Light, Color, and Healing


Introduction

Light is the source of life, and color is the visible part of the spectrum of light, and color has healing vibrations. There's both science and art to all this, and for me it's come together through doing color darkroom work and getting acquainted with Adobe Photoshop. I avoided math growing up, but there's beauty in the mathematical order of something like the Netscape 216 browser safe color palette and the hexadecimal values of its elements.

And I've always been an artist, passionate about color. As my interests turned to spiritual teachings, I connected strongly with chakra/color correlations and crystal mineral helpers in achieving and restoring balance. Having received training from Venezuelan healer Achala, I've been inspired to put together a web page or two to study further the system of twelve colors as means for healing dis-ease in body, mind, and spirit.

The Web provides some excellent resources on color. A Color Primer by gail@cyberglitz.com gives a thorough explanation of color theory. The World of Color by Dmitry Kirsanov of Webreference.Com gives a graphic designer's aesthetics of color. Generating Colors in HTML by Keith Baird at UT Austin, Color in the Web Developer's Virtual Library, Which Color Palette? by Andrew King at Webreference.com, and 216 Color Square from kira's web tool box all provide good information on the 216 color cube.

Primary Colors

There are two systems of three primary colors:

the subtractive
primaries are
magenta,
yellow, and
cyan

the additive
primaries are
red,
green, and
blue

The "primaries" in one color space are the "secondaries" in the other, and each of them combines with the adjacent color on either side to make "tertiaries." The numbering goes on, but that brings us up to twelve numbers, a handy dozen to work with and remember.

To stay with the six a while, these colors translate as hexadecimal values in the RGB color space (where the 1st 2 digits are the red value, the 2nd 2 the green value, and the final 2 the blue value) thus:

  Magenta
ff00ff
  Red
ff0000
  Yellow
ffff00
  Green
00ff00
  Cyan
00ffff
  Blue
0000ff

And the three primaries are opposite the three primaries in the other color space:

  Magenta
ff00ff
  Green
00ff00
  Red
ff0000
  Cyan
00ffff
  Yellow
ffff00
  Blue
0000ff

Twelve Colors

Putting the six in a line and combining adjacent colors, you get twelve colors (best visualized as a color wheel without beginning or end).

Magenta Scarlet Red Orange Yellow Lime Green Turquoise Cyan Indigo Blue Purple

The Color Cube

And then there's color spaces--and color theory and theoretical structures. A handy and very Web-relevant one is the color cube, 216 comings together of the six pure colors and black and white.

Andrew King gives the history of the 216 color cube:

Windows 3.x was designed around the ubiquitous 256-color VGA graphics board. Windows computers reserve 20 of these colors for system use; the first and last ten colors. Netscape reserves an additional 13 colors for its logo, which leaves 223 colors available to the user. Netscape's programmers reduced this figure to 216 colors, which is the closest cube root below 223....
The cube consists of 216 colors, 6 colors for the red component, 6 for the green, and 6 for the blue. Each basic hue in this RGB color space ranges from 0 to 255 in decimal or from 00 to ff in hexadecimal. The colors in the figure use RGB values of 00, 33, 66, 99, cc, and ff (hex) or 0, 51, 102, 153, 204, and 255 (decimal). The increment is no coincidence, 51 is 1/5 of 255 which gives 6 evenly spaced points along each axis.

To conclude the math part of this, Hakon Lie and Bert Bos in Cascading Style Sheets provide this concise account of hexadecimal/decimal correlations:

The relation between hexadecimal and the normal decimal numbers is as follows: the digits 0 to 9 stand for themselves, the letters A to F mean A=10, B=11, C=12, D=13, E=14, and F=15. In a group of two hexadecimal digits, the first one is multiplied by 16 and added to the second. For example: 11 (= 1 x 16 + 1) = 17....We can apply this to color values:
#FF5B1A = rgb(255, 91, 26), since FF = 255, 5B = 91 and 1A = 26
#CEAA13 = rgb(206, 176, 19).

Keith Baird defines the color cube:

The six charts can be visualized as a cube composed of 216 cubelets; the total cube has six layers of thirty-six cubelets; each cubelet is a unique color. Using this metaphor, black (#000000) in the lower left of the first chart is one corner of the cube and white (#ffffff) in the upper right of the last chart is the opposite corner of the cube; the cubelets running through the body of the cube in a line from black to white comprise the gray scale.

Gail provides an illustration of the cube cracked open to shows the gray scale line:

She also provides images of front and back cube views, noting that the colors around the perimeter of the cube when viewed from this angle are are arranged just like the rainbow.

   

Another way to envision the color cube is to slice it into six layers (graphic by Rick Levine):

For a closer view of each layer and the values in each cell, here's Keith Baird's rendition, with Gail's clarification: "Aside from being useful for web pages, these particular colors make a very simple representation of the Color Cube for grasping its meaning because they are perfectly evenly spaced along the color spectrum."

Anyway, the colors have chakra connections on the body, mind, and spirit levels.

Colors and Healing Properties

That's where Achala's teaching comes in.

And if you felt those colors, here's a complementary page on Achala and the Color Wheel.


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Last modified on August 16, 2008 by Kay Keys by (kay@kaykeys.net)