A color in the arts. Black absorbs all light and reflects or emits no light.
black, the color of a womb-like stillness and potential [anon]

"Two black arms of gravitating father-light pull spirally inward from the heavens toward the poles of the centering giant sun to generate the sun in incandescent oneness of all form. Gravitation is the male principle of Creation. Gravity refolds toward the seed. Radiation is the female principle of Creation. Radiation unfolds from the seed. The generating light of gravitation and the degenerative light of radiation are projected through each other from rest to rest in pulsing sequences to manifest idea by borning father-mother forms of idea through their voiding interchange. This principle of rhythmic balanced interchange between father-mother lights of gravitation and radiation is fundamental in all creating things. It is the principle of two-way equal giving which manifests the quality of Love in the Light of the One." [Russell]


Six Octaves required for the Birth of the Scale


THIS plate is a Pendulum illustration of the System of musical vibrations. The circular lines represent Octaves in music. The thick are the octave lines of the fundamental note; and the thin lines between them are lines of the other six notes of the octave. The notes are all on lines only, not lines and spaces. The black dots arranged in these lines are not notes, but pendulum oscillations, which have the same ratios in their slow way as the vibrations of sounding instruments in the much quicker region where they exist. The center circle is the Root of the System; it represents F1, the root of the subdominant chord; the second thick line is F2, its octave; and all the thick lines are the rising octaves of F, namely 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64. In the second octave on the fifth line are dots for the three oscillations which represent the note C3, the Fifth to F2, standing in the ratio of 3 to 2; and the corresponding lines in the four succeeding Octaves are the Octaves of C3, namely 6, 12, 24, and 48. On the third line in the third Octave are 5 dots, which are the 5 oscillations of a pendulum tuned to swing 5 to 4 of the F close below; and it represents A5, which is the Third of F4 among musical vibrations. On the first line in the fourth Octave are 9 dots. These again represent G9, which stands related to C3 as C3 stands to F1. On the seventh line of the same octave are 15 dots; these represent the vibrations of E15, which stands related to C3 as A5 stands to F1. On the sixth line of the fifth Octave are 27 dots, representing D27, which stands related to G9 as G9 stands to C3, and C3 also to F1; it is the Fifth to G. And last of all, on the fourth line of the sixth Octave are 45 dots, representing B45, which, lastly, stands related to G9 as E15 stands to C3, and A5 to F1; it is the Third to this third chord - G, B, D. The notes which arise in each octave coming outward from the center are repeated in a double number of dots in the following Octaves; A5 appears as 10, 20, and 40; G9 appears as 18 and 36; E15 appears as 30 and 60; D27 appears as 54; and last of all B45 only appears this once. This we have represented by pendulum oscillations, which we can follow with the eye, the three chords of the musical system, F, A, C; C, E, G; and G, B, D. C3 is from F1 multiplied by 3; G9 is from C3 multiplied by 3; these are the three Roots of the three Chords. Their Middles, that is their Thirds, are similarly developed; A is from F1 multiplied by 5; E15 is from C3 multiplied by 5; B45 is from G9 multiplied by 5. The primes 3 and 5 beget all the new notes, the Fifths and the Thirds; and the prime 2 repeats them all in Octaves to any extent. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 102]

On colours developing by the same laws as musical harmonies
—The physical properties of light and darkness briefly considered
—If the laws are correctly gained, harmonics of tones and of colours will agree
—Quotation from a lecture by Professor W. F. Barrett on the order of sonorous and luminous wave-lengths
—Fountain of musical harmonics, E root of B; in colours yellow and ultra-violet, being tints and shades of white and black
—All harmonics of sound and colour condense into a primo springing from the fountain
Multequivalency of tones and colours
Wünsch's views nearly one hundred years ago
Clerk Maxwell's, Lord Rayleigh's, and [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Table of Contents1 - Harmonies]

The fountain or life of musical harmonies and colours is E, or yellow; the root B, or ultra-violet: these being, in fact, tints and shades of white and black. Ascending, they partake more of white; descending, of black: the former drawing tones and colours higher, the latter lower. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, On Colours as Developed by the same Laws as Musical Harmonies2, page 19]

C rises from the fountain, and contains all tones within itself. Red also rises from the fountain, and contains all colours, with white and black.
D=the notes C and E mingled. Orange, red and yellow mingled.
E=the root of the fountain. Yellow, containing all colours, is white in its extreme.
F=the notes E and G mingled. Green=yellow and blue mingled.
G contains all tones. Blue, with more or less of black and white.
A=G and B mingled. Violet=blue, and all colours, inclining to black.
B, the key-note of the fountain. Ultra-violet=violet mingled with more black: a deeper shade of all colours—in its extreme, black. Orange, red and yellow mingled.
[Harmonies of Tones and Colours, On Colours as Developed by the same Laws as Musical Harmonies3, page 20]

