post by TheKeyMaster
Black-The three fundamental colours found in all civ-ilizations, down to the Middle Ages in Europe, are white, red and black. These, too, may be
regarded as the principal colours of Freemasonry: the white of the Craft degrees, the red of the Royal Arch and of certain of the degrees of the
Ancient and Accepted (Scottish) Rite, and the black of some of its others, and of the Knights of Malta. The other colours of the rainbow find limited
uses; they serve only to frame or line the white lambskin upon which so many aprons are based, or for sashes and other items of regalia.
Traditionally, black is the colour of darkness, death, the underworld although it was not introduced for mouming until about the middle of the
fourteenth century, such use becoming habitual only in the sixteenth. The 'black humour' of melancholy (atara hilis) the black crow of ill omen, the
black mass, black market, 'black days': all refer to negative aspects. The Black Stone at Mecca is believed by Muslims to have been at one time white;
the sins of man caused the transformation.
Black has also a positive aspect, that of gravity and sobriety; the Reformation in Europe frowned upon colourful clothing. Formal dress for day and
evening wear continues to be black. It is associated with the outlaw and the banners of pirates and anarchists, but also with rebirth and
In the French and Scottish Rites, the lodge in the third degree is decorated in black and is strewn with white or silver tears, representing the
sorrow caused by the death of Hiram Abif.
White- the original colour of the masonic apron, was always considered an emblem of purity and innocence, exemplified in images such as the white lily
or fallen snow.
Plato asserts that white is par excellence the colour of the gods. In the Bible, Daniel sees God as a very old man, dressed in robes white as snow
(Daniel 7:9). In the New Testament Jesus is transfigured on Mount Tabor before Peter, James and John, when his clothes became 'daz-zling white, whiter
than anyone in the world could bleach them' (Mark 9:3). Officiating priests of many religions wore and still wear white garments. In ancient Jerusalem
both the priests and the Levites who performed the Temple rites assumed white clothing.
Among Romans, the unblemished character of a person aspiring to public office was indicated by a toga whitened with chalk. This is the origin of the
word 'candidate,' from candidatus 'dressed in white.' Verdicts at trials were decid-ed by small stones (calculi) thrown into an urn: white to absolve,
black to condemn.
White signifies beginnings, virtualities, the white page facing the writer, 'the space where the possible may become reality.' White is therefore
understandably the colour of initiation. It is a symbol of perfection, as represented by the swan in the legend of Lohengrin. In this aspect it is
related to light or sky blue, which in Hebrew is tchelet and may be connected semantically with tichla (perfection, completeness) and tach-lit
(completeness, purpose). (See also the obser-vations on the symbolism of blue.) Among the Celts the sacred colours of white, blue and green were
understood to stand for light, truth and hope. Druids were robed in white.
White is also connected with the idea of death and resurrection. Shrouds are white; spirits are represented as wearing white veils. White, rather than
black, is sometimes the colour of mourning, among the ancient kings of France, for instance, and in Japan. White, finally, can signify joy. Leukos
(Greek) means both white and cheerful; as does candidus in Latin. The Romans marked festive days with lime and unlucky days with charcoal.
Red-Red or crimson, the colour of fire and heat, is traditionally associated with war and the mili-tary. In Rome the paludamentum, the robe wom by
generals, was red. The colour of blood is nat-urally connected with the idea of sacrifice, strug-gle and heroism. It also signifies charity,
devo-tion, abnegation--perhaps recalling the pelican that feeds its progeny with its own blood.
In Hebrew, the name of the first man, Adam, is akin to red, blood and earth. This connection with earth may explain, perhaps, the connection of red
with the passions, carnal love, the cosmet-ics used by women to attract their lovers. It is the colour of youth. Generally, it represents expan-sive
force and vitality. It is the emblem of faith and fortitude and, in the Royal Arch, of fervency and zeal. It has also a darker side, connected with
the flames of hell, the appearance of demons, the apoplectic face of rage.
Scarlet was the distinctive colour of the Order of the Golden Fleece, established in 1429 by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy (1419-67). Not only
was the mantle scarlet, but also the robe and a special hat--the chaperon--with hanging streamers.
And others....Blue, Purple, Yellow, Green.....
edit on 7-4-2013 by ParanoidAmerican because: (no reason given)
edit on 7-4-2013
by ParanoidAmerican because: (no reason given)