I wanted to contribute some content to today's color challenge. This is my second post on the platform (intro post here), and my first contribution to the #ColorChallenge tradition. I plucked a few books off my shelf and assembled some interesting facts about the color GREEN to share with y'all!
But first, I'd like to introduce my Myrtillocactus geometrizans forma cristata, aka The Crested Blue Flame. My wife and I picked it up at a succulent show about two years ago:
This is my elemental companion, "Galacon." He's a friend for brief but profound moments of daily meditation. It's easy to catch yourself following his fleshy folds like you're decoding an ancient, sacramental language and it's easy to convince yourself that you're in the presence of a tiny but powerful spiritual being.
GREEN AS A SPIRITUAL COLOR
Swiss author and political activist Ueli Seiler-Hugova! describes the spiritual implications of the color GREEN as the bridge that spans the gap between the above and the below:
Why are plants green? Because they, too, mediate between two worlds: dark world of the earth and the sunlit world of the sky. The sun and the center of the earth are the two points of orientation of the geotropic (root) and heliotropic (stem) plant cells.
Green leaves with their surfaces mediate between the world of light and dark. In its vegetative zones the earth as a totality provides the green of the plants, which in the form of chlorophyll mediates between the centre of the earth and the cosmos inn this process of light and dark. (Color: Seeing, Experiencing, Understanding, pg. 56)
And what about colored flowers? In them the plant grows beyond its vegetative state and reaches up towards a higher inwardness of soul, as is shown by the shapes of its buds and flowers. The greenness of plants provides the vegetative basis for the soul colours of the flowers.
GREEN AS AN ARCHETYPAL IMAGE OF RECONCILIATION
I think that's a beautiful metaphor to draw: flowers bloom in soul colors after being grounded in the green of the earth. Flowers = the above, roots = the below, and as the hermetic maxim goes: “As within, so without. As the Universe, thus the Soul.” Indeed, GREEN color symbolism is also a link between alchemy and Christianity, as Seiler-Hugova goes on to discuss GREEN as an archetypal image of reconciliation:
Hildegard of Bingen described green as the colour of Christ. On Easter morning Mary Magdalene saw the risen Christ as one concerned with greenness, a gardener. Christ as the Son of God brings reconciliation between God and human beings. So here again we have green as a mediator between two worlds.
The “Tabnula smaragdinna,” the emerald tablet of the alchemists, praises the principle of correspondences between microcosom and macrocosm.
As a region of rest, which at the same time also moves gently into the lightness of yellow and into the darkness of blue, green gives the color circle its living, earthly pole. (Seiler-Hugova pg. 57)
I find it fascinating that GREEN’s placement on the color wheel gives it so much variety. Here’s an interesting fact: the Sun’s visible output of light peaks at the GREEN wavelength. Why the Sun appears yellow/orange/white and not Green is beyond the scope of my post, but you can read more information here.
GREEN IN COLOR MAGIC
Archetypes and correspondences pervade every aspect of our lives, and colors are especially prominent in various religio-magico practices throughout the world. For instance, in Candle Power: Using Candlelight for Ritual, Magic, and Self-Discovery, the author Cassandra Eason, describes the various traditions that share archetypes corresponding to GREEN:
Green is the color of Venus, goddess of love, and is associated with candle rituals for love and for all matters where emotion, sympathy and empathy are required. It is also the colour of Mother Earth and so is potent for healing, for rites involving the natural world, herbs, gardening and tree magic, for growth and, by association, the growth of money in prosperity rituals. When green candles are used in rituals for wealth, they tend to encourage a gradual increase in profits or resources. As the fairy colour, they are also potent for spells for good luck. (pg. 33)
That final line about GREEN being the "fairy color" always reminds me of the poem Sir Gwain and the Green Knight. At the end of the story it's revealed that the eponymous “Green Knight” is actually in service of Morgan Le Fey, a character who is well established in Arthurian lore as the “fairy enchantress.”
I think there certainly is a bit of magic to all colors, but GREEN is holds a special place in my heart because it is a color of promise. It is a color of mystery and fascination, creativity and growth. I think that idea brings me back to the overall point of my post....
FINAL THOUGHTS ON GREEN
In my search to better understand and appreciate the GOD METAPHOR, I find comfort in the familiarity of Green because it is fundamentally a color that indicates life, a reminder that the winter will pass, flowers will bloom, and will I get to be a part of that alchemical transformation. But the world is spinning in the wrong direction, and the future is uncertain.
In the minutes that trickle from one meditation session with my Crested Blue Flame, I can find place of repose, a place to re-charge and reconnect with the spiritual forces in my life so I can confront the demands of a world so seemingly in decline with renewed strength and vigor.
And on that note, I’d like to bring my little blog post to a close!
I hope you enjoyed my content, and you can follow me @logos-lucivoz for more essays and reflections.
But before you go, what does GREEN mean to you?
Let's hear your opinions in the comments! :)
Thanks for reading!