Numbers repeating in a Tarot reading can indicate other meanings.
Numbers are everywhere, even when we don’t realise it. The size of our shoes to the height & weight we are, how many biscuits we’ve just devoured or how many cups of coffee, carbonated soft drink etc. we consume in a day/hour… they’re everywhere! Even the roads have numbers on them, which at times, is just as well!
In a Tarot reading though, numbers are vital & help structure the Tarot. That’s why the Tarot is different from Oracle cards. It’s this numerical structure that’s important & I’m not sure where it came from. Either the Golden Dawn or with Arthur Waite or even before them. (If you know, educate me in reply, I love replies!)
Having a basic understanding of what each number means can help, so here’s a link to some explanations & my quick personal run down.
One’s: Think of these as your seeds, your mono-pods. Not great at standing up on their own, but needed & useful. They’re often the start of things.
Three’s: Okay, a little like a 3 legged stool, better for comfort & sitting on than a monopod but it can unbalance things if you’re not careful. Triangles are good, squares are stronger, which brings us to the
Four’s: Okay, think of your table legs, the dining chairs, the sofas. They have four legs, they’re quite stable & can hold a bundle more stuff than the three-legged-stools can!
Five’s: Things are a little unstable again. Gone is the stability but it’s heading towards new things. You have to grow, so the 5’s are all about changing the status-quo & removing what doesn’t work whilst you replace it with something that works a little better.
Six’s: Back to having six legs, again. If you don’t think that’s useful, ask an insect like the ladybug/ladybird or an ant.
Seven’s: This is one of my favourite numbers & this to me, is all about finding the growth within yourself now. It’s not about external issues, it’s about internal issues, growing. The 7 of Swords & its honesty is a prime example. (Card is from The Gilded by Ciro Marchetti)
Eight’s: This is infinity standing up in my view: anything is possible, barriers can be broken through. It’s double stable so have the internal confidence of the suit & go for it!
Nine’s: One step away from the ten, which is the highest number you can go to! You’re nearly there, just a little more effort, work, determination, grit, character & you’re there! So it’s claimed.
Qabbalah & Numbers:
Ten’s: well, the end is here! As far as the numbers go, that’s as high as the Minors run to. Majors are a different kettle of fish & I have no idea why they have the numbers they do. These ten’s are the end of the line, it’s time to backtrack or jump to another line. Have you ever seen the Qabbalah Tree of Life? If not, it’s right here. <–
It’s believed we start at Malkuth (10) and we work up to Kether (1) (if I’m wrong, please correct me, for goodness sake!) We can come back & take a different path & there’s no set path. We each encounter the Majors on these paths as we travel from 10 to 1.
Numbers are SO important & not just for how old we are. It helps us rationalise & put things into logic. Not everything needs to be logical though, I’ll grant you! I haven’t learned what the stations mean & since I’m not Jewish, it’s a little harder but if you’ve the time, Google might your friend here. (The arms between the stations are numbered, hence why those cards are there)
Other Use of Numbers in the Tarot:
It’s also important to note that sometimes, numbers that are missing are just as important as what comes up. If you do a Celtic-cross & say you draw 3 4’s (Arrows, Bows & Stones, for example) the missing element of Vessels is likely the key that is needed to bring about the action of the stability that you/querent needs in their life.
Numbers that are NOT there are just as important as what IS there, as the case above shows. Having lots of pairs as well becomes interesting when you get different elements in the pairings. It’s just as exciting if the elements are the same; it shows a lack of the other elements, which are either not needed or desperately lacking. It comes down to the client’s situation. Watching the numbers can give you a heads up as to which one it is, or not. It’s also important to trust your gut as a result in this situation. The image here was taken for the #31DayTarot challenge but it can demonstrate how a number just “comes up” in a spread. Which element is missing here? That says more than the three that are present say. What do you think?
There are much more uses for numbers in the Tarot, including to how many cards you draw for a reading itself. A Celtic-cross is usually 11, but it can be more (and I’ve drawn more in a Celtic-cross) but if it’s less, it’s not technically a Celtic-Cross.
The Wheel of the Year can be huge, with 3 cards per month & sometimes (as I have done!) more than 1 deck (I used 4 for a client) & my octangle dining table covered from one end to the other with Tarot cards.
So, as you can see, numbers are just everywhere, they are part of the fabric of life, they’re interwoven in all that we do from the time we wake up, to how long we sleep & when we go to sleep.
It’s time now for a warm beverage. I think we’ve both earned it!