I almost called this post 'What colour are the Empress' knickers ? ( Likely green or flowery of course! ) but decided to try to be a little more serious for a few minutes. It does happen sometimes.
Colour is to me a big part of intuitive reading. The influence of it is all around us and we are wired to respond to it without even realising we do most of the time. How many expressions, phrases or songs can you think of that link colour to moods or emotions?
We are 'green with envy', 'sing the blues' and are 'tickled pink'. We wear black to mourn our loved ones, buy pink or blue clothes for new babies (though unisex yellow is becoming more common, and welcomely so).
We view colours as happy, sad, calm, angry, spiritual and so on depending on our cultural upbringing as well as the psychological influence they have on us.
When it comes to pictures, one of the factors that affect whether we take a positive or negative view of an image and the emotion it triggers, will be the colours that have been used to illustrate it. Whether we realise it or not, colour can trigger the intuitive right brain.
Colour is used throughout the Tarot to paint the symbolic layers of a card along with other symbols and numerology. Here are some brief colour associations. Of course, as with anything intuitive, how a colour makes you feel trumps any keyword every time.
White - Purity, Innocence, Potential
White tends to be associated with all things innocent. Think of the Fool and his white rose for an example of this usage. Still with the Fool in mind, White is a blank slate. It is pure potential, everything and nothing.
Blue - Emotion, Sadness, Tranquillity, Peace, Intuition
Blue is often considered a calming colour but is also linked with sadness. And don't it make your brown eyes blue?. Blue is linked to the Water element, the suit of cups and and the west direction. I think of the High Priestess firstly here with her traditional blue robes.
Green - Growth, Fertility, Luck, Finances, Health
Green is associated with the element of Earth, The north direction and the suit of Pentacles. It is often associated with money and luck, things that grow and our physical foundations. The Empress and her lush green surroundings in nature come to mind.
Red - Passion, Will, Action, Anger, Dynamic energy
It's not easy to think of red without calling up images of passion and anger. Red is a vibrant colour associated with the blood, our desires and our ambitions. It links to the south, the Fire element and suit of Wands. Think of how The Emperor card traditionally uses reds and oranges to show his strong, fiery temperament and leadership.
Yellow - Confidence, Thought, Happiness
Yellow is a bright, sunny colour that inspires happiness and confidence. It is linked to the East, the suit of Swords and the element of Air. The Sun is a card than often uses a lot of yellow and orange in its depictions.
Pink - Love, Kindness, Friendship.
Pink is associated with friendship, romance and childhood. It has a gentleness red doesn't.
Black - Subconscious, Shadow, Protection.
Black is associated with protection, the unconscious mind and working with the shadow self and through our fears.
What do different colours, even shades, mean to you? Have a good think about that and journal your ideas if colour is something you want to become more aware of in your readings.
Next time you lay a spread, as you look it over for the big picture and any visual clues, take note of the colour patterns and any feelings they bring up for you. Is there a lot of green in a spread, or a lot of blue? Is there a complete lack of a colour you would expect to see from the question asked?
I would also suggest looking through your deck and observing how colour is used in different cards to convey or add to their meanings.