed, and in the worst case scenario you ended up at the stake.

Illustration 1 (right) is an example of alchemical symbolism. The three hares chased by dogs depict the swirling movement of the kundalini, from the pelvis up to the crown. The ears of the hares form a triangle; the symbol for fire. This is the fire of love from Venus.

The double circle is the alchemical symbol for the oneness of the divine. This is experienced when the polar opposties of duality (the two circles) merge. This inner union is also called the sacred marriage, and is part of the process of kundalini awakening.

The text in this emblem mentions the seven classical planets of our solar system. These represent in alchemy the seven chakras that are purified and activated by the kundalini fire.

1. From an alchemical manuscript by Basilius Valentinus, 15th century.

The arrow that goes through the heart is one of the universal symbols for the kundalini. Illustration 2a (below left) is Bernini’s famous masterpiece: The Ecstasy of Saint Therese of Avila. In her book My Life (1565) Theresa describes the vision of an angel who pierced her heart with a golden lance, leaving her “filled with ardent love for God“.

2a. The Ecstasy of Therese, Bernini, circa 1650.

2b. The Ecstasy of Therese, Heinrich Meyring, 1697.

That this vision is a depiction of the kundalini energy piercing the heart of the saint with full force, is communicated by Bernini in a manner “initiates” would immediately recognize. With her left hand Theresia makes the secret sign of the sacred marriage (two fingers together: 2=1).

Illustration 2b (above right) is of a similar statue by artist Heinrich Meyring. In this case it is the angel that makes the sign of the sacred marriage with the hand with which he holds the arrow.

Bernini detail

Heinrich Meyring detail

Venus versus Cupido

An important player in the arena of love is Cupid, the son of Venus. Cupid (Eros with the Greeks) is the originator of the erotic desires that are aroused by infatuation, and these form a pitfall on the road to God. Sexual activity causes the awakened kundalini energy to stay in the abdomen, instead of ascending to the head.

An essential part of the Magnus Opus is making sure that the kundalini is not “wasted” by the abdominal chakras. An assignment that feels like a spiritual split: the love between two people is a powerful catalyst in awakening the kundalini/Venus, but the arrows of Cupid must be avoided. In other words: sexual abstinence is a prerequisite for God-realization.

This is what the romantic setting of illustration 3 (right) makes clear in images. The goddess Venus sits in an intimate embrace with the god Mercury, the Roman god with the caduceus: the serpent staff that is the classical symbol for a kundalini awakening (next to Mercury in the grass).

Caduceus

As a pair, Venus and Mercury in this emblem symbolize both love ànd the fusion of the masculine and feminine energies (duality).

Above the pair of gods we see the result of this sacred marriage: an androgynous human, called Rebis in alchemy. The quiver of Cupid, on the right, evokes associations with a non-erect penis. The message of this emblem: romance is conducive to the Magnum Opus, as long as the clothes stay on…

3. Emblem 38 from the alchemical manuscript Atalanta Fugiens, 1617.

Know yourself

Illustration 4 (below left) shows that the energy generated in the lower abdomen by Cupid must be brought to the head. Cupid stands on a scale (duality): he personifies the “fusion” between the polar energies. He pulls himself up. The fire of desire burns on his head. This energy has to be raised, says the artist. The two ribbons next to Cupid represent the two energy channels that keep us connected to duality. These ida-nadi and pingala-nadi merge during the kundalini process, at the level of the sixth chakra (illustration 5). The crossed palm branches refer to this fusion. The inscription below the image is Nosce te ipsum (“Know thyself”): an invitation to go the spiritual path of self-knowledge.

4. A wooden panel from the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo (1524).

5. A schematic representation of the three energy channels involved in a kundalini awakening.

Illustration 6 (below) also depicts the sublimation (raising) of the sexual energies. Eros sits on the arm of his mother Aphrodite (the Greek goddess of love), at the height of her head. Below Eros hangs a cord with a cog-wheel attached to it. This is a metaphor for the swirling movement of the ascending kundalini.

The wheel has six spokes; a reference to the hexagram (six-pointed star). A hexagram is a universal symbol for the merger of the opposites (two triangles).

Hexagram

The staff of the supreme god Zeus, sitting next to Aphrodite, is placed near his pelvis and has a pine cone at the top. This spiral-shaped staff represents the spine containing the kundalini energy, which activates the pineal gland (the pinecone) in the head.

6. Ancient vase with Zeus, Aphrodite and Eros (circa 350-340 BC)

Illustration 7 (below left) also conveys a clear message. The goddess Aphrodite fends off the erotic advances of the demi-god Pan with her sandal. She holds one hand in front of her genitals. Pan has the lower body and horns of a goat. He represents lust and desire. The artist has depicted him with an erection. Eros, laughing, holds a horn of Pan: both represent the desires of the underbelly.

7. Marble statue of Aphrodite, Eros and Pan (circa 100 BC)

8. Venus and Cupido, Benjamin West, 1787.

Illustration 8 (above right) is an 18th century painting of Venus and Cupid. Two fingers of Venus – the sign of the sacred marriage – lie on Cupid’s forehead, the place where the sexual energies he arouses must go. Cupid also makes the sign of the sacred marriage. His hand is on the heart of Venus: the place where God enters, if we are ready.

Anyone who gets an eye for alchemical symbolism will recognize it in many works of art. Esoteric groups like the Freemasons and Rosicrucians – circles where artists liked to hang out – also knew about the divine energy in our pelvis.

9. Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1606.

The union with God

Illustration 9 (left) is a painting by Caravaggio: Mary Magdalene in ecstasy. The symbolism incorporated herein is simple and powerful. Red and white are the colors of duality (the king and queen) in alchemy.

Mary’s intertwined fingers symbolize her spine, in which the Love of God flows with full force. The artist incorporated the merging of duality also in her arms: they are painted light and dark. The sacred marriage took place in Mary. She has kept herself for God and is now one with Him.

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This article was published in Paravisie magazine (Febr ’21). Copyright Anne-Marie Wegh 2021

Anne-Marie is author of the book:
Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved

Additional illustrations

A favorite theme in art is the moment when Venus emerges from the sea: her birth. This mythical event even has an official name: Venus (or Aphrodite) Anadyomene. The birth of the goddess of love from the sea is symbolism for the awakening of the kundalini in the pelvis.

To convey this deeper meaning, in a veiled way, Venus is often depicted with two wet strands of hair that she wrings out. These two strands of hair represent the two polar energy channels that flow along the spine and merge in the head during a kundalini awakening: the sacred marriage.

Aphrodite Anadyomene, 5th-6th century AD, Louvre Museum. The male and female sea creatures, next to Aphrodite, also represent the polar energy channels.

Aphrodite Anadyomene, late 2nd century BC, Brooklyn Museum, NY.

Aphrodite Anadyomene, 1st or 2nd century AD. Instead of two strands of hair, the goddess holds the two ends of her scarf, which has the same meaning in terms of symbolism.

Venus, 2nd century BC, Syria or Palestine.

Right: The specific way in which the angel Gabriel’s cloak is held up by a cherub is a reference to the Aphrodite Anadyomene. With this, artist Lucas van Leyden wants to let us know that Mary’s pregnancy (which is announced in this painting), represents a kundalini awakening. The angel points with his staff at Mary’s spine. The scarf around his waist refers to the kundalini symbol the KNOT OF ISIS (click here).

Aphrodite Anadyomene, circa 1st-2nd century, National Museum, Beirut.

Venus takes a bath, mosaic from a Roman villa, 5th century AD, Limassol Museum, Cyprus. The specific way in which the goddess holds up the strands of hair refers to the KNOT OF ISIS (click here), a symbol for the sacred marriage and the activation of the pineal gland.

Aphrodite Anadyomene, Aphrodisias Museum, Turkey. The three-pointed tail (under the shell) is a reference to the three energy channels involved in a kundalini awakening. The crossed legs refer to fusion (2=1).

The Circumcision of Jesus, Tintoretto, 16th century. The lifted cloak of the Jewish priest evokes associations with the birth of Venus. The artist wants to communicate that the birth of Christ is the result of a kundalini awakening. Read more in my book “Mary magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved.”

Anyone who becomes aware of the symbolic language with which artists through the ages have communicated ‘heretical’ spiritual knowledge will see references to the deeper meaning of the birth of Venus/Aphrodite in almost all classical works of art. Below are some examples.

‘Venus Disarms Cupid’, Guillaume Seignac, circa 1900. Venus points with her left hand to Cupid’s spine: the sexual energies must be raised to the heart and head.

