International Journal of Transpersonal Studies


The heart is a rich symbol in religious traditions both East and West. When interpreted through a Jungian alchemical lens, the heart emerges as a symbol of psychospiritual

transformation, integration, and healing. This article re-visions the metaphor of the heart in the Upanisads and in Eastern Christian prayer through the use of Jung’s lectures on the heart cakra, his transcendent function theory, and as Spirit Mercurius. Each facet of this lens offers a variegated approach through which to explore the heart as mediating center of psychic polarities, what Jung referred to as the union of opposites. When interpreted through an alchemical lens, the heart in both Eastern and Western traditions emerges as an alchemical womb of the philosopher’s stone, and offers the possibility of profound healing through the tension of opposites when held in the heart.