Why Colors are Significant
Colors are instinctive. Think of snakes, bees, spiders and frogs that all reflect a yellow and black pattern as a warning to potential predators that they are venomous. Think of the inviting color of red and its association with blood, warmth, fire and anger. These colors are ingrained in us for millennia and as a result they affect us both mentally and even physically.
Colors have physiological effects on the body. For example, intense reds will raise our heart rate while blue has the opposite effect. Extensive, long-term studies have been done into the effects and some conclusions have been drawn on the significance of colors.
Let’s cover the major colors you may see or experience in a dream and what their typical interpretation may mean.
Black often represents the unconscious. While its counterpart, white represents supreme consciousness. Black absorbs all things and signifies uncertainty. White represents illumination and clarity. It is easy to see how these symbols might have evolved. Just think of leaving your home at night without a light to guide you.
How might this apply in a dream? Say you dream of two tigers fighting. One is an albino tiger, stark white in appearance, while the other is jet black.
In this dream the subconscious and the consciousness are fighting for dominance. You are represented as the tiger, while the aspects of you (black & white) are divided. Perhaps there is something you are not allowing yourself to heal from or learn.
Yellow is a bright color that often invokes thoughts of the sun, flowers, and activity. Bright colors such as yellow often promote an energy of productivity and invite intuitive decision making; however, as stated above, it can sometimes represent a warning. This is why yellow should be credited with a need to be aware of something.
How might this apply in a dream? You are walking down the street of a familiar road when suddenly you find a yellow envelope on the sidewalk. You aren’t sure if you should pick it up and feel uncertain if you should read it.
In this dream despite being in a familiar place you feel uncertain what to do. The envelope is hidden information your intuition wishes to offer you but you fear it because you have not tapped into that vital productive energy yet.
Blue is a relaxing color often associated with the ocean waves, gently rolling in or the night sky twinkling above you. It is a color of contemplation, relaxation and
How does this apply in a dream? You wake up in a childhood home but you are now an adult. You rush outside and find a blue car waiting for you to take you to see an old friend.
In this dream the question is: Have you allowed yourself to rest? For most of us our childhood home represents a time when we had less worries or responsibilities. An old friend is often someone that we want to reminisce and think of old times with. Have you given yourself permission to daydream and let go? This dream may be telling you that you need to take some time for yourself.
We “see red” when we’re angry, think of red candles for passion, and associate red with intensity and emotion. Red is the fire within us. It is the blood in our veins that grants us passion and drive.
How does this apply in a dream? You are at your work trying to finish a project. Every time you try to submit the work or finish a piece of the project it resets and you have to start over again. You step outside to get a breath of air from the frustration and sun is bright red in color.
In this dream you are faced with where your passion lies. Sometimes we get in a rut at work and we feel like we’re doing the same thing over and over again. When you finally step outside of this area, you find that your strength and emotional tie is outdoors.
Green is the color of Spring, growth, and life. It is a reflective color that is easy to meditate on. It is why we feel such a joy and peace in nature, surrounded by the warm green of life around us.
How does this apply in a dream? You are up on a cliff with a friend sight-seeing and you step too close to the edge. You find yourself feeling dizzy and not sure of your footing. You fall backwards into a tree and wrap yourself around it in fear. The green leaves surround you and you relax.
We fear self-discovery, especially if it means change. As Nietzsche once said, "And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.” We fear what we will become when we really face ourselves, because we fear who we truly are and how others will accept that person. Notice in the dream that it was not the friend that helped the dreamer, it was a tree. The tree, with its green comforting leaves caught the dreamer when he could not handle gazing into the abyss that was him.
The significance of colors in Common dreams is more than just interpretation. The body produces biological responses when exposed to certain colors; a fact that has been utilized in color therapy for decades. Certain colors may mean different things to you based on prior experience. Colors should always be considered when recalling a dream for interpretation as they can provide valuable insight into even the most abstract and bizarre dream.