Lapis lazuli embodies the image of the boundless universe painted by nature. Some people affirm that they can loose themselves in the depth of this magical color, similar to the blue light of the Greek ocean when water and air melt into one another on the horizon, when the polarities of sky and water merge. For exemple, the russian painter and art theorists Kandinsky expresses the color blue as a sensual experience: “The tendency of blue for depth is so great that it becomes more intense particularly in darker shades and appears, appropriately so, more internal. The deeper the blue, the more it calls a person into infinity and awakens the longing for pureness and ultimately transcendence.
Pecluriar properties of blue
Blue is the color of the spirit, devotion and religious study. That’s why Lapis Lazuli was considered like a magical stone and widely used in ancient rituals. It enhances contemplation and prayer. On the other hand, blue’s devotion can be to any cause or concept it believes in, including devotion to family or work.
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Blue is not really a color but rather a condition of light. For a long time, blue has been regarded as the color of imagination. It can take us away from reality to fantasy, from present to past, from the color of the day to the amorphous shades of blue of the night and the distance. The snow covering the mountains appears blue from a distance and seems to harmonize with the lower portions of the clouds.
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In his color teachings, Goethe called the color blue a “delightful nothing”. Blue is pleasant, because “it doesn’t press us, but only lingers”; it gives a feeling of boundlessness and space. Objects shown in a blue light appear smaller and lighter. In 1810 Goethe was the first one to point out that our reactions to colors are mainly biologically based. He believed that blue can cause fearful, tender and longing emotions.
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The Greeks considered blue merely vapor and air – nothing material; a color of perspectives, ethereal as the color of the sky, the ocean, the shadow of the moon, the unreal. Moreover many traditional Greek buildings have the colour Greek Blue on them. Greek Blue is more commonly found on doors, roofs, fences.
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Blue can become dark and gloomy, but can also dissipate like veils of mist, which creates the impression of brightness and power.
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The sky is blue because short-wave light is scattered most by the dust particles of the atmosphere. Blue is located on the short-wave end of the spectrum. The shift of the spectrum lines toward the short-wave end caused by the Doppler effect is called blue shift.
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Ozone is a slightly bluish, allotropic form of oxygen and can be condensed into a deep blue, magnetic liquid, the color of the night.
Water that appears to be blue is always salty, warm and deep; it is typical for the tropics with its high levels of water evaporation.
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It is important to realize that mountains, which appear blue from a distance, are not blue when we reach them; that the water of the ocean loses the color blue when we draw some and that the color of the sky, after passing the atmosphere, turns out to be the darkest of black.
Blue is a color that is easy on the eyes. It conveys calm and deep harmony.
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Looking at the color blue activates the parasympathetic nervous system, the adrenal cortex excretes cortisone; blood pressure, pulse and production of adrenaline decrease.
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Mescaline hallucinations produce an unusual amount of shades of blue.
The symbolism of blue colour
Blue is the color of the dark side, the wonderful, the unfathomable, longing, and realization.
In Morocco, a dab of blue behind the ear of the bride wards off the power of evil.
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In Jerusalem, a blue hand, painted on the door, offers protection for the house and its inhabitants.
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In East Africa, blue pearls signify fertility.
In symbolism blue is the color of water. Water is the archetypical image of womanhood. In Christian tradition blue is the color of the Virgin Mary.
In Tibetan Buddhism consciousness and wisdom – called Dharma-dhatu and considered attributes of the immortal androgyne – materialize as a radiant blue.
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In Chinese medicine blue corresponds to the Dan-Tien, the heart chakra. It is related to respiration. (see medicine Buddha)
The esoteric tradition of China associates blue with immortality.
The blue city in Judaic tradition is the city of the immortals.
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Dark blue is the color of mourning in Korea.
The god Krishna has blue skin.
Shades of blue are described as shallow or deep instead of light or dark in China.
Blue is for a baby girl; pink for a baby boy in Belgium.
“Prince Charming” is called “The Blue Prince” in Italy and Spain.
