What are the meanings of the colors?

by cherylone

A comprehensive listing of the universal meanings of colors.

Introduction and description of the colors and their meanings including rose colors, days of the week, and zodiac colors and what they mean.

Colors have always had a meaning in some form or fashion.

In olden times, the meaning of colors was based on nature.  Whatever nature had (leaves, water, sun) gave meaning to the color.  Thus many colors, such as purple, were considered rare and magical because they did not appear often in natural environments.  As a result, purple became a color for the elite and powerful.  As time went on, man was able to develop more and more dyes with brighter hues and more variety.  Each variety took on its own meanings based on feelings when the colors are seen and the association of each color.  For instance, the ocean appears blue from a distance and water is calming and cleansing.  Therefore blue is considered peaceful, calming and cleansing.

The rainbow, seen in the sunlight after a rainstorm, has the basic hues of color beginning with red-orange-yellow-green-blue-purple.  Each color blends into the next color.  For example:  red is the first color and yellow is the third color, yellow and red blended together makes orange which is the second color. 

Rose colors have specific meanings. Each rose means something based on color, size, and presentation (number of roses and how they are put together).  For instance a single red rose means “I love you!”  Roses are not the only things that come in colors, however.  There are jewels, stones, clothing, paint, wall paper, rugs, even computer screens, backgrounds for internet pages, and covers for your electronic equipment; and, of course, nature, where color association began.  There is color all around us and each one has a different meaning based on how we feel about them and how they make us feel when we see them.

Most colors have a universal meaning.

That meaning is not set in stone.  What I mean by that is this:  color to one person might mean something totally different to another.  We each must seek our own color choices based on what makes us feel good.  Below I have listed some of the uses that are universally considered; but again, your own feelings know best.  I have compiled a list at the end of this article showing the colors and what they represent so that the information can be used as a reference.  I have also listed the source where you can go for further information.

White is the moon and daylight.

White is considered purity, virgin, softness, peace and goodness.  It is usually worn by nobility to represent perfection.  The color white is usually considered to be the absence of all color.  White will reflect the sun and thus is a cooler color.  In some countries white is for funerals, in others white is for weddings.  White lilies usually mean sympathy and/or death.  When considering colors for the days of the week, white represents Sunday and Monday.  It is representative of the Zodiac sign Cancer.  White is often associate with spirituality.  White is considered the exact opposite of Black.  A white room will make the room appear larger and brighter.

Black represents night.

It is considered dark, evil, bad, or the symbol of mourning.  Black is considered to be representative of negative things such as revenge, and Death.  Black is obtained from the combination of all colors.  Black will draw the heat of the sun and is thus considered a hot color.  For the days of the week, black represents Saturday.  It is representative of the Zodiac signs of Scorpio and/or Capricorn.  A black room will seem smaller, melancholy and closed in.

Gray is a mixture of black and white.

Gray represents Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and the Zodiac sign of Virgo.  Gray is often used when an item is uncertain or not specific; for instance when someone is moody.  When someone is moody, they might be considered gray; but if they were happy, they would be considered white; and if they were angry, they would be considered black.  Have you ever heard the expression “in the gray area”?  This is the expression used when it is not one or the other, but a combination of both.

Yellow draws the eye.

Yellow is the color that captures the most attention because it draws the eye.  It is the color of happiness, optimism, enlightenment, creativity, and caution.  Yellow represents spring, the sun, and is considered a warm color.  Yellow is for Sunday and Wednesday.  It is associated with the Zodiac sign Gemini.  Yellow is a good color for a bright room such as a sun room or a breakfast nook, but be careful not to use a bright or neon yellow.  Bright yellows and neon yellows tend to blind like a bright sun and are difficult to look at for any length of time.  For a room color, choose a lighter paler yellow that gives the hint of brightness.

The blue of the ocean..
The blue of the oce...

Blue has meanings that depend on the hue.

Dark blue represents trust, dignity and intelligence whereas light blue represents peace, serenity, and infinity.  Bright blue is a clean strong color that represents dependability.  Blue represents water, sky, and heaven and usually gives a calm, peaceful feeling.  Blue is for Thursday and represents the Zodiac sign of Libra (royal blue) and Sagittarius (dark blue).  Blue for the color of rooms represent peace and contentment; however, the deeper the color the more intense the feeling which could spiral down towards depression.  In America people are always singing “the blues” which, in this case, does mean depression or sadness.  A light blue or pale blue would work well for a baby boy’s room, a child’s play room, or a family room.  A dining room would be nice in blue, but a formal dining room looks more formal in wood tones so save the blue for the rug. 

