The spiritual symbolism of red, orange, brown, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, black, white, grey, gold, and silver – in dreams.
If you have come across this blog post, you have probably had a coloured object in your dream that seemed significant, and you want to know what it means.
This article covers the most common meanings of colours based on my own experience and biblical research.
I have written more extensively on each individual colour in separate articles, with real dream examples. You will find links to those articles throughout.
I approach dream interpretation from a biblical perspective. My belief is that our dreams can come from God, and understanding them is best understood within the context of an ongoing relationship with Him.
Firstly, if you have just come across this post and are new to dream interpretation, it is worth mentioning that dreams are symbolic in nature. You might find it helpful to read Understand your dreams: A bible-based introduction to dream language and my 3-step dream interpretation method to give you a foundation.
Secondly, remember that dreams are personal, so the meanings that I suggest may not apply to your specific dream. But please feel free to use my ideas as a springboard to thinking and praying about dreams yourself. Don’t take my ideas as gospel, but rather let them help you start to think metaphorically.
Introducing colours in dreams
Colours often feel important in dreams – and that’s because they are!
The bible tells us that God is light; and just as white light can be dispersed into all the colours of the rainbow, so God is the source of all colour. This is helpful when we reflect on our dreams. If God is light, then it follows that the presence of colour in a dream is a good indication that the dream is from God.
- Ezekiel 1:28, NASB As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.
- 1 John 1:5, NASB God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
The background colour of a dream is important; it can help us determine the source of the dream – or discern what we are looking at. More light/colour indicates more of God’s presence, and vice versa. I have written more about background colour in another article:
More on background colour and atmosphere…
This article will focus on individual colours – and what it might mean when a dream element is a specific colour. In fact, the colour of a dream symbol is often the biggest clue to its meaning! See the following article to discover how colour fits into the bigger picture of understanding symbols:
More on interpreting dream symbols…
Positive and negative context of colours
Like any dream symbols, colours can be used in a positive or negative context – but this is particularly important to watch out for with colours. The meaning of the colour will change significantly depending on which it is – and the negative meaning is often the opposite of the positive one.
The negative context /meaning of a colour is often the opposite of the positive one.
If the coloured object feels bright and positive, it is safe to assume it is being used in a positive context. If the dream symbol just feels normal, it is probably still positive.
It is usually more noticeable when a colour is being used in a negative context, and there are some clues that would suggest this. For example:
- The colour feels unpleasant
- You don’t like that particular shade
- You think the colour looks dirty or cloudy
- The coloured object has the potential to harm you
In a previous post I have explained about positive and negative contexts in greater detail.
More about positive and negative contexts…
In this article I have included both positive and negative potential meanings of colours.
Meanings of individual colours
Much of what I learnt about colours in dreams came from the research and teaching of the late John Paul Jackson. I have interpreted my own dreams using his insights, and it has proved to be accurate as I have tested them out over time. In other words, when I use his meanings to interpret my dreams it normally makes sense.
You can hear him teaching about colours in the following YouTube video: Colours in Dreams – John Paul Jackson August 2013
The following suggested meanings come from reviewing the use of each colour in my own dreams over the past 15 years, plus carrying out bible research for each one.
If you would like more explanations, bible verses, or examples from real dreams, follow the links at the end of each colour to the relevant article.
Dream symbol: Red
Red is a bright colour that stands out. It can be used as a motivational colour to inject energy and encourage activity, and is associated with love and passion. It can symbolise heat (red hot), and is used in the food industry to stimulate the appetite.
In the bible, red is often listed alongside purple to describe rare, expensive dyes. As such, red cloth was (like purple cloth) a sign of royalty, wealth, power, and status.
Its spiritual meaning in dreams mostly stems from red being the colour of blood.
In a Christian context, red reminds us of the blood of Jesus. Therefore, in dreams it can represent anything that we associate with grace (which is the power of Christ). It suggests power and anointing, and the ability to do something – as the old song goes, ‘there is power in the blood’!
