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 |2022-09-19T09:22:38+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

Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved

Mary Magdalene

The disciple whom Jesus loved

All the Bible says about Mary Magdalene is that she was one of the women who followed Jesus on his tour of Judea, and that she was freed from seven demons. However, a closer look at the Greek original text reveals a wealth of additional information to be found in the few words about this mysterious woman.

What appears is a very different picture from that of the penitent sinner that the church paints of her, and also a different picture from what is suggested in New Age circles, namely that she was the wife of Jesus. I have explained and substantiated my explosive findings in my book Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved. The following text is from Chapter 2 of this book.

The disciple whom Jesus loved

The identity of the author of the fourth gospel has been topic of research and debate for nearly two thousand years. According to received wisdom, it is the apostle John, but in modern times many experts doubt this. Judging from the content of the gospel, it must have been someone who was very close to Jesus. The anonymous author says to report from first hand, about what he has seen with his own eyes, and calls himself the “disciple whom Jesus loved”:

Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
(John 21:20,24)

Why would the author have chosen for anonymity? Several reasons can be thought of, but a very good reason would be because it was a woman!

Women were commonly not taken serious in those days, which is also made clear in a galling passage in the gospel of Luke. When Jesus, after his death, has appeared to a number of women, and they rush to tell of this to the male apostles, they are not believed:

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.
(Luke 24:9-11)

Full as she was about what she had learned from Jesus, Mary decided to write her own version of the “good message”2. She chose to remain anonymous and assume a male profile in her texts. She deliberately made the audience suspect that this man was the apostle John, as we shall see shortly. However, in an ingenious way, she left a key in the text, with which the true identity of the author could be retrieved. For this, we have to turn to the Greek source text.

The hidden key

In the gospel of John, the formula “the disciple whom Jesus loved” appears five times. Four times, the author chose to use the Greek verb agapaó (from agápe), for the meaning of to love. However, in the passage that describes the discovery of the astonished disciples that the tomb is empty, the Greek verb phileó (from philos) is used:

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved (phileó), and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.
(John 20:1-3)

In this passage, Mary Magdalene is together with two other disciples present at the empty tomb of Jesus. By calling one of the two men the beloved disciple, making use of another word for to love, her identity as author remains hidden, but she does not deny herself. Through this construction, she can maintain that it was she who first saw the resurrected Jesus.

Also the word “other” stands out in this quote: the other disciple whom Jesus loved. Together with the other word for to love, and Mary Magdalene’s presence in this scene, there is only one logical conclusion: she is the author of this gospel!

A literary construction that is as simple as it is brilliant, and which all this time has successfully hidden that the author of this gospel is a woman. A well-kept secret that allowed her story to be taken seriously and make it through the strict selection process of the early Christian Church fathers, because of which it now is part of the New Testament. This is an honor that did not befall many other gospels from that time. As a consequence her words are read and lavishly cited, across the world and until today.

Pietro Perugino, Christ Giving the Keys to St. Peter, 1482, Sistine Chapel, Rome, Italy. Jesus delivers the keys to the “Kingdom of Heaven” to Peter. This event from the gospels (Matthew 16:19) caused the Catholic Church to reckon Peter as the first pope. Artist Perugino wants to let us know that this honor is actually Mary Magdalene’s. She stands behind Peter in an open posture, because of which she becomes the central figure of the right side of the scene. She is the only one of the apostles who looks at Jesus. The apostle to her left points at her. That this is Mary Magdalene we may deduce from her footwear. All apostles are barefooted. Only Jesus and she wear sandals. Hers are ornamented in such a way that it is clear that this character must be a woman. She holds a small paper scroll in her hand: the gospel she has written!

Christian art

Throughout the ages there have always been initiates, artists and mystics who knew that the Gospel of John was written by Mary Magdalene. In Christian iconography, the apostle John is usually depicted as a beardless young man with feminine features. In many paintings (and also church statues) the evangelist is so clearly a woman that the artist must have had a underlying message for us. Sometimes John is even so feminine that he can only be recognized by his attributes (a Bible with a writing pen, an eagle, and/or a drinking cup with or without poisonous snakes).

Because of the rigid attitude of the church, the truth could not be spoken aloud, but underground it found its way onto the canvas. On the walls of museums, churches and basilicas, voices from the distant past speak to us: Mary Magdalene was the ‘apostle to the apostles’. She was the disciple Jesus loved most!

Paintings and stained glass of the Evangelist John

Defendente Ferrari
(circa 1525)

Hans Baldung (1511)

Domenichino
(first half 17th century)

Sisto Badalocchio (1605-1625)

From: Grandes Heures Anne de Bretagne (1503-1508)

John La Farge (19th century)

This article has been published in Spiegelbeeld magazine (July/August ’19)
Copyright Anne-Marie Wegh 2019

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

By |2022-05-31T12:25:09+00:00April 16th, 2022|Anne-Marie|Comments Off on Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved

Mary Magdalene: possessed or spiritually awakened?

Mary Magdalene

Possessed or spiritually awakened?

She was present at the crucifixion of Jesus when all the other disciples had fled. She was the one to whom he first appeared after his death. It is written in the Bible that she was freed from seven demons. Who was that woman who played such an important role in the life of Jesus? Was she indeed possessed?

Fallen woman

For centuries, Mary Magdalene has been seen as a converted prostitute, although this is not mentioned anywhere in the Gospels. This image of the fallen woman came about because she was seen by many as the unnamed “sinner” who anoints Jesus’ feet in the house of Simon the Pharisee. The reason this woman’s sins are believed to be related to prostitution is that after the anointing, Jesus says of her:

Therefore I say unto you, Her sins, which were many, are forgiven her, for she loved much;
but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

Some see a woman “who has loved much” as a reference to a life of easy virtue. An illogical reasoning, because this would mean that the woman is forgiven for having led an immoral life. It is more likely that Jesus means it as it is written: whoever has loved much is forgiven much. Anyhow, the Bible does not say that this sinner is Mary Magdalene.

Demons

What the Gospels do say about Mary Magdalene is that Jesus had cast seven demons out of her. Fortunately, more and more people realize that the Bible stories should not always be taken literally. The Old and New Testaments are full of symbolism that aims to convey esoteric wisdom to the spiritual seeker who is ready (“He that has ears, let him hear…”).

