Numerology, the study of the energy and inter connectivity of numbers, is often considered mysterious. Tarot, on the other hand, is the study of cards and how they can predict the future. These are philosophies that date back thousands of years, and they are often connected. This article will describe some basic concepts of numerology and how it relates to the Tarot.
Numerology involves the study of numbers – specifically, the study of the unique energies numbers are thought to have and the way they relate and interconnect with each other to form the basic building blocks of the universe and the individual. When studied separately, each number’s appearance can be studied as its contribution to the overall energy.
People can derive meaning from numbers that frequently appear in their lives. Often, the numbers analyzed are those deeply rooted within the individual, such as the number associated with the birth year, or Life Path Number. Another example is that of the numbers derived from a person’s name, such as the Soul Urge and Karmic numbers.
The Tarot Explained
The Tarot deck is a deck of 78 cards, each with its own meaning, imagery and symbolism. The cards are divided into two groups, known as the Major and Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana are 22 cards that represent major life lessons and events, whether spiritual or otherwise. The 40 Minor Arcana are arranged into 4 suits and represent more day-to-day challenges, lessons and events. The suits of the Minor Arcana are said to represent specific qualities:
- Wands – will
- Cups – emotion
- Swords – intellect
- Pentacles – material
When a Tarot reading is performed, the properties of each card’s imagery, suit, and life lessons is said to be able to guide the subject of the reading on the right path toward self-discovery, certain goals, and self-development.
Many still believe that Tarot can describe a fortune or the future based on a similar set of circumstances that happened in the past. Others believe the lessons are meant only to cause self-reflection and reveal a path upon which one must travel to achieve goals. In either case, however, it remains that the numbers on a Tarot deck can allow further analysis of the cards drawn.
Numerology and the Tarot Compared
Each deck is numbered the same – the 22 cards of the Major Arcana are numbered from 1 to 22. The 40 cards of the Minor Arcana are numbered from 1 to 10 within each suit. Overall, then, there are five cards per deck that correspond with each number from 1 through 10 – one from the Major Arcana and one each from the suits of the Minor Arcana.
Numbers 1 through 10 are each given particular meanings as they relate to both the Major and Minor Arcana:
- New beginnings, the initial step of a journey
- Partnership, a choice between two things or paths
- Growth or progression of a project or relationship
- Foundations, structure, practicality, a measure of success
- Instability, change, and perspective
- Stability, friendship, helpers and community
- Patience with the journey, peace with waiting
- Progress, anticipation of the ultimate success of the journey
- Completion of the numerological cycle and the journey
- Rebirth, beginning the process over again
When cards are shown, the suit, number, and life lesson of each is taken into account. Numerology does not stand on its own within Tarot; rather, all aspects work together to form a picture of the journey.
Life Path Number and the Tarot
In some cases, the Major Arcana are considered to show numbers corresponding to the numerological Life Path Numbers. Your Life Path Number can be found by reducing the numbers of the day, month and year in which you were born to a single digit. For example, a person born 10-22-2001 would reduce those numbers to 1+0=1, 2+2=4, and 2+0+0+1=3, and then add each together 1+4+3=8. The final Life Path Number is 8.
The Birth Card is the Major Arcana card that corresponds to your Life Path Number. In this case, the eighth Major Arcana card is Justice, and its traits and meanings would correspond to the individual’s own. In addition, each birth card is said to have specific strengths, challenges, and insights for love, career, and more.
Overall, numerology does not encompass all of what a Tarot reading is meant to accomplish. However, the associations between the two are clear. Numerological analysis and Tarot reading can work hand in hand to provide a more complete picture of the goals, traits, abilities, and characteristics of the individual and the challenges they face.