Cupid, Guillaume Seignac, circa 1900. The extended MIDDLE FINGER (click here) of the woman refers to the awakened spine. Cupid’s energy has been brought to her crown chakra (the wreath of roses around her head).

The alchemist wears the crown of the completed Magnum Opus. He is standing in the shell of Venus: she is born in him. He is covered with five-petalled ‘Roses of Venus’: the kundalini energy flows through his entire body. His STAFF (click here) represents his awakened spine with the activated pineal gland at the top. The sacred marriage has taken place in him; he is now androgynous (he has breasts).

The shell on which Aphrodite sits, and above her head, has the shape of a triangle: the alchemical symbol for (kundalini) fire. With both hands the goddess makes the sign of the sacred marriage (2=1) and points at her head, the place where she connects man with God. (Sétif Museum, Algeria)

Aphrodite and Ares together represent the sacred marriage (the union of the masculine and the feminine). Ares (Mars with the Romans) also makes the sign of the sacred marriage with his hand (2=1). The cloth that is held up refers to the KNOT OF ISIS (click here), and symbolizes the pathway of the kundalini energy upward to the pineal gland. Only ONE LEG (click here) of Aphrodite is visible, this also refers to the sacred marriage (2=1), just like the crossed golden chains on her torso. (Fresco from Pompeii, now in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples)

Venus and Cupid, Frans Floris. The strange body posture of Venus, in combination with Cupid’s leg being lifted up, communicates that Cupid’s energy must be raised from the pelvis to the head.

Venus and Cupid, Pontormo. The curious body postures of Cupid and Venus communicate that Cupid’s energy must be lifted up to the head. Venus points with her left hand that they represent an inner experience. The merging of the masculine and feminine energies during SACRED MARRIAGE (click here) is symbolized by their faces, that seem to form one face, and by holding the arrow together. Only ONE LEG (click here) of both Cupid and Venus can be seen in full. This also refers to the sacred marriage (2=1).

Iconic is the “CROUCHING VENUS/APHRODITE”.
This body posture expresses a (kundalini) SERPENT SPIRALING upward from the pelvis to the crown chakra.

Aphrodite Anadyomene, 1st century BC, Archaeological Museum of Rhodes.

Crouching Aphrodite, 2nd century AD, Naples Archaeological Museum.

Crouching Venus, Marcantonio Raimondi, 1506, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. The extended MIDDLE FINGER (click here) refers to the awakened spine.

The five wise and five foolish virgins

The Bible agrees completely with the premise of the alchemists.
A quote from my book “Kundalini Awakening in the Bible”:

In order for the kundalini energy to reach the forehead, the spiritual aspirant will have to be vigilant again every moment. What is the energy that builds up in the body spent on? Jesus gives the beautiful and telling parable of the ten girls about this.

Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten maidens, who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were wise and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps with them, but no oil. The wise men also took oil in their jars with their lamps. When the bridegroom did not come, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. And at midnight there was a cry: Behold, the bridegroom is coming, go out to meet him! Then all those girls got up and fixed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. But the wise answered: In no case, otherwise there may not be enough for us and you. Rather go to the sellers and buy oil for yourself. When they went to buy oil, the bridegroom came; and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. Later the other girls also came and said: Lord, lord, open to us! He answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch then, for you do not know the day nor the hour when the Son of Man will come. (Matt. 25:1-13)

The girls with their lamps represent the first five chakras. If these don’t have enough ‘oil’ when the bridegroom (God) comes, there will be no holy marriage at the sixth chakra, Jesus warns. Interestingly, the Greek parthenos can indeed mean girls, but is almost always used for virgins in the Bible. For example, Matthew also uses parthenos for Mary, the mother of Jesus (Matt. 1:23). A subtle piece of advice to ‘save’ the sexual energy for the Divine Bridegroom!

The above interpretation of the parable of the ten virgins is (obviously) not traditional exegesis. In this case too we can find hidden symbolism in Christian art that refers to an ‘alchemical’ explanation.

From the red and white clothing of Jesus (the bridegroom) and the ‘wise virgin’ we can deduce that they represent the alchemical royal couple. The two PILLARS (click here) next to the bridal couple represent the two energy channels that merge during the sacred marriage. (Baron Ernest Friedrich von Liphart, 1886)

‘The First Foolish Virgin’, Martin Schongauer, 1470-1490. The long scarf represents the path that the kundalini energy travels from the pelvis to the head. The KNOT (click here) in the scarf represents the pineal gland. The extended MIDDLE FINGER (click here) refers to the awakened spine (the ‘middle’ of the body). The empty oil lamp is held at the level of the pelvis.

An oil lamp is kept at the pelvis and at the head of the two virgins. We may see this as a reference to a kundalini awakening. (The Wise and Foolish Virgin, Friedrich Wilhelm von Schadow, 1838-42)

A remarkable depiction of the crucifixion, with the five wise and five foolish virgins arranged as the first five chakras next to the cross. The fleur-de-lis, at the top, is an esoteric symbol for the pineal gland, which is activated when the kundalini has arrived at the sixth chakra. Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the apostle John, stand on either side of the cross and represent the bridal couple (male and female) of the sacred marriage. The message of this illustration is: if there is enough ‘oil’ in the lamps of the five virgins/chakras, both the sacred marriage and the death of the ego (the crucifixion) take place at the sixth chakra. (Follower of Hans Schilling, 1469)

By |2022-09-18T10:14:04+00:00June 21st, 2022|Anne-Marie|Comments Off on The Alchemy of Love

The unicorn can be found in you!

The unicorn can be found in you!

Everyone loves the unicorn: adults and children, artists, poets and historians. We are fascinated by this animal. Did it really exist? What is the origin of the myths and legends in which the unicorn plays a leading role? The answers to these questions are related to another great mystery: the kundalini energy in our pelvis.

In most cultures and spiritual traditions, we only find the knowledge about our potential for God-realization packed in symbolism and metaphor. Frequently, mainstream religion prevented open communication about esoteric knowledge, and it was not something to be shared with the masses anyway, who might not appreciate it anyway and might run off with it in the wrong way.

Symbolism is the ideal way to safely transmit spiritual knowledge to the sincere spiritual seeker. Alchemy is an example of a tradition that has elevated this to a true art. Alchemical knowledge is mainly put on paper in the form of illustrations (emblems). It is immediately clear to an insider what an emblem means. For the uninitiated, the wondrous, surreal depictions are one big mystery.

In fact, spiritual knowledge is so well hidden that many people still think that alchemical emblems represent chemical formulas for turning base metals into gold. However, the vast majority of emblems are about the process of kundalini awakening, as a way to realize the inner gold!

Audiences react in disbelief when I say this. The kundalini is seen as an oriental concept that was not known in the Christian regions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Through the ages, kundalini symbolism can be found in many artistic expressions and iconographies, also in our part of the world. I have written books on this. The unicorn is a wonderful example.

At the center of this alchemical emblem is sitting the god Hermes/Mercury with his staff, the caduceus, the universal symbol for a kundalini awakening. With his left hand Hermes points at his lap; the place where the water basin is located that he points at with his staff. The rose bush and the water are both metaphors for the kundalini energy. In the background we see two beasts fighting: the battle within each of us between our higher and lower nature. The horse with the wings represents the transformed animal energies. The color red in alchemy refers to the completed Magnum Opus (God Realization).

The animal in man

Digging deep enough into the sacred writings of spiritual traditions, one finds that they are surprisingly unanimous on the “problem” of our animal drives. They get in the way of our ability to experience the divine.

Intellectually, we may be the crowning glory of creation, but most of our urges are animalistic. In other words, there is essentially not much difference between what we see on National Geographic and the news. Traits such as greed, aggression, lust, jealousy, boasting, selfishness and herd behavior are animal tendencies.

These impulses of our so-called “lower nature” are rooted in our bodies, a product of our evolution from the animal kingdom. However, man also has a divine potential, connected to our soul. To fully realize the divine, our animal (abdominal) energies must be purified and sublimated (raised to the higher chakras).

Man as a hybrid creature: part human and part dog/wolf. These two halves want to go in opposite directions, which gives us constant inner struggles. Illustration from: The Chronicle of Nuremberg, 1493.

The depiction of a transformation process

Suppressing our animalistic tendencies is not the solution to realizing our divine potential. We need these primal forces, especially the sexual energies, in order to realize God. The spiritual work is to gain mastery over these forces. The kundalini fire helps us with this by burning everything that stands between God and man. The unicorn symbolizes this transformation process.