Demons represent ego aspects that prevent us from experiencing the divine. An exorcism of seven demons represents a spiritual purification process. Seven refers to Mary Magdalene’s chakras, which were cleansed of psychic polution and blockages. She was not possessed, but she had experienced a process of spiritual awakening!

The process of kundalini awakening
Click here to read more!

The pineal gland gets its name from its pinecone shape.

Baptism with the Holy Spirit

Her teacher Jesus has found her worthy to be initiated into the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. The Bible says that Jesus baptized with the fire of the Holy Spirit. In the yogic tradition, this fire is called the kundalini-shakti: the divine energy that resides in our pelvis, near the sacrum, and which upon awakening initiates a spiritual process.

As the energy slowly (a process of years) ascends through the spine, the chakras are purified and activated one by one. Arriving at the crown chakra, the pineal gland is stimulated to release hormones and opiate-like substances to the cerebrospinal fluid. These provide for an expansion of consciousness. The pineal gland is our inner antenna to experience the divine.

Mary received this “baptism” from Jesus. The fire of God’s Spirit flowed through her spine. Her high spiritual level has always been known by initiates. Mary stood on a pedestal with the Templars, for example, the knighthood of monks, who also knew that the secret of the Kingdom of God lies in our pelvis. We can deduce this from the graffiti they left behind on the walls of the dungeons where they were imprisoned (see also my article The Templars and the Holy Grail). The Cathars also revered Mary Magdalene. In their eyes she had the same spiritual status as Jesus.

Through esoteric organizations such as the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians, many artists became aware of the secrets surrounding Mary Magdalene. Symbolism that refers to her spiritual status can be found on numerous paintings and stained glass windows in churches. Usually veiled, because it went against the teachings of the church at the time. I have included many examples in my book on Mary Magdalene.

Mary’s ointment jar has the shape of the pineal gland. This is a hidden reference to her spiritual level.

Spiritual growth

This new information about Mary Magdalene is very inspiring. The current generation of spiritual seekers no longer wants to hear what to believe. They want to shape their own spirituality. We do not have to immediately seek refuge in Eastern traditions such as Buddhism and yoga. The deeper, symbolic layers of the Bible, and Mary Magdalene, show us that a wonderful growth process awaits us, when we are ready for it. When we have chased all the pleasures of the world and we have found that this does not make us happy. When we start longing for more depth and meaning in our lives, and become curious about the spiritual path.

This article has been published in Bloom magazine (July/August ’20)
Copyright Anne-Marie Wegh 2020

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

By |2022-05-31T12:25:44+00:00April 16th, 2022|Anne-Marie|Comments Off on Mary Magdalene: possessed or spiritually awakened?

The Knights Templar and the Holy Grail

The Knights Templar and the Holy Grail

The legendary Order of the Knights Templar was active during the crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries. Legend has it that the Christian knight-monks in the Holy Land obtained all kinds of mythical objects, including the Holy Grail, the cup in which the blood of Jesus was collected during the crucifixion. They were also suspected of Gnostic sympathies. This has never been proven. Nevertheless, many Templars were burned at the stake for “heresy.” During their imprisonment, the Knights Templar scratched religious images on the walls of their dungeons. Historians don’t think they mean anything special. They cannot be further from the truth: the seven centuries old relief drawings lead us to the secret of the Holy Grail!

Rise and fall

The Order of the Knights Templar was founded in 1118 by the French nobleman Hugh of Payns and initially consisted of nine men. The purpose of the order was to protect pilgrims from raiders on their journey to Jerusalem. The knights also wanted to live in imitation of Christ and took monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

The for that time completely new combination of soldier and monk appealed to the imagination of the French. The order soon grew in number, wealth and power. They received money, goods and land from citizens and rulers. Their courage was legendary. The well-trained knight monks fought on to the death. They only surrendered if their commander decided to do so, and this seldom happened. In addition to protecting pilgrims, they also took part in crusades against the Muslims to keep Jeruzalem under Christian rule.

When Jerusalem was conquered by the Muslims around 1300, the Knights Templar withdrew from the Holy Land. The French King Philip IV was in need of money and devised a plot to amass the riches of the Knights Templar. On October 13, 1307, Templars were arrested across the country on charges of heresy, homosexuality and corruption. Filip had no evidence for these allegations, but the Inquisition’s torture methods provided him with the “confessions” he needed to confiscate the order’s assets. Many Knights Templar ended up burned at the stake. In 1312 the order was officially dissolved by the Pope.

In 2007 the Templars were cleared and restored by Pope Benedict. This as a result of the discovery of documents showing, among other things, how the confessions were obtained.

Gnostic views

Many of the accusations against the Knights Templar were fabricated by King Philip, but rumors of Gnostic beliefs have never dissipated, fueled in part by the secrecy surrounding the order’s initiations and rituals. Was some of this true after all?

If we study the scarce material that has been preserved from the Knights Templar, there appears to be a theme of (divine) oneness against (earthly) duality: a mystical concept that we also find in Gnosticism. An example is the famous Templar Seal with two riders on one horse (illustration 1). The meaning of this is unknown. Is it an expression of solidarity and brotherhood, or a sign of poverty? Didn’t every knight have his own horse? There are several arguments that make both answers unlikely.

1. Seal of the Knights Templar

2. Coat of arms of the Knights Templar

3. Flag of the Knights Templar

4. Tomb of a Templar (Temple Church, Londen)

It seems more likely that the two riders on one horse are a metaphor for the inner fusion of the polarities, as the way to an experience (the oneness) of God. Especially when we place other objects next to this seal. The Knights Templar’s coat of arms, for example, is a red cross on a black and white background (illustration 2). The equal-armed cross, or Greek cross, is a classic symbol of the fusion of the opposites. The esoteric meaning of the cross is confirmed and reinforced by its strategic position in the center of the black and white (yin and yang) background. The black and white flag of the Templars, called the Beauceant, fits seamlessly with the seal and coat of arms in terms of symbolism (illustration 3).