In practical terms, if something is red and positive in a dream (such as a red car or red clothes), it generally represents something we are meant to be doing and have the power and ability to do.
- Positive meaning of red: Grace, anointing, power, ability
In a negative sense, red can symbolise trying to get that power in our own way, for example through control, violence, selfish authority, anger or war. We sometimes talk about ‘seeing red’, and again this phrase stems from the red colour of blood.
- Negative meaning of red: False power, anger, war
Other meanings of red:
- Red in a traffic light means ‘stop!’.
- Red can represent wisdom.
- Red also has varying meanings in different cultures.
More about red, with bible references and real dream examples…
Dream symbol: Orange
Orange invokes feelings of summer sunshine, happiness, and zest for life. It is also associated with pumpkins, Halloween, and autumn leaves.
I was taught that orange often carries a sense of longevity in dreams – which could be a good or bad thing! This has been borne out in practice in my own dreams over 15 years.
In a positive context, orange commonly represents perseverance. Perseverance carries a positive sense of longevity: of not giving up, patiently waiting, or keeping going despite everything.
- Galatians 6:9, ESV And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
In real life terms, in a dream, the colour orange is an encouragement to keep going at a time when we feel like giving up. In the bible, perseverance always carries hope – that we will receive what has been promised in due time if we do not give up.
- Positive meaning of orange: Perseverance
In a negative context, orange commonly represents stubbornness. This also implies longevity, but in holding out longer than we should have! In a dream, this might mean we are refusing to change, or have continued down a path for too long.
- Negative meaning of orange: Stubbornness
Other meanings of orange
- Amber can represent the presence of God, such as in Ezekiel 1:4, KJV.
- Orange in a traffic light is a warning to get ready.
- Orange in a hazard light would be a warning.
- Orange can be associated with Halloween, depending on the dream context.
More about orange, with bible references and real dream examples…
Dream symbol: Brown
Brown truly speaks of nature. It is stunning in the autumn and is the colour of the soil. It is popular in natural decor schemes, and speaks of reliability, natural comfort, and being down-to-earth. Brown can also be reminiscent of dirt and mud. There are so many different shades of brown.
Brown can seem insignificant, but is very useful when it appears in dreams. It generally represents humanity, or things relating to the natural world.
In a positive context, brown usually means humility. The dictionary definition of humility focuses on not being proud, or not thinking more of yourself than you ought. But a biblical understanding of humility goes further than that. It’s also about recognizing who we really are. It’s about evaluating ourselves honestly. and not thinking any less of ourselves that we should either.
- Romans 12:3 Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment.
Positive brown can also represent compassion or being pastoral.
- Positive meaning of brown: Humility, humanity, compassion, being pastoral
Negative brown usually represents our human weakness – as in humanity without God. We might call this humanism in the general sense (i.e. believing we don’t need God to succeed). It can also represent compromise.
- Negative meaning of brown: Human weakness, humanism, compromise
The presence of brown in a dream can alert us that we are operating out of our own humanity, apart from God. This is really helpful, because we can seek God and adjust our path!
BROWN = NATURAL / EARTHLY SOURCE
BLUE = HEAVENLY SOURCE
Other meanings of brown:
- Brown soil can relate to seasons and the growing cycle
- Brown mud can be confusion or difficult progress
- Muddy water can be lack of clarity
- Beige, cream, or off-white can indicate some of our human ideas are mixed in
More about brown, with bible references and real dream examples…
Dream symbol: Yellow
Yellow is usually thought of as a happy colour: the colour of sunshine and summer days. It reminds us of hope, joy, and positivity.
It can also suggest intellect, thoughts, and understanding. Our mind is neither a good or bad thing in itself. It is how it is used and where we are drawing information from that determines whether it is a positive or negative influence in our life.
Yellow often relates to our mind, intellect, or understanding – and this could be positive or negative
The bible tells us that true understanding comes from God. So, if our thinking is in line with God’s then we are in a good place. But if not, then it needs to be adjusted in some way to come back into alignment with the truth.
