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I was commenting on a client’s beautiful red sweater this week and told her it was a very intuitive colour for her that day because she was feeling tired. As we were discussing this, I realized that the Christmas colours of red and green are symbolically very powerful. Humour me as I carry on….

Colours have long been used for their energetic and psychological properties in healing, functionality, design as well as in marketing. Here are a few of my thoughts on the combination of red and green for this time of year.

RED – Physical

Associated with the Root Chakra.
Positive: Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, ‘fight or flight’, stimulation, masculinity, excitement.
Negative: Defiance, aggression, visual impact, strain.

Being the longest wavelength, red is a powerful colour. Although not technically the most visible, it has the property of appearing to be nearer than it is and therefore it grabs our attention first. Hence its effectiveness in traffic lights the world over. Its effect is physical; it stimulates us and raises the pulse rate giving the impression that time is passing faster than it is. It relates to the masculine principle and can activate the “fight or flight” instinct. Red is strong, and very basic. Pure red is the simplest colour with no subtlety. It is stimulating and lively and very friendly. At the same time, it can be perceived as demanding and aggressive.

We are often over booked prior to Christmas with lists to fulfill and functions to attend. We may over eat and drink, get less sleep and stress about being ready in time, stress about family gatherings or be triggered with sadness from loss, lack of sunlight and shorter days. Red is a perfect colour to bring physical energy and strength.

GREEN – Balance

Associated with the Heart Chakra.
Positive: Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium, peace.
Negative: Boredom, stagnation, blandness, enervation.

Green strikes the eye in such a way as to require no adjustment whatever and is, therefore, restful. Being in the centre of the spectrum it is the colour of balance – a more important concept than many people realize. When the world about us contains plenty of green, this indicates the presence of water, and little danger of famine, so we are reassured by green on a primitive level. Negatively, it can indicate stagnation and, incorrectly used, will be perceived as being too bland.

This time of year we are also focused on expressing our love and gratitude. Heartwarming gatherings, present giving, awareness for those less fortunate are all part of the seasons attention. We also have the Christmas message shared through carols, movies, stories, church services and cards. All these activities embrace the energy of green.

I wish everyone reading this good tidings of Peace, Joy, Health and especially Love! Please take  few minutes to enjoy this uplifting piece!

If you have a colour story, please share it with me.  I love receiving your feedback. Feel free to connect with me by email or telephone too, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

See you in 2016!


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4 replies
  1. Marianna Cassir says:

    The Colour Red,
    My daughter used to be very active as a child. I love to dress my children in bright colours. I also dressed myself in different colours since I am a creative sewer this was easy to do. Red was one off my favorite colours. What I started noticing is when I put on red on my active child she became even more active, especially around the time off the full moon. I stopped putting red on her around that time and it made a difference. When I wear red I feel more uplifted. Colours make a difference in our lives. The other day when I went to my granddaughters Christmas concert most off the parents were dressed in black, I was the only one dressed in purple it was really noticible.

    • Karen Armstrong says:

      Great insights Marianna – thanks for sharing the experience you had with your daughter. It is fun to use colour to lift our spirits and create different feelings. As an artist, you are so talented in this area. May 2016 bring you lots of joy and happiness.

  2. Pat Wickware says:

    I am late with my email replies this 2015 holiday season , & I must comment on this subject of ‘ Colour ‘. As an Interior Designer ,I have worked with Colour for the past 50 years . My life has been help & educate my clients in the use & enjoyment of colour . My home & fashion reflect how I feel & who I am . It is my power & my peace.

    • Karen Armstrong says:

      That is so true! I know that your path influenced my appreciation for colour. Without the talents of interior designers like you, many spaces would not be as beautiful to experience! Thanks for sharing.


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