In the language of symbolism a horse represents our emotions and animal urges. This also the origin of the proverbial “prince on a white horse”: the ideal man has purified his animal tendencies (the color white) and under control (riding the horse).

The unicorn is also white, and the long, spiraling horn on its forehead represents the kundalini energy which, along with the animal energies, has ascended to the sixth chakra, opening the third eye.

We find similar symbolism in Hinduism. The raising of the purified animal energies is depicted here in an inventive way (similar to the unicorn’s horn). The animal energies are ‘fed’ from the head. Note also the small standing cobra, in the lower left corner: a universal symbol for the awakened kundalini.

The virgin and the unicorn

Ancient stories about the unicorn communicate the importance of sublimation. According to the legends, the unicorn can only be captured by placing a virgin under a tree. The animal lets himself be lured by the virgin and will then fall asleep on her lap. A tree is a universal metaphor for the awakened kundalini energy that has ascended to the crown chakra. For this to happen, the sexual energy must be preserved (the virgin) for the spiritual awakening process. The animal in the belly (womb) of man must “fall asleep.”

The legends also say that the horn of the unicorn can purify poisoned water and cure diseases. Purification and healing are both aspects of the kundalini. The unicorn is also said to be able to detect hidden water sources. Water is a universal metaphor for the divine energy in our pelvis (see the alchemical illustration above).

The unicorn can only be captured by placing a virgin under a tree.

Meeting the unicorn

A unicorn only exists in the inner world of man. We will meet this beautiful animal when we long to be with God. Special exercises to awaken the kundalini energy are not necessary. Do not be afraid, you are not required to lead an ascetic life, you just have to make the right choices. Sensory and sexual gratification will lose their appeal once you have tasted the divine. If a unicorn spontaneously appears in a dream or meditation, then you know you are on the right track!

In Christian art the unicorn has been used to communicate forbidden esoteric knowledge. In this painting by Moretto da Brescia (1530) we see Saint Justina with a unicorn. The pinecone on the saint’s robes, below the animal’s horn, is a reference to the pineal gland, which is activated when the kundalini arrives at the sixth chakra.

This article was published in Spiegelbeeld magazine (July/Aug ’20)
Copyright Anne-Marie Wegh 2020

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Anne-Marie Wegh the author of the book “Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved”

By |2022-07-02T18:47:52+00:00June 20th, 2022|Anne-Marie|Comments Off on The unicorn can be found in you!

The red elephant with the seven trunks

The red elephant with the seven trunks

The deeper meaning of mythical animals

Man has always tried to express the indescribable in symbols and metaphors. The invisible, divine, was made intelligible using beings and objects from the visible world. Sacred scriptures and myths of the gods abound with animals of all shapes and sizes. They play a hero’s role or they pose a danger. These animals almost always represent aspects of our inner world. Gaining insight into what an animal stands for can help us on our spiritual path. In this article, we’re going to see what we can learn from the elephant, the serpent, and the crocodile!

The serpent and the elephant

In our pelvis, near the sacrum, lies an energy source of divine origin. When this energy awakens, and ascends through the spine, it is the beginning of a spiritual transformation process. The kundalini-shakti, as the yogi calls this energy, has a purifying and healing effect.

A well-known symbol for this energy is a serpent. A fitting image, in several respects. A serpent renews (transforms) itself by molting. Furthermore, when viewed from the side, the human spine has the S-shape of a moving serpent. And the ability of many serpents to lift themselves upright from the ground will also have played a part in the fact that the serpent can be found all over the world as a metaphor for a kundalini awakening.

Much less known to the general public is the elephant as a symbol of a kundalini awakening. There are also a number of good reasons for the choice of this animal. The kundalini is a very powerful source of energy. If she awakens in an unprepared spiritual aspirant, it can have the disruptive effect on the mind and body of a proverbial elephant in a china shop. Though tempting given the prospects of experiencing God and gaining supernatural abilities, this does not make the kundalini energy something to experiment with lightly!

Our anatomy evokes associations with a serpent and an elephant

When we look at our anatomy, we see another possible explanation for the elephant as a symbol for the divine energy at our sacrum: the contours of the pelvis and the spine are strikingly similar to the head and trunk of an elephant!

The Hindu god Ganesha. A trident is depicted on his trunk. The small flask that Ganesha is holding with his trunk contains “amrita”: the drink of immortality. Amrita is a metaphor for the change of the cerebrospinal fluid: under the influence of the kundalini energy, opiates and hormones are released that conduct an experience of the divine.

Ganesha

The image of an elephant also fits the expansion of consciousness that is an aspect of the process of kundalini awakening. The popular Hindu god Ganesha can tell us all about this. According to the myths, he did not always have an elephant head. There are different versions of this story, but it usually comes down to this: the goddess Parvati (a personification of the kundalini shakti) while bathing makes her son Ganesha out of clay (or soap) and puts him on guard while she takes her bath. When her husband Shiva comes home and is stopped at the door by Ganesha, he becomes furious and beheads the boy with his trident. Then, when he finds out that he has killed his own son, he places an elephant’s head on his shoulders and brings him back to life.

Shiva and Parvati here represent the masculine and feminine energies in man that must merge in order to experience the oneness of the divine (samadhi). During this sacred marriage the ego ‘dies’. This is what the myth tells us in beautiful symbolism.

The bath of Parvati symbolizes the purifying effect of the kundalini energy. Parvati makes Ganesha out of clay while bathing: Ganesha represents the new human being that is formed through the purification process. Upon returning home, Shiva is not allowed to meet his wife (read: he cannot ‘unite’ with her) and therefore kills Ganesha. This symbolizes the ego that must die in order for the sacred marriage to take place.

The head is the seat of the ego. Decapitation is a classic metaphor for discarding the ego. The trident (trishula) with which the beheading of Ganesha takes place, represents the three energy channels involved in a kundalini awakening: the ida, pingala and sushumna nadi. In iconography, a trident is often depicted on Ganesha’s forehead or trunk.

Read more about the symbolism of decapitation in the article: “The spiritual process of losing the ego”

Freed from the ego, the spiritual aspirant experiences an expanded consciousness. The elephant head symbolizes this. The trunk is also very appropriate. A trunk is much like a serpent, and in Ganesha’s case it reaches from head to belly, the path the kundalini travels to the crown chakra.

Not many people are aware that Ganesha represents a process of kundalini awakening. He is worshiped by the Hindus as “the remover of all obstacles.” This actually describes the workings of the kundalini: removing energetic blockages.

A trident symbolizes the three energy channels involved in a kundalini awakening.

Ganesha

The elephant’s trunk in this ancient illustration is connected to a coiled (kundalini) serpent, via seven circles (the seven chakras)

Red elephant

In older depictions, Ganesha is often red or orange in color. This is a reference to the colors of the first (red) and second (orange) chakras. These two chakras are located in the pelvic area, where the kundalini resides.

All the puzzle pieces fall neatly into place when we look at the Eastern chakra teachings. It connects each of the seven main chakras to a specific animal. Muladhara (the first) chakra is associated with the elephant!

A red Ganesha is bathed by his parents Parvati and Shiva
(18th century miniature from Kangra, India)

An illustration of muladhara (the first) chakra, with Ganesha, Airavata, with its seven trunks, and the goddess Shakti, the personification of the kundalini energy.

Airavata

Another mythical elephant, Airavata, has as many as seven trunks. These refer to the seven chakras that are purified and activated by the kundalini.

According to legend, Airavata was born from the “churning of the ocean of milk,” which we may read as a metaphor for a kundalini awakening. The relief from the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple complex in New Delhi (below) shows how this was done. A large serpent with seven heads is twisted around a mountain (the spine) and is moved back and forth by a team of (demi-) gods. We see Airavata on top of the waves created by the “churning.” A mythical image that takes place in the human pelvis during the awakening of the kundalini.

The elephant Airavata on a relief from the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple complex in New Delhi

Gajendra

We can learn an important spiritual lesson from the elephant Gajendra. According to Hindu legends, Gajendra was bitten by a crocodile while bathing, and it would not let go of him. At the end of his powers (according to legend after more than a thousand years) he begs the god Vishnu for help. As a sacrifice he holds a lotus in the air. Vishnu frees Gajendra by beheading the crocodile with his sudharshana chakra, a spinning disc with sharp serrations.

The crocodile represents our most primitive urges: the impulses that come from the part of our brain called the “reptile brain.” These animalistic tendencies are an obstacle to the realization of the divine.

