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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Sir Isaac Newton

DEFINITIONS

Isaac Newton: (1643*-1727) Virtually every school child knows the story of how an Apple supposedly fell on Newton’s head, leading him to discover the laws of gravity. High school and college students are familiar with Newton’s laws of physics. However, few today are familiar with the fact that Newton was as interested in both physical and metaphysical sciences. John Michael Greer, in The New Encyclopedia of the Occult, attributes this to scientists of the 18th century and onward thinking that Newton’s occult interests, especially his voluminous writings on alchemy, were an “embarrassment” and dismissed them while biographies ignored this aspect of his life. His alchemical writings were not even published until the late 20th century.

Newton’s work on optics should have given people a clue as to his mystical leanings. Newton came up with a clever experiment that proved that prisms did not color light, as many scholars (including Descartes, Robert Hooke, and Edward Boyle) had thought, but broke it down into component parts. He said that white light broke down into seven colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. However, anyone looking at the colors created by a prism or a rainbow will see literally thousands of colors that blend into each other. Newton chose seven as the number of colors because of that number’s mystical value: seven days of the week, on the seventh day God rested, the seven planets, the seven heavens, the seven churches, etc.

Today, many Western teachings on color focus on the seven-color system of Newton. Even Eastern ideas have been adapted. For example, although traditional associations of colors to the seven chakras of Indian mysticism are different, in the West, they are usually attributed to the colors and order created by Newton.

* Some give his birth as 1642. During his lifetime, the Western calendar was changed to its modern form, thus moving his birth date to 1643.

Also See: Sir Isaac NewtonNewton, Isaac

ARTICLES

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Principles of Ceremonial
Magical ceremonial can be built up and elaborated to forms of great subtlety and complexity, but the initial principles which cause its creation are simple in the extreme. In the first place, ceremonial is a different thing from meditation, and it ...
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Concise Dream Symbol Dictionary
This concise dictionary was developed by Dr. Joe H. Slate and is excerpted from Chapter Seven of The Llewellyn Complete Book of Psychic Empowerment. The interpretative significance of a dream symbol depends on a number of factors; among them, the ...
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Norse Gods & Goddesses
Partial List of the Norse Gods, Goddesses & Other Supernatural Beings Their Lore, Powers & Influence The Names of the deities are in the old Norse language while the Rune names are in German. (Note: Many of the correspondences given in ...
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Planets
The planets (including the Sun and Moon) are the actors in the astrological drama. They represent ten general categories of energy – ten sub-personalities – that reflect facets of your personality and ways that you function in the world. Each planet ...
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What Can You Expect from Ritual Magic?
Those who approach ritual magic for the first time usually harbor wildly unrealistic expectations shaped by their confused and erroneous notions of what magic is and how it works. There is nothing wrong with this—the practice of magic is a learning ...
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Sample Hypnotic Suggestions
What follows is just a mini-sample of possible suggestions for various purposes to give you an idea of what hypnotic suggestion is all about. For Auras Your aura radiates from you with the strength and colors that you decide by your mental, ...
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Signs of the Zodiac
The signs of the zodiac are the most widely known part of the astrological system. As mentioned earlier, almost everyone knows your Sun sign. The daily horoscopes in the newspaper are based on the position of the Sun in the zodiac. The zodiac is ...
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Svadhisthana - The Seat of Life
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Astrological Houses
Your astrological chart is divided into twelve sections called houses. They are numbered from the left side counterclockwise around the chart. The chart represents the planets against a background of the signs of the zodiac, and these signs rise in ...
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If one thing has been sacred to our species since time immemorial, it is our trees. Dwelling between the realms of earth and sky, we humans are beings of both worlds, and our very life is a balance and synthesis of form and spirit, below and above. What more appropriate symbol for this could there be than a tree, rooted in the earth, and... read this article
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