Sunday, May 3, 2009

Color Divination

A profusion of color surrounds me as I sit on my deck: the bright-orange day lilies lining my street, the deep-blue summer sky, the forest-green trees reflected in the lake, plus the red, yellow, orange and rose flowers in my own yard. Colors provide us with some of life's simple pleasures, as Alice Walker rightly noted in her novel The Color Purple: "I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."

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As a major component of visual symbolism, color has played a significant role in the world's religions. Seasonal colors adorn shrines — think of Christian churches with their purple altar cloths at Easter or red and green at Christmas. Color designates a person's religious station — consider the saffron robes worn by Buddhist monks or the red miters of Roman Catholic cardinals. Color marks the sacred directions in many indigenous cultures — for instance, the Lakota association of white for north, red for east, yellow for south and black for west.


It has symbolic significance on religious paintings — for example, on Tibetan thangkas, medieval Christian canvasses, and Hindu yantras. It shouldn't surprise us to learn that color can also connect us with our inner vision in divination.

Visual stimuli contain two main elements: shape and color. Many visual divinations depend on identifying shapes. Color can provide similar oracular guidance, but I think it affects us in a deeper, more emotionally charged way. Why else would we talk about feeling blue? seeing red? being green with envy? calling someone yellow (cowardly)?

Divination Methods

Anchor yourself firmly in the here and now in preparation for your color divination. Once you've decided on your question, begin by relaxing and attuning yourself to the energies of earth and sky, using your favorite means of grounding and centering. When you have finished, thank the universal energies as well as the palpable presence of color for the guidance you have received.

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