Numerology is associating numbers with meaning. Understanding how to use numerology in your tarot readings will help you become a more effective tarot reader. Using numerology can give your readings more dimension especially if you see repeating numbers, number patterns, or:
more odd numbers
more even numbers
numbers are increasing
numbers are decreasing
Don't just look at the number on the tarot card, also look at the card details as well:
number of objects, e.g. how many dice are on the Magician's table and why does the Magician's table have only three legs?
the number of stars on the Star's major arcana card
The number of peaks on the hat worn by the figure depicted on the card
Number of fingers or toes of the figure depicted in the card
All these details can seem daunting at first, but learning to associate numbers with energy or meanings will add power to your readings.
The arrangement of the tarot deck is very much influenced by numerology
Pythagoras is the Greek mathematician where most of our numerology ideas come from in the Western world (from The Marseille Tarot Revealed by Yoav Ben-Doav). Pythagoras used numbers to explain the meaning of the universe.
Thinking of numbers represented by geometric shapes also gives more meaning to the energetic qualities of each number. In this article, each number is represented by a geometric shape. This information comes from Reading and Understanding the Marseille Tarot by Anna Maria Morsucci and Antolnella Aloi which I highly recommend for anyone's library.
When we talk of the numerology in tarot, we are also giving meaning and associating an energy to each number. Each number has its energetic quaiqualitiesties.
Odd Numbers (not including one): Masculine energy which is active, achieving, forward, and moving. It also means logic and reason.
Even Numbers: Feminine energy which is reflective, holds space as a vessel holds water, nurtures, and creates. this energy is associated with intuition and receiving.
When there is a balance of feminine and masculine energy there is harmony and balance.
Number One: the root of all numbers. This is the beginning of the potential. This is the point where the process begins. In geometry, the number one is represented by a point.
keywords: individual, beginning, whole, union, power, focus and concentration
The Magician I: Individual, potential, focus on creating something new and giving something power
Strength XI or Rider Waite's XI Justice- The Strength card appears in the second set of ten cards of the major arcana. An individual becomes more receptive to thought and spirituality. Importance of understanding the consequences, control, and meaning of actions.
The World XXI - conclusion of the Major Arcana cards. It is associated with completeness, lessons learned, acceptance, and moving on; or the opposite which is not accepting the lessons and stagnation.
Ace of Cups: the purest form of the water element associated with relationships, emotions, intuition, and spirituality. It is the beginning or it is the overall aspect of the suit. For instance: it can be the beginning of a relationship or the overall attitude/feeling of the relationship.
Ace of Swords: the purest form of the air element which is associated with intellect, mental energy, control of a situation, education (learning), action, communications, conflict, planning, and institutions (university or government). The ace in this suit can be the beginning of an action or plan to act or it could be the attitude (sharp thinking or confusion) or consequence of an action (victory or defeat).
Ace of Wands: the purest form of the fire element which is associated with creativity, passion, growth, ambition, physical energy, and enthusiasm. The ace of this suit can represent the beginning of an endeavor or the overall energy of the endeavor such as impulsiveness, giving all energy, or a lack of or suppressed energy and suppressed creativity, or passion.
Ace of Coins (Pentacles): the purest form of the element of earth which is associated with money, skills, business, physical health, and property. The ace in this suit can mean the beginning of a business matter, investment, or acquisition or the feeling or ability to gain in materialistic matters such as greed or cooperation.
The Number Two: an even number associated with feminine energy. It's receptive and accepting or rejecting. In geometry, two is represented by a line that joins two points.
keywords: duality, opposites, compliments, collusion, confrontation, repels, rejects, crossroad
The Popess (High Priestess) II: This card is ass
ociated with the connection of two opposite ideas that occur at once - the physical/material and the spiritual. It can be the rejection of one idea over another. The Popess combines intellect and intuition. Wisdom, but not revealing answers.
The Hanged Man XII: This card is associated with polarities. How two worlds or concepts can be opposite or the tension between two things. The difficulties one has to go through to obtain peace. A difficult endurance to go through to achieve a goal. A period of self-reflection before giving oneself to others.
