The Color of a Name
ARACELSUS, one of the greatest physicians, and one of the most learned of
occult students, several hundred years ago set forth the principle upon which
depends the influence of a name, a number, a color, a musical tone, a locality,
or other invisible vibratory rate.
He said: “If I have manna in my constitution I can attract manna from heaven. Saturn
is not only in the sky, but also deep in the ocean and earth. What is Venus but the
artemisia that grows in your garden, and what is iron but the planet Mars? That is to
say, Venus and artemisia are both products of the same essence, while Mars and iron
are manifestations of the same cause.”
What you have in your constitution is mapped by your birth-chart. If you have the
dynamic stellar structure in your astral body mapped by the position of the planet
Mars powerful, you will, of necessity, attract events into your life of the nature of
Mars; events of violence, either constructive or destructive in character. If you do not
have much iron, or Mars, in your constitution, as shown by Mars occupying a weak
house and having almost no aspects, you will not have aggressiveness nor much
courage, and you will not attract violent events.
And what has been said of the Mars structure is also true of the other nine
thought-structures mapped by the various planets, and of the twelve zones of the
astral body mapped by the zodiacal signs. If the section of your astral form mapped
by a particular zodiacal sign is shown to have much activity, as indicated by planets
in the sign having many astrodynes, or by the ruler of the sign having many
astrodynes, the department of life indicated by the house position of that zodiacal
sign will come into unusual prominence all through your life. And thus it is that the
type of events attracted to the individual depends exclusively upon the activity of the
thought-cells within himself that have the same vibratory rates as these events. If the
money structures and money zone of the astral body have considerable activity,
money will enter the life as of considerable importance; but if the money structures
and zone are weak, there will be neither large gains nor large losses, and money will
not be as important a factor as some other of life’s activities. If the structures and zone
ruling marriage are unusually active, this phase of the life may dominate in
importance all the other matters entering the life; but if they are passive, this
department of life may prove of negligible importance.
Now any of these structures or zones mapped in the birth-chart can be given
additional energy, and thus made more active than it normally is, through associating
with things or thoughts of a similar vibration. Whether we will or no, some of them
are thus given additional activity through the progressed positions of the planets.
There are three sources of invisible energies that have the power to stimulate the
thought structures and thought-cells of our astral body into exceptional activity:
astrological influences, the influence of thoughts, and the influence of objects. And
when a planet by progression reaches a zone of the astral body, it gives its
thought-cells new activity, and this attracts events corresponding to the department
of life ruled by the zone into the life. In particular, when a planet by progression also
forms an aspect to a dynamic thought structure in the astral body mapped by a planet
in the birth-chart, the additional energy thus gained by the thought-cells enables them
to attract some pronounced event into the life. And thus, from such progressed
positions of the planets, and the dates when they make aspects with structures in the
astral form, the astrologer is able to predict what events will transpire and when they
will come to pass.
But progressed planets are not the only source of such additional energy that may be
made available to thought structures and zones within the astral form. Both thoughts
and objects have a similar power, though varying in the amount of energy
contributed. In Course 9, Mental Alchemy, I have considered the deliberate use of
certain types of thought, and in this course considerable attention has been paid to the
use of abstract thoughts, such as names and numbers. And right here I wish to
indicate how the character vibrations of colors may be employed in a similar manner.
Sound is caused by vibrations ranging from the 4th to the 12th octave of vibration, or
from 16 to 32,768 vibrations per second.Vibrations either slower or faster than these must be apprehended by other means
than the ear. Electricity, for instance, which is not perceptible to either eye or ear,
includes the 25th to the 35th octave, or from 33,354,432 to 34,359,738,368
vibrations per second.
Radiant heat, such as that coming to us from the sun, ranges from the 46th to the 48th
octave, or from 70,368,744,644 to 281,474,976,710,656 vibrations per second.
The effect of these vibratory rates, as producing physical changes in our organism, is
readily apparent. But there are other vibrations which have quite as pronounced an
effect in producing physical results that are less easily discerned in their action. Thus,
the chemical ray, used in photography and producing sunburn when we stroll the
beach in scanty attire, belongs to the 50th octave of vibrations; and the X-ray, which
without sensation burns tissue within the human body, belongs to the vibratory rates
within the 59th to 61st octave.
