Color Symbolism

Pink

238a35139c1b50b22b1b53e62fce7852Symbolic Meaning of the Color Pink:

  • Femininity
  • Innocence
  • Good health
  • Love
  • Patience

Pink is the official color for little girls and represents sugar and spice and everything nice. Pink is the sweet side of the color red and is the color of universal, unconditional love. While the color red stirs up passion, aggression, and action, large amounts of the color pink can actually create physical weakness.

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Pink is the ultimate feminine color, both flirty and girlish and innocent at the same time. Pale pink is used as the symbol for a baby girl, just as pale blue is used for baby boys. The use of pink and blue emerged at the turn of the century, the rule being pink for boys, blue for girls. Since pink was a stronger color it was best suited for boys; blue was more delicate and dainty and best for girls. And in 1921, the Women’s Institute for Domestic Science in Pennsylvania endorsed pink for boys, blue for girls. This feminine angle is why the color pink has been adopted as a symbol of gay pride.

The pink ribbon is an international symbol of breast cancer awareness. Pink ribbons, and the color pink in general, identify the wearer or promoter with the breast cancer brand and express moral support for women with breast cancer. Pink ribbons are most commonly seen during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Other meanings associated with the color pink:

  • The phrase “in the pink” means healthy.
  • The expression “tickled pink” means being happy, content.
  • The saying “pink collar” refers to a female office worker, often used in a derogatory fashion.
  • The word “pink” means to cut, notch, or make a zigzag.
  • A “pink slip” is a notice that you’ve been fired from your job.
  • A “pinko” is a person who is extremely liberal, a socialist or a communist.

Collected from various sources

Orange

OrangeThe Symbolic Meanings of the Color Orange:

  • Balance between spirit and sexuality
  • Fertility and yet virginity
  • Energy
  • The Sun
  • Like yellow, orange is believed to be an appetite stimulant

While orange is a common color associated with summer and the hot sun, often associated with being a main color of harvest and autumn due to the changing color of the leaves and pumpkins. When used alongside the color black, orange brings up associations with Halloween. With the change in color of the autumn leaves, orange often represents the changing seasons. Because of it’s association with change, orange is often used as a transitional color or to represent a transition or change of some kind.

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Orange has two aspects that we see time and time again, pivoting between the material and spiritual worlds, which is not surprising given that the color itself is a balance between red and yellow. As such, it represents the second chakra, the first being red, and the third, yellow.

Orange is a vibrant, cheerful color that definitely lifts the spirits. The orange blossom is the traditional flower for brides because the fruit and the flower can appear on the orange tree at the same time, hence the virginity / fertility symbolism.

Similarly a Hindu bride has an orange powder smeared on her forehead once she is married, a sign of her status. Hindu places of worship are indicated by an orange flag or banner, which is replaced once a year in a colorful and effusive ceremony.

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The color orange is closely associated with the Netherlands originally because of the Dutch ruling dynasty, the House of Orange. Dutch farmers who gave the world the first orange carrot further cemented the association. It might be impossible to associate the carrot with any other color these days but originally they came in black, red, or purple and were a much more bitter vegetable than the modern varieties. By the 1700’s, the Dutch had succeeded in hybridizing pale yellow carrots with red ones. It might be a coincidence, but a recent UNICEF survey showed Dutch children to be the happiest in Europe; given that happiness is one of the symbolic associations with the color orange, could there be a link?

Orange associations with other colors:

  • Orange and blue work well together because they are complimentary colors. The orange and blue color palettes are commonly used for representations of play and summer fun, depicting both the hot, summer sun and the cool, refreshing water.
  • Orange when combined with yellow conjures up feelings of heat and fire, as well as fresh fruit.
  • When combined with the color green, the colors elicit feelings of adventure and tropical destinations.

Collected from various sources

 

Saffron

saffron

Symbolic Meanings of the Color Saffron:

  • Spirituality
  • Holiness
  • Good Fortune

This color is named for the saffron crocuses whose stigmata create the color. The harvesting of these delicate plant parts is a labor-intensive and time-critical matter and so the actual dye is costly to produce. Saffron is an extremely auspicious color for Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs. A saffron or orange banner indicates a place of spiritual worship.

