Red

“Red protects itself. No colour is as territorial. It stakes a claim, is on the alert against the spectrum. — Derek Jarman, Chroma

Red is the colour of ripe fruit, blood, passion, love and energy, but also anger, aggression, lust and war. It has been associated with desire, courage, confidence, danger and revenge.

Red ochre, from iron oxide, was used for millennia by our ancestors. It was a sign of victory for Ancient Egyptians and Romans, and associated with Mars, the god of war. Red was a ceremonial colour for Mayans and Ancient Egyptians.

Frigate bird

Red in nature is the colour of dominant animals in certain species to show reproductive availability, success and passion.
Red roses speak loud and clear about love and feelings.

In China, Red is associated with courage, loyalty, success, happiness and fortune. Chinese brides dress in Red in the hope of a fulfilling marriage.

In Japan, Red is the colour of temple gateways of the Shinto shrines – torii – and garden bridges. They symbolise the passage from one reality to another, from the sacred to the profane. Red is also the colour of heroic figures.

Miyajima Torii

In India, Red is a symbol of happiness and good luck and the colour reserved for the clothing of brides and married women.

In Africa, Red has different meanings: for the warriors of Ndembu – a population of Northwestern Zambia – it means life and health but in other regions it’s a symbol of death and the colour of mourning.

Red in the past was associated with power and monarchy, hence the famous ‘Red carpet treatment’. Adopted by the Jacobins during the French Revolution, the colour became the symbol of Socialism. After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Red also became the colour of Communism and has since been adopted by communist countries. Red in politics is the symbol of left or centre-left parties worldwide.

In flags, Red usually symbolises the blood, sacrifice and courage of those who died defending their country.

Red is at the centre of attention, usually worn by extrovert people.


In Feng Shui, Red is the colour of the element Fire and the East. It represents happiness, enthusiasm, boldness, progress, passion and sensuality.

In Alchemy, Rubedo, or redness, is the sign of success in the ‘Magnum Opus’.

This colour is linked to the Archangel Uriel, the angel of wisdom, and Archangel Sandalphon, the protector of nature and unborn children.

Red is associated with the planet Mars and the Sacral chakra.

Red crystals

Red crystals push towards energy, action, sanguinity, creativity and stimulate libido.
Not recommended when you need calm, self-reflection, peace and rest.

Red Calcite

To fight fear and emotional stress, increase willpower, inner-strength, remove stagnant energy and emotions.
Crystal system: Hexagonal

Red Jasper

To help digestion, blood circulation, intensify libido, help with protection and grounding.
Crystal system: Trigonal

Ruby

To fight anxiety and depression, for inner strength, courage, self-esteem and to boost positivity.
Crystal system: Trigonal

Cinnabar

For strength, physical power, self-acceptance, to remove blockages, to increase good mood and positivity. (Beware it’s toxic!)
Crystal system: Hexagonal

Garnet

To attract love, raise libido and passion, remove trauma, find courage self-confidence.
Crystal system: Cubic