| text and photo © Jonathan Zap
still life at home in Boulder
Card URL: http://www.zaporacle.com/card/allochromatic-2/
In terms of color there are two types of gemstones — idiochromatic and allochromatic. Because of their chemistry, idiochromatic gemstones like rodochrisite, peridot and malachite can only be one color. The most important gemstones, however, are allochromatic. They can be all colors because in a pure state they are clear and colorless and various impurities can give them any color of the rainbow. Beryl, for example: if it's blue we call it "aquamarine," if it's green we call it'emerald," but it can be any color. Corrundum — if it's red we call it "ruby," and if any other color we call it "sapphire." Other allochromatic gemstones include diamond, topaz, tourmaline, garnet, quartz, spinel and nephrite jade.
Many years ago, when I was a staff gemologist at the Gemological Institute of America, I was fascinated with the allochromatic aspect of gemstones and found unusually colored diamonds to be particularly fascinating. The allochromatic gemstone is like a changeling, it can take on any hue, even though it may be much more common for it take on certain colors.
The human soul is like an allochromatic gemstone, it can be any hue of the rainbow. Some individual souls, however, can seem idiochromatic, they have developed a certain color and change very little. The conscious, complete, empowered individual, however, must be allochromatic.
Certain states of enlightenment may allow a highly evolved soul to experience the clear and colorless state, where one is aware of the unmanifest potential for color. A well-lived life, however, requires one to be prismatic, opalescent and sometimes chameleon- like. The whole person will need to be able to illuminate with many colors.
An actor is an artist who portrays many colors. A novelist conveys many human colors with words. The creative, alchemically empowered person conducts many colors through a prismatic psyche. An unconscious person may fall into an idiochromatic stagnation of color, while a highly imaginative person will be able to shift colors like a screen illuminated by myriad pixels.
When an unconscious person shifts color it seems to happen like fate, without a conscious choice being made. Something happens that causes them to fly into a rage of fiery red and orange, or a dysphoria of blue. An unconscious person is always acting out their native color, smearing it into the outside world like oil paint carelessly squeezed from a tube. When a dog changes color it is always physically acted out, it has no private colors. A conscious person, however, can shift colors in more intentional, subtle and creative ways. They may have private colors that they choose not to reveal in public.
Core aspects of being human, qualities such as emotions, sexuality, thoughts, drives of any kind, talents, ethical stance, attention and perception are the colored radiance of a soul. One can try to color from the outside with clothes, cosmetics and personas, but to perceptive people the core illumination will be sensed, and it is the core illumination that affects the boiling cauldron of colors comprising the collective unconscious of the species.
Depending on the position, the occurrence of this card indicates a propitious time to become more aware of yourself as allochromatic. Access the full spectrum of colors you need to access. Realize that you can access colors on the subtle plane and don't have to act them out. An artist may imaginatively explore dark red, for example, and even give it expression in a particular medium. An unaware person, however, acts out the dark red and smears it around in the outer world. The conscious person takes responsibility for inner colors as well as those acted out. The inner cauldron of colors affects the larger cauldron of colors. The visionary will project unique combinations of color into the collective cauldron.
Take responsibility for yourself as an allochromatic entity. You are a cauldron of many colors radiating into eternity.