The foreheads of Hindu deities are daubed with saffron paste to denote their celestial status, and although the Hindu pantheon is vast and complex, the use of saffron is a unifying factor across the many different manifestations of the faith.

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Saffron is paler and more golden than true orange, and is said to be the color of wisdom, the rising Sun, and of Mother Earth.

Source: The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Signs and Symbols

Red

red-splash-psd95378Symbolic Meanings of the Color Red:

  • Vitality and Life Force
  • Fire
  • The Sun
  • The South
  • Blood
  • Good Luck and Prosperity
  • Power and Authority
  • Masculine Energy
  • War and Anger
  • Passion
  • Energy
  • Sexuality

One of the three primary colors, bright red pops out of whatever environment it happens to be in and grabs our attention more than any other color. Moreover, it is the first actual color that is seen by babies.

Because it has a lower vibrational frequency than any other color in our visible spectrum, it is associated with the Root Chakra and symbolizes passion, sexuality, fertility and animal urges. Red-light districts are so called because of the dim red shades of the prostitutes’ quarters.

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Red is the color of blood, which means that it is associated with the life-forces and vitality. Hunters would daub themselves in the red blood of the kill, which they believed would give them empathy with the spirit of the animal. Red is also the color of fire, the Sun and the Southern direction.

The word for “magic,” in German is directly linked to the word for “red ochre.” A recent archaeological discovery provided unusual evidence of the reverence in which the color was held by early man. Lumps of red ochre, as well as tools stained with the substance, were found in early graves in an Israeli cave, indicating its importance as a symbol of vitality, life, and resurrection.

Pure colors used to be very difficult and expensive to produce, and so red cloth was used by people in positions of power, such as the monarchy and the clergy. Byzantine emperors were dressed from head to food in red. In Rome, red was the color of nobles and generals, and the Holy Roman Church still dresses its cardinals in pure, bright, cardinal red. To roll out the red carpet for someone is to honor their presence.

Red is the color of protection and has been viewed as such for at least the last 2000 years. Amulets made from rubies or garnets were far more valuable than any other kind, able to make the wearer invincible.

8a7c25ce0e517f8a804a1e066147a970And then there is the red planet. Mars has a preponderance of iron oxide in its soil that gives it a red appearance that is clearly visible to the naked eye. This color is partially responsible for its association with war and warriors.

In India and China, red is the traditional color for weddings. Indian brides wear saris of red or pink, and the Chinese happy couple will be surrounded by a veritable sea of red, clothing, souvenirs, and gifts. Even the home of the bride and groom are decorated with red banners and ribbons. Roman brides, too, favored red for their wedding veil, which was called a flammeum. This tradition is shared by modern Greek brides.

The red envelope is a popular Chinese symbol for happiness. It has been a long-standing belief that red envelopes bring happiness, good luck and prosperity. In fact the color red stands for all these, in itself. So the person gifting these wishes the person receiving it to be bestowed with all these things.

By contrast, red is the color worn by mourners in South Africa. Red was also the color of the communist revolution in Russia, and so politically it is associated with communist causes.

In Ancient Egypt red was synonymous with evil, because it was the color of the God Seth, who haunted the arid desert places, the personification of destruction. Seth was called the “Red God,” and an Egyptian charm of the time goes like this:

Oh, Isis, deliver me from the hands of bad, evil, red things!

Similarly, in Christian symbolism, the Devil is sometimes depicted as a red creature. Like Seth, he also has a predilection for scorched places.

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In alchemy, the Red Stone is mercuric sulfide, a compound of sulfur and mercury that is also called vermilion. The creation of vermilion was a very important primary stage in the process of making the Philosopher’s Stone, which is itself disguised as the Red Lion, since this elusive substance was characterized by turning red in its final stage.

