What did you dream about last night? Maybe you saw an impossibly bright color scheme and an otherworldly backdrop. Or maybe you just had another mundane dream about the office. Perhaps you don’t remember your last dreams at all.
If you’re like most people, the last dream you had (or at least the last one you remember) was in color. We experience the world in color, so dreaming in color might just seem like another extension of that.
However, the main colors we notice in our dreams often have a special significance. If you’re someone who enjoys trying to understand your dreams, taking a close look at colors in dreams and what they mean can give you a better understanding of what your subconscious might be trying to tell you.
Why Do We Dream in Color?
Colors have long been connected to our emotions, so dreaming in color can be a reflection of our emotional state. The context of the colors used matters, too. In dreams, the world is often colored like it is in reality. But if colors are disrupted (for example, if the sky is green or purple), it may be a sign that some element of your life has been disrupted as well.
Interestingly enough, studies have indicated that whether or not you dream in color may depend on the kind of media you’ve been exposed to throughout your life. One study found that people who were primarily exposed to black-and-white media tended to have grayscale dreams. Younger generations mostly had access to media in color, so most of their dreams were in color.
If you aren’t quite sure if you dream in color or black and white, you aren’t alone. While current research suggests that most people dream in color, dream researchers believe that we forget around 95% of our dreams.
What Do Different Colors Mean in Dreams?
When we interpret our dreams, many of us focus on the shapes or symbols we see. However, to really get to the meaning of your dream, it’s important to take a look at the colors you see during it.
Some interpretations of color might seem like common sense. Most colors inspire an emotional response in us, and chances are good that a color’s meaning in your dream is at least close to the emotion you feel.
That said, there’s no universal reference that will tell you exactly what a color means in your dream. Psychologist Carl Jung believed dreams were communications from the subconscious, and he asserted that “no dream symbol can be separated from the individual who dreams it, and there is no definite or straightforward interpretation of any dream.”
Still, if you’d like a starting point for analyzing the colors in your dreams, it can be helpful to have an understanding of what different colors generally symbolize. Here are a few common shades and what they often mean in dreams.
The color red can stand for a few different things depending on context. For instance, in some cases, it can represent love and passion. In other cases, it may represent rage and intense anger.
Red is also the color of stoplights and stop signs. So if you see it in a dream, it may be a sign that your subconscious wants you to stop and reevaluate something.
Read more about what the color red means in dreams.
Orange is an upbeat, energetic shade, so it follows that seeing orange in your dream is a sign of something positive. If you see orange in your dream, you may be experiencing a burst of creativity or energy. However, seeing orange may also be an indication that you need to use this burst of energy to carry you through an upcoming challenge.
Like red, orange can also indicate that you should pause or proceed with caution. If you see the orange-ish glow of a vehicle’s hazard lights ahead, it’s a good idea to slow down and see what’s going on!
Read more about what the color orange means in dreams.
Not everyone remembers their dreams. But if your dream prominently features vibrant yellow, it’s hard to forget! In many cases, seeing yellow in your dream relates to sunlight. And symbolically speaking, seeing this color in a dream can represent enlightenment, hope, or joy.
Yellow doesn’t always symbolize happiness, however. Some people say that seeing it in a dream can be a sign of arrogance or deceit.
Read more about what the color yellow means in dreams.
The natural world is full of green, so it’s no surprise that this color also frequently appears in dreams. It often symbolizes new beginnings — maybe you’re going through a period of personal or career growth.
Green is of course associated with plants and new life, but it also can be connected to money and finance. Even if you don’t dream about money itself, seeing a lot of green in a dream may mean that you’re thinking of money or of financial abundance.
Read more about what the color green means in dreams.
Some people associate the color blue with sadness, but dreaming of this color doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sad. Blue is also a color of peace and tranquility, so dreaming of it may symbolize being at peace with yourself.
The exact shade of blue you dream of is important when you’re trying to decipher the meaning of a dream. For instance, if your dream mostly features a deep, cool teal, you may notice a theme of serenity. But if you see a dark blue-gray, the color might symbolize melancholy and despair. Just as you would with any other color, be sure to take context into account as you decode blue dreams.
Read more about what the color blue means in dreams.
Purple is a color of spiritual authority. That might sound like a vague definition, but dreaming of purple can be a sign of your connection to a higher power, the spiritual realm, or even a higher version of yourself.
Purple was once a color that was closely associated with royalty, so it probably comes as no surprise that dreaming of purple can also symbolize comfort and luxury.
Read more about what the color purple means in dreams.
Both pink and red are associated with love, but pink’s softer, less forward nature makes it lighter, sweeter, and more playful. It’s more likely to symbolize a new crush than it is to symbolize finding the love of your life.
Pink can also symbolize frivolousness and immaturity, as it’s often associated with childhood. These conflicting meanings can make it hard to interpret, but you’re the authority here: the existing association you have with pink likely plays a role in what it symbolizes in your dreams.
Read more about what the color pink means in dreams.
In the natural world, brown often fades into the background. Likewise, even if it appears in your dreams, you may overlook it for brighter or more noticeable shades. But if this color plays a prominent role in your dreams, it’s certainly one you should pay attention to.
