Alchemy or Khemeioa or Khemia or Kemet the land of black earth. You can trace this word back to the Proto Indian word gheu “to pour”. Another word that shares this as a root word is God. So simply put the work of Alchemy is the work of God. These words at some point in time in our ancient history were synonyms. One could argue but first, let us take a look at Genesis 1 and view it from the alchemical lens.
The Elements: Fire/God | Earth/Attachments | Water/Emotions
“For Our “God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:29
Psychological Alchemy(PA) is very direct and abstract. The goal of Alchemy is to purify and awaken you to your greater self. God/Fire separates/purifies our light/illumination from darkness/misery. He does it in two ways via two elements earth and water. Earth is the body and Water is our emotions. In the beginning, Heaven and Earth were created, thus, in the beginning, the soul and the body was created. Alchemy is an attempt to unite heaven and earth in an alchemical marriage. The overall theme is to purify the old self through fire. This fire resides in our heart. The first phase of Alchemy is Negredo (The Blackening). We must first separate darkness from light.
The Nigredo Phase:
In order to get a true sense of who we are, we need to purify our earthly attachments to the world. We need to purify the emotions that we center on survival. We free ourselves from these attachments to attain a clearer sense of who we are. By being attached to worldly concepts and negative emotions, we cannot see ourselves. This is why the all-consuming fire is necessary to burn away all things that represent our old self to reveal our new self. In the beginning, heaven was created too, we just forgot that part, that is why this process is important. The Nigredo process is a process of letting go of the unconscious habits we no longer we want to deal with. Instead of being passive about it, you are being direct about metaphysically burning the negative emotions and attachments as they rise.
The Albedo Phase
Let there be light.
Our eternal fire element “God” has to separate our “light”(knowledge) from our “darkness”(ignorance). The purpose of this process is to illuminate and amplify your energy. Illuminating your energy means you will see things that you do not like, the Albedo process means to separate from this process. The root word of Albedo is Alb, which represents a white robe that initiates and priests wore to show allegiance. Meaning that they were no longer apart of the secular society. We can take this idea to mean that we are now initiates and true priests of ourselves.
In this phase, we deal with Reality (all that actually exists). Before this process, we deal with the illusionary, fantasy, one-sided world. Where we create a narrative that suits us and a life path that we think is right. Making this separation means that: Our family becomes less supportive, our work becomes more demanding, at every turn you have to apply yourself. Separation is taken from the word secret, to set apart, to be on your own. Thus the process of individuation and alchemy, most cannot get past this point, because it calls you to be responsible and loving at all times. Separation is painful and love is required. This is why it is best to have taken care of your earthly business to fully delve into alchemy. It is hard to let something go and work hard for it at the same time. One has to make a choice on whether you should strive for false dreams or learn your true self. Most strive for false dreams.
Separating your light from the darkness.
Letting go of your false self (ego, darkness) allows your true nature (illumination, light, soul) to take root. This process is disturbing at first but always ends in contentment and even earthly treasures. What we are doing is shining a light on previously unconscious things and having a dialogue with a loving solution. A solution is actually an explanation for a problem by division and seeing it differently. So the idea is to divide yourself into modules such as consciousness (your responsibility to live up to your ideals/awareness), ego (thinking acting feeling self), dreams (illusions, images you have when you are sleep), imaginations (imitations, copying), and symbols (your life’s summary in a creed or token). When we are aware of all that motivates us then we are not living on autopilot. When we understand that our imagination and our dreams don’t truly motivate us until we have examined where they come from. We could be doing something with all our heart but it may not be truly beneficial because we did not create it. Up until the Albedo Stage, our Ego has run the show and there has been no division. Therefore our Ego has had a chokehold on our existence up until this point.
This process allows us to become the collaborator with our soul to create a real life and it will allow your authentic and true self to emerge. This is a major step to this psychological alchemical process. Moving forward you deal with yourself in a mythological fashion, by examining patterns and archetypes that exist within your being. Creating a new Mythos, which etymologically means a story, speech or words. In other words, the Albedo Phase allows you to create a new story for yourself. In this space, we can rejoice truly and hope honestly. In this space, we know that the darkness does not last forever. Light was good.
The Citrinitas Phase
Here we will be discussing verse 5, where “God(Fire) called the light “day” and the darkness he called ‘night’. ” Here we identify the light and the darkness without emotion. We realize that one cannot exist without the other and we also note that darkness represents everything we came from.
After successfully separating the darkness and false light from your being, you enter the third stage of alchemy, Citrinitas. Where we enter the death of the ‘lunar light’ and submerge into complete darkness to find the true light. This represents the end of the lunar light and the awakening of ‘solar light’. Being able to finally see after a time of darkness. This cannot be found by studying, reflection, or deep thought, it has to be experienced. Learning about this phase does not do it justice, reading about another’s experience will not give you the experience. It has to be something that is done by you. This is the removal of the emotional elements that serve no purpose and allow us to see everything for what it really is. Further outside of the fantasy of the one-sided world but more into the whole real world. This space is to reveal the heavenly woman, or object of spiritual love. This phase removes all blockages and opens you up to prosperity. At this stage, we learn the entire purpose for why we are here and who we are. When we realize that our intuition is an expression of the divine, we are clear enough to listen.