Other meanings associated with the color red:

  • When the color green and the color red are combined, they traditionally represent Christmas and the joyous holiday season.
  • Red is often associated with the fortieth wedding anniversary, as the red ruby is the traditional fortieth wedding anniversary gift.
  • Barns and large structures have been traditionally painted red because the red paint was the most inexpensive paint to purchase and the easiest paint to manufacture.
  • A red rose without thorns is a symbol of passion, love, and romance.
  • A red rose with thorns typically exemplifies the struggle and challenges associated with journey of love, meaning that it can be both joyous, fulfilling and delicate, as well as painful and cruel.
  • The saying “in the red” means losing money, no money, or overdrawing your account at the bank and is thought to come from the feelings of stress and anxiousness and the physical symptoms they cause such as elevated blood pressure and often anger or danger.
  • The term “red herring” is used when referencing something that is deceiving, dishonest, or distracting from the truth.
  • The phrase “paint the town red” is associated with celebration, partying, abandon, fun, and excitement.
  • The expression “seeing red” is thought to be based on the physical characteristic of anger, including redness of the cheeks, physical exertion, and elevated blood pressure.
  • The term “red eye” is associated with overnight airline flights due to the perceived lack of sleep passengers receive and the appearance of red in the whites of their eyes as a result.
  • The saying “red carpet treatment” refers to making someone feel special and pampered as if they are a VIP or high profile person.
  • The phrase “red flag” is often used in reference to a warning of danger, problems, fighting, and war.

Collected from various sources.

Purple

purplesplashSymbolic Meanings of the Color Purple:

  • Royalty and Pomp
  • Power
  • Wealth
  • Majesty
  • Magick

Purple (and also indigo) is the color associated with the sixth chakra. The sixth chakra, Ajna, is in the area of the third eye, which is found in the space between the eyebrows. This is your center of intuition.

Since it was first discovered, purple has been the color of choice to denote wealth and power. Emperors, kings, and the more powerful members of the clergy – such as bishops – choose the color as a way of defining their status. This is because the dye itself was originally available from one source and one source only; the secretions of a certain gland of an unfortunate sea snail called the Murex Brandaris.

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Therefore, purple was extremely costly to produce and strictly the color of those who could afford it, since the dye itself was more expensive even than gold. The most popular shade of the color is called Tyrian Purple ( named for the city of Tyre, where it was manufactured).

Heracles’ dog, which had a predilection for snacking on the snails he found along the seashore, is credited with having discovered the dye after his owner noticed the purple staining around his mouth. It is likely, however, that the Minoans on Crete discovered the purple pigment quite some time before Heracles’ dog trotted into the picture.

If the theory of the Minoan discovery is true then the rare purple dye has been with us for at least 3500 years, so its associations with all things glorious and splendid are well embedded into the human psyche even with the advent of synthetic dye alternatives.

It is said that purple was a favorite color of Cleopatra. It has continued to be a color associated with royalty, and with high honor, such as the purple heart awarded American soldiers wounded or killed in war. Obviously, purple is a very special color. That is also true in feng shui. In feng shui, there is one color that is suitable in any direction. That color is purple.

Other meanings associated with the color purple:

  • The phrase “purple cow” refers to something remarkable, amazing, unique, stand-out, eye-catching, or unusual.
  • The term “purple prose” is used in reference to large exaggerations, lies, and highly imaginative writings.
  • The expression “purple speech” is used to describe profanity and bad language.
  • The saying “purple haze” refers to confusion or euphoria which may be drug-induced.
  • In Thailand, purple is the color of mourning for widows.

Collected from various sources

 

Motley

1411018594355Symbolic Meanings of Motley Colors:

  • Wealth
  • A Chameleon Personality

Not strictly a color as such, but a combination of many other colors. The word is generally used to describe cloth or clothing.

3d8eba589cb7c7a35b5981675c692e8dThe rainbow nature of motley means that whoever wears it has as many aspects as there are colors, a chameleon personality, and it can indicate the trickster or fool (as worn by the jester, or the fool in the Tarot) as well as kings, emperors, and deities.

In the Bible, Joseph’s coat of many colors is the subject of much envy.

Source: Element Encyclopedia of Secret Signs and Symbols

 

Green

9tzek47acSymbolic Meanings of the Color Green

  • New Life
  • Resurrection
  • Hope
  • The Sea
  • Fertility and Regeneration
  • Recycling
  • Environmental Awareness
  • A Lucky Color
  • An Unlucky Color

Green is an amalgam of blue and yellow, and is the color of the fourth chakra. Green is the universal symbol for “Go!” to red’s “Stop!”

