Whether it’s the shimmering blue of the sea, the rainbow of floral colors in spring, or a rainy gray fall day, colors have a huge effect on our moods. So it’s no surprise that colors have a spiritual depth that goes beyond just their appearance. By understanding the spiritual significance of colors, you can use them to make your house feel more homely, put the balance back into your workplace, improve your mood and even help you improve your dress sense and style.
The truth is that colors can have a different effect on each of us, after all we’re all as unique as each autumn leaf, so we don’t all feel the same way about the same shade of green or red. But, colors in of themselves do have tremendous spiritual power and depth.
Remember when you were a kid, you probably had a favorite color? As you grow older, you become less focused on your favorite and see each color on it’s own merit. When painting your living room, or choosing your new car, you focus less on your favorite color and how that color can change a mood or convey a sense of style.
However you feel about a color, in our society, colors do have a meaning that is usually shared through our subconscious and our conditioning. For example, we all know that a red light means stop, a red sign means danger or a red X means wrong.
But there is so much to the color red than stop, danger or incorrect. The red cross is used to signify health, red in a sign can be used to draw our eye to a message, or a red apple can signify that it is ripe and sweet. In China, red is the color of luck and good fortune and in many of the world’s flags, red often symbolizes freedom or justice.
So what is the spiritual meaning of each color?
The spiritual meaning of Red
It’s bold and brash and it certainly draws the eye. For this reason it has come to be associated with warnings and danger, but this is mostly because it’s a hard color to ignore. Spiritually, red means:
- Passion and desire (red blooded)
- Energy, strength and power (fire)
- Evil, anger (also fire)
As we mentioned in the intro, in Chinese and eastern culture, the color red can be associated with great luck.
But, in our western Christian culture, red can also be associated with hell and the devil, thanks to those fire connotations. And of course, red is universally associated with blood and violence.
As such, it’s a color that needs to be handled with care when used externally.
But, from a spiritual perspective, red is powerful color to use for meditation or healing.
- Chakra: Base chakra
- Healing crystals: Amber, garnet, fire agate, red jasper
The spiritual meaning of Orange
The color of sunsets, fresh fruit and vitality; orange is often thought of as the color of happiness and nature. Thanks to its association with fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, oranges (of course), pumpkins and apricots, it is thought of as a healthy glow or a positive ray of light. As a warm color, almost all associated meanings of orange tend to be positive.
- Warmth, comfort (sunlight/fire)
- Fertility, bounty and freshness (food/fruit)
In Hinduism and Buddhism, orange is a sacred color, and is often associated with the robes of monks and holy men.
Although related to red, orange is a safer color and one that feels more at home around living spaces. After all, would you choose a red bedroom, or perhaps a bedroom with hues of orange?
- Chakra: Sacral chakra
- Healing crystals: Amber, apricot agate, carnelian, citrine
The spiritual meaning of Yellow
As the color of the sun, yellow means life. By extension, yellow implies vitality, awareness, happiness and warmth. Although it is inescapably positive in it’s hue, and to most people it is the color of positivity.
However, phrases such as yellow-bellied also associate yellow with cowardice and failure. But, when it comes to the effect on us spiritually and mentally, yellow remains almost entirely positive.
- Energy, happiness, life (sun)
- Vitality, new beginnings (flowers/spring)
In many cultures, yellow is also associated with the divine. The halos and auras of saints or angels are often presented as yellow or golden.
- Chakras: Solar plexus chakra
- Healing crystals: Citrine, Lemon chrysoprase, yellow fluorite, yellow sapphire
The spiritual meaning of Green
The color of nature, green is often associated with the environment, healing and healthiness. In fact, the phrase ‘being green’ means in tune with the environment and nature. Many of the connotations of the color green are related to the color’s associations with the earth.
Green is also associated with money and therefore wealth, especially with relation to dollars, although this has become a universal connotation.
- Vitality, healing and health (trees/natural greenery)
- Awareness, Mother Earth, environment
- Luck, wealth (money)
In terms of negative associations, terms such as the green eyed devil, or green with envy tie the color to jealousy. People also refer to feeling green if you’re feeling ill, especially with regards to nausea or seasickness.
Green is also considered an upbeat yet relatively conservative color. It is like the more cautious cousin of yellow or the more carefree sibling of blue, being a mixture of the two.
