Numerology and Tarot

Numerology is the belief that numbers are not just math, but that they have divine meanings. Back before we separated the study of science from religion (not saying this is a bad thing), the study of the world also meant looking for the patterns around us. Take for example Pythagoras (6th C. BCE), who believed numbers were the expressive architecture of the divine.

Numerology follows the belief that because we can understand the world through the scientific means of algorithm, geometry, and pattern, we can also use numbers to understand ourselves. The numbers that compose your year, month, and date of birth relate a blueprint of sorts, about the nature of who you are and what your “function” is.

If you want to read about how to calculate your life path number, there are a million sites out there to show you how, so I am not going to repeat what is already out there. What I am here to write about today is the connection that numbers have to Tarot, and what I have come across as a reader.

While the actual meaning of a Tarot card and its interpretation in a spread is my first method for reading, numerology is a secondary tool that adds additional meaning.

The numbers in the Tarot are as follows:
– The Major Arcana cards are numbered 1-21
– Minor Arcana cards (suits of: Wands, Swords, Cups, and Pentacles) are numbered 1-10 each, with 4 Court Cards following the number 10 in every suit.

Some schools of thought place both the Fool (0) and World (21) card somewhat outside of the Major Arcana. Doing this allows for 6 groups of 10 cards in the Major and Minor Arcana: The Major Arcana cards 1-10, Major Arcana cards 10-20, and 4 sets of Minor Arcana cards 1-10 in each suit (Wands, Swords, Cups, and Pentacles).  In numerology, 1-9 are considered the root numbers and the number 10 is an ending and beginning (10 equals 1, as 1+0 = 1). So, it would seem that the Tarot is connected to a basic tenant of numerology, that root numbers 1-9 form the underlying pattern within the deck. This could be a random connection, but the members of the Golden Dawn didn’t think so. In their published doctrines, these magicians and occultists  teach that each Tarot card has numerical, astrological, and Qabalastic associations (Check out: The Golden Dawn: A Complete Course in Practical and Ceremonial Magic).

I’ve given you some food for though, but let’s talk experience. Here’s what I have noticed about numbers in a Tarot reading:

– If a number is repeated throughout a Tarot reading, it is usually significant.
– The significance of the repeating number may stress the importance of its numerical meaning.
– The significance of the repeating number may show a length of time.
– The length of time is usually: When something will happen (days or months) for the querent, the length of time something lasted (like a relationship), or how long ago a significant event happened.
– Sequential numbers can show when something starts and ends: For example, seeing 4 – 6 repeated in a reading can indicate that something will begin to come to fruition in 4 months and be complete within 6.
– Sequential numbers can also indicate the nature of a situation. Lower numbers like 1,2 and 3 in sequence suggest something is unfolding, while 7, 8, and 9 can indicate a situation is closing.

The part that I can’t teach is how to know in what way the repeating numbers and sequences are significant in a reading. This is something you will develop intuitively as a reader. What I will say is that you can usually find clues in the cards that surround the numbers.

To decipher the timing of an event, some people also use the general suit they are seeing and combine it with the repeating number. This is a commonly used system:

  • Wands – Days or Summer
  • Swords – Weeks or Spring
  • Cups – Months or Autumn
  • Pentacles – Years or Winter

Additionally, the numerical significance may relate to the problem or issue at hand. For example, the number 4 is connected to stability. Seeing this number repeated throughout a reading may indicate the need to save money or seek security.

Here are my numerological associations with the Tarot cards (which reflect traditional numerological associations):

Odd numbers: Leadership/Breaking away (Masculine)
Even numbers: Harmony/Balance (Feminine)


New beginnings, ideas, or possibilities.

ACES Reversed
New beginning not materializing.
Can indicate either avoidance of starting over, or that now may not be the right time to start over. May also indicate opportunities or ideas that have fallen through and are no longer available.

Balance, weighing, potential. May indicate two people if there are an abundance of twos and 2 court court cards in the reading.

TWOS Reversed
Impatience, or potential thwarted.

Completion, creation, social activity, power. May indicate group workings, birth, and success.

THREES Reversed
Distrustful partners, deceit, lack of completion/coordination, singularity (versus group work/trust) may be needed.

Stability, grounding, balance, proportion, success. Four is two 2’s – there’s more weight to what was set into motion.

FOURS Reversed
Stability uprooted, lack of balance or grounding. Either inability to create stability or to break free from it.

Conflict, decisions, challenges, and being between decisions or worlds.

FIVES Reversed
Conflict is closing, the challenges are wrapping up and a decision is made. Could also indicate denial of challenges.

Balance, harmony, nurturing, love, grace. The power of 3 combined into two 3’s – but 6 is an even number, suggests balance over the dynamism of the number 3.

SIXES Reversed
Lack of balance, disharmony. The need to stop over-giving or nurturing. Or, the fear of opening up.

Possibility, ideas, creativity, evaluation, futuristic thinking.

SEVENS Reversed
Too many options, lack of focus. Conversely, avoidance of imagination or consideration of the possibilities available to you.

Work, success, material wealth. Eight is the culmination of the number 2, and suggests completion. 8’s can be grinding, the infinity symbol that never ends. Energy must be channeled appropriately.

EIGHTS Reversed
Lack of material success, or avoidance of the necessary work. Also, focused on work and/or materiality to a fault. Instability, repeating cycles that need to end.

Completion, ending, enlightenment.

NINES Reversed
Lack of closure, or the need to redefine goals.

1+0 = ONE. So, the completion of something and the chance to start over again. Endings and new beginnings.

TENS Reversed
Something will not come to completion.


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