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In common with yellow, there seem to be several anomalies in the symbolic meaning of green. To call someone “green” means that they are inexperienced or innocent and obviously refers to fresh young shoots, yet jealousy is also described as the “green-eyed monster.” This saying is actually Shakespearean in origin. In Othello, he describes jealousy as being like a green-eyed monster, the cat, “which doth mock the meat it feeds on.” Probably the same origin gives us “green with envy.”

Green is a soothing, refreshing color, so it is interesting to discover why it’s sometimes believed to be unlucky. It’s still a statistical fact that fewer green cars are sold in the UK than any other color because of this superstition.

In the Middle Ages, green was meant to be the color of the Devil. He’s even depicted on a stained-glass window in Chartres Cathedral as having green skin and green eyes, strangely similar to a generally held belief about the appearance of Martians. In this sense the color denotes an alien, nonhuman, possibly threatening being; no surprise, then, that it’s the color of the Fairy Folk, and it might well be that the color is lucky or unlucky depending on their attitude toward you. If you dressed in green it was believed that the fairies could claim you as your own.

In Islam, green is the color of paradise, and Mohammed has a green banner. Paradise actually means “garden,” and in the arid desert landscape of the Bedouin, any stretch of lush green land must indeed appear heavenly.

The epitome of the nature God in the Western world is the Green Man, the pre-Christian deity whose leafy face peeps out from woodlands and verdant forests and reminds us that Mother Nature is supernal. However, the Green Man is not exclusive to the West. He also exists in Islam as Al Kadir. Al Kadir is the patron of travelers and he’s said to live on the very edge of the world where the oceans of Heaven and Earth merge. Be mindful if you meet Al Kadir that you should do as he tells you, however outlandish the instructions might be.

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In alchemy, full of hidden meanings, the Green Lion itself has more than one meaning. It is a symbol for Vitriol (sulfuric acid) which is created by distilling the green iron sulfate crystals in a flask. But the life-force itself was symbolized as the blood of the Green Lion, blood contained in a green vessel; this was a reference not to real physical gold, but to Philosophers’ Gold, far more valuable and elusive.

Other meanings associated with the color green:

  • When used in combination with the color red, green is seen as a Christmas color. The colors green and red are also complimentary colors and may seem to vibrate when used together.
  • Depending upon which colors are used in combination with the color green, it has both a warming and a cooling effect.
  • Olive green and several green shades and tints used in camouflage gear have a strong military meaning.
  • Combining green and blue together in a color palette represent nature, including the new growth of the forest and the water.
  • Combining brown and beige with green is often associated with organic or recycled materials.
  • Telling someone they have a “green thumb” means that they are good with plants and gardening.
  • The phrase “green room” refers to the room in a theater or television studio where the guests, experts, or performers go to relax.
  • The expression “greener pastures” and “grass is greener” are used in reference to something newer or better.
  • The phrase “green around the gills” is used when discussing a sickly or pale appearance. Often this description is caused by an upset stomach and the need to throw up.
  • The term “greenback” refers to the United States dollar bill.

Collected from various sources

Gray

splash-psd91983Symbolic Meaning of the color Gray:

  • Sobriety
  • Steadiness
  • Modesty

Gray is the midway point between black and white, and tellingly the “gray area” is an area of indetermination, indecision, or ambiguity. The color gray is an emotionless, moody color that is typically associated with meanings of dull, dirty, and dingy, as well as formal, conservative, and sophisticated.

To be described as gray is rather less than flattering, since gray is such a subdued and neutral color, and implies that the person blends into the background.

However, gray is also a color of balance and reasonableness and is the color used, in photography, to balance all others. Dark, charcoal gray communicates some of the strength and mystery of black. It is a sophisticated color that lack the negativity of the color black. Light grays can carry some of the attributes of the color white.

Because people’s hair turns gray with age, the word is often used to describe elderly people and is also a color of wisdom.

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For Christians, gray is the color of resurrection and is worn when people are coming out of the full black of mourning as the midway point on the journey to other colors.

