Colour energetics: Orange is often used as a less fiery option than red, in feng shui design. Colour affects us on a physical, mental and emotional level. When working with colour energy in creating a stimulating and uplifting space, orange can provide an incandescence which promotes a lightness of heart and a sense of fun and optimism.
A less fiery colour than red, orange is a secondary colour created when the two primary colours of red and yellow are combined. Orange has a general appearance of being bright, luminous and glowing. Orange evokes feelings of happiness and joviality, energy and power. Similar to red, but to a lesser extent, orange can increase blood pressure and heart rate. Orange is seen as a sporty, sociable, and healthy colour, self assured and constructive.
Vegetarians are said to lack the vibration of the colour orange and some religious groups, who are vegetarian, adopt the colour orange in their robes to enhance this energy eg Buddhists and Hare Krishna’s.
Orange is often associated with self-discovery and some cultures adopt it for meditation. It is said that we are often attracted to a particular colour when we require its energy and when people wear a lot of orange it might well be that they are doing a lot of inner personal development work either consciously or unconsciously.
Associated with the sacral chakra, orange is said to enhance creativity and may be used in environments where creative energy is vital e.g. advertising agencies, or areas where people ned to come up with ideas and be dynamic. Orange is associated with the kidneys (associated with filtering our anxiety and worry) and adrenal glands (our energy reserves). The adrenal glands are associated with our “fight, flight or freeze” impulse therefore associated also with stamina, however when overstimulated, adrenal fatigue can set in which can deplete energy or cause stress or friction.
As a somewhat fiery colour, it can be used to create a warm atmosphere and can be used in the form of a lighter tint (by adding white into the formulation of the colour) in the form of peach, or as a stronger, deeper shade in the form of terracotta to warm a north facing or cool room to great advantage. A variety of orange tints and shades within a colour scheme can be evocative of autumn, restful energy, slowing down. If used with other earthy colours it can be comforting, reminding us of earth and nature. It would not be a good colour to use over a large area where the aim is to relax and unwind e.g a bedroom, as it can cause restlessness.
Orange stimulates and enhances dance and movement and encourages joyfulness, lightness, release and pleasure. Therefore, it is suitable for dining areas as it assists in good digestion (associated with the sacral chakra) and is said to assist in the assimilative, distributive and circulatory processes of the body.
Useful in entertainment areas, dancing halls and in passageways, it is said to be good to use in muted tones or small quantities in the room of a depressed person. Orange is not recommended in bedrooms, studies or work areas.
Care needs to be taken not to overdo this colour as it can be overpowering.
In New Horizons in colour Birren discusses orange as “warm, dry and compelling, less earthly in quality than red and more tinged with a feeling of incandescence. “ He associated Orange with the rectangular shape.
In Colour psychology and colour therapy, a factual study of the influence of colour on human life, Birren describes orange as having similar qualities to red. Again, not generally preferred in its pure form but said to be more appealing in muted tones of peach, coral and salmon veering into the warm browns. He found it appropriate for use in tints for hospitals, homes, factories or schools. Describing it as having a more “liveable” charm than red. And, having high appetite appeal and quite suitable for food service.
In colour therapy Orange is used to strengthen the lungs, pancreas and spleen and is said to enliven the emotions and create a feeling of well-being. A stimulating and warming colour, it is recommended to balance a lack of vitality.
According to Theo Gimbel in Healing with colour, the keyword for orange is joy. When we cannot enjoy our own mental processes or just do not feel like using our brain to do anything, it is recommended to use orange.
As mentioned, it is associated with the sacral (second) chakra, the centre for new beginnings and creativity, appetites and desires. This is our centre for feeling and sensitivity, connecting us emotionally to others. Associated with compassion Vs numbness, if this centre is blocked in any way we can feel immobilised, unable to move our feelings into action. When blocked, in this chakra we can feel unbalanced, heavy, burdened by our ancient past. Visualising a spinning wheel of bright orange light in this energy centre is said to free up its flow. If this chakra is free flowing, our past feels like an asset, we are glad to have had our experiences.
Affirmation associated with this chakra: “I am in harmony with the endless flow of creativity, of new beginnings and creative connection to others”.
In feng shui we associate yellow-orange, into terracotta, with the stable earth element of mountain energy and with joyous uplift. We associate red-orange with the fire energy of recognition, reputation and clarity.
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