Colour Green and Tarot

Colour Green and Tarot

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“Green Party stands aside in crucial seats to help keep Conservatives out”, such a headline by the Independent in regards to the General elections here in the UK grabbed my attention.
Not because I am involved with politics as such, (although the genius of Diane Abbott recently was anything but entertaining but, at the same time scary) but, because it made me think of the colour green and its symbolism.

Green smoothieGreen is generally regarded as the colour of hope, longevity, strength and eternal youth.
Green is often a colour chosen to represent harmony, balance and tranquillity (a green room can help inspiration and creative expression).

Eating your greens or drinking a green smoothie is supposed to keep you healthy too 🙂

forestIn modern times, green is traditionally the colour of the pharmacist (linking to the natural world and the power of plants to heal), the environmentalists (Greenpeace comes to mind) and the green parties (protection of mother earth).

planet-and-treeGreen energy (protecting the environment and nature) have grabbed headlines for decades and in more recent times, with the US concentrating on fossil fuels instead of alternatives.

faerie-and-absintheDuring the middle ages, green was seen as the colour of madness and evil, and green beverages were seen as the drink of the Fools. This belief continued during into nineteenth century France with the infamous Absinthe also called “La liqueur des Fous” (the liquor of the Fools).

It was believed that a green fairy lived in the bottle and had the power to take away sanity.

Famous artists became intoxicated with the beverage and lost their sanity, like Vincent Van Gogh who cut off his own ear under the influence of Absinthe and the poet Paul Verlaine who shot his lover, the poet Arthur Rimbaud, in his hand while drunk with Absinthe.

Green is also associated with greed/jealousy and envy (hence the expression, green with envy).

water-lilyGreen is also the colour of the heart chakra 🙂

Green-colourColour green in the tarot (Radiant Rider Waite)
The Fool wears a green tunic and a green crown suggesting his inspiration and hope to discover the world and showing his youthful nature.

Justice wears a green cape suggesting a calm approach and balance/harmony to render her verdict.

In the suit of Wands, the man in the 7 of Wands wears a green shirt, battling for his ideals, suggesting the idea of strength.
The merchant in the 3 of Wands has a green scarf over his shoulders, showing strength and harmony. The horse on the 6 of Wands has a green cover showing harmony in success.
The king of Wands has a green scarf showing his strength and balance containing the fire within.
Notice that all the people in the suit of Wands with green garments had to take some risks in order to be successful and even with success, one has to keep going to be at the top of their game!

Interestingly, in both the 2 of Pentacles and 6 of Pentacles, the people at the centre of the cards wear green shoes or boots, emphasising the idea of balance (at least trying to balance money in the 2 of Pentacles with the green loop as well, and the balance of charity in the 6 of Pentacles).

Both the Page and the Queen of Pentacles wear green garments to emphasise their connection to nature and healing.

Finally, the figure in the foreground of the 5 of Swords wears a green tunic.

This time green is seen as evil/madness as the figure has taken away the weapons from the other people, leaving them raw and defeated.

Notice that one of the figures has a green sleeve, over a yellow tunic, suggesting that healing will need to take place on the intellect (colour yellow) and that the best course of action is to leave the charged situation behind.

There is probably more green to be seen in the RW, particularly trees, laurel leaves, flowers etc., which is the connection to nature.

And don’t forget, drink or eat your greens 😉

Oephebia

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Colour black and the Tarot

Colour black and the Tarot

Today is 20th January 2017; an historical date in the making

For some people it is a black day  as Donald Trump is going to occupy the White House for the next 4 years (here some of you will notice a reference to the High Priestess with the black and white colours)

If you love dolphins, today is a black day too as the infamous cove in Taiji – Japan has over 200 & awaiting their fate (a life of captivity or being killed for food)

Perspective is what will make a black day for some, and a wonderful day for others

The colour black often generates an impression of doom and gloom (unless you are a Goth, then black is the only colour)

Seriously though, let’s have a closer look at the colour black and why it is found is some tarot cards. Let’s discuss the Rider Waite tarot as it is widely available worldwide.

Black represents nothingness and chaos. Symbolically the colour of mourning and Death

Black is also the colour of mysteries, the night, the intuition, the unknown, the primitive instincts and the unconscious

In Christianity, black is seen as the colour of renunciation of the vanities of the world (black being traditionally the colour of the devil and temptation), hence the black cloak of priests and nuns.

In ancient Egypt, black was seen as the colour of fertility because it was associated with the womb of mother earth

Black is also linked with evil (yep the Devil card) or what Jung calls our dark shadow.

Black represents horribleness and disaster, we used terms like black magic, blackmail, black market etc. to emphasise the ideas of forbidden deeds or evilness…..the Devil card often indicates all the excesses our human nature is capable of (sex, drugs and rock and roll kind of thing).

Colour black in the tarot

The Devil card in the Rider Waite is depicted with a black sky emphasising the idea of chaos and evil, notice the couple chained as they have surrendered their free will to the Devil.

Although a dramatic card, the devil is not about hairy monster hidden under the bed, but rather a card showing that sometimes we are imprisoned because of fear, or beliefs and we do not realise that we can walk free and ditch the wrong love, the wrong job, the wrong people and move on!

Another card, The Tower talks about chaos and disaster with a menacing black sky and lightning destroying the ego.
The card which influence the Tower (number XVI) is the Devil (number XV).

The free will that could still be used with the Devil is now totally redundant and the Tower will act as a messy spring cleaner, removing the illusion found in the Devil.

A black day for the two figures plunging to their death or a massive headache 😉

A skeleton with a black armour and a black banner is also found in the Death.Card.Although bearing a name which makes people uncomfortable, the Death card is actually showing that a cycle has come to an end, and it is time to embrace the new and to move on.

The skeleton with his black armour could be seen as a knight in shining armour, rescuing the damsel in distress (you) and taking you away from a situation which is stagnant (the card before Death, is major arcana 12, the Hanged Man).

In that respect, the colour black is about the mysteries of what may come, our primitive instincts (we are creatures of habits and sometimes changes is very unwelcome) and our strange anxiety about the unknown!

The five of cups (Rider Waite) shows a figure in mourning, wearing a black clock, showing us that sometimes we can be stuck in our own feelings instead of looking to the future.

I call this card the drama queen of the tarot as sometimes we feel so wrapped up in our emotions and feelings (like the figure with the black cloak) that we have forgotten a simple fact, each situation is a moment in time, nothing stay forever (good or bad) and changes always come. Something or someone may have been removed from your life, but it is the cycle of life. There is hope for the future (the two cups behind the figure) and time to look at some colours and ditch the black 😉

Oephebia