What Does the Colour Purple Symbolize? Exploring the Meanings and Significance behind the Royal Hue

Are you the kind of person who believes that colours hold a lot of significance? If yes, then you must be curious about what different colours represent. Every shade has a different symbolism attached to it, and one such striking colour is purple. It’s a beautiful colour that holds a unique place in history, art, and culture.
Purple is a blend of two colours – red and blue – and was once considered the colour of royalty. It was available only to those who could afford it, and hence, it became a symbol of luxury and power. The dye used to make purple was extracted from a tiny mollusk shell, making it a costly commodity in ancient times. Today, purple is no longer a sign of wealth or status, but its symbolism remains just as potent.
Purple has various meanings, depending on the context and culture. The colour is often associated with creativity, intuition, and spiritual awareness. It is also said to represent individuality, dignity, and independence. In some cultures, purple signifies mourning, while in others, it is a symbol of love and passion. Given its versatility, it’s no surprise that this hue has stood the test of time and continues to captivate people’s attention.

History of the Color Purple

The color purple has a rich history dating back centuries. In ancient times, purple was associated with royalty and nobility due to the rarity and expense of the dye used to create the color. The Phoenicians were the first to discover how to create the color purple from a small mollusk called murex found in the Mediterranean Sea. This process was incredibly time-consuming and required a great deal of labor, making the color purple an exclusive and expensive privilege reserved for royalty and the upper class.

During the Roman Empire, purple became even more synonymous with royalty. Emperors such as Julius Caesar and Augustus were known to wear purple garments, and as the empire expanded, so did the association of purple with power and wealth. The Roman Catholic Church also embraced the color purple as a symbol of penitence and humility, with purple being worn during Lent and Advent.

In more recent history, the color purple has been associated with various movements and causes. Feminists in the 1960s and 70s adopted purple as a symbol of unity and strength. The LGBTQ+ community also embraced the color as a symbol of pride and diversity, with the rainbow flag featuring purple as one of its colors.

Symbolism of Purple in Different Cultures and Religions

Purple is a color that has been highly valued across different cultures and religions, often symbolizing nobility, power and spirituality. Here are some of the ways purple has been interpreted:

  • In ancient Rome, purple was a symbol of power and authority, worn only by emperors and other elite figures.
  • In Ancient Egypt, purple dye was created from the spiny murex snail and used to color the clothing of pharaohs and other high-ranking officials, symbolizing their status and wealth.
  • In Japanese culture, purple is often associated with the graceful elegance of the Kabuki theater performers, expressing a sense of nobility and spirituality.

But purple symbolism is also prominent in many religious traditions:

  • In Christianity, purple is a symbol of penance, and thus used during Lent and Advent seasons. It also symbolizes royalty, hence often used in religious vestments.
  • In Buddhism, purple is often associated with the highest level of spiritual attainment symbolized by the purple lotus and represents the highest level of consciousness.
  • In Hinduism, purple is associated with the forehead chakra, also known as the third eye, and represents intuition and higher consciousness.

At times, purple symbolism can vary even within the same religion. For example, in Islam, purple is a symbol of mourning in some cultures, but a sign of royal authority in others.

To summarize, purple symbolism varies across different cultures and religions, but is often associated with nobility, power, spirituality, and higher states of consciousness. These associations have persisted throughout history, elevating the color purple to an important symbol in many important traditions.

Psychological effects of the color purple

Purple is a complex color that has both warm and cool properties. It combines the stability of blue with the energy of red, making it a fascinating hue from a psychological perspective. Here are three psychological effects of purple that can help you understand the symbolic meaning of this color.

  • Creativity: Purple is often associated with creativity because it is a color that encourages us to look beyond the ordinary. Creative people are often drawn to purple because it sparks their imagination and helps them think outside the box. It is also believed that purple can help people tap into their spiritual side, which can be a great source of inspiration for creative projects.
  • Calming: Despite its energetic properties, purple can also have a calming and soothing effect on our minds. In fact, studies have shown that looking at purple can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. This is why some people choose to decorate their bedrooms in shades of purple in order to create a peaceful atmosphere that promotes restful sleep.
  • Royalty: Historically, purple has been associated with royalty and nobility because of its rarity and expense. This association has given purple a sense of luxury and sophistication that still resonates today. People often wear purple to make a statement of power, wealth, and prestige.

