How to interpret the colours of the Tarot


How to interpret the colours of the Tarot

Without colour the world would be pretty black and white with perhaps a few boring shades of grey . . .yawn . . . who’d really want to live in a world like that eh?

Colour is a form of energetic expression for Spirit, thus colour can easily trigger your intuition to receive messages from the other realms. Most modern Tarot decks use a range of colours to emphasis the archetypical energy of the cards.

Older decks, such as The Tarot of Marseilles used the primary 3 colours: blue, red, and yellow.  A large majority of the cards in The Rider-Waite Smith Tarot have either a blue, yellow, grey, or black background. Nothing is a coincidence in the divination world!


Example: The Emperor 
Even though the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot deck was created at the turn of the 20th century, not much has changed regarding colour interpretation. Why did Pamela Coleman Smith, the artist of the deck use different shades of red when she painted The Emperor’s clothing? Why not blue or yellow?


Well, probably because red is a colour often associated with power, passion, and confidence. Like everything in life there is a yin and yang balance, thus the colour red also has a shadow side: aggression, danger, and conflict. I use the shadow interpretation of the colours when I am reading the cards in the reversed position.

The Emperor is a strong influential leader who has gained wisdom and knowledge through years of experience. The colour red suits the strong, masculine archetype energy of The Emperor, who is an authority figure.


Tarot & Colour Interpretation 

Colour interpretation is influenced by factors, such as culture, personal experience, and by the geography of where people live. 

Reading the Tarot using colour interpretation is one of the most intuitive ways to receive messages and a great place for new readers to begin.

I personally feel that it’s important for a reader of the Tarot to find their own interpretation of each colour, as Spirit has its unique way of communicating to each of us based on our personal experiences on Earth.

Start your journey of colour interpretation by making a list of all the colours you can think of and then write down at least 3 to 5 adjectives to describe each colour.

Don’t over think the meaning of each card, go with the first words you get to describe each colour. You will notice that your colour interpretation of the cards will change over time, as you develop and grow!

As you start to associate specific meanings with each colour, you can use my colour meanings chart below as a reference guide. Please note that there is no right or wrong way to interpret the meanings of each colour. 

Meanings of Colors in Tarot Cards

Your knowledge of colour meanings can be applied to not only the Tarot, but also other forms of divination. Thus, knowledge is wealth. 

As you keep applying your wisdom of colours, you will start to create a story using the colours in the cards and trigger your psyche is ways that you never had before!

Love & Blessings,

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About The School of Gypsy Arts

Sharron weaves together her personal experiences and teachings from Paganism, Core Shamanism and other traditions to create unique experiential workshops & events. She is a six sensory intuitive guide, meditation facilitator, certified crystal healer, reader of the Tarot & Tea Leaves.

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