are supplied to demystify symbolism (and the artwork in this
Click here to return to the online symbolism dictionary.
Green is the color of
money, greed, envy, nature and hope. This all seems like a
contradiction until you peel that onion all the way down to
the bottom. Green IS the color of nature, but think of nature
as the physical, real world not the manmade construct we live
in (the one that sits on top nature). Yes we want justice,
honesty and equality for all, but those are concepts created
by man. Admirable constructs that we STRIVE to bring into
reality. The REAL world just IS: it's not bad or good but
both. The jungle is a concept that includes: new growth, youth,
green leaves, apples, snakes, greed, envy, death, living and
even the fact that money buys more than we would like to believe
(money is the lion king in our modern day jungle, eh?). Green
IS: the unthinking, instinctual nature. Green is "GO!"
That is the color green.
GREEN MAN. He's green and he's nature so an abbreviated discussion
belongs here :) The Green man is a pagan vegetation god who
died and was reborn to fertilize the earth (also known as
the Priest King). The Green man is a mythological motif found
throughout all of the world mythologies (under many different
names). During ancient times such a king would rule for a
year and then, come winter, be offered up as a sacrifice for
the people. The sacrifice is not the end of this. The reason
for the sacrifice is the hoped for miracle: the rebirth of
spring at the end of a long hard winter. This brings into
play the hope aspect of green: the miracle of new growth.
slang use (cultural layer of interpretation): to give the
green light (a sign to go forward with a project), to have
a green thumb (the ability to grow things) and to BE green
(as in young or immature).
Posted: June 21, 2004.
links to the (expert) quotes below:
Vollman: The Little Giant Encyclopedia
of Dream Symbols
Jung: Man and His Symbols
Biedermann: Dictionary of Symbolism
Little Giant Encyclopedia of Dream Symbols, p. 221
Color of nature. Something is growing out of a state of immaturity.
Posted: June 21, 2004.
and His Symbols, p. 340
...green, the color of vegetation and nature, and in folklore
a symbol of hope) hints at possibilities of growth and a chance
Posted: June 21, 2004.
of Symbolism, p. 158-159
Like most colors, symbolically ambiguous; it can range from
the positively valued "rich moss green" to "nauseous
green." In many cultures it is popularly felt to symbolize
hope, and dreams featuring the color are viewed positively,
both in China and elsewhere. "Where green crops up, it
is simply nature, and, naturally, growth...the experience
of spring. If, say, the devil appears as 'the green one,'
he has kept on the garment of an ancient god of vegetation"
[Aeppli]. But there is also a negative aspect: "If in
the dream there are excessive amounts of green, then negative
forces of nature have taken over" [ibid.]. Christian
symbolism finds green "equidistant from the blue of heaven
and the red of hell...an intermediate and mediating color,
soothing, refreshing, human, a color of contemplation, of
the expectation of resurrection" [Heinz-Mohr]. Christ's
cross, as a symbol of the hope of salvation, was often portrayed
as green, the GRAIL EMERALD green, God's THRONE at the Last
Judgment as made of green jasper (compare Revelation 4:3).
The color was especially prized in the books of St. Hildegard
of Bingen (1098-1179), who writes again and again of viriditas
("greenness," vitality) and, for example, esteems
the emerald because of its color: the stone "originates
in the early morn, with the sunrise. This is when the green
of the earth and the grass is freshest, for the air is still
cold, but the sun already warm, and plants suck in the green
as eagerly as the baby lamb its milk. The heat of the day
is barely enough to cook and feed this green... The emerald
is a powerful remedy against all human frailties and diseases
because the sun engenders it and its substance comes from
the green of the air." "The Emerald Isle" is
Ireland, and green the color symbolizing the struggle for
Irish independence from Great Britain. "Green" can
refer to immaturity, not only of fruit but also, idiomatically,
of persons (e.g., "greenhorn"); if I "give
you the green light," I tell you that you are free to
proceed; the Green political movement stresses ecological
concerns and resists the dominance of unexamined technology.
Especially in English, the color is associated with negative
emotions: we become "the green-eyed monster" [Othello,
III, iii]. In Islam, however, green is the color of the Prophet.
traditional Chinese color symbolism, green and WHITE are paired
in a DUALITY corresponding to the polar antithesis RED and
white in the symbolism of occidental ALCHEMY. The green DRAGON
of Chinese alchemy is associated with the yin principle,
MERCURY, and WATER; the white TIGER, with yang, LEAD,
and FIRE. In Occidental alchemy, the green dragon or LION
symbolizes a corrosive solvent, like aqua regia, and its symbol
is the inverted or "female" TRIANGLE combined with
an "R." Variations in pictorial symbolism are such,
however, that in some sources the green dragon is made to
symbolize mercury, just as it does in China.
Expanded: June 21, 2004.
Want to know more? Go out and pick up a copy of the book(s) quoted and expand your mind :) These are MY teachers, the people who teach me about symbolism :) I hope the supplied definitions help you understand the art found on this site.