Gold trail

On the trail of eternity

The three colours white, red and black for wholeness

Saint George

By on 9 June 2020

White - Red - Black

The three colours White / Rot / black for wholeness

The three colors red - white - black appear again and again in fairy tales and myths. They correspond to the three phases of human life and symbolize wholeness.

They are also related to the heroic path of man. This begins in the spirit, with the decision to live love (white). It leads down into matter to the dedication of life (blood, red) and finally to the death of the ego through integration of the shadows in the underworld (black).in the underworld (black).

White / Red / Black for wholeness

The three colors white, Red and black are therefore repeatedly used in the traditions as an indication of the goal: wholeness and kingship in life.

Wholeness means the successful union of the ultimate opposites masculine and feminine (cf. God, wholeness, 3-in-1, male and female). Their interaction is the prerequisite for the emergence of new life and new reality (see Male and Female, the Two Primordial Forces of Creation and The Creation of New Reality).

White - Red - Black in Traditions

The sight of the three colors when they appear in the fairy tale stirs something in the heroes and heroines: It triggers a trance that makes the activity of the moment recede into the background and brings the goal before one's eyes:

Examples of the three colors as an indication of the target

Knight George, Red - White - Black

George the dragon slayer

In the legend of Knight George, the dragon slayer the hero must first win the cloak, "red as blood, which protects against fire and embers", then the white horse, "the "apple white horse, which carries him ge'n heaven" and finally he must overcome the black giant to "find the virgin".

The iron man

Also in fairy tales The iron man the three colors appear in connection with wholeness. The hero appears as a red, white and black knight and wins the king's daughter.

Snow White, White - Red - Black


In Parzival the three colors appear as a mark of black feathers and blood in the snow in view of the desired kingship shortly before he reaches King Arthur.

Snow White

In the fairy tale Snow White a red drop of blood falls into the white snow on the black window frame. Then the young queen begins to dream of a child.

Jewish tradition (Old Testament of the Bible)

In the Song of Songs of Solomon (5, 10f.) the three colours appear in the context of love in unity from the king and his beloved:

"My beloved is white and red, outstanding among ten thousand. His head is fine, dignified gold, his locks are date panicles, black as the raven."

(The raven is a symbol for the underworld. Black and gold belong together. For he who on his way through the underworld (black) the shadows integrated has gained wholeness, symbolised by gold).

The stork - white, black, black

Symbol of the birth of the new

Why is the stork considered the "bringer of children"?

This can be explained by the symbolic meaning of the unity of the three colors:

The stork shows the three colors red - white - black, which stand for wholeness. When wholeness is achieved, the "birth" of the new, the new creation is at hand.

The three colors of the stork in detail

  • Red (body) - With its legs the stork stands on the ground, with its beakit it eats ...
Stork, White - Red - Black

The stork eats frogs. The frog used to be regarded as a symbol for the penis, people said "fröscheln" instead of "vögeln" (to this symbol also the second "plague" of Egypt, the plague of frogs; see. The 10 plagues of Egypt). The long, red beak that swallows the frog also looks a bit like two legs spreading apart. If you take the image further, the birth of a child is a logical consequence.

  • White (soul) - head and torso. These cover the two areas of the soul, mind and feeling (heart). 
  • Black (spirit) - The wing tips. The wings spread and the stork flies through the air, a symbol for the realm of the spirit.

The three colours: three areas of life, three different energies  


White is a symbol of purity. The "pure soul" is full of love and free of egoistic motives. It is identical with the loving consciousness. White is the colour of light, innocence, also the colour of semen. Pure love gives itself selflessly to the salvation and preservation of life. White is the colour of the loving father and the young woman ("virgin") whose love is still intact.


Red is the colour of blood. Ancient man said: Life is in the blood. A woman can give birth to new life as long as she has her menstrual period. The colour red stands for youthful, macho, libidinal energy of a physical or mental nature. It is associated with eroticism, struggle, pride and anger (seeing red). Thus the woman as mother and the young man full of Sturm und Drang are to be assigned to the red phase.


Black is the colour of death and the "underworld". In confrontation with one's own shadows, weaknesses and ego, the identity of power is overcome and the spirit is integrated. The feminine side of the spirit is pure love (the positive anima as virgin), the masculine side of the spirit is life force for good as drive(Christ as positive animus). The mature man and woman are both represented by black, for they have made the journey through the underworld. In doing so, they have integrated their opposite-sex personality parts and attained wholeness. They are one in love. As the great Father and the great Mother, they have taken the realm of the spirit, which includes eternal life (symbolised by gold). In the Holy Spirit they are united into one power.

