Color Series: Orange


the color orange

A number of the associations and meanings for the color orange overlap with those for the color red, and some attributes with yellow.  Since orange isn’t a primary color and is a mixture of yellow and red, it makes sense that it would share the attributes of both parent colors.  Also, shades of orange that lean more toward yellow will have more of yellow’s power, while shades that are redder will take on more of red’s meanings.  Like red, orange is a vibrant and stimulating color.  Red and orange are both good for stimulating the appetite–this is why many restaurants, especially fast food ones, will use these colors in their logos and buildings.  Orange is a very attention-grabbing color that stands for energy, friendliness, and flamboyancy.

Although not generally used as a healing color, orange can promote good health for some people.  For others, it’s almost as overwhelming a color as red, and shouldn’t be used for healing.  Orange is a color of change, based on its association with autumn and that transitional period of seasons.  It can promote transitions or changes in a person’s thoughts, emotions, or life.  It’s also a color of fun, warmth, security, food, and sensuality.  Most people, I think relate sensuality to the color red instead of orange, but orange takes on this meaning because of its association with the sacral chakra (see below).  However, orange can also mean immaturity, dependency, frustration, pride, and difficult interactions with others.

Although not a very common color for religious symbolism, orange does hold certain meanings in various religions.  In Christianity, likely stemming from a medieval tradition, orange represents the deadly sin of gluttony.  In Wicca and some other paths of Paganism, orange is most closely associated with Samhain and autumn.  It is not generally a color associated with the Goddess, although specific Goddesses may have this color in their particular system, especially those related to fire in some way.  However, orange can at times be considered a youthful color, and so the argument could be made that it more closely aligns with the Maiden Aspect.  In Buddhism, monks often wear robes of saffron, which is a yellow-orange color.

In the Netherlands, orange is the national color.  This dates back to the rebellious Prince of Orange and the Dutch War of Independence.  Orange is a color of happiness and love in China and Japan.  The color also has national significance to Ireland and is used in the country’s flag.  In the U.S., orange is often used as a warning color.  For example, traffic cones are usually orange.  Unlike red, orange does not carry the meaning of “danger”, but has more of a connotation of “warning”.  Also in the U.S. orange is the color of Halloween and Thanksgiving.  For some Native American tribes, orange is a color of kinship or learning.

sacral chakraIn the chakra system, orange is the color of the sacral chakra, located in the lower abdomen at the intestines.  This chakra is related to self-respect, feelings, fertility, and sexuality.  Also associated with uterus, bowels, prostate, ovaries, and testes.  The sacral chakra also relates to creativity and freedom.  This chakra and its color deals with respecting the boundaries you’ve set for yourself and deals with your self-respect.  If you aren’t in tune with your sacral chakra and don’t respect yourself, you could knock other chakras out of balance as well.  The main words for this chakra are “I feel.”  Orange can help your feelings to flow more freely, thus helping this chakra stay open and balanced rather than clogged or overloaded with pent-up feelings.

Uses

This is not the color to use if you want to hide from the world.  Like red, it attracts attention.  Wear this color when you want to attract attention, but be cautious about too much orange, or you’ll look . . . well, like a traffic cone.  Too much orange can overwhelm and can take on its negative qualities when it does.  Orange is good to encourage oneself to be more social, and is a good color to use when decorating social areas. If you want/need help studying, try using orange to stimulate your thoughts and mind.

This color and many of its vibrant shades should not be used in bedrooms or other places intended for resting, as it is not a restful color; it should also not be used for those places in which stress occurs, such as an office, because orange can exacerbate the stress levels and make things worse.

Associations
Element: Fire, Water
Emotions: joy, confidence, creativity, happiness, excitement, daring
Animals: ladybugs, goldfish, orangutans
Astrology: Gemini, Leo
Chakra: sacral
Flowers: bird of paradise, orange lily
Foods: pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, apricot, mangoes, orange peppers, peach, tangerine, citrus, cantaloupe, honey
Metals: gold, copper, brass
Minerals: cinnabar
Stones: carnelian, garnet, tiger’s eye, orange agate, topaz
Season: Autumn (primary), Summer (secondary)

Resources About Orange
http://www.sensationalcolor.com/color-messages-meanings/color-meaning-symbolism-psychology/all-about-the-color-orange.html
http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/psychological-properties-of-colours
http://www.colourtherapyhealing.com/colour/orange.php
http://www.eclecticenergies.com/chakras/introduction.php
http://desktoppub.about.com/cs/colorselection/p/orange.htm
http://www.color-wheel-artist.com/meanings-of-orange.html

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