The Magnum Opus

Magnum Opus

Actualize your individuation through the four alchemical stages of transmutation.

What is the Magnum Opus?

The Great Work (in Latin: Magnum Opus) refers, in the alchemical and Hermetic tradition, to the process of transmutation of the primal material (prima materia) into the philosopher’s stone. The philosopher stone is the most refined and valuable substance which through the alchemical process emerges from the crudest and most worthless. In traditional alchemy, this was the transmutation of lead into gold. Later, in the Gnostic tradition, this was interpreted not as the transmutation of metal, but of the soul or psyche of the alchemist himself. [1]

How does this translate into psychology?

Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961), the founder of analytical psychology, usually referred to as “Jungian psychology”, saw in Gnostic alchemy a precedent to the process of individuation, as encountered in his own clinical practice. This was a breakthrough for Jung and offered a vast amount of data supporting his theory of the collective unconscious; more specifically, that psychic transformation follows an archetypal and universal process.  This transformative process happens through the integration of the conscious and unconscious aspects of the subject’s psychology.  Jung describes this process as having four stages: confession, elucidation, education and transformation.[2] This is an analogue for the four stages of alchemical transmutation:  Nigredo, Albedo, Citrinitas and Rubedo. [3]

Individuation as the goal of the Magnum Opus

Individuation, in Jungian psychology, is the process whereby an individual realizes a state of spiritual and psychological wholeness. Through this process, that, which was previously fragmented and broken, is restored and synthesized so that a whole and unique individual emerges; an individual who fully accepts, and is one with, him or herself; an individual who is fully authentic and embraces his or her destiny. It is a movement away from being a pawn in the hands of fate, to consciously collaborating in the realization of one’s unique destiny.

What the Centre for Applied Jungian Studies does

The Magnum Opus online programme in Applied Jungian Psychology is designed to take the student through these four stages of transmutation and transformation. The trajectory and goal of this process is clear, to produce the Philosopher’s Stone. In the terms of Jungian psychology this is individuation. To better describe this goal, we include two additional, essential elements in our stated objective of individuation: consciousness and meaning.

The four stages as four courses

The four stages of the Magnum Opus programme mirror the four stages of alchemical transmutation and of psychological transformation. They they are Nigredo, Albedo, Citrinitas and Rubedo.  In psychological terms Jung described these as: Confession, Illumination, Education and Transformation. Each stage is twelve weeks in duration and focuses on the key Jungian psychodynamic concepts related to that stage. Although these stages are chronological in traditional alchemy, in line with Jung’s psychological model, the course design accommodates entry at any of the first three stages: Nigredo, Albedo or Citrinitas. Admission to Rubedo, however, the final stage, requires the completion of all three earlier stages.

[1] The Esoteric Codex: Alchemy I, Mark Rogers, Publisher, 2013

[2] ‘Problems of modern Psychotherapy’ (Jung, 1931/1954, vol. 16) where Jung details the four psychotherapeutic steps or stages in psychoanalysis.

[3] Papadopoulos, R. K. (2006). The handbook of Jungian psychology: Theory, practice and applications. Psychology Press.

The stages in detail:


This stage focuses on the development of communication between the unconscious and conscious aspects of the psyche.  This stage builds relationship to the Self. As individuation is the bringing together of both conscious and unconscious perspectives, this stage is imperative in the actualization of this dialogue. This is the stage or illumination or elucidation.

This twelve week course focuses on:

  • Consciousness
  • Dreams and Active Imagination
  • Symbols
  • Ego


This stage in the individuation process focuses on facilitating conscious relatedness to others and the world at large. This is the stage of education.

This twelve week course focuses on:

  • The classic Anima and Animus model
  • The contemporary Anima and Animus model
  • Transference and Countertransference Part 1 and Part 2


This is the final stage of the Opus Magnus. This course is only open to students who have completed all previous stages, namely Nigredo, Albedo and Citrinitas.

