Mandala Color Meanings in Psychology
In the 20th century, early psychoanalyst Carl Jung pioneered the use of mandalas in therapy, as expressions of the patient’s unconscious. He would analyze patient output based on different factors, including the use of color. In many ways, Jung was influenced by Eastern philosophy, so it is no surprise that many of these color associations are similar to their Buddhist predecessors. Red would symbolize passions from anger to lust, yellow indicated the mind and intellect, and purple a creative and sometimes narcissistic tendency, to name a few.
Modern Mandala Color Meanings
Now that mandalas can be found in adult coloring pages nearly everywhere, just about anyone can access the ancient healing and meditative powers of this art form. How you use colors can impact both the way you feel about the artwork and your mood when making it. Colors can be great symbols for infusing visual imagery with greater meaning, whether it is a DIY home project or a tattoo design.
While modern color theories are often based around some of the early symbolic meanings of colors, in contemporary times people have developed cultural associations with certain colors. For example, blue can be related to feeling sad, and green can be related to feeling envy. Red, black, and white on the other hand have retained meanings more similar to their early uses. Red is often symbolic of anger (although also love,) black is still associated with death, and white continues to represent elements of purity and innocence.
How colors are used with each other also impacts the mood they can have for the creator. For example, color theory – represented best by the traditional color wheel – shows which colors are complementary and which aren’t. When you use colors that are complementary, the entire effect is one that is pleasing and concordant. When you don’t use complementary colors, the effect may be more discordant although there are plenty of opportunities to use them for creative effects.