In cultures around the world, different colors have different meanings. Hot pink and black are a popular color combination in the Western world, whether for everyday wear or for dressier occasions. Different symbolism is associated with each color.
In most Native American cultures, black is one of the four sacred colors, associated with the direction west. The sun sets in the west every night, which means black is associated with problems and sometimes death. But it also represents introspection and self-examination, as night is a time for inner thoughts and a quiet respite from the business of the day.
Pink, while not commonly associated with the sacred colors, represents creativity and hard work. It is a blend of the sacred red and white—red representing dawn and the east, as well as blood and success; white representing the south and warmth, as well as peace and happiness.
In Japan, black is the color of mystery and night. Many Japanese traditions associate black with femininity and the female nature. Some see the female nature as a threat, a potentially evil power, while others see it as alluring and provocative.
Pink, on the other hand, is the color of childish innocence, of purity and youth. However, the pink blossoms of the cherry tree also represent the Japanese warriors who fell in battle right at the prime of their lives.
In India, black represents anger and inertia--even evil. Because of its connection with evil, however, black can also be worn and used to ward off evil spirits. If a child or a particularly lovely young woman is going out in public, she may use a black dot on her chin to ward off the evil eye, thought to be invoked by others who are jealous.
Pink is associated with reflectivity and cooling. Jaipur, India, is known as the Pink City, because almost all of its buildings are painted in shades of pink. Legend has it that a simpleton in the Raja’s court insulted the visiting Prince of Wales, calling him a “pink-faced monkey.” In order to apologize and prove his honest intentions toward the Prince, the Raja ordered the entire city painted pink.
In modern magical traditions such as Wicca or other forms of Paganism, colors play an important symbolic part in the rituals. They can be burned in candles, or worn during a ceremony to invoke certain images or energy. Black is used in most rituals as a binding color, used to prevent someone from doing harm, either to himself or to others. It can also be used for personal protection or to repel negative energy.
Pink appears in many love spells, as it is the color of romance and affection (not to be confused with red, the color of passion and lust). Pink is also used in spells of planetary goodwill to heal or protect the earth, and as a spell for nurturing young children or growing plants.
In modern fashion, you can find some of the same associations with each color. Black often represents stability or conservatism, because it is worn to work or on serious occasions. Because it is the color worn at funerals, black can represent death. It appears as a symbol of “bad guys” and rebellion.
Pink is a warm, fun color that represents love and romance. It is often worn on Valentine’s Day and is a popular choice of color in the roses given on that day, too. However, hot pink can be rebellious as well, especially when combined with black; it is a popular color combination among the punk crowd.
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Ellen Goodlett has been a writer since 1999. Her work has been published in the "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" and "Nimbus" magazine. Goodlett holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and languages from Bryn Mawr College.