Colors in Magic
“With color one obtains an energy that seems to stem from witchcraft.”
Color is power. The red of oxygenated blood. The blinding yellow-white-orange of the sun. The green of an oasis. Humans have tried to clothe themselves in the magic of color for millennia. Yellow belonged to the emperors of China. Purple to triumphant generals and the emperors of ancient Rome. You could not mistake the blue of the Celtic warriors.
But there was no one set of correspondences. Red could bring good luck in China and condemnation in Puritan New England. Blue could stand for the holiest of beings or the horniest of films or the deepest of hurts. White runs the gamut from birth to death around the world. And then there is black. What doesn’t black stand for: boys, women, masculinity, mysteries, evil, sobriety, the elite, the abject, mourning, death, rebirth.
Since the secrets of traditional Western ceremonial magic and the folk magic of Hoodoo and conjure have made their way out into the open—one book, one bell, one byte at a time—color has become as critical to any spellwork as herbs and roots and incense and candles. In fact, nowhere is the choice of color more important in magick, than with candles.
Daddy Greg and Papa Candelaria, here at Mother Maggie’s, often talk about how they see the products that Mother Maggie’s sells as intention-boosters. For both of them, one of the critical ingredients in any work of conjure or hoodoo, in any magical spell, in any prayer is intention. Color choice in candles (or mojo bags or petition ink or crystals and on and on) is no different. It is one of the main booster rockets of your intent. It focuses your thoughts and your deeds on what you want.
To help maximize the propulsion of your intent on your next magical undertaking, we have a list of the colors (in alphabetical order) that we use for our candles and other products along with their “traditional” meanings as well as some new age and magpie interpretations.
BLACK Traditional: reversing and releasing negative energy; uncrossing; protection; grounding; banishing; things that go bump/boo in the night and in the mind; all things inverted pentacle or Wicca standing on its head; left-path magick; maximum fertility (think the Egyptians name for their land, “Kemet” or the Black Land, thanks to the River Nile); death and rebirth; immortality; the color of all things Saturn (stability, structure, lasting gain, “law & order,” melancholy) Magpie: “just say no” to astral trash and your own self-trashing energies; deep earth and deep roots; deep trance work; deep space/dark matter; the ancestors; the Great Mystery
BLUE Traditional: healing (especially from emotional traumas or healing from addictions), peace, calm, meditation, forgiveness, fidelity, communication (blue is the color of the 5th or Throat Chakra); water; water magic (Yemaya) ; water travel; the divine boy (Krishna); the divine Mother (Mary); compassion and love (Krishna/Mother Mary) Magpie: the Vulcan “mind meld” of powerful emotions (from joy to the blues) with dispassionate logic; that dynamic tension and creativity often mistakenly called peaceful or calm; inspiration or intuition that comes from “out of the blue”; cosmic revelations (though PURPLE really likes to hog that connotation)
BROWN Traditional: law and court cases, things material and earthy; earth and earthed magick; stability; groundwork (literal and figural); mourning Magpie: protection through practical or natural means (think bark or hide); kitchen witchery; releasing lack and loss (droughts of all types); hidden strengths/powers (roots that run deep in the earth)
GOLD Traditional: Sun; masculine energy; riches; strength; luxury; power/glory from within; material success; stardom Magpie: self-awareness; setting boundaries to prevent draining riches and energy through excess; positive projection; self-promotion; Law of Attraction; interconnectedness (as above so below) with all Creation
GREEN Traditional: $$$; money, honey, and all it can buy; good luck (official color of shamrocks & 4-leaf clover); good health (especially physical health & healing); good crops; fertility; life; Venus, a.k.a. Lovely Lady Luck in all the Creative Arts; when Venus is too good to another, it is the color of jealousy; infidelity (again too much Venus); unconditional love (green is the color of the 4th or Heart Chakra); the color of Islam; a host of cues taken from green in the natural world—growth, life, balance, harmony, rebirth (seedling, plants, seeds, dead plant, new seedling from dead plant’s seeds); full speed ahead (green light) Magpie: clearing an obstacle-free path (green means go!); consciously connecting with the natural world; “green” and “herb” magic
ORANGE Traditional: joy; creativity, including reproduction; sexuality; these first three connotations all come from the link between orange and the 2nd chakra or sacral chakra (“sacral” as in pelvis-y area more than sacred area—but that doesn't stop the wise ones from worshiping down there!); orange linked with god Mercury so that explains these connections: intelligence, business success, adaptability (quite the clever monkey can be Mercury); warmth (whether in a summer sunset or turning leaves that make you miss the sunsets of summer); the sacred (just visit India); mourning (Middle East) Magpie: getting around obstacles; awakening your inner-Magyver; sex for pleasure rather than a purpose (1st chakra is RED and all about survival sex—which explains why lust can often feel more instinctual and driven than pleasurable; then again, a good pile-drive is a good pile-drive!)
