Dreams can provide fascinating insights into our subconscious minds. And when you’re trying to interpret your dream, every detail can be important.
That includes any colors that stood out in your dream. But what do those colors represent? And how can you use them to better understand the meaning of your dream?
That’s what we’re here to find out! We’re going to explore eleven colors and their meanings in dreams. And we’ll learn more about the different traditions and cultures that affect them.
So if you’re ready to find out more, read on …
Table of Contents
- The Symbolism of Color
- 1. Black Dream Meaning
- 2. White Dream Meaning
- 3. Purple Dream Meaning
- 4. Yellow Dream Meaning
- 5. Silver Dream Meaning
- 6. Red Dream Meaning
- 7. Pink Dream Meaning
- 8. Green Dream Meaning
- 9. Orange Dream Meaning
- 10. Brown Dream Meaning
- 11. Gray Dream Meaning
- Interpreting Colors Should Be Handled with Care
The Symbolism of Color
Different colors are rich in symbolism across the world. But there are some marked differences in their meanings within different cultures.
That means it’s very important to avoid making sweeping generalisations about the interpretation of colors in dreams. While an American dreaming about a white dress might have a wedding in mind, for an Indian the same robe could symbolize a funeral.
The golden rule in dream interpretation is to focus on what the different elements of your dream represent to you. After all, your dream is coming from your mind and no-one else’s!
It’s also important to look at color alongside the other elements of your dream. A blue ocean sparkling in the sun could have a very different feel to an ice-blue tundra. So look at each detail individually, as well as how they all fit together.
Pay attention to the emotions you felt as you dreamed as well. These will give you additional insights to the message being conveyed by your dream.
And don’t worry if you don’t remember what color something was in your dream! That simply means it wasn’t important to the message your subconscious mind was trying to relay.
If that’s the case, focus instead on the key objects, situations or people. The elements that stand out to you are those that will be most important to unravelling the meaning of your dream.
But if color has featured strongly in your dream, pay attention to it. Research has shown that some colors affect our moods in different ways. And they can have strong cultural associations with different emotions or occasions. All this can help guide our dream interpretation.
So let’s take a look at what different colors might mean if they appear in your dream.
1. Black Dream Meaning
In Western cultures, black is typically a color of mourning. Black in a dream can represent feelings of sadness or depression.
To the Chinese, however, black represents yin, the feminine aspect of all things.
Black is also associated with that which is hidden. An object that appears black in a dream might represent something you feel you understand only imperfectly. It could highlight the need to gain a better knowledge of a person or situation – or even your own feelings.
Black also absorbs energy. It can symbolize holding on to power rather than sharing it with others.
But it can also have positive associations. Black can neutralize negativity. Its appearance in your dream could be a sign that you’re able to remain unaffected by other people’s negative outlooks.
The association of black with death, likewise, needn’t signify physical death. It could represent the ending of one phase of life and transition to the next. That might mean the end of a project, or the natural conclusion of a relationship.
2. White Dream Meaning
In Western cultures, white is typically associated with innocence and purity. Brides traditionally wear white on their wedding day to symbolize their virtue.
In Chinese culture, white is associated with yang, masculine energy. And white light is thought to have powers of spiritual protection.
White is also more generally associated with light. If white features strongly in your dream, it could be an indication that you see a situation or person clearly.
And although it is the opposite of black, white also shares the association with change. While black can indicate the end of one phase or cycle, white can represent the beginning of a new one.
White also appears in common phrases. To “whitewash” something, for example, can mean to attempt to cover up wrongdoing.
Our brains are often fond of presenting such phrases to us in their literal form. So if you dream of painting over something in white, it could represent your own attempts at covering something up.
3. Purple Dream Meaning
Purple has been associated with royalty and nobility for thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Egyptians. Today, it has connotations with courage in the USA, where the purple heart is awarded for bravery.
Unlike black and white, purple can be found in varying shades. And the tone may have a bearing on the meaning for your dream.
Violet is associated with something that is precious or cherished. Darker shades like indigo, on the other hand, can represent volatility or moodiness.
In Hinduism, colors are also linked to the chakras – seven spiritual energy points around the human body. Purple is connected to the seventh chakra, which is at the crown of the head. This is also known as the “thousand petal lotus chakra” and is believed to connect to the divine being.
Dreams featuring purple may also, therefore, relate to spiritual awakening.
The meaning of yellow in a dream can vary dramatically depending on the context in which it appears.
If it was a dominant feature of your dream, it’s important to look at it alongside the other details. It’s particularly helpful to consider your emotional response to your dream events to narrow down the meaning.
Yellow can have very positive connotations. It’s the color of sunshine and spring flowers. And we often talk about happy people as having “sunny” dispositions.
If your dream was accompanied by positive feelings, this joyful interpretation is likely to be the right one. Yellow is also the color of gold, and can be associated with success.
But yellow can have less positive connotations too. It can also signify sickness and cowardice.
And this is another case where there’s an opportunity for our subconscious brains to indulge their love of wordplay.
