What do colours mean? Part III
Part one of this article looked at the impact of colour on your psyche and physical wellbeing. How your colour choices reveal your inner state was also analysed with specific reference to the colours white, black and blue. Part two discovered what your attitude to yellow, brown, grey and red reveals about you. On to the rest of the spectrum…
Green represents consistency, perseverance and tenacity. Green is idealistic and faithful. It’s easy on the eye. Green is the colour of balance and stability. When we crave or are attracted to green, we want more stability in some part of our life, be that finances, relationships, work, health or spirituality. Green indicates the need for security, respect and recognition. A liking for deeper/darker greens (ie green plus black) indicates a desire for power or more control.
People favouring green tend to be over-analytical of self and situations and are rarely spontaneous. They take up causes and doggedly pursue them, even if on behalf of someone else, usually without fanfare. They do, however, like to be respected and quietly acknowledged. They are benevolent, humanistic, good citizens.
Symbolically, green is associated with a good water supply and healthy crops — fertility of the crop means no famine and good security. Fertility means the continuity of life and the life we know. Brides in the Middle Ages wed in green to symbolise their hope of fertility and the continuity of life.
In the centre of the colour spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet), green represents balance. Green is tidy, efficient and organised. What the person drawn to green has in abundance is the desire to control: everything in their life and even in others’ lives.
Green is the traffic light that says it’s OK to move forward now. Spring announces it’s OK to grow now and all the green shoots come forth. Green has a peaceful edge — grassy plains and crops, forests and ferns — so it’s also calming and orderly. Balance is important to maintain this. Green nurtures growth steadfastly, with patience and care.
Lime green (green + yellow) is a mix of mental (yellow) and physical (green). It’s more lively than green because it contains some “alert” factors. It’s more experimental and inquisitive than dark green (green + black), which indicates more desire for control and less flexibility. Lime green may want to start a new business, but as money and staff become more important, they will require more control — dark green.
Green is the colour of security, success and achievement. To many, green is the colour of money: the greenback and the colour of the largest Australian dollar denomination. Time slows and you feel relaxed around green. The green room calms people before TV appearances. Green acts on the sympathetic nervous system to lower blood pressure and relax you. Through this relaxing effect, green sleeping pills encouraged patients to fall asleep significantly faster than patients taking sleeping pills coloured orange (British Medical Journal 1996 Dec 21-28;313 (7072):1624-6).
The green person
If you like green and find yourself seeking green, you have a need for security, respect and recognition. You need to know the “I” is valued and your need for self-esteem is recognised. You are seeking self-determination and require control and balance. You are looking for certainty of your own values and superiority over others. You’ll be checking details often to be sure you are “right”, that you are still on track and on target. Seeking darker greens indicates your wish to acquire power or you are on a quest for “better”.
If you find green an unattractive colour and you are rejecting it at this time of your life, you may have lost your way, dropped your confidence and therefore be in a place of self doubt and low personal esteem. You may feel you are being controlled and are trapped or caged. The insecurity will create anxiety. Your reaction may be stubborn attitudes or selfish behaviour, as these are means to exert some control in your situation. No longer critical of yourself because you believe you are not in control, you will become critical of others and see problems as out there rather than within you.
Compensate with blue, which calms you, and some yellow for the intellect to find solutions to facilitate change. If you’re feeling lazy or suffering from inertia you may need to take some action to move the situation forward. Red could help you in this.
Pink is the love child of red and white. The more white pink contains, the more emotional or sensual it will be. The more red pink contains, the more physical or sexual it will be. Pink is red stripped of its sexual energy, softened to great affection. Pink is the colour of unabashed love.
Pink is the passion made moody … softened and delicate, feminine and pretty. It’s the colour of socialisation in little girls. It’s the colour of emotional nurture and care. It represents relationships, heart and sensitivity to all associated needs. Pink’s driving force is compassion for fellow man. Being a tint of red, it physically affects us, but softly and soothingly, not aggressively like red. It’s a physiologically powerful colour, representing the female energy of the survival of our species.
I once read of a frequent flyer who always wore a pink tie. He swore it attracted more attention from female cabin attendants on his business flights. It was a way of creating connection and rapport with women and ensured he got great service. So dads, next time you’re out with the children on the weekend, or you have them while mum’s off doing her thing, get that pink polo shirt on and notice all the extra smiles (of admiration) and all the attention other women offer as they pick up your caring and nurturing message!
Pinks have been used in prisons to calm inmates and in emergency recovery rooms to create a more relaxed, caring, secure atmosphere. It has been reported that a sporting club once painted the lockers of the visiting team’s changerooms pink to create a false sense of security and relaxation.
Pale pink can be a relaxant to the point of being physically draining for some. In a pink room, you may find it hard to get your work completed and deadlines met. Pink puts people at ease; it’s soothing and calming and gives a sense of being protected. Girls love pink, at least for a short while. Boys have historically shunned pink — they prefer action (red); pink is too pale. Men are hardwired to respond to yellow-based pinks, while women are more attracted to blue-based pinks.
Pink is a blend of physical drive and spiritual knowledge. Pink people are achievers who balance the physical and the mental. They need to achieve because they are self-reliant and dependable (brighter pinks) and they cheerfully assist others with the same drive they apply to achieving their own goals. Pink people empathise with other people.