And then there are the tombs of the Templars. Some of these show the deceased with their legs crossed (illustration 4), a curious detail for which historians have no explanation. One of the theories is that the crossed legs refer to participation in a crusade, but this explanation is not conclusive for all cases where a knight is depicted in such a way. In esoteric traditions crossed legs symbolize the fusion of opposites into a divine oneness.

On the seal with the two riders on one horse (illustration 1) we find two more references to the fusion of the opposites: the two spears next to each other and the double cross on the coats of arms of the riders. The two crosses on top of each other form an eight-pointed star, the so-called Morning Star, an ancient symbol for the divine.

The Morning Star

The eight-pointed star is a symbol of the Sumerian goddess Inanna and her Akkadian counterpart Ishtar. These goddesses were also associated with the planet Venus, which is called the Morning Star because Venus, after the sun and moon, is the brightest of all celestial bodies and is visible in the east shortly before sunrise. Venus, as it were, heralds the sun and was therefore associated with the divine since ancient times. In line with this, the eight-pointed star represents in esoteric traditions the dormant divine energy in the pelvis of man; called the kundalini-shakti by the yogi (illustration 5). See also my article on tarot card The Star.

5. (right) All symbols in this alchemical illustration refer to the kundalini energy: the serpent, the woman on the moon (Sophia) and the eight-pointed star. From: Clavis Artis, late 17th / early 18th century.

The Templars placed the eight-pointed Morning Star on coins, on seals and on walls in churches and cathedrals built by them. An intriguing example can be found among the various frescoes in the Templar chapel of Cressac-Saint-Genis, in France (illustration 6). My interpretation is that all symbols in the circle refer to the divine in man, or the kundalini energy. The small circle with a dot in the middle is the symbol for the sun and for gold. The A(lpha) is the first letter of the alphabet and refers to the divine principle of our creation. The mysterious serpentine line on the top of the A is the (serpent) movement of the kundalini energy ascending through the spine.

A second esoteric symbol, also frequently used by the Knights Templar, is the Rose of Venus. During an eight-year cycle, the planet Venus orbits the Earth in the pattern of a five-petaled flower (illustration 7). This Rose of Venus has traditionally been a symbol of the feminine aspect of God. The pattern can also be seen as a pentagram. We find both the Rose of Venus and the pentagram on artefacts of the Knights Templar. Examples are illustrations 8 and 9.

7. The orbit that the planet Venus makes around the earth in 8 years.

8. The ornament above the entrance of the Templar church of Santa Maria dos Olivais in Tomar, Portugal.

9. A coin issued by the Knights Templar.

The Tower of Coudray in Chinon

One of the places where the Knights Templar have been imprisoned prior to their sentencing and execution is the Tower of Coudray in Chinon, France. The men left religious drawings on the walls of the tower (illustration 10). These provide us with much clarity about the Gnostic knowledge they possessed. The monks entrusted to the limestone walls of their prison what they kept silent about during the torture of the Inquisition. The rough drawings contain symbolism of which only “initiates” understand the meaning.

Illustration 11 shows Saint Catherine on the left, recognizable by her attribute: the wheel on which she was tortured. The wheel on this prison wall has eight spokes, that are more clearly worked out than the saint herself. That we may see this as a reference to the eight-pointed Morning Star, and thus to the kundalini energy, can be deduced from the planet Venus (circle with cross underneath), to the left of Catherine.

10. Graffiti left by the Knights Templar in the Tower of Coudray in Chinon.

Pineal gland

Fleur-de-lys

11. (Part) drawing of 10.

12. (Part) drawing of 10.

Illustration 12 fits in beautifully with the symbolism of 11. On the right we see the head of a monk with a halo. This halo results from the activation of the pineal gland, which is depicted to the left of the man as a large cavity with rays around it. The fleur-de-lys beneath the cavity confirms our interpretation. The fleur-de-lys is an ancient symbol of the pineal gland. A staircase with six steps is carved between the fleur-de-lys and the monk: these are the six chakras that the kundalini traverses to reach the pineal gland.

Inner crucifixion

From the graffiti left behind in towers of the French Bastide city of Domme, where Templars were also imprisoned awaiting trial, we can infer that they knew that many stories in the Bible have a symbolic layer. For example, the crucifixion of Jesus on the symbolic level represents the death of the ego during the process of spiritual awakening. Illustration 13 (below) shows a crucifixion scene left in Domme prison. A house has been carved around the cross and the two bystanders. The meaning of this is that the crucifixion, on a deeper level, takes place in man.

13. Crucifixion scene, Domme.

A small cross has been placed on the head of the crucified Jesus. This is a second clue, left for us, that the death of Jesus can be interpreted as an inner process. The ego dies when the kundalini energy has ascended into the head, and the masculine and feminine energies (the inner duality) merge. This so-called sacred marriage is depicted in illustration 13 by the man and the woman (the apostle John and Mary) next to the cross.

The inner meaning of the crucifixion is portrayed in a different way on the prison wall of Chinon. In illustration 11, next to Saint Catherine, we see the mountain of Golgotha with a cross on it. The pile of stones that make up the mountain looks very similar to a brain. The cross is carved in a hollow, which we may see as a second indication that the crucifixion takes place in the head. This symbolism is entirely consistent with the Biblical text, which explicitly states that Golgotha means “Place of the Skull”: And they took Him to the place of Golgotha, which is translated: Place of the Skull. (Mark 15:22)

For a more in-depth analysis of the symbolism in the Bible, see my book John the Baptist who became Jesus the Christ.

Holy Grail

On the walls in Domme is also illustration 14: an depiction of the Holy Grail. My interpretation is that this represents a cup with a tree of life, and that this is a metaphor for the human pelvis (the cup), with the awakened kundalini flowing up to the crown chakra (the tree of life).

The cup is octagonal, a reference to the Morning Star. The tree has seven branches: these are the seven chakras that are purified and activated by the kundalini. A confirmation of this interpretation can be found in the Templar Church of Montsaunès: the tree of life that is depicted on one of the walls is executed in exactly the same way (illustration 15)!

14. Graffiti in Domme prison.

15. Fresco of the tree of life in the Templar Church of Montsaunès.

So the Knights Templar knew that the mythical Holy Grail is not a physical object, but a metaphor for the divine energy in our pelvis. According to the legends, drinking from the Holy Grail would bring healing and eternal life. These are characteristics of the kundalini energy that, when it awakens, purifies, heals and reunites man with God.

