Have you ever wondered why some people are drawn to one color, while others prefer a totally different palette? Why do we feel blue, roll out the red carpet for royalty, or get green with envy? Many theorists believe that colors offer a direct insight into the human psyche. 

Lots of research exists on the subject of color. You’ll find complex theories about what colors mean, what they provoke in the viewer, and what they can tell you about the person who chooses them.

As is usually the case, some theories contradict one another. Others don’t always mesh with the color traditions of different countries.

But the study of colors can provide an insightful element to your creative process, giving you yet another factor to consider when choosing yarns for a project.

Pick Your Theory

Let’s take a look at color theories from around the world. These include the study of color as it relates to our moods, our energy, Feng Shui principles, and chakra principles.

Colors and Moods

This is perhaps the most general and adaptable branch of color theory. At the highest level, colors are divided into two categories: cool colors and warm colors.

Cool colors: Lavender, blue-green, blues.

Warm colors: Reds, oranges, yellows.

Digging a little deeper, we can classify colors in terms of the general impact they have on our emotions. For example, here are some colors that:

Soothe emotions: Peach, pink, blues, and greens. Of all the colors in the spectrum, green is the easiest on the eye.

Keep us grounded: Beiges, tans, and browns.

Help energize us: Golds, black, burgundy, reds, royal blue.

Colors and Energy

Another way to look at colors is in terms of their relationship with our energy. Many people believe that colors can have a direct impact on the energy of the person wearing or viewing them.

Color therapists practice these theories in their professional work.

Colors that…

Lift energy: Yellows, reds, turquoise, and any bright colors. Some say that yellow even speeds metabolism. Is it a coincidence that McDonald’s chose bright yellow and red for its signs?

Dampen energy: Dark colors, especially browns.

Tranquilize energy: Light greens and pinks, and most pastel colors. This may explain why so many people paint their children’s bedrooms light pastel colors.

Draw energy: Rich purples, reds, and golds. Think of the bullfighter’s cape as an example, or the fact that red cars statistically get more speeding tickets than any other-colored cars.

Colors and Feng Shui

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of creating environments that nurture your well-being. The main idea behind Feng Shui is that the specific placement of objects within a space can harness the power of the earth’s invisible energy force, known as ch’i.

This placement theory is guided by a map, called the Bagua, that is divided into nine sections. Each section represents a different aspect of life (career, family, wealth, etc.) and is manifested by a specific color.

Red: Fame and reputation.

Pink: Relationship.

White: Children.

Grey: Helpful people — these people can be friends, family, etc.

Black: Career.

Blue: Knowledge and spirituality.

Green: Family.

Purple: Wealth.

Yellow: Health.

If there’s an area of life that you’re trying to improve, Feng Shui theorists suggest you find the corresponding Bagua color and add an element of it to your clothing.

Colors and Chakras

Chakras are spinning vortexes of energy that correspond to different aspects of life. There are seven chakras total, spanning from the base of your spine to the top of your head.

Each chakra radiates a specific color. Some people believe that you can help harness the power of a chakra — and thus work on specific areas of your life — by bringing that color out in your environment (and clothing).

Likewise, if you find yourself drawn to specific colors more than usual, you can research the corresponding chakra and see if it corresponds to current issues in your life.

Red: Corresponds to the first chakra, which is at the base of your spine. This chakra relates to survival and your basic needs.

Orange: Corresponds to the second chakra, which is located at your abdomen. This chakra controls our ability to feel.

Yellow: Corresponds to your third chakra, which is located at your solar plexus. This chakra controls your will and ability to think rationally.

Green: Corresponds to your fourth chakra, which is located at the center of your chest. This chakra controls your heart, personal power, and healing.

Light blue: Corresponds to your fifth chakra, which is located at your throat. This chakra controls creativity, expression, leadership, and who you are in the world.

Deep blue, or indigo:Corresponds to your sixth chakra, which is located between your eyebrows. This chakra controls your intuition and is often referred to as your “third eye.”

Purple: Corresponds to your seventh chakra, which is located at the top of your head. Called the “crown” chakra, this acts as our own personal guide in life.

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