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Blue is the color of:
- male infants in Europe
- grieving in Borneo
- distress and suffering in native American tribes
- direction South in Tibet
- compassion in the Kabala
- virtue, faith and truth in ancient Egypt.
Positive and Negative Traits of the Color Blue
Positive keywords include: loyalty, trust and integrity, tactful, reliability and responsibility, conservatism and perseverance, caring and concern, idealistic and orderly, authority, devotion and contemplation, peaceful and calm.
Negative keywords include: being rigid, deceitful and spiteful, depressed and sad, too passive, self-righteous, superstitious and emotionally unstable, too conservative and old-fashioned, predictable and weak, unforgiving, aloof and frigid.
Variations of the Color Blue
Pale Blue: Pale blue shows some kind of creativity and the freedom to break free.
Sky Blue: One of the calmest colors, sky blue inspires selfless love and fidelity. It is non-threatening and promotes a helpful nature that can overcome all obstacles. It is the universal healer.
Azure Blue:A color of true contentment, azure inspires determination and ambition to achieve great things, a sense of purpose in striving for goals.
Dark Blue: Dark blue is the color of conservatism and responsibility. Although it appears to be cool, calm and collected, it is the color of the non-emotional worrier with repressed feelings, the pessimist and the hypocrite. Dark blue can be compassionate but has trouble showing it as its emotions run deep. Dark blue is a serious masculine color representing knowledge, power, and integrity, and is used quite often in the corporate world.
Effects of Blue
Conservative: The color blue is a safe colour – the most universally liked colour of all.
Predictable: Blue is not impulsive or spontaneous and it doesn’t like to be rushed – blue needs to analyze and think things through, and to work to a plan.
Orderly: Blue needs to have direction & order- untidiness and unpredictability overwhelms it.
Rigid: Blue likes familiarity. It doesn’t like change and will stubbornly do things its own way, even if there is a better way.
Lapis Lazuli as a Pigment
High-quality lapis lazuli has been used as a mineral pigment for over 1,000 years. Bright blue pieces of lapis are trimmed of impurities and ground to a fine powder; the powder can then be mixed with oil or another vehicle for use as a paint. Higher-grade pigments can be produced by washing the powder with mild acid to remove calcite and dolomite that dilute the blue color. The material is then processed to remove grains of pyrite and other foreign minerals. This lapis-derived pigment was named “ultramarine blue,” a name that has been subsequently used for hundreds of years.
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During the Renaissance and into the 1800s, paintings done with ultramarine blue were considered to be a luxury because of their high cost. High-quality lapis lazuli was mined in Afghanistan and transported to Europe to manufacture ultramarine blue. This costly pigment was normally used by only the most accomplished artists and those who had wealthy clients to support the additional expense.
Ultramarine as a blue gold
Ultramarine blue made from lapis lazuli is one of the few natural pigments which has a permanent and vivid blue color, good opacity, and high stability. It has always been very expensive and today can sell for over $1,000 per pound.
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Starting in the mid-1800s, artists and chemists began developing synthetic blue pigments for use as alternatives to ultramarine blue made from lapis lazuli. Some of these pigments also bear the name “ultramarine.” An artist who wants an ultramarine pigment made from lapis lazuli today must be sure that the pigment is not synthetic and is actually made from lapis lazuli. Synthetic ultramarine pigments have their advantages. Their blue color is usually deeper and more consistent than traditional ultramarine, and they also cost far less.
In the video below you can watch the whole process describing the whole manufacture of ultramarine.
Today, because of cost, very little ultramarine made from lapis lazuli is used, mainly by artists who are striving to learn historical techniques or achieve results similar to master painters of the past. It is prepared by a few pigment manufacturers who continue to use lapis lazuli from the historical sources in Afghanistan.
I hope you were inspired by fairy blueness and its positives effects. That’s why I would like you to invite you to online shop nammu where a lot of jewelry pieces with Lapis Lazuli are available.