Right: Jesus hanging from a (life) tree. The seven ‘branches’ refer to the seven chakras. Engraving from: Hermetic writings, Vincentius Koffsky, 1786.

Spiritual testament

The Knights Templar fascinate and appeal to our imagination. Best-selling books are still being published on a regular basis, with the most incredible and unfounded hypotheses and conspiracy theories. For all these centuries, the truth about Templar spirituality has been visible on French prison walls: unappreciated by historians and unknown to the general public. A moving spiritual testament, left for us by heroic men, who were tortured and killed by the same Pope and King they had served so faithfully and passionately.

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This article was published in Spiegelbeeld magazine (dec ’20).
Copyright Anne-Marie Wegh 2020

The Knights Templar held great veneration for John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene

They knew that John the Baptist and Jesus the Christ were one and the same person. After going through a spiritual process of God-realization, John the Baptist became a powerful preacher, and captivated his audiences with his radically new teachings on the (inner) Kingdom of God.

After his crucifixion en resurrection, the Gospel writers gave him a new name and identity to make him more credible to the Jews as their long awaited Messiah: Jesus “the Nazarene.” Read more in my book: John the Baptist who became Jesus the Christ.

They also knew that Mary Magdalene is the mysterious, unknown writer of the Gospel of John, and that she played a central role in the life of Jesus. Read about this in my book: Mary Magdalene, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

Additional illustrations

The esoteric meaning of the Holy Grail was not only known to the Knights Templar. In the Christian paintings below a connection is made between the Holy Grail and the process of kundalini awakening.

Below: in both paintings, Jesus makes with his right hand – from which his blood flows into a cup – the sign of the sacred marriage (2=1, the fusion of the polarities).

Right: this painting connects the dove of the Holy Spirit (the Christian name for the kundalini energy) to a rising (kundalini) serpent, the resurrection of Jesus, and the Holy Grail. The transparent scarf that – barely visible – is wrapped around the cross (from the pelvis tot the head of Jesus), also refers to the kundalini serpent. Bartolomeo Passarotti, 16th century.

With his left hand, Jesus points to his pelvis, the place in man where the Holy Grail, that is standing next to him, is located. A burning candle is placed in front of the cup. This candle refers to the divine fire (kundalini) running through the spine. Bernardino di Mariotto dello Stagno, circa 1520.

The apostle John holds a cup (the Holy Grail) next to the head of the baby Jesus: the place where the ascended kundalini energy connects man to God. With their hands John and Jesus make the sign of the sacred marriage (2=1). Boccaccio Boccaccino, circa 1507.

By |2022-07-02T18:48:02+00:00January 7th, 2021|Anne-Marie|Comments Off on The Knights Templar and the Holy Grail

The spiritual process of losing the ego

The spiritual process of losing the ego

The average Western person is filled to the brim: filled with thoughts, feelings, stimuli, restlessness, stress, and especially filled with ego. We are full of ourselves. And in those who are full of themselves there is no place for God.

The way to God is a way of becoming empty, in many ways: de-stressing, detaching, draining the swamp of the unconscious, and “undressing” your ego. Only naked can we see God face to face. (1)

Usually this process of emptying is not explicitly explained in spiritual traditions, but is referred to only in metaphors, which the spiritual seeker himself is supposed to translate to a working method. Examples include decapitation, face covering, invisibility, and a major cleaning.

Decapitation

A beautiful example of beheading with a spiritual meaning is the Hindu god Ganesha. This popular elephant-headed god embodies enlightened man. According to myth, Ganesha is beheaded in his youth by his father, the god Shiva, during an outburst of rage. After this, full of remorse, he places an elephant head on his son’s shoulders.

The head is the seat of the ego. Liberated from the ego, the spiritual aspirant experiences a spiritual rebirth. The elephant head, with its large ears and brain, represents the sharpened senses and the expanded consciousness of this enlightened human being.

In Hindu iconography, a cut-through coconut often lies at the feet of Ganesha (see illustration on right). One of the rituals in Hinduism is breaking a coconut for Ganesha. The hairy coconut somewhat resembles a human’s head. The underlying symbolism of the ritual is the cracking of the ‘hard nut’ of our ego.

The Hindu god Ganesha. Only one foot rests on the lotus; a reference to transcending duality: he has realized the (oneness of) the divine.

David with Goliath’s head.

Another example is the Bible story of the beheading of Goliath by the young shepherd David. (2) The enormous giant Goliath symbolizes the ego of David that must die if he is to become king of Israël (a Biblical metaphor for God-realization). With a rock from his sling, David hits his opponent Goliath exactly in the forehead during a duel; energetically the place in man where the ego dies, during the process of spiritual awakening. Then he decapitates him with his sword.

Face covering

The disappearance of a face is also symbolism to express the disappearance of the ego. The prophet Moses has an impressive encounter with God on a mountain (symbol for an expansion of consciousness). He resides on the mountain for forty days and nights (symbolism for a period of transformation). When he comes down, he covers his face with a cloth when he speaks to the Israelites. (4) With this image, the Bible writers are saying that Moses no longer speaks from his (disappeared) ego, but from a divine source.

Moses wears a veil

The prophet Elijah hides his face behind his cloak

The face of the prophet Elijah also disappears after meeting God on a mountain. In a cave on top of the mountain, Elijah first feels a strong wind splitting the mountains and breaking rocks; then there is an earthquake and finally a fire. (5) These impressive images describe the process of emptying: Elijah is being ‘broken open’, purified and transformed.

And after the fire came a soft silence.
And it happened, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face with his cloak, went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him, saying, What are you doing here, Elijah? (6)

It is quiet after the violence of nature. This is the inner silence that man experiences after the completion of the process of emptying. Elijah wraps his cloak around his face: his ego has become “invisible” through the purification process. It is now completely transparent, like a clean window. The divine light can flow through it unhindered. As with Moses, this allows Elijah to hear the voice of God.(7)

Invisibility

Invisibility is also a metaphor for egolessness. The Greek god Hermes has a helmet that can make him invisible; the so-called Helmet of Hades. Hermes lends his helmet to Perseus when he confronts the infamous gorgo Medusa. Perseus is sent to get the head of Medusa; a life-threatening task because everyone who looks her in the eye petrifies. Through the Helmet of Hades, Perseus manages to approach Medusa unseen and cuts off her head

This beheading is also about emptying. Medusa has snakes on her head instead of hair; this refers to the “poisonous” thoughts that emanate from the ego, and that stand in the way of experiencing God.

