Many ancient cultures believed in the significance and power of numbers, particularly the Greeks and Hebrews who developed the systems used in modern day numerology.
The Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagorus wrote in the 6th century BCE that ‘numbers are the first things of all of nature’. His theory was that everything was symbolized or brought back down to a single digit number. Numbers weren’t just of mathematical significance, but were central to everything that went on in the universe. They were the key to all wisdom. The primary numbers one to nine each vibrate to a different frequency, and these vibrations echo throughout the universe. This music of the spheres’ was an expression of the heavenly bodies, which had their own numerical value and harmonic vibration. Various symbols are used by different cultures to symbolize the numbers, but the Pythagorean system, based on the nine primary numbers, is the most common.
Numerology and the tarot
The tarot is rich with numerical significance and value. The Major Arcana consists of a strange number of cards to have – why 22 cards? The number 22 is said to be the most perfectly balanced number. It is said to embody spiritual evolution, worldly success, the coming together of reason, intellect, vision, feeling and skill. It combines all of these elements in its balance.
Note that the court cards of each suit are usually given values as follows: Page =7, Knight = 3, Queen = 2, King =1.
Using numbers for tarot readings
Because each tarot card has its own number, you can use these in two different ways to create another dimension to your reading. By adding together all the numbers of the chosen cards in a spread and reducing them down to a single digit, you can obtain information about the overall long-term direction of a reading. This Quintessential Number is the overall guide and purpose of the reading in question.
Say you choose the Six of Wands, the King of Swords, the magician and the Empress in a spread. Their values are:
The Quintessential Number is 2