- Proverbs 3:5, NIV Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.
In a positive sense, yellow indicates that our mind is in a good place, and we have good understanding of truth.
Yellow can also represent hope. When we are listening to God and receiving from Him, we start to understand what He is doing in our lives and hope springs up within us! So godly understanding can lead to hope.
- Positive meaning of yellow: Understanding and hope
In a negative context, it could mean that our mind is causing us trouble. If we think too highly of ourselves and our own ideas, this is intellectual pride. The other extreme is when our mind throws up all sorts of negative ideas and potential outcomes, leading to fear. (Yellow is also culturally asociated with fear and cowardice).
- Negative meaning of yellow: Intellectual pride or fear
God is continually renewing our minds and understanding, so yellow is a very helpful colour in dreams – if we want to cooperate with this process.
More about yellow, with bible references and real dream examples…
Dream symbol: Green
The colour green just shouts out ‘LIFE!’, from the tender green of a new shoot pushing its way through the soil, to the dark evergreen of a conifer in the snow – green is everywhere. It can vary from a calming, peaceful tone to a vibrant, energizing lime green!
In the bible, those who are healthy and prosperous to an old age are described as green trees, but those who are not successful are described as decaying or scorched plants. So, the state of plants and trees in our dreams (and their greenness) can be symbolic of the health of different areas of our life.
- John 10:10, NASB I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.
In a positive context, green in dreams is usually a symbol of life, health and growth. This covers multitude of aspects of life and growth, for example: Physical health and wellbeing, business and finances, fruitfulness and fertility, and spiritual life.
- Positive meaning of green: Life, health, growth
In a negative context, the thing that it represents is not going to help us succeed or prosper! it is something unhealthy, or non-lifegiving. It could be financial lack, sickness and death, or lack of spiritual health.
Negative green can also represent greed (desiring things we don’t really need) or envy (wanting what others have).
- Negative meaning of green: Envy, sickness, lack
Other meanings of green
- Green in a traffic light means ‘go ahead!’
- Green can mean new or inexperienced.
- Green can represent our conscience.
More about green, with bible references and real dream examples…
Dream symbol: Blue
The colour blue reminds us of summer skies and deep blue seas. Blue is also a calming, peaceful colour. It suggests trust, strength and reliability when used in colour schemes.
Blue is the colour of the sky – which in symbolic language represents the heavens – so anything that comes from heaven can be represented by blue. For example, it could be an idea, a prophetic word, or a prophetic gift. (In contrast, brown is something from the natural world).
This can be quite helpful in dreams, particularly when wondering if you’ve heard from God correctly on something: The positive presence of blue is a pretty good indication that you have.
Blue can also represent communion (intimacy/oneness) with God.
- Positive meaning of blue: Heaven, revelation and communion with God
The negative meaning of blue is usually sadness, or depression (feeling down). This is a cultural thing, maybe reflecting the cold feeling that blue sometimes has – and we even talk about having ‘the blues’.
- Negative meaning of blue: Feeling sad or down
Other meanings of blue
- Blue can represent leadership
- Baby-blue or light blue could be a new idea (i.e. revelation in its infancy stage).
- Cyan represents our own will.
- Light blue is associated with baby boys in some cultures
More about blue, with bible references and real dream examples…
Dream symbol: Pink
Pink is a diverse colour: It can be gentle, hinting at romance and femininity. But it can be vibrant too – sometimes even a hot pink – suggesting strong feelings, passions and hot emotions. Culturally, pink can be symbolic of love, relationship, and emotions.
Feelings are a wonderful part of the human experience – and can help us connect and relate with each other and with God’s heart. They are a helpful indicator of what is going on under the surface of our lives. Pink in dreams is often about emotions.
Pink is often about our emotions – and these could be positive or negative.
In a positive context, pink can be about our growing relationship with God. In Christian circles, we often talk about intimacy with God. The deeper the pink, the deeper the level of intimacy with God and the love we have for Him.