The symbolism of purple in color therapy

Color therapy is a type of alternative healing that uses color to help balance the body and mind. Purple is often used in color therapy to address issues related to spirituality, creativity, and transformation. Here are a few ways that purple is used in color therapy:

  • Chakra healing: The crown chakra, which is associated with spiritual connection and enlightenment, is often represented by the color purple. Practitioners of color therapy may use purple in order to help balance and activate the crown chakra.
  • Meditation: Purple is a popular color for meditation because it is believed to help people connect with their inner selves. When used for meditation, purple can help create a sense of calm and promote spiritual growth.
  • Brain stimulation: Studies have shown that looking at purple can help stimulate the brain and improve cognitive function. This makes purple a great color to use when you need to focus and concentrate.

The therapeutic benefits of purple

In addition to its psychological and symbolic significance, purple also has a number of therapeutic benefits. Here are a few examples:

Therapeutic application Description
Weighted blankets Some people use purple weighted blankets to help reduce feelings of anxiety and promote restful sleep.
Essential oils Lavender essential oil, which is purple in color, is often used in aromatherapy to help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Light therapy Purple light therapy is sometimes used to help reduce pain and inflammation.

Overall, purple is a rich and complex color that has many psychological and symbolic qualities. Whether you’re looking to tap into your creativity, reduce stress, or connect with your spiritual side, purple may be the color you need.

Use of Purple in Fashion and Art

Purple, the color that has been associated with royalty since ancient times, is revered as a color of luxury, power, and ambition. It is known to be the color of creativity and embodies a certain level of mysticism, as well as sophistication and elegance. In fashion and art, purple has been used for many centuries, and has played numerous significant roles.

Use of Purple in Fashion

  • Purple is often associated with royalty, and it is used in haute couture to signify luxury and opulence.
  • In the 19th century, purple was rarely used in fashion, and hence, it was a rare and expensive color to produce. As a result, only the wealthiest could afford it, and they used it as a means of displaying their affluence.
  • Purple came into fashion during the “psychedelic” phase of the 1960s-1970s, and it was synonymous with the creative counterculture of that era.
  • In the 1980s, purple was used in fashion to signify power, and it was commonly worn by successful women in business and politics.
  • Today, purple is used in fashion in various shades and tones. It is often paired with other colors to create a dynamic, vibrant effect, and is frequently used in patterns and prints.

Use of Purple in Art

In art, purple has been used for many centuries to convey different emotions and moods. Some notable examples include:

  • The Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh used purple and its various shades in many of his works, such as his famous Starry Night painting. He employed purple to represent a sense of power and mystery, invoking a sense of spirituality and otherworldliness in his paintings.
  • The Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt frequently used purple to create an atmosphere of passion and eroticism. In his painting The Kiss, he used various shades of purple to simulate the folds of a robe, which indicates the romantic potential of the scene.
  • The French post-impressionist painter Paul Gauguin used purple in his works to create a sense of exoticism, transporting the viewer to a mysterious and unknown place. The use of purple as a symbol of the unfamiliar and the unknown was characteristic of many of his works.


In conclusion, purple has played a crucial role in the worlds of fashion and art, representing luxury, power, creativity, and spirituality. It has been used to convey various emotions and moods in different contexts, and it is considered as a symbol of sophistication and elegance.

Aspect Symbolic Meaning
Royalty Purple has long been associated with royalty due to its expense and rarity in ancient times.
Creativity The color invokes a sense of originality and inventiveness, and it is often associated with artistic expression.
Power Purple is viewed as a symbol of power, ambition, and success, commonly worn by leaders in various fields.
Mysticism Many use the color to represent the spiritual, the mysterious, and the otherworldly.

Overall, the diversity and versatility of purple make it an essential element in fashion and art.

Purple as a representation of royalty and luxury

Purple has a long and rich history as a symbol of royalty and luxury. This color has been associated with nobles, kings, and emperors throughout history. In ancient Rome, the color purple was only worn by the emperor and was considered a symbol of his power and authority. Purple dye was rare and expensive, making it an exclusive color that only the rich and powerful could afford. The association of purple with luxury and wealth has continued to this day.

  • In heraldry, purple is used to signify nobility, sovereignty, and power. It is considered one of the four traditional colors of royalty, along with gold, silver, and red.
  • Even in modern times, we still see purple used as a symbol of wealth and luxury. For example, the luxury goods company, Louis Vuitton, uses a shade of deep purple, known as “Epi Electric,” in its products to convey a sense of exclusivity and sophistication.
  • The color purple also plays a role in religious symbolism. In Christianity, purple is used during the season of Lent to symbolize penance and preparation for Easter. In Buddhism, purple represents spirituality and contemplation.

