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Color Symbolism


I'm sure this has been covered elsewhere but does anyone know the color symbolism of the Rider Waite Smith. I notice alot of red hats! And the colors in the Lovers card is all over the place. Just curious. Thanks
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Poor Wandering One  Poor Wandering One is offline
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I don't have the answer, but I think it's a good question. What puzzles me, though, is exactly what are we to learn about color symbolism in the RWS deck when the colors vary so widely from printing to printing? The colors of the vintage decks from the '70s have different color intensity than the current printing. And those decks looks very different from the so-called Original Rider deck--and none of the above have the same color shading of the Waite-Smith centennial deck. The coloration is similar, but the hues are completely different, as are the color saturations.

I'm currently taking the Amberstone's correspondence course from the Tarot School. They have a module that explores the symbolism of the RWS deck. I'm not far enough along to have gotten that lesson yet. However, to make a confusing matter even worse, in the lesson I do have, they explore the symbols of the Ace through Five of Swords. They talk about the woman in the Two of Swords wearing a blue and white gown being a reference to the High Priestess. That's all very well, but I have no idea what they're talking about. In no edition of the RWS deck that I've seen is the woman in the Two of Swords wearing blue. Her gown/robe/dress is white and gray--not blue. Likewise, in their description of the Five of Swords, they talk about purple mountains. Again, in no RWS deck I've seen are the mountains purple. I can't for the life of me understand what I'm missing.
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The standard yellow box deck - especially in the older editions - is pretty close to the correct colors. Yes, there is some minor variation. The other editions all have colors that are slightly modified - for instance, the PCS Commemorative Deck has a brown tinge (antiquing) to make it look old. It affects some colors more than others.

Lots of people have lists of standard color meanings in the GD tradition. Probably the best 'original' source of these color meanings is found in Paul Foster Case's book _The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages_. I highly recommend this book anyway.

http://store.bota.org/1003.html

http://store.bota.org/tarotdecks.html (digital download of B&W cards and coloring instructions)
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Thanks for the recommendation. Does Case write more clearly than Waite? I've tried reading Waite and I just never get very far. I even got the audio version of Waite's Pictorial Key to the Tarot, thinking I'd like/understand it better if I heard the words out loud. It didn't help me; I didn't get any further with that than trying to read Waite on my own.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poor Wandering One View Post
I don't have the answer, but I think it's a good question. What puzzles me, though, is exactly what are we to learn about color symbolism in the RWS deck when the colors vary so widely from printing to printing? The colors of the vintage decks from the '70s have different color intensity than the current printing. And those decks looks very different from the so-called Original Rider deck--and none of the above have the same color shading of the Waite-Smith centennial deck. The coloration is similar, but the hues are completely different, as are the color saturations.

I'm currently taking the Amberstone's correspondence course from the Tarot School. They have a module that explores the symbolism of the RWS deck. I'm not far enough along to have gotten that lesson yet. However, to make a confusing matter even worse, in the lesson I do have, they explore the symbols of the Ace through Five of Swords. They talk about the woman in the Two of Swords wearing a blue and white gown being a reference to the High Priestess. That's all very well, but I have no idea what they're talking about. In no edition of the RWS deck that I've seen is the woman in the Two of Swords wearing blue. Her gown/robe/dress is white and gray--not blue. Likewise, in their description of the Five of Swords, they talk about purple mountains. Again, in no RWS deck I've seen are the mountains purple. I can't for the life of me understand what I'm missing.
Catholicism

http://vincentians.com/wp-content/up...irgin-mary.jpg
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Its a process running through the tarot programme like ebola.

The idea is you give the visual, image, symbolism any meaning you want from your own personal perspective and experience.

What happens is, with the loss of the internal knowledge in the deck, people become more outward and literalistic; A purple mountain, a hand drawn badly, even the artists signature all give substance to 'some' interpretations ... ummmm even a misperception of the picture (like the 'evil dwarf' in the 6 of cups trying to 'trick' the little girl .... <looks closer> I mean the midget old Lady ).

Apparently now you can pay and go to a course where you can hear someone explain their own process of this.

With Waite, IMO its going to be a process of the blind leading the blind in a lot of cases.

Guess who put the blindfold on in the first place ? Thats why you are finding Waite hard to read .... or listen to.

http://teachmetarot.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/2su.jpg


With colours, it gets worse, as you say reprints but also many other dynamics. There are quiet a few threads on colour schemes in the GD and Thoth threads, its more exoteric there than in Waites occulted system.
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Yes, I can understand that. What I find puzzling, though, is that the first lesson in the Tarot School correspondence course talks about the woman in the two of swords wearing blue and white. I'm looking at the card right now--she isn't wearing blue and white. She's wearing white with shades of gray.

From interviews with the Ambestone's on podcasts I've heard, I know their preferred deck is the Universal Waite. I don't have that deck (yet). I've seen images of the card online and they don't show the woman in the Two of Swords wearing blue mixed with white either. Not that that means anything without taking screen color calibration into account. Either the lesson is imagining detail not present in the card, or I just can't see it in the examples I've found in the cards I own. It's not terribly troublesome--it just makes an already complex issue more confusing.
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Poor Wandering One  Poor Wandering One is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenest View Post
Its a process running through the tarot programme like ebola.

The idea is you give the visual, image, symbolism any meaning you want from your own personal perspective and experience.

What happens is, with the loss of the internal knowledge in the deck, people become more outward and literalistic; A purple mountain, a hand drawn badly, even the artists signature all give substance to 'some' interpretations ... ummmm even a misperception of the picture (like the 'evil dwarf' in the 6 of cups trying to 'trick' the little girl .... <looks closer> I mean the midget old Lady ).

Apparently now you can pay and go to a course where you can hear someone explain their own process of this.
This is very much the sense I'm getting in what I've studied so far. Given that color fidelity is so hit and miss when dealing with cards printed via a variety of methods that span decades, I'm not altogether convinced that the symbolism of the card is as relevant as it seems. With printing anomalies, it seems very easy to assign a great deal of import to a color or detail that wasn't even part of the original image and is only an artifact introduced somewhere in process of mass marketing cards.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poor Wandering One View Post
Thanks for the recommendation. Does Case write more clearly than Waite? I've tried reading Waite and I just never get very far. I even got the audio version of Waite's Pictorial Key to the Tarot, thinking I'd like/understand it better if I heard the words out loud. It didn't help me; I didn't get any further with that than trying to read Waite on my own.
Yes, Case writes far more clearly than Waite. The book is just on the Major Arcana and goes deeply into all the symbols on each card. There's minimal information on divination as it focuses on the wisdom teachings of each card.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poor Wandering One View Post
Yes, I can understand that. What I find puzzling, though, is that the first lesson in the Tarot School correspondence course talks about the woman in the two of swords wearing blue and white. I'm looking at the card right now--she isn't wearing blue and white. She's wearing white with shades of gray.
maybe they are looking at it ion the internet

http://www.vanessaappleton.com/uploa...09254_orig.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poor Wandering One View Post
From interviews with the Ambestone's on podcasts I've heard, I know their preferred deck is the Universal Waite. I don't have that deck (yet). I've seen images of the card online and they don't show the woman in the Two of Swords wearing blue mixed with white either. Not that that means anything without taking screen color calibration into account. Either the lesson is imagining detail not present in the card, or I just can't see it in the examples I've found in the cards I own. It's not terribly troublesome--it just makes an already complex issue more confusing.
Maybe they are just good old fashioned wrong. Can you ask questions in this course ? I would be asking them (one of my favourite words) .... why ?
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