As I've been working with sigils, color magic became more important not only because of the importance of adding color to a sigil but also because the organization of color magic can also provide a magician focus for a sigil program.
Color magic is primarily associated with Terry Prachett’s book The Colour of Magic. The inside joke of the title and concept is that there is no color of magic, so whenever something doesn’t exist, it needs to be invented. Because Prachett is primarily a parodist, I am skeptical of the widespread incorporation of his creative writing into magical theory but one must use what looks useful.
There are eight colors to magic, each representing a particular group of concepts.
1. Octarine: No, octarine isn’t a normal color but rather invented by Prachett to be the eighth color, the color of magic itself. It is generally described as hot pink/purple but octarine will vary depending upon the magician’s ethos. Octarine is used as a symbol for magical study itself. This whole blog is octarine magic (what I might re-dubbed, meta-magic). Octarine represents the magician’s interest in magic, creativity, imagination, art, and otherworldly interests such as astrology or mythology. Godforms include Odin, Loki, Thoth, Hermes/Mercury, the bearded wizard, Veles, Isis, Oghma, and Hecate. I would call a sigil program using Octarine magic, the binding of magic. Ha, ha, really original, but the magician's purpose is to immerse him or herself into study and experimentation in magic lore and creative development.
2. Black: Black magic is a semantic drift. Black magic was originally referred to as necromancy, necro meaning dead and mancy meaning magic or divination. Eventually, necromancy became negromancy, black magic. Black magic is magic involving death. It is not necessarily evil except in the philosophy of the user or the superstitious. Black magic is used to study the aging process, entropy, and of course, death and dying, 1) in order to prevent death and/or 2) to kill people. Godforms include Thanos, Yama, Arawn, Kali, the Grim Reaper, and Jack Kavorkian. A binding of death should be similar to a death studies course -- I took one in college -- and involve an understand of the psychology and necrology of death, both the magician's on bodily health but also attitude on death and the views of his culture.
3. Blue: Blue magic is money magic, or more correctly, wealth magic. The goal of wealth magic is not to earn a lot of money, per se, but to create an energy flow of money. Money needs to be saved and invested, spent on living, but also used for personal enjoyment and charity. Wealth magic creates a surplus of money to produce an enjoyable and balanced experience. A pennypincher is not using wealth magic because nothing is spent. A credit card debter binge-spender is not using wealth magic. A corporate executive who works 18 hours a day is not using wealth magic. Wealth magic is about examining one’s negative beliefs about money and learning how money works (as if money was an intelligent being, its own godform). Godforms include Plutus, Saturn, Daikoko, Lakshmi, Tsi Shen Yeh, Vasudhera, Pecunia, Aesculanus, Abundantia, Copia (yes, those are actual deities) and Midas, as well as the dead presidents. Wealth magic is typically associated with earth astrology (which confounds me as to why blue is the color of wealth). Blue magic sigil programs are often called the binding of necessity: the magician engages in money magic spells but also an intense financial education.
4. Red: Red magic is war magic, but not necessarily death magic. The goal of war is not death but winning. Red magic involves bodily health, aggression, energy, morale, and competitive skills (either physically or strategically). Common godforms include Ares/Mars, Orion, Achilles, Beowulf, Gilgamesh, Heracles, Perseus, Athena, Thor, Horus, and modern weapons like guns and bombs. Fire is a primary tool, so the use of fire and flammable materials is important. I would refer to a sigil program of red magic as a binding of the body, focusing on physical health and exercise and competitive strategy.
5. Yellow: Yellow magic is more difficult to explain conceptually. Yellow magic involves illumination. It involves analyzing and changing aspects of the self that include self-image, humor, creativity, charisma, and social control. Yellow magic requires firstly introspection, a detailed analysis of the self in order to make retroactive changes in self-image; the past is not a series of traumas but rather of amoral events subject to either negative or positive reinterpretation. The yellow magician reinterprets his or her past to make changes in self-image. Non-verbal communication is a second tool: clothing, hygiene, body language, and etiquette are studied and manipulated to develop maximum attraction. Social control is a related concept. Lastly, laughter and good humor are important tools. Godforms include Ra, Helios, Apollo, Balder, the Three Stooges, the Simpsons, and Family Guy. A binding of illumination whereby the magician develops insight into his self-image and a projection of a positive self-image should be a primary focus in the beginning of magical study.
6. Green: Green magic is love magic. The most important part of green magic is self-love and insight into the positive beauty of life. Green magic also involves friendship, appreciating the value of people and showing interest in what interests them. Godforms include Venus, Ishtar, Freya, Hathor, Cupid, and Narcissus. The binding of the heart relates to the binding of illumination: introspect on what it is you want in a lover, what you value in a friendship, and how you can better relate to people.
7. Orange: Orange magic is the magic of deception and trickery. This type of magic involves quick wit and conniving and most in particularly the introduction of skill into gambling odds. Godforms include Hermes/Mercury, Loki, the Looney Tunes, and Coyote. (Interestingly, the first two are also gods of magic). I'll admit that I never considered dabbling in orange magic so I wouldn't even know what to call a sigil program based upon it. I would guess that the magician learns the rules and how to break them, studies games of chance and how people cheat, an ddevelops his own counter-program. Orange magic could be an educational tool on the ways of the world.
8. Purple: Purple magic is sex magic (not to be confused with green magic). The general goal of purple magic is not to achieve sexual harmony or seductive power but rather to transform sexual turmoil into art; the emotion behind art isn’t created by sexual stability. The object of desire, whether it be an actual significant other or just someone you’re stalking becomes a poetic Muse similar to Alan Moore’s Promethea. Related to green magic, the Musing is circular, where the magician in turn has to model the interests and personality of the Muse to seduce him or her properly. Androgyny is also an important factor. Godforms here depend upon your own images of sexuality, either the opposite sex (George Clooney, Bruce Willis, Chow Yun Fat, for me) or the same sex to identify with (Milla Jovovich, Kate Beckinsale, Jennifer Connelly) or with whomever your love obsession is. Other godforms might include Pan, Dionysus, Priapus, and Adonis. The binding of the muse, well, I'll leave that one alone.
Color magic introduces a new element into sigils and gives the magician a sense of focus inthe use of sigils. Each color program should be developed as its own individual brand, but more sequentially. Experimenting with eight branches of magic at once will dilute your intensity. Prioritize and proceed.