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What Does The Color Yellow Really Represent? Here's What To Know, According To Color Experts

Julie Nguyen
Author:
February 23, 2023
Julie Nguyen
Relationship Coach
By Julie Nguyen
Relationship Coach
Julie Nguyen is a relationship coach, Enneagram educator, and former matchmaker based in New York. She has a degree in Communication and Public Relations from Purdue University.
February 23, 2023
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Colors impart texture and richness to the environment. When we see yellow, we immediately think of imagery related to vitality, spring, and optimism. The bright color can indicate warmth and other spiritual and symbolic meanings too, such as enlightenment—or caution. 

Looking to learn more about the sunny hue? Ahead, here's everything you need to know about the color yellow.

Yellow symbolism. 

Yellow is a luminous color that attracts light, exuberance, and freshness. We can't help but be drawn in by its perky cheeriness. As world history and Western symbology expert Michael Pastoureau noted in his book Yellow: The History of a Color, yellow shares a similar likeness to gold and honey, which epitomized pleasure and abundance in ancient cultures and religions. It also signified opulence since royals would wear it in their clothing. 

According to Nina Ashby, psychic and author of Simply Color Therapy, the color yellow is symbolized by the sun and represents joy, light, and mental positivity. Spiritually, the color yellow is also embodied by the solar plexus chakra—the seat of power and will. Ashby points out yellow is associated with the mind and the logical, left side of the brain that organizes information. 

"When you think about yellow in the spiritual sense, yellow's grounded in the spiritual world and less about whimsy," aura reader and stylist Susanna Merrick tells mindbodygreen. "It's all about self-confidence, communication, and how you see yourself," she says, adding that it also represents intellect and clarity because it's associated with the solar plexus. 

Not only does yellow represent intelligence, but one study in Heliyon1 found yellow is a stimulating color that can elicit positive emotions in facial expressions such as happiness. Another study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology2 echoed similar findings and reported participants from 55 countries associated yellow with emotions such as joy and hope.

Positive symbolic meaning of yellow:

  • Spontaneous
  • Youthful
  • Adaptable
  • Creativity
  • Wisdom
  • Idealism 
  • Communication

Negative symbolic meaning of yellow:

  • Anxiety
  • Cowardice 
  • Betrayal
  • Jealousy
  • Frustration
  • Physical hazard
  • Illness

What does yellow mean spiritually?

In a dream:

Dreams are amplifiers of your thoughts and feelings. Because dream interpretation on a symbolic level is very complex, there's no catchall answer for what yellow represents in the subconscious. Since most people link yellow with positivity and contentment, that could be a good jumping-off point to intuit further. 

To dig into the meaning more, Ashby suggests sifting through the elements of the dream. "You would need to interpret what is yellow, where it appears in the dream, the shade of the color it's manifesting, and the feeling associated with it in the dream." 

From there, research the different segments of your dream, what it may represent in your waking life, and then how yellow plays a role in the overall picture. 

In love:

"When it comes to yellow's connection to love, it can align with seeing the world through new eyes or represent a reconnection with your joy," Merrick says. 

She adds that yellow can visualize something new, active, and empowering, like the possibility you may experience at the beginning of a relationship. "Yellow can be about being excited and hopeful for what's to come, which can feel like a very flowy, head-in-the-clouds kind of energy," she explains.

If you're attracted to those with a yellow aura, it may mean you like their charisma, confidence, and magnetic personality.

Personality:

If you feel yellow represents you, you may be someone who enjoys the thrill of a mental challenge and a wide variety of intellectual interests. 

"A dominant yellow person is logical," Ashby says. "They are curious, questioning, and intellectual. They need to learn how to be sunny and optimistic. Karmically, they have had many lifetimes as an overemotional persona and need to find balanced judgment in this lifetime."

According to Eileen Lee, founder of AURA AURA, people with yellow auras radiate joy and generosity. "They place high importance on humor, intelligence, communication, and joy. It's important for their partner to not only make them laugh but also be able to talk about big concepts and ideas and, at the end of the day, share in their positive outlook," she previously explained to mindbodygreen.  

In feng shui:

Looking to spruce up your place with a welcoming touch? Consider yellow as an uplifting pop of color to add to major areas of the home. In feng shui, yellow is known as a powerful attractor for good fortune and prosperity. 

Certified feng shui consultant Marianne Gordon previously explained to mindbodygreen that if there's a desire for knowledge and self-cultivation, incorporating yellow in the northeast or bottom-left corner of your home can distribute positive and harmonious energy. 

If you're looking for passion with love and your marriage, Gordon suggests adding yellow tones to the southwest area or rear right corner of the home. 

The solar plexus chakra: 

As Ashby and Merrick have noted, yellow corresponds to the solar plexus chakra—the third energy center out of the seven main centers that make up the chakra system. The solar plexus chakra is called Manipura, which translates to "shining gem" in Sanskrit. 

Moreover, the solar plexus is responsible for our authentic self. The more you're connected to this area (located in the abdomen between your belly button and heart), the easier it is for you to express self-love and the most honest version of yourself. When your solar plexus is not in balance, it negatively impacts your self-worth. The blockage may result in a lack of self-trust and a victim mentality. 

How to bring yellow into your life spiritually. 

If you're looking for clarification and knowledge, yellow is the perfect color to usher in new beginnings. 

"When yellow is around you, it's all about action and learning. It symbolizes a great time to optimize on taking forward motion and what you're manifesting in your life," Merrick says. If it's been invited into your aura, she says you may have the desire to do new things, start a new business, and absorb information.

According to Merrick, a great way to bring yellow into your life is by going to the library and checking out books that excite you, or wearing different clothes. "Tap into yellow by thinking about the things that you loved as a kid to get you into the energy and see the world in beautiful, unique ways," she says. 

FAQ

What is the message of yellow?

Yellow marks new beginnings, hope, intellect, and optimism. On the flip side, yellow can alsomean symbolize physical hazards and to proceed with caution like with a yellow traffic light.

What emotion does yellow symbolize?

Yellow is a contradictory color. At its brightest shades, it can express happiness, positivity, and cheerfulness. With its murkier shades, yellow can signify impulsivity, caution, and anxiety.

What does yellow mean with flowers?

Sunflowers and yellow roses are popular flowers to give others to show how much we love and celebrate them as a person. These yellow flowers represent warmth, brightness, joy, and the deep ties of friendship. 

The takeaway. 

Colors provide beauty, communicate environmental information, and help us interact with the world. Now that you know about how yellow can impact your internal and external world, you can use the joyful color to add more mental excitement and happiness in your life. 

Julie Nguyen author page.
Julie Nguyen
Relationship Coach

Julie Nguyen is a writer, certified relationship coach, Enneagram educator, and former matchmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. She has a degree in Communication and Public Relations from Purdue University. She previously worked as a matchmaker at LastFirst Matchmaking and the Modern Love Club, and she is currently training with the Family Constellations and Somatic Healing Institute in trauma-informed facilitation.