Other meanings associated with the color gray:

  • The phrase “gray matter” refers to smarts, intelligence, brains, and intellect.
  • The saying “gray power” is used in reference to the power of the elderly or senior citizens.
  • The term “gray page” is a text-heavy page with very little contrast or white space.
  • The expression “gray-hair” is sometimes used to refer to an elderly person.
  • The phrase “gray water” refers to dirty water such as water that has been drained from a bathtub or kitchen sink.

Collected from various sources.

Yellow

exhibition-stands-essex-yellow-paint-splashSymbolic Meanings of the Color Yellow

  • The Sun
  • Power
  • Authority
  • The Intellect and Intuition
  • Goodness
  • Light
  • Life
  • Truth
  • Immortality
  • Endurance
  • The Empire and Fertility (China)
  • Cowardice
  • Treachery

Yellow is one of the three primary colors and is related to the Solar Plexus Chakra. This is apt, since yellow, like red and orange, is one of the Sun colors. It could be argued that yellow is the most dazzling of the three, so the association makes good sense.

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The Ancient Egyptians had only six colors available in their pallet, and wherever yellow is used this indicates the ability to endure and timelessness.

In China, yellow is the color of the Emperor. The average man in the street was forbidden from wearing it until relatively recently. It is also the color of fertility, since healthy soil in China is a yellow color. Because of this, all the hangings, sheets, and pillows of the bridal bed were dyed in vibrant shades of yellow as well as red.

However, there are some contradictions with yellow. In the UK and USA, to call someone “yellow” or to say that they have a “yellow streak” means that they are cowardly. There are several theories about why this should be. The one that seems to fit best is that Judas Iscariot was said to have worn yellow robes, and his own cowardly act was to betray Christ for thirty pieces of silver.

Jewish people were made to wear a yellow Star of David during the Nazi regime of the Second World War. Similarly, in 1215 the Lateran Council ordered Jews to wear a yellow circle to identify themselves. It was probably small comfort for these persecuted people that they believed yellow to be synonymous with beauty.

In 10th century France, the doors of criminals were painted yellow. Conversely, in the 14th century, the yellow chrysanthemum was worn by warriors as a symbol of courage.

bodhi-leavesBecause leaves turn yellow and then to black with the onset of fall, in several places, including Ancient Egypt, yellow is a color of mourning. A yellow cross was painted on doors as a sign of the plague, possibly for the same reasons, and even today yellow marks off a quarantined area.

Color Yellow Meanings in the Bible:

  • Refers to God’s glory (Ezekiel 1:4)
  • Brightness of Christ (Revelation 21:23)
  • Yellow can also refer to God’s fire (Hebrew’s 12:29) or judgment (Genesis 19:24)
  • Yellow is also used to describe the color of gold (Psalm 68:13).

Other meanings associated with the color yellow:

  • Traditionally, yellow ribbons were worn as a sign of hope as women waited for their men to come home from war.
  • Today, yellow ribbons are still used to welcome homes loved ones.
  • Calling someone “yellow” or “yellow-bellied” is the same as calling them a coward.
  • The term “mellow yellow” stands for laid and relaxation.
  • The phrase “yellow journalism” is in reference to bad or irresponsible reporting.
  • In some cultures, yellow represents peace.
  • In Egypt yellow was worn to signify the dead.
  • In Japan, yellow stands for courage.
  • In India, yellow is the color of the merchants.

Collected from various sources.

Brown

po-splash-2Symbolic Meanings of the color Brown:

  • Poverty
  • Humility
  • Practicality

Brown is the color primarily associated with the Earth, soil, the raw element before it is covered with greenery. The word for earth, in Latin, is humus, which carries the same root as humility. Religious ascetics wear brown as a reminder of this quality and also of their voluntary material poverty.

The brown color says stability, reliability, dependability, and approachability. It is the color of our soil, growth, fertility, and earth, and it is associated the concepts of “all natural” and “organic.” Brown is the color of the Earth and is comforting and nurturing.

brown-egg-wooden-box-daily-paintworks

Other meanings associated with the color brown:

  • The term “brown bottle” refers to a bottle of beer.
  • To “brown” something is to cook or burn it.
  • The saying “brown-nose” refers to someone who sucks up, or kisses butt to someone of authority.
  • The phrase “brown study” is used to describe someone who is aloof, indifferent.
  • The expression “brown out” refers to a partial loss of service.

Collected from various sources.

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