Do you have a favourite sweater, one that’s soft and in your favourite colour? Do you use soft, muted colours in your bedroom, but bright, energetic colours in your living room? Then you have already used colour magick! Colour magick is using the energies and vibrations of colour to obtain a desired effect. From the moment we are born, colours are used to shape our experience. Parents decorate nurseries in pink, light blue, pale yellow; day cares teach children the names of the colours of the rainbow, and encourage the use of crayons, paints, and markers. In elementary school, one of the first things we are taught in art class is ROY G BIV, to help us learn the colour spectrum. We also learn how to make secondary colours by mixing two or more primary colours. Colour is all around, and a major part of life. The magical properties of colour is a staple in witchcraft and magick 101.
The correspondences of colour are on countless websites and in just about every “Intro to Magick” book, so I won’t bore you with a list of colours and their meanings. What I will tell you, however, is that even though there are generally accepted meanings associated with colour, does not mean that they are set in stone. The beautiful thing about being a witch or magician is exploring and expanding your personal power. This is done by questioning what is generally accepted. For example, in several sources I read in preparation for this article, orange was listed as the colour for creativity and inspiration. Orange is a great colour, but it does not inspire creativity for me – I’ve learned that the energies of green, yellow, and brown all help open my mind to creative inspiration, because these are colours I associate with nature, growth, renewal. From there I think of new ideas, and then my mind opens to the Muse.
Spring is right around the corner, so this is the perfect chance for you to learn how the energies and vibrations of different colours effect you. After you clean and refresh your home to invite spring inside, change up the colour schemes in your home. Try orange in the bathroom instead of blue or green; try pink or lemon yellow in your living room. The possibilities are endless! (If you want to learn more about how to bring Spring into your home, join the Spiral Nature Occultnik Cabal so you have access to premium content like my Spring article.) Peg Aloi said it best in her article “The Power of Color for Magic and Healing,” “The choice of color for use in magical workings is often based on a combination of personal reference, folklore, research, and intuition.”1
Planetary and elemental correspondences
- Aries: Red, orange, yellow
- Taurus: Green, pink
- Gemini: Yellow, light blue
- Cancer: Black, white, blue
- Leo: Purple, gold, red
- Virgo: Brown, navy, black
- Libra: Pink, lavender, pale blue
- Scorpio: Red, maroon
- Sagittarius: Red, purple
- Capricorn: Black, gray, brown, dark green
- Aquarius: Bright blues
- Pisces: Green, blue[
As you can see, the fire signs are associated with warmer colours, like red and orange, while the earth signs like green and brown. Air is drawn to light shades and metallic colours, while water is associated with blues (the perceived colour of water). These planetary associations may influence the affect a colour has on a person, because of the vibration and energy felt when looking at the colour.
How colour effects us
For as long as history remembers, people have been using colour to influence and enhance their environment. Hospitals use calm, muted colours to promote peace and healing, while stores and businesses tend to choose bright, warm colours in their brand to attract attention. Actors often have a “green room” to retreat to between shoots, so they can relax and recuperate. These lounges are not necessarily green anymore, but they used to be because green tends to have a calming affect. The vibrational power of colour — the effect a colour has on our physical being and psyche because of the subtle vibrations and energies it produces — has been applied since the dawn of civilization. Ancient societies used natural pigments, from red clay to blue flowers, to dye their clothes, linens, and even produce makeup.
We are affected in a number of ways by colour without even being aware of it. Why did you choose that red scarf when you have a presentation at work? Why did you select that blue necktie when you have a meeting with clients? Why did you choose that particular shade of hair dye? The colours we adore influence our days, as well as how people interact with us. My little sister loves to express herself with her hair. She has much more of a response from customers and coworkers when she has bright pink hair than when her green dye has washed out and has become a soft, lime green. Why is that? Because bright, warm colours are energetic and attractive, while cooler colours are more soothing.
