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White = 0

Updated: Dec 26, 2023

The No-Color & All-Colors of White

White takes a special place in our world of color.

White light is all the colors of the rainbow combined together. It contains all wavelengths of visible light.

But when it comes to pigment, pure white is the absence of color. Meaning, you can't mix colors to create white. So, white is also, no color.

White in fact, is not considered a color at all, but rather a hue or shade. And that goes for black too. But more on black later. This article is all about white.

White in the West

In Western culture, white brings thoughts of spirituality, purity, and goodness.

It also conjures up notions of power and prestige. White is aristocratic and elite, from modern art and gallery walls to celebrities and all-white parties.

Noblewomen of the Renaissance wore white makeup containing arsenic and white lead ore. Along with the attained porcelain doll look, it also gave them poisoning, madness, and early death!

White is fresh as a daisy and pure as the driven snow. But it's also sterile, like a hospital, and stark, like a giant, empty room.

White can lift you to the heavens in a tunnel of blissful light or keep you bound within a tiny and neat bubble.

In the Secret Lives of Color, Kassia St. Clair writes:

“White has an otherness to it. If colors were people it would be admired but it probably wouldn’t be popular. It is just a little too exclusive, autocratic, and neurotic.“

White is Zero = 0

White’s association with zero finds its origins in Eastern philosophy.

In Chinese, zero can mean “sky,” “void,” or empty.” It often expresses the idea that beauty may emerge from “less” or “nothing.”

In Japanese, sky (空 = zero) and white (白) mean blank space, vacuum, or void. It represents something ever-expanding, vast, and without end. Even in its circular shape, zero has no beginning and no end.

Zero is what was before the Big Bang and what will never cease to be. It is all-encompassing and also non-existent.

“The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white.

Neither need you do anything but be yourself.”

—Lao Tzu

Soul Colors and White (Number 0)

White is a paradox with all the marvelous colors in white light but none in white pigment.

It reminds us of "all that is" and "limitless potential." White is the backdrop for wondrous creativity or so luminous it can blind us.

We can observe where white (0) may be in our Soul Colors.

White can amplify the colors around it, strengthening and making them center stage. Or white can dilute colors and diminish those traits.

White offers unlimited possibilities but is unforgiving as it bears all our blemishes.

Either way, mighty white helps us find our truth and dazzles us with its intensity.

*Photos courtesy of


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