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The Color Red

The Color Red

Photo by Roksolana Zasiadko on Unsplash

You may have noticed that the color red shows up a lot in discussions of feng shui; this is not an accident! In feng shui, red is considered a very auspicious and powerful color, and is considered the most effective color for protection and transforming negative qi (energy).

Red has long been a significant color in many cultures. Red was one of the first colors to be used in prehistoric art, and was worn for celebratory occasions in ancient Rome. In Chinese culture, gifts of money are given in red envelopes. The red color of the envelopes removes any negative energy, and helps to protect and bless the person holding the money. In the BTB (Black Sect) feng shui tradition that we practice, we use red envelopes to honor and ritualize the exchange of energy between a client and consultant. We also use cinnabar, a vibrant red mineral, in some feng shui cures to remove negative qi, or protect someone from harmful qi.

Red is also associated with the fire element. Like fire, red is an energy source, and is warming, stimulating, and dynamic. Adding a pop of red to a room can be an effective way to introduce fire energy--you might want to try this if your space feels too cold and unwelcoming. For example, an all-white room that’s dominated by the metal element (white is the color of metal) may feel much cozier once you add a bit of red.

In addition, red is the color of the Li (or fame) area of the bagua. Try placing something red in this area of your home, office, or desk if you’re interested in boosting your visibility and recognition. This is a great adjustment to make if you want to strengthen your career--if you are seen and recognized in the work that you do, career opportunities are much more likely to come your way!

From a design perspective, red can also be a great way to add contrast and interest to a space. Even if it’s not a color you’d normally decorate with, give it a try! If it feels powerful or overwhelming, you can always start with something small. Getting out of your comfort zone might do you some good, and maybe you’ll even love the way it turns out.

Finally, since it’s the holiday season, we of course have to mention that red is a great color for holiday decorating! It’s no coincidence that during the coldest season of the year, we like to decorate with such a warm, fiery color. To invite prosperity and positive qi, try hanging a red wreath on your front door, or placing another red item at the entry to your home.