|King Over the Water pontential cover.|
(For the record, it was the potential cover of Nick Farrell's book that made my mind connect several facts together and realize that the expanded color scales of Golden Dawn could only result after 1840. And as far as I know, I am the first one to realize this fact...or at least, the first person to actually consider it to be important; I don't remember anyone ever writing about this topic before.)
First, just to get it out of the way, I do not believe that Moina Mathers was a "modern woman" or a "feminist." I am not looking for an example of a modern woman or a feminist---I am looking for an artist. The reason that I am looking for an artist is that the Golden Dawn color scales have too large of a color vocabulary to be the sole invention of a non-artist.
Agrippa's color scales are an example of a set of color scales created by a non-artist; the color vocabulary is simple and basic. The Golden Dawn color scales, on the other hand, has a wide color vocabulary. Now, one quarter of it is just layering an occult idea (colors attract energies) onto the standard artist's color wheel---something that is easily produced by non-artists. But the other three quarters involve a series of colors so rich and varied that one needs a cheat sheet with paint samples on it to accurately reproduce it (or a digitual camera and a really good color printer).
I have seen no evidence that Samuel Mathers or Wynn Westcott had such a large color vocabulary. The concept that color attracted magical forces was not a new idea---Agrippa and the SRIA are solid proof that the idea was common currency among occultists. Nor have I seen any evidence that convinces me that the SRIA is actually the source for the expanded color scales. Occasionally, someone points to the SRIA as the source of the Golden Dawn Vault of the Adepts---but no one has yet to provide what I would consider proof of this fact. When Westcott mentions that there was an older color scheme for the Vault, he may have been referring to the color lore of the SRIA in his day and age.
Therefore, the idea that color attracts magical forces is common currency of occult thought of the 1890s, but the expanded range of color vocabulary is something new and is the product of an artist---therefore who is the artist? Westcott? Samuel Mathers? Moina Mathers? Someone else? Until someone proves otherwise, I am presuming that Moina Mathers was the one to expand the color vocabulary, and therefore it is she (and not Samuel or Westcott) that is truly the source of the Golden Dawn color scales.
As I said, maybe Nick's upcoming book, or maybe Tabatha's, will convince me otherwise.
|Possible cover for Concourse of the Watchtowers.|
Looking it up, I learned that the history of art materials backs up my conclusion. Colored pencils were not marketed to artists until after 1900. It is not until 1920s that we start to get a wide range of art-grade color pencils. Prismacolor pencils are not introduced until 1938. Likewise for other dry mediums---wax crayons 1903; oil pastels 1925; paint sticks 1966.
The only two exceptions for dry medium would be colored chalk and pastels (pastels are pure pigment with a binding agent)---chalks have been used for thousands of years and pastels for about three hundred years. Yet the amount of time that they have been used removes them from the running; if they were suitable for expanding the color scales, the color scales would have expanded much sooner and I would not be looking for an artist inside Golden Dawn to credit the expansion with. Besdies, these two mediums are not actually conductive to making talismans and lamens---which is one of the primary reasons for the Adept's studies of the color scale system.
A final thing I must mention is the fact that we do have a lot of evidence that the color scale work of the Golden Dawn Adept was a new development. The sheer amount of variation between the color scales of various Golden Dawn offshoots, and even between lodges of the same Orders, indicate that the system was not developed enourgh to have standardization. An older, more developed system would have figured out a way to decrease the number of variations.
The expanded color scales are not something that you can look back to a previous esoteric group and find purer information about...unless you want to toss it out completely and go back to the simple color scale used by Agrippa and earlier occultists. In fact, the expanded color scales are so new that the period of its best development may still be in the future.