Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Color Theory for Magicians: A teaching from Venus of the Red Rose

I did a lot of work with Helios this weekend, for Candlemass (or Imbolc, or Groundhogs Day, or whatever we're calling it these days).  Because of the nature of solar work, I got a lot of insights and inspirations, but they're still in need of facting up, and most of them were personal (ie, about my own life).  However, I did receive one teaching that I was asked to make public, so I'm trying to do so here.  It's not really very clear yet.

There are VERY traditional color associations between the Seven Celestial Powers and the Colors.  In some cases, it was these associations that led to the association of the planet with its name. (for example, Mars) They are as follows (with my guesses to reasons)

Moon=Purple (?)
Mercury=Orange (because cinnabar?)
Venus=Green (because ocean?)
Sun=Yellow (because Sun=yellow)
Mars=Red (because blood)
Jupiter=Blue (because sky)
Saturn=Black (because night)
Stars=White (because stars=white)
Earth=Black (because underground)

UPDATE:  Jason Miller says: "Venus=green because of the green plants that beautify the earth. ANGEL was in charge of that according to some stories."

UPDATE: I had a fascinating conversation with Ivo Dominguez Jr this morning (9/3/2015) about the color associations of the sefirot in Hermetic kabbalah.  He shared this animation, which I really like:

Finally, if you don't remember how color mixing works from elementary school art class, you should go google "color theory".

Venus Verticordia, Dante Rosetti
Venus Verticordia, by Dante Rosetti
The teaching that follows was communicated to to me by a spirit who called herself Venus of the Red Rose.  Her presence was quite lush, and very sensual, and announced itself by an almost overpoweringly heady smell of damask roses and a red glow.

I am not very visual, and I didn't get much of an impression of what she looked like, but here's a painting that has the right feeling to me.

UPDATE:  I've now had much more contact with this goddess.  See here and here.

Here is the underlying message behind what she taught me:  When working with opposing forces, you can't mix them, because it will end up as ugly mud.  Instead, you want to play them off each other, to create contrast.  We do that by swapping the color associations across the spectrum from their traditional associations.  For example, to work with Mars and Venus to attract male lovers, I was instructed to work with Venus of the Red Rose.  By allowing an avatar of one sphere to the "wear" the color of another, you can combine influence without "muddying the waters".  It's similar to the way Jason Miller combined the spheres in his Advanced Planetary Magic.

I was taught a few other complementary combinations:

  • Golden Crowned Phoebe shades Moon with Sun, and grants insight of the Unseen, Clarity of Dream, and Shimmering Radiance
  • Dr. Manhattan (I don't think it was Dr. Mahattan; I'm just calling it that because of the colors).  I had a lot of trouble getting a feel for this spirit.)  is Mercury with the confidence and surety of Jupiter; he grants superhuman intelligence (which comes with some drawbacks!)  He also teaches "quantum relativistic space time" magics, but only to people who know math! :)
  • The Heirophant or the Pontefix (Jupiter clothed in orange) is all about the "authority of the teacher"

  • Hekate of the White Star is a cthonic goddess, the Lady Underground, wearing her mother's crown.  She grants prophetic dreams.

I was also taught more complicated combinations, for example how using 2 out of three triadic colors (red and blue without yellow, purple and green without orange) gives you a very physical "of the world" manifestation of the missing color, but perhaps one that is missing it's "higher" aspects.  So, for example, red and blue together give a sort of "truthiness" version of the Sun, all power and shine and moral certainty, while perhaps lacking grace and beauty. (Like Superman)

Similarly, green and purple give you an avatar of Mercury whose practical intellect, untempered by wisdom and empathy, has made them cruel and perhaps mad. (like The Joker)

I know this wasn't the clearest of teachings; it's still very numinous in my head.  I will continue to fact it up and return to it.

In particular, on Saturday February 21st (which is my birthday) Venus and Mars are in almost perfect conjunct.  I'm planning magic with Venus of the Red Rose and hopefully also Mars Silvanus (especially if I can scrounge up a partner).  I'll keep you posted.


  1. I don't think this is an unclear teaching at all. I think that it's quite possibly one of the most useful sets of teachings around color combination that I've seen in magical circles.

  2. thank you! I will keep refining it. There are combinations of multiple (ie, more than 2 at a time) colors that are still percolating.