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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Green, With Envy! Exploring the Meaning & Symbolism of the Color Green.

Green, as I am sure you already know, is a color. It lies between 520 - 565 nanometers (nm) on the The Visible Light Spectrum. Our eyes are sensitive to light which lies in a relatively small region of the visible light spectrum. This visible light corresponds to a wavelength range between 400 - 700 nm, this is a color range of violet through red.

Have you met my friend, Roy G Biv? 

ROYGBIV is a mnemonic many of us learned in school.  I was first introduced to my friend, Roy G Biv in first grade. ROYGBIV stands for the sequence of hues in the visible light spectrum, which we can see in rainbows.

These visible colors from longest to shortest wavelength are: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.  Modern color scientists do not usually recognize indigo, (on the electromagnetic spectrum between about 420 and 450 nm in wavelength), as a separate division and generally classify wavelengths shorter than about 450 nm as violet.
Personally, I am not willing to give up on my friend, Roy G Biv, he's been with me for so very long, so I am holding on to indigo much the same way I still choose to think of poor declassified Pluto as a planet.

Green is not a primary color, but is created out of a mixture of yellow and blue, or yellow and cyan; it is considered a secondary color.

On the RGB color wheel, the complementary color of green is magenta; (a purple color corresponding to an equal mixture of red and blue). On a color wheel based on traditional color theory (RYB), the complementary color of green is red.

Green occupies more space in the spectrum visible to the human eye than most colors, and as a favorite color it is second only to blue.  The natural greens, from apple to pine, are thought of as tranquil and refreshing, with a natural balance range of both cool and warm (blue and yellow) undertones.

Shades of Green

Words describing color, generally representative of various shades of green include: apple, aquamarine, beryl, chartreuse, emerald, fir, forest, grass green, jade, kelly green, lawn green, leaf green, lime, mint, moss, olive, olive drab, pea green, pine, sage, sap, sea green, seafoam, spring green, viridian.

Culturally, green is associated with a broad range of meanings. The most common of these associations are found in its ties to nature. Because of all the green seen in nature the color is reminiscent of Spring.  Green is considered the color of healing, hope and peace.  It denotes balance, harmony, and stability. Green is also associated with regeneration, fertility and rebirth, life, growth and abundance.  It symbolizes growth, learning, and freshness. Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Green is also commonly associated with money. Green is typically considered a very restful color. It symbolizes self-respect and well being. Green is strongly associated with Ireland, the Irish, and St. Patrick's Day. Conversley, green is often connected to jealousy or envy (the green-eyed monster) and inexperience.

Green is the Color of the Heart Chakra

The 4th Chakra (Heart Chakra): This chakra is located at the center of the chest area and is linked to the heart, lungs, circulatory system, cardiac plexus, and the chest area. The Heart Chakra bridges the gap between the physical and spiritual worlds. It is about giving and receiving love and compassion.


Several minerals have a green color, including emerald, which gets its green color by its chromium content. Other green gemstones include, aventurine, bloodstone, green fluorite, green apatite, green calcite, jade, malachite, moss agate, nephrite jade, peridot, green tourmaline, zoisite.
Green gemstones are said to be used to attract money, prosperity and wealth. They are balancing stones that promote growth and fertility.  Carry, wear or place green gemstones around your home or office to promote balance, change and growth.

Interesting Green Tidbits

  • Green was the favorite color of George Washington, the first President of the United States.
  • The color green signifies mystical or magical properties in the stories of King Arthur.
  • Green is the color used for night-vision goggles because the human eye is most sensitive to, and able to discern, the most shades of that color.
  • In auto racing, a green flag signals the start or resumption of a race.
  • Green represents GO on a traffic light.
  • Green is used worldwide to represent safety.
  • In several religions, green is associated with resurrection and regeneration.
  • In Japan, green is regarded as the color of eternal life.
  • In China, jade stones represent virtue and beauty.
  • In the highlands of Scotland, people used to wear green as a mark of honor
  • The God of fertility in Celtic myths was associated with green.
Common Green Phrases

  • Get the green light: get approval to proceed with a project or task
  • Green room: a room (in a theater or studio) where performers can relax before or after appearances
  • Green Screen: A single colored backdrop used for video filming, which allows you to make that color transparent - replacing it with any other video clip, graphic or still image.
  • Greener pastures: something newer or better (or perceived to be better), such as a new job
  • Green with envy: jealous or envious
  • Greenhorn: novice, trainee, beginner
  • Green around the gills: a pale, sickly, or nauseated appearance
  • Going green: when someone or something makes changes to help protect the environment, or reduces waste or pollution
So, there is some information you can ponder next time you consider painting a room green, or you work on an art project including any of the the various shades of green.
Tell us what you most associate with the color green! We love your comments!

On your marks, get set..... GO!

Until next time,


Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog!

Have a nice day!

I most associate green with happiness & health-especially when it comes to the garden (for obvious reasons) and meals. If 2/3 of my plate is covered in greens, then I'm a happy camper. Weird? A little, I know.

Hi Veronica, thanks for stopping by.
I'll be back on later to read your blog, "Of Mice and raMEN" sounds interesting! And I see a post on Stonehenge -that was on my 'bucket list' and finally getting there was amazing! Looking forward to reading more later tonight.

Bludart - that doesn't sound weird at all. I'd hardly be the one to pass judgement anyway, since when I was a kid, (growing up on a farm), I would be sent out to the pea paddocks (field/pasture) to get a bucket of fresh peas for dinner. It took me hours.... I would sit in the middle of the field, eat raw peas as far as my arms could reach. Throw a few in the bucket, get up, move, sit down again and start over eating. I LOVE fresh raw peas. So, you see, I'm just not one to judge your love of green food! :D


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