Remo F. Roth

Dr. oec. publ., Ph.D.

dipl. analyt. Psychologe (M.-L. v. Franz)




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© 2005 by Pro Litteris, Zurich, Switzerland and Remo F. Roth, Horgen-Zurich. All Rights Reserved. Republication and redissemination of the contents of this screen or any part of this website are expressly prohibited without prior written consent. This book is intended for private use only, and is copyrighted under existing Internet copyright laws and regulations.

With many thanks to Gregory Sova, Ph.D. and Patricia Sova (LA, CA) for translation assistance

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The Archetype of the Holy Wedding

 in Alchemy and in the Unconscious of Modern Man

(Part 4)

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3. The Alchemical Rosarium Philosophorum

3.5 The descent into the bath


In the next picture (see on the right; 4th picture of Jung’s essay) the king and the queen are descending into the bath. As we have noted, this symbolic act is also interpreted as sinking into the uterus. The water represents the previously mentioned psyche that the alchemists saw as half spiritual and half material[1]. The psyche is the so-called vinculum amoris[2], the band of love that was able to unify the masculine with the feminine. From a psychological point of view this symbolism means[3], in the case of unconsciousness about the real meaning of the coniunctio, the flooding with sexual libido that compensates the too intellectual consciousness.  

This reminds us naturally of the sexual revolution of the sixties in Europe in the last century which culminates in modern times in the unrestrained living out of the archaic aspect of the Eros in sexual promiscuity. Like this, promiscuity compensates today’s intellectual one-sidedness. This preliminary stage of the real, today constellated opus of the future seems however necessary, as only such an experience allows us to see that the concretistic variation of the creation myth, of the divine coniunctio, is on the long run unsatisfactory and meaningless[4]. Only this way can modern man see that the concretization does not lead into the mystical experience which obviously is the goal of the symbolically indicated process in the Rosarium.  

In my judgment there is however urgent need to overcome the unconsciousness about the flooding with sexual libido demonstrated in today’s sexual libertinism. It is this need that is the reason why I decided to publish my modern interpretation of the Rosarium together with a series of sexual imaginations of a patient (with his consent; see chapters 7 to 10).  

By the acceptance of his sexual fantasies as the prima materia of an inner alchemical opus, he - in matters of promiscuous sex not too innocent – took responsibility for them. Like this he was able to grow into a new consciousness, instead of concretizing his fantasies,  thus acting them out and stay unconscious about their archetypal/psychophysical background.  

Only such a behavior allowed him to begin a Body-Centered Imagination <link?> under my guidance. Decades ago, this process showed me for the first time the possibilities and the importance of such an introverted dealing with one’s own collective sexual fantasies. Further, I began to realize the amazing fact that such fantasies have – in contrast to the mainstream’s opinion – almost nothing to do with a personal Eros relationship, though they of course appeared first in projections onto his female partner[5].


part 5

[1] CW 16; Thus, the dove as well as the water are much more a symbol of the subtle body or the intermediate realm of Hermetic alchemy than of Carl Jung’s collective unconscious or objective psyche. This circumstance will become very important when we will connect the process of the Rosarium with the “water chakra”, the svadhisthana (the 2nd chakra) of Tantrism.

[2] § 454: “For all this it may be gathered that the queen stands for the body and the king for the spirit, but that both are unrelated without the soul, since this is the vinculum which hold them together. If no bond of love [vinculum amoris; RFR] exists, they have no soul.“

[3] CW 16

[4] This statement does of course not mean that the idea that Jungian trainees should have sex with strangers (so-called neo-Tantrism) could be the method for opening themselves up to the coniunctio mysticism as a part of the analytical training!

[5] See also CW 16


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