Reading techniques

More patterns in a spread: Predominance

In Patterns in a spread: Predominance, I concentrated on mode, suit, element, and number. However, there are more patterns to look out for if you want to deepen a tarot reading and focus on predominance.


You might notice a predominant colour in a spread or a subset of cards.

A predominance of  colour could indicate the following:

Black power, elegance, sophistication, formality, mourning, death, sin, hidden knowledge, the unconscious, absence of insight
White purity, spirituality, cleanliness, virtue, illumination
Red passion, love, sensuality, anger, violence, willpower, purpose
Blue peace, calmness, responsibility, conservatism, reliability, heaven
Green freshness, life, growth, vibrancy, jealousy, naivety, adaptability, worldliness
Yellow happiness, cheerfulness, creativity, energy, sunshine, cowardice, the intellect
Orange energy, dive, ambition, movement, creativity, vitality, confidence, impulsivity
Purple royalty, authority, creativity, wealth, luxury, spiritual insight
Gray conservatism, moodiness, depression, boredom, neutrality, balance of opposites
Brown earthiness, the potential for growth, stability, neutrality, dependability, reliability, stagnation
Pink love, calmness, femininity, sensuality


A spread containing a large number of reversals could indicate difficulty, being blocked, negativity,  an ending, or a focus on the inner world. If the spread is small, a majority of reversals (say, two out of a spread of three) could be significant.

'Missing' cards

Another pattern might be 'missing' cards. These cards are not actually missing, but there is a general lack of a mode or a suit.

If there are no major arcana cards in a spread, the focus is on everyday life.

An absence of suit and court cards in a spread—thus a spread consisting of major arcana cards only—could refer to the importance of the matter or indicate that the querent is in the grip of external and unpredictable forces, creating a great deal of uncertainty and fear.

An absence of a specific suit could be significant in a large spread. An absence of Swords cards could imply that the situation is characterized by a lack of reason or communication. A lack of Pentacle cards could point to a general lack of groundedness and practicality. No court cards might mean that the focus is on the querent or that there is a lack of advice or the viewpoint of others.

In a smaller spread, a 'missing' suit might mean nothing at all but could be significant if, in a reading on finances, no Pentacles cards are present, or in a love reading, there is a surprising lack of emotion.