The elephant Gajendra is liberated by the god Vishnu. The crocodile is beheaded with a sudharshana chakra.

A statue of Ganesha in Prambanan, Indonesia. His trunk is being cleaned by the many visitors. It is said that touching the trunk, then your forehead (the sixth chakra), will increase your creativity.

We now know enough to be able to interpret the rest of the symbolism. The image of Gajendra being held by the crocodile means that as long as we are guided by animal tendencies such as aggression, selfishness, greed and jealousy, the kundalini (Gajendra) will not awaken and will be ‘trapped’ in the basin (the lake ).

The lotus that Gajendra holds up with his trunk represents raising the kundalini (trunk) to the crown chakra (lotus). The sudharshana chakra with which the crocodile is decapitated refers to the spiral movement of the purifying kundalini.

The god Vishnu, who comes to Gajendra’s aid, tells us that if we focus on spiritual growth, we are not alone. We will get help from the divine dimensions!

This article was published in Paravisie magazine (May ’22)
Copyright Anne-Marie Wegh 2022

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Anne-Marie Wegh is author of the book:
Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved

By |2022-07-02T18:49:04+00:00June 4th, 2022|Anne-Marie|Comments Off on The red elephant with the seven trunks

Tarot 21. The World

21. The World

The theme of this tarot card is called in alchemy ‘the crowning of nature’: the divine rules over matter; the perfection of creation. Translated to man, he has ‘overcome’ the world and the beast within himself.

The divine power active in the spiritual transformation process that is required to attain this, is personified in alchemy by, among others, Sophia (Wisdom) and the god Mercury with his serpent staff the caduceus. Christianity speaks of the Holy Spirit and the yogi calls it the kundalini-shakti.

From ‘THE CROWNING OF NATURE’ (Coronatio Naturae); an alchemical series of 67 illustrations, from the first half of the 17th century:

The DOVE of the Holy Spirit descends (the KUNDALINI ascends) and begins a PURIFICATION process in the alchemist.

The phase of the FUSION of the polar energies. The (kundalini) serpent that bites its own tail (ouroboros) symbolizes this INNER ONENESS.

The Magnum Opus is COMPLETED. The alchemist is crowned by SOPHIA.

The tarot in the 15th century

On both 15th century tarot cards below – the Visconti Di Modrone deck and the Charles VI deck – we see Sophia ruling the world. How do we know this is Sophia? On the Visconti Di Modrone card (below left) we see a woman in the sky; this gives her a ‘heavenly’ status. In her left hand she has a crown and in her right hand a trumpet with wings. Tarot card 20. Judgment has taught us that a trumpet played by a divine figure (an angel or the god Mercury, for example) is a metaphor for the flow of the kundalini energy through the spine.

On the Visconti card, the trumpet is not only in the hands of a ‘celestial figure’, but also has wings. These represent the completion of the process of kundalini awakening, similar to the wings at the top of the staff of Mercury/Hermes (right).

The CADUCEUS, the staff of the god Mercury/Hermes.

Visconti Di Modrone Tarot (15th century)

Above SOPHIA’s head hovers the DOVE of the Holy Spirit. The TRUMPET is made of silver and gold: a reference to the MERGER of the POLAR ENERGIES (sun and moon). Illustration from David Joris’s Wonder Boeck, 1542.

Next to the Visconti card we see an alchemical image of Sophia (above right) with a number of attributes that refer to the activities of the kundalini energy, including a large S-shaped trumpet. The S shape ensures that the air flowing through it mimics the spiral movement of the kundalini. Sophia floats above a globe with a large serpent protruding it. This (kundalini) serpent rests also on the spine of the skeleton (the man who ‘died to himself’, the death of the ego) in the foreground.

The bottom half of the Visconti card features a rider on a horse. This man or woman wears a white tunic and red trousers. White and red are the colors that represent the polarities/duality in alchemy.

The color white of the horse refers to the purification of animal nature. Above the landscape with the horseman, castles, water and boats, a golden crown, symbol for ‘the crowning of creation’, stands out.

Read more about the symbolic meaning of a WHITE HORSE in the article: “The unicorn can be found in you!

The card of the Charles VI, or Estensi, deck (right) contains an additional element that puts us on the trail of Sophia. The woman on the card has a black aureole, signifying that she represents one of the four cardinal virtues: Prudentia (Prudence, Wisdom), Justitia (Justice), Fortitudo (Strength), and Temperantia (Temperance).

The only one of the four virtues still missing from this tarot deck is Prudentia, wich is Latin for wisdom. The Greek word for wisdom is Sophia. In the Bible, Wisdom/Sophia is the name for the kundalini energy. For a substantiation of this statement, read my book “Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved.”

In the past centuries when ‘heretical’ spirituality could not be communicated without repercussions, artists incorporated alchemical and other forbidden esoteric knowledge into their paintings. For those who have an eye for it, there are works of art in all museums and churches with references to the process of kundalini awakening. Below are two illustrations of Prudentia that incorporate kundalini symbolism. The serpent is a standard attribute of Prudentia.

Charles VI, or Estensi, deck, late 15th century.

Prudentia, Marcantonio Raimondi,
1510 – 1527, National Museum, The Netherlands.

Prudentia, Jacob Matham, after Hendrick Goltzius,
1st half 17th century, National Museum, The Netherlands.

Another element on the Charles VI card that refers to a kundalini awakening is the green circle around the landscape of mountains and buildings. The extra wide border is a reference to the double circle, which in alchemy, as we saw with card no. 19 The Sun and card no. 20 Judgement, symbolizes the merging of the polar energies.

Right: the DOUBLE CIRCLE is an alchemical symbol representing the FUSION of the polar energies/ONENESS.
(Depiction of the ‘Philosophers’ Stone’ from ‘The Tenth Key’, Basilius Valentinus, 1599)

The mountains on the Charles VI card represent expanded consciousness and the red castle-like buildings refer to the Kingdom of God. The color red in alchemy represents the completed Magnum Opus (process of God Realization). The circle with landscape and woman are situated in the clouds. This is a confirmation of the above interpretation.

This illustration from the MAGNUM OPUS contains three references to the merging of the polarities: ANDROGYNY (both male and female), the WHITE AND RED (click here) wing, and the DOUBLE CIRCLE (click here) with one ring of GOLD and one of SILVER. In the middle of the circle we see a LANDSCAPE, comparable to tarot card The World. (Splendor Solis, emblem 9, 1582.)

In this alchemical illustration of SOPHIA we see the DIVINE CHILD (‘figura divina’) in her belly. This is the REBORN SELF of the alchemist. (From: Gemma Sapientiae et Prudentiae, 18th century)

The first printed tarot cards

Of the very first printed tarot decks, only a few uncoloured, uncut printed sheets have survived. One is the Rothshield sheet from circa 1500 (right). Sophia is replaced by the god Mercury. The scepter and orb in his hands must tell us that he rules the world, which is here represented by a double circle with a victory wreath and the four elements in it.

These four elements can also be interpretated as the four aspects of man. The element earth then stands for the body with the animal instincts; the element of water for the emotions; the element of air for the mind, and the element of fire for our spiritual core, or soul.

The choice of Mercury for the Rothshield deck was apparently not a one-off whim, as a century later we find the same scene on the Tarot of Bologna (far right). The scepter has now been replaced by Mercury’s standard attribute: the caduceus.

Rothshild sheet, circa 1500.

Tarot of Bologna, 1600.

In alchemy, Sophia and Mercury represent respectively the female and male pole of the divine. Together they are responsible for the transforming (kundalini) fire in the process of the Magnum Opus. In the illustration below, on the left, Mercury and Sophia both hold a torch under the alchemist’s flask (which represents the alchemist himself).

MERCURY and SOPHIA represent in alchemy the male and female poles of the divine (in man). We can conclude this from: 1. the TWO COLUMNS OF SMOKE that come together, 2. Mercury stands on the EARTH and Sophia on the WATER, 3. the shell with WATER of Mercury and the FIRE Torch of sophia. (Les Rudiments de la Philosophie Naturelle, Nicolas de Locques, 1665)

An alchemical illustration of SOPHIA/Wisdom. On the CROWN worn by ‘Jungfrau’ Sophia we see the chemical symbol for MERCURY. (Secret Figures of the Rosenkreuzer, before 1785)

De Tarot of Marseille

The Tarot of Marseille is a collective term for tarot decks from a certain area in a certain time period. The cards are made in a recognizable style, but each designer was free to work out the details as they saw fit. It is precisely these differences that can help with understanding the symbolism of the cards.

