I hope Pantone is right. I hope 2018 has us all seeing violet, because we could use some color magic to kick us into a higher state of consciousness.
Earlier this month, The Pantone Color Institute, the authorities in color research, proclaimed Ultra Violet 18-3838 as the 2018 Color of the Year.
Pantone’s Ultra Violet shouldn’t be confused with ultraviolet (UV), which is an electromagnetic radiation that naturally occurs in sunlight. That ultraviolet can’t be seen by most humans and exists just past violet, which is the last color we can detect on the visible spectrum. Fortunately, the color Ultra Violet can be seen and enjoyed, and it affects our psyches in interesting ways.
Violet may not be the first color that comes to mind when you think about 2018 or the lingering state of affairs, but that’s exactly the point. The Pantone Color of the Year isn’t a reflection of our current reality, it’s a reflection of what we desire. Last year’s selection Greenery was about hope, which for many was in short supply. Laurie Pressman, Vice President for the Pantone Color Institute, explained in a webinar that the Color of the Year captures what we feel we need now.
So, let’s take a look at violet and see how it aligns with what we need to move forward. Here are some of the adjectives used during the Pantone webinar to describe Ultra Violet 18-3838:
It was also associated with these concepts:
Color affects us in many ways, penetrating deep into our subconscious. Seeing color isn’t just a physiological process, it’s also an emotional, psychological and biological process.
The color violet is at the end of the visible spectrum of light. It’s similar to purple but it has its own spectral color and set of wavelengths. Violet has the highest vibration and the shortest wavelength on the visible spectrum, which makes it symbolically powerful.
All energy radiates at a certain frequency, and violet’s high vibration can lift us up. Think of higher vibrations as good vibrations. The lower the vibration, the denser, more weighed down and stuck we feel. I don’t know about you, but the idea of becoming unstuck makes me want to paint my whole world violet.
In the chakra system, which is used by many spiritual practitioners, violet is the color associated with the crown chakra. The crown chakra is at the top of the head and represents access to higher states of consciousness and universal wisdom.
Violet, with its high frequency and short wavelength, exists on the outer limits or boundaries of our human knowledge and perception. As you might remember from your science classes, the greater the energy, the larger the frequency and the shorter the wavelength. Shorter wavelengths are used to carry more information and data. We might not be able to see all this electromagnetic data that’s swirling around us, but it still affects us. For example, we can’t see ultraviolet, UV, but we know it affects our skin through things like sunburns.
From a color perspective, violet is our portal to the electromagnetic spectrum that we can’t see. It’s our last stop before the mysterious, hidden and unknown fields of energy and existence.
There is a reality, beyond the one we can sense, and there may be answers there. It’s appropriate that Pantone named the color Ultra Violet as a nod to what exists just beyond the color violet in an electromagnetic field that we’re physiologically blind to.
There’s something else that’s really cool about violet. We don’t perceive it as fixed. It appears to change color depending on the colors that surround it. It can lean warm or cool depending on what’s placed next to it. As Pressman explained, “it takes on a different appearance in different materials and can take us in different directions.”
Violet is intriguing and a little hard to pin down. It may not be the most popular color on the spectrum, but it’s quite a powerful hue. As humans we tend to prefer things that are settled, tangible and accessible. We want reassurances, proof and results. We may desire security, but we’re surrounded by mystery. Maybe that’s exactly why we crave the material world, because we can sense it, connect with it and understand it.
Right now, many are questioning the current reality and wondering what’s next. How can we sustain our current systems? Where will technology take us? Are we seeing the bigger picture? Are we in a big cage, or part of some matrix we can’t readily perceive? Are our human senses limiting our experience of a broader reality? They’re all profound questions that point us in a deeply philosophical and spiritual direction.
Maybe, just maybe, violet can help guide us as we seek to know more, and to gain access to deeper understanding. And maybe 2018 will be the year we begin to collectively access unimagined possibilities, magic and an appreciation for the energy we can’t see, touch, hear, taste or smell. We can hope. We can believe. And, we can try to push our boundaries and stop conforming to our limitations. Let’s embrace violet and see what happens, shall we?