On Color: Black

Hey!  V again here to talk about what is probably my favorite color ever to use in art – black!  Black is such an intense, versatile color that goes well with almost any other color.  It is also about 99% of my wardrobe. Haha


BLACK

Creeper

Physiological Effect

Black absorbs negative energy. It is useful to carry something black with you to protect you from harm and negativity when traveling or when going about your usual daily activities outside your home.  Black is the absorption of all color and the absence of light.

Psychological Effect

While comforting and protective, black is mysterious and associated with silence and sometimes death. Black implies self-control and discipline, independence and a strong will, and giving an impression of authority and power. Teenagers often have a psychological need to wear black during the stage of transition from the innocence of childhood to the sophistication of adulthood. It signifies the ending of one part of their life and the beginning of another.  Black is associated with death, the unknown, mysteriousness, night, sleep, power, submission, independence, sophistication, self-discipline, depression, seriousness, seduction, sexuality, protection, comfort, strength, formality, secretiveness, eternity, intensity, negativity, endings, beginnings, success, elegance, confidence and willpower.

In Politics

Black is primarily associated with anarchism.  The black flag, and the color black in general, have been associated with anarchism since the 1880s.  The uniform blackness of the flag is in stark contrast to the colorful flags typical of most nation-states. Additionally, as a white flag has been used to request parley or to surrender, the counter-opposite black flag would logically be a symbol of defiance and opposition to surrender.  Some examples of the use of black would be the combined colors of black and red for anarcho-syndicalism, and black and gold/yellow for anarcho-capitalism.

In Italy, black is the color of fascism, because it was the official color of the National Fascist Party.

In Religion & Spirituality

In Christianity, the Devil is considered the “prince of darkness.” The term was used in John Milton’s poem Paradise Lost, published in 1667, referring to Satan, who is viewed as the embodiment of evil.

Priests and pastors of the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches commonly wear black, as do monks of the Benedictine Order, who consider it the color of humility and penitence.

In Islam, black, along with green, plays an important symbolic role. It is the color of the Black Standard, the banner that is said to have been carried by the soldiers of the Prophet Muhammad. It is also used as a symbol in Shi’a Islam (heralding the advent of the Mahdi), and the flag of followers of Islamism and Jihadism.

In Hinduism, the goddess Kali, goddess of time and change, is portrayed with black or dark blue skin, wearing a necklace adorned with severed heads and hands. Her name means “The black one.”

For the ancient Egyptians, black had very positive associations.  It was the color of the rich black soil flooded by the Nile. It was the color of Anubis, the god of the underworld, who took the form of a black jackal, and offered protection against evil to the dead.

In most Wiccan and pagan circles, black magick is any kind of magick that is used to deliberately harm or manipulate another person, and the people who do such practices go against the Wiccan and pagan beliefs.  The color black, specifically in Wicca, is also associated with femininity, wisdom and the Triple Goddess – which is why most witches are seen as wearing black.  In candle magick, a black candle can represent mystery, necromancy, banishing, and control of negative forces.

Black is also associated with the zodiac sign Scorpio, and the Chinese Zodiac signs of the Dog and the Rat.

Archangel Cassiel is occasionally associated with black.

Miscellaneous

Black, specifically in Western and European culture, has always had very strong connections to death and mourning.  The figure of death is viewed as either evil, good, or ambivalent, depending on the culture.


I hope you all enjoyed this week’s post!  Check back next week for the final article in my “On Color” series, when I talk about the color white!

-V

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About V

Artist and astrologer, just making my way through wonderland.
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