On the right is depicted the (probably) oldest Tarot de Marseille The World. The printing year is estimated at circa 1600. We see a naked woman (one breast is still visible) wearing a cloak, and an almond-shaped garland surrounding her. In the corners of the card are depicted, clockwise: an angel, an eagle, a lion and a bull. They originate from the vision of the prophet Ezekiel in the Old Testament, in which four living creatures are described with four faces: a man, an eagle, a lion, and an ox. (Ezekiel 1:5-15)

In the book of Revelation, the apostle John sees in his vision the same beings around the throne of God:

And before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within…” (Rev. 4:6-8)

Tarot of Marseille, circa 1600.

The four-faced creature from Ezekiel’s vision.

In the Christian tradition, these animals have come to symbolize the four evangelists, and that is how they are usually interpreted on tarot card The World. However, their meaning goes much deeper. Ezekiel gives an important clue: what he sees are creatures with four faces. These four faces represent the four aspects of man: the mind (eagle), the feelings/emotions (lion), the body with animal instincts (ox), and the soul (human face). It is these “layers” of man that are transformed during the process of spiritual awakening. Head (thinking), heart (feelings) and belly (instincts) must be freed from the animal drives that every human being possesses.

Read more about the SYMBOLISM in the BIBLE in my book Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved

On a side note, both prophets see a face of a man and not of an angel. The fact that in the iconography, and also on this tarot card, usually an angel is depicted, next to an eagle, a bull, and a lion, is probably because of the wings that the creatures in the two visions have.

The almond shape of the victory wreath on the Tarot of Marseilles card is a reference to the vesica piscis: a universal symbol for the merger of the opposites/duality. The almond shape has also been used in Christian art to communicate that Jesus had gone through a kundalini awakening.

In the fresco below, Jesus makes the sign of the sacred marriage (2 fingers together, 2=1). It is exactly placed on the almond-shaped lines. The eight-pointed stars surrounding Jesus are also an ancient symbol for the kundalini energy.

Vesica Piscis

Christ in Majesty, fresco from Santa Maria de Mur, Spain, mid-12th century.

Tarot of Marseille, by Jacques Viéville, 1650.

Jacques Viéville (left) has placed a male figure at the center of his card. The scepter in his hand, which symbolizes the spine with the kundalini energy flowing through it, is appropriately placed at the level of his crotch/pelvis.

The colors red and blue of his cloak are the classic colors for the masculine and feminine respectively, and refer to the fusion of opposites. The same applies in alchemy to the colors gold and silver (sun and moon) of the wreath of victory. The aureole represents an open crown chakra: the kundalini process is completed. His nakedness symbolizes devineness.

The animals around him refer to the mastering of his animal drives. This becomes even clearer when we place the card from the Etteilla III deck, from 1870, next to it (below left).

The man on the Etteilla card has a club instead of a scepter in his hand. We can safely assume that he has used it to conquer the four animals on this card, that are part of his inner world. The ouroboros around him is a symbol of inner oneness, just like the vesica piscis.

Etteilla III Tarot, 1870.
Etteilla used different names and a different numbering for his deck.

The Most Holy Trinity, Maarten van Heemskerck,
Rijksmuseum, 1550-1599.

The victory over the animalistic drives is also incorporated in the remarkable and revealing painting, above right, of Christ. He sits on top of the animals that represent the evangelists in the iconography. An unusual scene. The bull, which of the three animals specifically symbolizes the sexual urges, has been placed by the artist between the legs of Jesus. The color red (passion) of the bull enhances its symbolic significance. An angel holds two fingers of the left hand of Jesus together: the sign of the sacred marriage, which represents the fusion of opposites (2=1).

Francois Chosson opted a woman for his card (right). She has remained the archetype on most decks in the centuries following.

This woman can be interpreted on two levels. You can see her as a personification of the soul (usually seen as feminine) of the person who has conquered the world and him-/herself. She is also Sophia, God the Mother, the kundalini-shakti; the active force that has brought about the transformation process in man.

The woman has a stick in both hands. These are the two opposites from which all creation is built (good/evil, light/dark, male/female, etc). This interpretation is confirmed by the alchemical illustration below (left) in which Sophia is also depicted with two sticks. In line with the sticks we see two trees with dualistic characteristics: the sun and the moon, and the colors red and white, which in alchemy represent the opposites. The gold-colored phoenixes on both trees symbolize spiritual rebirth.

In four different ways, Francois Chosson communicates that the opposites have fused on his tarot card: the vesica piscis shape of the wreath of victory; the infinity sign that fastens the two halves of the wreath together; the colors blue and red of the scarf around the woman’s body, and her posture: she stands on one leg.

The symbolism of one leg (sitting, standing, or hanging) as a reference to inner oneness we also saw in tarot card nr 4  The Emperor, nr 11 Strength, and nr 12 The Hanged Man. This symbolism has also been used extensively in Christian painting to communicate in a veiled way that Jesus had experienced a kundalini awakening. Below, on the right, an example.

Tarot of Marseille, by Francois Chosson, 1736.

SOPHIA and the merging of the polar energies.
Miniature from an anonymous alchemical manuscript,
1499.

Only ONE LEG of Jesus is visible. The colors BLACK, WHITE, YELLOW AND RED refer to the four phases of the MAGNUM OPUS (click here). (Giuseppe Cesari, early 17th century)

The Oswald Wirth Tarot

Oswald Wirth’s card (right) contains few new elements. The woman now holds the two sticks in one hand, enhancing the image of a fusion. The sticks have a red and a blue button, the classic colors of the masculine and the feminine. This confirms that the sticks represent the polar energies.

The mosaics of Château des Avenières (below) are based on Oswald Wirth’s deck. The designer has placed back the aureole above the animals that Oswald Wirth had left out. You can take the aureoles as a reference to the four evangelists. You could also interpret it as a sublimation/deification of the animal drives.

The woman’s long reddish-brown hair is often seen in depictions of Sophia and refers to the fire of the kundalini energy.

The sun above the wreath of victory has a red core and a yellow/gold border. This is a reference to the double circle (oneness) and the Magnum Opus (the colors gold and red).

Oswald Wirth Tarot (1889)

Château des Avenières (1917)

The TWO CHERRIES in the hand of the baby Jesus are a hidden reference to his KUNDALINI AWAKENING (2=1). (Antonello da Messina, 1480)

Gaining mastery over our animal instincts is an important theme in many spiritual traditions. A lion represents our emotions, a bull our sexual urges, and a bird (often an eagle) our mind. On the right and below three examples. Right: the carriage of the Greek god Dionysos is drawn by a bull, an eagle and a leopard. Below on the left we see the Hindu goddess Durga, sitting on her mount, a lion, and with her feet on a demon with the appearance of a bull. She is a complete master of both. Below on the right the Egyptian god Horus is depicted sitting on a cow, or bull, and two lions. The ouroboros surrounding him is a symbol of (divine) oneness.

The Greek god Dionysos

The hindu goddess Durga

The Egyptian god Horus. (Dama Heroub Papyrus, 11th-10th century BC, Cairo Museum of Egyptian Antiquities)

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot (1909)

The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

Designer Pamela Colman-Smith testifies to Bible knowledge, because in the upper left corner a human head is depicted, instead of an angel. She also understood well what the woman on this card represents. The scarf that is wrapped around her body is very long and evokes associations with a serpent.

A long scarf to refer to the kundalini energy is also used in alchemy. In the emblem below we see Sophia showing an alchemist the road (with serpents) to the inner fire. Her scarf also looks like a rising serpent.

SOPHIA showing an alchemist the road (with SERPENTS) to the INNER FIRE. (Freymaurerische Versammlungsreden der Gold und Rosenkreutzer des alten Systems, 1779)

Conclusion

Mankind sees itself as the crown of creation, but in the eyes of God we are not finished yet. The spiritually unconscious living person is seen as ‘sleeping’ or ‘dead’ in the Bible, and many other sacred scriptures.

In our pelvis dwells a divine potential that enables us to take the next step in evolution. An energy source that, once awakened, initiates a process of purification and healing: the preparatory work for a spiritual rebirth and union with our Creator.

We are called to overcome our animalistic, lower nature, in order to realize our higher nature. This is beautifully depicted on the alchemical emblem on the right. The temptations of the world and our desires (lust) are like a burning fire that can consume us and make us slaves to our senses and lower belly.

