The opposing forces within you, whose conflicts have kept you drained and confused for so long, are finally coming together as one.
You are about to experience a joyous and life-enhancing empowerment of your personality. If the preceding three operations (Calcination, Dissolution, and Separation) were successful, only the most genuine and essential parts of the matter at hand are left in the vessel of transformation. The next step in alchemy is the Conjunction, which is the recombination of those saved elements into an entirely new substance. Conjunction is the paradoxical union of the archetypal elements of Fire, Water, and Air to produce Earth.
Psychological Conjunction is the empowerment of our true selves, the union of both the masculine and feminine sides of our personalities into a new belief system or state of consciousness. The alchemists referred to this union as the “Marriage of the King and Queen,” and they referred to the result of the Conjunction as the “Philosopher’s Child” or “Lesser Stone.” After this new state of consciousness is achieved, you are able to clearly discern what needs to be done to achieve lasting enlightenment, and synchronicities begin to occur that confirm you are on the right track. In spiritual terms, the purified essences within are your very Soul and Spirit. It is now time for these archetypal forces to come together and nurture their newborn child, which is a refined and integrated personality. “Its nurse is the Earth,” says the Emerald Tablet of this important juncture. At this time of renewed confidence, you should seek those activities that reinforce your peace of mind. It is an excellent time for a nature retreat or deep meditative session.
In many ways, the child of the Conjunction is like the creation of an “Overself” in which the ways of Spirit and Soul (rational, aggressive thought and intuitive, passive feeling) unite in a higher state of awareness that Egyptian alchemists called “Intelligence of the Heart.” To create the Overself, you simply have to start practicing to maintain your “presence” no matter what happens, no matter how confusing things get, no matter what emotions swell up within you, no matter how cruel or thoughtless others are towards you. Every problem, every personal challenge, every nuisance or annoying person, is another opportunity for you to develop presence of mind and create the Overself. In trying to maintain your presence in all situations, you soon learn that you cannot rely on intellect or logic alone. To be really connected to what is real, you have to make use of talents and sources of knowledge that you cannot explain. Finally, you learn to value your feelings and intuitions as well as your rational judgments, and you will be able to work creatively with any challenge that comes along.
Do not forget that these two opposing ways of knowing only come together when they are used together. You have to practice personal Conjunction on a daily basis in the everyday world for the Overself to become part of your personality. The major effort in the alchemist’s life is the creation of this unified self, which can withstand the onslaughts of ignorance, insensitivity, and illusion one encounters in the world. You actually can feel yourself coming together as one mind, one larger presence. Signs that Conjunction is taking place within a person are the growth of confidence, equanimity, and calmness. You start laughing at stupidity instead of getting angry. Within you, the feeling of an indestructible or “default” presence grows stronger every day. That personal presence is what the alchemists called the “Lesser Stone,” which will gradually be perfected and emerge as an all-powerful state of consciousness they referred to as the “Greater Stone.”
Before Conjunction, a person can be lustful and wanton in seeking their “other half” and jealous and possessive once it is found. On the other hand, the conjuncted person is appreciative of the alchemical forces at work in relationships and careers and tends to be considerably kinder and more sensitive. Such a person appears balanced and quietly confident, and that inner harmony is proof of the integration of the elements within.
That the human body must be perfected, as well as the mind and spirit, is a basic tenet of alchemy. Yet how do the King and Queen manifest in the body, and what exactly is the Child of the Conjunction in terms of human physiology? According to Tantric alchemists, the phallic-shaped pineal gland at the center of the brain and the bilobed pituitary gland play the roles of King and Queen. Their union, achieved through meditative exercises, produces a Pill of Immortality, which is released at the back of the throat and is activated when it reaches the stomach. This inner sex act initiates a Second Puberty that perfects and rejuvenates the body.