PINK Traditional: all things considered traditionally female in many western cultures like “femininity,” domestic bliss, kindness, friendship, romance, nurturance (taking care of the needs of others, especially men or children), tidy or pure love (you don’t have to wipe up afterward); basically the mom in a 1950s TV show; Magpie: Pussy Power; Gynomite!; the Resistance; sisters are doing it for themselves; queers & queer magic; overturning harmful or suffocating “norms”
PURPLE Traditional: power; spiritual power; mastery; wisdom; upperworld/astral/higher power communication (purple in the shade of violet is the color of the 7th or Crown Chakra); royalty—real royalty to the ancient world traditionalists, not just any fool who has gold enough to buy a crown (Yaaas, Queen!); wealth (see royalty); honor (as in Purple Heart); mourning; death Magpie: off-the-hook funky sex magic (thank you, Prince!); raising the bar of all sentience by your presence and your actions (why we combine the color with Harriet Tubman on our COURAGE candle; Yaaas, Queen!)
RED Traditional: Love at its lusty-pheromones-on-full-blast beastie best; lust with or without a heart-on; sexbomb; luck (and thanks to the growing celebration of Chinese New Year around the world: an abundance of luck, joy, celebration, long life); beauty; life; power of blood to give life (grrl power); power of blood to take life (boys going Lord of the Flies); anger; war (red is the color of the planet Mars); danger, Will Robinson!; assertiveness; physical vitality; survival (red is the shade of the 1st or Root chakra—not much grows without healthy roots); defiance; rebellion; no fucks to give about eating the apple from the Tree of Life Magpie: kinfolk: those you are tied to by blood & DNA; hidden strengths and superpowers
SILVER Traditional: the Moon; feminine magic; fey magic; mysteries and mystery traditions; the power of silence and stillness; psychic powers that involve being still and watching for angels to “trouble” the waters (i.e., scrying for starters); power/glory reflected onto you from another source; Magpie: the powers of the deep of night; midnight magics; the power and beauty of cryptids and other powers that thrive in the shadows
WHITE Traditional: lord, this color casts a nasty-ass and deservedly critiqued shadow because it is the west's go-to color for holiness, innocence, purity, goodness, “God,” the angelic—all wrapped up in one big bridal dress—and that is no less true in western ceremonial magic and western folk magic; peace; the color of intensity and intense power as, in physics, white light contains all the wavelengths (colors) of light; the Moon; death and the dead; the color for widows in India and ghosts on TV Magpie: blessings and advantages you do not see/choose not to see but still have; gifts or strengths you hide under a bushel; unnecessary or false modesty; blindspots; dissolving limitations
YELLOW Traditional: the happy face and all the goodwill and good energy it implies; genuine sunniness; warmth; the Sun; royalty and power (color for the emperor only in China and upper classes elsewhere); wealth; spiritual balance; mental abilities (yellow is the color of the 3rd or Solar Plexus chakra, which has a lot to do with mental powers); magick with the mind; Law of Abundance; clarity of thought; ability to manifest through thoughts; romance; pleasure; mourning and death in Middle East and Latin America; envy (Germany); cowardice (“Y” is for Yosemite Sam: “Vamoose, ya yella-bellied varmit!”) Magpie: what feeds you consciously and unconsciously (like the yolk of an egg)