My last article looked at the first stage of depth therapy’s three stages: the Nigredo. If you missed it, you can read it here. Today, we’ll explore the second stage, the Albedo.
The Albedo is a “whitening” phase. It’s here that we pave the way for a stronger glimpse of what’s Real. The Albedo is where we learn how to use the Imagination to free ourselves from the conditioned patterns and programs we discovered in the Nigredo. Dream images for the Albedo may include, among others, a virgin bathed in white light, a swan, a radiant white eagle or a flying white dove.
In the Albedo, we learn how to develop the awareness needed to connect and relate to our unconscious wounds, conflicts and conditioned limits. We learn how to “host,” attend to and heal our wounds, for example, instead of denying them or becoming possessed by them. And at the same time, we begin to loosen the grip that our conditioned self-image has on us. We develop the eyes to see that our self-image isn’t who we truly are. We begin to realize that it’s a composite image that initially developed in childhood. It’s largely based on the views that others had and have about who we are.
An early Albedo stage dream might involve Images that reflect a turn toward more of who we truly are, a turn made possible by our going through the hot fiery discomfort of the Nigredo.
We might dream that we are depressed and locked up in a prison cell. Suddenly, the prison door opens. An unknown, friendly, caring woman greets us, telling us we are free to go. We ask: “Go where?” And she says: “Wherever you need to.” Another dream with Albedo stage images could be that we can walk through walls in a dark building only to find ourselves suddenly outside looking at a beautiful canyon below with huge, white, puffy clouds up above reflecting the sun’s radiance.
Another dream could be that we are driving a luxurious car with an amazing white bird sitting beside us. The bird can talk a language we have never heard, but one we can understand nevertheless. It’s giving us directions to someplace very special. The bird symbolizes a knowing intelligence coming to life within us. One who will guide and direct us, if we allow the intelligence to companion with our intent and purpose, i.e., with our drive.
In the Albedo, we connect to an intelligence within our deeper mind, an intelligence that elevates our level of Being. We discover that this intelligence arises naturally, as our birthright. It connects us to our innermost essence. There are no words that can do justice to this experience. It’s an intense emotional reunion. We can easily weep tears of remembrance at this point.
In the Albedo stage, we begin to experience spontaneous flashes of images and intuitive insight that connect us to a deeper and more meaningful experience of life. Images can include, for example, a fiery rising sun, bursts of intense lightning against a blackened sky or a luminous figure walking toward us. With our imagination unlocked and active, we can develop a relationship with such Albedo images. In doing so, we begin to unpack the power and knowledge they represent.
We now cross over into territory that is protected from doubt and hesitation about whether or not a much deeper identity within us actually exists. With confidence, we’re able to break free from some of our conditioning. We can now begin to separate from the herd of humanity lost in the materialistic nightmare. Now we can finally begin to create a life we can truly believe in.
On an inner political level, the Albedo involves a change in our internal government. The appeal of material reality, for money and power, for example, no longer has the votes to rule the day. The Albedo ushers in new powers that are drawn to depth, meaning and wisdom instead. The darkness and despair of parts of the Nigredo give way to an unexpected radiance. We begin to see things differently, with our Imagination’s eyes, with eyes that see beyond material reality, and on into mystery and wonder.
We feel like children who finally learn what the alphabet is for and what it can do. We now understand what words mean. The Albedo is a change in consciousness. We become more conscious as we wash away remaining obstacles to our deeper mind. The light we see on the horizon now is brighter and bigger than it was in the Nigredo. And we are drawn to it with even greater longing.
Dr. Jim Manganiello is a local clinical depth psychologist and a pioneer in 21st-century depth therapy. He is also an author and contemplative practice teacher. His work focuses on healing, personal growth and inner development. His books include “Your Creative Imagination: Unlocked: Become Who You Truly Are,” with abstract artist Frank Arnold, and “Unshakable Certainty.” Email him at email@example.com.