Petrification is a wonderful metaphor for the inner world of a person who is ‘stuck’ in his past: in ingrained patterns, old pain and false beliefs. The ego is, as it were, ‘petrified’. It is motionless and lifeless.

Medusa by Caravaggio (circa 1600)

This myth uses both the metaphor of invisibility and that of beheading for its spiritual message: the necessity of emptying for the realization of the divine. The wings on the Helmet of Hades represent an expansion of consciousness.

Perseus with the severed head of Medusa (Cellini, 1545–54).

A depiction of the alchemist’s Magnum Opus (metaphor for God-realization). Hades’ Helmet makes the face invisible. (From the alchemical treatise Wasserstein der Weysen by Johann Ambrosius Siebmacher, 1619)

A major cleaning job

Emptying is sometimes also represented by a process of purification. A well-known example is Noah’s Flood. The enormous flood of water in which people and animals perish, represents the “flushing” of the spiritual seeker (Noah). All that is “sinful” is purified. When the water sinks again, Noah’s Ark ends up on a mountain top (symbol for an expansion of consciousness). (8)

Noah’s ark ends on a mountain top: a symbol for an expansion of consciousness

A second example is the cleansing job that the Greek demigod Herakles faces: mucking out the stables of King Augias. This task is the fifth of the twelve “labors” (assignments) that Herakles is to perform on behalf of King Eurystheus. The twelve labors represent the challenges the spiritual aspirant faces who wants to realize the divine.

King Augias owned 3,000 cattle and the stables had not been cleaned for 30 years. So a gigantic job, which has to tell us that spiritual emptying is not an easy task. The number 3 refers to the three aspects of man, all of which must be cleansed: body, head (thinking) and heart (feeling). This myth has found its way into our proverbs and expressions: an “Augias stable” represents an enormous amount of dirt.

John the Baptist

The ultimate example of a man who has managed to empty himself completely, with the rest of the world knowing about it, is John the Baptist.

John is seen as the one who first predicts the coming of the Messiah and then recognizes Jesus as “the Lamb of God” at his baptism in the Jordan. This is how he is presented in the Bible, and John thus fit the expectations of the Jews who, based on the prophecies in the book of Malachi, assumed that the coming of the long-awaited Messiah would be preceded by a great prophet.

However, John the Baptist was not only the herald of Jesus. He was Jesus. He became a Christos, an anointed one, after a long process of God-realization, a moment symbolically depicted in all the Gospels as the baptism of Jesus by John in the Jordan.

Jesus points with two fingers (2 = 1) at John the Baptist: Jesus = John. Their appearance is also the same. (Basilica of San Marco, Venice, 11th-13th century)

Because John did not meet the expectations that the Jews had about the Messiah, the evangelists posthumously give him a new name and a new identity, which refers to a figure from the Old Testament: Joshua (Jesus) the son of Nun.

The Gospels are full of subtle cues that endorse this statement. For this you sometimes have to go back to the Greek source texts. I have written a book about this subject: John the Baptist who became Jesus the Christ. There has always been a group of initiates who knew about this great secret. Below you will find a number of paintings in which it is hinted, in a concealed way, that John the Baptist was Jesus. In my book, and on this web page, many more examples.

John the Baptist points with one finger at Jesus and with two fingers at the lamb at his feet. His hand gesture means: Jesus and he are both the Lamb of God. (Lucas Cranach the Younger, 1553)

In iconography John the Baptist usually points at Jesus, because in the Bible he is the one who recognizes Jesus as the Lamb of God. In this painting, however, he points at himself. (Michelino da Besozzo, circa 1420)

Saint Lucia points with two fingers pressed together (2 = 1) to the baptism scene with John and Jesus, on the chasuble of the bishop. Her hand gesture means John = Jesus. (Amico Aspertini, 1510)

The beheading of John

One of these indications is that the public life of Jesus starts from the moment John the Baptist is beheaded by King Herod:

When Jesus heard that John had been handed down, He returned to Galilee … From then on Jesus started to preach and say: “Repent, because the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (9)

Jesus preaches in the above quote in exactly the same words as John did. The Baptist also says to his listeners, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand“. (10)

John is captured and beheaded by Herod for the criticism he openly has on him. That this beheading on the spiritual level is a festive event is underlined by the fact that it takes place during the celebration of Herod’s birthday. The “birth” that is celebrated is the rebirth of John, who, after his “beheading,” will now, in the Bible, go by the name “Jesus the Christ.”

Some time later, when Herod learns about the wandering Jesus who performs special healings, he makes a connection with John’s death:

And King Herod heard it, for his name was known, and said, “John that baptized was raised from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.” Others said, “He is Elijah;” and still others said, “He is a prophet, or He is one of the prophets.” But when Herod heard it, he said, “This is John that I beheaded; he was raised from the dead.” (11)

It can hardly be stated any clearer. Herod says with astonishing certainty, as if resurrections from the dead occurred on a regular basis in Judea: Jesus is John who was raised from the dead.
In the Bible a person who fully identifies with his ego is seen as “dead,” in a spiritual sense. With the discarding of the ego (head) a “resurrection from the realm of the dead” takes place. The apostle Paul urges all of us to this: Awake, you who are sleeping, and rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. (12)

One of the ways artists have tried to let us know that John the Baptist was Jesus is to give John the appearance of Jesus. This work of art is an example. John is not wearing his traditional camel-hair robe and looks like Jesus.

The fullness of God

After many years of purification and emptying, God takes up residence in John / Jesus: … in Him resides the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (13) He is the “perfected” man. He has attained a state of spiritual wholeness and completion, which characterizes the divine dimensions: “Be perfect then, as your Father who is in the heavens is perfect.” (14)

The Greek teleios, from this quote, means perfect in the sense of perfected, finished, mature, completed. This perfection also refers to “oneness”. John / Jesus is no longer inwardly connected to duality; the sacred marriage of the opposites has taken place in him.

