Studies in Astrology


Elman Bacher

Volume VI

Chapter V


   Color is that attribute of Manifestation of Perceptibility. Since the manifested Universe is the vehicle or instrument of Spirit it has to be conceived and then perceived before it can be put to use; we as "sparks of Spirit" in manifested form, become aware of this instrument by our faculty of sight. The other senses are agencies by which we complete our perception, but by sight we "take the first step."

   Therefore, as "perceptibleness" (we see "things" as "patches of color"), color has a great significance in regard to the occult nature of manifestation. If we are here to unfold awareness of the principles of life, are must learn about the functions of material things and also about what they mean as chemicalizations of archetypes. To understand the nature of a material thing as well as its function is to understand the purpose of its archetype; to understand the purpose of an archetype is to understand, in degree, a life-principle. Archetypes, in composite, are the primary manifestations of life; the life of the archetype is the "life-cycle" of its manifested chemicalization. "Archetype and manifestation" is the most direct reference we can make to the Cosmic Law of "cause and effect."

   We are so accustomed, after hundreds of incarnations, to take for granted the colors of the world that we tend to forget (if we ever have known it) the significance of this attribute in the life-cycle of manifested things. Since all things affect, and are affected by, all other things, can it be that color represents one aspect of the nature of universal vibratory exchange? Colors are emanated and responded to; they affect the things that react to them and they are affected by the things that act on their chemicalized forms. Therefore, if we had "eyes to see," we could study this aspect of vibratory emanation of manifested things and learn about the nature and significance of their archetypes--their realities.

   The study of color has always had a place in those approaches by which human beings have sought to understand the inner and outer nature of their own archetype, humanity, and that of the other octaves of manifestation. It might be said, with some justification, that the study of life is the study of vibration which is the essential action of life. The Great Ones who teach us serve to ignite in our consciousness the awareness of vibration because they know that matter is not a "dead thing" but the manifestation of something that is eternally alive, rhythmically pulsating, ever releasing and fulfilling its potentials but never changing in essence.

   Since we are here concerned, in this study, with color as a factor in art-expression, astrological symbology and the truths concerning the nature of the archetype, Humanity, let us recall, in part, what has been given as instruction pertaining to the colors of the human aura. The author, not being as yet qualified, has never had the experience of perceiving the human aura, but several acquaintances, and perhaps many of you students, have. The one outstanding fact in the information conveyed by this experience is the color-attribute of this vibratory body. Regardless of extent, brilliance or dullness, it is understood that color is seen in every aura. In fact, without the at-tribute of color, the aura could not be seen at all, much less studied and analyzed; though its power can be "sensed" by sensitive persons through their reactions to the vibratory quality of the " aura- person." In other words, that which is "sensed" (by feeling-reaction) is that which is clairvoyantly seen as color of the aura.

   The composite of etheric bodies of human composition is one of the many forms of the archetypal state "matrix;" another form of "matrix" is air--in which we are all enveloped; still another is water (gestation), place of generative manifestations. Air and water, so it is said, are "color-less." If, however, air and water did not possess, in degree, the attribute of color-vibration how could light be directed through them? How could they reflect color? How could colors be perceived through them? It is an occult maxim that in order to manifest on any plane, a suitable vehicle is necessary; how, then, can color manifest in and through air and water if they, as "elements," did not possess in their essential nature that which corresponds to the nature of colors Can it be that the "colorless-ness" of air and water is the only true white there is, and that which we designate as "pure white" corresponds to the "colorlessness" as the physical body corresponds to the etheric matrix? Or as any fulfilled manifestation corresponds to its archetype, as a rose, in the full beauty of its perfect maturity corresponds to the "rose-archetype," as the most highly evolved specimen of an animal-species may correspond to its group-archetype ? (Food for thought!) Color is truly one of the mysteries of manifestation because, by it, the divine essence of manifestations is perceived in a specialized way. Color corresponds to design as a philosophical truth corresponds to the ceremony or ritual which symbolically transmits it to the inner knowing of humanity; as love between husband and wife corresponds to the incarnation of a child; as aspiration corresponds to service.

