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Michael Newton's Color Scale of the Soul's Evolution and the Five Medicine Buddhas of Tibet

This article was written by David Allen Hulse
posted under Chakras & Energy Work

I have been privileged to have Llewellyn publications put to press my own research concerning the esoteric symbolism of all the world's religions in The Eastern Mysteries and The Western Mysteries. Since the millennium change of 2000 I have entered a spiritual retreat to receive deeper knowledge and teachings to incorporate into my next series of books.

This retreat has been very beneficial in that it has exposed me to a variety of new teachings and teachers. Among these new teachers, the writings of Dr. Michael Newton and Imre Vallyon have made the deepest of impressions, for both writers have contributed greatly to my understanding of our own soul's evolution.

I will dedicate a separate article to New Zealand's greatest spiritual teacher Imre Vallyon, who truly is the living continuation in the twenty-first century of the work first started by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and her Theosophical Society at the end of the nineteenth century.

However, in this article I wish to explore the symbolism of the color scale of the soul's aura that Michael Newton has brilliantly documented in his three pioneering books, Journey of Souls, Destiny of Souls, and Life Between Lives (all published by Llewellyn Worldwide).

In his second book, Destiny of Souls, a table of color correspondences for the soul is shown in chapter five. On page 171 Dr. Newton has given us a table to show the various gradations of color marking the soul's evolution. “Figure 6: Color Spectrum of Spiritual Auras” gives the following general ranking of the soul via color. Dr. Newton has premised six grades of spiritual evolution for the soul based on the "soul's primary core colors." The lowest grade (Level 1) is that of a beginning soul, while the highest grade in his system (Level 6) is that of an "ascended master."

Here is the basic color symbolism of this soul classification system. There is an overlapping of colors between grades, but the table below shows the primary colors associated to each of these six levels of soul evolution:

Basic Color Symbolism of the Soul Color

White 1Beginning Soul
Red 2Advancing Soul
Blue Violet6Ascended Master
PurpleThe Higher LevelsLeading to the Godhead


If we look at the spiritual traditions of the world, color symbolism plays an important role. White in many cultures is associated with purity and light (such as is the case with Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism). However, in China and Japan, white is associated with death. But in the scale of the soul's evolution white is not the ultimate color of perfection, but rather the color of innocent beginnings of the soul. It is the soul's color in it its pristine state of inception, but not its final evolutionary hue.

The rainbow is stretched from the lowest vibratory rate of red to its highest vibratory rate of ultraviolet. Here red symbolizes the first hue of the rainbow that the soul radiates as a beginner on the spiritual path.

Violet represents the highest vibratory level of the soul that Newton was able to chart. Level 1 through Level 5 are progressive points of the soul's evolution while still acquiring a physical body through the process of reincarnation. Level 6 and beyond represents the soul no longer requiring a physical incarnation to further develop the soul. So Level 5, which is associated to deep blue, is the last aura change that the soul acquires while still using a physical body to further evolve along spiritual lines.

In the Golden Dawn tradition of ritual magic the use of the rainbow as a rich source of symbolism is deeply woven into the teachings of this esoteric magical order. The rainbow is stretched over the body as twelve gradations of color, with red at the head symbolizing the zodiac sign of Aries while red violet at the opposite end of the spectrum is associated with the feet and the zodiac sign of Pisces. Here the aura of the body is twelve toned with red at top and red violet at the bottom.

In modern chakra systems, the symbolism of the colors of the spectrum are reversed from the astrological symbolism of color in the Golden Dawn. Here the lowest chakra at the base of the spine is associated with the color red while the other six higher chakras become the rainbow scale of orange, yellow, green, blue, blue-violet, and ending in violet (at the crown of the head). This rise of spiritual energy (kundalini) through the chakras moves up the rainbow from red to violet. This rise of energy neatly parallels the levels of the souls as charted out by Dr. Newton.

As I have stated at the beginning of this article, my spiritual retreat triggered by the millennium brought much new knowledge to assimilate. The traditions of Sri Vidya in India and Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet completely opened up to me, where before they stood half veiled, half revealed to me. In studying the symbolism behind all yantras and mandalas (diagrams which chart the spiritual structure of the cosmos) I discovered a color symbolism system that neatly dovetails into Dr. Newton's "Color Spectrum of Spiritual Auras." That system is the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Five Medicine Buddhas.

There are many published books that give the basic symbolism of the Five Medicine Buddhas. These Five Medicine Buddhas represent a classification system of spiritual development as five basic clans. Although Tibetan Buddhism premises neither a Soul nor God Absolute, this system still reveals the color gradation of the soul as outlined by Dr. Newton. The source of this symbolism, which ties the four directions of a mandala and its center to the Five Medicine Buddhas is the symbolism of Sri Vidya in India (which embraces both the Soul and God Absolute). This esoteric symbolism, which has its origin in the secret teachings of Sri Vidya, gives the following elemental/color divisions to the directions. East is below, white, and water. West is above, red, and fire. South is to the left, yellow, and earth. North is to the right, green, and air. The center of the mandala is blue and spirit.

Using the diagram known as Sri Yantra, the matrix for all mandalas and yantras, here are the four gates of the mandala and its center as traditionally colored by their elemental associations:





A future book is in development that will give in great detail all the symbolism found in the Sri Yantra (Her Diagram) as revealed in the Tantric tradition known as Sri Vidya (Auspicious Wisdom). All this symbolism embodies a very beautiful tradition of representing God Absolute as the Mother of the Universe (in the form of the Goddess Sri Lalita-Ambika).

In Robert Thurman's Inside Tibetan Buddhism, the directional symbolism of the Medicine Buddha Mandala is shown on page 71 as follows:


Five Medicine Buddhas as the Directional Mandala


Direction Color Element Medicine Buddha Symbol
Below White Water Vairochana Eight-Fold Wheel
Above Red Fire Amitabha Lotus
Left Yellow Earth Ratnasambhava Jewel
Right Green Air Amoghasiddha Sword
Center Blue Spirit Akshobhya Thunderbolt

What this symbolism is truly classifying is the soul's own aura as it progresses through life upon life until there is no longer a need for physical incarnations to perfect the soul. Therefore this directional mandala symbolism which occurs both in India and Tibet is a scale of the soul's own evolution. Here is the key to both.
Medicine Buddha Mandala as Key to the Soul's Progress
Mandala Direction Color Element Soul's Level Soul's Progress
Below White Water Level 1 Beginner
Above Red Fire Level 2 Advancing Soul
Left Yellow Earth Level 3 Teacher
Right Green Air Level 4 Healer
Center Blue Center Level 5 Master
Thus we find hidden in the Tibetan symbolism of Five Medicine Buddhas the gradations of the soul's progress as revealed in the "color spectrum of spiritual auras." This is further proof of the validity of the knowledge Dr. Newton has beautifully documented in his trilogy of books on the soul's journey in this life.
Newton, Michael. Destiny of Souls, Llewellyn Worlwide (Minnesota), 2000
Newton, Michael. Journey of Souls, Llewellyn Worldwide (Minnesota), 1994
Newton, Michael, Life Between Lives, Llewellyn Worldwide (Minnesota), 2004
Thurman, Robert A. F. Inside Tibetan Buddhism, Collins Publishers (San Francisco), 1995
David Allen Hulse
From an early age, David Allen Hulse diligently studied the alphabets of the ancient world. As a child, David possessed a great affinity for the alphabets of Egypt, Phoenicia, and Greece. In college, a reading of MacGregor Mathers' Kabbalah Unveiled...  Read more


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