Notes and colours are thus condensed into a pair springing from the fountain, and mingling with each other in an endless variety. Although yellow as a colour is explained away as white, it is, nevertheless, the colour yellow in endless tints and shades throughout nature, and proves to us that the three great apparent primaries correspond to the tonic chord of the scale of Ci.e., C, E, G = red, yellow, blue; or more correctly, C and G correspond to red and blue with the central fountain of E, white and black mingled, from which all tones and colours arise. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, On Colours as Developed by the same Laws as Musical Harmonies3, page 20]

The tones between the seven white notes of keyed instruments, and the tints and shades between the seven colours, cause the multequivalency of colours and of tones; consequently every colour, as every musical harmony, has the capability of ascending or descending, to and fro in circles, or advancing and retiring in musical clef. It is a curious coincidence that Wünsch, nearly one hundred years ago, believed in his discovery of the primary colours to be red, green, and violet; and in this scheme, red, answering to the note C, must necessarily be the first visible colour, followed by green and violet, but these not as primary colours, all colours in turn becoming primaries and secondaries in the development of the various harmonies. To gain facts by experiment, the colours must be exactly according to natural proportions—certain proportions producing white, and others black. In this scheme, green and red are shown to be a complementary pair, and therefore (as Clerk Maxwell has proved) red and green in right proportions would produce yellow. The same fact has been proved in Lord Rayleigh's experiments with the spectroscope. Yellow and ultra-violet, [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, On Colours as Developed by the same Laws as Musical Harmonies3, page 20]

If we examine the line last quoted by the laws of life which regulate the foregoing scheme, we may compare it with the fundamental threefold chord of the scale of C and its relative colours,

C red rises

from the fountain key-note which contains in itself all tones. "Him first," the Son of God proceeding from the Almighty, and yet in Himself the Trinity in Unity. E, yellow or light. E is the root of B, ultra indigo, or black. "Him midst," the Almighty Father, the Fountain of life, light gradually rising and dispelling darkness. G, blue, "Him last," the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, Trinity in Unity. The Son of God and the Holy Spirit are the complemental working pair throughout the universe; each containing "the seven spirits of life." Red and blue contain all colours in each. C and G are a complemental pair, C rising from the fountain key-note which contains in itself all tones, and C and G combine all tones in each. In Chapter III. it is explained that all varieties of tones and colours may be condensed into this pair, rising from and falling again into the fountain. [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Reflections on the Scheme2, page 44]

Leonardo da Vinci
"A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light." [Leonardo da Vinci]