The phrase “yellow bellied” is often used to describe someone as cowardly. Has someone in your dream appeared with a yellow stomach? The chances are, your brain is representing them as lacking in courage or integrity.
5. Silver Dream Meaning
Silver is associated with justice and purity. It can also indicate your own intuition.
This latter is particularly interesting in connection with your dream world. As a gateway to your subconscious mind, dreams often show us things we’ve intuited but not consciously recognised.
So if something appears in silver in your dream, it could be emphasising this intuitive basis. In other words, your dreaming mind is underlining the fact that you already instinctively know the truth of what it’s showing you. It’s just that your conscious mind hasn’t yet acknowledged it.
Silver, of course, is also a precious metal, so it can represent things of value. And specific silver objects might have different meanings.
In the Bible, for example, Jesus was betrayed by Judas for 30 pieces of silver. So seeing lots of silver coins in your dream might represent treachery from someone close to you.
Red is traditionally the color of romance and passion. We give and receive red roses as symbols of love. And love hearts are usually depicted in bright red. It’s no surprise, then, that red can have a similar association to our dreaming minds.
But red can have lots of different meanings too. In the natural world, red often signals danger. So this is another case where it’s important to consider the context.
And red features in a lot of everyday expressions. These can pop up in our dreams as literal interpretations.
If you see yourself holding a red cloth to rampaging cattle, you may well believe yourself to be holding “a red rag to a bull”. In other words, you are deliberately antagonising a situation.
A red light is an obvious signal to stop what you’re doing. And if you’re showing someone else a red light, you’re telling them to cease and desist.
“Red lines” are the unmovable boundaries around a negotiating position. Seeing them in your dream suggests your room for maneuver may be restricted.
7. Pink Dream Meaning
As pink is a paler form of red, so many of the interpretations of red listed above can also apply to pink. In this case, though, the suggestion may be that the emotions are less intense.
In relation to affairs of the heart, for example, pink may suggest sweetness more than passion. It’s also associated with generosity, protection, affection and kindness.
And there are punning opportunities for our dreaming minds here too. If you find yourself handling a pink piece of paper – or even sliding on pink paint – the reference might be to a “pink slip”. This common phrase is used to refer to being given notice to leave your job.
Of course, all these wordplay meanings only work if you’ve heard of them already! Your brain may be very clever, but even it can’t create images from phrases it’s never encountered.
8. Green Dream Meaning
Green is another color that can have a wide range of meanings.
It’s associated with the natural world, with new life and fresh growth. Green appearing in your dream can therefore signify new beginnings, hope for the future, or harmony with nature.
It’s also traditionally the color of money, with banknotes sometimes referred to as “greenbacks”. And green can symbolize jealousy, as in the phrases “green with envy” or the “green-eyed monster”.
In traffic lights, it’s the symbol to go. If you’ve been wondering about the time to begin a new endeavor, it’s a great omen. Seeing a green light in your dream is an unambiguous signal that it’s safe to proceed.
In Hinduism, green is associated with the heart chakra, and so with physical health and healing.
9. Orange Dream Meaning
Orange is an amazing color that actually alters the chemical balance of our brains. It stimulates mental activity and even increases the flow of oxygen. But what does it mean when we dream about it?
Orange is usually seen as a positive omen, with associations with the sun, joy and healing. It can also represent spiritual balance, compassion, creativity and drive. Its appearance in your dream may indicate your wish to reach beyond your comfort zone, and to embrace new experiences.
The flip side of all this energy may, however, be a slide into restlessness. Darker shades of orange may indicate turbulent passion, relentless ambition, or an inability to settle to a task.
10. Brown Dream Meaning
Brown is the color of the earth, and this is closely connected to its primary dream meaning of being grounded.
Seeing lots of brown in your dream could indicate that you need to focus on the fundamentals of life. Perhaps you’re giving all your energy to your career at the expense of your family. Or perhaps you’re no longer in touch with the things that really make you happy.
Other interpretations are that you need to return to the roots of your problem in order to solve it. Brown can also be associated with simplicity and wholesomeness.
11. Gray Dream Meaning
Gray fuses the opposites of black and white, light and dark. As such, it can symbolize ambiguity, uncertainty and indecision.
It’s a meaning that’s echoed in the phrase “gray area”. That’s often used in the context of the law, meaning that the legality of something is as yet untested.
Gray in your dream can be a sign that you’re dealing with a period of uncertainty. You’re not sure yet how to proceed. It can also suggest feelings of isolation, or a lack of interest in what’s happening around you.
Interpreting Colors Should Be Handled with Care
We hope you’ve enjoyed our look at eleven colors and their meanings in dreams. With so many different possibilities, interpretation needs to be handled with care. But if you look carefully at the details and context of your dream, you won’t go far wrong.
And remember, you’re the best judge of the meaning of your dream. If a suggested interpretation doesn’t feel right to you, consider other options. When you’ve hit on the right one, you’ll know it – everything will come together.
Good luck, and sweet dreams!
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