Key words: Spirituality, insight, intuitiveness, royalty, sacred connection to the divine.
Sayings: Born to the purple (born into royalty); To have a purple patch (a string of good luck); Purple prose (that with flowery or ornate language; purple state (politically divided)
Visualize a rainbow. At the far end of the spectrum is purple. It’s also the color that is least seen when the rainbow is weak and incomplete. We can equate this with our own spirituality. When our own energy field is weak, we are least in touch with our spiritual, intuitive side, and we feel incomplete.
Don’t we all want to be all the colors of the rainbow? To complete ourselves, most of us need to feel, in a sense, a sacred connection with the divine whatever that divine may be for that individual. To do that, we need to seek that which is most mysterious and elusive. That which is unseen to us, but can be divined by us through our own intuition & introspection. With that, we can become truly inspired to bring the magic into our lives that we deserve.
Purple is ruled by Jupiter, whose astrological symbol is a “…lunar crescent rising above the cross of the four elements and becoming receptive to the light of Spirit.” Jupiter is a planet which represents expanding social awareness and insight through knowledge. To seek that knowledge takes courage inspired by red combined with the serenity inspired by blue, the two primary colors which make purple.
Purple is the color of the third-eye chakra which we use for our intuitive insight & introspection. (Some people consider purple to be that of the crown chakra. I and others see the crown chakra as being the pure white universal white.) By meditating and being in balance with purple, we gain a sense of direction, creativity & universal love without judgement.
Color Symbolism & the Tarot
To interpret black in a tarot reading consider these connotations:
— Inspiration & Devotion
— Spiritual & Intuitive
— Tolerance and Peace
— Royalty & Sophistication
— High ideals, connection with the divine
— Sense of direction
— Lack of responsibility
Sample Tarot Interpretation with Purple
Deck: Universal Waite
Card: The Lovers
Usually I choose one card to analyze for it’s color, but in choosing for purple, I realized how relatively few cards have purple in them. I am using the pocket edition of the “Universal Waite” deck, so I will analyze in general terms and address specific differences.
To begin, let me say that the shade of a color indicates different things. “Pictures of the Heart” by Thomson states, “In general, lighter colors symbolize the conscious mind, while darker colors symbolize the workings of the unconscious.” (I will revise that to say the “sub-conscious,” as I feel they are two different things, in keeping with Jung’s theories.)
The 3 of pentacles; 4 of wands; 6 and king of swords, The Lovers and The World all have purple garments in them. Think of a person being ‘cloaked’ in something. This garment or article of clothing may represent an attitude the figure is ‘wearing’ or an outward representation of what they really feel or who they really are.
For instance, the child in the 6 of swords is cloaked in a light purple garment. Depending on the reading, this may represent the idea that within our inner child lies our most intuitive thoughts, actions and reactions. And if we want to head to calmer times, we need to follow that intuition or “gut” feeling using a strong sense of direction. In other cards the purple garment may represent authority, sophistication or a good sense of judgement &/or tolerance.
The ace, 2, 3, and 9 of wands; the ace, 5, and 8 of swords; the 7 of pentacles and The Star all have purple mountains. Many times, mountains represent attainment. In many of these cards, what we want to attain is spiritual enlightenment, or perhaps inspiration to attain our goals. In the case of The Moon, we also have a purple crab, the sign of Cancer. What does a crab do? Think about it. Where does it live? Answer: within it’s own protective shell. It has pinchers to further protect itself. But this crab is purple and it’s emerging from the water (emotion.) Perhaps it is emerging from it’s protective shell to risk change (towers in the background) by seeking higher knowledge & spirituality. The Devil, and the 9 and king of pentacles, all have purple grapes in them. Grapes, in and of themselves, may mean abundance and fruitfulness. But some grapes are green in real life, why purple here? Perhaps the abundance that we seek is the abundance of inner peace bunched with a connection to a higher source. In all of these cards we see the purple grapes together with green (healing, growth, renewal.) And isn’t it a renewal of our soul to grow into our own spiritual reality?
Additionally, there are other various depiction of purple throughout the cards: backdrops & sky (Justice & The Hanged Man), one a veil waiting to reveal psychic secrets of the subconscious, or perhaps projecting a sense of royalty; the other the sky, maybe a representation of the collective unconscious. The ground (Knight of Pentacles) and a mattress (9 of Swords) give us sure footing, emboldening our sense of direction, and a place to become introspective when out-of-balance, lonely or isolated. It may also represent a place to reduce worry and stress. And, of course, we find purple on the wings of the archangels in both The Lovers and the Judgement cards. These are entities which represent a spiritual authority to us. They are magical and mystical by nature, but faith in their existence allows us to receive their divine guidance.
Purple is a fascinating color. Some may lean blue, some may lean red. Which of those you see in a reading, and how you interpret them within the context of the rest of the cards are what makes you unique in your abilities as a tarot advisor.
As always, choose one or two key words that are meaningful to you for that specific reading.
Content © 2008, Lisa Larson (Spiritcaat)
- “Pictures from the Heart: A Tarot Dictionary” by Sandra A. Thomson
- “Color Magic for Beginners” by Richard Webster
- A. Venefica’s Tarot Teachings
Other Color Symbolism