Most people’s dreams look a lot like the world around them in their waking life, and most people observe the waking world in color. If a particular color is very prominent in your dream, however, it may have symbolism that is relevant to the meaning of your dream.
Colors Dream Summary
In general, dreaming about colors is a good sign that you are engaged with life on a deep level. A strong color can communicate a wealth of information with just one look.
Symbolism of Specific Colors
While individuals may have their own personal associations with different colors, they may also be influenced by references to colors in popular music and movies.
The system of chakras, energy centers throughout the body, also associates a different color with each chakra.
Where Colors Might Appear in Dreams
Symbolism of Specific Colors
A Little Bit of Auras: An Introduction to Energy Fields by Cassandra Eason provides an overview of color symbolism in the context of auras, which are energy fields that some people are able to see surrounding people, animals, and more. The symbolism of colors is pretty consistent whether the context is dreams or auras or anything else in waking life, though.
Eason notes that the chakras, energy centers throughout the body, are involved with the transmission of auras. Each chakra has a color associated with it.
The color red is associated with the root chakra, which is involved with issues of basic survival. Brown is encompassed within the root chakra as well.
Think of the famous saying, “Nature, red in tooth and claw.” This is a line from the poem “In Memoriam A.H.H.” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson regarding the death of his friend Arthur Hugh Hallam.
Red is indeed involved with issues of life and death. The Ingmar Bergman movie Cries and Whispers, about a woman dying of uterine cancer and her two sisters, emphasizes the color red in its imagery, as reported by The Take.
Bergman, as relayed by Norman N. Holland, said, “. . . all our interiors are red, of various shades. Don’t ask me why it must be so, because I don’t know. I have puzzled over this myself and each explanation has seemed more comical than the last. The bluntest but also the most valid is probably that the whole thing is something internal and that ever since my childhood I have pictured the inside of the soul as a moist membrane in shades of red.”
The color red was also emphasized in the movie The Sixth Sense, about a boy who sees dead people.
If you menstruate, dreaming of blood or other red things may mean that you will get your period soon.
Color Matters reports that orange was popular during the 1970s, so to dream of orange may therefore indicate nostalgia for that historical period. Flashbak remembers the 1970s as a time of freedom and openness regarding sexual issues.
Not surprisingly, orange is associated with the sacral chakra, which is involved in sexual issues.
Orange is an attention-getting color, so whatever is depicted as orange in your dream may be something that needs your attention.
Prison uniforms in the United States are orange. Dreaming of orange may therefore mean that you feel like you are getting attention in a bad way, like you are getting singled out for punishment.
Yellow is often a cheerful and happy color, as shown in the song “Yellow Submarine” by The Beatles and in Sesame Street character Big Bird. These examples are both associated with childhood, so seeing yellow in a dream may refer to childhood or children.
Another example of yellow is the Pokémon character Pikachu, who can generate electricity. The song “Mellow Yellow” by Donovan also refers to electricity in what the singer later admitted was a more adult sense.
Lightning is often depicted as yellow. Yellow therefore has a lot of energy that can be positive but can also be dangerous.
Yellow is used on road signs and traffic lights to indicate caution. In soccer, a yellow card is given as a warning for aggressive play, as reported by Goal.
Yellow is associated with the solar plexus chakra, which is involved with assertiveness. To dream of yellow can therefore highlight – as yellow often does – the difficulty finding the line between assertiveness and aggressiveness.
Seeing the color green in a dream can refer to nature and environmental concerns. It can also refer to chaotic conditions where growth is happening but not necessarily in an organized or orderly way, as in the song “Little Green” by Joni Mitchell.
In the system of chakras, green refers to the heart chakra. Yes, the heart is associated with love, but love is not always easy.
Dane Rudhyar said in An Astrological Mandala: The Cycle of Transformations and Its 360 Symbolic Phases, “The creative future descends first to that which has become chaos. An old order is never open to a new Revelation until it has accepted disorder in the name of that Power which subsumes all forms of order, i.e. Love.”
