Dreaming LifeDreaming Life

Our dreams deal with all the senses, but visual perception is by far the most common, though dreams in color are quite rare. Dreams with sound a fairly rare too, with touch being the most uncommon of all. There has been a lot of interest in colorful dreams amongst analysts of the subject; many people think they have dreamed in color only to realize later, when questioned, that their dreams were not as filled with color as they thought. Often our brain will project the idea of color onto the memory of a dream because a particular color is linked with a particular experience, so that the dreamer has assumed rather than actually seen a particular color. A few experts believe that color is present in dreams but that it is not a dominant element or presence within them.

Dreams that appear to have lots of colors are said to be the ones that are connected with many emotions; with a particular color being dominant in the dream, so that one can associate a color with an individual dream rather than a whole host of colors, and from there work out what that color may mean, how it may help interpret the dream.

What the color represents will be slightly different for everyone; just thinking of a particular color may bring rise to certain emotions or memories based on one’s experiences with that color. Also, setting aside our own memories, color plays certain roles in our everyday waking life; for example an interior architect will choose certain colors, depending on the purpose of the room, to create the desired mood – red is exciting; blue is cool and cold; the temperature of a room can be perceived because of its color, often more than its actual heated level. Interior architects are being used more and more in the modern workplace to create a greater productive environment; millions of dollars are spent on creating the right balance of lighting and tones to create a sense of well-being. When people go house buying, one of the first things they consider is what color they will paint the walls, or what kind of wallpaper they will use; top chefs will often choose their ingredients according to their visual effect, some people link certain colors with particular sounds, or certain musical instruments – there is a lot to consider when weighing up the importance of a color in a dream.


Blue is a cold, cool and refreshing color. Sky is blue. Blue is connected with the sea, air and lots of space. Blue makes places look bigger. It is the color of horizons, and spirituality. Blue often represents infinity in dreams, with panoramic views extending off into the distance. The color is not solid, it is transparent and melts easily into pure white, it is the color of emptiness – can be seen in this sense as the color of death. Like the sky, blue is out of reach. Sometimes it is frozen. It is used to describe a state of sadness, ‘the blues’. When the sky is blue and cloudless it may appear intimidating, like there is nothing to hold on to with no view above, as if the Earth is alone in space without the clouds that give one a sense of protection, like a blanket offering feelings of security.

Blue can also be the color of metaphysical meditation, of philosophy and truth; it symbolizes serenity, celestial fidelity, and the peace of the soul in death and superhuman life on a higher plain. It is the color of spiritual hope after the death of the body; we reach for the sky but we have to let go of our material selves before we are free to achieve our goal.


Red is fire, heat, passion and ardent love; it comes in many shades, from an almost brown to a startling crimson. It is the color of injuries and blood, yet at the same time it represents good health. The archetypal hot color is fierce, blatant, dynamic, and annoying. It is the color of war, like Mars. It is also associated with playfulness and high spirits; children are particularly fond of red, as seen in toy stores and on a certain large man famous for bringing gifts. In dreams red evokes feelings of passion and energy, which may be so great as to consume the dreamer. It is the color of struggle, of extrovert behaviour; purple-red is imperial. The color of blood can also represent murder and carnage, violence and hatred. It is also the color of the womb, so can be linked with anxieties associated to it.


There are many shades of green, it is a color of harmony and rest. In dreams the color represents earth and the spring, rebirth and regeneration. It is linked with youth and innocence. It is the color of waiting, patients and solid hopes concerned with Earthly matters. Green nourishes and is maternal, but also holds the freshness of young love, of lovers in springtime.

The negative side of green is that it is associated with deep waters and drowning; it is the color of jealousy, decay, madness and malice.


Yellow is the color of the Sun, the color of radiance, of sparkling minds and shining hearts. Pure yellow can be blinding, harsh, tending towards dazzling white. Yellow is warmer when it reflects intense emotions; it represents sickness, sorrow or deception when it is pale. Yellow is like gold, symbolizing eternity and transcendent beliefs which, like spiritual beliefs, makes its infinite nuances difficult to grab a hold of, to quantify. Its significance can often only be measured by the emotions it evokes. Yellow is the color of glorious summer; the crown of the year that is eventually overthrown by winter; it is the magnificence and splendor of life before death.


Orange is warm and welcoming, like the lights of one’s home on a dark winter night. It is less boisterous than either red or yellow with the power to soften them both and blend them together. It can represent the warmth of the Sun, the fires of home and a warm heart. It represents activity but is an amalgamation, possible androgynous, of differing natures. It is the color of deep tranquility and spiritual comfort.


Violet can be seen as a somewhat cold color, in heraldry it represents truth and loyalty; it signifies temperance when it becomes amethyst or purple. It can often convey feelings of sadness, spiritual penitence and inner grieving in dreams. It is also a passionate color, being a red that is tempered slightly by the clarity and spirituality of blue.


Black is a monochrome that absorbs colors rather than reflecting them; it is the color of mourning and waiting, endurance and sadness, but also patience, prudence and wisdom. In dreams it also represents mourning, but more than that it represents the gloom of the undifferentiating, undifferentiated life of the shadow. It is the color of night, sleep and the unconscious. It can symbolize waiting in that absorbed colors can be restored; black is more a container for all the colors rather than a destroyer of them, so it can serve as a symbol of hope; in some dreams it becomes a symbol of gestation, of the unconscious mind at work, preparing for the future, primitive instincts being directed towards greater and higher achievements. The shadow is never death but hope, which one-day will be realized.


White is all the colors synthesized; it is the image of purity and light, innocence, joy and immortality. In dreams white is a symbol of purity and hope but, like blue, it can represent the death of the self, the horizons of the infinite where one becomes lost. It can become the color of mourning in this sense. White is the color of snow, which is connected with joy, as well as desolation and death.


This is only a very brief look at what colors may mean in dreams; other consideration are cultural and religious backgrounds where different colors can have a different significance. The importance of a color in a dream can be limited because few are only in one color; where dreams have lots of colors it may be difficult to pick out the dominant one. If the color in your dream does not evoke a particularly strong emotion it may as well be disregarded when trying to interpret it; as if the dream had no colors at all.