Joseph of the Bible was a famous dream interpreter, and he was also renowned for his “Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat,” as the popular musical says. As Joseph no doubt knew, color can be an important message in dream symbolism.
Clinical research shows that most dreams are in color since that’s how we see the world. Researchers feel that it is an issue of recall more than symbolism whether we remember the color in our dreams. Some people claim that all their dreams are in color, and different hues and tones form an important part of their symbol vocabulary, including everything from vibrant primaries to soft pastels. Generally, intense colors indicate strong feelings and vitality. People who dream in color are surprised and concerned when an occasional black and white dream occurs. This could suggest that the issues being dealt with are fairly clear-cut, or in stark contrast.
Other dreamers recall only black and white images and color is not part of the landscape. However, in some dreams it might mean that passion is lacking, or the dreamer is disconnected from their feelings regarding the issue in question. When a full color dream shows up for someone who usually remembers dreams in monochrome it can be a startling experience that really gets noticed.
The significance of color equates with a spectrum of expression, like the colors of the rainbow. Color may be an overall sense or tone, or one image that stands out dramatically as in a tall man in a bright green cloak, or a little girl wearing a yellow scarf. Notice how you feel about a particular color and whether the colors are muted, washed out, or painted in vibrant hues with lots of light. A rainbow is formed when white light, containing all the colors of the visible spectrum, is refracted through a lens. So the presence or absence of color is intrinsically connected to the corresponding amount of light. A brief meaning follows for the seven colors of the rainbow and black, white and gray.
Black – Black pigment contains all the shades of paint; a black night cloaks and hides the colors of day, carrying the idea of concealment. Darkness, or a sense of blackness, generally indicates that you’re in the “dark,” and can’t see a way out. Do things get darker or lighter as the dream progresses? What is it you can’t see?
White – White light contains all the colors of the spectrum, and a white paper connotes potential, the idea of carte blanche—a blank slate. In contrast white implies light and the ability to see, suggesting clarity, guidance, illumination and sometimes purity.
Gray – A neutral balance of all the colors, implying spiritual mastery, especially where clothing is concerned. Depending on the context gray can also symbolize depression or listlessness. Pay attention to what’s happening in the dream.
Red – The color of blood, battle, and the life force. “Seeing red,” waving a red flag in front of a bull can be symbols. Are you angry and not expressing it? “In the red” means financial difficulty.
Orange – The color of the sun, warming and stimulating to the circulatory system. Orange is a positive and empowering energy.
Yellow – The color of the mind and mental processes. Sometimes implies cowardice as in having a “yellow streak.” Where are your thoughts and mental patterns holding you back?
Green – Green ordinarily suggests growth and healing. Are you “green with envy,” or looking for “green,” meaning money? The shade of green is important to note as certain shades could imply illness. To use a bad pun, is it a color you “wouldn’t be caught dead in?”
Blue – A cool color that can sometimes mean, “feeling blue,” or sad. Blue is also a healing color and is thought to reduce inflammation and to temper strong emotions.
Indigo – Indigo is a blend of blue and violet and is one of the rainbow colors although a secondary, a combination of two colors. Indigo is grounding and anchoring to mental processes
Purple/Violet – The color of royalty and ritual. Violet can imply wisdom and a sense of enhanced status.
To analyze secondary colors, like yellow-green or red-violet, that combine two primaries, look at the meaning of the primary colors. Secondary colors that stand out in dreams can sometimes indicate transitions, moving from one state to another. A color like brown could indicate the need for “grounding” or connote something earthy. Brown might also mean that the whole issue is muddy and unclear.
Is the significant color in your dream one you like or dislike? This speaks to opening to the influence, or integrating what that color represents, or vibrates to into your energy field. As always examine context and look closely at your feelings and what’s happening in waking life.
About The Author: Julie Loar is the multiple award-winning author of six books and dozens of articles. She has a BS in Psychology, has done postgraduate work, and has been certified in numerous professional training and development programs. Julie was a Human Resources executive in two major corporations, and an independent training consultant, working with large companies. Her latest book, Goddesses For Every Day: Exploring the Wisdom & Power of the Divine Feminine Around the World, (available at Satiama) has won three national awards. Her popular astrology feature appears in ATLANTIS RISING magazine, and she is a featured contributor on John Edward’s web site, InfiniteQuest.com where she has her own internet TV show. She has traveled to sacred sites around the world, researching the material for her books and teachings. Each year she leads a sacred journey to Egypt. Visit her at http://www.julieloar.com