The red feather appear on these Tarot cards:
Scroll down to see each card
The Red Feather is a subtle but interesting symbol appearing on four different cards in the classic Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot artwork.
The same identical symbols won't necessarily show up in all modern decks, however many newer Tarot decks will feature variations of the same famous symbols.
Here's What the Red Feather symbolizes in Tarot
The red feather is one of the most widely debated symbols of the seminal Rider-Waite Tarot deck. One thing that makes the red feather so notable are the 3 extremely important Major Arcana cards on which the feather appears: The Fool, Death, and The Sun cards. The feather is prominently displayed on all three cards, and therefore would seem to be central to the interpretation of all three.
The red feather is one of the most widely debated symbols of the seminal Rider-Waite Tarot deck
The red feather also shows up in the Minor Arcana — in the cap of the Page of Wands. Many theories about the intent of the red feather have been proposed, but its true meaning is shrouded in mystery.
One of most widely accepted explanations are that the feather hints at the old idiom, "To put a feather in your cap" — which is a borrowed term from several warrior cultures throughout history and signifies a transformational rite of passage or ascension to a higher status.
Or, as countless Tarot readers have long wondered: Do the appearances of the feather trace a kind of story which spans 3 cards? Does the young man pictured on the Fool Tarot card finally meet his demise at the bottom of the cliff, then meet Death, and ultimately experience rebirth with the Sun card? (It should also be noted that the sun, both rising and setting, is a conspicuous theme of all three cards in the sequence.)
One thing is for sure, the mystery of the red feather will not be resolved anytime soon. The final explanation is as always, up to you.
Here Are the Four Tarot Cards Where the Red Feather Makes an Appearance
The Page of Wands
NOTE: The red feather in the The Page of Wands might seem to be an outlier among the three iconic Major Arcana cards which also include the feather. But if we understand the feather to symbolize rebirth and resurrection, then the Page of Wands with its Egyptian pyramid symbolism makes good sense: Pyramids were seen as "resurrection machines" by their builders, and so the red feather worn by the the Page of Wands may make for subtle foreshadowing for the later resurrection story of the red feather found in the Major Arcana.
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Other Common Tarot Symbols
- Alchemy Symbols
- Boats and Ships
- Coats of Arms
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Green Fields
- Grey skies
- Hand Tools
- Infinity Symbols
- Manor Houses
- Pathways and Roads
- Ploughed Fields
- Pools of Water
- Rivers and Streams
- Turbulent Water
- Uneven Ground
- Yod Symbols
- The Divine Hand