Tarot and Numerology—Interpreting the meaning of numbers in your Tarot cards

By March 26, 2010Tarot Basics

Every card in a Tarot deck has an numerological association. These numbers are based on the principles of numerology and represent a material and spiritual evolutionary process that begins with the number 1 and ends with the number 9.

For the Pip Cards in the Minor Arcana (i.e. those cards from Ace to 10 in each of the four Suits), this is relatively straight-forward. Aces are associated with 1, and then each card is numbered 2 to 10. For the tens, you can either treat it as a 10 or as a 1 (1+0). Court Cards do not typically have a numerological association.

In the Major Arcana, you may need to add the single digits together to create the appropriate numerological association. For example, the Wheel of Fortune is labelled 10. To find its associations you would add 1+0=1. Its association is therefore 1.

Using Numerology in Tarot

Numerology can be used to interpret a single card or an entire reading. Most traditional Tarot card interpretations already take into account the numerological association. For example, the Ace of Wands is about new beginnings and determination, while the Ten of Swords is about an ending. For a complete Tarot reading, numerology can be used to detect certain themes by interpreting how many of each number appear in the reading. For example, the presence of three 4’s in a reading indicates fruition or the manifestation of an idea along with a foundation where things can grow.

The Meanings of Numbers in Tarot


New beginnings, opportunity, potential, drive, ideas, inspiration and aspiration. One deals with that which is about to take form. Many ones in a reading indicates that a situation is about to begin or is in the early stages of development.


Balance, duality, a crossroad or choice, partnership, assimilation, sharing, receptivity, diplomacy, gentle persuasion, application, agreement and insight. Many twos in a reading indicates a waiting period where there will be partial success but more will be revealed later. It can also indicate a reconciliation or reunion.


Initial achievement of goals, growth, creativity, abundance, expression, communication and friendships. The number 3 is the cementing factor of 1 and 2 and goes through to 4 to bring about that which is desired and envisioned. Multiple 3s in a reading indicate group activities or situations involving more than one person. They can also indicate delay but with the promise of future success.


Structure, foundation, stability, stagnation, manifestation, practical application, formation, concentration, organisation and planning. It is the result of a well-built foundation and proper application. It is what comes as a result of desire and imagination (i.e. the energy of 1, 2 and 3). Many 4s in a reading indicate fruition or the manifestation of an idea along with a foundation where things can grow.


Instability, conflict, loss, opportunity for change, new cycle, change, expansion and recreation. In a reading, many 5s indicate change, challenge and fluctuation. They also indicate material prosperity but spiritual poverty if not properly balanced.


Communication, problem-solving, cooperation, balance, relaxation, adjustment, harmony, compassion, social consciousness, domesticity, love, care, comfort and concern. Many 6s in a reading indicate adjustments in thoughts, attitudes or conditions. They also represent the ability to transcend difficulties.


Reflection, assessment, motives, spirituality, wisdom, perfect order, observation, investigation, meditation, discovery and knowledge. Seven represents faith – faith in the things that can’t be seen, but nevertheless exist. It is about knowing the ultimate truths, and it is through experience that understanding develops and faith in the unknown is attained. In a reading, many 7s indicate a period of introspection or solitude.


Movement, action, change, rebirth, regeneration, re-evaluation, capability, spiritual fortitude, success, recognition, accomplishment and attainment. Eight is associated with power that springs from within and enables one to accomplish that which one sets out to do. Many 8s indicate a positive change of mind or status.


Fruition, attainment, bringing things to a conclusion, completion, fulfilment, selflessness, magnetism, idealism and giver of wisdom or inspiration. Many 9s in a reading mean that situations or events are nearing completion or have just been completed and another plateau awaits.


Completion, end of a cycle and renewal. 10 can also become 1 (1+0 = 1) and therefore the tens represent the same things as the Aces but on a higher level. Many 10s in a reading can indicate endings which will soon transform into new beginnings.

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  • Wendy says:

    Very informative post. I enjoy your site every time I visit. Thank you. 🙂

  • ♪Johnny♪ says:

    This topic is very helpful upon learning numerology with tarot. Thank you!

  • ♪Johnny♪ says:

    I thought about something: What about the number Zero?
    To me it reminds me of the womb and the soon beginning journey of the Fool.

  • Vee says:

    Another great article as always! I was wondering do you ever add up groups of cards to gain more insight. For instance, if several Major Arcana’s show up, will you add the total of the numbers to gain more insight. Do you ever add all the numbers in the spread to get perhaps an overall view of things?

    • Brigit says:

      Hi Vee,
      Absolutely… I always look for themes and patterns across readings including how Majors, how many of each Suit, common symbols, colours, numbers, Courts, etc. Everything has significance!!

  • Dennis Acuzar says:

    Hi Brigit,

    Your blog creates a very unique experience and information as well that somehow resonates to guidance to human existence in a different level.
    Likewise your smiling and beautiful face is like a guiding star that points me to my true North.
    Take care always.

  • Sherryl Treen says:


    My full name is Sherry Lynne Treen which means I have seven 5s in my name. I looked at the 5 section but I’m not sure what it means when I have all those 5s in my name.

