The term "astral," so frequently employed by all occultists, is difficult to explain or define except to those who have pursued a regular course of study in occult science. For the purpose of the present consideration, it is enough to say that over and above the ordinary physical sense plane there is another and more subtle plane, known as the Astral Plane. Every human being possesses the innate and inherent faculty of sensing the things of this astral plane, by means of an extension or enlargement of the powers of the ordinary senses, so to speak. But, in the majority of persons in the present stage of development, these astral senses are lying dormant, and only here and there do we find individuals who are able to sense on the astral plane, although in the course of evolution the entire race will be able to do so, of course. The colors of the human aura, mentioned in the preceding two chapters, and which arise from the various mental and emotional states, belong to the phenomena of the astral plane, and hence bear the name of "the astral colors." Belonging to the astral plane, and not to the ordinary physical plane, they are perceived only by the senses functioning on the astral plane, and are invisible to the ordinary physical plane sight. But, to those who have developed the astral sight, or clairvoyance, these colors are as real as are the ordinary colors to the average person, and their phenomena have been as carefully recorded by occult science as have the physical plane colors by physical science. The fact that to the ordinary physical senses they are invisible, does not render them any the less real. Remember, in this connection, that to the blind man our physical colors do not exist. And, for that matter, the ordinary colors do not exist to "color blind" persons. The ordinary physical plane person is simply "color blind" to the astral colors—that's all.
On the astral plane each shade of mental or emotional state has its corresponding astral color, the latter manifesting when the form appears. It follows then, of course, that when once the occultist has the key to this color correspondence, and thus is able to perceive the astral colors by means of his astral vision, he also is able to read the mental and emotional states of any person within the range of his vision, as easily as you are now reading the printed words of this book.
Before proceeding to a consideration of the list of astral colors in the human aura, I wish to call your attention to a slight variation in the case of the prana-aura, of which I have spoken in our last chapter. I have stated therein that the prana-aura is colorless like a diamond or clear water. This is true in the average case, but in the case of a person of very strong physical vitality or virility, the prana-aura takes on, at times, a faint warm pink tinge, which is really a reflection from the red astral color, of the meaning of which color you shall now learn.
Like their physical plane counterparts, all the astral colors are formed from three Primary Colors, namely (1) Red; (2) Blue; and (3) Yellow. From these three primary colors, all other colors are formed. Following the Primary Colors, we find what are known as the Secondary Colors, namely: (1) Green, derived from a combination of Yellow and Blue; (2) Orange, formed from a combination of Yellow and Red; and (3) Purple, formed from a combination of Red and Blue. Further combinations produce the other colors, as for instance, Green and Purple form Olive; Orange and Purple form Russet; Green and Orange form Citrine.
Black is called an absence of color, while White is really a harmonious blending of all colors, strange as this may appear to one who has not studied the subject. The blending of the Primary Colors in varied proportions produce what is known as the "hues" of color. Adding white to the hues, we obtain "tints;" while mixing Black produces "shades." Strictly speaking Black and White are known as "neutral" colors.
Now for the meaning of the astral colors—that is, the explanation of the mental or emotional state represented by each. I ask that the student familiarize himself with the meaning of the Primary Colors and their combinations. A clear understanding of the key of the astral colors is often an aid in the development of astral sight.
KEY TO THE ASTRAL COLORS.
RED. Red represents the physical phase of mentality. That is to say, it stands for that part of the mental activities which are concerned with physical life. It is manifested by the vitality of the body, and in other hues, tints and shades, is manifested by passions, anger, physical cravings, etc. I shall describe the various forms of Red manifestation, a little later on.
BLUE. Blue represents the religious, or spiritual, phase of mentality. That is to say, it stands for that part of the mental activities which are concerned with high ideals, altruism, devotion, reverence, veneration, etc. It is manifested, in its various hues, tints, and shades, by all forms of religious feeling and emotion, high and low, as we shall see as we proceed.
YELLOW. Yellow represents the intellectual phase of mentality. That is to say, it stands for that part of the mental activities which are concerned with reasoning, analysis, judgment, logical processes, induction, deduction, synthesis, etc. In its various hues, tints and shades, it is manifested by the various forms of intellectual activity, high and low, as we shall see as we proceed.
WHITE. White stands for what occultists know as Pure Spirit, which is a very different thing from the religious emotion of "spirituality," and which really is the essence of the ALL that really is. Pure Spirit is the positive pole of Being. We shall see the part played by it in the astral colors, as we proceed.
BLACK. Black stands for the negative pole of Being—the very negation of Pure Spirit, and opposing it in every way. We shall see the part played by it in the astral colors as we proceed.
The various combinations of the three Astral Primary Colors are formed in connection with Black and White as well as by the blending of the three themselves. These combinations, of course, result from the shades of mental and emotional activity manifested by the individuality, of which they are the reflection and the key.
The combinations and blending of the astral colors, however, are numberless, and present an almost infinite variety. Not only is the blending caused by the mixing of the colors themselves, in connection with black and white, but in many cases the body of one color is found to be streaked, striped, dotted or clouded by other colors. At times there is perceived the mixture of two antagonistic color streams fighting against each other before blending. Again we see the effect of one color neutralizing another.
In some cases great black clouds obscure the bright colors beneath, and then darken the fierce glow of color, just as is often witnessed in the case of a physical conflagration. Again, we find great flashes of bright yellow, or red, flaring across the field of the aura, showing agitation or the conflict of intellect and passion.
The average student, who has not developed the astral vision, is inclined to imagine that the astral colors in the human aura present the appearance of an egg-shaped rainbow, or spectrum, or something of that sort. But this is a great mistake. In the first place, the astral colors are seldom at rest, for all mental and emotional activity is the result of vibration, change, and rhythmic motion. Consequently, the colors of the aura present a kaleidoscopic appearance, of constant change of color, shape and grouping—a great electrical display, so to speak, constantly shifting, changing, and blending.
Great tongues of flamelike emanations project themselves beyond the border of the aura, under strong feeling or excitement, and great vibratory whirls and swirls are manifested. The sight is most fascinating, although somewhat terrifying at first. Nature is wise in bestowing the gift of astral vision only gradually and by almost imperceptible stages of advance. There are many unpleasant, as well as pleasant, sights on the Astral Plane.