In the United States, “greenbacks” is an old slang term for paper currency, which was green in the past, as reported by Investopedia. To see the color green in your dream can therefore refer to accumulating money or wealth.
The saying “green with envy” could also be relevant when seeing the color green in a dream. This association of green with jealousy could be especially relevant when green is also associated with money in the dream.
Blue and Indigo
The Janis Joplin version of “Little Girl Blue” is the ultimate expression of the melancholy emotions associated with the color blue. “Feeling blue” is often used as a synonym for depression.
Blue, however, is associated with the throat chakra, which has to do with communication. While many factors can contribute to depression, one big thing that could make a person depressed would be feeling like they can’t communicate what really matters to them to the people around them.
Indigo, the color in the rainbow between blue and violet, is associated with the brow or third eye chakra.
Both blue and indigo are involved in the pursuit of information. The distinction is that blue uses more mainstream means, while indigo is open to psychic and intuitive sources.
To dream of blue or indigo could therefore refer to issues around seeking and communicating information.
Purple or Violet
Violet is the color associated with the crown chakra, which is involved in spiritual connection. To see things from the higher perspective of the divine, some of the conflicts here on Earth are not as big as they seem.
In maps and other graphics regarding United States politics, the Democratic Party is depicted in blue, and the Republican Party is depicted in red. To dream of purple can therefore refer to a blend or halfway point between these two political opposites, as blue and red combine to make purple.
Color Matters notes that purple is associated with royalty in some countries. If you dream of purple, make sure that looking at things from a higher perspective does not cross the line into becoming a snob and looking down on people.
The Sylvia Plath poem “Daddy” is full of several startlingly negative references to the color black. Poetry Foundation reports that her father immigrated to the United States from Germany before World War II, but she used Nazi imagery to describe him in the poem anyway, though his greatest crime may have been dying when she was still a child.
Plath’s opening stanza, however, speaks to black’s potential for transformation:
You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.
While dreaming of black can refer to literal death and oppression, the color black can also provide shielding and containment during a time where an old identity is being shed like a snake’s skin. At the end of such a process, you may say, like Plath did, “You do not do any more, black shoe.”
White is associated with innocence and purity. However, contrast this with the comments on orange – just as not everyone singled out for punishment truly deserves it, not everyone singled out as a paragon of innocence truly deserves it either.
Dreaming of white therefore can mean conflict around issues of guilt and innocence.
To dream of a strong contrast between black and white can mean you are seeing things in overly simple terms when there is really more nuance in the situation. Of course, sometimes things really are that simple.
Only Black and White
The New York Times reports that some people dream exclusively in black and white, citing research finding that this is more common in older people who grew up when television was commonly in black and white rather than color. If you grew up with black-and-white TV and dream in black and white now, you may be nostalgic for the simpler time of your youth.
If your dreams look like an old black-and-white TV show, but you are young enough to have grown up with color TV, dreaming in black and white may mean that you feel a link to the early to mid-20th century. Perhaps a historical event from this time is relevant to your current life – or it might be time to explore your views on reincarnation.
The 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz is notable for depicting the early scenes of Dorothy’s life in Kansas in black and white and then switching to Technicolor after she arrives in the fantastical Land of Oz, as described by Smithsonian Magazine. If your dream similarly switches between monochrome and color, this classic movie’s story of misfits coming together to find their inner strengths may be relevant to you.
As explained in the lighthearted song “Pink” by Aerosmith, “Pink, it’s like red but not quite.” To be more specific, pink cuts the intensity of red with some white.
Pink therefore tends to portray the messy life-sustaining functions of red in a sanitized way, making them more bearable.
The color pink is associated with girls and women. It is often used in advertising campaigns regarding breast cancer, which mostly affects women.