Pink is a good-natured colour — you’ll be tickled pink for someone or you’ll hope they are “in the pink” (healthy again) very soon. We’re happiest when everything is rosy and sometimes we prefer to see things through rose-tinted glasses … well it just looks better.
The pink person
If you are attracted to or crave light pink, you have a need for affection, to be cared for. You need “inward” love. If you’re not cared for at home, you’ll be susceptible to outside offers, as will your partner and your children. You may also have a need for psychological support.
If you are attracted to or have a strong desire for hot pink, you have love to share — or love to give and no one to give it to. You mother people — the neighbours, your friends and even colleagues — as you look to dispense it. You need to be needed; the more red in the pink, the more physical the need. Hugs become more important than kind words or encouragement.
If you are repelled by pink or find it distasteful, this is an indication of a fear of becoming dependent. It’s a rejection of overprotective, jealous partners. It can also be a rejection of overprotective or pampering (light pink) mothers — this particular rejection is occurring earlier and earlier in society. A rejection of pink may also indicate an unwillingness or reluctance to give and share: “Everyone should be independent and self-sufficient like I am.”
Purple is the child of red and blue, so it contains the behaviours of both. It has the impulsiveness and spirit of red and the calm and serenity of blue. It’s the colour of spiritual awareness, vision and mysticism. It is intuitive and knowing. Third world cultures that have mystical practices and strong spiritual traditions have a marked preferences for this colour. Children often like purple as its intuitive aspects are a link to the fantasy world of make-believe, being away with the fairies.
Purple has the care and consideration of blue (the sky) and the strength and forthright attitude of red (earth). People who identify with purple are compassionate and nurturing with an excellent ability to communicate the intuitive feelings they have about tomorrow.
Purple has long been considered the colour of royalty and ritual. As a rare and expensive dye requiring ingredients that were very difficult to acquire, it was at one time available only to those with great wealth. Royalty, the upper echelons of society and the church were the only groups and individuals who could afford such a luxury. It’s recorded that Cleopatra, the Egyptian Queen, loved purple. She would have her servants soak 20,000 purpura snails for almost two weeks to obtain just 28 grams of Tyrian purple dye. As it’s so rare in nature, purple can sometimes appear to be artificial.
Purple is also the colour of spiritualists and mystics. It’s an introverted, contemplative colour. Leonardo da Vinci believed mediation was empowered tenfold when practised in a purple light and Richard Wagner used violet as his colour of inspiration to compose his operas.
The purple person
Your love or craving for purple signifies your need for spiritual order and mystical intimacy. You are on a search for meaning and everything you do will be purposeful and meaningful. You need an integration of body, mind and spirit. You will be asking about your relationships, you will be wondering what your place in the cosmos is, how you fit in, what is your purpose in life. You will be reading inspirational and spiritual literature — perhaps Deepak Chopra or Susan Hayward — and you’ll be wondering how you can meaningfully contribute to the big issues of our world. A love of purple is associated with wishful thoughts for magical solutions to make your situation, or the world, better.
A rejection of purple indicates a shunning of pretence or artificiality; perhaps of the ceremonial aspects of traditional religion, perhaps of protocols you deem to be outmoded or unnecessary. You’ll reject “over” imagination, seeking instead scientific and academic answers from reliable sources that offer facts and figures. You’ll reject artificial relationships, putting time into art or objects rather than people and you’ll note yourself being sceptical about belief systems that don’t measure up to your scrutiny.
An energetic, extroverted mix of red and yellow, the colour orange takes on a blend of their characteristics. Orange is therefore physical (red) and mental (yellow), energising the physical and stimulating the mental. It is zeal, fun and enthusiasm — activated purposefully.
Orange is the colour of inclusion and is very social. It’s about belonging. Orange likes people and is group-oriented. It needs connection and is drawn to friendship, team-building, clubs and community. Cast your mind to a significant communication company that uses orange in its corporate logo. Orange is inclusive, informal, accessible and good-spirited.
Orange people play hard in a good-natured way. Participatory, courageous, spontaneous and cheerful, orange is also masculine and mischievous. The more red in the orange, the more boisterous it is — a bull in a china shop. They can be hasty, audacious risk-takers. With more yellow in the orange, it will be more considered and cheeky.
Orange increases the pulse rate and stimulates the appetite: think fast food, think quick communications at the press of a button. A downfall of orange can be it tends to act first and think later. Orange likes to be comfortable (feet up on the table or couch, clothing comfortable and casual) and want all things physical to be comfortable. Yet it’s not a lazy colour. Orange represents self-starters, having the energy (red) and the intellect (yellow) to put things into motion (red). Their orange intellect will keep priorities in order and focus on the target. Combine orange with purple or blue to calm it.
The orange person
When you are attracted to orange, you may have a desire to belong and a need for social contact and inclusion. With more yellow in the orange, it becomes more mental. You may have a need to establish interpersonal relationships and so will seek methodical, logical solutions, such as the internet and yellow pages rather than ask friends for contacts.
A dislike or rejection of orange typifies a fear of social contacts and a retreat to the safety of introverted behaviours. Rejecting orange may also be an indicator that you are experiencing problems in communicating and you will dislike orange when you wish to withdraw from an unsatisfactory relationship.
Chris Rewell is a professional colour and image consultant. W: www.chrisrewell.com.au.