In the Bible this divine oneness is called (the union of) “the Alpha and the Omega”: I am the Alpha, and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. (15) Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, respectively. In the Bible they symbolize the opposites (polarities) of creation.

The sign of the sacred marriage

In Christian iconography, Jesus is often depicted with his index and middle fingers raised. This hand gesture is usually interpreted as a blessing, but its origin and meaning are unknown to historics.

Over the centuries, there has always been a group of initiates who knew that Jesus was not born as the Son of God, but had gone through a spiritual process under the name of John the Baptist. We see evidence of this in iconography, art, and the early Christian catacombs in Rome. (16) The hand gesture of the two raised fingers expresses the union of the opposites: Jesus made “the two into one”. The sacred marriage took place in him: the alpha and the omega, the masculine and feminine, the sun and the moon, have merged to oneness.

Jesus makes the “sign of sacred marriage.” Next to him are the Greek letters Alpha and Omega: they represent the inner polarities that have merged. (Sant Climent de Taüll Church, Spain, circa 1123)

The sacred marriage and a “beheading” (the discarding of the ego) are two interrelated aspects of the process of spiritual awakening. In many paintings of the beheading of John the Baptist we also find the (secret) sign of the sacred marriage (2 = 1) in one way or another. Four examples below.

Andrea Schiavone (16th century)

John looks like Jezus in this painting. Antonio Domingo de Sequeira (18th century)

Cesare da Sesto (circa 1515)

Andrea Solario (circa 1500)

Get to work

What must be done to find God can be found in all major religions and spiritual traditions. So spiritual seekers can stop searching. It is a matter of getting started. Roll up your sleeves and start cleansing your own Augias stable…!

Footnotes:
(1) 1 Corinthians 13:12
(2) 1 Samuel 16, 17
(3) For a detailed analysis of the biblical symbolism of the battle between David and Goliath see my book Kundalini Awakening (only in Dutch)
(4) Exodus 34: 29-35
(5) 1 Kings 19: 9-13
(6) 1 Kings 19: 12-13
(7) For a full analysis of Elijah’s encounter with God on Mount Horeb, see my book John the Baptist who became Jesus the Christ
(8) For an analysis supporting the deeper meaning of the Flood story see my book Kundalini Awakening (only in Dutch)


(9) Matt. 4:12 and 17, see also Mark 1: 14-15 and Luke 3: 19-21
(10) Matt. 3: 2
(11) Mark 6: 14-16, see also Matt. 14: 1-3 and Luke 9: 7-9
(12) Ephesians 5:14
(13) Col. 2: 9-10
(14) Matt. 5:48
(15) Rev. 22:13, see also Rev. 1: 8
(16) See my book John the Baptist who became Jesus the Christ

This article has been published in Paravisie Magazine (Jan. ’19)
Copyright Anne-Marie Wegh 2019

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

By |2022-04-17T08:13:32+00:00May 15th, 2020|Anne-Marie|Comments Off on The spiritual process of losing the ego

Kundalini and the Tower of Babel

Kundalini and the Tower of Babel

Forever in search of health, good sex and longevity, the masses have discovered the mysterious kundalini shakti of the yogi. Books and 1-day workshops with titles such as ‘Becoming supernatural’ are in great demand, and anyone interested can participate in kundalini yoga classes without prior screening or in-depth explanations of the purpose and dangers of exercises aimed at awakening the kundalini energy.

Certainly, the kundalini has a healing, vitalizing and purifying character, but awakening her does not only have positive effects. The goddess in our pelvis has many faces: she is the mother and the virgin, the widow and the bride, the comforter and the destroyer. Whoever wakes her up from her sleep too roughly, or prematurely, has to deal with Kali, the Hindu goddess of death and destruction!

Healing

Myths, such as those of Hinduism, Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Greeks, are narratives about forces in the outside world and – not everyone realizes this – in our inner world.

The symbol of healthcare organizations and medical practice is derived from the caduceus, the staff of the Greek god Hermes. The caduceus is also the universal symbol of a kundalini awakening. The staff itself represents the spine, the two serpents are the polar energy channels that merge during an awakening, and the wings symbolise an expanded consiousness.

The serpent, with its ability to renew itself through shedding its skin, is seen in almost all traditions as a symbol of the kundalini energy. The healing effect of the kundalini, however, is mainly energetic. For a union with God, the energy must flow unhindered, like in a young child:

Verily, I say to you, unless you change and become like children, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Gospel of Matthew 18:3)

A kundalini awakening does not cure chronic illnesses or other physical distress!

The Greek god Hermes
with his staff the caduceus

The Hindu goddess Kali

Purification

One of the goddesses who represent the purifying effect of the kundalini energy is the Hindu goddess Kali. Her appearance is frightening: dark skin, wide-open eyes, wildly swinging arms with one or more bloody weapons, and a chain of severed heads around her neck. Like a (kundalini) serpent, she uses her protruding tongue to detect (smell) impurities.

Despite her fearsome appearance, she is loved by the Hindus, because her intentions come from a loving mother’s heart. Her goal is to free us from our ego (symbolized by the severed heads).

The wild and angry Kali is an apt metaphor for the first phase of a kundalini awakening, which can last for years! The severity of the symptoms you experience depends on how many unprocessed issues lie dormant in the unconscious, and the purity of your lifestyle. For the average western person it involves a major cleaning job. Bigger than most people realize!

A kundalini awakening is hard on body and mind. The spiritual seeker who longs for God will be happy to endure it. However, advising people with health issues to wake up their kundalini as a solution to their medical problems is misleading – the healing is mainly mental – and downright dangerous!

Kundalini and sex

Upon awakening, the kundalini can be channeled through any chakra. It flows automatically to the chakras that require energy. If someone is focused on sexual pleasure, the kundalini will stay lingering at the second chakra, instead of ascending to its final destination, the crown chakra. If someone is strongly ego-oriented, the energy will feed the third chakra.

In this regard, the kundalini can indeed intensify sensory experiences, enhance your energy level, and open the door to the supernatural. But this divine energy is not intended for this purpose, and this is the reason why the knowledge of this energy source has always been hidden from the general public. Only spiritual aspirants with a pure intention and lifestyle were initiated by teachers in the techniques that can awaken the kundalini.

