Sunday, May 3, 2009

Colors and Feng Shui

The way people react to colors is due to a mix of physiological, sociological and spiritual factors. What works in one society does not always work in another. Likewise, the knowledge that has come out of the mystery schools often needs to be adjusted to apply to modern tastes. What we present here is our own color theory drawn from personal studies and experience.

What is helpful to remember about the differences between the Western and Asian systems of color theory is that in the West, the favorite planets generally are Jupiter and Venus, which are expanders, and relate to luck and luxury. From the earth both have a blue tone. For the Chinese, the favorite planets are Saturn, a pale yellow planet that is the stabilizer, and Mercury, the silver planet that deals with commerce and children. We might say that, culturally, the difference is a focus upon possibilities versus responsibilities. Surveys have shown that the favorite color of Americans is blue, while their least favorite is yellow. This highlights yet another difference, which necessitates the adjustment of systems when practicing Feng Shui in the west.

GOLD and SILVER, for our needs, are not properly colors but rather metals related to the Sun, and to the Moon and Mercury. Gold is quite distinctly the glow of the Sun (Yang), and the warmth of the heart. The mutability of Silver can relate to the off-white of Moonlight (Yin) and the watery quality of emotions. When silver goes towards the highly reflective, we touch upon the energy of Mercury and the ability of the mind to reflect the exterior world. When we go to the soft, luminous silver we're projecting the feeling of the Moon, and the need to reflect emotions through empathy and sympathy. The real significance of these two metals (when used in design) is in their reflectivity, or in other words, their ability to translate and transmit light. Use them to balance Yang and Yin, both in interior decor and when you wear these metals. You can balance these polarities in your physical body.

RED is a primordial color. It activates our energy, our senses, our adrenals and our appetite. Our attraction to it is as basic as the newborn baby's attraction to the nipple that means food and survival. Red is the color of Mars, as well as blood. The eye will always go to red first, and it stimulates the aggressive side of our natures. It draws Yang energy towards itself. The activator! It attracts only positive energy. A problematic corner can be deactivated by placing a red dot under the point of the angle. It pulls the energy towards itself. Use red in "activity rooms" but avoid it in resting areas. However, red does inspire passion, so variations of red in small touches can add "activity" to the boudoir. Be careful about using red in the kitchen if anyone in the family has a problem with their weight.

YELLOW is the central reference point for the eye due to the yellow quality of sunlight. The large pixels at the edge of the eye react best to the gray shadows of evening. So the contrast of yellow and black are the extremes of the eyes' range. After red, this contrast is the single biggest attraction for the eyes. Yellow relates to the planet Saturn, the bastion of conservatism, compression, duty and responsibility. Yellow is America's least favorite color. It promotes maturity, restraint, and serious action. The very structure we rely upon! It is the appearance of reality. Yellow is the color of acquired knowledge, so it makes a good choice in an office or study space.


GREEN relates to Mother Earth herself. The Chinese value green jade over all other stones because it promotes harmony and serenity, in the same way that the garden of nature bestows these gifts upon us. The greens are soothing, sustaining, and speak of the abundance of the Earth. It is a sexy color, sensual, and tuned to satisfaction. In the West, green is the color of money. The sustainer! Green is easy to add to any environment through the use of plants. As living things, plants add energy and harmony to any space. Green touches in the bedroom add a sensual and balancing effect.

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