- Romans 5:5, NASB The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
If our desire is to know God better, it can be really encouraging to dream of a deep pink colour, and to know that our relationship with Him is maturing.
- Positive meaning of pink: Love, romance, growing intimacy with God
If pink appears in a negative context, it could be alerting us that our emotions are becoming unhelpful or out of control: Our feelings can lead us to unwise responses! They can also deceive us, because they are not always an accurate reflection of the truth.
A negative pink could also indicate our intimacy with God is off in some way – and can alert us when we need to particularly invest in our relationship with Him.
- Negative meaning of pink: Unhelpful emotions
Other meanings of pink
- Baby pink can be a new gift or ministry.
- Magenta is particularly associated with emotions.
- Pale pink can represent childishness or emotional immaturity.
- Pink is considered feminine in some cultures.
More about pink, with bible references and real dream examples…
Dream symbol: Purple
Purple combines hot fiery red with cool calming blue to a perfect balance. There are many shades, from a romantic lilac, to darker shades with an opulent, elegant feel. Sometimes it has a mystical quality. It has been associated with the priesthood and spirituality, and is occasionally used as a sign of mourning.
Traditionally and biblically, purple is associated with wealth and royalty. In ancient times purple dye was hard to obtain and very expensive, and therefore was usually worn as display of status.
- Luke 16:19, NASB “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, enjoying himself in splendor every day.
Purple is often about authority and identity. As Christians, we understand that Jesus is the ultimate authority on the earth because of what He accomplished on the cross. Our authority comes from Him – as does our identity.
- 1 Peter 2:9, NIV But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession…
In a positive context, purple commonly symbolises our true (royal/heavenly) identity – and could be an encouragement to help us recognise who we truly are.
It can also represent God-given authority – and be confirming that we have heavenly authority for a certain role or responsibility.
- Positive meaning of purple: Royalty, identity, wealth and authority
In a negative sense purple can represent false authority. This could be things like trying to create an impression of importance, imposing our own will, or just being in a position we were never meant to be in!
- Negative meaning of purple: False authority
More about purple, with bible references and real dream examples…
Dream symbol: Black
Black is a wonderful colour. In decorating, it is the darkest colour in the palette – due to its total absorption of light. It carries an air of elegance and sophistication. Over the ages it has had many different cultural associations.
The colour black sometimes gets given a negative context in films and media (just think of the Black Riders in The Lord of the Rings, for example). However, the colour frequently appears in a positive context in my dreams. This is what I want to focus on.
In a positive context black can represent mystery. Our modern idea of mystery suggests something unknown that cannot be understood or explained. It is ‘black’ because you can’t see it. But mystery has a deeper meaning in the bible.
- 1 Corinthians 15:51, NASB Behold, I tell you a mystery...
Biblically, there is a sense that mystery means something hidden, but it also carries the hope that God has hidden it for us to find. It tells us that there is something to be sought and discovered. It carries the excitement of a treasure hunt!
Mystery is black because you can’t see it now, but it carries a promise that you will see and understand in due time.
- Positive meaning of black: Mystery
In a negative context, black can represent darkness. We even use the word ‘black’ sometimes when we actually mean ‘darkness’. For example we use it to describe stormy conditions (as in black clouds), or to describe night-time.
- 1 Kings 18:45, NASB In a little while the sky grew black with clouds and wind…
In a dream, this use of black could represent a situation when we find ourselves acting independently from God, or it could be from ‘the enemy’ in Christian language. This could be true of a black object, or the dream being set in a dark place or at night.
- Negative meaning of black: Darkness
Other meanings of black
- Black as health and vitality (e.g. black hair in Song of Songs 5:11).
- Black as famine or difficult times (e.g. the black horse in Revelation 6).
More about black, with bible references and real dream examples…
Dream symbol: White
White is the colour of snow and wedding dresses. It is often culturally associated with goodness, peace, and purity. But white does have negative meanings too.