   We must use analogies:

   If we may consider the "colorlessness" of air and water to be archetypal white (and as such, the "color-symbol" of the Unknowable, the Infinitely Subjective), then the purest of what we call "white" is manifestive white. This, in turn and by correspondence, is the color of Father-Mother God in its essence and in its two expressions of "Virgin Spirit" and "Perfected Consciousness." (Why do we associate "white" with purity?) Purity is "undifferentiatedness," innocence is "not refracted by experience"; perfect-ion is realization of one-ity (unity). Anything that we describe as "perfected" is fulfilled, harmonious, and complete in the relationship of its parts to each other and to the total. White is "innocence before refraction of light" and the "perfected re-un-ity after refraction." In its relationship with the spectrum-colors, white symbolizes the relationship between perfected consciousness and the differentiatedness of soul-qualities which we designate by such words as courage, patience, integrity, etc. In its relationship to black, white is spiritual source and black is utmost chemicality of the emanations from the source. Consider this analogy: archetypal white is universal causation; manifestive white is universal bi-polarity; black is the densest of universal chemicality. Black is a very interesting subject of thought and study, and a fascinating subject for philosophical meditations. It has been used (poor thing) for ages to symbolize mankind's concepts of hell, death, and evil--in short, the color-symbol of the Devil. An injustice, no less. Black as a "color" in the material universe, is the compression of brown (the composite of all spectrum-colors) and brown is the color-symbol of productive earth--our home in incarnation. Black, then, is the congestion of productive life-forces but congestion does not mean death in the absolute sense--congestion is a little death which can, must, and will be decrystallized ("redeemed"). A color that would symbolize absolute death would have to correspond to archetypal white as black corresponds to manifestive white. And no such "color" exists because black is the "mid-point" between white and white. The square (congestion) aspect between two planets in a horoscope would represent two colors which by their relationship have the effect of "blackening" the shade of each other--you have seen, have you not, "blackish red" or "blackish greens" These shades represent degrees of congestion of color-potential toward a common point of "staticness." Black is not recognizable as "red" or "green" or any other color--it is the UTMOST density (lowest vibration) of all colors, as manifestive white is the utmost decrystallization of color-powers. In the "Inferno" of the Divine Comedy of Dante the nether-most region of this unhappy place is depicted as a place of the "forever lost," "beyond hope," "impossible-to-redeem," "absolutely no potential," "total negation," and "utterly life-less." It is true, we are told in occult philosophy, that there are a few members of life waves that congest to such a degree that they cannot progress with the others on their particular "wave;" but we are also instructed that, however long they may be held back, ultimately they start anew with another "wave" and so progress to fulfillment.. Thus "hell," as the place of the totally lost, is an illusion, a false concept of life. We feel that the "mercy of life" (or of Father-Mother God) is expressed in the truth that all potentials are to be eventually redeemed--no one and no thing is "forever set apart and discarded." The "color" black could, of course, symbolize the state of "congestion-to-such-a-degree-that-progress-is-for-a- time-i nhibited" but the eventual progress will be represented by the releasement (on a new cycle) of the congested potentials of black. Your astrological aspects will approach " blackness of color " to the degree that the squares are approaching the exactitude of ninety degrees and are unrelieved by the assistance of sextiles or trines. To the degree that the squares are removed from ninety degrees will their color be more evident. To the degree that your planets are trined will your planetary colors glow with radiance, power and beauty.

   The author is not presuming to present "absolute truths" in these symbolic color-picturings; however, we, as astrological students, become so accustomed to seeing astrological art presented by "black marks on white paper" that we forget the value of "thinking chromatically." Since we are dealing with the spectrums of designs and vibrations we must, from time to time, exercise our minds on the colors that are implied in drawn symbols; these "implied colors," in turn, symbolize the spectrums of human consciousness and experience, and we must perceive "gradationally" if we are to unfold our understanding of "placement-qualities," "relationship- qualities," and the "archetypal nature" of the planets as focalizers of the zodiacal signs. A little more food for thought: archetypal white as it "manifests" in the five color-octaves of three octaves of the point, line, and circle of astrological symbology:

   The five manifested octaves of archetypal white are : (1) Manifestive White ; (2) Grey (neutral); (3) the Colors of the Spectrum; (4) their composite, Brown; (5) their congestion, Black. The three octaves of point line, and circle are: (1) Cosmic (the Unknowable); (2) Solar (Father-Mother God); (3) Human (the Great Mandala of the Archetype, Humanity, and the personal mandala of the individual horoscope).