Two of Cups: associated with a partnership, alliance, or disappointment with someone who is close or intimate.
Two of Swords: confronting or cooperating. The situation at hand can not be avoided anymore so boundaries are put into place. Make preparations for the next move.
Two of Wands: Crossroads. There are options to choose from and each option has its own benefits and consequences.
Two of Coins (Pentacles): duality and opposites. A person is trying to handle two things at once i.e. business and home. It's also about collaborating with others while keeping a distance i.e. separating personal and business.
The Number Three: an odd number with masculine energy. In geometry it is represented by a triangle: Two elements coming together to create something new. A child from a relationship, a project developed by people and ideas. The energy is dynamic and moves.
keywords: growth, building, project, birth, marriage, contract
The Empress III: associated with creation, giving life, protection, and love. The Empress acts from instinct.
Death XIII: The energy of this card compliments the energy of The Empress III in that with birth comes death and then rebirth. It is the transformation that happens with birth and death.
Three of Cups: A birth of something new that brings joy or a problem between a parent and child.
Three of Swords: A result of dealing with an issue that can not be avoided
Three of Wands: This is a movement forward after a decision or a hesitation to think about the options.
Three of Coins (Pentacles): A product, a partnership that creates a business, results
The Number Four: an even number that represents stability, structure, order, and institutions. It represents matter: the 4 elements of earth, fire, air, and water. In geometry, the number four is represented by a square: four points that come together to represent a simple solid shape. Four Directions: east, west, south, and north.
keywords: solid, balance, achievement, stability, harmony, security, conservative, counterbalance, conformity.
The Emperor IIII: associated with the union of strength, wisdom, stability, and order of all the elements to rule.
Temperance XIIII: associated with harmony and learning to deal with any overabundance by "tempering", or harmonizing any element in excess. The achievement is adapting to a situation with grace.
Four of Cups: a sense of belonging to a group i.e. family, friends, community. Commitment made to a group.
Four of Swords: a sense of being constrained. The feeling of needing more space to grow, but there are limitations.
Four of Wands: reached a dead end or impasse
Four of Coins (Pentacles): reliability, stability, and predictability. established tradition
The Number Five: an odd number with unstable energy. It's an extra element or overabundance that has thrown something or someone off balance. There is no equilibrium and the extra element has a destructive effect. In geometry, is represented by the number five is represented by the pentagon or a five-pointed star inside a circle called a pentagram.
keywords: transformation, revolution, shakeup, churning, anxiety, stirring, agitation
Hierophant or Pope V: outside influence on conventions/traditions causes contemplation, reflection, debate
The Devil XV: overabundance or excess. An individual must give something up that no longer serves them in order to move forward.
Five of Cups: making many alliances in order to gain. many any of these connections cause an individual to become shallow
Five of Swords: breakthrough. A rush of energy to push through a situation of stalemate
Five of Wands: the extra energy required to overcome a difficult time
Five of Coins (Pentacles): disruption. Something happened to upset the balance and gets special attention.
The Number Six: this number represents union, and perfection when two elements/units/bodies/parts come together. It's cooperation. In geometry, it is represented by a hexagon which is the perfect shape where all sides are equal. A honeycomb structure is an example of a hexagon shape as well as a snowflake. This structure is known to be strong because all weight is evenly distributed. It's nature's perfect shape because hexagons fit well together leaving no wasted space.
keywords: analysis, comparing, choices, options, trust, unison, union, decision/indecision
The Lovers VI: represents choices. A choice made from similar options.
The Tower XVI: a change or development where choices are more clear and an individual clearly sees where they are in a situation.
Six of Cups: harmony and harmony among choices made
Six of Swords: acceptance/resignation of the way things are
Six of Wands: from chaos to joining forces in the best interests of self and others
Six of Coins (Pentacles): finding that sweet spot between stability and adaptability. Moving forward.
