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the use of color in The Wild Unknown Tarot

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slfrank67  slfrank67 is offline
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the use of color in The Wild Unknown Tarot


Hi all! I just recieved my deck after many months of drooling ^.^ Thought I'd start a new thread for this topic, the usage of color and the lack thereof in this spectacular deck. My initial thoughts-

The effect of color in this deck is so lovely. While several have all the colors of the rainbow, many are without, some have the cool-tones only, others only warms, and some have a gradient from cool-to-warm but not all of ROYGBV...

So far, however, I don't detect any higher system or consistent pattern in the WU deck other than cool tones relate to feminine energies and warms to masculine(see I., II., III., and IV.) but this does not apply consistently.. for instance the court cards which are gendered. I have endeavored to catalog the colors per card and here is how I've chosen to do it:

ALL COLORS
majors: X., XIV., XVII., XXI.
wands: 2, 3, 8
cups: 6, 10(no violet), Daughter, Son
swords: Ace, 6, Daughter, Father
pentacles: 2, 3, 8, 10, Daughter, Father


NO COLOR
majors: VIII., XIII., XX.
wands: 5, 10
cups: 4, 5, 7, 8
swords: 7, 9, 10, Son, Mother
pentacles: 7

WARMS ONLY
majors: 0., I., IV., V., VII., XI., XII., XV., XVI., XIX.
wands: Ace, 7, 9, Daughter, Son, Mother, Father
cups: 2, 3, Father
swords: 2, 3, 4, 5(the only card with brown), 8
pentacles: Ace, 5, 6, 9, Son

COOLS ONLY
majors: II., III., VI.
wands: 6
cups:
swords:
pentacles: Mother

NEUTRAL
majors: XVIII.(no red), XIX.(mostly orange and yellow, x-ctgrzd to warms)
wands: 4(orange-yellow+blue)
cups: Ace(yellow+blue, feels cool), 9(red+blue, feels cool), Mother(red+fuschia+blue, feels cool)
swords:
pentacles: 4(no orange)


I read in another thread that the artist didn't put a lot of effort into making the deck 'cryptic', so I wonder if the colors were meant to bear much significance and/or heavy examination. In this photo at Kim Krans' desk she is using a RWS card, http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mc...v85vo1_500.jpg
In my study of RWS colors are very important aspects to factor in interpretation, a la BOTA. When I lay the WU entire deck in front of me it's the color that is doing it. It is energy. I just love the way it looks and reads and how it influences card/layout interaction. It effortlessly lends itself to intuitive reading, perhaps especially because there isn't anything esoteric about it.

Thoughts, anecdotes, impressions, concerns? Are there any cards whose colors you'd like to tweak? Cards you wish were given color? Has anybody painted their deck in part or total? Post pics in this thread?


*edit spelling
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Sulis  Sulis is offline
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I've never thought to categorise the colours in the deck into cool, warm and neutral and I don't think that's for me really.

I think the colours used in the deck tend to draw your eye to the bit that's coloured to give emphasis or sometimes they seem to highlight or suggest movement and change... I think the rainbow colours especially do this, like the rainbow coloured lemniscate on the 2 Pentacles.

The colours also seem to cause an emotional response and tap into the reader's intuition and emotions (for me they do anyway).. Things like the sunset effect on the III Cups - it just looks like a summer's evening and the little birds are chatting to each other - it has a warm, friendly, social vibe that really helps with the meaning of the card in a reading. I did a reading the other day and the only colour in the whole reading was in the III Cups, which was the central card.. That colour really drew me to the card and showed me that it had the most important message for me in that reading - that was the card I had to focus on.

For me, the blues and purples in the High Priestess's crystal ball give it a mysterious quality and it contrasts with the swirling colours of the III Wands - they invite you to look through the coloured opening to see what's happening - it's inviting.. The warmer swirly colours seem to have a happier vibe - The Star for example.

Some of the colours are really subtle but they add something: To me, the red corners in The Chariot really add to the feeling of power and the need to control the wild abandon of the stallion in the card.
Then again, some of the colours give a feeling of a sudden burst of energy, a flash of realisation, relief, anger etc - I'm thinking of The Sun, The Magician, The Ace of Wands

I've looked through the deck and I think there's only one card that I'd add colour to:
The 8 Cups is far too dismal in it's black and white state and I think it would benefit greatly from a gentle blue or yellow glow emerging from behind the blackness of the mountains.
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slfrank67  slfrank67 is offline
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a thoughtful response! yes i know my method could be overkill, but i was playing detective. i immediately registered cool=fem warm=masc upon first visitation of the major arcana and had to see if i could apply it throughout and to see if it was equal/balanced colorwise

i agree, the 8 of cups needs a gentle light from above. you have these insurmountable looking black mountains behind all broken cups, there is nothing hopeful in this image. i might give mine some blue and yellow, a happy sky, reminiscent of the ace of cups' coloration. it is interesting that after 8 in which all the cups are shattered, the following cups in cards 9 and 10 are stemless, as if they are no longer on pedestals.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slfrank67 View Post
it is interesting that after 8 in which all the cups are shattered, the following cups in cards 9 and 10 are stemless, as if they are no longer on pedestals.
That is interesting and something that I haven't considered.. I like that though... This is why it's so good to get input from other readers on the same cards, everyone sees things slightly differently and notices things that others don't .
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slfrank67  slfrank67 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulis View Post
That is interesting and something that I haven't considered.. I like that though... This is why it's so good to get input from other readers on the same cards, everyone sees things slightly differently and notices things that others don't .
yes! love these forums for that very reason
so what do you reckon it's meant to convey? no more pedestal=down to earth? for the querent pragmatism has won over idealism, or needs to, in order to get to those places?
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I have no clue but I do like your idea about the later numbers being more grounded and down to earth..
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Marirowana  Marirowana is offline
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Mother of Cups


I would like to share this idea with you, because it works so great for me, it allows me to really dive into the colours and details of the card - for those who have the book as well.

I am doing a one-card-draw every morning, and besides doing the regular, I gently color that page in the book. I'm using soft pastels, the nice thing about that is that after a while, the page next to it also takes over some color, the bad thing about that is that the page next to it also takes over some color But I love it, it is like a meditation, a creative impuls every day, I noticed things in the cards that I didn't notice before. Also the book becomes more alive and personal.

Today I drew the Mother of Cups, just a photo for inspiration:
http://i1377.photobucket.com/albums/...ps8322a3af.jpg

Did you know, for example, that all the specks in the Mother of Cups card are either blue or pink, 5 blue ones and 5 pink ones, but there is only one purple spark - purple is the outcome if you blend pink with blue.
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Michellehihi  Michellehihi is offline
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Your idea to colour the cards in the book is interesting! Me, what I did yesterday was to draw a 3 of wands card in my journal, with watercolours. I am obsessed with this card, the multicolor triangle in the middle just hypnotises me!
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Given that this thread is about the first edition (as much as I can gather from the date) it'd be interesting to see how it compares to the second edition, and to the mass market version.

I know that there was some re-colouring that occurred in there.
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