A process of psychological differentiation, having for its goal the development of the individual personality. No one is ever completely individuated. While the goal is wholeness and a healthy working relationship with the self, the true value of individuation lies in what happens along the way.
-Daryl Sharp (1991). C.G. Jung Lexicon. Inner City Books.
We might want to say individuation is transformation, but transformation acts upon the material things in the world. We might want to say individuation is spiritualization, but that takes you straight across the border of the earthly realm into a strange land, albeit a land where divinity is waiting to be discovered. What Individuation is, is the creation of consciousness by continuously integrating unconscious contents, both personal and collective into our human reality.
How does it happen? You can intuit when you’ve snagged something while using the tools of cultural anthropology, journaling, and Jungian theory. It’s an “aha” moment, a glowing knowing, a realization–bringing the numinous into reality.