Colors of Alphabetic Letters according to Sun-aisthesia

colors of the letters of the alphabet -- Table 5.3 on p. 91 of

Peter Hancock : Synesthesia, Alphabet Books, and Fridge Magnets". In :- Julia Simner & Edward M. Hubbard (edd.) : The Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia. Oxford Univ Pr, 2013. pp. 83-99.


its color

our explication of this letter-color symbolism



Ch. 9th hsiu /niu/ "ox head" (A&ACS, p. 69) = J. naks.atra "Ox head" (A&ACS, pp. 155-6). {Cf. head of Hy`mir's ox, used by To`rr as bait in fishing to catch Jo,r-mungandr (Snorri Sturluson : Gylfa-ginning cap. xlviii:54-56).} Perhaps the /parah >dumah/ 'ruddy heifer' in B-Midbar 19:2; immolated with (19:6) /s^ni^/ 'scarlet' [cf. The Scarlet Letter "A"] and with cedar-wood (Cedrus libani), the latter of which was otherwise used in shipbuilding [cf. the ship of Hy`mir], its resin in mummifying [cf. cedar-wood coffin of (DCM, s.v. "Comatas") Komatas of Thourioi]. Komatas sacrificed to (GN 4.10.8, p. 224) the ennead of Mousai, much as an ennead of paces will be stepped by To`rr when he shall encountre Jo,r-mungandr at Ragnaro,k (Snorri Sturluson : Gylfa-ginning cap. li:61-62).



Ch. 10th hsiu /nu:/ "woman" (A&ACS, p. 71), but = J. naks.atra "Yoke with buckets" (A&ACS, pp. 155-6). {Cf. the horizontal carrying-pole Simul which upheld the pail Saeg (Snorri Sturluson : Gylfa-ginning cap. 11).} When Hju`ki (Jack) fell down and broke his crown, such was aequivalent to the event at Golgotha ('Skull'), simultaneous with the rending of the veil of the Temple (Eu-angelion kata Matthaios 27:51) : the Temple's "vail of blue ... with krubi^m" (S^mo^t 26:31& 36:35), for Strong's 3742 /krub/ is the source of Strong's 3737 /karbla>/ 'hat' (cf. Jack's "crown"). Bil (Jill) is related to the "bogeywoman" Bil-wis who "shot people in the knees" (NW, p. 47) : likewise with Teiresias "for pain glued his knees" ("BP") when he was imprecated by Athene. As for Athene, Hephaistos "ejaculated against her thigh, a little above the knee." (GM 25.b). This is the proximity of wearing of a garter : "On the investiture of a knight of the garter, a blue ribbon is placed around his neck, from ... . The story told of Edward III. picking up the garter of the Countess of Salisbury" (DH, p. 335).



Ch. 11th hsiu /hsu:/ "empty" (A&ACS, p. 72), but = J. naks.atra "Bird cage" (A&ACS, pp. 155-6). The word "empty" could refer to, e.g., the space for an axle at the hub of a wheel (as mentioned in, e.g., Tao-Te C^>in 11) : yellow is the color generally assigned in Chinese symbolism to centres. Perhaps the "Bird cage" could refer emptying the cage by "flying the coop" out of "the cage used to display the remains of executed criminals, which was also called a gibbet. Birds would pick at the decaying flesh, and so these bodies would literally fly away, one piece at a time." ("10MS")



Ch. 12th hsiu /wei/ "peril" (A&ACS, p. 64), but = J. naks.atra "Flower seeds" (A&ACS, pp. 155-6). {A reference mayhap to seeds of the type of badoh/ololiuhqui of the plant [Maya] xtabentu`n / [Aztec] coa-xihuitl (Turbina corymbosa, syn. Rivea corymbosa), containing d-lysergic acid amide (lysergamid, erg[ont]ine). This LSA is also praesent in ergot fungus, ergot, however, posing a peril (via "St Anthony's fire") unless filtred (as is done with wool in the praeparation, according to the R.c-Veda, of the drug Soma). This drug LSA is the most effective cure of migraine (cluster) headache ("URCH").} As for "Ergot ... fungus (Claviceps purpurea) ..., ... Kernels infested with this fungus develop into light-brown to violet-brown curved pegs (sclerotia)" ("LSD").



