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Observations placeholder

Maria Prophetissima - And unification



Type of Spiritual Experience


Maria Prophetissima,  Mary or Maria the Jewess (Latin: Maria Prophetissima), also known as Mary the Prophetess, is an early alchemist who is known from the works of the Gnostic Christian writer Zosimos of Panopolis. On the basis of Zosimos's comments, she lived between the first and third centuries A.D. French, Taylor and Lippmann list her as one of the first alchemical writers, dating her works at no later than the first century.  Zosimos describes her as "one of the sages."

There is a possibility that Maria Prophetissima was a High Priestess.  George Syncellus, a Byzantine chronicler of the 8th century, presented Mary as a teacher of Democritus, whom she had met in Memphis, Egypt, during the time of Pericles – a location for the Mysteries.

It seems her abilities as a Priestess were legendary. 

As one works through the spiritual path, the number of people with the skills able to help, reduces until only a few can help. 

The 10th century Kitāb al-Fihrist of Ibn al-Nadim cited Mary as one of only 52 “able to prepare caput mortuum, a purple pigment”.   Needless to say this is a symbolic term like the colours of the rainbow, and purple is the 'top'.

None of Mary's writings have survived, but some quotations credited to her are found in hermetic writings. The most notable of these are found in The Dialogue of Mary and Aros on the Magistery of Hermes, which is an extract made by an anonymous Christian philosopher.

Marie-Louise von Franz, an associate of psychologist Carl Jung, gives the version we have quoted here.  It refers, in facto the Sephiroth and is thus also represented symbolically in the Tarot.  At the start of the spiritual path [bottom bubble] masculine and feminine are combined but essentially entirely unrefined and uncommunicative.

As one goes through the stages, the feminine path and masculine path then split [left and right columns], each with their own processes, but with the occasional process of gradual integration [centre column].

But at a certain point the merging has to be permanent - masculine and feminine cannot act alone - and there is then one - Keter.  Keter corresponds to Annihilation in the model below Rubedo - reddening - Dawn


A description of the experience

von Franz, Marie-Louise (1974). Number and Time: Reflections Leading Towards a Unification of Psychology and Physics.


Out of the One comes Two, out of Two comes Three, and from the Third comes the One as the Fourth.









The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps