Radiant Orchid is the color of the year for 2014 as declared by the Pantone Color Institute. With feng shui eyes, we see a specific and intensely bright purple, and we associate it with the Tao of nature. Orchids are nature’s finest flowers, indigenous to tropical habitats. In the wild they grow as air plants, hiding away from direct sunlight in the dense foliage of rainforests. The oxymoron of something radiant but hiding alludes to the enigma of the color purple.
Purple is the most mysterious of all colors. Purple or violet light is not visible to the eye, but the combination of magenta and blue creates the color that has deep associations with what is not known or above the common experience. On the visual spectrum, purple vibrates at a slower rate than blue and therefore is among the most difficult to see, yet it is a combination of red (the longest wave) and blue (the next shortest one). Since it draws from the extremes, purple remains in the realm of the enigmatic.
People with a preference for purple many times have an uncommon orientation. Artists or those who “think out of the box” are often involved with this color. Purple has been associated with royalty, nobility, church officials and professors with advanced degrees. Teenagers are prone to choose purple because it underscores their personal search for uniqueness.
Historically, purple has always been a difficult and costly color with numerous drawbacks in the dyeing process. Purple used to be derived from mollusks and seashells, creatures that hide in a shell. As with orchids, it was nature’s way of hiding the most precious component of the color spectrum. Thousands of mollusk shells were needed to color just one robe.
After centuries of time-consuming and labor-intensive methods of producing the natural dye, William Perkin accidentally discovered “Mauveine,” the first of aniline dyes in his makeshift home lab. “Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World,” tells the story of this experiment. Since then, the brilliance, intensity and resistance to fading have been the attributes of this newfound pigment during the “Mauve Decade (1890s),” also known as “The Gay Nineties.”
In our year of conflict and contradictions brought on by the fiery wood horse, radiant orchid is a visual manifestation of contrasts and extremes with a hidden message to stay calm and cool in the midst of unpredictable developments.
To achieve the feng shui objectives of harmony and balance, we recommend using radiant orchid as a subtle surprise or to add pizzazz to drab surroundings:
- Harness the Tao of nature for your wealth corner with a blooming purple orchid and lucky bamboo.
- This combination creates focal points of beneficial energy.
- Buds and blooms harbor a promise for more, and slender stalks of bamboo add rising and expanding energy.
- Add pizzazz to your living room with pillows and throws in radiant orchid.
- Or add radiant orchid to your personal style with lipsticks, undies, shawls or pins.
- Eat purple cabbage, purple grapes and enhance your platters with radiant orchid blossoms (they are edible).
- Look for the hidden mysteries of earth in gemstones with sparkling facets of amethyst or a purple tint in Tahitian pearls.
The visual use of purple is to be treated with great care. A too deeply saturated purple can be unnerving, uninviting or even depressing. Consider using radiant orchid as the non-dominant color for accessorizing and for uncommon venues or to emphasize out-of-the-ordinary events.
Radiant orchid blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, radiant orchid emanates great joy, love and health.