Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2010 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming, Kathryn Madden, Stanton Marlan


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-71802-6_301


Hierosgamos is a composite of two Greek words Ìέρoς (hieros) and yáμoς (gamos), meaning “mystical marriage” or “sacred ceremony.” The word occasionally appears transliterated as two (hieros gamos) as it is presented in Greek. Often used interchangeably with coniunctio, the hierosgamos is recognized as the highest form of the union of opposites (e.g., King and Queen, Sol et Lunae) in the alchemical opus. Hierosgamos is found chiefly in the literature and theoretical work of analytical (Jungian) and archetypal psychology; nevertheless, it may possess implications for acting out of Oedipal vicissitudes observed in Freudian and psychodynamic psychology.

Hieros means “filled with or manifesting divine power, supernatural, holy.” Of this latter meaning, the word refers to the sense of being hallowed or consecrated, for example, holy scripture, even hieroglyphics.

Gamos, on the other hand, means “wedding,” “marriage,” even “wedlock.” Pythagoras uses gamosas a name for the...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Intermundia Foundation for Vocation and Calling, Inc.WarrentonUSA