Note: The following letters are reprinted with permission.

On the Forbidden Letters - by Paul Cambronne


'I've never wanted to be a witch, but an alchemist, now that's a different matter. To invent this wizard world, I've learned a ridiculous amount about alchemy. Perhaps much of it I'll never use in the books, but I have to know in detail what magic can and cannot do in order to set the parameters and establish the stories' internal logic.' [J.K. Rowling]

'In view of the fact that this miracle never occured in the retort, despite repeated assertions that someone had actually succeeded in making gold, and neither a panacea nor an elixir has demonstrably prolonged a human life beyond its due, and that no homunculus has ever flown out of the furnace - in view of this totally negative result, we must ask ourselves on what the enthusiasm and infatuation of the adepts could possibly have been based.' [Carl Jung]

[ Thomas Wyck - The Alchemist in his Laboratory ]

In the fifth chapter of his Mysterium Coniunctionis, MC hereafter, Carl Jung informs us that in Greek Alchemy 'an especially large role is played by the lithos egkefalos, the brain-stone.'[Jung, MC, pars 626] That term brain-stone is intriguing of course if we examine the details on the Resurrection given by my fellow countrymen from Paris: first the head is decapitated, then the Grailstone is produced. Details clearly leaving room for John Raven's deduction that that Stone is possibly then forged of the subtle head of the Alchemist, which would mean 'that there are as many Grails as there are human heads.' [Raven]

'I shall make thee God, but not now; only after the passing of a great number of years,' says God to Adam in the Testament of Adam. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testament_of_Adam ]
Before the time of Paracelsus 'the Alchemists believed in creatio ex nihilio. Therefore God was the principle of matter for the Alchemists (...) Matter had a divine aspect, whether on the ground that God was imprisoned in it in the form of the anima mundi (...), or that matter represented God's reality.' In no case,' Jung continues, 'was matter de-deified (...). It seems that only the Paracelsists were influenced by the dualistic words of Genesis.' [Jung, MC, pars 766]
(According to Paracelsus 'everything is at first created in its prima materia, its original stuff, whereupon Vulcan comes and develops it into its final substance. (...) This process is Alchemy, its founder the smith Vulcan.' [Paracelsus]) A process apparently so enigmatic, that even people like Carl Jung, who possessed hundreds of books and manuscripts on Alchemy, and who had studied those books for over three decades, were fundamentally clueless about its scenario:

'In Alchemy the uniting of the soul with the body is the miracle of the coniunctio, by which the Stone becomes a living body. The Phoenix signifies exactly that moment.' [Jung, MC, pars 476]

'Since the Phoenix is mainly an allegory of resurrection, this one day of birth and renewal must be one of the three days of Christ's burial and descent into hell.' [Jung, MC, pars 475]

'The invisible sun (in man/Cambronne) enkindles an elemental fire which consumes man's substance and reduces his body to prima materia.' [Jung, MC, pars 49]

No word by Jung on Kundalini here, in spite of the fact that he had read extensively on that fire in Arthur Avalon's Serpent Power several years before he wrote the Coniunctionis.


Although Jung was completely allergic to the Christ-Stone-parallel ('The Stone cannot be traced back to Christ, despite all the analogies,'[Jung, MC, pars 643]), he would acknowledge that 'the figure of the Son of Man and of Christ the Redeemer has archetypal antecedents. Antecedents forming the basis of the alchemical analogies.'[MC, pars 146] He even knew the antecedents that had formed the basis of the Holy Trinity. 'We should mention in this connection a late Egyptian trinity amulet discussed by Spiegelberg. Horus and Hathor sit facing one another, and between them and over them hovers a winged serpent (the forerunner of the Christian dove/Cambronne). The three deities all hold the ankh. The inscription says "Ba-it is one, Hathor one, Akori one, one is their power. Greetings from the Father of the World, greetings from the three-formed God."- '[Jung, MC, pars 352]

But back to Alchemy. It is safe in my opinion to conclude that Jung could not solve the alchemical mystery because...

a) he refused to drop the notion of an historical Christ, and
b) he did not see the Phoenix-Kundalini-parallel.

Instead he believed the Work to be an exclusively psychic operation.

'We do not devalue statements that originally were intended to be metaphysical when we demonstrate their psychic nature; on the contrary, we confirm their factual character. But, by treating them as psychic phenomena, we remove them from the inaccessible realm of metaphysics, about which nothing verifiable can be said (...). [Jung, MC, pars 558]

It is good that, since the publication of the Forbidden Letters, finally at least something plausible can be said about that realm, and thereby about Alchemy. Especially, since that Royal Art seems to revolve around physical immortality, 'and nothing less.'[The Paris 4] - Good, because 'death is a terrible force - make no mistake! Not only physically, but even more psychologically: one is seized, and all that remains is the icy silence of death.'[Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 317] But even in life, because, according to Alchemy, we are already 'engendered in corruption,'[Dorn] our '(bodily) substance pursues us with hatred.'[Dorn]

To transmute this substance, its two parts, Sol and Luna, King and Queen have to be wed. Jung assumed that this marriage was a 'synthetic process in the psyche 'outside' the ego.'[Jung, MC, pars 410] This realm outside the ego is already discussed by Maud Perkins in section 12 of http://www.world-mysteries.com/PhilipGardiner/forbidden_letters_25.htm. But what exactly did Jung mean by that realm 'outside the ego'? He was referring there to 'the microcosmic space of the psyche,'[pars 410] that space possibly being 'a whole world in itself, a macrocosm.'[pars 412] Yet, 'the fact that one can get into this territory (...) does not mean that it belongs to me personally. The ego is Here and Now, but the 'outside-of-the-ego' is an alien There. Both earlier and later, before and after. So it is not surprising that the primitive mind sensed the psyche outside the ego as an alien country, inhabited by the spirits of the dead. On a rather higher level it takes on the character of a shadowy semi-reality, and on the level of the ancient cultures, the shadows of that 'land beyond' have turned into ideas. In Gnostic-Christian circles these (ideas) were developed into a dogmatic, hierarchically arranged, cosmogonic and chiliastic system which appears to us moderns as an involuntary, symbolic statement of the psyche concerning the structure of the psychic non-ego. This region, if still seen as a spectral 'land beyond', appears to be a whole world in itself, a macrocosm. If, on the other hand, it is felt as 'psychic' and 'inside', it seems like a microcosm of the smallest proportions.[Jung, MC, pars 411 et 412]
 'Whoever wished to commit this (alchemical/Cambronne) act (...), would therefore have to get outside himself, as if into an external glasshouse, a round cucurbita which represented the microcosmic space of the psyche.' [Jung, MC, pars 410] In the words of the Paris 4 from one of their 'ridiculous Letters' [Knight-Jadczyk]:

'If an alchemist travels through the earth, he's doing that in the microcosmos of the body. Remember what we said: the real sun and moon (and earth) are in you. Not outside. And this explains why our friend could still hear common street noise outside his apartment when he traveled to the centre of the earth over 19 years ago with tremendous speed.' [The Paris 4] 


  • Jung, Carl G., Mysterium Coniunctionis,
    Princeton Univerity Press, Princeton, N.J., USA, 1970.
  • Jung, Carl G., Memories, Dreams, Reflections,
    Pantheon Books, New York, 1961, 1962.

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