Purple is also often associated with creativity and imagination. It is a color that stimulates the mind and encourages us to think outside the box. In this way, purple can be seen as a symbol of innovation and progress, as well as luxury and power.

In conclusion, purple has a rich and varied symbolic history, representing everything from royalty and luxury to creativity and spirituality. Its exclusive and luxurious connotations make it a popular choice in branding and marketing, particularly in the fashion and beauty industries.

Purple in Popular Brands: Meaning:
Luxury fashion brand, Gucci Royalty, elegance, and extravagance
Beauty brand, MAC Creativity, individuality, and uniqueness
Technology company, Yahoo Creativity, innovation, and imagination

As purple continues to be used in branding and marketing, its symbolic associations with royalty, luxury, creativity, and spirituality will undoubtedly continue to evolve and change over time.

Purple flowers and their meanings

The color purple is often associated with royalty, sophistication, and spirituality, making it a popular choice for flower arrangements and bouquets. The meanings of purple flowers can vary depending on the specific shade of purple, but generally, they are associated with admiration, elegance, and love. Here are some types of purple flowers and what they symbolize:

  • Lavender: Lavender symbolizes elegance, grace, and calmness. It is often used in bouquets and as a fragrance in beauty and skincare products.
  • Iris: Iris flowers come in many shades of purple and are associated with wisdom, courage, and admiration.
  • Hyacinth: Hyacinth flowers come in shades of blue, pink, and purple, and are associated with sorrow, forgiveness, and constancy.
  • Lilac: Lilac flowers are often associated with new love and the beginning of spring.
  • Orchid: Orchids are exotic flowers that come in many colors, including purple and symbolize rare beauty, love, and strength.

Overall, purple flowers are a great choice for showing someone how much you admire them, or to add a touch of elegance to your home or office.

The Language of Flowers

The meanings of flowers have been studied and analyzed for centuries, leading to the creation of the language of flowers. The language of flowers, also known as floriography, is a way to communicate through the use of flowers, with each flower having a specific meaning or symbol.

While the language of flowers has largely fallen out of use, certain flowers are still associated with certain meanings and occasions. Purple flowers are often used to convey admiration, elegance, and love, making them a great choice for romantic gestures or special occasions.

Purple Flowers in Literature and Culture

Purple flowers have been featured prominently in literature and culture around the world. For example, in Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet,” Ophelia gives out flowers to the other characters, with each flower representing a different emotion or sentiment. The purple pansy flower that she gives to Hamlet is said to symbolize love and admiration.

In Hinduism, the purple lotus flower is associated with enlightenment and spiritual awakening. In ancient Rome, purple flowers were considered a symbol of prestige and wealth, as the dye used to make purple fabric was very expensive and only accessible to the wealthiest Romans.

The Symbolism of Color

The symbolism of color is a fascinating subject, with each color holding various associations and meanings. Purple is a color that has been associated with royalty, nobility, and luxury for centuries, dating back to ancient Rome when only the wealthiest citizens could afford to wear purple clothing. In Christianity, purple is often associated with royalty, as it was the color of the robe that was put on Jesus before his crucifixion.

Symbolism of Purple
Royalty For centuries, purple has been associated with royalty, nobility, and wealth.
Spirituality Purple is often associated with spirituality, mystery, and the mystical.
Elegance Purple is a sophisticated and elegant color, often used in luxurious and high-end products.
Admiration Purple is a popular color for flowers, as it is associated with admiration, love, and respect.

Whether you are a fan of purple for its regal associations, spiritual undertones, or elegant appearance, there is no denying that it is a powerful and impactful color in our lives and in the world around us.

Purple Symbolism in Literature and Poetry

In literature and poetry, the color purple is often associated with creativity, spirituality, and royalty. From its historical significance as a symbol of wealth and luxury, purple has evolved into a representation of deep emotions and feelings.

Let’s delve into the world of literature and poetry to explore how purple has been used to convey its symbolic meaning throughout the ages.

The Number 7

In many cultures, the number 7 is considered a sacred or mystical number, and purple often plays a significant role in representing this number’s symbolism. In Christian theology, seven represents completeness or perfection, and purple is used to symbolize this divine state and to represent the seven sacraments of the church.

