Statues have been associated with spirituality since earliest recorded time to the present-day. From the Minoan Age and throughout the Mediterranean world of antiquity, statuettes of gods in human or animal shape were carved from terracotta, bronze, wood, or stone. Inanimate objects were worshipped for their supposed magical powers or because they were considered to be inhabited by a spirit. Unsurprisingly therefore, the statue has several, if varied roles within the western esoteric traditions of hermeticism and alchemy.
In the Corpus Hermeticum, a mixture of Egyptian, Greek and Gnostic wisdom texts originating from the early era of Christianity, a dialogue between the mythic sage Hermes Trismegistus and Asclepius occurs. Trismegistus celebrates humankind’s ability for learning the art of “god-making” – making statues come alive by drawing divine powers into them, stating-
TRISMEGISTUS : But the figures of gods that humans form have been shaped from both natures - from the divine, which is purer and more divine by far, and from the material of which they are built, whose nature falls short of the human - and they represent not only the heads but all the limbs and the whole body. Always mindful of its nature and origin, humanity persists in imitating divinity, representing its gods in semblance of its own features, just as the father and master made his gods eternal to resemble him.
ASCLEPIUS : Are you talking about statues, Trismegistus ?
TRISMEGISTUS : Statues, Asclepius, yes. See how little trust you have!
I mean statues ensouled and conscious, filled with spirit and doing great deeds; statues that foreknow the future and predict it by lots, by prophecy, by dreams and by many other means; statues that make people ill and cure them, bringing them pain and pleasure as each deserves’. 
After being damaged in an earthquake in 27 BCE, one of the colossi of Memnon, twin statues of the ruler Amenhotep III (14th century BCE), were believed to emit sound. Many travelers throughout antiquity travelled to
visit Amenhotep’s statue in the hope of hearing it, including Roman Emperors. The Greek
historian Strabo, the travelogue author Pausanias and the Roman satirist
Juvenal, all claimed to have heard Amenhotep’s statue. Pausanias compared
its sound to 'the string of a lyre breaking’, Strabo reported it sounding, 'like
a blow', but its sound was also likened to the striking of brass or
The seminal Swiss psychologist, C.G. Jung in Mysterium coniunctionis (1956) observed - ‘the statue plays a mysterious role in ancient alchemy’. Jung noted the medieval cleric Thomas Norton (1433-1513) in his Ordinall of Alchemy depicts the seven metals/planets as statues. In the anthology of alchemical texts Aurora Consurgens (1566) Mother Alchemy or mater alchemia is portrayed as a statue of different metals, as are the seven statues in the writings of Raymund Lully. In the German Rosicrucian Michael Maier’s Symbola aureae mensae (1617) the protagonist on his peregrinations through the continents encounters a statue of Mercurius with a golden head who indicates the direction of
Commenting upon the biblical verse, ‘And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house’. (Genesis 28: 22) C.G. Jung theorized- ‘If our conjecture is correct, the statue could therefore be the Cabbalistic equivalent of the lapis philosophorum.’  In agreement with the Gnostic’s teaching that the biblical Adam was a 'corporeal or 'lifeless' statue, Jung concluded his survey of the statue’s role in alchemy stating-
‘The statue stands for the inert materiality of Adam, who still needs an animating soul; it is thus a symbol for one of the main preoccupations of alchemy’. 
Statues, as C.G. Jung detected, are often encountered in alchemical themed artwork and literature, frequently within the setting of a rose garden, sometimes speaking or guiding the questing adept or even emitting an ethereal light from their eyes. The alchemical operations of thawing and warming in order to bestow life upon the inert, readily lent itself to the notion of statues coming alive.
The alchemical author J. D. Mylius (c.1583 -1642) in his Philosophia Reformata (1622) stated –'It is a great mystery to create souls, and to mould the lifeless body into a living statue.’ In the first of the illustrated series of Philosophia Reformata (above) a group of alchemists drink wine from statues which spout wine. When intoxicated with vinum nostrum (our wine) they walk into the dark corners of a mountain in order to begin the task of mining the prima materia from the rock, intending to refine its impure metals into gold.
There's several other instances of the statue’s animation and relationship to the esoteric in the arts. In Shakespeare’s late drama The Winter's Tale, a statue by, ‘that rare Italian master, Julio Romano’, of Queen Hermione, who in reality only imitates being a statue, comes to life. 
The statue’s transcendent ability to symbolically communicate the invisible is alluded to in Sir Thomas Browne’s discourse The Garden of Cyrus in his numerological consideration that -
‘in their groves of the Sun this was a fit number, by multiplication to denote the days of the year; and might Hieroglyphically speak as much, as the mystical Statua of Janus in the Language of his fingers’.
Perhaps the most dramatic of all tales of statues coming to life occurs in the opera Don Giovanni (K527). Mozart’s anti-hero, hastily returning home through a graveyard at night after an amorous escapade, encounters a statue. He dismissively invites it to dinner. In one of the most intense and psychologically loaded acts in the entire operatic repertoire, the statue of the Commendatore calls upon the Don knocking loud at his door. Failing to persuade the Don to repent from his dissolute lifestyle, the Stone Guest requests the Don shake hands with him. Locking his hand in an icy, unbreakable grip, the Stone Guest drags theunrepentant Don Giovanni down into the infernal regions.
The many and varied roles the statue plays in the esoteric arts is suggestive that the four statuettes of Christopher Layer’s funerary monument in the church of Saint John's at Maddermarket, Norwich, with their thinly-veiled planetary and elemental symbolism, are superb examples of the statue’s role in spiritual alchemy. For, to repeat, the reviving of the inert, inanimate soul of man plays an important part in the alchemist’s quest to animate the spiritual man within. If conjecture has substance, Mercurius the guiding psychopomp of alchemy who is frequently depicted standing upon a rotundum to denote his world-wide influence in alchemical iconography, is alluded to on the Layer monument in the shape of Vanitas, who is portrayed as a playful, bubble-blowing child upon a rotundum. 
 Hermetica: The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius
Brian P. Copenver 1995
Press Cambridge University
 CW 14 : The Statue, paragraphs 559 -569
 The Winter’s Tale Act 5 scene 2
 Examples include- Figurarum Aegyptorum secretarum (Ms. 18th c) and Canari Le imagini de I dei (1581) in C. G. Jung CW vol. 12 illustrations 164 and 165