Ch. 13th hsiu /s^ih/ (A&ACS, p. 155) = J. naks.atra corresponding to "the one-footed goat" (loc. cit.). {"The Glaistig are green-clad Fay women of fair beauty despite their lower bodies which are actually those of Goats." ("NS") Glaistig is "a little woman with long yellow hair" (SH&IS).}



Ch. 14th hsiu /pi/ 'wall' = J. naks.atra "Pool with steps" (A&ACS, pp. 155-6). "by the auld pool, ... the Brownies ye will meet ... down at the hall steps" (FM"B"). "against the wall ... the Brownie interposed ... on that precious book" (CL&L, p. 260) : for it was the "Bible ... that

Brouny was displeased with" (EPF-LO&ShI, p. 20). Besides the meaning 'wall', there is also the Chinese ritual-sacrificial jade disk, having a hole in its centre, styled /pi/ : cf. the (EPF-LO&ShI, p. 20) "Brounies Stone, wherein there was a little hole, into which they poured some Wort for a Sacrifice to Brouny." Not only male Brounies' marine countreparts male sea-trows "old men with long white beards were seen stretching their pale hands out of the surf" (EPF-LO&ShI, p. 24), but also somewhat similarly ("DS") "Female Brownies ... are sometimes thought to live up chimneys and to have very long arms." On account of their pool, "Brownies ... wear nothing at all" ( ), which is why they are offended if offered cothing.



Ch. 15th hsiu /k>uei/ 'legs' (A&ACS, p. 155), which is an asterism of "17 stars" (A&ACS, p. 92), but = J. naks.atra "Boat" (A&ACS, p. 155). With these 17, cf. perhaps the "seventeen years" (CAS 3:5) lifespan of the legendary Kephallenian {cognate with /S`AmBHALa/?} Epiphanes, who is named for the Epiphania, when the 3 Magoi arrived, riding thither on (according to legend) long-legged camels (/GaMaL/, similar to letter-name /GiMeL/). A descendant of one of these Magoi, namely presbuteros Ioannes (prester John) "uses no sceptre but one of emerald" (OEFCh, p. 366 -- W"BM", fn.) : this would match the other meaning of /k>uei/, namely (A&ACS, p. 79) "jade scepter" -- emerald and jade both being green. {"Boat" may be another application of #"17", namely of the "seventeen maidens busy at preparing a great bath" (M&LCR, p. 323) for the queen -- cf. the annual bath of queen Hera in (Pausanias 2:38:2 -- "HM") Kanathos at Nauplia ('Navigation') -- when she was spied upon over the "rampart" from a "hillock" -- the (TCBIS, p. 12) "Mountain ... of the Ten Archangelic·Intelligences"?} Cf. how when to see the City of Brass over its surrounding city-wall, "they ascended a mountain opposite the city, and overlooking it; and when they had ascended that mountain, they saw a city" ("SCB" p. 14). This "City of Brass" is called "Castle of Brass" (TCBIS, p. 6) in the S^ah Nameh by Ferdawsi; "a Castle wrought of Brass" (TCBIS, p. 7) in Mazdaki (i.e., H^at.t.abi, TCBIS, p. cxi, n. 21) literature; "Copper City" (TCBIS, p. 7) in the Zaratustrian legend of Bahram C^obin; and "City of Brass" (loc. cit) in the legend of Du->l-Qarnayn. In any case, is may be noted that the corrosion of brass and of copper is green[; even if Sulayman's "Fount of Molten Brass" (Qur>an 34:12-13) could not tarnish].




Ch. 17th hsiu /wei/ "abdomen" (A&ACS, p. 86) = J. naks.atra bhaga (A&ACS, p. 146), a word translated "vulva" (A&ACS, p. 152), although the meaning (of /bhaga/) in the Veda is (S-ED) instead 'prosperity, dignity, majesty'. {Ch. old form (A&ACS, p. 86) of this character is somewhat similar to that of Maya /lam[b]at/, aequivalent to [for the Centzon Totochtin, the deities of fermentation] Aztec /toc^tli/, cf. Skt /tuc/ 'offspring', perhaps cognate with <ibri^ /s^uh.ah/ 'ditch' -- cf. the Shakespearean expression "ditch-delivred by a drab". Old English /drabbe/ 'dregs, lees' (from fermentation) in a vat could be perhaps reminiscent of "rice in the stomach" (A&ACS, p. 86), the commentators' explanation of this character.} Fermentation is production of the orange coloration, for "there is no other ferment but gold" (KA"4th").



