Each season of the year is associated with different colors either through systems like feng shui or through our personal associations. Feng shui winter colors are blue or black. For me personally I associate winter with white, red, black, gray and muted greens.
My own winter color palette has white as the main color. You can tell I live in the far north where it starts to snow November 1 and stops about May 1. Between these two dates the ground is generally covered in a blanket of white snow that sparkles in the sun, blows up into your face, and softens all sounds. White is associated with purity, with a clean slate, and new beginnings. It is light, airy, untouched, virginal. Looking out on a new snowfall you see possibilities and so it is with the color white.
Black is probably the color I next associate with winter. The crisp black outline of trees is so clearly visible when placed against this white backdrop. There is a play of light and dark, of light and shadow, of illumination and secrecy, of yang and yin. White is revealing while black can hide. Black is that yummy darkness in which seeds rest and absorb nourishment for new growth in the spring. Like white, it can represent new possibilities: those things that are hidden and getting ready to be revealed!
One sees little pieces of red in the form of cardinals and fruits like crab apples that remain on the trees for much of the winter, or at least until the birds have picked them all off. The red with the white and black is striking. It is new energy, hope, and just that counter point that we need in the winter to bring us a feeling of warmth and wellbeing.
Gray, too often the color of our skies up here, is another color that hides or keeps things behind a fog so that we cannot clearly see. So much of winter is like that. We know intellectually that seeds are in the ground and they will sprout in the spring with vigor and force but we can’t see them. We know that the snow will eventually melt and give way to spring but we can’t see that happening. We know that the hibernating animals will come out again in the spring, that the grass will become green again, that the ice will melt….these are all the promises of spring that are hidden from us in the winter.
The muted greens we have are the colors from our evergreens: yews, pines, firs, cedars, holly….but the vibrancy of the green which comes with spring is toned down in the winter, as if even it is taking a break, a rest if you will, waiting for that surge of growth to come in the spring.
And the blue that is found in feng shui for the winter is more of an icy blue, the color our lake becomes when it freezes over, its turquoise waters turned solid with white cracks and a dusting of snow on top. It always reminds me of those icy blue drinks sold at convenience stores!
All the winter colors are so beautiful and quiet. The riot of color that comes in the spring and summer is loud and noisy and like a fiesta. But this, these winter colors, is all about resting, pulling back in to re-gather our strength and ideas. It is about trusting in the future and the promise of spring. It is about going within in order to emerge with a burst in the spring with new ideas, new energy, new ways of being.
Let the colors of each season help you with the rhythm of the nature, the going in and the coming out, the resting and the doing. And enjoy the winter spectrum!