Green: balances, normalizes, refreshes; encourages emotional growth.  

Green is the color of life, of plants and of spring. Green is the color of the seasonal renewal and the triumph of spring over cold winter and thus of Hope and Immortality.

Green can be produced by mixing blue and yellow (additive mixing) and thus unifies the spiritual aspect of blue and the emotional warmth of yellow. Both of these aspects bring about growth and wisdom. Green is also known to refer to a lack of experience.

The spring comes, ice melts and new green shoots appear - a rebirth.

The Green Man

In Celtic myths the Green man was the God of fertility. 

Foliate Head images were central to the ancient Celtic cultures of pre-Christian Europe, and symbolized fertility, prophecy, inspiration and regeneration.



Of note is the continued symbolism attached to the color in the latter part of last century.

Anyone who chooses a green M&M  is sending a somewhat similar message.

Green has been reinterpreted by late 20th century western culture to signify a state of heightened sexuality in this specific situation.


Nature and the color green had been revived in Impressionism partly because of the advent of tubes for pigments which made it possible to paint directly on location.

Green has a significant psychological impact on the human mind. It is the most soothing color to the eye and can aid in the healing process.

Studies have found that people who work in green environments have fewer stomach problems.

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Teething infants find comfort in green surroundings.

When London's Blackfriar Bridge was painted green, reported suicides dropped by 34%.

Positive healing effects of the color green for the body and the soul were already recognized by Hildegard of Bingen, a famous medieval healer.

Even today we use to go for a walk in the woods to calm down and relax.



The fact of the matter is that our natural environment, when it has not been polluted, is saturated with the color green. Green makes things appear natural, fresh, and ecologically beneficial.

When equipment is painted green in an industrial environment, the illusion of safety and normalcy is fostered.

John Deere tractors are painted green

 Many manufacturers report that they sell more products when they are painted green.

People in this unnatural environment tend to have the sense that things around them are clean and that their personal health is not at risk.


Prehistoric times & antiquity

The origin of the word 'green' goes back to the old Teutonic root 'grô', meaning to grow. Plants use solar energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into life-giving oxygen and starch. The magic substance at the heart of this process called photosynthesis is the green pigment chlorophyll converting sunrays into other energy forms utilized in the complex chemical reactions.

The green pigment chlorophyll has existed on Earth since the dawn of life itself some four billion years ago. Green as a color was, oddly enough, barely used by Man during Stone Age. Neolithic cave paintings do not contain any depictions of plants even if green earth pigments were available at that time.

Dragons had a positive connotation in the philosophy of ancient Chinese where it represented divine power of change and supernatural wisdom and strength. Thus it was often associated with the color green.

This positive symbol was reversed in Christianity and the dragon became a monster of evil and destructive powers. Christian demons were green-skinned and green-eyed dragon-like creatures spitting deadly venom and emanating the smell of Hell.


Discovery of the pigment emerald (Schweinfurt green) in 1800 further worsened the repute of green as the color of poison. Emerald was prepared from verdigris and copper arsenite to result in one of the deadliest poisons ever used in painting.


The expressionistic painter Vassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), however, ignored green in his works. He deemed green a "limiting element" and the color of bourgeoisie based on its passive effect. Green is "similar to a fat and very healthy, motionless cow, capable but of ruminating and watching the world with its stupid and dull eyes". (Kandinsky 1952)

Green is the color of free passage in road traffic. Advertising associates green with ecological products.







Poisoned Wallpaper

Simon Garfield relates how early aniline dyes caused a panic in the 1860s. Although most dyes turned out to be harmless, other compounds used in decorating homes proved lethal:

The main culprit was arsenic acid, used in the oxidation process of several colours. Arsenic was still in limited use, despite an awareness of its devastating effects. Its use in wallpaper and paint was particularly popular, not least in a pale green shade that had caught on in the mid-1860s. Here, arsenite of copper was not just a constituent of the dye but the dye itself, and became known, after its Swedish inventor, as Scheele's Green (Karl Wilhelm Scheele was one of the greatest experimental chemists of the eighteenth century, responsible for groundbreaking work on oxygen and other gases and acids). At Guy's Hospital in London a surgeon had been presented with many patients suffering from sore eyelids and lips and lung and throat complaints, and he was the first to isolate a univerul cause. A cheap and widely used type of wallpaper was decorated in green foliage and flowers, the pattern made up in thick relief of arsenite of copper. Under heat or agitation from brushing or cleaning, particles of dust would slowly poison people in the room.


The newspapers and medical journals carried many reports, and caused considerable panic amongst readers. The Times noted, 'It was not very uncommon for children who slept in a bedroom thus papered even to die of arsenical poisoning, the true nature of the malady not being discovered until it was too late.' [105]

Napoleon died of arsenic poisoning

The wallpaper in his room was dyed with Scheele's Green, a coloring pigment that had been used in fabrics and wallpapers from around 1770.

In 1893 an Italian biochemist, Gosio, discovered that if wallpaper containing Scheele's Green became damp, the mould converted the copper arsenite to a poisonous vapour form of arsenic. Breathing the arsenic on its own might not have been enough to kill Napoleon, but he already was ill with a stomach ulcer. On the 5 May 1821, the arsenic tipped the scale against "the little corporal."

Napoleon was buried on St Helena, but his body was later reburied in Paris on the banks of the Seine. He wish to be cremated was not respected.


Synesthesia: Hearing Colors

Synesthesia is a condition in which the real information of one sense is accompanied by a perception in another sense. A person may see colors when hearing a sound or may experience a smell when seeing a certain color. Such a person is called a synesthete.

The most common form of synesthesia is the experience of colors linked to letters and numbers that they see, the sound of words or music, or smells and tastes.

It is estimated that between 1 in 2000 people are synesthetes. Another estimate is 1 in 25,000. Many synesthetes are individuals of high intelligence. They often have excellent memories. There are more women synesthetes than men. A high proportion are left handed or ambidextrous.

Many people have thought they were hallucinating when they experienced synesthesia and have kept the experiences to themselves. But also, a number of brilliant people have also experienced synesthesia and let others know about it. There are now associations for synesthetes.

The reality and vividness that people experience are what make synesthesia so interesting in its violation of conventional perception.

Green is the musical note F