A study of the major and major arcana of the tarot would not be complete without a thorough understanding of the numbers behind the scenes. Numerology, the study and use of numbers, assigns a meaning and nature to each of the numbers from one to nine. Each number has a meaning, and all the cards associated with that number, both in the major and minor arcana, have an interpretation connected to this meaning.
The charts below list the relationship oriented meanings of the numbers. There is value to having an understanding of number theory. Those that have learned the method of associating the numerological meaning of number with the Tarot cards have a short cut to quickly interpreting the cards. This is especially true with the minor arcana. Instead of learning a specific relationship meaning for the forty cards (though this is still a good thing to do), one only needs to know the meaning of the relationship meaning of the number, the relationship quality associated with the suite, and then draw a conclusion from the two.
Stages of the Numbers:
Stimulus, beginnings, opportunity
Uniting, blending pairing
Developing, fruition, wholeness
Accumulation, insight, realization
Reaction, reciprocity, counteraction
Product, evolution, completion
Projection, extension, confrontation
Direction, control, restraint
Relaxation, restoration, satiation
Amplification, multiplication, solution
The numbers can be grouped together to express the cycles that a relationship goes through. The value for recognizing this occurs when there of a majority of a given cycle, pointing at the overall quality of a relationship.
Aces, Twos, Threes – Symbolize the formulate period before the relationship comes into existence.
Four, Fives, Sixes – The cycle that follows a mutual acceptance of the relationship. The relationship forms as a entity with its own identity.
Sevens, Eights and Nines – Relationship is full operative. Relationships purpose is defined and commitments are understood and acted upon.
Ten – Relationship completing one level of the cycle. The interaction must be renewed.
Special attention should be given to those numbers that are a multiple of two. As two is the beginning energy of pairing, and relationships are very much about pairing, this is something to look at deeper.
Consider the building of pairing energies:
1 x 2 = 2
Response x Reaction
2 x 2 = 4
Reaction x Reaction
3 x 2 = 6
Result x Reaction
4 x 2 = 8
Reflection x Reaction
5 x 2 = 10
Reappraisal x Reaction
This gives five possible states for a relationship as it builds in energy. Each suite reacts differently to the outcomes as the “two” pairing energy builds.