As we’ve already talked about in a past post,working with altars doesn’t need to be as intimidating as a lot of people tend to think it will be. We have talked about the various ideas of what an altar is and how we can create them, even in spaces where we don’t realize we can have them or in places where we would normally not think to put them because we don’t want to upset those around us who might not be in agreement with our spiritual path. So now that you’re not so afraid of having an altar, what can you do with them?
Many of us are familiar with the idea of creating a working altar, an altar designed for working magick or hold Sabbat or Esbat rituals. Creating a color altar can mean either creating an altar that will also be used as a working altar, but also it can be a place to gather and hold energy of a specific type in your home or ritual space. Color is a physical manifestation of energy wavelengths and with that comes a specific feel and power with each color. Think about how you feel when you walk into a room that’s painted a certain color, like a very bright orange, or how wearing all black makes you feel. Are there certain colors that automatically make you feel nervous or ones that make you feel relaxed? Of course there are because your body and mind are going to react differently to the different vibrations of different colors. So before we can really start talking about creating and working with color altars we need to first understand a little bit more about color.
Color is the visible spectrum of light made up of different light energy and wavelengths. The use of color for healing is most commonly found in a practice known as color therapy, also known as chromotherapy. A lot of the information that we know and use with regard to color is used in color therapy and is often found in our day to day lives without even realizing it. Color therapy and the use of color in healing goes back to experiments done by Pythagoras to see how color could help with health and vitality. There has been evidence that the use of color in this way also was done in ancient Greece and in the healing temples of Egypt. During these experiments and treatments the things that we know today to be true were being discovered; color can change how we feel, how we behave and how we live by the other types of energies that we draw in. By bringing in these different energies and wavelengths we can balance and change our personal energy as well. We find color therapy techniques a lot in chakra balancing, healing and cleansing.
In the practice of color therapy the colors used are often just the basic colors of red, blue, green, yellow, orange, and purple as well as indigo and black in some cases. In therapy the attributions to the colors may be a little different than what we usually see them as in magickal use. In therapy these colors are often classed with the following attributes:
Red: Stimulates and Invigorates. Has the positive qualities of empowerment, courage, self-will, energy and self-motivation. It’s negative qualities are impatience, dominance, aggression and self-centeredness
Orange: Warming and Energizing. Has the positive qualities of joy, enthusiasm, optimism, spontaneity and sensuality. Negatively is has the qualities of dependence, over-indulgence, and superficiality.
Yellow: Cleansing and Charging. Has the positive qualities of happiness, light-heartedness, agility, clear thinking and mental clarity. The negative aspects of yellow include argumentativeness, restless, evasive, and being over critical.
Green: Calming and Soothing. Has the positive qualities of balance, vitality, soothing, compassion, being fair-minded and relaxed. The negative aspects of green include envy, being jaded, mean and bitter.
Blue: Cooling and Protection. It’s positive qualities include sincerity, peacefulness, sincerity, trustworthiness, calm and tactfulness. Negatively blue has the aspects of being cold and withdrawn, manipulative and disloyal.
Indigo: Sedative. The positive qualities of indigo include empathy, wisdom, visions, depth and intuition. Negatively it has the qualities arrogance, fearfulness, deluded thoughts and isolation.
Violet: Cleansing and Inspiring. Positively it has the qualities of inspiration, artistic energy, spirituality, and nobility. Negatively it has the qualities of self-doubt, self-destruction, being a perfectionist, and being fanatical.
We can use a lot of these same energies and qualities when we work with color in magick, but we often have other colors that we work with as well that aren’t common in healing color therapy including black, white, pink, gray and many others. So here are some of the common magickal color correspondences that you can use with this type of altar work.
White: working with the higher self, purity, cleansing, forgiveness, removing unwanted energies, seeking the truth in a situation.
Yellow: air magick, intelligence, happiness, confidence, self-esteem, relieving depression, mental and emotional healing.
Blue: water magick, astral projection, creative energy, peacefulness, tranquility, protection, safety, healing of all forms.
Pink: true love, romantic love, emotional healing, beauty, nurturing, friendship, compassion.
Red: fire magick, passion, sexuality, sexual love, lust, fast action, anger, physical strength, courage.
Orange: attraction, luck, vitality, legal issues, real estate, encouragement.
Green: earth magick, money, fertility, employment, prosperity of all kinds, business matters, growth and expansion.
Purple: wisdom, psychic power, increase and development, influence of all kinds, royalty, confidence, ambition, spirituality.
Gold: honoring the God, money and fortune, divination, physical strength, success, achievement.
Brown: hearth and home, animal magick, partnerships, earth magick, problem solving, grounding.
Gray: binding, redirecting energy, repelling negativity, neutrality, traveling to other planes.
Black: banishing, secrecy, removing negative energy, protection, hex removal, night magick, spirit contact.
When you’re going to work with a color altar, the construction of it should be a clear expression of what it is that you are seeking to draw to you through the use of color. It should also be something that you get creative with. Your main focus should be color.
Start out by picking your intention. Let’s say you want to make an altar for helping draw a raise to you. For this you would work with the color green. Keeping green as your focus, you can being to put together your altar with the use of an altar cloth. Pick a cloth in the color of green that will be your main green. You can vary the shades of other items but use your altar cloth as the main color since it will take up the most space and create the most color on your altar. For this working you might want to go one step up and find an altar cloth that is green with threads of metallic gold woven in as well. Pick something that, to you, says money and success. Then decide from here what other items will be needed on your altar to draw the energy of money with the intention of getting a raise. Here are some other suggestions:
- A large green pillar candle that has been charged, carved with a large dollar sign, and anointed with a money drawing oil blend.
- Use green flowers, herbs and plants like fresh oak leave or acorns that are still green (remember, if you’re taking live plants from a tree or the earth to ask permission and leave and offering when you are done).
- Use green paper to cut out symbols related to money.
- Place actual pieces of green paper money in any denomination around the altar (remember, like attracts like).
- Use green stones and crystals around the altar like green tourmaline, jade, emerald, peridot, bloodstone and aventurine.
- Place other smaller green candles around the corners of the altar for ambient light.
- Use green, earthen bowls for water and salt on your altar or to hold ritual offerings.
- Use figurines of dragons that are green in color to call on their energies, or use green figurines of other creatures and entities that you might be drawn to.
When you’re done you should have a space where you can light a candle and some incense, as well as leave some sort of offering of either food, drink, herbs or stones that is drenched in the power color you are looking to use. You can then light your candle with some simple words expressing your desire and with some visualization and then leave this power center in your home to do its work. Each time you pass the area you might want to stop and just take a moment to feel the energy of the green color, see how it makes you feel. Does it empower you? Does it make you feel as though prosperity is coming your way? Tune into the color and let it’s energy work its magick on you.
Creating and working with these color altars is quite simple. It’s a matter of picking your intent, matching it to a color and then using that color to direct you in the creation of your altar and the casting of your magick. The real key is tuning into the color and letting it fully embrace you, your altar and your magick. When you want to work to draw more energy to your intent, simply visualize this color either around your goal (like the sense healing for a specific person, you can envision them surrounded in blue light that may be of the same blue color of a healing altar) or just send the colored energy towards the idea of your goal, just as you would with sending any energy in magick.
Get creative, let the use of the color be another way to express your desires and your magickal intent.