When we think about white in dreams, it is often really the concept of light than we mean rather than the colour itself. When white light shines through a prism, the light is refracted, and all the colours of the rainbow are revealed. Therefore white is actually ALL of the colours combined.
In the bible, white is often associated with God, because of the concept of God being light and the light that is seen around His throne. So white in dreams can represent God himself (e.g. the Holy Spirit) or something that is of God.
- 1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
Other people from God are also described in this way. For example angels are described as wearing white (John 20:12); as are the 24 elders in heaven (Revelation 4:4), followers of Jesus (Revelation 3:5), the heavenly armies (Revelation 19:14), the men in white linen (Acts 1:10) and the multitude of people in heaven (Revelation 7:9).
White is also associated with purity and righteousness, for example being clothed with white garments (Isaiah 1:18).
- Positive meaning of white: God, purity, righteousness
In the opposite and negative sense, white can represent religion or religious spirits. These are a ‘counterfeit’ of the real thing. So, white is something that looks like God (or appears to be godly) – but isn’t: it is only an outward appearance.
- Negative meaning of white: Religion, religious spirit, counterfeit
More about white, with bible references and real dream examples…
Dream symbol: Grey
Grey (or gray) can feel dreary – but it can be a fabulous colour too – particularly when set against the rest of the colours. It is popular in decorating schemes because it is versatile and can be combined with almost any other colour. It can create a modern or sophisticated feel.
In a positive context, grey can represent maturity, which comes from the symbolism of grey hair in old age.
- Proverbs 16:31, NASB A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness.
This use of grey hair in a dream does not necessarily mean that we are literally old in age – but rather represents maturity, experience, and respect – in the area of life that the dream is about.
- Positive meaning of grey: Maturity, experience
Grey can also symbolize uncertainty, confusion, or indecision, or convey something that is unknown or unclear. This grey feeling is like walking through mist or trying to see through clouds – when we don’t understand or don’t know what to do.
Grey is a mixture of black and white – so grey is neither black nor white. It is neither one thing nor another. We sometimes talk about a grey area when something is unclear or we are not sure what the right thing is to do.
In a dream, this could be a prompt to seek God for clarity. Alternatively, it could be a call to be patient and trust God when we don’t understand. The context will determine which it is.
- Negative meaning of grey: Uncertainty, confusion
More about grey, with bible references and real dream examples…
Dream symbol: Gold
Gold is the colour of Christmas lights, baubles and wrapping paper, and is one of the precious gifts the magi brought for baby Jesus. It has been associated with wealth and royalty: the colour of luxury and extravagance.
The colour gets its name from the precious metal. As a metal, gold has been used as currency, and is valued for its beauty, shine, and malleability.
In a positive context gold primarily represents God’s presence and glory – and any blessing that comes from His work in our life. Gold was used extensively in biblical tabernacle; in the innermost area – the holy of holies, where they met with God – the items were made of gold or overlain with gold.
- Job 37:22 From the north comes golden splendor; Around God is awesome majesty.
Gold can be wealth, finance, and blessing (Genesis 13:2).
It can represent quality. We use the term gold standard to imply superior quality – and as a point of reference to which other things can be compared.
Gold can also be refining. The process of refining gold in a furnace is metaphorically like the process that God takes us through – to refine our hearts and character.
- Positive meaning of gold: Wealth, holiness, refining process, presence of God
The negative meaning of a dream symbol is usually the opposite of the positive one; in this case, the opposite of God is a false god: in other words, an idol. Any source of provision or idea that we look to apart from God can be an idol.
Negative gold could also indicate that we think God is in something – but He’s not!
- Negative meaning of gold: Idols
More about gold, with bible references and real dream examples…
Dream symbol: Silver
Silver is an elegant and sophisticated colour with a modern feel. In some ways it is like grey – but metallic. The colour gets its name from the precious metal, which is valued for its beauty, shine, value, and electrical conductivity. A silver medal can be seen as second place to gold.