The Number Seven: this number represents the mystical and beyond the limitations. Seven represents the seven known heavenly bodies from the Sun to Saturn, seven main chakras from the root chakra to the crown, seven days of creation (world's time), and seven metals of alchemy (gold, silver, mercury, copper, lead, iron & tin). Beyond Saturn was heaven and the divine. We are elevated to a higher knowing of ourselves and the world. In geometry, seven is represented by the heptagram. Heptagram has long been a symbol of the realm between worlds. Seven is often linked to the spiritual meaning of alchemy: healing and achieving inner transformation where we are free of our fears and anxieties.
keywords: effort, growth, maturing, expansion, phenomenon
The Chariot VII: rising above your limitation and taking control to move forward
The Star XVII: expansion and finding that you are enough. Energy towards ambition
Seven of Cups: Recognising your unique qualities. Aware of your uniqueness
Seven of Swords: Heightened awareness. Sharper thinking.
Seven of Wands: Encounter with opposition. Competition.
Seven of Coins (Pentacles): Accepting a change. Adapting to a situation
The Number Eight: This number represents fulfillment after a period of adjustments and
corrections. The number eight on its side is the infinity symbol. It's a number that represents balance and order. In geometry, 8 can be represented as the octagon. We see this shape in churches; baptismal fonts. The octagon's 8 sides represent the day after the seven days of
the week of the world's creation. The eighth day is symbolic of the eternal life.
keywords: evolution, stable structure, details, patience, continuity, order of
The Moon XVIII: Constant change (tides, phases of the Moon) and learning to adapt and live with and by the changes.
Eight of Cups: understanding that the group dynamic has changed and trying to find our place
Eight of Swords: Taking control when things are in constant change
Eight of Wands: Take another viewpoint
Eight of Coins (Pentacles): recognizing that a human touch is needed
The Number Nine: nine is a multiple of three's, 3 times 3 making it an energetically strong number. It's close to ten which represents wholeness, but it can also mean not being able to
reach a goal or desire. Then number nine energy in geometry is represented by three lines of three points making a square. The energy goes in many directions
and may invoke a quest for self-discovery. Nine represents intuition.
keywords: threshold, mysticism, dynamic, wisdom, portal, threshold
The Hermit VIIII- A quest for truth and self-discovery
The Sun XVIIII - Sharing the knowledge
Nine of Cups: Workings of a partnership or group
Nine of Swords: Anxiety about results or a confrontation
Nine of Wands: Reaching a point to make a decision to go on or give up
Nine of Coins (Pentacles): Seeing results
The Number Ten: Ten is a number that indicates completion. It can also indicate the start of a new cycle.
The number 10 is also a symbol of power, completeness, and knowledge and in Pythagoreanism, 10 is symbolised by the Tetractys or tetrad which represents the four elements of water, air, fire, and earth. It also serves to describe space:
the first row represents zero dimension by a single point
the second row represents one dimension by a point meeting another point to form a line
the third row represents two dimensions where a triangle is formed
the fourth row represents three dimensions to form a tetrahedron
keywords: end of a cycle, completeness, begin again, start of a new cycle, final outcome
The Wheel of Fortune X: ascension and descension; the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one
Judgment XX: A new level of understanding, the critical moment where enlightenment happens in a situation
Ten of Cups: recognition within a group
Ten of Swords: end of a difficult cycle where every possibility has been exhausted
Ten Wands: The end of a difficult period, but learning that a partnership is strong enough to withstand the hardships
Ten of Coins (Pentacles): material achievement
Zero or Unnumbered
The card with no number value represents a moment that is very brief and between the ending of one journey (or a life's lesson) and the beginning of a new journey.
The Fool is a very energetic card but has no number value. The Fool card is like a wild card because there are so many possibilities and when the Fool appears in the spread the limits and potentials are boundless. This is a new journey, a new beginning. It is often said that the Fool is "nowhere and is everywhere"
For notes on geometry representation: Reading and Understanding the Marseille Tarot by Anna Maria Morsucci & Antonella Aloi, Lo Scarabeo
The Marseille Tarot Revealed by Yoav Ben-Dov, Llewellyn Publications
The Way of Tarot, The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Marianne Costa, Destiny Books
Tarot By Numbers by Liz Dean, Fair winds Press