SYMBOLISM OF COLORS
The colors of the things that we normally see are not a property or something that is part of the objects themselves, but is due to the sunlight that illuminates them. The light itself is made of colors, and without light (solar or artificial) there would be no color.
The light is a form of electromagnetic energy which consists of an undulatory motion of particles called photons, whose frequency establishes their color. Our eyes are only sensitive to the wavelengths (said visible spectrum) between 0.7 and 0.4 microns (400-700 nm.), corresponding to the colors that we know. The proof is given by the spectacular phenomenon of the rainbow (iris) that sometimes formed in the sky after the rain.
1 – from 400 to 430 nm. these frequencies correspond to the area of violet and its intermediate shades.
2 – from 430 to 490 nm. is the area of the blue and its different tones.
3 – 91 to 560 nm the area of green and intermediate shades.
4 – 561 to 580 nm. ditto for yellow.
5 – 581 to 620 nm. ditto for the orange.
6 – 620 to 700 nm. ditto for the red.
7 – While all together they give rise to white.
For frequencies less than 400 nm. we find the ultraviolet rays (beyond which are then X-rays) while for those above 700 nm. it comes to infrared (beyond which there are radio waves). The rainbow, as the case of the refraction of light through a glass prism, returns and makes all the colors of visible light (visible to the human eye), because the different wavelengths (frequencies) undergo different deviations.
An object is white, because is absorbing and reflecting equally all the frequencies of light that illuminate it. A black object, instead, absorbs all the light, reflecting no frequency. A red object, for example, has the characteristic of retaining all the waves and release (reflecting) only those between 620 and 700 nm. and at the same way it happens with other objects of different colors. This is a feature (molecular) of the object itself or of the pigment with which it has been “colored”.
The colors are very important and we now could not live without, as well as animals, even if many see shades of gray only, while some others animals distinguish only the spectrum of ultraviolet, or having a better vision in the dark, through infrared even. Colors affect our mood but, they has also have taken various meanings over the years, while some have even become international icons. Think of the red traffic lights, of the pink and blue that represent and distinguish the masculine from the feminine (although at the beginning was the exact opposite), or about the black that mean death and the white that is for yield (white flag). Flags have different colors, colors that also assume a political significance and describe the seasons.
It happens, however, that a color has a value and/or different meaning depending on culture and religion. For the Celts, for example, green was the symbol of fertility and the color of the gods, as for ancient Egypt or for Muslims today. In Iran the blue symbolizes religion and spirituality. In India, China and Russia, the red is the color of purity and auspicious, while the white of mourning and death (for us it is the opposite). In Egypt, however, the color of mourning is the yellow. For the Koreans, the white is the color most important because it represents the sun, life and death, innocence and purity. In America, many U.S. universities without a reason, for decades have been using different colors to differentiate the various disciplines, red for religions, blue for philosophy, white for arts and literature, green for medicine, purple for law and yellow for science. For Africans, instead, colors are secondary and not as important as shape or surface.
Due to its high frequency, it is a color that energizes and the first that infants learn to recognize.The red was matched to the god Mars, god of war, associated to the red planet for its aggressive nature and for the color of blood. But red is also the symbol of heart and love, passion and sensuality. Being red the color of fire is also symbol of dynamism, vitality and authority. Dante Alighieri used the red to describe the Seraphim angels in Paradise.
The color of the wings of the Cherubim who represented the divine wisdom. We feel a peaceful effect, satisfaction and harmony staring at this color. Blue is the color of the sea, sky and ice. Therefore, the blue is the color of silence, calm, quiet and of the cold. For the Chinese, the blue is the color of immortality.
It’s the color of vegetation, nature and of life itself. It is the color of the rebirth of spring, the force of nature. Green is associated with Venus, goddess of love and fertility. Since it is obtained by the union of blue (wisdom) and yellow (wealth), also symbolizes hope and victory. It also represents youth, humor and happiness. Sometimes the green is also associated with negative symbolisms. In fact it is the color of anger and putrefaction, poison, envy, as a sign of illness and death in the human body.
Symbol of the sun, gold, as the word of wisdom the yellow belongs to the sphere of expansion, idealism and action. Represents the light of God and in the East is the symbol of fertility and kingship. The yellow corresponds to a state of freedom and self-development and always denotes a strong personality
The color used in the cassocks. Born from a mixture of red (love) and blue (wisdom) is the color of metamorphosis, the transition of mystery and magic. It’s the color of spirituality but also of erotic fascination, indicates the union of opposites, the suggestibility. The purple is often wealth, justice and liabilities.
It’s the color of earth, wood and rust. Corresponds to the sensation of corporeality, materiality, and physical pleasures, but also stability and tenacity.
The color of the ash, fog and darkness. It represents the perfect neutrality or a border zone, passing or even lifeless. It is neither light nor dark, neither life nor death, and this is old age and the wisdom, but also monotony and apathy. We also choose it to define a distance and a lack of involvement.
It is the color of all colors together, birth and marriage. The color of snow. It represents the body and cleaning (associated with hospitals), the color of innocence and accuracy. In early Christian art, saints and children’s clothes were painted in white to represent faith and purity. Symbol of light, thus clarity, strength and life.
The negation of color, night, darkness, death. The opposite of light or white. This makes sense for the black of mourning, sadness and death. But also the color of renunciation and protest. In early Christian art with the black was represented the devil, the fear and the mystery in general.
Colors influence our preferences in many situations acquiring a psychological meaning. Our individual preference for a particular color associated with these objects (clothes, car or a living room wall) will be produced and reinforced by the positive feedback associated with the object and the color it has.
Red: Energy, grounding, survival issues and the material side of life.
Coral: Unrequited love.
Orange: Independence/dependency. Shock. Trauma. Deep insight and bliss.
Gold: Wisdom and intense fear
Yellow: Acquired knowledge
Olive: Creating a space for clarity and wisdom.
Green: Space. Search for truth. Panoramic consciousness.
Turquoise: Mass media/group communication. Creative communication (art).
Blue: Peace and communication.
Royal blue: Knowing why one is here.
Violet: Spirituality. Healing. Serving others.
Magenta: Love for the little things in daily life.
Pink: Unconditional love. Caring.
Clear (white): Suffering and the understanding of suffering.