Within the range of the 49th octave of vibration, around 562,949,853,421,312
vibrations per second, the rates of motion are perceived by the eye as light. This white
light when refracted divides itself into vibratory rates slightly faster and slightly
slower than the average, and these different rates give rise to the seven colors of the
These seven colors, as ascertained by the effects they produce when associated with,
each tend to stimulate, or add energy to, the structure within the astral form mapped
by one of the planets of the septenary. And the various shades of these colors,
produced by slightly higher or lower vibrations than the type color, are found to add
activity to the zone of the astral body ruled by a zodiacal sign. Thus any color, or
combination of colors, has an effect upon the astral body which can be determined
from the correspondence of the color, or combination, to the zones and structures
mapped in the birth-chart. These color correspondences, from which the structure or
zone of the astral body stimulated can be ascertained, are given in the treatment of
each major arcanum, and also in the table at the front of chapter 1.
Now as each letter, and each number below 23, has the same astral vibratory rate as
the astral vibratory rate of some color, or its shade (the astral vibratory rate of a color
must not be confused with the electromagnetic vibratory rate which affects the sense
of sight), it is easy to find the color correspondence of any number or any name by
first finding the vibratory key of the number or name, and then discerning to which
color this key corresponds. In applying such correspondences it will be noted that the
night signs of a planet correspond to the darker shades of the color ruled by the planet,
and the day signs of a planet correspond to the light shades of the same type color.
Thus to find the color of the name, “Teddy”: T-22, E-5, D-4, D-4, Y-10 added gives
the number 45. 4 plus 5 gives 9 as the Key of the number, and by referring to
Arcanum IX we find the color of this key to be light blue.
To find the color number 1918 we add 1 plus 9 plus 1 plus 8, which gives 19 as the
Key to which it vibrates, and referring to Arcanum XIX we find the color to be light
orange.Thus by associating with the name Teddy there is the same kind of influence, but
probably of different intensity, as that obtained by associating with the color light
blue, such as wearing a light blue dress, or even a light blue necktie.
But the most important factor is yet to be mentioned. For while the type of event
attracted is determined by the structure or zone of the astral form to which energy is
thus added; whether the event will be favorable or unfavorable must be determined
by how that structure is organized as shown in the birth-chart.
If the structure or zone as mapped in the birth-chart is shown to be decidedly
discordant, adding energy to it (except as a mental antidote as explained in Course 9)
gives it additional power to attract misfortune. Therefore, by names, by numbers, by
colors, or by other means, pains should be taken not to associate with those astral
vibrations that have the same rate as discordant conditions mapped in the birth-chart.
Instead, those should be associated with which will add energy in large volume and
intensity to such structures and zones of the astral body as the birth-map shows to be
especially harmonious. Thus will more favorable conditions be attracted from
The Reaper–Arcanum XIII
–Letter: Egyptian, Mataloth; Hebrew, Mem; English, M. Number, 13.
Astrologically, the zodiacal sign Aries. Color, the lighter shades of red. Tone, high C.
Occult science, mundane astrology. Human function, the sense of taste. Natural
remedy, such herbs as hemp, mustard, broom, holly, dock, thistle, fern, garlic,
onions, nettles, radishes, poppies, peppers and rhubarb. Mineral, the talismanic gem,
amethyst, and such stones as ochre, brimstone and red stones of various kinds.
M–13 expresses in the spiritual world, the perpetual movement of creation;
destruction and renewal.
In the intellectual world, the ascension of the spirit into divine spheres.
In the physical world, natural death; that is to say, the transition through which the
soul leaves its physical form henceforth to function in an astral form in the astral
Remember, then, son of earth, that terrestrial things are of short duration and that the
highest powers are reaped as the grass of the field. If Arcanum XIII should appear in
the prophetic signs of thy horoscope, the dissolution of thy organs will come sooner
than thou expectest. But do not dread it; for death is but the parturition of another life.
The universe reabsorbs without ceasing all which springs from her bosom that has
not spiritualized itself. But the releasing of ourselves from material instincts by a free
and voluntary adhesion of our souls to the laws of universal movement constitutes in
us the creation of a second man, a celestial man, and begins our immortality.
In Divination, Arcanum XIII may be read as Death or Transformation.