Atalanta Fugiens, Michael Maier, embleem 20, 1618.

In the illustration, Sophia urges the warrior (the alchemist) to fight against this fire, which can only make us happy temporarely. She gestures with her hands that we should raise the divine fire, which she personifies, from our sacrum to the crown.

This is the theme of the entire Major Arcana of the tarot, already as far back as the 15th century, and this last card The World represents the completion of this process of spiritual rebirth. It is a long, hard road, but you are assisted by God and his angels. In the Bible, Jesus, who himself also experienced a kundalini awakening, says to his disciples:

“You shall have suffering in the world, but take heart,
I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33)

Read about the SYMBOLISM in the BIBLE in my book Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved

The Green Witch Tarot (Kiri Leonard, 2014)

The world tree, or tree of life, is an archetype found in many spiritual traditions and is a metaphor for a kundalini awakening. According to the Norse myths, between the roots of the world tree Yggdrasil the (kundalini) serpent Nidhogg resides. The Ibis was a sacred bird in Ancient Egypt and was associated with wisdom.

Tarot of the 78 Doors (Antonella Platano, Pietro Alligo, 2005)

In alchemy, red is the color of the completed Magnum Opus. So the color red of the bloodied baby is very appropriate.

Tarot of Musterberg (Cesare Asaro, 2015)

The paper with text on it refers to Sophia (Wisdom). The two water streams represent the polar energy channels. Sophia is the energy channel in the middle that flows through the spine. The eight-pointed star is also a kundalini symbol, see tarot card The Star.no. 17

Tarot of Jane Austen (Diane Wilkes, Lola Airaghi, 2006)

The Sacred Marriage and the Divine Child. Red and white flowers, the colors of the polar energies in alchemy.

This article was written by Anne-Marie Wegh. Copyright August 2021.

Anne-Marie Wegh is the author of the book: John the Baptist who became Jesus the Christ

Illustrations from the tarot decks, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Foto’s Châteaux de Avenières: http://hermetism.free.fr/Avenieres

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By |2022-06-22T13:29:57+00:00August 7th, 2021|Tarot|Comments Off on Tarot 21. The World

Tarot 20. Judgement

20. Judgement

Tarot card Judgement seems to refer to the ‘Day of Judgment’ in many ways. A day mentioned in Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious scriptures alike and feared by many believers. On this day, sometime in the future, all people will be judged by God. Studying the symbolism in this card, however, shows that the (hidden) esoteric message is about something quite different, namely the joyous moment when we awaken spiritually, after a long process of diligent, inner work.

The Day of Judgment is mentioned in several places in the New Testament and is usually accompanied by a threatening warning to live ‘righteously’ or else…! So it is not so strange that believers fear this day. Tarot card number 20, however, refers to an entirely different Bible passage. In his letter to the Christians of Corinth, the apostle Paul predicts:

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all die, but we shall all be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised as incorruptible men, and we also shall be changed.” (1 Cor. 15:51-52)

Remarkable about this quote is that Paul says that for this change into ‘an incorruptible man’, you do not necessarily have to die first. With this Paul is referring to a process that he himself also went through: a kundalini awakening, in which not only an expansion of consciousness takes place, but also a light body is formed that is immortal. The last trumpet is a reference to the opening of the last of the seven chakras, which are purified and activated by the kundalini: the crown chakra.

De Viconti-Sforza Tarot

What indications are there that we may interpret the very first tarot cards as a spiritual resurrection as a result of a kundalini awakening? On the 15th century Visconti-Sforza map (right) we see a tomb with, oddly enough, no fewer than three people in it, who are brought to life by the sound of two angels.

The man (left) and the woman (right) represent the two polar energy channels that merge during a kundalini awakening (the two serpents of the staff of the god Hermes/Mercury, illustration on the far right). The old man in the middle is the one who is actually resurrected from his ‘death’: the state of spiritual unconsciousness of most of humanity.

Visconti-Sforza Tarot (15th century)

The Roman god MERCURY (HERMES among the Greeks). His staff the CADUCEUS is the classic symbol for a KUNDALINI awakening. He blows a TRUMPET in this image to represent the flowing of the divine energy (the rising of the kundalini serpent), which he represents. (Johann Theodor de Bry, c. 1570-1598)

Incidentally, this spiritual unconsciousness is also the ‘death’ from which Jesus awakens various people in the Bible to ‘life’, including Lazarus. About Lazarus, Jesus says clearly in the Gospel of John: He is not dead, he is asleep (John 11:11).

Read more about the symbolism in the story about the RAISING OF LAZARUS in my book Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

The fusion of the two polar energy channels is also symbolized on the Visconti-Sforza chart by the crossed trumpets of the angels, and by the cross on the banner attached to the trumpets. The banners also feature a sun, one of the classic symbols for the kundalini energy. The color red of the tomb refers to the completion of the alchemist’s Magnum Opus (the process of God realization).

Also classical is blowing on a trumpet or flute as a metaphor for the working of Gods Holy Spirit in our spine. The Bible also uses this metaphor. In the Old Testament, for example, in the story of the fall of Jericho, we read that God commanded the seven priests of Joshua to blow their seven trumpets of rams’ horns (Joshua 6:4). The swirling air flowing through the horn of the ram mimics the spiraling movement of the kundalini energy. The number seven in this quote refers to the seven chakras that are opened and activated by the kundalini. A ram’s horn, or shofar, is still blown on certain Jewish holidays (illustration below right).

For the deeper meaning of the FALL OF JERICHO, read my book: Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

A schematic representation of the three energy channels involved in a KUNDALINI AWAKENING

The alchemist has completed the MAGNUM OPUS (click here) and rises from the GRAVE of spiritual ‘death’/unconsciousness. Philosophia reformata, J.D Mylius, 1622.

Blowing a RAM’S HORN symbolizes the SPIRALING movement of the KUNDALINI energy in the Bible.

An angel with a trumpet further enhances the image of divine energy flowing into man. Alchemy, which had a lot of influence on the very first tarot cards, also makes use of this metaphor. Below are two examples of alchemical emblems of the Great Work (Magnum Opus) of the alchemist. On both emblems we see the alchemist sowing (one’s own efforts) and an angel blowing a trumpet (God/the kundalini doing His work in us). The staff in the angel’s hand represents the spine.

On the earth lie the two polar energy channels (SUN AND MOON) that merge during the kundalini process/Magnum Opus: 2=1. The angel with the TRUMPET represents the third energy channel in the SPINE: the sushumna nadi with the KUNDALINI flowing in it. (Philosophia Reformata, J.D. Mylius, 1622)

In the center the ‘RESURRECTION’ of the alchemist from spiritual DEATH takes place. (The Twelve Keys of Basil Valentine, key VIII, 1599)

The first printed tarot cards

Of the very first printed tarot decks, only a few uncoloured, uncut printed sheets have survived. On both the Rothshield deck and the Budapest-Metropolitan deck (right), God has disappeared and only one angel is blowing his trumpet.

The card still refers to a kundalini awakening. We can deduce this from the esoteric sign of the sacred marriage (the fusion of the masculine and feminine energies) that the angel makes on both cards with one hand (two fingers together: 2=1).

Rothshild sheet, circa 1500.

Budapest-Metropolitan sheet, 16th century.

The Tarot of Marseille and family

The card of the Tarot of Marseille (on the right the version by Jean Dodal) contains two new elements that have to make it clear to us that this card is about a kundalini awakening, or in the words of alchemy: the Magnum Opus. The person in the middle, whose resurrection is concerned, is now blue in color and has a bald spot on the back of his head. Both refer to spiritual completion.

Blue is the color of heaven, of the divine. The flesh-colored man and woman, left and right of him, still represent the polar energy channels.

The bald spot on the back of the man’s head gives the image of two concentric circles; a symbol from alchemy (see two examples on the far right) that, like the cross on the angel’s banner, represents the merging of the masculine and the feminine (the polar energy channels). This element was central to the previous card: The Sun.

Tarot of Marseille, by Jean Dodal (1701-1715)

The Magnum Opus of the alchemist in symbols. The COMPASS, which rests on the large and the small CIRCLE, represents the FUSION of both: 2=1. (Atalanta Fugiens, 1617)

The ‘Philosophers’ Stone’. (The Tenth Key, Basil Valentine, 1599)

Tarot of Paris, 17th century.

The influence of alchemy on the tarot can also be found in the card of the Tarot of Paris (left). At the end of the yellow trumpet (spine) on which the angel blows, we see three more colors: black, white and red. Together these are the colors of the four phases of the Magnum Opus: nigredo, albedo, citrinitas and rubedo, which are initiated by the kundalini energy (the angel).

