The black tav robe is worn in the outer order, and we are told it signifies ignorance. But of what? Black is the earth element, the corporeal form, and I believe it is the ignorance of the elemental self of which it is the work of the magician to come to know. The red socks symbolise the energy and fire in motion to initiate that transformative process. The earth of our beings not only contains the spark of fire within, the locomotion of life in the fire of the Alchemist heats the Tav cross of matter into decay and corruption. The outer order is our crucible, and each of us is a black elemental cross who is to be broken down or dissolved into the separate elemental parts before eventually being recombined or coagulated into the philosophers stone. We are the Alchemist, the fire, the crucible and the black cross of matter. We are the complete Hermeticly sealed system, and the experiment is on ourselves, if we could only remember to recognize it.
The black sash with a white border simply demarcates the grades or steps of the outer order. The robe is a symbol of the physical form, and is the black of Binah, Saturn, earth, limitation, authority and of course ignorance. The socks are the red of Mars, fire, Geburah and Aries, energy, the will and one's self identity.
Adapted from a forum post I made earlier this spring.
6 months ago