Right: The goddess Tara (Nepal, 18th century) is closely related to Kali in her destructive form. Around her waist she wears a panther skin, symbolizing the conquered animal instincts, including the sexual urges. The tail of the panther skin rests on the abdomen of the reclining man: Tara’s abode in man. The fire around Tara and the man depicts the inner kundalini fire that burns everything that stands between man and God. The man’s nakedness represents his purified ego.

Sacred energy

It is very naive to assume that using this sacred energy for any purpose other than that for which it is intended will remain without repercussions; medical, spiritual or karmic. Misusing the divine will not go unpunished. The Bible story about the Tower of Babel warns against this.

Many Bible stories are not intended to be taken literally. They are metaphors for inner spiritual processes. This also applies to the well-known story about man who wanted to build a tower up to heaven. The deeper meaning of Bible texts is hidden in subtle word choices and sentence structures. In my book Kundalini Awakening I have included five pages with an analysis of the Tower of Babel. I will summarize the main points here.

Tarot card The Tower
is inspired by the Tower of Babel

Inner tower

The Tower of Babel is about man trying to awaken the kundalini fire and bring it, through the spine (the tower), to the seventh chakra (heaven). In other words, man wants to rise to the divine, motivated by the ego.

However, this gross self-overestimation has the opposite effect. Instead of ascending through the spine, the divine descends. This is literally stated twice in the text: in response to the audacious act of man, God comes down (Genesis 11: 1-9).

Also meaningful is the name Babel, which means Gate of God (Bab –El). The place at the bottom of the spine, where the kundalini begins its journey upwards, is called Brahma-dvara in the yoga tradition : the gate or door of Brahma. This door to God remains closed to man who has not yet done the required inner work.

The metaphor of speaking different languages refers to losing contact with the oneness of the divine. Instead, the inner world of mankind is divided into ego-fragments.

The moral of the story of the Tower of Babel is that the Kingdom of God cannot be acquired without His will. It is a road that you travel together with Him. The knowledge about the kundalini can only be found hidden in sacred texts. In the wrong hands it can lead to people insufficiently prepared and with the wrong motives forcing an access to this sacred energy. Jesus also notes this in the gospel of Matthew (11:12):

From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.

This path should only be pursued with a heart purified from the ego’s desires for grandeur. Only for a person who is willing to die to himself does the gate to God open.

This article was published in the Dutch magazine Spiegelbeeld (March ’19). Copyright Anne-Marie Wegh 2019

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

By |2022-03-24T09:43:57+00:00May 3rd, 2020|Anne-Marie|Comments Off on Kundalini and the Tower of Babel

The Crucifix Code

The Crucifix Code

With his death on the cross, Jesus physically expressed the inner process of the death of the ego (“salvation”). The final stage of a kundalini awakening, where the old man is discarded (“dies”) and the new man, born again in God, “rises”.

Jesus himself had already completed this spiritual process, out of sight of the world. The Evangelists, on his behalf, and based on the esoteric teaching they had received from him, have written his life story as road map for the spiritual seeker’s inner journey to realize “the Kingdom of God.”

An explosive fact that can not only be found in the Bible, if you know how to read it, but has also been incorporated into countless Christian paintings by artists all over the world.

The Bible

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus makes an intriguing reproach to the scribes:

“Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge;
you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering.”
(Luke 11:52)

The word that Jesus uses for knowledge is the Greek gnosis. Gnosis is knowledge that is not obtained with the mind, but is based on experience. Spiritually speaking, gnosis stands for knowing God through direct experience. The knowledge of the heart.

The Pharisees hold the key to gnosis, Jesus says. They know the inner way to God, but they do not practise it themselves and they also prevent believers from “entering”. This key is the knowledge of what is called the kundalini in Eastern traditions. A power source of divine origin that is “sleeping” in our pelvis, at the level of the sacrum. The mystical branch of Judaism calls it Shekinah, the Gnostics Sophia, and Christians the Holy Spirit.

Jesus wanted to give this key to the Kingdom of God back to the believers. Not directly, because not everyone was ready to receive it, but concealed in metaphors and parables, “for those who have ears and want to hear”:

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.”
“Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.”  (Matthew 13:10,11,13)

Not only the Gospels, the entire Bible, from cover to cover, essentially is about our potential for spiritual awakening. The story of Adam and Eve from the book of Genesis narrates why the kundalini energy is inactive, or “asleep,”  in most people. The Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, is a visual description of a kundalini awakening. All other Bible stories of wars, tyrannical kings, cruel occupiers and brave heroes are descriptions of the universal struggle in all of us between the hypnotic powers of our lower, animalistic nature, and the call of our higher, divine nature, in which the kundalini has a main role.

The process of kundalini awakening

At the left and right of our spine, two major energy channels are located. In the yoga tradition their names are ida nadi and pingala nadi. These energy channels connect us to the opposites (duality) of creation. Where ida-nadi stands for the feminine, dark, cold, passivity, the moon, and feeling, pingala-nadi stands for the masculine, light, heat, activity, the sun, and thinking.

When the kundalini awakens at the sacrum, it rises through the sushumna nadi, the central energy channel in the spine. On the way to the upper chakra, the crown chakra, all other chakras along the spine are purified and activated.

At the sixth chakra, ida and pingala nadi merge, opening the so-called “third eye” on the forehead of the spiritual aspirant. The ego “dies” and divine light pours in through the open crown chakra. The yogi calls the expanded consciousness that man now experiences samadhi.

From one to two

At first there was on earth only Adam, living carefree in the Garden of Eden. This paradise is a metaphor for experiencing a living connection with God. Adam initially was androgyn; he was both male and female.

Then God creates Eve from a rib of Adam: this represents an inner division of Adam into a female and a male half. This split can be found on the physical level (two hemispheres with different functions), on the mental level (archetypal character traits) and the energetic level.

The dichotomy immediately has consequences: Eve persuades Adam to eat the forbidden fruits and they are both sent out of paradise (man loses connection with God).

The serpent that tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruits is also punished by God. It must now crawl on its belly (Gen. 3:14). This is a reference to the kundalini energy that retreats into the pelvis (the belly).