One bare leg of the angel is visible. This is a reference to the sacred marriage: 2=1.

Also worth mentioning is the card from the Etteilla deck (right). The angel, as he blows his trumpet, holds two other trumpets crossed in his hands. A confirmation for us that the trumpets on the Visconti-Sforza card (above) are crossed deliberately.

Etteilla Tarot (1789)

The Oswald Wirth Tarot

Oswald Wirth’s card (right) contains few new elements. The symbol of the double circle has moved from the back of the risen man’s head to the angel’s forehead. On this card, even more clearly than in the Tarot of Marseilles, the man and the woman are not standing in the tomb, but rise from the grass, to make clear that they have a different (symbolic) meaning than the person in the middle.

The fusion of polar energies is also expressed in Wirth’s card in the angel’s clothing: red and blue, the classic colors for the masculine and feminine.

The mosaics of Château des Avenières (below left) are largely based on Oswald Wirth’s deck. For this card the designer was also inspired by Luca Signorelli’s fresco The Last Judgment (below right). The three resurrected persons in the mosaic are exactly copied from the painting.

Oswald Wirth Tarot (1889)

Château des Avenières (1917)

Resurrection of the Flesh, Last Judgment, fresco cycle by Luca Signorelli, 1499-1502.

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot (1909)

Right: an alchemical emblem with the MAGNUM OPUS in symbols. On the left a man (the alchemist) emerging from the WATERS of spiritual unconsciousness. On the right in a cave (symbol for the inner self of the alchemist) the FUSION of the polar energies (man/woman, sun/moon) takes place. Above, in the clouds, a woman with a moon for her head is given birth to the alchemist’s NEW SELF. She is the universal MOON GODDESS, or the KUNDALINI-shakti. (Atalanta Fugiens, Michael Maier, emblem 34, 1618)

The Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) Tarot

On Rider-Waite-Smith’s card, the open coffins float in the water. The sea is a symbol for the subconscious. This new element reinforces the symbolism of awakening from a state of spiritual unconsciousness. The people rising from the grave are gray in color, to tell us that it is a spiritual resurrection, not a dead body of flesh and blood coming back to life. The mountains in the background represent the expanded consciousness of the awakened human beings.

Both in the foreground and in the background we see a man and a woman, with a child in their midst. This child symbolizes the new self, and represents the wholeness and egolessness of the ‘risen’ person.

The seven stripes on the angel’s trumpet represent the seven chakras along the spine, that are opened and purified by the kundalini.

The Hindu god Krishna with his wife Radha.

Conclusion

Contrary to what the title and images suggest, this tarot card is not about God making a final judgment on how a person has lived. Nor is it about a Biblical resurrection of an already buried body. Tarot card Judgement represents a spiritual awakening; for a ‘resurrection’ from the ‘grave’ of spiritual death/unconsciousness. The end result of a kundalini process.

The angel on this card blowing a trumpet is a metaphor for the flow of divine energy in our spine. Similar symbolism can be seen in alchemy, but also in other spiritual traditions. For example, the Hindu god Krishna, who is recognizable in the iconography by his flute. On the left he is depicted with his wife Radha.

Together they represent the merging of the polarities in man: an important theme of this tarot card. In fact, it is a major theme of the entire Major Arcana. On almost every tarot card an element refers to this so-called ‘sacred marriage. The next and final card of the series, The World, is no exception!

Tarot Maçonnique (Jean Beauchard, 1987)

The angel sits at the top of a ‘kundalini tree’. The staircase symbolizes the chakras that the kundalini purifies and activates. The inner wholeness is symbolized by the ouroboros (the serpent that bites its own tail) in the tree. The triangle pointing downward represents the pelvis/sacrum, the abode of the kundalini.

Nature Spirit Tarot (Paul Struck, 1981)

The lily is a symbol of a kundalini awakening in Ancient Egypt, Judaism and Christianity, among others. Dragonflies spend most of their lives underwater as larvae. Only in the final stage dragonflies become winged insects that live on land and in the air.

Brady Tarot (Emi Brady, 2018)

The eagle, symbol of spiritual completion, brings a (kundalini) serpent up from the earth (pelvis) towards heaven (crown). The bats wake up and fly out of the dark cave they are in, out into the light.

Light Seer’s Tarot (Chris-Anne, 2019)

Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot (Nicoletta Ceccoli, 2014)

This article was written by Anne-Marie Wegh. Copyright July 2021.

Anne-Marie Wegh is the author of the book: Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

Illustrations from the tarot decks, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Foto’s Châteaux de Avenières: http://hermetism.free.fr/Avenieres

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By |2022-06-18T15:21:17+00:00July 29th, 2021|Tarot|Comments Off on Tarot 20. Judgement

Tarot 19. The Sun

19. The Sun

The always shining sun, which with its light and warmth makes life on earth possible, has been a symbol of the divine since ancient times. Tarot card number 19 represents spiritual completion, telling us how man can realize the sun / divine within himself. The very first tarot decks used symbolism from alchemy to communicate this.

The Viconti-Sforza Tarot

All elements on the Visconti-Sforza card (below left) refer to a spiritual rebirth, as a result of a kundalini awakening. The angelic figure on a cloud in the sky represents the human being who has detached himself from the world and has discarded the ego. The wings represent deification of matter. Standing on one leg refers to the merging of the polar energies: the sacred marriage (2=1). The three mountains represent the three energy channels involved in a kundalini awakening.

Through an intensive purification and healing process, this person has returned to the state of wholeness of a young child; in alchemy called Filius Philosophorum (Philosopher’s Child), or Infans Solaris (Sun Child).

Visconti-Sforza Tarot (15th century)

Rosarium Philosophorum (18th century). With his right hand Jesus makes the SIGN OF SACRED MARRIAGE: 2=1 (click here).

This illustration makes it clear that the path of PURIFICATION, which the alchemist chooses, leads to REJUVENATION (return to the state of wholeness of a child) and GOD-REALIZATION (the wings). (Cabala Mineralis, 17th century)

Both the red coral necklace and the red ribbon refer to the kundalini energy. Red is the color of (kundalini) fire and of the first chakra, the abode of this divine energy before awakening. The two flying ends of the ribbon represent the inner duality, which merges into divine unity.

A severed head is a universal metaphor for the discarding, or death, of the ego. The color red of the head in this case refers to the Magnum Opus (completed spiritual process) of the alchemist. Both the color red and gold are used for the Magnum Opus. In the illustration below on the left, from the alchemical work Splendor Solis, the severed head is golden.

The white, dismembered body refers to the purification process that the alchemist went through. The GOLDEN HEAD symbolizes that he has discarded his ego. The man with the SWORD (click here) represents the kundalini process itself. The colors BLACK, WHITE AND RED represent the three alchemical phases: NIGREDO, ALBEDO EN RUBEDO (click here). The THREE STRANDS of CURLING HAIR, flying in the air, represent the three energy channels involved in this process. (Splendor Solis, emblem 10, 1535).

Before the alchemist stands the FILIUS PHILOSOPHORUM, his reborn self. On the right a PHOENIX rising from its ashes, and on the left TWO TREES joined together and bearing FRUIT; a metaphor for a completed kundalini process. (Testamentum Der Fraternitet Rosae et Aurae Crucis, early 17th century)

The alchemist fishes RED CORAL (the kundalini) from the water (his subconscious). The ANGEL BLOWING AIR (upper left corner) must tell us that the coral represents something divine. (Atalanta Fugiens, 1617)

The last illustration from the alchemical manuscript Splendor Solis (1535). The RED SUN rising over the city represents the completion of the Great Work (Magnum Opus).

The Filius Philosophorum (the CHILD WITH WINGS) is the result of the union of KING AND QUEEN (the duality) in the alchemist (the flask). The THREE FLOWERS represent the three energy channels involved in this process.

The RED CORAL necklace, which runs from the PELVIS to the HEAD of the baby Jesus, is a (disguised) reference to a kundalini process. The same goes for the transparent SCARF that Maria is holding. Mary subtly makes with both hands the SIGN OF THE SACRED MARRIAGE: 2 = 1 (click here). The CROSSED LEGS (click here) of the Jesus child also refer to SACRED MARRIAGE. (Bernardo di Stefano Rosselli, circa 1500)

The Tarot of Marseille and family

The Tarot of Marseille uses different elements to tell the same thing. Francois Chosson’s card (below left) shows two identical boys holding each other. This symbolizes that they are connected. The two boys represent the duality that merges into divine oneness in the spiritual aspirant. Together they stand for the born again human. The wall around the boys tells us that this is an inner experience.

