Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Interpreting popular dream themes (1) - Colour symbolism

This is the first article I am posting in a continuous series which examines popular dream themes and possible interpretations and meanings. In this post, I shall be listing common colour themes in dreams. Whilst there are some dream theories which suggest that dream symbolism is largely universal (this being the main premise behind the bulk of dream dictionaries/interpretation guides), you must always compliment universal dream symbolism explanations with personal intuition, experience and self-awareness. This is particularly true for colours, which are very subjective and can have more than one common meaning or interpretation. You should therefore try to balance general information with your personal associations and feelings. Although there are no absolutes, there are logical sources for the range of complex and sometimes contradictory psychological/cultural meanings of colours. These may arise from any of the following:
  1. Cultural associations: the colour of currency, traditions, celebrations, geography, etc
  2. Political and historical associations: the colour of flags, political parties and other institutions/groups, royalty/leadership, etc
  3. Religious and mythical associations: the colours associated with spiritual or magical beliefs
  4. Linguistic associations: colour terminology within individual languages
  5. Contemporary usage and fads: current colour applications to objects, sports, celebrity image, branding and associations generated by modern conventions, fashions and trends
I compiled this article, using not only traditional dream interpretation guides, but also texts on colour symbolism generally, the entirety of which gave the same, although sometimes more in depth/detailed, interpretations for each colour. I also consulted texts about the meaning of colours within graphic design/advertising so that I could get a full perspective and present as comprehensive a guide as possible. I will of course add updates to this article post, should I discover any further relevent information at a later stage.

Pending passion, adoration and matrimony
Breaking an alabaster object – feelings of remorse and sadness regarding certain decisions/acts

An aspect of life you are unwilling/unable to change
Something which once invoked interest and excitement is now gone
A person from childhood/youth exerting an influence in your current life
Ancient perceptions and beliefs

Basics – essentials in their barest form
Neutral or unbiased opinion
Calmness and simplicity

Disapproval of a person/situation, disagreement
Darkness, isolation, irrelevance, unimportance, rejection, anxiety
Concealment, mystery, dishonesty, ending (of life), mourning, sorrow
Hate/malice, fear, limitations
The nebulous, vague or unformed
The unconscious, hidden spirituality, divine qualities
Potential and possibilities – a blank slate; void/abyss
Sexual desire/libido
When mixed with other colours, it adulterates their meaning, invoking aspects of black as a symbolic colour and its inherent meanings

Need to be more objective and pragmatic in decision-making, a judgemental attitude, critical of self and others, indications of duality and polarity
Depression; lack of excitement/stimulation
Dogma, intolerance, simplistic extremism

Honesty, integrity, intelligence, solace, dedication, divinity, heaven
Philosophy, culture, art
Tranquillity and openness; a desire to escape from the pressures and stresses of life
Extremely positive outlook on life
The throat; suppression of appetite
In a negative context – anguish and despair, cold; a need to pay close attention to your health; superstition or anxieties relating to religion or faith
Light blue – creativity, sensitivity and perceptiveness; communication with a higher self/a message from the subconscious
Deep blue – restfulness, peacefulness, writing, singing, words
Blue clothing – masculine, often linked with male aggression/threat

Earthliness, worldliness, fertility, practicality, domestic bliss, physical comfort, conservatism, appreciation of your surroundings and social circle
A materialistic character
A need to get back to your roots or become more grounded
Need to eliminate old philosophies and/or structures which have outgrown their purpose
In a negative context - hatred

Power, success, wealth, authority and power
Isolation, bravery, courage

The natural world
A need to understand your inner thoughts to find harmony
Decency, integrity and the essence of life

Acceptance, tolerance, growing in maturity
In a negative context – a need to be more tolerant

Kindness and a gentle heart

Meditation and your connection to your spirituality; relating to magic/psychic ability
Letting go of old attitudes and accepting change
Emotional stability

Spiritual reward, abundance
Royalty, reverence, righteousness
Richness and refinement; enhancement of your surroundings
Determination and unyielding character
Healing – connection with Reiki
Transmutation of the inner/latent self into the manifest/projected self
Physicality and the physical
Symbolic of ‘Yang’ (light)

Nature, good health, vitality, fortune, fertility
A desire for harmony; environmental consciousness
Beneficial change, positive well-being, maturity, productivity, healing, hope, peace
A desire to earn respect and gain personal freedom; personal growth, adaptability
Money, prosperity and envy
The circulatory system and the heart
Light green – the mixing of work and play, joy in teaching others, compassion, idealism
Dark green – consumerism, greed, dishonesty, deception,  rivalry, cheating, childishness, problems with sharing, problems relating to sex/love, selfishness; and a need to reconcile the masculine and feminine aspects of self

