// ALBEDO //
No matter how bleak, how dark, how putrified the Nigredo may get, eventually – if the aspirant is sincere and serious about change, and about their own responsibility in being its agent in their own life – a Light appears.
A flame, illumination in the infinite void, a beacon in that all-enveloping darkness.
From the mulch and hummus of the Autumnal and Wintry, a new Spring glimmers and sparkles with promise of an abundant and glorious Summer harvest.
From the long, dark night of the Soul, the blackest depths, at last – day breaks.
Having reaped what we sowed, for better or worse, we have torched the old fields, burned the diseased and decrepit, and laid the groundwork for renewal. This can only be achieved through the Little Death of Nigredo, there is no other way. Saturn must do its own work.
Then comes the Moon. Velut Luna. Ever-changing.
What waxed, wanes.
What waned, waxes.
Flux. Reflection. Reflux.
New seeds emerge…
Albedo is the *ground* which gives nothing to the seed, but provides all that the seed may demand for its metamorphosis. This is an important distinction. Mark well this wisdom:
“Don’t ask – Don’t get!”
Asking means supplication, and sometimes exchange – you offer something in return.
When did you last make an offering to Spirit?
Probably overdue, knowing me, knowing you 😉
I am but a seed of the World Tree, seeking only to unfold this unique blueprint among its roots, and so learn to spread my own branches and reach back toward my origin in the celestial heights from which I have descended so, so far. Help me, mama.
The Albedo is a Work of humility. It means understanding profoundly that you cannot, and never have, faced this all alone. The Albedo introduces the Other, both in the Self and in the Non-Self. This ‘other’ becomes the source of study and integration.
The Albedo brings all this wisdom, all this reflection, all this separation of the signal from the noise. The Albedo splits the issue into its component parts – and forces them all to reflect upon their co-dependency and reconciliation within the whole.
As the Moon suddenly bursts through the densest, thickest of angry storm clouds on an otherwise impenetrable night sky, reminding us that the True Source – the Sun – is un-quenched, always shining, even when hidden, there She is – a resplendent Silver Mirror, the consort of the Golden Solar patriarch, no meek handmaiden she, no blushing wallflower, no delicate princess patiently awaiting rescue from the vulgar kiss of some vainglorious Prince – the Great Matriarch, Warrioress, militant, armed and vigilant, the Queen of the Night, girt with the stars, bearing the Gospel of Resurrection, the truth of the Eternal Return.
Our White Queen.
Our Soul Mirror.
Redemption for the Damned.
“This, too, shall pass…” she whispers, to our most profound agonies and most exalted ecstasies alike, a pale Priestess, compassionate, patient, a little melancholy, but with a Mona Lisa smile, attending to our woe and wow.
None may bow to Her, for She bows to none.
So devoid of structure, She becomes the endless grid in all directions on which all structure will (or won’t) be plotted.
Her X, Y and Z axes stretch to – define – Infinity. There are no boundaries, no judgements, no obstacles, no form for Her to be trapped in – only lessons, insights, and realignments. And illusions, of course.
Timeless is her Story.
You can plot any course through her Infinitude with no map – just do not drown, willingly, in those blissful, illuminated, phosphorescent depths, inviting you to immersion with no respite for air.
Remember to Breathe. Remember that thinking is the familial bond of feeling, reason the brother of sentiment’s sister.
Any form, any idea, She can manifest.
She reflects the Unity in Contradiction, the Contradiction in Unity. No preference nor prejudice colours Her selections for manifestation. Patiently and with the impossible calm of Nature itself, She merely reveals what was previously hidden or ignored.
She banishes shadows, and illuminates all, the Morning Star, Venus-Lucifer.
The Old King is Dead!
Long live the King!
She laments, and then dances merrily with the corpse. One can now be seen as Two, and Two as One. The Circle is complete. A new synthesis is made possible, from the rotten decay of the Nigredo. Light renews itself in the Void, and all the tragedy of the World is revealed as Comedy, and vice versa.
The Albedo phase of alchemical transformation brings succour and insight after the grand guignol of the Nigredo calamity. Albedo brings the ablutions – the cleansing – necessary for new life to connect to old life and remind consciousness of the ebb and flow, the waxing and waning, and the essential contradictions which life encodes in all its great and grim glory.
Cleansing purifies and removes the gross, that which is no longer fit to be used.
You know that feeling after a really strong and sizzling shower?
That, right through all 111 dimensions of your Being.
Exactly as is the situation with a tarot session, entering the Albedo means having to shift one’s attention 180 degrees – Symbols are Real, and reality is symbolic. The power and ineffability of synchronicity, ritual and intuition is re-asserted upon the psyche. The Old Ways of Self die, but the Ancient Ways of Ancestors prove at least as worthy as the New. An individual, aspirant, querent, seeker, begins to assimilate new ways of perceiving and understanding perception, along with that ever-present snare, eskandalon, of *illusion*.
The apparently, but not actually, real.
The ego and its recourse to reason must be re-configured to better incorporate less linear, visible and measurable pleroma of experience. A new subtle attention is born, and new meanings begin to flow in the inner life of the alchemist. A synthesis of the old self with the newly emerging – and more androgynous (less culturally moulded, less caught up in the narratives of others) – authentic Being begins to express.
Thus begins a lifelong journey of equilibrium, seeking balance, adding and subtracting, disappointments and attainments, covering and un-covering, concealing and revealing, learning and forgetting.
Spirit has found it’s way out of the Darkness – and discovered it to be a source of Light, after all.
Fear is always the Unknown.
It is profoundly important to ‘die before you die’ and so come to the truth of your Being, and live with no Fear. Only the Albedo can reveal that Death is knowable, not much of a big deal, and Darkness is the ultimate source of all Light.
It’s no use reading about it and nodding along. You have to actually do the Work – this is the Magnum Opus.
Go steady in your own Great Work.
Do I contradict myself?~ Walt Whitman, Song of Myself 51
Very well, then. I contradict myself.
(I am large. I contain multitudes.)
It divides again into two forms, the gold and the silver, the red and the white; but its essence is always the same, and its nature is not to be understood except by experience. It is because the alchemists were dealing with substances on the borderland of “matter” that they are so difficult to understand…~ Aleister Crowley, The Book of Thoth, pp 104
In reality, there are no ‘others’, and – helping yourself – you help everybody else.~ Nisargadatta Maharaj