The red collar around their necks is the red coral necklace from the Visconti-Sforza card (above), which refers to a kundalini awakening. The vertical stripes on the boys’ torso refers to the spine. The boy on the left touches the boy on the right in this place with his hand. This is an indication to us that the working force is the kundalini energy, which is also symbolized by the flames coming from the sun. We also see these flames on the tarot card The Moon, on which they refer to the “descending tongues of fire of the Holy Spirit (the kundalini)”.

On the Italian Piedmontese card (far right), from more than a century later, both boys stand on one leg. This element also refers to the (divine) oneness they form together.

We also find similar elements on the three alchemical emblems below from the same time period, with (phases of) the Magnum Opus.

Tarot of Marseille
by Francois Chosson (1736)

Piedmontese deck (1865)

On the tarot cards above the sun’s energy is manifested as light and heat (straight and curved rays). The number of red and yellow rays on both cards is exactly eight. This is a reference to the Morning Star, which has been a symbol for the kundalini energy since ancient times (see also tarot card The Star). The sun is an apt symbol for the Morning Star since it is a star herself.

The KUNDALINI FIRE purifies the alchemist, and his inner duality fuses into oneness. (Atalanta Fugiens, 1617)

The alchemist has completed the Magnum Opus. The THREE FLOWERS represent the three energy channels involved in the kundalini awakening process. He presses his KNEES together. Like TWO FINGERS together, this symbolizes his inner oneness. (Clavis Artis, 1738)

The Magnum Opus in symbols. At the bottom of the flask the alchemist is lying down and purified by (kundalini) FIRE. The water drops around him also symbolize cleansing. The PHOENIX above him symbolizes rebirth. Sitting above the bird is the FILIUS PHILOSOPHORUM: the alchemist reborn. The MAN AND WOMAN, who are connected via a WOODEN STICK (the SPINE), represent the fusion of the inner duality. (Illustration from Circle of the Gold and Rosicrucians)

On the Tarot of Marseille card by Jacques Viéville (right), the Filius Philosophorum, or Sun Child, is sitting on a horse. This symbolizes overcoming the emotions and animal drives; an important aspect of the Magnum Opus, that one might regard as part of the purification process.

The banner is an element that expresses victory. The two different colors of the banner refer to the fusion of duality, just like the red cross on the horse’s hindquarters. On Nicolas Bodet’s card (bottom right), a derivative of Jacques Viéville’s card, the banner itself has a cross.

Certainly at that time, a banner with a cross was associated with the resurrection of Christ. On the symbolic level, the Bible story of Jesus rising from the dead is about a spiritual rebirth.

Read more about the symbolism in the Bible in my book “Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved.”

The Filius Philosophorum, or SUN CHILD, is sitting on a HOBBY HORSE; symbol for mastery over the emotions and animal drives. The boy carries the BANNER the resurrected Christ is depicted with in iconografy, which stands for victory over (spiritual) death. The WALL communicates that we get a view into the interior of the alchemist. Around the wall are personifications of the PLANETS. These represent the SEVEN CHAKRAS that have been purified and activated. The angel with Bible refers to DIVINE WISDOM = Sophia = the kundalini energy. (Traité d’Astrologie, Johannes Hartlieb, circa 1540)

Jacques Viéville Tarot (circa 1650)

Nicolas Bodet Tarot (Angers, 1739)

Throughout the centuries there has always been a group of people who knew that most Bible stories can also be read as symbolism, that want to tell us how we can realize the ‘Kingdom of God’ in ourselves: through a kundalini awakening, just like Jesus. This knowledge, which went against the teachings of the church, is communicated by artists in a concealed way in their paintings. Below are three examples in which a specific positioning (behind the head) of the banner of resurrection has been used to tell us that a fusion of duality has taken place in the head of Jesus.

Artist Bernardo Bitti (below left) has even dared to deviate from the traditional white flag with a red cross, opting for a flag with two colors: red and white. In alchemy, these colors represent the duality (red king and white queen), which merges during the Magnum Opus.

Bernardo Bitti (1603)

Giulio Campi (1547)

Bernardino Butinone (circa 1500)

The Oswald Wirth Tarot

Oswald Wirth (below left) has chosen a boy and a girl instead of two identical boys to express duality. The color of their loincloths confirms that they represent duality: red and blue are the classic colors of the masculine and feminine respectively.

Oswald Wirth Tarot (1889)

Rosenwald Tarot (circa 1500), with a double circle and a reference to the eight-pointed Morning star.

Château des Avenières (1917)

The two concentric circles in the grass are an element from the Rosenwald Tarot, one of the earliest printed decks of which only unfinished sheets have been preserved (above center). The symbol of the double circle comes from alchemy and refers to the fusion of duality (two circles). Below you find three examples of alchemical illustrations with a double circle.

Our interpretation is confirmed by the way in which the feet of the boy and the girl are placed. Both stand with one foot in the large circle and one foot in the smaller circle.

The divine oneness is thus symbolized on this card by both the boy and the girl holding each other, as well as the two overlapping circles.

The boy and girl in the mosaic of Château des Avenières (above, right) are naked. This emphasizes their (sexual) innocence and evokes associations with Adam and Eve before they were expelled from paradise by God. Part of the kundalini awakening process is the sublimation (transformation) of the sexual energies.

The girl in the mosaic of Château des Avenières has reddish hair with a length up to her pelvis. This refers to the kundalini fire, which flows from the pelvis to the crown.

The mythical figure Hermes Trismegistus shows the making of the ‘Philosopher’s Stone’, the final product of the Magnum Opus. On the right page TWO SUNS (duality) merge into ONE. (De Chemia Seniores, 1566)

The Philosophers’ Stone. The DOUBLE CIRCLE represents the ‘Egg of the Philosophers’: one of the many alchemical metaphors for God-realization. (The Tenth Key, Basilius Valentinus, 1599)

The Magnum Opus of the Alchemist. The COMPASS, which is placed on the LARGE and the SMALL CIRCLE, indicates the fusion of both. (Atalanta Fugiens, 1617)

Below and right: hidden symbolism from alchemy, among which the DOUBLE CIRCLE, in two paintings of Mary Magdalene.

Read more about Mary’s spiritual process in my book “Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved.”

Both women make THE SIGN OF THE SACRED MARRIAGE with their hands (2 = 1). The hand of Mary Magdalene rests on a MIRROR that has the shape of a DOUBLE CIRCLE. The square shaped LIGHT REFLECTION on the mirror refers to “SQUARING THE CIRCLE” (click here), a metaphor for the accomplishment of the Magnum Opus. The colors BLACK, WHITE, YELLOW AND RED of Mary’s clothing refer to the FOUR PHASES OF THE MAGNUM OPUS (click here). (Caravaggio, 1598)

The LID of the ointment jar is in the shape of a DOUBLE CIRCLE. With the hand with which Mary Magdalene holds it, she makes THE SIGN OF THE SACRED MARRIAGE (2=1). The red flower refers to the HEXAGRAM (click here), also a symbol for the sacred marriage. The colors BLACK, WHITE, YELLOW AND RED of Mary’s clothing refer to the FOUR PHASES OF THE MAGNUM OPUS (click here). (School of Antwerp,1532)

The Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) Tarot

Pamela Colman-Smith’s card was inspired by Jacques Viéville (Tarot of Marseille, see above). Her Sun-child sits without saddle and reins on a large white horse: the forces of the lower nature are fully at the disposal of the higher nature. The color white refers to the purification of the animal energies/instincts.

Read more about the symbolic meaning of a WHITE HORSE in the article: “The unicorn can be found in you!

The red feather on the Sun Child’s head, and the large red-orange flag, are both a symbol of the kundalini energy that has reached the crown chakra. The red feather is also an element (with the same meaning) of RWS card number 0 The Fool and card number 13 Death. The wreath on the child’s head is a universal symbol for an open crown chakra.

The wreath is made from pomegranates. These fruits, full of seed, are also depicted on the Fool’s tunic and on the veil behind the High Priestess (card number 2), and are also a classic symbol for the kundalini energy. A wreath of pomegranates around the head means that the kundalini has been successfully raised to the seventh chakra.

The sunflowers are a new element and represent a completed process of God-realization. See the illustration below, on the left, from Hermetism (a spiritual tradition related to alchemy).