Red Ribbon symbolism

Stephanie likes this red ribbon. She used it quite extensively in her deck.

This red ribbon adds yet another layer of meanings to the cards we see it on. It’s mostly things we need to keep in mind, pay attention to, be wary of…

Sometimes, the ribbon is rather obvious and at other times, it can go almost unnoticed.

Because it is featured quite a lot, and because it can point to so many things, it’s important to know a bit more about it. Interpreting the red ribbon is not easy. But this presentation is a start. I hope.

It’s good to keep in mind that the red ribbon is sometimes just a string. It sometimes ties around people and at other times around objects. Sometimes it can even be attached to both at the same time, as seen below.

Furthermore, in each card, this red ribbon can mean different things. But can also point to some identical issues. Don’t forget the question asked and the other cards involved in the reading, when giving an interpretation.

I’ll share some of the thoughts of Dara, as seen on tarotforum.net,

“The color red is a strong indicator of something to take notice of. Rider-Waite-Smith deck used red in such a fashion. And with the majority of the Shadowscapes card being cooler color tones with lots of purples and blues, red does stand out.”

“searching for these red ribbons […] the word “control” came”

“Why I think control is a fitting meaning is the absence on the hermit and wheel of fortune which were the first major arcana [cards] not to have it. I feel like the hermit has relinquished his control in his solitude. And the wheel of fate… no one has control over what is to come.”

Read more here.


red ribbon seen on The Devil card.

Now i’ll share some of my own thoughts:

It’s interesting to learn about this red ribbon symbolism, especially considering that many cultures see the color red as a protective one – against the evil eye for instance, or against bad luck in general [in China for instance]. Still in China, red is supposed to bring good luck and is traditionally used in weddings and other happy moments.

Thinking that red is also the color of the blood, we can also think of life – we can’t live without blood in our veins. We can only control our own lives, up to a point. This red ribbon is a good reminder of that.

Sometimes we are being under the control of others – be it other people, events, or habits, as seen in this image.

Sometimes the control is stronger [when the ribbon is thicker, and wrapped around several times] or we can barely notice it [as seen here].

The cards that the Red Ribbon can be seen are: (hopefully I didn’t miss any)

Major Arcana:

Minor Arcana:

  • Cups: 2, 6, 7, Knight
  • Wands: 2, 5, Knight, Page
  • Pentacles: 2, 10, Knight
  • Swords: 2, 5, 7, 9, 10, Queen

2 thoughts on “Red Ribbon symbolism

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