The Harmonic Theory of Phoenician Purple

Tyrian Purple was used widely in ancient times as a divine color to dye royal robes. Most scholars believe purple was considered divine because of the Murex snail's association with Venus and the rarity of purple as a naturally occurring color. However, it may also be due to the fact that purple (red+blue) is the only color that does not occur in the visible light spectrum.

At one end of the visible spectrum we have magenta and at the other end violet. Purple is neither of these colors but instead a blend of both. It is synthesized by the brain from the red and blue color cones in the retina. Thus, purple is a kind of invisible or transcendental reflected color that exists only inside the brain. From this perspective, it is easy to see how ancient natural philosophers would conclude it was the color of the gods.

But there is something else that makes purple divine. On the color wheel, purple occurs at a golden section from cyan, the color of the sky. For instance, if cyan is equal to 0 on the color wheel and its circumference is equal to 2 representing octave frequency doubling, purple will occur between magenta and violet at Φ=1.618033. Representing a golden section of two rather than one, we might correctly call it the "Purple Ratio."

As the color of the feminine Phoenix, purple correlates to the golden sections in the pentagonal rose orbit of Venus. It represents the infinite Divine Proportion in light, mending the color blind spot in our vision system (i.e., Nature's vision system). Within this transcendental purple thus stands the sky mother goddess.

* Tibetan priests say their robes are colored red-orange to symbolize humanity's position as a 180° reflection of the cyan sky.

** In musical terms, the Purple Ratio (=1.618033) is located between a minor sixth (C:E=8:5=1.6) and a major sixth (C:D#=5:3=1.666...). Both sixths are Fibonacci proportions having 5 as a common factor. The Purple Ratio is equal to (1+√5)/2.