Ch. 18th hsiu




Ch. 20th hsiu





Ch. 23nd hsiu /yu kuei/ "ghost vehicle" (A&ACS, p. 152), but = J. naks.atra vardhamanaka ("Growth amulet for children" -- loc. cit). {"Growth amulet" would suggest a reckoning of growth of children by the years of their age : Etruscan tombstones mention years of age, and Eruscan dice's 6 sides have the names of the 1st 6 digits inscribed on them : therefore imperator Claudius (who wrote a book on Etruscan history) is stated in Apokolokyntosis 14 to "rattle dice for ever" :

"the old round form of kuei" (A&ACS, p. 100) would suggest a punkin, and the "punkinification" (apokolokyntosis, apotheosis by transportation to heaven in a punkin) of imperator Claudius was held in Etruscan manner : this must have been in a pumpkin-coach pulled by mice. In Siberia tribes, the vehicle transporting ghosts to the abode for the dead is a sleigh pulled through the sky by reindeer. The reindeer is a species of elk, and in myths of ("ES") Arapaho, the Blackfoot, and the Gros Ventre mice were staging a dance-festival within the skull of an elk.} The favorite mice (in tales) are white ones; as are the favorite ghosts.



Ch. 24th hsiu /liu/ "willow" (A&ACS, p. 152), but = J. naks.atra "Flag" (ibid.). The anthers of staminate (male) willows are pink ("rose-colored") in the bud (W"W"). {The flag of the State of Telangana is sometimes depicted pink ("TQuNDV"; "TTE" -- with photographs) when displayed by the Gulabi ('Pink') political party there.} {Another "pink flag" is that of Moks.a Ritau 'liberation season' ("MRB").}




Ch. 26th hsiu /ts>an/ "extended net" (A&ACS, p. 152) = J. naks.atra "Bed" (ibid.). "Net" may mean 'net-hammock', which is the usual bed of persons dwelling in the tropical regions. Cf. Highland Maya qat 'net' (whence, because ripe fruits are customarily gathered into carrying-nets, Lowland Maya kan 'ripe', A&ACS, p. 157), whereto is attributed (A&ACS, p. 156; "DMC") the "red Ceiba tree", source of kapok : in the highlands of tropical regions, ("KCSCT") "most people sleep on kapok mattresses." Bombax ceiba "bark is gray in colour ... . ... Seeds are ... gray in colour" ("BC") and poisonous.



Ch. 27th hsiu /i/ "'wings' of a bird" (A&ACS, p. 109) = J. naks.atra "Bed" (A&ACS, p. 152). {Some red-and-green bird is implied, perhaps the red-and-green macaw.}

S[^] {< T}


Ch. 28th hsiu /c^en/ "chariot" (A&ACS, p. 152), but = J. naks.atra "Hand" (ibid.) : ("ARMD") "He is placing us in the palm of his hand." The Jaina hand-emblem is to denote "the halting of the cycle of reincarnation" ("JH"), which in Meso-American terms would require controlling one's nagual and one's tonal. {Cf. Tezcatlanextia the yellow-and-red countrepart of Tezcatlipoca on CBM, p. 21, shewing tree cracking off (dying), with beast vomiting blood (dying along with tree) : tree and beast sharing a single life-energy (one of the twain perhaps the nagual, and the other the tonal).}



Ch. 1st hsiu /c^io/ "horn" (A&ACS, p. 152), but = J. naks.atra "Flower in bloom" (ibid.), otherwise (in the "Pearl" (A&ACS, p. 180). {In the Hymn of the Pearl ("HRG") XVII, a figure is depicted "with Sapphires"; hence the blue.}



Ch. 2nd hsiu /k>an/ (A&ACS, p. 155) "Neck" (PS, p. 40), but = J. naks.atra "spike" (A&ACS, pp. 152-3). "Neck" would be the "Twelve Storeyed Pagoda of the Throat" ("DE" J) : "The 12-stor[e]y pagoda is associated to a throat, Jade Hall to an esophagus" (JW, p. 67, fn. 20), where "Jade Hall" could refer to "the purple hall of the city of jade" (T>ai I C^in Hua Tsun C^ih, cap. 1 "Heavenly Consciousness" -- SGF, p. 22).