When it comes to dreams, brown can mean any number of things. Because it’s the color of earth and trees, it can symbolize a sense of groundedness or getting in touch with your roots. This shade can also stand for a sense of stability, so it may be an indication that you’re feeling comfortable and secure.
Like any color, brown isn’t always positive when it appears in a dream. It’s the color of mud, so it may be a sign that you’re feeling stuck in a rut. Especially dull, dark, or drab shades of brown may appear in your dreams if you’re sad or depressed.
Read more about what the color brown means in dreams.
Dreaming of black may sound ominous or scary. But like any other color in dreams, black can have positive or negative connotations. On the more positive end, black is a color of mystery. It shrouds everything around it, so you may not be able to see what’s before you.
Black is often associated with death, but sometimes, that can be a good thing. Dreams with a lot of black can symbolize the end of an old way of life and the beginning of a new one.
This color isn’t always positive, though — if you are surrounded by black in a dream, you may be going through an extremely difficult time. You also may feel lost, much like you would if you were trying to navigate through a dark room.
Read more about what the color black means in dreams.
Like black, gray can look quite ominous in dreams, but it’s not always a negative sign.
Gray often symbolizes uncertainty or turbulent times. After all, being stuck in an uncertain situation can often feel like walking through a gray mist. Stormy skies and rough seas often have a gray cast, too.
Read more about what the color gray means in dreams.
White is the color of purity and light, so if you see it in a dream, it may symbolize justice, truth, or even spiritual awakening. If you’re wearing white or surrounded by white, it may be a sign of feeling renewed, forgiven, or reborn.
White is often positive in dreams, but it may not always be. If you’re surrounded by white and nothing else, it might be a sign that you’re feeling alone or isolated.
Read more about what the color white means in dreams.
Biblical Color Meanings in Dreams
Analyzing your dreams through a biblical lens can sometimes shed more light on the meaning of your dream. Here’s a quick guide to some of the biblical meanings behind colors in your dreams.
In Christianity, red is very closely associated with the blood of Jesus. If you see it in a dream, it may be a sign that you can do something through the power of Christ.
However, red can also be connected to war or anger. Depending on the context of your dream, it could be a symbol of trying to obtain something through your will and not God’s.
Outside of a biblical context, we sometimes associate orange with warnings. But in the Bible, a closely related color (amber) can be a sign that God is near.
The biblical meaning of the color orange in your dream can also be perseverance.
We mentioned above that yellow is a color often associated with light and hope. So it follows that if you see yellow in a dream, it may be a sign that you trust in God’s plan for you and have hope for the future. Because yellow is also a color of light and enlightenment, it may symbolize your understanding of God’s truth.
That said, seeing yellow in your dreams is not always positive. Sometimes, we may rely too heavily upon our own intellect, and seeing yellow may be a sign of over-inflated intellectual pride.
In the Bible and in much of the world, green is the color of new life. Seeing it in a dream may indicate current or future prosperity in the form of health, spiritual growth, finances, etc. The Bible compares those who live long, healthy lives to green trees, so the color green may be a sign of longevity, too!
Of course, green can also have a negative meaning in a biblical context. It’s a color historically associated with envy and greed.
Blue is the color of water and the sky. And since the sky often represents heaven, seeing blue (especially sky blue) in a dream might represent something sent from heaven or connected to it.
For instance, say you see a sky-blue egg in a dream. It may be a symbol of new life or personal rebirth sent from the heavens. You may even see an important word written in blue. If you believe that God communicates with us directly through dreams, seeing blue can be a sign that you’ve heard from God.
Purple is often associated with both authority and wealth. And as mentioned earlier, it’s also a color associated with spiritual authority. If you see this color, it may be a sign that God has anointed you with spiritual authority to go forth and do His will in a particular area.
On the flip side of that, purple can also be a sign of false authority. You might see this color if you’ve been trying to go about a situation by your own will and not God’s will.
When colors have opposite meanings like this, it makes interpreting your dreams challenging. To get to the truth behind your dream, be sure to look at the context of the dream as a whole. And of course, it never hurts to pray for guidance!
In the secular world, pink is associated with love and intimacy. When viewed through a biblical lens, its meaning is similar, but it symbolizes a sense of closeness and intimacy with God.
Pink can also represent anticipation of closeness with God: in Catholicism, priests wear rose-colored robes once during Advent (the time leading up to Christmas) and once during Lent (the time leading up to Easter). The color is meant to be a mixture of joy and repentance.
In ancient times, silver was used as a currency. In that sense, seeing it in dreams can be a reminder that God has bought back our freedom. If you see a silver item in your dreams, it may be a sign that God approves of a specific area of your life. For example, if you’ve recently chosen to become a teacher and dream of a silver apple on your desk, it may be a sign that your new career choice is in line with God’s plan for you.
However, dreaming about silver can also symbolize over-valuing money or trying to do things strictly on your own without God’s help or blessing.
Walk into any cathedral, and you’ll almost certainly see some gold. This precious metal is often used to signify holiness and give glory to God. When you see it in your dreams, it may be a sign of God’s presence or a blessing from God.
