We all know red as the first color of the rainbow, but it is also among the most potent colors used in magic. It is not by any means a “neutral” color, and can provoke strong impressions, both positive and negative, depending on its context. On the one hand, red roses are symbolic of love and passion, and are generally thought to be pleasing by those who give and receive them. On the other hand, the phrase “seeing red” describes feelings of anger and rage. Red is not a subtle color, to say the least! At the most basic physical level, red relates to survival. It is the color of blood and of a healthy human heart. Red is also associated with the root chakra, which relates to issues of instinct, safety, survival, and boundaries.
As such, red is associated with vitality and strength, good health, and the will to do what is necessary to survive and thrive. This color is appropriate for magic related to physical healing and raising one’s physical energy, as well as to motivation, willpower, ambition, and determination. Anything that contributes to basic security, such as business deals, career goals, or the acquisition of a home can benefit from red’s magical energies. Red can also assist with issues requiring courage, fast action, leadership, and strength. It helps with confidence and self-esteem, and can help increase your personal vibrancy so that you stand out in a group.
Red’s very masculine energy can be harnessed for workings related to lust and male sexual potency, as well as matters involving conflict or competition. Yet this color is also associated with the energies of joy, birth, celebration and renewal. And of course, red is the quintessential color of passion—whether related to romance, sex, a favorite hobby or pursuit, a social cause, or anything else you feel passionate about.
Red candles can add a “quickening” power to spellwork in general, but are particularly potent in spellwork related to any of the matters listed above. Red is a color of Fire and can be used in ritual to represent this Element. Astrologically, red is associated with the signs of Aries and Scorpio and the planet Mars. Its cardinal direction is South.