In a positive context, silver can represent God’s grace and redemption. Essentially, redemption means ‘buying back’, which relates to the historical use of silver as trade currency/money.
Just like silver was used to ‘redeem’ slaves at the marketplace (i.e. buy back their freedom), so Jesus paid the price on the cross to buy back our freedom: freedom from sin, but also freedom from having to do things by our own effort (works).
Practically speaking, in this context, silver in a dream can indicate that we have God’s grace and favour in the area that the silver item represents.
- Positive meaning of silver: Grace and redemption
In a negative context, silver can represent the opposite of grace, which is legalism. This means trying to achieve something through our own works (e.g. excessive adherence to a particular rule or formula), rather than relying on the power (grace) of God which comes through relationship with Jesus Christ.
So when silver appears in a negative context, it can indicate that we are stuck in activities trying to achieve something – and God is trying to set us free!
- Negative meaning of silver: Legalism, works
Other meanings of silver
- Possessing silver suggests richness, wealth, and prosperity (Genesis 13:2).
- Silver can represent idols (Psalm 115:4)
- Silver can represent a refining process (Psalm 66:10).
- Silver coins (money) can represent favour with God or people
- Silver tableware can represent something holy, or set apart
- Silver can represent things of value that are worth pursuing, such as God’s words (Psalm 12:6), wisdom (Proverbs 2:4), understanding (Proverbs 16:16), good name (Proverbs 22:1), and helpful words (Proverbs 10:20).
More about silver, with bible references and real dream examples…
Colours in dreams – summary
Here is a summary of all the colours and their potential meanings.
|COLOUR||POSITIVE CONTEXT||NEGATIVE CONTEXT|
|Black||Mystery.||Darkness, difficult times.|
|Blue||Heaven, revelation, communion with God.||Feeling sad or down.|
|Brown||Humility, humanity, the natural world, compassion, pastor.||Human weakness, humanism, compromise.|
|Gold||Wealth, holiness, refining process, presence of God.||Idols, something we think is God but isn’t.|
|Green||Life, growth, abundance, conscience.||Sickness, lack, greed, envy, inexperience.|
|Grey||Maturity, experience.||Uncertainty, confusion.|
|Pink||Love, romance, growing intimacy with God.||Unhelpful emotions.|
|Purple||Royalty, identity, wealth, authority.||False authority.|
|Red||Grace, anointing, power, ability, love, wisdom.||Control, violence, anger, war, false power.|
|Silver||Grace, redemption, favour.||Legalism, works, idols.|
|White||Light, God, purity.||Religion or religious spirit, counterfeit.|
|Yellow||The mind, understanding, hope.||Intellectual pride, fear.|
In this article, we have discovered that colours are important for interpreting dreams, for the following reasons:
- The presence of colour is a good indicator that a dream is from God.
- Colour is a vital clue for determining the meaning of dream symbols.
We have examined the potential meanings of common colours in positive and negative contexts. Here are a few closing thoughts:
- Colours in dreams could represent any number of things. The above ideas should give you a good starting point.
- I believe that only God can tell us what a colour means in a specific dream, so you could try asking Him!
- Consider the atmosphere and context of the dream to see whether the colour is being used in a positive or negative sense.
- In addition to the meanings that I have shared, remember that it could mean something personal or culturally significant to you, that isn’t mentioned here.
And finally… have fun exploring the colours in your dreams! If this article has helped you with a dream, please leave a comment below!
I hope you have found this article helpful. If you want to know more, do subscribe to my emails below to receive regular dream interpretation tips.
The purpose of this blog is to provide solid biblical foundations for interpreting dreams, change mindsets in the church, and encourage others to make their own dream journey with God. I am primarily a writer and bible teacher – who loves dreams, and I hope you will be inspired to learn to interpret your own dreams.
It is not currently my aim to routinely engage in dream interpretations or provide training, except through writing blog posts. You can read my most up to date position on interpreting dreams here: Requests for dream interpretations.
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