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Adult coloring books are all the rage now, but did you know that coloring your tarot deck has been part of the training of esoteric societies for over a century? Color Your Tarot, a new deck by Lo Scarabeo, continues that tradition by providing you with a high quality Major Arcana deck that you can customize and use in readings.
It is actually difficult to avoid the articles and headlines now that tell us all the benefits of coloring, whether you are a kid or an adult. For many years, coloring had a bad rap because people thought that it squashed creativity in children. However, there are two sides to everything, and, as a part of a balanced creative life, coloring can be very beneficial.
The activity is calming and meditative, which has led to a plethora of mandala-themed coloring books. It also creates an environment for intense focus on the item being colored. These traits—meditation and focus—enhance learning. As we color the cards, we think about all the details, letting the symbols sink into our souls. Because coloring is also calming, we are more open. While we color each symbol and focus on it, our minds can be more receptive to receiving wisdom (from your Higher Self, from the Divine, from the cards themselves) about each image.
The act of coloring tarot cards is an active and engaging way to learn about the cards. For beginners, this can be a more dynamic way of learning than just reading a book. Using the guidebook that comes with the deck, you can also learn about color symbolism. Because tarot is such a visual medium, the more we develop our visual associations and our ability to really see the images, the better we will be at reading the cards.
If you are a more seasoned tarot reader, or even a beginner with a lot of creative energy, you can ignore the traditional color associations and select colors that are meaningful to you. You can use bright markers to make a bold deck that is easy to read in all sorts of light (great for reading at parties). You can use colored pencils and create a more nuanced effect. And, if you are like me and enjoy a bit of sparkle, you can use sparkle gel pens to add fantastic highlights.
The decks are inexpensive, so you could get several and try different color schemes, just for fun. Or you can make a more structured study of the cards in terms of color. Maybe try exploring the Major Arcana through the element of water, using blues and purples, or through the element of fire, using reds, yellows, and oranges. Another option is to explore the archetypes through the lens of the seasons. What is the Empress like in summer versus winter?
The possibility for creative exploration is vast. You can make your images as colorfully fantastic as you can imagine or go for a more realistic approach or anything in between. If you want to try out colors before committing ink to the cards, photocopy the card several times and test different combinations or color palettes.
If you run a tarot Meet Up or have a group of tarot friends, host a creative coloring and tarot day. If you are a teacher, you can lead a class on color symbolism and send your students home with decks to color and apply what they've learned.
With all the possible uses for this deck, you'll definitely find at least one way that it perfectly fits your creative and tarot-loving soul.
Barbara Moore (Saint Paul, MN) has studied and read tarot since the early 1990s. She wrote the bestselling Tarot for Beginners and more than a dozen other books, and she has contributed to many bestselling tarot kits, ...