Winslow Eliot is a Massachusetts resident who has been in love with metaphysics and mysticism since the early 1970s. A writer whose parents and grandparents were also writers, Winslow is the published author of several novels, poetry, advice on writing, and two metaphysical books: What Would You Do If There Was Nothing You Had To Do? Practices to create your life the way you want it to be and Be Still—how to heal and grow.
The following is an excerpt from Episode #9 of A Rainbow in the Clouds. Click here to listen to the broadcast.
You were also a teacher at Rudolf Steiner schools in Massachusetts. Can you give us an example of what you learned about color through Rudolf Steiner's view of Waldorf education?
His work with color really originated with Goethe and Goethe's theory of color, which is, of course, such a radical, poetic, illuminating way to experience color. And I think the most significant aspect of it—there are so many—one, of course, is that he ascribed emotions to colors, which Newton never did, and scientists and physicists don't. But Goethe intuited emotions, meaning he saw their vibration. So he had words like noble or dignity or goodness associated with the colors that bring these colors to life, especially for children who are learning about colors and the nature of color. That yellow, for instance, expands. Yellow expands, blue contracts. So at Waldorf school, we're not teaching them how to paint, we're teaching them how to meditate with color, how to meditate on color to get what is the feeling of blue. What is the feeling of yellow and what is the feeling of blue and yellow together when they slosh and mix in watery, exquisite, dark greens and light greens and yellower greens and bluer greens? What are the feelings that you have? So you're developing a real connection with color. That, I feel, is the most important thing, and I'm sure you know all this because you're a color therapist.
The other thing that is mindblowing and sort of broke away from, again, looking at color in a very limited box-like concept was that Goethe felt that darkness was an active ingredient of color. It's not the absence of color. It's not the absence of light. Darkness is not the absence of light; color is a degree of darkness. And we are beings of light and dark. This is sort of Jungian, if you want to somehow integrate that, because what we're trying to do as human beings is integrate our shadow and our shadow is not negative. The dark is not negative. It's the unconscious. So how do we bring to consciousness, yellow? It's by seeing the dark of the yellow, and if there's a dark sort of hole in our solar plexus chakra, you're seeing that dark and you want to bring it to light, meaning you want to bring it to consciousness. Why is that diminished, tarnished, not pouring out glowing? And bringing things to consciousness is why we're here.
Yes, indeed. We've all been affected by the trial and tribulations of 2020, haven't we? Is there a specific color that you seem to need or enjoy more these days?
Well, I think I was just going into it—probably the yellow gold. It's a hard one. And I find in my healing sessions for others, too, it's usually the weakest chakra. It's this yellow disc, right in our solar plexus, the center of our being. And what happens, especially in times of chaos or despair, is that we get pulled out of our particular orbit. The sun is at the center of our universe. And we—each one of us—has to remain at our center, at the center of our universe. And the more we can do that—instead of getting sucked into other people's orbits or other people's angers or upset misses, but instead radiate out our wisdom, our love, our passion, our rage from our center—that enables us to feel better. To feel more whole, to feel not drained, not tired, not exhausted. If we're just pouring out—and I have to, of course, do this constantly as an intuitive consultant—if somebody is grieving horribly or is terribly sick or suffering in some way, I can't be sucked into that negative orbit. I need to stay the sun in my orbit and see them as orbiting around me and how can I beam my energy to them so that it can help them? And I need to constantly be conscious of that and practice it.
I love yellow. I love gold. I wear a lot of gold for that reason. And I do have yellow wool. All winter I'm knitting with yellow. Bright, bright, beautiful, cozy yellow. I'm not ever making anything. I take it out and just start again to knit because I like the color and that particular energy.
And I don't know if you know this about me, but I have suffered very, very badly from depression. That's been my big sort of challenge. I've been okay for a long time, but that was something back in the nineties. That was brutal. That was horrible. And if you know, or those of you who know about depression, you only see black and white. And it was an extraordinary experience for me, to grow conscious of it. Of course, for a long time, I just thought it was normal because I sunk into it so gradually. And I think the writing and raising a family and there were many sorts of components to it and there's no reason for depression. That's sort of one of the things that is most painful, is when somebody says there's nothing wrong. How can you be depressed? Like you're bad, you're sinful, you're evil, you're stupid to be depressed. That was sort of the hardest part.
And the great gift of it was that I actually consciously used color. It was literally like using a coloring book and I would color things consciously. I would look at a dress that I knew was blue, for instance, and it would just appear gray and I would bring it to consciousness—no matter how depressed I was—and painted blue in my mind's eye. And then I encountered you much later, but I did buy a few of your glasses that you have. And I still use the green ones. I have the Emerald green ones whenever I meditate because I'm trying to work on the heart this whole time. I think this was the area that was very wounded for some reason. And I just find this whole Emerald green chakra area to be so healed by that color, being sort of infiltrated into my mind's eye. Even when my eyes are closed, I can feel it.
And so I do feel the work that you do is so rich and it's so deep and penetrates beyond the physical and it penetrates beyond even the energetic. It penetrates into the spirit. We are beings of color. I know we call ourselves beings of light and that we're lightworkers and we're lightwriters—you're a writelighter—and light can't exist without the dark. We wouldn't see it. And the dark and the light, together, create color. And I feel that's such a mysterious, wonderful healing truth that is at the foundation and that everyone can benefit from. Notice colors!