” In the mystical sense coniunctio is the understanding or experience of the unity of opposites or paradoxes, the experience of the unity that lies behind our world of duality. Our limited understanding can only see in opposites. In the far East one tries to transcend this limited understanding by koans, expressions that contain paradoxes. Alchemy has a similar approach as it uses expressions as fiery water, watery fire, water that does not wet the hands, fire that does not burn.
Coniunctio provides this transcendence into unity by the process of dissolution of the body into water. „As the dissolution dissolves the bodies, thus the doubts of the philosophers are dissolved by knowledge.” (Gerhard Dorn, 16th century)
In alchemical manuscripts conciunctio is depicted as the union or coitus of King and Queen, of the red man and the white woman, or just by man and wife. „Connect the slave with his fragrant sister and by themselves they will make the entire work; because as soon as the white woman has been married to the red man, they will hug themselves firmly and become one, they will decompose and perfect each other: from the two bodies they were before they will become one single body that is susceptible for perfection.” (Donum Dei, early 16th century). As it shows in this quotation coniunctio was often incestuous. We can also find that in other religions, like Sulamith and Adam Kadmon in the Cabala, Adam and Eve in Catholicism, Isis and Osiris in ancient Egypt. In alchemy it usually between mother and son. „Beya mounted Gabricius (her son) and locked him up in his belly, that well that he was not visible anymore. And she hugged Gabricius with such love that she took him completely into her nature and divided him into numerous parts.” (Rosarium philosophorum, 1550). A bizarre union but it is entirely symbolic. Carl Gustav Jung says that this symbolic incest is the descent into or the penetration of the unconscious. The mother is the unconscious, the son is the conscious. It is a ‘regressus ad uterum’ or the return to the uterus of the mother. Penetration of the female is the same as the penetration of the water or the unconscious. Thus we see that the coniunctio is depicted as the coitus of man and wife, king and queen, but also by the king taking a bath, or drinking water. Sometimes the coitus between man and woman happens in water, in a bath or in a fountain. The water is also synonymous with mercury or quicksilver.”