Secrets of Tarot Numerology: Lesson 9

By Gary Meister

A person can spend a lifetime studying the Tarot, and still never know all there is to know.  But – you don’t have to spend a lifetime before you can start doing meaningful Tarot card readings for yourself and your friends and relatives.  You don’t even have to memorize all the meanings in the Little White Book (LWB) that comes with each new deck of Tarot cards.  All you really need to know to get started is one meaning for each card and know it well.  This series of articles will show you an easy way to do that, with Numerology.  

But, this series isn’t only for beginners.  I didn’t learn this system until I had received two Tarot Master Certificates from two different sources, and after nearly 30 years of Tarot study.  And, along with some other systems, I use it to this day.  So – if you are a newcomer to Tarot, this might make your learning curve a little faster.  If you’re a veteran reader, this could be a new technique to add to your arsenal.

First—I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and I wish you the very best New Year ever!    :o)

Okay—let’s get started as usual with a quick review of where we are right now:

Secrets of Tarot Numerology Tables

Table of Elements

Major Arcana = Spirit = spiritual growth

Pentacles = Earth = finances, money, material things

Swords = Air = thoughts, ideas, attitudes

Wands = Fire = imagination, creativity, intuition

Water = Cups = love, relationships, the emotions

Primary Number Tables

0.Infinite potential

1.Action; Beginnings

2.Cooperation; Coming together

3.Creativity; Expansion

4.Reason; Practicality

5.Changes, sometimes crises

6.Peace, Harmony

7.Success; Learning from one’s mistakes

8.Success through hard work

9.End of a cycle of life

10.Completion; Perfection; Endings leading to new beginnings.

11.Extreme creative action on important new beginnings

12.Creative, cooperative beginnings

13.Active new beginnings; Creativity; Expansion, with reason and practicality

Now: let’s move along.

Number 14 Again the number starts with the action number 1, the number of beginnings.  Combining the action, or beginning energy, of the 1 with the practical, reasoning strength of the 4, gives us the well thought-out or well-planned beginning of something. What? You’ve got it—check the Element. I’ll tie it together better below after we finish with the rest of the combination.  

Adding 1+4 gives us 5, a number of big, unexpected changes, which at times appear to be crises. Although, when it’s all over, we usually find that things are even better than they were before the changes came about. So—we plan carefully, and begin our new project. Be aware that, at any time, things can change.  Be like a good Boy/Girl Scout: “Be Prepared.”  An old saying that often proves true goes well with this number: “If you want to make God laugh—tell him your plans!”  :o)

Fourteen is the highest number associated with the Minor Arcana cards (14 is the number attributed to the Minor Arcana Kings). Remember, the court cards in this system most usually play out strictly as numbers, although if it feels right to you, depending on the reading, the King could be a wise counselor bringing the message of the number. Numbers fifteen through twenty-one belong strictly to the Major Arcana—only one card to learn per number. So—let’s try 14 out in a reading:  

If I were to draw the Major Arcana (spiritual growth) card Temperance, using this system, I might say... “You’ve been working on your spiritual growth and, after reading some material that is new to you, you have reasoned it out and you are beginning a new meditation discipline to help you progress. Don’t be surprised to see big changes in your mundane life that will call on you spiritually, again and again, during this time. It is part of the tempering process; it will help you grow stronger in your faith and spirituality as long as you don’t let it overpower your spiritual outlook on life. As heat and cooling temper iron into steel, making it stronger, yet more able to bend without breaking, so too do these material challenges temper you in your ability to bend as necessary with what life throws at you and come back stronger in your spirituality. It helps to remember who and what you really are—not a physical being that has a soul, but a spiritual being which inhabits a material body, to learn spiritual lessons from material stresses.”

That’s what I might say—what would you say?  You’re the reader.

How about if you drew the King of Swords?  Think about it—say it out loud and listen to how it sounds. Then expand upon it—look into its meaning more deeply and see how you could use it to give your client—or yourself—spiritual guidance. Then, write it in your Tarot notebook, saying it aloud as you do so. Try it with the other kings as well.

Okay, let’s move on to Number 15, The Devil. Number 1, action or beginnings, combined with number 5, big changes—the beginning of big changes. 1+5=6, a number of peace and harmony. So, where do we go from there?

Well, what I do with this card is work with its traditional meaning and build upon it with its number. The Devil isn’t at all what he appears to be. The Devil himself—in the picture—represents the material world. The people chained to him symbolize the way we let ourselves be chained to the material world, forgetting that, as spiritual beings, the material world is really no danger to us at all. If one looks closely, the chains are applied very loosely, showing the figures could pull them over their heads at any time they choose. But we get all wrapped up in things and prestige and money, forgetting who we are. In her Tarot deck, Eileen Connelly changed the name of this card to “Materiality,” which is more true to the card’s meaning.

Utilizing the number system, I think this card comes entirely as Tarot’s advice to the client—or you if you’re reading for yourself.

Here’s how I work with it:  “It’s time for you to take action and make a big change in the way you view the world. You have been too wrapped up in the material things in life, to the point of not paying enough attention to your spiritual life. If you make this change and devote a regular portion of your time to meditation and spiritual matters, you will find it makes your life far more peaceful and harmonious.” And, of course, I expand upon it.

What do you think?  How would you read it? (...and all that stuff about you’re the reader and write it down, and all...)  :o)

Next time—16, The Tower, and 17, The Star.

Bright Blessings ~ Gary Meister, CTM

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