Similarly, in Jewish and Islamic traditions, the number seven is associated with the creation story in the Torah and the Quran, respectively. In these teachings, purple is used to represent the connection between God and humanity and the spiritual evolution that occurs when one seeks a relationship with the divine.

  • In the book series Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, purple is used to represent the seventh and final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This book is the culmination of Harry’s journey and represents the completion of his story.
  • Poet William Butler Yeats uses the number seven in his poem, “The Tower,” to represent the cycle of creation and destruction, with the color purple symbolizing the divine spark that ignites the cycle.
  • Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” uses the color purple to symbolize prosperity and power, which the island’s ruler, Prospero, gains from the purple robes he wears.

Purple Symbolism in Mythology

Throughout mythology, purple is used to represent royalty and divine power. The ancient Greeks associated purple with the god Zeus, and the Romans associated it with the goddess Venus.

The myth of Hercules is often told with purple as a central symbol. According to the legend, Hercules had to slay the Hydra, a many-headed monster, to retrieve a purple shellfish that lived in its lair. The shell was then used to create the color purple, which became associated with Hercules’s valor and royalty.

In Norse mythology, Odin wore a purple cloak that symbolized his wisdom and power. He was known to cloak himself in his purple cape and wander the earth, dispensing knowledge to those he encountered.

Mythology Purple Symbolism
Greek Royalty and divine power
Roman Goddess Venus and royal power
Norse Wisdom and power of Odin

Purple symbolism in literature and poetry offers a broad spectrum of meanings, ranging from divinity and royalty to creativity and deep emotions. Its versatility has allowed it to be used throughout the ages, and it continues to hold a special place in storytelling.

Purple gemstones and their significance

Purple gemstones have been prized for their beauty and significance for centuries. These stunning gems are associated with royalty, nobility, and power. Purple is a color that has long been linked with spirituality, creativity, and wisdom. The use of purple gemstones in jewelry is steeped in history, tradition, and deep symbolism. Here are a few of the most popular purple gemstones and their significance:

  • Amethyst: This beautiful purple gemstone is associated with spiritual growth and wisdom. It is believed to promote peace, calmness, and clarity of thought. Amethyst is also said to help enhance intuition and psychic abilities.
  • Tanzanite: A rare and highly sought-after gemstone, tanzanite is known for its stunning blue-purple hue. It is said to promote communication, self-expression, and spiritual awareness. Tanzanite is also believed to be a stone of transformation, helping to bring about positive change in one’s life.
  • Charoite: This unique and striking purple gemstone is only found in one area of Russia. It is said to help enhance spirituality and promote inner strength and courage. Charoite is also believed to be a stone of transformation and change.

These are just a few of the many beautiful and significant purple gemstones available. Whether you wear them for their beauty or symbolic meaning, purple gemstones are a timeless choice that will never go out of style.

The significance of the number 8 in purple gemstones

While purple gemstones are often associated with spiritual growth, wisdom, and power, the number 8 is also significant in the world of gemstones. In numerology, the number 8 is associated with abundance, success, and wealth. It is said to be a powerful and transformative number that can help bring about positive change and increased prosperity.

When it comes to purple gemstones, the number 8 can be particularly significant. For example, amethyst is often cut into an octagonal shape, which has eight sides. This is said to amplify the stone’s energy and power, making it even more effective at promoting spiritual growth and wisdom. Tanzanite is also often cut into a shape with eight sides, which is said to enhance its transformative properties.

Gemstone Significance of the number 8
Amethyst Cut into an octagonal shape to enhance its spiritual properties
Tanzanite Cut into a shape with eight sides to enhance its transformative properties

Whether you believe in the power of numerology or simply appreciate the beauty of purple gemstones, there is no denying their significance and timeless appeal. From the deep, rich hues of amethyst to the unique beauty of charoite, purple gemstones are a stunning and significant addition to any jewelry collection.

Purple Foods and their Health Benefits

Purple foods are not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye but they also offer some incredible health benefits due to the pigment called anthocyanin, which is responsible for the purple hues we see in fruits and vegetables.

  • Blueberries: Blueberries are one of the most well-known purple foods. They are packed with antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation and improve brain function.
  • Eggplant: Eggplants are rich in fiber and low in calories, making them a great option for those trying to lose weight. They also contain nasunin, a potent antioxidant that protects against cellular damage.
  • Grapes: Grapes are not only tasty, but they are also rich in resveratrol, a compound that has been linked to improved heart health.

