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Nigredo exploration
"In the Jungian archetypal schema the nigredo is the Shadow; albedo refers to the anima/animus (contrasexual soul images); citrinitas is the Wise old man (or woman) archetype; and rubedo is the Self archetype, which has achieved wholeness"
Point of view
In analytical psychology, the term became a metaphor 'for the dark night of the soul, when an individual confronts the shadow within'
Nigredo, or blackness, in alchemy means putrefaction or decomposition. The alchemists believed that as a first step in the pathway to the philosopher's stone all alchemical ingredients had to be cleansed and cooked extensively to a uniform black matter.
For Carl Jung, 'the rediscovery of the principles of alchemy came to be an important part of my work as a pioneer of psychology'. As a student of alchemy, he (and his followers) 'compared the "black work" of the alchemists (the nigredo) with the often highly critical involvement experienced by the ego, until it accepts the new equilibrium brought about by the creation of the self'. Jungians interpreted nigredo in two main psychological senses.