Together, the three colours symbolise wholeness because they cover the three areas of body, soul and spirit as well as the fulfilled three phases of life. Thus the goal of wholeness and eternal, spiritual life is achieved.

The three colours and the three phases of life 

The three colors symbolize the three phases of human life (youth, adulthood, mature age).

Different order for man and woman!

However, they appear in different order in the male and female. For this purpose, this overview:

Life phases man-woman

Red - White - Black for men

The son has been born from the mother's body. He also begins with red. Accordingly, the order of the three colours in the man is red - white - black:

Male wholeness, triad
  • RED - Youth/young adulthood: Stormy passion, power, struggle.
  • WHITE - The noble knight who gives himself for the greater cause.
  • BLACK - The wise man who has integrated his feminine parts and with them love.

(S. Male Wholeness - White / Red / Black and The Way of the Man)

Feminine wholeness, triad

White - Red - Black for the woman

The daughter is born with her soul from the pure love of the father. She begins with white. Accordingly, the order of the three colours in the woman is white - red - black:

  • WHITE - Virgo, pure, gentle love, integrity and miracle working power.
  • RED - Mother: blood, dedication of life (often also associated with suffering, pain and anger).
  • BLACK - Old wise woman, integration of the masculine parts ("son"): strength, assertiveness and spiritual power.

(p. Female Wholeness - White / Red / Black and The Way of the Woman)

White and red in couple dynamics 

The different order of the two colors in man and woman has far-reaching consequences and leads to these constellations:

RED: Mother and son

  • The woman enters the red phase at the latest with the birth of her child. With the birth of a child, she begins to integrate her body and enters the red phase.
  • The growing son also starts with red and is thus closer to the mother in his energy. It helps her and also connects her with her male parts and her own power(animus).

WHITE: Father and daughter

  • The man who has decided for the woman and family has passed from the red to the white phase (devotion as a sign of love). The daughter begins as a virgin (pure love) in the realm of the spirit (white).
  • The daughter stirs the heart of the father. She connects him with the power of gentle love and thus helps him to integrate his feminine parts(anima).

Red - White andTwo Sides of the Medal

Wholeness and unity in complementation

Yin Yang

In the first phase of the adult relationship, the couple lives wholeness in complementarity (see fig. Yin/Yang). Each partner has their own characteristics and strengths and together they are whole. There is also something of the other in each: The female personality parts of the man correspond to his inner daughter (white dot in yin/yang: spirit), the male parts of the woman to her inner son (black dot: body, matter). These opposite-sex personality parts are immature at first and still have to develop.

Risk of abuse

On the one hand, this is a gain: the son connects the mother with her body and her strength. The daughter brings the father into contact with his unconditional love. But it also carries the danger of abuse, for example by putting the child in the place of the partner and taking from him opposite-sex energy (which the partner may deny one; see. Abuse - the stolen life).

Negative couple dynamics

The different energies can also lead to a negative couple dynamic:

  • At a young age: The impetuous young man (red) conquers the young woman (white) regardless of loss.
  • Adulthood: The strong woman (in the grip of her inner macho, red) no longer wants to put up with everything and fights the man who, as a white knight, is on the way to integrating his gentle feminine side and love (white).
Hotu - Wholeness in Unity

Black - Gold: Wholeness

Wholeness through integration of the mind 

Maturity after the crisis of the middle years and integration of the shadows

Only when both have overcome their ego, the identity of power, and integrated their shadows (black), can they live perfect unity.

  • The woman integrates with the male side of the mind and her body and strength and gains creativity, decisiveness and assertiveness.
  • Man integrates with the female side his soul, love and warm-heartedness, and thus also the spirit and eternal life.

Unity and Wholeness (Gold)

Gold for eternity

With the merging of the male and female parts within themselves, man and woman have achieved wholeness (symbolized by gold).
They now experience unity, love and fullness in the realm of the body (fulfilled sexuality) and the soul (feelings, agreement). They do not "need" each other to feel whole, because each is whole in himself and has both: power and love. Love makes it possible for them to let each other live in diversity, to appreciate each other and to give themselves freely to the other out of their own fullness. (Illustration: "Hotu", the Yin and Yang of the world; the opposites are held together by the center, white, symbol of love. It is the axis around which life/the world revolves).

(p. The Holy Wedding)

Alchemy and Wholeness (Altar No. 3, Hilma af Klint)

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