- Chakra: Heart chakra
- Healing crystals: Alexandrite, Amazonite, Fuschite, green calcite, malachite, tourmaline
The spiritual meaning of Blue
Another color with strong natural connotations, blue has a powerful effect on us. Like red, it has both negative and positive associations and is a color that you need to manage carefully. Blue can be warm or cool, happy or sad, natural or synthetic.
- Intellect, creativity, heaven (blue sky)
- Peace, harmony, spirituality, purity (water/the sea)
- Coldness, authority, sadness (ice/cold)
Shades of blue can have a bearing on the interpretation of mood, with warmer and lighter blues feeling more comforting. Think baby blue, or sapphire blues. However darker or aquamarine blues can imply authority, business or the patriarchy – such as the police or corporate branding.
Spiritually, blue can be a calming and warming color that offers focus and purity, like gazing at the sea or the sky.
- Chakras: Throat chakra
- Healing crystals: Aragonite, blue apatite, blue calcite, blue calcite, laramar, turquoise
The spiritual meaning of Indigo
For centuries, the indigo plant was one of the few natural sources of blue dye, with these flowers commonly found in the tropics. This rich color is often seen as the color of the third eye, or of higher perception and is a strong and effective aid for meditation.
However, indigo is also strongly associated with negative aspects of ourselves, such as obsession, fanaticism and addiction. This is truly a color with a dark aspect to its enlightened side, but one that can be highly beneficial if used correctly.
- Idealism, visionary, wisdom (night sky)
- Devotion, selflessness, integrity
- Intolerance, fear, depression, addiction
Indigo is like the dark and the light side, and as such is a color that needs to be understood spiritually. As the color of the third eye, there is an energy and a wisdom to indigo that sets it apart from the other purple/blue hues.
- Chakra: Third eye chakra
- Healing crystals: Amethyst, Aurauralite, fluorite, lapis lazuli, blue tourmaline
The spiritual meaning of Purple
Long associated with royalty and affluence, purple is known as the Crown chakra color. In mystical and spiritual terms, purple is strongly linked to magic, imagination and the inner self. It’s a mysterious color, and one that can often be seen used for ceremonies of all types.
In terms of the rainbow, violet is the manifestation of purple, with the highest vibrations on the color spectrum. Violet is the color that appears in the rainbow, whereas purple is a stronger form of violet, a mixture of red and blue.
Like many of the colors at this end of the spectrum, the spiritual meanings can vary from strongly positive to strongly negative.
- Imagination, dreams, creativity, mystery (night time)
- Wealth, ceremony, dignity (royal associations)
- Arrogance, cynicism
With a strong tie to the world of the spiritual, purple is one of the most powerful colors for meditation. It is also strongly associated with dissipating irrational fears and nervous disorders.
- Chakra: Crown chakra
- Healing crystals: Amethyst, iolite, purple jade, lepidolite, selenite, sugilite
The spiritual meaning of White
With the highest of all vibrations among the colors of the spectrum, white is a powerful color spiritually. Symbolizing purity and purification, as well as innocence, white is often presented as the yin to the yang of black.
However, white is all the colors of the spectrum, equally balanced. White is reflective, the color of peace and cleanliness.
White is often used for ceremonies of purity or devotion, especially in a religious context. Consider church garments, or those of modern spiritualists.
- Purity, cleanliness, innocence
- Peace, equality, virginity
- Sterile, emptiness, unimaginative
Yes, despite all these positive connotations there can be a negative side to white. In some cultures, white is the color of death and it can also be associated with a lack of anything, an absolute blank canvas, This can be perceived negatively sometimes.
- Chakra: 8th chakra/soul star chakra
- Healing crystals: Clear quartz, moonstone, haematite
The spiritual meaning of Black
In western cultures, black is often associated with death or evil. However, as the absence of color, black holds powers in other ways. The color of mystery, power and control, many people are happy to embrace black and hide behind it’s darkness.
Two of our most powerful baser urges are associated with black; both sex and death. Black can also mean a new start or the end of a journey.
- Formal, powerful, sophisticated
- Sex, seduction
- Death, fear, the unknown
The wearing of black has often been seen as the choice of mysterious night dwellers and monsters; consider witches and vampires. Or, those who wish to rebel against society; such as guerrillas, teenagers (goths, emos etc) or terrorists.
However black is also seen as a strong and authoritative color, with use both by the established order, such as priests or the police. And also seen as a fashionable and sexy color by many.
- Chakra: Root chakra
- Healing crystals: Obsidian, jet, onyx, haematite