Many people report seeing colors when they close their eyes, even when not meditating. These colors can appear as swirls, blobs, dots, or consistent flashes. Some also see shapes, geometric patterns, or images. What causes this phenomenon and what is the spiritual meaning behind the colors we see? This guide explores the mystical interpretations.

What Causes Us to See Colors With Eyes Closed?

Seeing colors, lights, or images when your eyes are closed is called phosphene. The most common causes are:

  • Mechanical pressure – Rubbing your eyes can stimulate the retina and optic nerve, causing phosphene colors and lights. These tend to be short-lived.
  • Neural excitation – Random firing of neurons can activate parts of the visual system in your brain without external visual input. These signals get interpreted as colors and lights.
  • Brain cortex excitation – Stress, lack of oxygen, low blood sugar, migraines, head trauma, and some medications can over-excite neurons in the brain cortex, the part responsible for processing sight.

Phosphene from these causes tends to disappear when you open your eyes. However, some people see persistent colors and visual snow in the dark after these events due to disrupted cells in the visual system.

Spiritual Causes and Meanings of Closed-Eye Visuals

Beyond scientific explanations, many believe seeing colors with eyes closed has spiritual origins and meanings:

Chakra activation – Each of the 7 chakras corresponds to a color frequency. When we meditate, our chakras become stimulated, which we may perceive as colors related to the active chakra. For example, blue and purple lights are linked to the third eye and crown chakras.

Pineal gland activation – This small gland in our brains produces melatonin and regulates sleep. Esoteric traditions call it our “third eye” that allows us to receive mystical visions and intuit hidden truths about the cosmos. Seeing bright lights and geometric patterns is thought to be the awakening of our pineal gland and its opening to other dimensions.

Communication from spirit guides – According to psychic mediums, seeing meaningful symbols or images while your eyes are closed can be your spirit guides attempting to send you messages or warnings from beyond the physical world. Pay attention to any symbols you see repeatedly or that elicit emotional reactions.

Astral projection – Also called an out-of-body experience, astral projection is when your soul leaves your physical body and enters the astral realm. This is often accompanied by seeing your physical body from above, flying, or passing through objects. The astral plane appears as a hyper-real dreamworld full of lights and colors.

Premonition dreams – Prophetic visions and lucid dreams will sometimes break into our awareness even while awake and with eyes closed as flashes of insight. Pay attention to any symbolic images that come to you spontaneously – they may offer guidance or reveal events yet to come.

Common Colors and Their Spiritual Meanings

Here are some of the more frequent colors seen behind closed eyelids and their potential spiritual interpretations:


Red corresponds to the root chakra located at the base of the spine that grounds us in the physical world. Seeing red with eyes closed may indicate unresolved issues related to:

  • Physical body or survival
  • Safety and security needs
  • Financial stability
  • Family, tribe, homeland


Orange matches the sacral chakra, our center of creativity, sexuality, and emotions. Orange light visions relate to:

  • Creative talents and artistic expression
  • Relationships and sensuality
  • Flow of feelings and energy
  • Fertility, reproduction and new life


This bright and joyful color links to the solar plexus chakra of personal power and self-esteem. Yellow light experiences signal:

  • Confidence, courage, and empowerment
  • Manifesting goals and prosperity
  • Career and passion in life
  • Intellect and communication


The heart chakra, source of love, compassion, and relationships, resonates at green frequencies. Green lights may indicate:

  • Love, romance, friendship issues
  • Need to forgive, heal relationships
  • Peace, balance and renewal
  • Connection to nature and animals


Blue represents the throat chakra, related to communication, truth, wisdom, and creativity. Seeing blue may mean:

  • Improved self-expression and insight
  • Desire to speak, write, or create
  • Inspiration and intuition
  • Soothing emotions or compulsions


Visions of purple correlate to the third eye chakra linked with intuition, imagination, and seeing beyond ordinary perception. The color purple signals:

  • Psychic abilities activating
  • Visionary experiences opening
  • Need to trust intuition and insights
  • Spiritual awakening occurring


The crown chakra at the top of the head connects us to cosmic energy and the divine. White or golden light behind eyes suggests:

  • Becoming aware of a higher power
  • Opening to mystical states and enlightenment
  • Angelic or ancestor presence
  • Universal truth and oneness

Tips for Interpreting Closed-Eye Visuals

  • Take note of when and where you see lights or colors most frequently – is there a pattern or trigger?
  • Notice if they occur alongside other phenomena like headaches, buzzing sounds, numbness, or emotion. These may provide clues to the meaning.
  • Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings in the moment when you perceive colors. Our subconscious will use visualization to send us messages we need in that moment.
  • Notice if you see a clear image vs abstract shapes and colors. Clear images often have more specific meaning vs a general mood.
  • Keep a dream journal. Colors and visions that come while awake may connect to your dream themes and symbols.
  • Meditate on the colors and ask for clarity. See if any insight arises as you reflect deeply on your experiences.
  • Look up the metaphysical meaning of the color, symbols, numbers, or shapes you saw. What you find may confirm your intuition.
  • Talk to someone knowledgeable about energy, dreams, or mysticism to get an outside perspective.

In most cases, the colors we perceive with eyes closed carry positive meaning – whether scientific, spiritual, or psychic in origin. They can guide us, reveal truths about ourselves, open mystical sensitivity, or just indicate our brains having a light show! With attention and intuition, we can find the personal meaning behind these visions.

When to Seek Help for Visual Disturbances

While most closed-eye colors and lights are harmless, in some cases they may indicate an underlying medical condition requiring treatment:

  • Flashing lights, zigzag lines, blurry vision, and blind spots can signal retinal damage or ocular migraines – see an optometrist.
  • Visual snow after head injury may indicate damage to visual processing parts of the brain – see a neurologist.
  • Distorted shapes and colors paired with headaches or fever can result from infections, seizures or tumors – see a doctor.
  • Halos around lights, vision loss, and eye pain may indicate glaucoma – see an ophthalmologist immediately.

Seeking medical advice can rule out serious illness. If all checks out fine, you can feel confident bright lights and mystical colors are part of your spiritual awakening. Stay mindful, keep a record of your experiences, and use the messages behind your closed-eye visions to grow on your journey.

Kash is a talented 3D artist who has worked at Apple and Splash Damage, and many other projects within the Games Industry. He also loves to blog about spirituality. He is the co-founder of Spiritual Unite, where he combines his business and spiritual Interest to inspire others.

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