Colours can heal as well. My grandfather was recently diagnosed with a terminal disease, so to ease his, and my mother and grandmother’s emotional pain, I purchased them three raw crystals. The white and clear aspects of clear quartz give a comforting, shielding feeling. This stone I gave to my grandfather, while my mother and grandmother received stones that are a light pink and a soft blue, respectively. My mother tends to take her stress out on herself, and her already damaged self-image gets the brunt of the abuse. A raw rose quartz crystal has a soft baby pink tint, which radiates love and confidence. My grandmother is a worrisome lady, so I chose a blue quartz stone, to calm her frayed nerves. The colour plays a significant role in the properties of the stones. The same effect could be achieved if I were to change their décor,or give them new clothes. (I just know them and know that changing the décor would never fly with my gram, and my mother is impossible to buy clothes for! Things I think she’d love she wrinkles her nose at, and things I think she’d never get near are her new favourite clothes. Go figure!)
Cast a colour spell
What I love about using colour magick in a painting spell is that the actual subject of the painting – what shapes or scenes you paint – doesn’t matter. You want the painting to be inconspicuous, because spells lose their punch if you talk about them before they come to fruition. Experience has taught me, however, that if I use colours with properties and vibrations that match my intention, and subject matter that is in some way symbolic for my intent tends to be more effective. This form of art magick may be used for any intent. I will provide an example to clarify my instructions.
What you’ll need:
- Paint of choice (watercolor, acrylic, oil), paintbrushes, paper, or canvas
- Recommended, but not required: A colour wheel that has the true hue at the outer ring, then the tint, tone, and shade variation, as well as arrows in the centre showing the relationships (complimentary, triad, tetrad).
- Optional: supplies for spellcasting like candles, incense, music, etc. to help you get in the right state of mind. You may wish to cleanse the energy of the room, light incense and a candle in a scent/color that helps you reach your creative side.
Next, set your intention. In my example, I’m using: My business will acquire more clients, resulting in more income and financial security.
Now choose your colours. This is where the colour wheel comes into play. First list colours that match your intention, then refer to the colour wheel to help you decide on which shades, and figure out if the palette will work well. The arrows show colour relationships, which are colour sets that work best together.
After referring to the color wheel, I decided to use a tetrad, or a palette of four colours consisting of two pairs of complimentary colours (the number four has energies of security, success, and prosperity). I narrowed down my palette to red, green, purple/violet, and yellow. I will use white to tint, and black to shade. I also included burnt umber, because it adds warmth and shade.
Decide on a subject and sketch your design. Since it’s spring, I wanted to depict a spring scene. I found a websitethat had an extensive list of magical and metaphysical properties of flowers and was able to find a collection of flora that represented my intention. I decided to paint a fence, something I associate with security, with wisteria vines growing on it. The grass will be decorated with spots of clover and daisies.((Tess Whitehurst “The Magical and Metaphysical Properties of Flowers” Live Your Magic. 2014))
My painting isn’t that great; I think there are better paintings by kindergartners in my son’s school, but that’s okay! Part of the process is painting a few (cough, hundred, cough) paintings that aren’t so great, because it’s practice! And, most importantly, the quality of my painting has no influence on the magick. The colours I need are there, and that’s what I’m using to power the intention. I can hang this in the closet if I want, or cleverly hide it under a larger canvas in my office (Which is what I’m going to do, actually). The important thing is you see what you desire while you paint, you choose colours that you know without a doubt will bring about your desires, and you have fun while you do it!
Colour magick is versatile, simple, and effective. It can be as simple as wearing a certain shirt or donning a particular shade of lipstick, or you can be more elaborate and make a painting of your spell. This works with drawing and sculpting as well. You could even do colour magick with photography. The only limit to ways of conjuring colour magick is your imagination. With spring coming, there will be no shortage of colours in nature to inspire you. If you choose to do the spell I wrote, don’t let your level of talent intimidate you! That will only hinder your spell. If you paint like a five year old, then good for you! There are a lot of talented five year olds! You aren’t submitting your spell to a gallery, and you don’t have to show anyone. The key is to choose colours that will express properties that tie in with your intention.
Image credit: Amanda Wilson
- Peg Aloi, “The Power of Color for Magic and Healing,” Llewellyn’s 2019 Witches’ Companion: A Guide to Contemporary Living (St Paul, MN: Llewellyn Worldwide, 2019), 170. [↩]
- Robin Ivy, “Astrology: The Energy of Color,” The Llewellyn Journal, undated. [↩]