    • Brigit says:

      Hi Sherryl,
      Numerology and your name is a little different. The meanings are similar, but they may have a different context for you.
      Here’s what I found for 5s – “A person with the 5 Name energy is the thinker and the observer. You are clever, versatile, analytical and a very quick thinker. No one pulls the wool over your eyes! You have the ability to do so many things well. With the 5 Name you are highly flexible and well equipped to making and accepting change. With the 5 energy you always seek excitement and are sometimes a bit of a risk-taker. You are imaginative, and often, through your unconventional way of thinking, are naturally able to solve complex problems with ease.” (

  • Tyler says:

    I just need to know whether I am accurate. My B-day is November 23 1992 so its 11/23/1992 (21) after all the adding im left with 55/1 being ace of swords. But really confuses me is getting my soul number on my name “Tyler Alexander Montoya” I don’t know what to do with the “Y” so I had 3 results being 37/1 King of cups, 30/3 four of wands, or 39/3 knight of cups. So I am really confused which one is right or if I am adding the vowels correctly because I am told Y counts and then again it doesn’t so yeah lol.

  • Jason says:

    Tarot newb here, and trying to reconcile numerology vs. tarot definitions for Swords. In particular, why is it that the numerological definition of 3 (for example) is friendships and harmony, whereas the 3 of swords is sorrow and hurt? This trend continues throughout the whole Swords suit. Why don’t the meanings line up for the swords?

  • Jason says:

    Very interesting read. So much subtlety in these cards…

  • Gabby says:

    Hey, Brigit. I want to ask, are these meanings only for direct cards or for direct and inverted? For example, 10 of Swords comes inverted, so should I think that there is no renewal and so on?

  • Gabby says:

    I meant direct and reversed (sorry, I’m messing with my english)

  • Manuel says:

    Hi, I was wondering if you can please help me understand these three questions:
    Explain the relationship between numbers and the tarot.
    Differentiate between numbers and ciphers.
    Outline the purpose of the three stages.
    Thank you.

  • Jaden says:

    Hello! I love this and it also makes perfect sense to me. My question is, I got 6, 7, 8, 18(1+8) = 9, and a 2, in that order.. I’ll be looking into it further but any idea what that might mean? I’d appreciate yur insight thank you!!

  • Dana says:

    Is it weird that I see 3 as opportunity too? It’s just my feeling, but it’s nagging me and I’m not too sure if I should write it down on the book reserved for tarot cards.

    New to tarots here – sorry if I sound odd.

  • Maria says:

    I loved reading this post Brigit, it’s so informative. I can see how once I get to master the numbers, reading the pips will be so much easier!

    i have a question though. Number 3 seems to be so positive (Initial achievement of goals, growth, creativity, abundance, expression, communication and friendships), and yet the 3 of Swords seems to be such a negative card (betrayal, sorrow heartbreak, grief, rejection…). What am I missing?

    • Brigit says:

      I know! The 3 of Swords seems like an odd cousin to the other 3s. Interestingly, some decks make the imagery of the 3 of Swords a lot more positive – e.g. the Gaian Tarot. It’s definitely a balance between the numbers, elements and the imagery in the card.

  • Sarah Watson says:

    So so helpful. I will be buying your book! There’s just soo many elements I still don’t know.x

  • Luke Yancey says:

    I think my favorite number relating to Tarot is the number seven. I like what is says about reflection and having faith in things that can’t be seen. I feel like this assessment sort of fits me in a way. When trying to play with Tarot cards in the past, I usually drew the seven of swords. I also just want to state that I do not believe there should be strict meaning to each card in the deck. It should be more related to what you see yourself.

  • abby says:

    Hi Brigit, thanks for this post, it is most informative. I was wondering what insight you can give me about the relationships between the numbers in tarot numerology, For example, why does ‘structure, foundation’ (4) follow ‘achievement of goals’ (3)? Why does ‘instability’ (5) follow ‘stability’ (4)? Thanks in advance!

    • Brigit says:

      The achievement of goals in the 3 are preliminary – like starting to see some results from your efforts. Then 4 is stabilising and establishing a foundation for that success.

      Instability can follow stability especially since there is ongoing change. We never reach that place of perfection – it continues to de-stabilise, then stabilise, in an ongoing cycle. Once you reach a place of stability, you often choose to create change, which leads to that tension point of the 5.

      Hope that helps! If you enjoy this kind of conversation, join us in the Biddy Tarot Community –

  • John says:

    The Aces are extraneous to correct prognostications ( if that’s what you want to do) and the fool and the world are not required. This leads one to suspect….

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  • ashely says:

    I was just shuffling a deck of cards when a 9 jumped out , i put it back and then two shuffles later a pair of 9 jump out, What all does that mean?

  • Chrissy says:

    How do you treat the numerology for cards above the number 9? Should you reduce court cards, etc.? So that 12 would be 1+2=3 and apply the lessons of that number. Or, because these are written in Roman numeral form, should you simply drop the “X” and apply the lessons of the following number? So that 12 (Written as XII) would carry association with the number 2.

    I am wondering about this because as I study the cards, I like to group the cards and see how they are similar and different. For example, look at all of the 4s in the minor arcana at the same time, and just see how the lesson of 4 carries across all of them, and compare how the content of the image and the suit differ between the cards…etc. This becomes a little tricky when I get into the major arcana, and perhaps is actually not even applicable.

    How do you deal with number above 9?
    Thanks to all.

  • Frea says:

    Absolutely loved this post, it has given lots of insight on the impact of numbers over imagery in cards . How ever if spread keeps showing most of the time major arcana and in particular ace of swords , and ace of wands side by side along World & wheel of fortune , what does it mean?
    Also if I pull card for someone, and tarrot instead start giving me My cards and not clients , what does that mean ? I instantly knw that these r my cards and tarot is acting like moody fellow

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