Albedo or whitening is one of the four major stages of alchemy; along with nigredo, citrinitas and rubedo. It is a Latinicized term meaning "whiteness" and follows the harrowing chaos of the nigredo stage. Purification is then provided by the albedo, literally referred to as ablutio; washing away impurities. 

In alchemical language, matter suffers until the nigredo disappears and a new day dawns. The material slowly starts coming back to life. The albedo, the second stage, was said to result from the washing of the products of this nigredo . Psychologically, it represents the later stages of shadow integration within the intimacy of the analytic 'retort' - the process of washing one's dirty linen in public; it being in the gross matter or 'shadow' of our worldly affairs where contamination has taken place. In some traditions, the nigredo constitutes the 'death' of the prima materia - in analysis, a dying to old habits, attitudes and patterns of relating, to childhood attachments and dependencies, and the withdrawal of psychologically naive projections; at the moment of 'death' of the soul (i.e. the anima) is released, refined and then reunited with the revitalised materia to produce the glorious stage of many colours which then transforms into the white albedo which contains all colours, like 'white' light. Jung compared it with daybreak, the preparation for the next and final stage which is the sunrise.