Uncommitted, uncertain, hypocrisy, ambivalence, confusion
Lack of vitality, weakness, ill-health
Stress and need for relaxation
Attempts to isolate self from the rest of the world, mental denial of emotion, detachment, depression, fear, fright
Wisdom, wealth
Integration of polarity and duality – the product of black & white

Deceit, betrayal of friends for personal gain
Spirituality & divine protection, meditation, intuition; clairvoyance
In a negative context – the deepening of a depressive mood

Superiority over others
Tainted purity – something not as perfect as first thought

The merging of multiple aspects of a person’s life
Diversity and endless opportunity
Indecisiveness, lack of focus/direction, particularly with regard to career paths

Confusion, lack of clarity regarding a situation
A situation may not be as it appears on the surface

Holiness and spirituality
Femininity, grace, elegance

Kindness and compassion
Readiness to emerge from times of darkness

Quietness, healing, spirituality, meditation, Reiki
Responsibility, endurance
In a negative context -   a need to rid yourself of negative thoughts and to think more positively

Difficulty in rationalising a situation

Lack of individuality, conformity
Masculinity and associated traits of aggression and violent threat

Natural wisdom and Zen
Need for a peaceful environment

Hope, friendliness, courtesy, generosity, liveliness, sociability, an outgoing personality, warmth
Stimulus of the senses, creativity, enthusiasm, sexual energy, originality, ambition and drive
Digestion, the naval
A desire to expand horizons and look into new interests, adventure

You are not really acknowledging/dealing with some aspect of your feelings
Lack of focus or direction
Emotionally draining situations
Paleness generally - anaemia – a warning you may require more iron intake

Innocent love mixed with wisdom
Caring nature and tending to the needs of others; empathy and harmony
A ‘peachy’ life

Joy, sweetness, affection, happiness, tenderness, kindness; sympathy and an understanding/compassion for the feelings of others
Mother-love, romantic love, unconditional love, childish innocence and innocent love, healing, beauty; femininity
Reputation; service
In a negative context - immaturity or weakness, especially in love; dependency, problems with parents, failure to establish maternal bonds
Hot pink – lust, desire, libido

Devotion, healing abilities, loving, kindness, compassion, modesty
Personal transformation and spiritual growth, high aspirations
Nobility of purpose, leadership
Royalty, high rank, justice, wealth, dignity
The ‘sixth sense’ or ‘third eye’
The brow/forehead

Raw energy, force, fervour, vigour, intense passion, power, courage, bravery, authority, impulsiveness/compulsion
Deep emotional and spiritual connotations
Violence, blood, shame, rejection, sexual impulse, libido, urges, stigma
The animalistic
Competitiveness, a need to be centre of attention
An overcoming of current obstacles; grounding and foundation; heredity
Kundalini energies, instinct, intuition
Physicality, the ‘root chakra’ -
In a negative context – tiredness, lethargy; poor listener, inconsiderate to the feelings of others; a warning to slow down and think before impulsive/compulsive actions

Justice, intelligence, modesty, maturity, determination, intuition
Healing and purity, protective energy
A need to think through a situation clearly before taking action
The mental and cerebral/non-physical
Symbolic of ‘Yin’ (shadow)

Trustworthiness, devotion, healing
Spiritual guidance and teaching

Healing  power, karma, natural energy
Associated with sun, fire and masculine power
In a negative context – inability to let people in, the shutting off of emotions

High spirituality, religious aspirations, purification, affection, gentleness, charm, peacefulness
Intuitive understanding, intimacy
A weak, yet sensitive personality
The crown of the head

Purity, perfection and perfectionism, peace, innocence, cleanliness, awareness, humility, enlightenment
Birth and new beginnings, youth
A reawakening or fresh outlook on life; gift or prophesy
Clean, blank slate; coldness,  a rigidity judgmental immaturity and controlling attitude
In a negative context - a cover-up or deceptiveness; death and mourning; lack of fulfilment, stimulation or satisfaction

Energy, intellect, agility, happiness, harmony, wisdom, joy, stimulation, vitality
Ability to establish healthy connections with others
Representative of the dreamer’s usual ‘stance’, perception or reaction to the subject matter of the dream
The conscious self, mental power, the Solar Plexus
In a negative context – deceit, disgrace, cowardice, betrayal, sickness; inability to make a decision or take action; a desire to please others at the sacrifice of own needs/desires; current setbacks in life

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