Tarot decks are often very colorful and ornate with artwork befitting a showing in the most pristine and high-end galleries. There are a few decks published known as “black and whites” which are devoid of all other colors and there are some that are monochromatic with only two or three colors (such as a red, white, and black deck). But, for the most part the images on Tarot decks are very colorful and colors are very important as they immediately conjure of feelings, memories, emotions and moods in us.
Typically, if it is depicted in the image it has meaning for the Querant, the Readers, or the meaning of the card and knowing the color correspondences to certain symbols or depictions of items can be a valuable tool in learning to read the cards. Even though the colors definitely need to be paid attention to, keep in mind that not every color of every little thing s going to mean something.
For example the color of ordinary clothing might not have any meaning whereas the color of a wedding dress of funeral garb might. The ground being a lighter brown or green then in another card or deck might also not mean anything. Think instead of examples where a symbol is not colored the stereotypical color such as a black or green heart instead of red.
The following is a list of colors and what they typically mean, but in all areas of divination utilizing symbols there is a “Universal Meaning” and a “Personal Meaning.” The Universal Meaning is what is generally accepted by society to be true and the Personal Meaning is what that symbol (or color, in this case) evokes in you.
Black: typically a color representing evil, bad luck, sin, violence, death and evil. On the flip side it can also indicate an air of sophistication and elegance. Black also as esoteric meanings of darkness, power, secrets and magic.
Blue: a cool color representing ice, water, the sky, winter, and cold. Typically it is also used to describe someone who is sad or depressed but it is also known to be a color of calming influences, magic and truth. Thought of as a “boy” color for infants, it is a color often used for police so also a color of safety and security.
Brown: a color of stability, grounding, humility, and indigenous people or things. It is also a color of earth, soil, nature and wood.
Green: a color used to represent recycling, nature or the environmental movement; it also commonly represents health, growth, movement, luck, money, hope, and youthfulness. On a more pessimistic level it is a color of sickness, greed, envy and inexperience.
Grey: typically a color of neutrality and contentment. However, it can have less desirous traits such as pessimism, depression, blandness or boredom, old age, something that is undefined, and foggy or stormy weather. The color of ashes, it can also depict mourning and repentance.
Metal Colors (gold, silver, copper, and bronze): for obvious reasons, these colors represent wealth, money, riches, prosperity, finances, and abundance. In Wiccan-Pagan practices, gold represents the male deity and the sun, and silver is a color of the moon and female deities.
Orange: can often mean luck or creativity, amusement, something unconventional, and activity. In some aspects it is a warning or to indicate danger (think of orange road construction signs or cones) and can also indicate importance, determination, desire, compassion, endurance and optimism.
Pink: a color used to represent baby girls, the dawn, awareness, calmness, fairies, beauty, cuteness, glamour and friendship,
Purple: represents the twilight hours, vanity, wealth, privilege, royalty, piety, nobility, religion, faith and spiritual awareness. It is also a psychic color and indicates a heightened awareness of psyche or psychic gifts
Red: a color used for danger, a warning or to stop. Also a color used to describe someone who is very angry but it is also a color of fire, heat, and energy. Because our blood is red it is also a color of health, hearts, life, and blood. It can also indicate passion, beauty, seduction, sexuality, happiness, sacrifice and martyrdom.
White: an all-purpose color for piety, innocence, perfection, goodness, loyalty, honesty, cleanliness, newness, neutrality or surrendering, light, nobility, emptiness, protection, angels, heaven, snow, peace, life, softness, freshness, something new, sterility, and purity.
Yellow: a happy color representing sunshine, summertime, pleasure, warmth, hope and fun. In some instances it can mean reason, optimism, friendship, hope and imagination. Adversely it can mean jealousy, envy, betrayal, cowardice, warning, caution, and a warning to go slow.
This article is a revised and shortened version of “Top 20 Tarot Myths” as seen in the book “365 Tarot Articles” which is published independently through Create Space (www.createspace.com) by the author of this article.