This final stage in the individuation process will explore the following themes:

  • Individuation
  • Personal myth
  • The symbolic life
  • Authentic personification

This final stage focuses on what individuation means, how your archetypal dynamics aid you in discovering and living your personal myth. How to incorporate meaning and consciousness through living a symbolic life. And how the persona communicates your essence and purpose to the world.

What you gain

We all long to live an authentic life, expressing our purpose in the world effectively and living a life of meaning and joy. Jung spent years clarifying and identifying the steps in the individuation process. The Centre for Applied Jungian Studies has crafted a four-stage programme that will guide you through this process, and, at the same time, empower you with skills and tools with which to walk the individuation path for the rest of your life. As individuation is a journey, not a destination, on completing this programme you will find yourself able to transmute, change and live with increased meaning and from a perspective of consciousness. The value of this cannot be overstated and we trust is self-evident.

Course structure

Each stage of the course is self-contained and presented over twelve weeks. You can do each stage as and when you feel ready to take the next step.

Course content and structure:

  • learning material is emailed to you and includes a podcast and transcript
  • application exercises will guide you in the practical application of the concepts to your own life and psychology
  • a private Facebook group allows for sharing, discussions questions and support
  • two full time facilitators are available to you for any queries or additional support
  • each stage includes a detailed pre and post questionnaire to help you gauge your own individuation process and progress
  • there is a break of a month between stages to allow you to assimilate your learning prior to moving on to the next stage. You can also take a break for a longer period if you wish.
  • at the end of the course you will receive additional resources of suggested reading, YouIube videos and articles


A few of the benefits

You will be guided by well researched and tested concepts from Jungian psychology.

This training material has been developed over the course of two decades of research and teaching of Applied Jungian Psychology.

You will learn a new lexicon that will empower you in the way you relate to yourself and the world.

You will acquire possibly the finest tools in existence with which to relate to your unconscious psyche.

You will experience increased consciousness and meaning.

You will find yourself on the path to individuation.

You will join a community of likeminded people who, like you, are pursuing their own individuation projects.


The dates for the four stages for 2021 are as follows:

Nigredo: 18 January 2021

Albedo:   May 2021

Citrinitas: September 2021

Rubedo: January 2022

NB! The final stage Rubedo will only be available to students who have completed the first three stages, namely Nigredo, Albedo and Citrinitas. These three stages, by virtue of the course design and the nature of the Jungian theoretical framework, can be done in any order.

Registration now closed.

To register for Magnum Opus, consisting of Nigredo, Albedo, Citrinitas and Rubedo:

Option 1: Once off payment of  U$ 1000, save U$ 200! (select the red button below for this option)

Option 2: Payment plan of U$ 100 pm for 12 months. (select the blue button below for this option)

Once payment has been made, you will be diverted to the website to register and you will have immediate access to the Nigredo materials page.  You will also receive an invite to join the private Facebook forum within 24 hours of registration.

Citrinitas: The Yellowing

2The third stage is Citrinitas, the yellowing. This stage focuses on exploring relational dynamics and provides tools with which to explore relationships with the world, others and intimate partners.

The modules explored in this stage are:

  • Anima 
  • Animus
  • Transference
  • Countertransference

Albedo: The Whitening

202954_origThe second stage is Albedo, the whitening. This stage is also referred to as the purification. This stage focuses on tools with which to relate to self and the inner world.


The modules explored in this stage are:

  • Consciousness
  • Dreams and Active Imagination
  • The four steps of transformation
  • Symbols
  • Ego

Rubedo: The Reddening

454ec5a1530cfd5355d82c6c4c00f547The final stage is Rubedo, the reddening. This stage focuses on providing the psychodynamic tools with which to engage with the ongoing individuation process.

NB! This stage is only available to those who have completed Nigredo, Albedo and Citrinitas.

The modules explored in this stage are:

  • Individuation
  • Personal Myth
  • The Symbolic life
  • Authentic Personification