An Advanced Technique—Color Assignation

Lee Bursten, creator of the Gay Tarot, Zodiac Tarot and Universal TdM put a clever little bug in my ear the other day about the Deck of 1000 Spreads. He said:

"I used the RWS Commemorative in my readings, and found an unexpected effect -- the colors of the 1000 Spreads cards interact interestingly with the colors of the RWS, which I suppose would also happen with any deck. For example, the orange of the Orange (people) card picked up the orange of the card that landed on it, the Emperor. And the red of the Red (outcomes) card highlighted the red in the outfit of its card, the Knight of Cups."

Well, I happen to know Lee and once heard a very enlightening talk he gave on the Tarot de Marseilles, so I knew what he was getting at. One of the techniques tarot readers have in their toolkits is reading color associations between cards, across a spread or, now, between the Deck of 1000 Spreads and the tarot card you place on top. So if you're reading a spread and the color red seems to appear in many cards across a spread, dissipating as you go on, ask yourself what red means to you. In a romance spread, it could mean that the fire is dissipating in the relationship. In a spread about a conflict with a friend, perhaps the anger is dissipating. It all depends on what red means TO YOU in the context of the reading. 

So in the example here, the blue of the Crowning Influences card pulls out the blue in the man's shorts. Blue, to me, equates to the throat chakra, which is communication issues. This particular card is about an argument between the woman and the man with the child caught between. So the blue matches his shorts, but it doesn't match anything on her. That might tell me that the issue at the crux of their argument is really that they're speaking two different languages. She communicates from purple...the third eye..intuitively. And he speaks just straight out. She knows what to say and when to say it, perhaps. And he blurts. Or perhaps he doesn't even communicate at all...perhaps he's blocked. The breastplate is covering a good part of his blue...his communication. 

That's just one way of interpreting this card using the color assignations. I call this an advanced technique because, with most tarot decks, it is enough to know the meanings of the cards. (With TdM, as I learned from Lee, it plays an integral role in the interpretation of a reading because you don't have the detailed illustrations to play off of as you do in a Rider Waite deck, for example.) Once you get the meanings down and are looking for a further challenge, you can begin concerning yourself with color assignations and all of that. It's not something you can fully teach, just as you can't fully teach intuitive reading. It's something a person needs to get a feel for themself. With practice, things like color and form start talking to you more fluently and right alongside the book meaning. It's like the dance between vocabulary and inflection. Once you know a language, you can add nuance with subtle inflection. Assignations like this are that inflection.