Red is for passion and romance.

 Red is the color for lust, fire and extremes.  When an account is in the red, it is considered bad.  However, when an account is in the black it is considered good (I don’t know why either).  Red is the color of blood and is often used to signal danger or stop (such as the stop sign you see on the roads).  Red also depicts violence, anger, and seduction.  All of the references for red are extremes; meaning that if you “see red” you are not just mad you are furious.  A red sign means that danger is not possible it is present. Red is a hot color and often brings on intense feelings. 

Red is the color for Tuesday.  Red represents the Zodiac sign Aries and Scorpio. Red can also mean good health, however, I doubt many see good health when they see red. Red, especially dark red, is not a good color choice for a room that is small and fairly closed in.  Red would be better for a large, well-windowed room so that the sun reflects off of the color adding pleasant hues and reflections.  Because red is a color of extremes, red should probably not go into a room where you would like to have peace and quiet such as a library.  Of course, everyone has their own preferences.

Green is the symbol of growth and nature.

Green is for rebirth, fertility, luck, and money.  Green is a cool color that represents happiness, life, and moving.  Green in traffic lights means go.  Green is the symbol of ecology and green has become a universal description for working with nature and preservation.  Green represents the Zodiac sign of Taurus.  Green is for Friday.  Green represents good fortune and success.  Green also represents the Irish for many reasons; however, the majority of the green representatives are stereotypes. 

Shamrock and green hat...
Shamrock and green hat...

For instance, Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle because of its green lush country-side filled with clover which is the usual Irish symbol (or the symbol of St. Patrick’s Day); however, most Irish countrymen do not wear green as a rule.

Other colors that are really a mixtures of basics but also have meaning.

Orange, pink, and purple are the most popular colors with meanings.  Orange is for energy, cheer, excitement, warmth, Halloween and adventure.  Orange is for Sunday and Tuesday.  Pink is for little girls and is associated with the Virgin Mary in the Catholic Church.  Although pink is active and masculine, it was chosen to represent little girls for reasons that have been lost.  Pink represents Friday.  Blue, the universal representative of boys, is more of a cool, calm, quiet, female color, again the reasoning is lost.  Purple, is a color that represents dignity, nobility, deities, luxury, mystery and creativity.  Purple is considered magical and mystical.  Purple represents Sagittarius.  Purple represents Wednesday (violet) and Thursday. 

The other popular colors are silver and gold.  Silver and gold are often associated with Christmas.  They are also representative of prosperity and wealth.  Silver and gold jewelry symbolize money.  Gold is the basis of many economies.  Silver and gold are huge commodities on the stock market.  Silver is the color of metal and represents Monday and Gemini.  Gold represents the Zodiac sign Leo.  The only other popular color is brown which represents the earth and growing.  It also represents the Zodiac sign Capricorn.

Flowers of spring..
Flowers of spring..
Silver for Christmas
Silver for Christmas

Zodiac sign colors:

(from Candlelight Spells by Gerina Dunwich, published by Citadel Press 1988)



Light blue








Yellow, silver








Black, red


Dark blue, purple


Black, dark brown


Days of the week:

(from Wicca Craft by Gerina Dunwich, published by Citadel Press 1997)



Orange, white, yellow


Silver, white, gray


Red, orange


Yellow, gray, violet and opalescent hues


Blue, purple, indigo


Pink, green, aqua, chartreuse


Black, gray, indigo


From the internet site listed below:



Love, romance, and   courage


Purity, innocence,   reverence


Gladness, friendship,   welcome








Apprieciation, thank   you




Link for roses and their colors...

Updated: 02/25/2012, cherylone
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cherylone on 08/14/2012

thank you Sannel, I kept forgetting the colors meanings and wondered if I was the only one. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Sannel on 08/14/2012

What a lovely wiz and so colorful! Thank you for sharing the colors and their meanings with us.

cherylone on 02/27/2012

Katiem2, you are so welcome. I had fallen in the same boat, trying to remember what each one meant, thus the article. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

katiem2 on 02/26/2012

I often find myself wondering the meaning of colors, I learned about this long ago and as the years passed I forgot a few. Now I know for certain again. Thanks for the guide to colors.

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