Other purple foods include purple potatoes, plums, purple cabbage, and purple carrots. When incorporating purple foods into your diet, you are not only adding flavor and color to your plate, but you are also fueling your body with important nutrients and antioxidants.

In addition to the health benefits, purple foods can also have symbolic meanings in various cultures. For example, in the Western world, purple is often associated with royalty and wealth. In some Asian cultures, purple is considered a symbol of immortality.

Food Health Benefit
Eggplant Protects against cellular damage
Blueberries Reduces inflammation and improves brain function
Grapes Improves heart health

Overall, purple foods offer both physical and symbolic benefits. So next time you’re at the grocery store, consider adding a few purple items to your cart and enjoy the health benefits and aesthetic appeal they have to offer.

Purple as a representation of spirituality and mysticism.

Throughout history, the color purple has been associated with spirituality and mysticism. In ancient times, the dye used to produce the color purple was expensive and difficult to obtain, which made it a symbol of authority and power. But it was also associated with spirituality because many religious figures were depicted wearing purple robes or garments. In fact, purple was the color of choice for the lavish garments worn in religious ceremonies and rituals.

  • Throughout history, purple has been associated with royalty, power, and authority
  • Many religious figures, including bishops and priests, wear purple robes or garments
  • Purple is often used in religious ceremonies and rituals, including weddings and funerals

The Number 10 and Purple

Another symbolic association of purple is with the number 10. In numerology, the number 10 is often associated with completion and perfection. It’s also the sum of the first four numbers, which makes it a powerful number with a lot of energy. The color purple is associated with spiritual energy and higher consciousness, which is why it’s often used in meditation and spiritual practices. When you combine the energy of purple with the power of the number 10, you get a symbol of completion, perfection, and spiritual awakening.

Symbolism of Purple and the Number 10
Completion and Perfection Purple represents completion and perfection, while the number 10 is associated with completion and the end of a cycle.
Spirituality and Mysticism Purple is a powerful color associated with spirituality and higher consciousness, while the number 10 represents spiritual awakening.
Intuition and Inner Wisdom Purple is a color that promotes intuition and inner wisdom, while the number 10 encourages us to trust our intuition and inner guidance.

In summary, the color purple is a powerful symbol of spirituality and mysticism. Its association with the number 10 only enhances its meaning, making it a symbol of completion, perfection, and spiritual awakening. Whether you’re using purple in your meditation practice or simply adding it to your wardrobe, this beautiful color has a lot of spiritual energy and symbolism to offer.

FAQ: What does the colour purple symbolize?

Q: What is the meaning of purple?

A: Purple is a unique colour that represents royalty, luxury, power, and ambition. It has been associated with leaders, kings and queens, and high-ranking officials.

Q: What is the spiritual meaning of purple?

A: Purple is believed to represent spirituality, higher consciousness, and divine energy. It is commonly used as a colour to enhance meditation and is associated with the seventh chakra, also known as the crown chakra.

Q: What does purple represent in psychology?

A: Purple is often associated with creativity, imagination, and intuition. It is said to stimulate the brain and inspire new ideas. It can represent a person’s need for self-expression and individuality.

Q: What does the colour purple represent in nature?

A: In nature, purple is a rare and often elusive colour. It is found in flowers such as lavender, lilac, and iris. It is also present in some fruits such as grapes and blueberries, providing a range of health benefits.

Q: What is the cultural meaning of purple?

A: Purple is a significant colour in many cultures. In ancient Rome, it was a symbol of power and wealth. In Japan, it is associated with wealth and prosperity. It is also a colour of mourning in Thailand and Brazil.

Q: What does a purple aura indicate?

A: A purple aura is associated with spiritual strength, intuition, and creativity. It is believed to represent a person’s ability to connect with the divine and channel their inner energy.

Q: What do purple gemstones symbolize?

A: In the world of gemstones, purple is often associated with amethyst. Amethyst is believed to have healing properties and promote a sense of calmness and balance.

Closing Thoughts

Now that you know what the colour purple symbolizes, you can appreciate its many meanings and uses. Whether you’re looking to add a touch of luxury to your life or enhance your meditation practice, purple is a versatile and powerful colour. Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back for more interesting articles!