This is the butterfly phase, where we are not comfortable with flying and not comfortable saying bye to our caterpillar friends. The letting go of others is not an emotional crossroads it is a biological fact. Going through a psychological transformation while others watch you, will only create distance. Alchemy distances you from a false reality and brings you closer to real reality. Our perception throughout the process will aid in the initial sadness, despair, or regret the ego creates because it does not want to be let go of. This is not about personal development, growth, or finding a cure to a sickness.
During the Nigredo there is pain and ignorance because we suffer in vain, during albedo the pain subsides leaving you with an understanding of the soul. The whole of humanity becomes a source of pain based on a life filled with ignorance and limitations. The next step is to attack human ideas, with the basic concept that humans created information and knowledge for humans. Doing psychological alchemy is realizing that you need to rethink everything and everybody. In nigredo we deal with the shadow, during the albedo we deal with the masculine energy that has been in control our whole lives, the citrinitas is introducing our feminine counterpart to our psychology. The only step remaining is Rubedo, where we marry the masculine and feminine counterparts within, finalizing the alchemical marriage. The Yellowing phase will point out your fundamental problem and require you to change fundamentally. It’s not to enter this phase full of goals, other than being fully present and accepting life for what it is. This isn’t a quest for power, riches, or love. The reality is that you have that and so much more. You are now a butterfly in a world of caterpillars.
The Rubedo Phase
The Rubedo Stage is the final stage in alchemy. This stage represents the union of opposites within resulting in the Elixir of Life, Amrit, or Philosopher’s Stone. These things are different words but ultimately represent the same things. The oil that is created from Alchemy creates a complete separation or a “vault” between who we once were and who we are now. The ultimate resolution of all psychic conflicts and the complete balancing of the opposites within. Since you realize that “all” is contained within there is no sense in trying to separate the “all” but learn to balance the “all”. Some of the symbols you will see of the Rubedo phase are blood, the rising phoenix, rose, crowns, and being clothed in red.
In Psychological Alchemy the goal is individuation, which is to realize the Self Archetype. This process ultimately is to merge the Ego and the Self into one being. Understanding the Self as the unified consciousness of the “all” and the individual consciousness. Your complete and total Self may not be seen from the viewpoint of the Ego because the Ego figures itself the center of consciousness, which is true but the Self completely encapsulates and surrounds the Ego as your personality. The personality is not just consciousness but also the Ego combined with the Unconscious Mind. To explain further: Imagine a “Circle” with a “dot”. The Self/Personality/You is the “Circle”. The Ego/Present Reality/Perception is the “Dot”. The Self cannot survive as the Dot forever so it has to manifest itself as the whole and this is the culmination of the Rubedo Phase. At this point, we realize that the body becomes a vehicle for the soul.
This work is said to inspire the Philosopher’s Stone, the grand culmination of the Great Work(Magnum Opus). The Elixir of Life is basically stating that you have found the answer to your immortality. With this knowledge you will be able to transcend the nature of all of your problems or dilemmas. By implementing the Soul into your life, you are solving any problems you may encounter.
Accomplishing this great work is done found in the Latin phrase “Solve Et Coagula”. In this understanding we are dissolving the Ego and rebuilding it with the Soul in full mind. In this rebuilding we are allowing the New Self to be expressed.
When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter the Kingdom. Gospel of Thomas, 22
The Alchemical Marriage is the union of our divine spirit with the Self and finally with the Body. The Divine Spirit has been brought down to literally “shine” through the soul and body to be completely unified within. The idea is to unify all opposites and paradoxes you hold so you can experience a world outside of Duality. Once we realize that our Ego can only see in opposites and is thus limited, we have to rid ourselves of that perspective. The Soul, Divine Spirit, and You become One. The Trinity becomes Unity.
There is also a Hindu point of view of this process found in the Trinity of Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva. The mythology of the churning of the ocean of milk to produce “Amrit” is an alchemical process. It is said that anybody who even consumes the tiniest portion of “Amrit” has been described to gain immortality. The churning of this ocean is said to bring rise mysterious and secret objects which represent our latent and magical gifts from Source. This work if done sincerely creates what is called a quantum leap in consciousness and experience and must be done to fully be felt. When the “Nectar” is created you will know. “With this nectar the Blessed One sprinkles the world with the devas; when the devas and the humans have been sprinkled with this nectar, they are set free from birth, aging, disease, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. What is this nectar? It is mindfulness occupied with the body.”