A&ACS = Hugh A. Moran & David H. Kelley : The Alphabet and the Ancient Calendar Signs. 2nd edn. Palo Alto, Calif., 1969.

DCM = Pierre Grimal (transl by A. R. Maxwell-Hyslop) : Dictionary of Classical Mythology. Basil Blackwell, 1986.

GN = Jennifer Larson : Greek Nymphs. Oxford Univ Pr, 2001.

NW = Linda Raedisch : Night of the Witches. Llewellyn Publ, Woodbury (MN), 2011.

"BP = "On the Bath of Pallas".

DH = William Newton : A Display of Heraldry. London : William Pickering, 1846.

Tao-Te C^>in 11

"10MS" = "10 Myths of the Supernatural, Taken From British Folklore".


"URCH" = "Unauthorized Research on Cluster Headache". ENTHEOGEN REVIEW XVI.4 (winter solstice 2008).

"LSD" = "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide".

"NS" = "Night Spirits".

SH&IS = John Gregorson Campbell : Superstitions of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. James MacLehose & Sons, Glasgow, 1900.

FM"B" = "Brownie" in Thomas Keightley : The Fairy Mythology. London : H. G. Bohn, 1970.

CL&L = Bob Curran : Celtic Lore & Legend. Career Pr, Franklin Lakes (NJ), 2004.

EPF-LO&ShI = G. F. Black (ed. by Northcote W. Thomas) : Examples of Printed Folk-Lore Concerning the Orkney & Shetland Islands. COUNTY FOLK-LORE, vol. 3. David Nutt, London, 1903.

"DS" = "Domestic Spirits".

CAS = Clemens of Alexandria : Stromata.

OEFCh = Adolf Hofmeister : Ottonis Episcopi Frisingensis Chronica; sive, Historia de Duabus Civitatibus. Hannover. 1912.

W"BM" = WIKIPEDIA article "Biblical Magi".

M&LCR = T. W. Rolleston : Myths & Legends of the Celtic Race. George G. Harrap & Co., London, 1911.

"HM" = "Hera Myths".

TCBIS = Michael A. Barry : The Tale of the City of Brass : an Introductory Study. MA thesis, McGill Univ, autumn 1983.

"SCB" = "The Story of the City of Brass".

S-ED = Monier Monier-Williams : Sanskrit-English Dictionary. 1899.

KA"4th" = "4th Treatise" in Samuel Norton : The Key of Alchemy.

Seneca (transl. by W. H. D. Rouse) : Apocolocyntosis.

"ES" = "The Elk's Skull".

W"W" = WIKIPEDIA article "Willow".

"TQuNDV" =

"TTE" =

"MRB" = "Moksha Ritau Begins". (with photograph)

"DMC" = "Days of the Maya Calendar".

"KCSCT" = "Kapok, Ceiba or Silk Cotton Tree (Ceiba pentandra)".

"BC" = "Bombax Ceiba".

"ARMD" = "Aztec Religion - Major Deities".

"JH" = "Jain Hand (Ahimsa, Abhaya Mudra)".

CBM = Codex Borgianus Mexicanus.

"HRG" = "Hymn of the Robe of Glory".

PS = Bryan E. Penprase : The Power of Stars : How Celestial Observations Have Shaped Civilization. Springer Verlag, Dordrecht & Heidelberg, 2011.

"DE" = "Doctrine of the Elixir".

JW = Imios Archangelis (ed.) & Miaoyu Lanying (transl.) : Jade Writing (Yellow Court Classic). Avatar Solutions, 2010.

SGF = Richard Wilhelm & C. G. Jung (transl. by Cary F. Baynes): The Secret of the Golden Flower. 2nd edn, 1962.

Abbreviations : Ch[inese], J[aina]

[written Aug 8-13, 2014]