The Cryptic and the Unfathomable World of Color Symbolism

Colors represent various emotional levels in human beings, and well symbolize human psychology and beliefs. Color Symbolism is integral to artistry since ancient times. Our reaction to colors is almost instantaneous and has a profound impact on the choices we make every day. In Art and Anthropology, Color Symbolism refers to the use of color as a symbol throughout a culture.

Color Symbolism can vary dramatically between cultures. In India, Red is a color of religious purity, whereas in western countries it is a symbol of excitement, love, and passion. Chinese believe that Red is about Good Luck, Celebrations, and Summoning, while for Hebrew, it symbolizes Sacrifice and Sin. However, usually Red is also considered a universally symbolic color for Danger, Stop, and the other Warning Signs. Therefore, artists must be familiar with the cultural coding of Color Symbolism in order to convey their ideas well to the audience.

Research has also shown that Colors Symbolism have more positive associations with them rather than negative. Therefore, although some colors do have negative symbolism (such as Black for funeral or evil), these negative elements are usually triggered by specific circumstances. The age of the audience also effects on colors perception and the associated Color Symbolism varies accordingly. For example, children tend to like bright and happy colors, well reflective of their enthusiastic and zealous temperament.

The ensuing discussion picks up Color Symbolism on different parlance. Let us look.

oColor Symbolism and Cultures. As mentioned above, Color Symbolism varies with different cultures. Some key cultural associations with colors are:
Native America.
Red: Faith
Yellow: Love
Blue: Intuition
Green: Will
Pink: Creativity
Purple: Gratitude and Healing
Orange: Learning
Brown: Self-discipline
Black: Harmony

Asia.
Red: Happiness, Marriage, Prosperity
Pink: Marriage
Yellow: Evil, Death, and Geomantic Blessings
Green: Family, Health, Peace, and Prosperity
Blue: Self-cultivation
Purple: Wealth
White: Helpful People, Peace, Purity, Travel, and even Mourning
Gold: Strength and Wealth.
Gray: Travel
Black: Evil, Mourning, Sadness, and Self-Cultivation

oFactors and Color Symbolism in the Western Culture.
Green: Ecology, Environment, and Money
Red, Yellow, Brown, and Orange: Thanksgiving and Warmth
Black and Orange: Halloween
Red and Green: Christmas
Yellow and other Pastel Colors: Ester
Blue, Red, White, and Grey: Stability, Power, Trustworthiness, and Conservatism
Yellow, Green, Orange, and Brown: Nature and Warmth.
Blue and Aqua: Water and Coolness

oAstrology and Color Symbolism.
Aries: White
Taurus: Yellow
Gemini: Red or Purple
Cancer: Bright Green
Leo: Golden Yellow/Orange.
Virgo: Pale Blue or Violet
Libra: Violet
Scorpio: Reddish Brown
Capricorn: Brown or Blue
Sagittarius: Orange or Purple
Pisces: White or Purple
Aquarius: Dark Blue.

oPsychology and Color Symbolism. Every Color has a different effect on our psychology and therefore, this principle is used to heal people psychologically, a process called Color Therapy. Here are some common psychologies vis-à-vis Color Symbolism:
Black: Boosts Self-Confidence and Strength.
Blue: Lowers the Blood Pressure and decreases Respiration.
Green: Soothes Mind, relaxes physically, and works as an Anti Depressant.
Violet: Heals Migraines and calms Mind.
Pink: Used as an Appetite Suppressant in Diet Therapy, relaxes Mind and Muscles.
Yellow: Improves Memory and stimulates Appetite.
Orange: Stimulates Appetite and Digestive System.
Red: Increases Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, and Respiration.

All said and done, the field of Color Symbolism is still an amateur field with a lot to explore in it. There is yet no scientific proof of the effects of a particular color on human mind and body.

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