Arcanum XIII is figured by a skeleton reaping human heads, hands and feet. On the
blade of the scythe wielded by Time is a serpent and a scarabeus, and back of all is
seen a rainbow.
The progression of the scythe in its work is the emblem of the perpetual destruction
and rebirth of all forms of being in the domain of time.
The serpent on the scythe represents the virile energy that has carried the soul,
symbolized by the scarab, in its pilgrimage of births and deaths through the mineral
kingdom, the vegetable kingdom and the animal kingdom up to the estate of man.
The skeleton mowing human heads, hands and feet signifies that the thoughts, works
and understanding of man eventually pass from the earth. But the rainbow promises a
new life of thought, effort and knowledge in a superior realm.
–Numerically, 13 is the 2nd decave of 4, indicating Arcanum IV, or realization,
operating on the negative plane of frequency of Arcanum II. It is what is Realized
from the efforts of life when Polarizing forces disintegrate the physical body.
What this new plane of realization, to which the efforts have now been transferred,
will offer, depends entirely upon how the energies have been used on the plane left
behind. If this use can be represented by 9 and 4, the Realization of Wisdom,
self-conscious progression gains momentum. But if the transition is only 10 and 3,
Change of Action, 5 and 8, the operation of the Law of Justice, or even of 6 and 7,
Victory over Temptation, the activities of life are merely transferred, without much
gain or loss, to the inner plane.
Such transition is possible, however, as 1 and 12, Will directed to the Sacrifice of all
selfishness, or as 2 and 11, under the Science of Spiritual Power. And when such is
the case, the new life witnesses a great gain in freedom, in consciousness, in ability,
and in enjoyment.
–Aries is the beginning of the zodiac, where the circle is completed and the cycle of
one life ends in the start of another. When the Sun crosses the first point of Aries the
astronomical year commences, and when it again crosses into Aries, that year is
ended, cut off, destroyed. And thus is Aries, as indicated by Arcanum XIII, Brahma
as well as Siva, both creator and destroyer.
–Life subsists upon life. The energy and substance of each physical organism is
largely gained through the Death of others. To sustain the life of man there is a
constant sacrifice of the lives either of plants or of animals. This life of the lower
kingdoms, when taken into the body of man undergoes a Transformation by which it
is made available for his use.
The cosmos depends upon the innumerable conscious entities embraced in it for
expression and progression. And likewise man depends upon the innumerable cells
of his body for expression upon the physical plane. Each of these cells is as
independent of man as man is independent of the earth on which he lives. That is,
each cell has its own individual consciousness, nor do the sum total of the cells
comprise the man; for the man has a consciousness independent of these cells. Yet
while these cells are a portion of man’s anatomy they should each obey the dictates of
man, just as man should obey the mandates of the Supreme Intelligence.
Even as man is undergoing a progressive cycle on the earth, so each cell in his body is
undergoing its progressive cycle in association with him. Therefore, while the Death
of the organism that serves as food liberates the soul that has polarized the
protoplasm and energy contained in the form, this transition to the body of man is not
without compensation to the life of the individual cells. For their substance and
energy is now Transformed into cells occupying the body of man, and thus in
association with an intelligence which affords them greater opportunity by far for
To the cell-life, at least, the serving as food for a higher form of life than that
previously occupied is not without its advantages. And the human function by which
man selects what shall thus be Transformed to his own use is the sense of taste, which
corresponds to Arcanum XIII.
–Arcanum XIII represents that Transformation which occurs in the substance and
form due to transmutation. The fluxing of polar opposites or natural antidotes
produces not merely a blend of the substances, but the Death of the old properties in
the production of a new and more highly refined substance with entirely different
properties. There is thus a Transformation of both the substance and the form.
–As related in the 49th chapter of Genesis, Jacob, being about to die, called together
his sons, who are the fathers of the 12 tribes of Israel. To each he gives his blessing,
together with a prophecy; and this deathbed pronouncement reveals without error to
any competent astrologer just which tribe is ruled by each zodiacal sign.
It should be evident, for instance, that when he speaks of Reuben being as unstable as
water, that he refers to the Waterbearer, Aquarius, and the abrupt changes made by
those in whose chart Uranus, its ruler, is prominent. Likewise, when he speaks of
Simon and Levi as being brethren, he can be referring to no other sign than the Twins,
That Judah is a lion’s whelp must mean Leo, the Lion; and when he says that Zebulon
shall dwell at the haven of the sea, he certainly refers to the home of the Crab, Cancer.
