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Numerology: An introduction and its connection to Tarot

Posted by Esra Dagtekin on


How would you interpret three fours showing up in your reading? Or four Knights? A King and an Emperor? The answer is in numerology. By the end of this blog post, you’ll have the knowledge to interpret these phenomena!

Tarot and numerology go hand in hand. It’s often the recommended first thing to learn when getting into tarot divinations. In combination with suits and astrological associations, the breaking down of these elements is what makes the learning process easier for some. Assuming you already know the suits and their meanings, as well as the astrological associations of the Major Arcana, Rather than learning the meanings of each and every card, you can instead intuitively interpret any deck with the number!

The basics of numerology

First, we’re going to look at the usual interpretations of 1-10 in tarot, but also how to interpret repeating numbers for an extra dimension of interpretation in your spreads! 

  • Aces (1) –  New beginnings, gifts, manifesting, the essence of a suit.
  • 2 – Balance, partnership, duality, choices, union, spiritual connection, you and yourself.
  • 3 –  Expansion, groups of people, fertility, creativity, (team)work, growth.
  • 4 – Structure and foundations.
  • 5 – Change, conflict, shock, testing faith and challenges.
  • 6 – Alignment, harmony, help.
  • 7 – Reflecting, daydreaming, reevaluating, an inner crisis, stubborn ideas.
  • 8 – Mastery of skill, life-goals, rebirth, escaping a cycle, protection, obsession.
  • 9 – Transition period, attainment, satisfaction or dissatisfaction, aftermath.
  • 10 – End of a cycle, whether bitter or sweet.

Add these numerological meanings to a suit, and you get your Minor Arcana meanings. A Two of Cups is thus an emotional union of some kind, be it lovers, friendship, or business partners who have great chemistry. The Seven of Pentacles is thus your reflection on what it is you are doing with your life, how you make ends meet, and is this all there is to your physical manifestation.

Combining numbers

After you’re done reading your spread normally, you can look into repeating patterns and symbols for an extra layer of detail. Again, what does it mean when three fours show up in your spread? My simple formula for numerology is this:

Number of cards eg. 3:  The stage of your subject, topic or message.

Card numbers eg. 8:  The subject, topic  or message itself

Let’s company three fours, and four threes. The fours in tarot talk about structure and foundation. Threes often talk about the building of something. Ergo, you are putting in a lot of work, maybe even physical, to reach that stability.

Numerology: 3 (Working towards) Fours (stability).

The other way around, your subject like is not stability, but growth. What is the stage of your growth? It has reached stability and foundation because there are four threes! Meaning, for example, a high-level promotion, recognition, maybe even fame.

Numerology: 4 (Achieving stability) Three (thanks to growth and/or teamwork).

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A person making numerology notes in their notebook

Count cards

Another neat trick in numerology is… mathematics! Numerology adds double, triple, multiple digits to get down to its basic number. You can think of 10, too, as being 1+0, which equals 1, or a new beginning, thus the start of a new cycle.

However, I would not add court cards (11, 12, 13, 14) in that way. Because court cards aren’t technically the continuation of the 1-10 progression. They are their own separate category within the Minor Arcana, denoting not the spiritual journey of the element, but rather personality traits. As such, let's look at the Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings as 1, 2, 3 and 4.

  • Pages – (1) The essence of a suit, young, naive, inexperienced, eager.
  • Knights – (2) The fluctuating duality of the suit, like a teenager, making choices.
  • Queens – (3) The spiritual essence of the suit, cultivating its nature with others.
  • Kings – (4) The stable manifestation of the suit, its mastery and control.

Interpret these within your suit, and there you have it. The King of Cups is mastery of your emotions, a person who is able to consider both their heart and logic. The Knight of Swords is someone who is talented with words but at the same time lacks tact or empathy, or uses them solely for their own benefit.

You can think of The Queen of Pentacles and Three of Cups as two threes! For instance, the duality (2) of growth (3), wherein something you’ve been building has been interrupted, but it either made you stronger, or you barely even noticed because you have other, evolved priorities.

Major Arcana and numerology

Remember adding double digits? Well, this is where it comes into play in your Major Arcana. Up until the Wheel of Fortune (10) everything is in line with the above meanings. The Emperor (4), similar to a King (4), represents structure. The Hermit (9) is a transitional period, and so forth.

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Similarly, you can use numerology to interpret the rest of the Major Arcana by adding double digits. The Devil (16) is 1+6, which gives us seven. Thus, The Devil, the Chariot (7) and sevens in tarot talk about dreams, inner crises, re-evaluating and stubborn, head-strong ideas. The Devil can be the stubborn ideas and illusions that spirals us into crisis and need re-evaluation, while the Chariot also chases ideas and promises, having evaluated and set a goal in front of the reader.

As such, you think of a King of Pentacles and an Emperor as two kings, or two fours. With the Kind being in Pentacles, this might just mean a win-win success. Add a Four of Wands, and we get…. three fours! Because it’s wands, we can interpret that stability is natural so long as it is pleasurable and you are, so to say, within your element, living the work-life and loving it. After all, work time is life time, too.

Post Scriptum

I hope you enjoyed this immensely educational post on numerology. You won’t find many blog posts that teach you beyond the meanings of 1-10, so make sure to bookmark this page for later. If you have questions, suggestions or feedback, please make sure to comment below.

Esra

April 5, 2022

Yes, I think so.

Ludivine

April 5, 2022

Hi
And for the World 21, It’s the 22th card and 2+2=4 ?
Thanks for your explanation.
Ludivine

Ludivine

April 5, 2022

Hi.
Ok I understand but for me it seems less intuitive like that :-)
Kindly
Ludivine

Esra

March 22, 2022

Hi Ludivine, the Devil is listed as 15, but it’s the 16th card in the deck. The Fool is listed as 0.

Best, Esra

Ludivine

March 22, 2022

Hi. Isn’t the Devil rather 15 ?
Kindly
Ludivine

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