Colour in the Mind
The investigations that led to the creation of this website have highlighted the subjective nature of colour, if nothing else. Any number of resources will tell you what their own interpretation of a given colour might be, but how that colour is seen by an individual is really what the Tree of Life colours are all about.
When being fully utilised and not just appreciated from afar, a Path between two Sephiroth defines a relationship between two types of energy and can be experienced as a journey travelled in a meditative or contemplative state. Depending on what Level or World has been chosen for travel, the Path — and the Sepiroth — are seen in different colours to help orient the traveller and anchor the experience, as students learn when studying the Qabalah in the Western Mystery School Tradition. Those colours are in the mind, not on a screen, in a painting or a photograph. A graphic image in a book or website can be a helpful study aid, but the colours only come truly alive on the inside.
What colour, exactly, is ‘Scarlet’? Or better yet, ‘Glowing Orange Scarlet’? And how do those colours differ from, say, ‘Vermilion’? On the coloured Tree, Glowing Orange Scarlet is the Atziluthic colour of Shin, the 31st Path of Fire from Hod to Malkuth. Vermilion is the Briatic colour of the same path and Scarlet (Flecked Gold) is the Path of Shin in Yetzirah. The Assiatic colours are Vermilion flecked Crimson.
Each of those seems quite appropriate for Shin, the Spirit of Primal Fire, but plug ‘scarlet’ or ‘vermilion’ into an Image search and — given that both are reds with a certain amount of orange — the possible variation is immediately apparent.
When trying to standardise reproduction of those colours either via light through glass, pigments painted on paper, printers ink, earth-derived dyes or any other medium some kind of agreed scheme is helpful, which is where colour scales come into the picture. Are the colours — as codified by the Golden Dawn — an inherent part of the egregore of the Tree or is there room for individual interpretation?
The pages under this heading will highlight different ways of looking at colour on the Tree from a Medieval Jewish perspective to the Golden Dawn’s Colour Scales. Hex codes, Colour Basics and a variety of Colour Resources will provide more modern stories. All are linked in the images above (or via the Colour Scales dropdown menu).