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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Color Symbolism

This article was written by Corinne Kenner on May 12, 2009
posted under Color Symbolism

[Editor’s Note: The colors on Tarot cards often communicate meanings without the use of words. Here are the attributions given by Corinne Kenner, author of Tarot for Writers.]

Black: The color of night, it is linked to darkness and sleep, when our consciousness fades and our unconscious thoughts and emotions take control of our dreams. Black is mysterious. It can even be elegant and authoritative. Black is also the color of mourning, depression, darkness, and anxiety, and it can symbolize the darker forces of nature, like upheaval and destruction.

Blue: Like the sea and the sky, blue symbolizes depth and clam, a tranquil environment for meditation and reflection.

Brown: The color of bare earth, it symbolizes the potential of fallow soil. It can represent grounding, stability, and practicality. Brown can also symbolize poverty and dirt.

Gray: A mixture of black and white, it is the color of shadows and shade, along with fog. It can symbolize depression and confusion, or simply a steady drizzle.

Green: The color of nature, growth, healing and fertility. It symbolizes creativity and prosperity. In the United States, green is the color of money and financial success. Green can also symbolize envy, jealousy, and greed.

Indigo: Like the midnight heavens, indigo symbolizes cosmic mysteries. For those who find themselves lost in its inky depths, indigo inspires contemplation, wisdom, spiritual realization, and cosmis wisdom.

Orange: Like a blazing fire or a sunset on a tropical island, orange symbolizes the flames of desire and burning passions. Orange typically represents vitality and enjoyment, vigor, physical health, enthusiasm and enjoyment.

Pink: A lighter shade of red, pink indicates passions that have cooled—or an interest still blushing into existence. Shades of pink and rose are soothing, calming, and symbolize acceptance, friendship, forgiveness, love, romance, peace and hormony.

Red: The color of wine or blood, it symbolizes passion, love, and sex. Red is also the color of Mars, the planet of energy and aggression. It can represent danger, anger, and alarm.

Silver: The color of the moon, it symbolizes reflection.

Violet: The traditional color of royalty, it symbolizes leadership and divinity, as well as luxury, wealth, and sophistication.

White: Like the clouds, white symbolizes innocence, pure spirituality, intuition, and psychic ability. It can also seem sterile, cold, clinical, and easily marred.

Yellow: Like the Sun, yellow symbolizes energy, clear thinking, and consciousness. Yellow is also the color of Mercury, the planet of speed and communication. Yello represents optimism, radiance, and brilliance. Yellow can sometimes symbolize cowardice and weakness.

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