- Mental Health
Dreaming in Color and the Meaning of Colors in Dreams
Looking Into Color's Meaning as a Dream Symbol
What White Dreams Mean
How Dreams Use Color to Communicate
In waking life, color is used to symbolize everything from mourning to love wearing black to funerals and sending red roses for love.
Color is equally important in dream life where dreams use color to express spirituality and spiritual growth as well as the transformation of the psyche. However, many times that which is primarily communicated via color in dreams are emotional states.
Alchemists, who were actually concerned with the transformation of the lead of the base personality into the gold of the transformed psyche used color to symbolize the process and progression of the "Great Work."
Sometimes dreamers do not realize they dream in black and white until a bright burst of color lights up their dream world. Here is a guide to some possible meanings of colors that appear in dreams including alchemists use of color as expressions of spiritual growth.
White Dream Symbolism
White is a classic symbolic color of purity. Alchemists used white to symbolize the purity found after ego purification. For them, white symbolized that one had sacrificed all one had in order to attain all that truly needs.
In waking life, white is the color of choice in ceremonies that are centered on new beginnings such as baptisms and weddings in Western cultures. In art, the garments of the Christian saints are always the color of freshly fallen snow.
Since dreams can also reflect not only the inner psyche's activities but also those in the waking world as well, dreams, such as dreams about snow, can also symbolize a new, fresh start in that realm.
Perhaps one has a new career, relationship, or home. White can symbolize the feelings of renewal that come with such changes.
Orange Symbolism in Dreams
Eastern mysticism associates the color orange with the second, sacral chakra, the chakra associated with the emotions.
In Western society however, thanks to the orange fruit's amazing PR, orange has become associated with vitamin C and by extension, health.
As these are the two most prevalent waking life associations with the color, orange in dreams most likely indicates health, both physically and emotionally.
Orange lacks the overdrive of red and therefore when it appears in dreams it can mean that there is more balance in life than if a dream were flooded with red. Orange indicates that creativity is free flowing, yet not overwhelming the dreamer's waking life.
Dreams of Orange
Orange Dreams of Creativity
As in waking life, black in dreams may be used to express depression, grief or mourning.
However, black can also be used to communicate spiritual states such as that state of seemingly infinite despair known as the "long dark night of the soul."
Alchemically, black represents the nigredo, the time when the false ego self undergoes a painful crucifixion and the time when the aspirant may feel much like the crucified Christ whose plaintive cry of abandonment epitomizes the feeling of abandonment one may feel.
Death in dreams is actually the beginning of transformation, not the end of physical life. However, while the hope of resurrection is assured, the color black is the perfect expression of the abject loneliness one may feel not only during a spiritual process, but during times of crisis in waking life.
Black and White Dreams
As previously stated, many people do not realize that they dream in black and white until they are surprised by a splash of color in a dream.
In waking life, thinking in rigid terms is described as black and white thinking meaning that one sees life only in extremes--things are either good or bad, right or wrong.
Dreams that feature the colors of black and white may be a bit different that dreams that are absent of technicolor features. Black and white figuring prominently in dreams can mean that the dreamer is think in rigid terms and refusing to allow anything to color the dreamer's opinion on a waking life matter.
Thinking in black and white is not necessarily a bad thing. For example, a dream that features predominantly black and white may simply be communicating that a situation that appears complex is actually being over-analyzed by the dreamer.
Red in Dreams
The use of red as a bridal colour illustrates the color's complexity. The same colour that would cause Western brides to cringe at wearing is the same colour that Indian brides prefer.
Not only does red have disparate cross cultural connotations, its symbolism is also diverse within a singular one.
Red may express exuberance or anger. A red letter day is great; red numbers, not so much.
In alchemy, red symbolizes the fulminato, the stage of near completion of the "Great Work."
The fulminato is the fire stage, but fire in alchemy symbolizes a transforming flame rather than a simple source of warmth.
Red in a dream can indicate that one's passion for life is returning, that one's lifeblood is heating up.
Alternatively, should one find red leaking or spilling from some source, the dreamer might check waking life to see if something or someone is acting as an energy drainer.
The Symbolism of Purple in Dreams
Royalty is often is associated with the color purple and royalty is in turn often associated with wealth.
Purple in dreams therefore, can indicate that the dreamer is experiencing a richness in life. This richness can be emotional, spiritual, or physical.
Alternatively, in the Christian tradition purple is the liturgical color associated with Lent and Lent is a time of contemplation and penitent thoughts.
Therefore, for those who are Christian, purple dreams could indicate a time in which the dreamer is contemplating life and life choices.
Blue Dreams Aren't Always Melancholy
Just as many dreamers fail to recognize that they are dreaming in black and white, those who dream in color often fail to recognize the importance of the colors that light up their nights. Color is often relegated to little more than a backdrop for an interesting story line.
If one keeps a dream journal, it might be beneficial to record the colors that are making recurrent appearances in one's dreams because color can oftentimes be the key to deciphering a dream's message.
The skies are blue as are the oceans and both are symbols of that which is endless.
As the color of two primary symbols of the infinite, blue can symbolize high aspirations. If blue is showing up in dreams, it can indicate a time when the dreamer is feeling a great deal of self-actualization or at least striving for such.
As blue is the color of the sky and the skies are associated with heaven, the color blue is also a symbol of high spirituality. In the Christian tradition, the Virgin Mary is associated with the colours blue and white, symbolizing purity and spirituality.
Therefore, blue can indicate a time when the dreamer's thoughts are focused on that which is spiritual.
Blue is also an associated with healing and healing thoughts. The dreamer may be feeling especially calm and/or may be involved in healing one's self or others.
In the Eastern tradition, the colour blue is associated with the fifth chakra which is located in the area of the throat and which is associated with communication.
If one dreams of clear blue, then this can indicate that one's communications are clear and effortless whereas cloudy, dark, or murky blues might indicate interference in that area.
Blue may also be a play on words as "the blues" indicate feelings of sadness. If one has recently experienced a break up or other loss in waking life, then blue might show up as an expression of that loss and the emotional upset accompanying it.