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Tag: nigredo

The Blue Soul

The Blue Soul

  Transformations of the soul, according to alchemy, pass through several different colors. Originally, there were four colors that were described by alchemists as indicating the four primary phases of the process that result in the lapis philosophorum.These are nigredo (black), albedo (white), citrinitas (yellow), and rubedo (red). Other transitional colors were also mentioned, with various meanings. In this article, I’d like to discuss the color blue. I’ve just read James Hillman’s essay entitled, Alchemical Blue and the Unio Mentalis,…

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Alchemy: Raven’s Head

Alchemy: Raven’s Head

Nigredo – dal manoscritto Viatorium spagyricum, Herbrandt Jamsthaler, (1625) In the “furnace of the cross” and in the fire, says the “Aquarium sapientum,” “man, like the earthly gold, attains to the true black Raven’s Head; that is, he is utterly disfigured and is held in derision by the world (Jung 353)… There is much more to be said about black than what has been said. The blacker the black, the whiter the white will be. The blackest black provides the…

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Alchemy: Nigredo

Alchemy: Nigredo

Only in a physically reduced worldview, a worldview reduced to and by physics, can black be called a non-color, an absence of color, a deprivation of light (Hillman 1553). What is it in the human psyche that views the color black as somehow evil? We associate black with evil, with death, with the morbid and the macabre. Think of how many examples there are in our culture, our language, our phrases, and our art of black representing the negative, the…

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