   1. Cosmic--the point, line and circle of cosmic ideation; the center is archetypal white; the Ascendant-line is manifestive white and the Ascendant-point is neutral grey, the abstraction of brown and the "composite" of the extremes of manifestive white and black. We cannot know the extent of that which is manifested by the Unknowable so its "appearance" at the Ascendant-point must be the indefinite, neutral, "extentless-ness" of grey. Grey is "boundless," it combines and blends with all colors and it is, more than is any other "shade," that which can convey a sense of indefinite, infinite manifestation, focalizing no one thing, but symbolizing "All-that-is- ness."

   2. Solar--the Manifestive action of Father- Mother God; the center is manifestive white; the Ascendant-line modulates from manifestive white through grey and through brown (composite of all spectrum- colors) to the Ascendant-point which is black; the black Ascendant-point symbolizes the total chemicalized manifestation, to the densest degree, of this solar-system; in the black are found all of the color-expressions which are symbolically inherent in the natures of all beings of this system and which are to be "released" as specific color-symbols of consciousness- gradations during the evolution of these beings in incarnation-cycles.

   3. Human--(a) The Great Astrological Mandala of the archetype, Humanity; the center is manifestive white, the Ascendant-line modulates from white through grey and brown; the Ascendant-point, the "I Am" of the individualized archetype is red, the first cardinal color which corresponds to the first cardinal sign of the mandala, Aries. The three variations of the "I Am" of Humanity are the cusps of the (in clock-wise order from the Ascendant) 10th, 7th, and 4th Houses; the total of these four "I Ams" is the I Am of the basic human family: male and female begettor, male and female begotten; male and female of causation and male and female of reaction to, or effect from, causation. Since scientists who study and analyze color tell us that there are four basic primary color-senses (red, yellow, green, and blue) we shall ascribe each of these to a cardinal point of the Great Mandala: Aries, red; Capricorn, yellow; Libra (complement of Aries) green; and Cancer (complement of Capricorn and initiator of the last Trine of the generic spectrum), blue. The fire-trine will be represented by gradations from pure red through orange; Earth--yellow through its darker shades to air-- green (in its modulations to water) blue--carrying through to complete the spectrum at Pisces in purple, color symbol of divine qualities and last color of the basic sequence of spectrum. This is one approach. You may find another, or many others. But--find something!

   3. (b) Human--the personal horoscope of an individual human-being: in unevolved humanity, the center is the red of blood; in evolving humanity it is the red of the individualized "I Am" blended with the redemption of white; the Ascendant-line modulates through grey and the color of the ray to the color that may be identified with the planetary ruler of the Ascendant-sign. This color will represent the temporary (for this incarnation) variation of the red-white of the center. The color of the ray is a "basic" to each human being during the entirety of his or her evolutionary progress in incarnation. Philosophic or occult knowledge sooner or later reveals the nature of one's ray and the color that pertains to it. It may be supposed that, in cases of un-evolved humans, the Ascendant-point color might be the brown of Earth which will be "decrystallized" or differentiated as the person begins his spiritual evolution. In the individual charts of humans, blackness may be, as was remarked before, implied in congested planetary aspects, but never at the ASC-point.

   There are, probably, as many "solutions" to this study of color in symbology as there are people who study it. But when we loosen ourselves from the limitations of personal feeling-reaction to colors we are better able to focus our awareness of colors as factors in abstract symbology--to correlate the essence of color-vibration with the essentials of symbolic figures. Another approach to study the "basic colors" in an individual horoscope is to synthesize the planetary positions by dispositorship--and create a compositing of the planetary positions by sign- placement. In such a synthesis, all planets dignified will convey a sense of purest color, those in detriment (opposite the sign of dignity) are, to a degree, "neutralized" and their colors will verge toward a mixture with grey. Also, to correlate color with design, study your chart from the standpoint of seeing how your planetary groupings make specific patterns--a grand cross, a grand trine, a square with the alchemicalization of one planet by a third which sextiles it, and so forth. Your horoscope, in whatever form or arrangement, is, in black and white, an abstraction of a painted portrait--in symbols. Look at the planets that are farthest north, south, east, and west-- they are structure-points in your "Astro-portrait;" opposition aspects are "verticals, horizontals, and diagonals" in your picture, etc. But let yourself become more aware of the importance of mentally "colorizing" astrological symbols--it is a most valuable and beneficial exercise of your intuitive powers.


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