The Tarot cards, known as “the library of nature’s mysteries”, are not a fixed type of cards. There are many different types and the front and back of tarot cards are dazzling. When doing divination, we will read the tarot cards through the steps of “meditation→drawing cards→reading→interpretation→foretelling the future”, the whole process is mysterious and rigorous. However, although many people focus on the card faces, they rarely pay attention to the information presented by the different colors in tarot cards. In fact, professional Tarot diviners or scholars will combine color psychology with the cards, and then analyze and reveal the mystery.
The different color meanings in tarot also have a special importance in occult science. And the most important of them are red, yellow and blue. They are not only the 3 colors in CMYK (ink plates used in card color printing) but also the 3 fundamental particles that were once considered to be decomposed from photons in particle physics. In addition to these three primary colors, other colors can correspond to the ten primaries of the Tree of Life (Kabbalah), each of which has its own unique color group.
Whether it is a traditional tarot deck or a custom tarot card, its complex card faces make flexible use of various colors. The colorful tarot cards occupy an important place and give the tarot cards themselves a deeper meaning. However, few tarot beginners or enthusiasts will systematically sort out the tarot color correspondences between them, or go into the careful study of color psychology and tarot cards. Next, WJPC will explain 12 meanings of different colors represented in the tarot deck.
The Most Important Colors In Tarot Cards
- Red tarot cards
Red means enthusiasm, energy, blood, action, bravery, charm, aggressiveness, anger, and change.
- In tarot interpretation, red represents the elements of Fire, Mercury, Mars, and the Wands.
- The red color symbolizes passion for life, raw energy, and impulse, and is the reason why the lion in the Strength card is painted red. There is also the Empire sitting on a red chair, representing abundance; the Emperor card is also one of the red tarot cards, symbolizing strength and fortitude.
2. Yellow tarot cards
Yellow signifies brightness, wisdom, confidence, hardship, deception, and timidity. Yellow in tarot symbolizes the wind element and brings together the energy of the sun. Yellow skies are more common than blue skies in Tarot, and if a yellow sun appears it will have important symbolic tarot card meanings.
The combination of yellow and different colors will present a superior level of tarot cards meaning, and directly reaching the highest meaning of the Tree of Life. For example, the join with yellow and red expresses the mind and the will; the unite with yellow and blue conveys the mystery and retrospection of the subconscious.
3. Blue tarot cards
Blue signifies calmness, truth, spirituality, calmness, loyalty, coldness, melancholy, and depression. The blue color in tarot cards displays the element of water and symbolizes the attitude of the subconscious mind. Like the Hermit, the Star, and the Moon are all painted with the blue sky. And the characters wearing blue represent an attitude of introspection and a subconscious act.
Other Key Tarot Colors
- White tarot cards
White itself tells fidelity, purity, simplicity, holiness, soul, virtue, and simplicity. It is very common for tarot decks to have white clothes or white flowers, such as Strength, the High Priestess, and Temperance. These roles are wearing white robes, which represent purity and nobility. Besides:
- White declares the open-source of many things and is singular in nature. White can embrace and merge all colors, and in the Tree of Life (Kabbalah), white is the symbol of supremacy, and also the creator of all things in the world.
- White symbolizes the bright light of the moon and is the representative color for women. White is purity and rebirth, especially the white rose in the Death card, which expresses that the heart will change or be reborn after passing through darkness.
Unlike other colors, white can be combined with many colors and also speaks different psychology and tarot reading meanings. The following are common join in tarot card design:
1）White & Black tarot cards
The group of white and black represents a special meaning in the Western Mystery System like the white and black stone pillars behind the High Priestess often appear in tarot cards. Among them, the black stone pillar says passivity, and the white stone pillar says initiative. They are an absolute existence, with contradictions and symbiosis. The High Priestess sits in the middle of them, symbolizing the mixture of energies and balance.
2）White & Red tarot cards
The unite of white and red is commonly found in clothes or flowers. Red represents enthusiasm and activity, unlike the active represented by white in White & Black tarot cards, when it is combined with red, it becomes passive. For instance, the white in the Temperance card represents breast milk and the red represents blood. And the mixture of the two is a sexual innuendo usually.
Black itself signifies death, ignorance, evil, despair, eternity, silence, mystery, and denial. Different from white, black is a single color that cannot be combined with other colors. Traditional Tarot cards show darkness less often such as Death and the Devil, and many use a black sky with stars to indicate harmony, or the effect of cosmic movement on us.
3. Grey tarot cards
Gray signifies balance, neutrality, penitence, coldness, solitude, reconciliation, sadness, and hardness. Gray is used very infrequently in Tarot cards and does not have any special meaning of tarot cards. It usually indicates misfortune, and gloom, and symbolizes an unhealthy, unpositive perception.
4. Brown tarot cards
Brown means stability, reality, the earth, humility, stillness, frustration, and sadness. Brown has a small probability of appearing in Tarot cards too and symbolizes a connection with the earth, a practical act, such as Eight of Pentacles.
5. Orange tarot cards
Orange represents joy, vitality, positivity, initiative, and pride. The orange in the tarot stands for the Wands and the element of Fire. For example, Knight of Wands is a mixture of yellow (Wind) and red (Fire) to form the golden orange color.
6. Green tarot cards
Green speaks nature, vitality, spring, healing, hope, jealousy, and slowness. Green in tarot represents the Earth element and the active growth of life. Like in tarot cards, the plant in Queen of Pentacles represents living creatures.
7. Purple tarot cards
Purple signifies mystery, royalty, dignity, wisdom, power, magnificence, remorse. Purple is used infrequently in tarot decks, such as the purple grapes on the King of Pentacles’ clothes, symbolizing luxury, kingship, and nobility.
Plus, the Devil tarot card also has purple elements, such as the female tail chained by shackles, which is a bunch of grapes in the King of Pentacles, indicating that if you are immersed in materialistic desires, the shackles of matter will chain you to the Devil. But purple can also sometimes symbolize mystery and spirituality, surrounded by a sense of justice. In other more modern tarot cards or custom tarot decks, we can see purple being used extensively.
8. Pink tarot cards
Pink denotes sensitivity, love, sorrow, friendship, and beauty. Pink is rarely found in list of tarot cards, with the exception of The Cups in the Minor Arcana. Pink generally overshadows purple, suggesting joy in spiritual relationships. A pink lotus flower on the water, as in the Ace of Cups, symbolizes the satisfaction of money and power.
9. Rainbow-colored tarot cards
Rainbow color is a compound color. You may ask what does the rainbow mean in tarot cards? For that matter, the rainbow in the sky of Ten of Cups represents abundance, happiness, and situations that often occur in life.
Since ancient times, many people have believed that colors have some kind of magical power. Even the earliest tarot cards, such as the Rider-Waite tarot cards and the Marseilles tarot cards, are richly colorful tarot decks. When you buy or print custom tarot cards, it is best to also look closely and think about the colors and meanings of each card face, as these colors reflect their elemental energies and provide us with the mood or atmosphere that accompanies the cards. However, the color symbolism in the tarot above is not necessarily absolute. In modern tarot or custom oracle cards, the color choices may also be purely aesthetic, personal, or follow other systems.