Healer Heal Thyself
What is your relationship with colours and the elements?
Humans have a powerful relationship to colour. We have favourite colours. Colours we dislike. Colours we use to express love. We decorate our homes with specific colours at celebratory times of the year. Colour is used to suggest caution, to give us the go ahead and to stop our forward momentum. Sometimes a colour can even fill hearts with hatred. Whether we like or dislike a colour is generally to do the memories a colour evoke and the accompanying emotion.
Mostly we are not even completely aware of the emotions and memory colours evoke. Our talking minds override these subtle details with stories about the colour such as, “Blue is my favourite colour because calm and expansive like the sky or sea” or “I strongly dislike green pants with pockets on the thighs, it reminds of invasion of Vietnam.”
I will share you an experience I have had with the bold colours red, yellow and orange. I am a child of the sixties. After the conforming greys and soft blues of the fifties, the sixties exploded into big colours: orange, red, purple! These vibrant non-conforming colours burst out all over. I remember the fabric on airplane seats covered in bright orange flowers with a red and purple background. Could image that today?
My parents had four children and I was the only female child. My brothers shared a room and I had my own. My room was the smallest in the house and the walls were covered in wallpaper that splashed with a cacophony of huge red, orange and yellow flowers. The brightness and size of the colours were overwhelming to my child’s mind. I also felt alone in my room, listening to my brothers talk and laugh on the other side of the wall. I have a complex relationship with these colours. I can only take them in small doses now. I feel too big if I wear all red, too loud in orange and I avoid yellow all together. When I enter a room that is dominate in any of these colours, or meet someone dressed only in one of the these colours, I find I become quiet inside and a little shy. In the large presence of these colours I need time to feel whole and
It is very important as a healer to understanding the personal meanings and memories you associate with each colour. You will respond to people who wear your favourite colour in a different manner than those wearing a colour that triggers you. As a healer by learning to appreciate different colours, you will become more flexible in your ability to appreciate the people around you and the environment that contains you. You will also learn a lot about your clients by the colours they choose to wear and surround themselves in.
To take our exploration of colour a little further, each element has a colour. The colours vary slightly from tradition to tradition. It is not that a particular tradition has the right set of colours for the elements. I think it is a matter of the environment that tradition grew up in, the perception of the people practicing the tradition and their relationship with the element and the element’s colour. Because most of my training in working with the elements and colour comes from the Buddhist tradition, we will work with the colours assigned to the elements in that tradition. If you have a strong affinity with another tradition or are exploring the rituals and ceremonies from another tradition you are welcome to explore those colours of the elements.
Here is how colours and elements are paired in the Buddhist tradition.
Water Sky blue (sometimes white)
Space White (sometimes dark blue)
Colours like orange are a blend of earth and fire element while purple is fire and water mingling.
For a couple of days, wear only your favourite colour? Notice how you feel in this colour and how people respond you. You will probably not notice much as this is your “normal”. Also notice how you respond to people wearing your favourite colour.
For a couple of days, wear a colour that your dislike. It does not have to be your whole outfit, perhaps a scarf, vest, t-shirt. Notice how you feel in this colour and how people respond to you. People will respond in a different manner depending on their relationship to the colour. Notice how you respond to people wearing this colour.
Then one day wear black as the dominant colour.
The next day wear white as the dominant colour.
Pick a day to wear red as the primary colour of your clothing.
The next day, wear blue.
Then go on to explore other colours that evoke a strong feeling.
Write down your observations, feelings and response of each colour.
Notice if you can see a relationship between the dominate element in a person and their choices of colour.