• When we believe we have all the answers, we are not open to mystery. To begin a mystical journey, you have to start with a sense of wonder, of not knowing where you are going or how you will travel. The initial phase of alchemy is called the nigredo-it's the phase of darkness, when it's "blacker than black." You feel this when you start something new-go off to college, start a new job, travel to a foreign land, or end a relationship that is not working.