But just as gold can be used to glorify God, it can also be used to give glory to false idols. Depending on the exact nature of your dream, seeing gold can also be a sign that you’ve begun to glorify or idolize something else.
Brown is one of the primary shades found in the natural world. So in a biblical sense, seeing brown in a dream may indicate that you’re humble and connected to the rest of the world. The ground we walk on is also often brown, so dreaming of this color may indicate humility, a quality the Bible says we should have.
Just as seeing blue in a dream may indicate something comes from the heavens, brown may indicate something comes from the earth. Some things that come from the earth are counter to God’s plan, so be sure to take a careful look!
You might automatically assume that black always means something negative, at least from a biblical standpoint. But we mentioned above that black is a color of mystery. And in the Bible, a mystery isn’t something we have to figure out by ourselves. Rather, a mystery is something that was once hidden but has been revealed by God. If you see black in a dream, it may be a sign that God will soon reveal something important to you.
Of course, black can be a sign of spiritual darkness or foreboding. For instance, in the Book of Revelation, the third horseman of the apocalypse symbolizes famine and rides a black horse.
White has come to be closely associated with God for two reasons: it’s the color of light and the color of purity. The Bible itself says that God is light, so if you have a dream full of white, you may be dreaming of the presence of God himself.
White also appears in the Bible as a color of purity: angels, people in heaven, followers of Jesus, and even heavenly armies are said to be wearing the color.
Like gold and other colors that remind us of God, white can also represent something masquerading as God (like a false idol).
Tips for Interpreting Color in Dreams
Knowing both biblical color meanings and cultural associations can be helpful when it comes to dream interpretation. However, each person’s individual dreams are strongly influenced by personality, experiences, and more. Here are some tips for understanding the colors in your dreams and what they mean.
Keep a Dream Journal
Many of us forget all or most of our dreams, but you stand the best chance of remembering them if you write them down as soon as you wake up. Writing down your dreams also lets you identify patterns. For instance, if you often see a red bird in your dreams, looking at the context might help you start to understand what the bird may symbolize.
Take a Look at Context
If you want to really get to the bottom of a dream’s meaning, you’ll need to look at it as a whole rather than analyzing the colors separately. For example, in dreams, blue is often associated with sadness or melancholy. But if you’re dreaming of a bright, sunny day with a blue sky, blue is more likely to symbolize happiness.
Pay Attention to Personal Associations
While different colors have specific associations, your own associations are usually more important in your dream. For example, if you see the combination of blue and yellow in a dream, you might think it has something to do with the balance of yellow’s energy and blue’s peace. But if blue and yellow were the school colors of the high school or college you attended, your dream may mean something entirely different.
If you see your favorite color in a dream, that color may have a different meaning for you than it would for someone else. For example, if your favorite color is orange and you see yourself opening an orange door, it may symbolize a sense of hope and optimism about your future.
Take in the Whole Palette
Individual colors matter in your dreams, but so do combinations and palettes. For example, if you see a bright, frenetic color scheme, it may indicate that you’re feeling anxious, energetic, or both. All-pastel palettes might mean you are at peace. And gray-tinged, drab palettes may indicate despair or sadness.
Think About How the Color Is Used in the Dream
We saw above that every color can have a positive or negative connotation in your dream. But when you consider the dream’s color scheme alone, it can be hard to determine whether the color plays a positive or negative role. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you determine whether the color is a positive or negative presence:
- How did you feel about the color in the dream? If you got an unpleasant or uneasy feeling around it, the color likely has a negative meaning.
- Was the colored object something potentially harmful? If so, chances are good the color’s more negative meanings were in effect.
- Was it a color you liked? If so, it was likely present in a positive way.
- Did the color look grayish or dirty? If so, its negative meaning might be most applicable.
Consider Your Culture
The general color meanings detailed above are primarily Western interpretations of color meanings. If you have roots in another culture, the meaning of the color may change.
For example, in the Western world, red can be associated with love, danger, or rage, depending on the context. But in Eastern cultures, red is often a symbol of luck. Many brides wear red on their wedding days, so if you’re considering getting married in the near future, seeing red in a dream may be a sign that that decision is playing on your subconscious.
Make an Effort to Relate the Dream to Your Real Life
Often, our dreams are highly symbolic. But to really understand the symbolism in your dreams, it’s helpful to be able to connect the story of the dream to something that’s happening in real life. For instance, say you dream that you’re under a gray, stormy sky as your car, musical instrument, or other prized possession suddenly falls to pieces.
That dream may sound strange on its own. But if you’ve been feeling like your life is falling apart and have a sense of despair about the future, the destruction of the possession and the gray, foreboding sky starts to make more sense.
Discovering the Meaning of Your Dreams
Many researchers think that dreams are far from meaningless — in many cases, they can serve as windows into our subconscious minds. And when you analyze the colors in your dreams and your dreams as a whole, you’re doing more than just an interesting exercise. When you take the time to understand your dreams and the colors within them, you’re taking the time to gain a deeper understanding of yourself.