We have often used the metaphor of Gold in Leadership work. Metaphors are powerful. And sometimes we don’t really fully realize the power of that connection.

This is an insight from a me-to -me experiment that I am doing with Gold and it’s relationship with transformation.

Growing up I have had an emotional and a physical allergy to gold. I have always been a silver person. In my younger days I considered it an act of defiance. Gold, at least in my mind, has been synonymous with tradition, patriarchy, power. Everything I rebelled against (why is a story for a different time). Silver was soft, not rigid and with a sense of freedom, bohemian.

Having been in the Leadership and Transformation space, I have also been intrigued by the process of Alchemy, the making of Gold

I have also often wondered, growing up on movies like McKenna’s Gold , Indianna jones etc. What was so precious about gold? With the rush.. the madness. the perceived importance and value.. across cultures. Alchemists and their lives dedicated to making gold… Why was Gold so important? What was the big deal?

In this gold quest, of my own.. I stumbled upon some information and insights. And many dots are joining.

I started with questions like, What is gold, How was gold born? Where did it come from? What were its origins?

Gold is Extra-terrestrial. It was not born on earth. It is born in space. It is born of a star. A star called Supernova, yes! the bright shining star..maybe it gets is gleam from that.

In the corporate space I have often heard the term Supernova used to glorify and appreciate some super achievers and given supernova awards. It meant, just that shining Super Star.

Now as I researched and got to understand. Supernova is actually, a ‘Dying Star”.

So here is the Story of Supernova. Like with everything, to understand something, in this case gold, one has to go back to its origins.

And by the way.. The story of Supernova and Gold..Is also the story of Leaders and leadership.

Supernova wasn’t always supernova, the bright star. It was just another regular star. Stars are made up of hydrogen, the simplest and lightest element. So..it goes about without any care frolicking, for some time.

Over time, the star cannot handle all this simplicity and lightness and the gravitational pull of its core, which has started to get complex.. puts pressure on these hydrogen elements pulls them in and triggers nuclear fusion in the stars core.. Causing it to expend large amounts of energy. This expending of large amount of energy is what looks like shine… and we see a ‘Shining’ star.

This ‘Shining’ phase goes on for many years.. But Alas!! over time the constant internal fusion causes the once, light and simple hydrogen particle to now become heavy and complex. It gets converted into heavier elements like helium, iron and nickel.. and the weight of this, now, can no longer be supported by the core. It does not have the internal energy to sustain what it created.. these have now become complex substances.


The core wears out and the pressure from the outer layers collapses in on the center. When the core completely collapses with the pressure from its own created environment… caving in under the enormous pressure and amount of energy.. the star explodes.. into a ‘Supernova– Supernova is not a thing..its a Process. Process of a Bright Star Dying .

What we see as a Big Bright wonderful star and celebrate, is actually the death process. Momentarily seen as the Brightest in the sky.

Again.. the story of some People and Organizations

The story so far is ..well.. depressing. And also familiar. If we map it to our own life span.. starting with simplicity and lightness to becoming more complex and heavy and eventually collapsing under our own weight.

True of Individuals true of Organizations.

We still have to go on… death is the end of a phase… just like in the case of this star.

So we continue..

The Supernova explosion releases such extreme pressure and energy that it now ‘forces’ its sub-atomic particles to come together creating “neutrons”. (funny how it takes pressure and devastation for things to come together – the cosmic and the inane not so different after all ) .

Neutrons are neutral. They have no charge.

They then keep getting captured and transformed into heavier more solid elements on their own, without the stars interference. Converting to iron, silver, gold, nickel and uranium. And these elements are splattered into the cosmic space..and some land on earth.. like our gold.


It is interesting that in contrast to the conversion in the older story of hydrogen to helium, which takes many years until its death, the new story of transformation from neutrons to other solid particles takes only seconds.

Time to question the assumption, that transformation takes time.

So there it is.

I now have a whole new understanding of Alchemy as a transformation process.

This is how Gold is Born. Through a transformation process.

It takes a Star to be born, to shine, to die, a Supernova effect to happen, the core to completely be touched and scorched by extreme heat ..in order to give birth to Gold.

Born from a humble neutron, which has no charge, comes to birth this time-less, precious legend called Gold.

I also see how we regularly use examples of Gold becoming pure only after going through the fire. We ascribe gold and its value to “purity”. Purity, strictly speaking in gold terms, is the process of all the other impure chemicals mixed with gold to burn in fire till it eventually stops reacting to the surrounding elements.

Becoming non-reactive, pure and neutral.. just like its genesis.

Just like our genesis.

But.. Before that we have to go through the fire and the supernova process.

That is the cosmic design.