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Common Colours in Manuscript Illumination

Meanings of Colours

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ColourDirectionMoonPersonEventOtherBird/Tree

Red

South
Summer Solstice
FullSeraphim
Presence of God
St.Michael
Pentecost
Maundy Thursday
Palm Sunday
Harvest Festival
Reformation Sunday
Martyr's days
Thanksgiving
All Saint's Day
Holy Spirit and the Church, Martyrdom.
Mind, spirit, will.
Harmony, music.
Foundation.
Change.
Overcoming.
Fire.
Gull
Rook
Swan
Alder
Elder
Aspen

Yellow

East
Spring Equinox
Waxingsee GoldEaster (with white)Reception of widsom.
Appearance, wind, breath
Intuition,
Air.
Hawk
Willow

Green

N West
Samhain
Dark
Season of Epiphany between Transfiguration Sunday and start of LentRenewal, new life, growth, hope, fidelity.
Water/ Earth
Goose
Broom
Fern

Blue

West
Autumn Equinox
WaningVirgin Mary
Cherubim
AdventSky, Heaven, waters of Genesis.
Reflection, maturity, psyche, knowledge,
entrance, beginnings, development
Water
Swan
ivy

Violet

S West
Lughnasadh
Old
Season of Lent
Advent
Mourning, penitence. Royalty
Memory, instinct, containing/ maintaining
Fire/ Water

Gold

East
Spring Equinox
WaxingLight of God
Presence of God
Risen Christ
Christmas
Easter
High Holy Days
Logos, illumination.
Majesty, joy, celebration

Black

North
Winter Solstice
New
Good Friday
Holy Saturday
Spiritual intelligence, doorway, conception, incarnation, manifestation, inspiration.
Misfortune, endurance, balance.
Bone, flesh.
Earth.
Raven Wren
Starling
Whitethorn
Oak
Holly

White
Silver
Clear



St MichaelHigh Holy Days
Christmas
Easter
Baptism, ordination, marriage, dedications
Purity, innocence, virtue, respect, reverence.
Vitality
Rebirth, resurrection
Death, immortality
Pheasant
Birch, Yew
Snipe
Ash
Eagle

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 (Pigments)
Subpages (1): Paint Pigments