Senses and colour symbolism

In Bodymagining, Carl Jung Depth Psychology, Symbolic life by veronicaLeave a Comment

John William Waterhouse, 'The Soul of the Rose' (1908)

John William Waterhouse, ‘The Soul of the Rose’ (1908)

Blue deepens the idea of reflection beyond mirroring, to the further notions of pondering, considering, meditating.

The color of imagination in our blue moods, the blue sky
of mythic gods, the blue rose.

Color symbolism in the Chakras

“You know that red means blood, the powers deep down in the earth.  And white means the higher intuition. 

Then wherever you find the golden color, you get the idea of clear insight, though it is not the highest insight.  Thus the golden color in muladhara, which is also in the letters on the petals; there is somehow a subconscious working force of insight in this region. 

Within the erotic life a power of insight is working.  The erotic seems a way to insight into the nature of things, and that grows into the spiritual aspect above. 

Then the strange thing is that in manipura you have blue letters on blue-gray petals, and in anahata the red color of the pericarp (the ripened and variously modified walls of a plant ovary; 1 exocarp, 2 mesocarp, 3 endocarp, 4 seed; 1, 2, and 3 together form the pericarp) is repeated in the letters of the leaves.  

Red represents the musical tone there.  Anahata, in my opinion, symbolizes the creative life – the petals of the lotus are red, and the power of insight is in the center in that golden triangle.  The musical undertone of that region is alive somehow – life has a different reality; a blood reality comes from the outside and tries to work its way in and harmonize the two.”  

~CG Jung, The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga

Sense: Smell – associated with Muladhara Chakra (1st chakra)


Polly Barnard, ‘Study for Carnation, Lily,Lily,Rose’ (1885)

Bija Mantras:  unlike the words of everyday speech, bija mantras are experiences of energy in their own right. They are not symbols of other objects or experiences in the world. The word “chair” denotes an object with four legs, but seed mantras don’t represent objects or even feelings. They’re like the smell of a flower or the taste of an apple. Words don’t define those experiences. Experiences define the words.

Lam Vam Ram Yam Hum Om(Pronounced: Lahm, Vahm, Rahm, Yahm, Hoom, Aum). Bija Mantras for the individual chakras help activate those chakras and prepare them for the handling of energy that is processed and used at that specific site.

The seed sound Lahm is for the Muladhara Chakra, located at the base of the spine. It is ruled by the Earth element and has the quality of smell. When a seeker meditates on Lam, a mystic fragrance is said to appear as an indication of spiritual progress

Deities: Each Chakra has a Manifestation of the Shiva and Shakti Deities. Baby Brahma – Ever watchful creator, brings peace of mind and calms fears. Dakini Shakti – Protectress, Creator, Preserver, Destroyer. Alravata the Elephant – Vehicle of the Bija Mantra-Lam, Searches for food and takes orders.

Symbol: Yellow Yantra Square, surrounded by Four Red Petals represents the Four Directions of Earth.

Sense: Taste – associated with Svadhistana Chakra (2nd chakra)


Lucian Freud, ‘Rose and seetpea’

Deities: Each Chakra has a Manifestation of the Shiva and Shakti Deities. Vishnu – The Preserver, Embodiment of Right Living.

Rakini Shakti – Inspiration to Worldly Art and Music. Crocodile – Vehicle of the Bija. Mantra-Vam. Sensuous and Tricky.

Symbol: Blue Crescent Moon, surrounded by 6 Red Petals and Water encircling the Earth.

Mantra: Repetition of Bijan Mantra-Lam, removes insecurities associated with this Chakra.

Each petal has a Sanskrit letter (Bam, Bham, Mam, Yam, Lam and Ram).




Sense: Sight – associated to Manipura (or Nabhi) Chakra

Gustav Klimt, 'Portrait of Rose von Rosthorn' (1901)

Gustav Klimt, ‘Portrait of Rose von Rosthorn’ (1901)

Deities: Each Chakra has a Manifestation of the Shiva and Shakti Deities. Rudra – Old Shiva, God of Destruction. Powerful Angry and Detached. Lakini Shakti – Goddess of Independence and Fire. Ram – Carrier of the Bija Mantra-Ram. Strong, Proud and Charges Head First.

Symbol: Fiery Red Triangle, surrounded by 10 Blue Petals (like the hottest part of the flame).

Mantra: Repetition of Bijan Mantra-Ram, increases Absorption and longevity. Each petal has a Sanskrit letter (Damm, Dhamm, Namm, Tam, Tham, Dam, Dham, Nam, Pam and Pham).

“Purgatory was always characterized by the purifying fire, and would be the manipura center.  And this fire is the anticipation of a complete condition in which there is no wounding, no dissociation; but nobody can attain to that condition unless he has passed through the flames of desire; in other words, until he has fulfilled what the specific desires of his nature are or have been.  If they are fulfilled, he is burned through by the flame and the next stage can begin.  

~CG Jung, Visions Seminar



Sense touch – associated to Anahata (Heart) Chakra

Georgia O'Keeffe, 'Abstraction white rose'

Georgia O’Keeffe, ‘Abstraction white rose’

Deities: Each Chakra has a Manifestation of the Shiva and Shakti Deities. Ishana – Detached from the World. Peaceful, Beneficient and Ever-Youthful.

Kakini Shakti – Goddess of Spiritual Music, Poetry and Art. Antelope – Carrier of the Bija Mantra-Yam. Innocence, Purity and Sensitivity.

Symbol: Green-Gray Star (Smoky-Green as Smoke Pervades the Air), surrounded by 12 Red Petals.

Mantra: Repetition of Bijan Mantra-Yam, opens the Heart and helps control Vital Energy. Each petal has a Sanskrit letter (Kam, Kham, Gam, Gham, Nnam, Cam, Cham, Jam, Jham, Nyam, Ttam, and Ttham).

The Spiritual Heart resides on the right side opposite the Physical Heart. Each of the 8 Petals of this Heart, the Ananda Kanda, represents an Emotion (Dullness, Anger, Evil, Joy, Movement, Sexuality, Charity and Holiness).


Sense: Hearing – associated with Vishudda (5th chakra)

Deities: Each Chakra has a Manifestation of the Shiva and Shakti Deities. Panchavaktra – The Great Teacher, Eternal Knowledge, Balance and Non-Duality. Shakini Shakti – Bestower of Higher Knowledge and Powers. Memory, Will, Intuition and Improvisation. Gaja the Elephant – Carrier of the Bija Mantra-Ham. Confidence, Hearing and In Tune with Nature.

Symbol: White Circle (Lunar Circle – Pure Cosmic Sound) surrounded by 16 Purple-Gray Petals.

Mantra: Repetition of Bijan Mantra-Ham. Each petal has a Sanskrit letter (Am, Amm, Lm, Llm, Um, Uum, Rm, Rrm, Lm, Llm, Em, Alm, Om, Aum, Aam, and Ahm). These Mantras go straight to the voice. The speaker’s words go straight to the Heart.


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