Right: with his right hand Adam makes the secret sign of the sacred marriage (2 = 1). Eve’s MIDDLE FINGER (click here) on the tree trunk refers to the kundalini energy. This tree has only one fruit: the pineal gland. (Peter Paul Rubens, 1628, Museo Del Prado)

The new Adam

Jesus “lifted” the serpent again and the details around his crucifixion have to make this clear to us. He is “the new Adam.” After a completed process of kundalini awakening, he returned to a state of androgyny and united with God: I and the Father are one (John 10:30).

Jesus himself confirms this interpretation by referring to the story of Moses and the bronze serpent: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up… (John 3:14).

Left: with his fingers, Jesus makes the sign of
the sacred marriage (2 = 1): in him the polarities
have melted into the oneness of the divine.
(Domenico Feti, circa 1600, Bavarian State Museum)

Moses and the bronze serpent

During their forty-year journey through the desert, the people of Moses encounter poisonous serpents whose bites kill. God commands Moses to make a serpent out of bronze and put it on a pole. Whoever looks at the bronze serpent after being bitten remains alive (Numbers 21:4-9).

The Hebrew words translated to poisonous serpents – nachash saraph – literally means burning (fiery) serpents. These serpents of fire represent the kundalini or Holy Spirit. This bible story shows the consequences if the divine energy in the pelvis is used for the desires of the (lower) abdomen; for sensory gratification and superficial pleasure.

If the “fiery serpent”, upon awakening, is not led upwards, but remains in the pelvis and “burns” the belly (“burning desires”), it acts as a deadly poison for the soul. Man dies spiritually. However, if the serpent rises through the spine, to the higher chakra’s (“placed on a pole”), man “lives”.

With his statement that he must be lifted up, just as Moses lifted up the serpent, Jesus wants us to know that his crucifixion should be taken as a metaphor for a kundalini awakening. He will physically express this inner process of God-realization. He will make the dying of the ego and the inner “resurrection” visible to the eyes of the whole world. A horrifying spectacle that makes you wonder if we could not have been presented this spiritual teaching in any other way.

In any case, the inhuman suffering and death of Jesus has not missed its effect. It has left deep marks in our collective consciousness and has made Christianity a world religion.

Jesus and the (kundalini-)serpent of Moses.
(Peter Paul Rubens, early 17th century)

Jesus points with two fingers (the sign of the sacred marriage) to his head: here the merger of the opposites and the crucifixion takes place. (Luis de Morales, 1566, Museo del Prado, Madrid)

The sacred marriage

The masculine and feminine energies in man merge into oneness when the kundalini energy, rising from the pelvis, has arrived at the forehead. This fusion is also called sacred marriage because it leads to a union with God. Prior to this mystical completion, the kundalini purified the ego (a process of years) described in the Gospels as “the way of the cross.” During the sacred marriage, the ego permanently leaves the stage; the new god-man is born (the “rebirth”).

A first indication that we should interpret the story of Jesus’ crucifixion as something that takes place in the head of man, is the location of the crucifixion: Golgotha, which means Place of the Skull (John 19:17)!

In the Gospel of John we find some more clues. Hanging on the cross, Jesus orders his disciple John to take his mother into his home (John 19:27). This is a reference to the sacred marriage. The Greek source text of this quote does not include the word home. Literally translated, it says: the disciple took her with him. A carefully chosen formulation that should evoke the image of an merger of the masculine and feminine.

In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus explicitly mentions this process:

Jesus said to them: When you make the two one, and when you make the inside as the outside, and the outside as the inside, and the upper as the lower, and when you make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male is not male and the female not female…
…then shall you enter [the kingdom]. (Saying 22)

In the esoteric traditions, the middle finger refers to the spine (the “center” of the body)
with the awakened kundalini energy. (Hans Holbein the Younger, 1521, Kunstmuseum Basel)

The spear

After Jesus has died on the cross, a soldier stabs him with a spear in his side (John 19:34). This too is a reference to an inner merger of the polarities, and goes back to the story of Adam and Eve. Jesus is stabbed with the spear in the same place where a rib was taken from Adam. Symbolically, the rib (Eva) is replaced: the state of androgyny is restored.

The two “criminals”

The two men crucified with Jesus – one on each side (John 19:18) – also depict the energies that sustain our dichotomy. Symbolically, in the crucifixion scene the inner duality (the two men) and the ego (Jesus) “die”.

These are just a few examples of the symbolism that pervades the life story of Jesus. The great secret of his kundalini awakening has been guarded through the centuries by a small group of initiates, artists and mystics. This “herecy” is hidden in countless Christian paintings.

An angel points to the head of Jesus: this is where the birth of the divine child takes place. (Hans Baldung, 1539, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe)

Peter Paul Rubens
(first half 17th century, private collection)

Mary Magdalene, to the right of the cross, shows with her hands the rising the kundalini energy from the pelvis to the head. (Stained glass, church unknown)

On this painting the sacred marriage is also expressed by combining the colors red (the masculine) and blue (the feminine): the clothing of the angels at Jesus’ left hand, and the clothing of Mary and John. Jesus’ loin cloth is shaped like a serpent (Josse Lieferinxe, ca. 1500, Louvre Museum)

The crucifix code

One of the ways in which artists have incorporated the deeper meaning of the crucifixion is with “the crucifix code”: Jesus hanging on the cross with one and / or two outstretched finger(s). He has made the two one; in him the sacred marriage has taken place.

Also in paintings with Jesus in a different context we see this “sign of the sacred marriage” (see above). When the middle finger is extended, this is a reference to the spine – which is in “the middle” of man – with the awakened divine energy flowing in it.

Whoever types “crucifixion Jesus” on google can easily find dozens of examples of paintings hanging in museums and churches all over the world. So many, that it is surprising that no one has noticed it before (as far as I know). Perhaps the drop of this article in our collective consciousness is going to cause a large ripple?

Juan de Juanes, 1550, Caylus Anticuario, Madrid

This article was published in the Dutch magazine Spiegelbeeld (Nov ’18)
Copyright Anne-Marie Wegh 2018

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

By |2022-03-24T09:48:25+00:00May 2nd, 2020|Anne-Marie|Comments Off on The Crucifix Code
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