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Fig 3.10 – Analytical Therapy

Text: Page 124

Jung mirrored alchemist transmutation to provide an explanation of the four stages of analytical therapy. In the first stage of alchemy, the negredo, the “blackening of the psyche,” death reigned because of engagement with the chaotic and dark unconscious world. In the second alchemical stage, albedo, “the whitening of the psyche,” led to experience the pure spirit, the soul. In the third stage, citrunitas, the “yellowing of the psyche,” expanded awareness of the outside world. The fourth stage, rubedo, the “reddening of the psyche,” created the alchemical transmutation. Psyche and soul were united in a psychological transformation.

The process was the ongoing experience of psychological death and rebirth, of losing the self to find the self. This is symbolized by the self-devouring dragon because the dragon slays itself, weds itself, and impregnates itself in an ongoing, never-ending process.

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