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Original coloring of TdM?

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Originally Posted by Philippe View Post
Colours are not relevant per se, but I can think about two authors who rely on colours symbolism in their interpretation of the tarot

Joseph Maxwell in his book le tarot. He refers to a late XIX century edition of the Conver (later reissued as edition du bicentenaire or thunder bay).
Patrick Coq for the Vievil Tarot
Also, Paul Marteau, author of the Grimaud Ancien Tarot de Marseille, discusses color symbolism in his book Le Tarot de Marseille.
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Colours can be very important in TdM


IMO colours are very important in TdM because they can tell a story. Sometimes when you place the cards side by side you can see the moviment of the cards through the colours. It's amazing when you see that some colour has a clear relation from card to card.
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It is my understanding that, generally speaking, the main colors in the Marseilles are the three primary colors: Red, blue and yellow. Red is supposed to signify solar/male qualities, and blue lunar/female. Note that these are qualities, and not literally sun men and moon women. Yellow is supposed to symbolize the "purity of incorruptible gold". Also in the deck is the pink fleshy color, signifying what is human and related to humanity. Green isn't nearly as important, but is supposed to signify resurrection. White - secrets and initiation. And finally, violet - moderation (as far as I can tell this is only supposed to be in the Temperance card, if it's there at all).

I got all of this from a dictionary of symbols that discusses colors along with the other symbols in each card, using the Marseilles deck as its basis.

I myself also use the Universal Marseilles deck, and have also wondered how accurate its colors are. As far as I can tell, they're not perfect, but they're generally pretty close. Taking into consideration the color scheme of the entire card, combined with the card's meaning without regard to color, I think it's fairly easy to guess what is original and what has been altered. The only major changes that really bother me is the change in coloration of the hair of the Hanged Man and the Star: it's supposed to be blue.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herodotus View Post
......I myself also use the Universal Marseilles deck, and have also wondered how accurate its colors are. As far as I can tell, they're not perfect, but they're generally pretty close. Taking into consideration the color scheme of the entire card, combined with the card's meaning without regard to color, I think it's fairly easy to guess what is original and what has been altered. The only major changes that really bother me is the change in coloration of the hair of the Hanged Man and the Star: it's supposed to be blue.
Why blue? They are not blue in the original Pierre Madeniť or Conver. Paul Marteau changed the hair color to blue in the Grimaud Ancien Tarot de Marseille, but that is a relatively modern rendering of the Conver.
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In the Marseille tradition, colour is the most variable, well, variable. A quick look at Yves' website, or at the tarot collections on the BNF website (Gallica) will show that while many decks are very similar in design, the colours tend to be all over the place.

Naturally, the tendency to interpret the colour symbolism became more or less codified as Paul Marteau's deck (and book) became the standard - practically every French writer of the greater part of the last century used his deck, though they did not necessarily interpret the colours in the same way.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Why blue? They are not blue in the original Pierre Madeniť or Conver. Paul Marteau changed the hair color to blue in the Grimaud Ancien Tarot de Marseille, but that is a relatively modern rendering of the Conver.
I'm just relaying the information found in a book that I thought would be helpful. Why blue? Because of what the color is supposed to symbolize. It suggests the meditative, almost otherworldly qualities of the characters in these cards.

I didn't know that the blue was a relatively modern change.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herodotus View Post
I'm just relaying the information found in a book that I thought would be helpful. Why blue? Because of what the color is supposed to symbolize. It suggests the meditative, almost otherworldly qualities of the characters in these cards.

I didn't know that the blue was a relatively modern change.
Actually, the Hanged Man originally represented the punishment of a traitor. The spiritual interpretation came later. Personally, FWIW, I use a more modern take on the cards. Spirituality it is, both for the Hanged Man and the Star. In any case, the Star is mysterious. I'm inclined to think of it as Isis, to whom was sometimes attributed the annual flooding of the Nile, which was a blessing to Egyptian agriculture. The inundation was heralded by the appearance of the Dog Star just before sunrise.

To find anything "original" pertaining to the TdM is highly problematic, since there is little to go on regarding the origin of the cards, which apparently were designed for a card game. If there was something metaphysically significant about their origin (which I think there may have been), there is no way of knowing for sure.
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