Red and yellow and pink and green,
Purple and orange and blue,
I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too!
This year I am noticing the changing colours of the seasons more than ever before, since I started painting again in January. It is as though colour was calling me, and by engaging with it through my painting, the whole world of color became more vivid and vibrant: color came to life in my life.
The gift of rainbows: russet and ochre falling leaves; turquoise sea; the vibrant red of a toadstool peppered with spots of purest white; the vibrant green of the grass; the purple stain of cherry juice on my daughter’s lips…
Color is the link between the outer world of nature and the inner world of the soul. According to Michaela Strauss and P. Wehrle our “soul processes find their expression in the realm of colour. ” (Understanding Children’s Drawings: Tracing the Path of Incarnation). The danger of red, the calm of blue and positivity of yellow. They speak a wordless language to our bodies and minds as we drink them in through our eyes.
The Steiner tradition was the first place I really learnt about the spiritual aspects of colors and their influence on our health and wellbeing. Steiner gives much attention to the symbolic and synesthetic properties of color and their effect on children. He recommends that baby’s cribs are draped with gentle pastel silks. And that in their early school years children are helped to encounter and explore each of the primary colors one by one. Waldorf toys often come in rainbow colors, as their makers understand the impact of color on a child’s developing soul.
We need a balance of colors or energies to be whole in ourselves. A healthy aura is made up of a rainbow of colors. Each color holds a different energy. Each chakra in our bodies is also associated with a color of the rainbow.
The wheel of the year as she turns provides us with every color to balance us, as well as with light and dark. But often we can cut ourselves off from color by staying indoors, or by living excessively in our heads, rather than really experiencing the world through our bodily sensations and creative interaction.
Perhaps the most invigorating part of autumn for me is the shift of color palette, from the hot pinks and cool blues of summer to the vibrant russets and reds of autumn. I see these seasonal changes subconsciously reflected in my painting.
As the fall colors start to fade, and evenings draw in, we can feel our spirits fading too. Nature’s palette shifts to slate gray, ice white, bear brown. Many of us find that our moods can slip as the days get darker and greyer and we yearn for brightness in our lives.
I try to bring the colors that are lacking in the outside world into our lives in other ways. Whether we bring them inside onto our nature table draped with colored silks, bright rose hips and fairy folk. Or through vases of flowers and potted plants. In our table linens and crockery. In rugs, paintings and furnishings. We can paint, knit, craft and sew with color. We can wear the colors we need in our clothing and jewellery, and even on our lips and finger nails. Our choice for color in our modern world is vast.
Which colors do you long for? Which are you drawn to? What colors are you lacking? Which do you not allow yourself? How might you add them in to your life?
The symbolism of Colors
Red: power, intensity, passion
Orange: energy, enthusiasm, warmth
Yellow: joy, happiness, sunshine
Green: nature, renewal, fertility
Blue: calm, stability, order
Purple: royalty, nobility, wisdom
Pink: romance, love, caring, tenderness
Black: negativity, death (in Western culture), elegance, lack of color
White: is the sum of all colors, purity (Western culture), simplicity
Brown: earth, stability, home
(This table was adapted from here , a great page of resources on color symbolism for children)
I invite you to embrace every color of the rainbow somewhere in your wardrobe, diet or home. Become a rainbow mama! Allow yourself and your family to be infused and invigorated by the energy of every color of the rainbow to tide you through the dark days of winter.
Lucy Pearce is a free spirited freelance creative. Her blog Dreaming Aloud tracks her explorations in creativity, mindfulness and motherhood. Her art is available to buy as greetings cards, along with her book, Moon Time, at The Happy Womb. Her forthcoming book is on Creative Rainbow Mamas and so she is color mad on Pinterest at the moment and has tens of boards of rainbow delights which she’d love to share with you.