Breast Cancer Action’s Think Before You Pink campaign takes a critical look at companies that use pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness in their marketing. They coined the term “pinkwasher” for “A company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.”
To see pink in a dream can refer to a fun, lighthearted feeling. However, it is important to make sure that serious issues are not being trivialized or ignored in the midst of that.
Silver and Gold
Silver and gold are both associated with money, so to see silver or gold in a dream may mean that issues involving money are significant in your life at this point. This would generally be a good omen.
For more information, see Money Dream Meanings & Interpretation.
The Olympic Games also award gold medals for first place and silver medals for second place. To dream of gold or silver may therefore mean you are on the road to achieving something great.
The symbolic associations of silver and gold overlap substantially, but, as the example of the Olympic Games points out, gold is first place and silver is second place. If your dream sets up a conflict or contrast between gold and silver, you may be struggling with issues of competition or jealousy.
Where Colors Might Appear in Dreams
Many schools have school colors which can be used in the school’s decorations, uniforms, athletic jerseys, and graduation gowns. If you dream of school, which is common for people long after they have finished their formal education, school colors may play a role in your dream.
It is very common for dreams to use the setting of your current waking life, so if the school colors in your dream match the colors of a school you currently attend, it may not mean a lot by itself. If the colors are very prominent, the dream may indicate that being a student at that particular school is a big part of your personal identity.
If the school colors in your dream match the colors of a school you attended in the past, you may be nostalgic for the time in your life when you attended that school. You may need to reconnect with people or interests from that time in your life.
Particularly if you are old and feeling burned out, dreaming of the colors of a school you attended when you were young and optimistic may mean you need to figure out how to get a more positive and hopeful attitude again.
If the school colors in your dream are unfamiliar and do not match the colors of a school you attended, look at the symbolism of those colors. You may need to pursue additional learning in subject matters related to that symbolism.
For example, if you dream of attending an unfamiliar school where the school color is green, you may need to learn about love or nature.
If the dream involves the competing colors of different schools, it could refer to a conflict that has been handled with great seriousness but is really more petty and immature than the people involved would like to admit. Think of the song “Be True To Your School” by The Beach Boys, which takes the imagery of teenagers driving around town displaying the colors of their different high schools from their cars to a ridiculous extreme.
Most sports teams have identifying colors on their jerseys. If you dream of the colors of a favorite sports team that you are very attached to, you see yourself having the power and status of your favorite athletes, which is a good omen.
If you dream of unfamiliar sports teams, look at the colors on their uniforms symbolically. For example, the green team playing against the yellow team might mean you are experiencing a conflict between love and assertiveness – can you be both loving and assertive at the same time, or does one take precedence over the other?
Sometimes you don’t notice the clothing of characters in a dream, and all you could say if asked is that they were not naked. If you do notice the color of what anyone in your dream is wearing, you can look at the symbolism of that color in relation to that person.
For instance, if you see a friend who is normally a quiet and subdued person in waking life wearing orange in your dream, this might be a sign that that friend needs more attention than usual.
If you dream of eating food that is a particular color, you may need to take in qualities associated with that color.
For example, if you dream of eating root vegetables like dark red beets and brown potatoes, you may need to focus on issues of stability related to the root chakra. You might literally need to become more grounded in nature.
Seeing orange carrots with other root vegetables could add an element of sexuality, as the carrots are phallic in shape, and orange is associated with the next chakra above the root chakra. Such a dream may be saying that the cure to sexual difficulties is to deal with more fundamental security issues first.
On the other end of the spectrum, dreaming of food with obviously artificial bright colors could mean you are not getting the nutrients you really need in your life, or that you tend to prioritize what is fun in the moment over what is necessary in the long term. It could also mean that you need to lighten up and have fun once in a while.
The best associations for any color in your dream are always your own associations. This article, however, should have articulated a few things that might be hiding in the back of your mind. Feel free to leave your own associations with colors in the comments!