In alchemy, nigredo, or blackness, means putrefaction or decomposition. Many alchemists believed that as a first step in the pathway to the philosopher's stone, all alchemical ingredients had to be cleansed and cooked extensively to a uniform black matter.
In analytical psychology, the term became a metaphor for "the dark night of the soul, when an individual confronts the shadow within."
"Dissolution is the First Operation which has to take place in the Art of Alchemy, for the order of Nature requires that the Corpus, Body, or Matter, be changed into Water which is the much spoken of Mercury. The Living Silver dissolves the adjoined pure Sulphur.
This Dissolution is nothing but a killing of the moist with the dry, in fact a Putrefaction, and consequently turns the Matter black."
— Splendor solis; c. 1582, by Salomon Trismosin
"At the operational level, death corresponds usually to the black colour (the nigredo) taken on by the various ingredients. It was the reduction of substances to the materia prima, to the massa confusa, the fluid, shapeless mass corresponding on the cosmological plane-to chaos.
Death represents regression to the amorphous, the reintegration of chaos. This is why aquatic symbolism plays such an important part. One of the alchemists' maxims was: 'Perform no operation till all be made water.'
On the operational level, this corresponds to the solution of purified gold in aqua regia. Kirchweger, the supposed author of the Aurea Catena Homeri (1723) a work which, incidentally, had great influence on the young Goethe writes: 'For this is certain, that all nature was in the beginning water, and through water all things were born and again through water all things must be destroyed.'
The alchemical regression to the fluid state of matter corresponds, in the cosmologies, to the primordial chaotic state, and in the initiation rituals, to the 'death' of the initiate.
The alchemist also obtained solutions by placing substances in the mercury bath.
In the words of Starkey (Eirenaeus Philalethes), 'the main ground for the possibility of transmutation is the possibility of the reduction of all metals, and such Minerals which are of metallick principles, into their first mercurial matter'. A treatise attributed to 'Alphonso, King of Portugal', states: 'our dissolution is no other thing but that the body be turned again to moistness. The first result of this work is the body reduced to water, that is to Mercury, that is what the Philosophers call solution, which is the foundation of the work'.
According to certain writers, dissolution is the first operation; according to others it is calcination, the reduction to the amorphous by Fire. However that may be, the result is the same: 'death'.
This alchemical reduction to the prima materia may be interpreted in a great variety of ways: notably it may be equated with a regression to the pre-natal state, a regressus ad uterum.»
"It is necessary to add that the dissolution and reintegration of chaos is an operation which, whatever the context, presents at least two interdependent significations: cosmological and initiatory. Every 'death' is at once a reintegration of cosmic night and pre-cosmological chaos. At many different levels, darkness expresses the dissolution of forms, the return to the seminal stage of existence.
Every 'creation', every appearance of forms, or, in another context, any access to a transcendental level, is expressed by a cosmological symbol. As we have repeatedly pointed out—a birth, a construction, a spiritual creation, always has the same exemplar, viz., the cosmogony."
— The book The Forge and the Crucible: The Origins and Structure of Alchemy, by Mircea Eliade
"In C. G. Jung Speaking,Jung describes the alchemical process as “difficult and strewn with obstacles; the alchemical opus is dangerous. Right at the beginning you meet the ‘dragon,’ the chthonic spirit, the ‘devil’ or, as the alchemists called it, the ‘blackness,’ the nigredo, and this encounter produces suffering. He goes on to say that in “psychological terms, the soul finds itself in the throes of melancholy locked in a struggle with the ‘shadow.’”
"The black sun, Sol niger, is one of the most important images representing this phase of the process and this condition of the soul. Usually this image is seen as phase specific to the early part of the opus and is said to disappear “when the ‘dawn’ (aurora) emerges.” Typically blackness is said to dissolve, and then “the ‘devil’ no longer has an autonomous existence but rejoins the profound unity of the psyche. Then the opus magnum is finished: the human soul is said to be completely integrated.”
"We can begin to imagine what the alchemists referred to as the “blacker than black” domain of the nigredo experience. “Nicholas Flamel stated that at the time of the nigredo, which is ‘the black of the blackest black,’ the ‘Matter is dissolved, is corrupted.’” Such experiences have been with us from time immemorial; life can be cruel, and the barbarism of human beings toward each other reflects this savagery.
The universe—for all its creative light and beauty—gives little solace to ravaged souls as they journey through life. In the cold light of the black sun, we understand what Conrad calls the “heart of darkness” and the horror of the “cry” so vividly portrayed by Eduard Munch and the alchemists.
The cold face of Sol niger is, as Jungian analyst Sylvia Perera notes, “totally uncaring” and acts like a sniper or terrorist with dark abandon in the name of some infernal sun to destroy light and life itself. For Perera, this is the realm of the Sumerian goddess Ereshkigal, queen of the Netherworld and the dead, “unbounded, irrational, primordial.”
She says, echoing what has been documented thus far, that this realm contains an energy we begin to know through the study of black holes and the disintegration of elements, as well as through the process of fermentation, cancer, decay and lower brain activities that regulate peristalsis, menstruation, pregnancy, and other forms of bodily life. . . . Ereshkigal is like Kali, who through time and suffering . . . ‘pitilessly grinds down . . . all distinctions . . . in her undiscriminating fires’. . . . She symbolizes the abyss that is the source and, the end, the ground of all being.
In this black aspect, Kali, the Hindu goddess associated with death and described as “one of the most intoxicating personifications of primal energy in the cosmic drama,” is worshipped by the Tantrics."
— The Black Sun. The Alchemy And Art Of Darkness by Stanton Marlan
Nigredo — is the first alchemical stage of the Great Work, signifying death in the former (profane) world, complete decomposition, putrefaction, descent into the underworld, a trance of sorrow. The goal of nigredo is to obtain the "materia prima" (prime matter) - the original substance of creation. It is the primordial chaos, the black prima materia from which God created the universe.
Nigredo is either the initial state of prime matter or produced by the separation (solutio, separatio, divisio, putrefactio) of elements. If the condition of separation is assumed at the beginning of the process, as sometimes happens, then the union of opposites is achieved similar to the union of man and woman (called coniugimn, matrimonium, coniunctio, coitus).
The need to turn to prime matter is associated with the fact that with the Fall, all things in the world lost their true nature and became "corrupted." Only by bringing the fallen matter back to the original Chaos, reaching the state in which it existed at the very beginning of creation, can further operations be carried out with it.
Carl Gustav Jung associates this stage with encountering the archetype of the Shadow. The symbols of nigredo are the raven, the toad, the bear - symbolizing the same chaos, prime matter, which alchemy is called to order. Nigredo can also be correlated with the state of the profane before initiation.
One of the symbols of nigredo in alchemy is the Black Sun.

See Also

black cathode hole
black gap
Black Holes
Black Light
Blacklight Power
Ether - Black
Figure 13.23 - Three Actuators on Shaft and Black and White Coatings
Figure 20.12 - Black Interior Treatment

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Tuesday March 12, 2024 15:32:26 MDT by Dale Pond.