Isaachar mentioned as a strong ass, is the sign Taurus; because Taurus rules donkeys
as well as the Bull. And because justice is weighed in the scales of Libra, Dan, who
shall judge his people, must belong to this sign.
Speaking of Gad, he says that a troup shall overcome him, but he will overcome at the
last; because Scorpio has a multitude of desires, but has the power to divert them to a
high purpose as symbolized by the Eagle, which also is a token of this sign.
That Asher shall yield royal dainties and his bread shall be fat, of course, indicates the
food sign, Virgo; and Naphtali being a hind, or deer, or Goat, signifies Capricorn. So,
too, when we read that in Joseph’s bow abode his strength, we look for a bow among
the signs, and find the Archer, Sagittarius.
Now Aries has a constructive and a destructive, or warlike, aspect; the latter being
signified by the wolf, as when there is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. So when we learn
that Benjamin shall rave as a wolf, we know he belongs to Aries. And then when we
come to Ephram and Manassah, we find that Ephram, who was the younger, was
blessed first, contrary to customary usage, and that Manassah, who was older, was
blessed later, thus indicating that at the end, or last sign, the dual sign Pisces, that the
last shall be first and the first shall be last. This not merely signifies the sign of
disappointments, but also indicates that the priesthood, who belong to this sign of
Universal Brotherhood, should be willing, when necessary, to renounce worldly
advantages for the good of mankind.
At the death of Jacob the twelve signs were thus represented, and Jacob himself, after
delivering his blessings, was straitway gathered to his fathers, a Transformation such
as is represented by Arcanum XIII.
The twelve disciples who were called by Jesus also represent the 12 zodiacal signs;
Jesus making the 13th member, the lamb of God, or transitional influence of Aries.
He said on that occasion, Math. 26:23; “He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish,
the same shall betray me.”
Now of the four zodiacal quadrants the Scorpio, or Eagle, is represented by the suit of
cups. Jesus is crucified on the autumnal cross of Libra, and was betrayed for 30
pieces of silver. And from the point where the sun is slain on the cross of Libra, the
nights, or powers of darkness prevailing over the days, to the sign Scorpio, is just 30
degrees. Judas, therefore, is the sign of death, Scorpio, the realization of material
forces, indicated by Arcanum IV, who betrays the sun into the winter signs; delivers
the spiritual influence into the power of matter.
Judas later repents and hangs himself, as shown by Arcanum XII. This, however, but
depicts the expiation of the sin; for Judas himself belongs essentially to Scorpio and
not to Pisces.
The bread of the Lord’s supper is the symbol of the physical nourishment that
sustains the material body. The wine is token of the emotional nourishment which
alone builds up the spiritual body and makes immortality possible. Man requires both
forms of sustenance.
Because thirteen were gathered at the Lord’s supper, and one passed on, even today
some persons will not sit at a table where thirteen are present. To some it is an omen
that one of them shortly will die.
But 13 is not merely the symbol of death and dissolution. It is the number of the
vernal cross, of spring-time, of the sign Aries in which the sun commences a new
cycle of life. It is thus also the promise of immortality; for the Sun God then arises
from the tomb of winter. So while 13 means physical death to the vulgar, to the
initiate it signifies more frequently the Death of Selfishness and Crystallization
through the Sacrifice and Devotion signified by Arcanum XII; and the
commencement of a new life through the Transformation of material desires into
–In modern Masonry there are something like six degrees of the Cross, all dealing
with some aspect of Arcanum XIII. But because in the zodiac there are two crosses,
the vernal cross of Aries and the autumnal cross of Libra, these degrees of the cross
have reference to both of them.
The Christian cross of crucifixion is Arcanum III, astrologically Libra. But there is
also a militant cross of resurrection, Arcanum XIII, or Aries, symbolized by a sword,
which in form is but an inverted cross, even as Libra and Aries are polar opposites in
The meaning of these degrees of the cross is that man is born upon the earth through
generation, or Arcanum III, and is born into the next life through physical death; yet
his real birth into a spiritual life is brought about through the Transformation of his
animal tendencies into those that have for their chief object the welfare of the whole
of cosmic society.