"I just made a mercury talisman and was asked why it was yellow and not orange. I used Beth, and the colour of the magician card. Their argument is that I should have used Hod colours. Practically we are both right... so has anyone been told a rule here."
Martin Thibeault: OGD Reconstructionist Golden Dawn Leader, wrote:
"Our main colour reference for 5=6 is the Minutum Mundum. In it the colours for elements, planets, and signs are those of the king scale of the paths while the colours of the sephiroth (which are not elements, planets, or signs but permutations of forces including these) are in the Queen scale. It is common for people to use a colour because one thing is associated to another, but in the GD, the planets have their own colour...separate from the Sephiroth. The Vault walls are a prime example of this. On the mercury wall of the Vault Yellow is the colour for mercury and orange of the Hod square would be mixed with that yellow for the Hod square on the mercury wall. The colours of the planets are not necessarily those of the sephiroth. The sephiroth represent a far most vast array of forces than just the planet found in their assiah aspect. Hod is therefore not mercury, rather mercury is but a minute aspect of Hod. So a mercury Talisman would definitely be yellow, not Orange...in the same way a Hod Talisman would definitely be Orange, not yellow (unless we get into various theories on different worlds and their colours here)."
David Griffin: Imperator of the Traditionalist, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha Omega, wrote:
"I definitely disagree with Martin Thibeault and here is the rule Nick Farrell has been searching for. When it comes to whether, using the Golden Dawn System of Magic, a Mercury talisman ought to be yellow (the color of the path on the Qabalistic Tree of Life attributed to Mercury) or orange (the color of the Sephiroth attributed to Mercury).
The correct answer lies in the nature of the energy patterns on the Tree itself, since the paths contain active, flowing energies in motion, whereas the Sephiroth themselves attract and contain energy at rest.
You will find the correct answer, as well as a complete color set of finished Golden Dawn talismans and instructions how to use them in The Ritual Magic Manual, the definitive Golden Dawn Grimoire I released back in 1999.
The simple answer is:
"It depends what you wish to accomplish with the talisman."
Does your intention involve attracting a magical force or does it involve projecting it?
If your magical intention involves attracting a force, then you should use the color of the Sephirah corresponding to the planet, since Sephiroth attract force into themselves.
If your magical intention involves projecting a force, you should use the color reference of the Planet on the corresponding path on the Tree of Life, since the paths are active and represent force in motion.
Talismans from the Ritual Magic Manual
Most importantly. Please don't simply take my word for this! Remember:
"Facile answers breed both facile minds...
...and mediocre magicians!"
Experiment with each arrangement for yourself!...
...then make up your OWN mind what is most effective based on your own experience.
I invite readers here to share your experiences with using talismanic magic here on The Golden Dawn Blog in the comments section below." -David Griffin