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Numbers in the Tarot

The Aces:

       
Ace of Wands Ace of Cups Ace of Swords Ace of Coins

 
Sephiroth: Kether (Crown)
Major Arcana: Le Bateleur (The Magician)
Keywords:
Beginning, initiative, origin, source, initial start, force, unity, oneness, consciousness, singleness, will, positivity, motivation.
The Aces represent new beginnings. They represent the potential and most basic and passionate stages of development. So we can say that the Ones or Aces are the start of the formation of the manifested reality.
The Aces are numerically tied to Arcanum I, Le Bateleur (The Magician) and through the essence of The Magician, we see the manifesting power of single pointer concentration. The Magician is represented by the letter Beth (ב ) from the Hebrew alphabet. Beth is the first letter with a sound (Aleph had no sound). The shape of the letter  ב  resembles a dwelling or house. Kabbalist’s believe that the physical body is the house of the Divine on earth. We can think of the house as a single place of unity.
The number ‘1’ is a vertical line that connects the heaven and the earth, it connects the upper, conscious mind with the lower, subconscious mind.
In Qabalah the number one is associated with the Sephiroth called Kether or Crown. Kether is the swirling foundation of all things being manifested.
 
 

The Twos (II):

       
Two of Wands Two of Cups Two of Swords Two of Coins

 
Sephiroth: Chokma (Wisdom)
Major Arcana: Le Papesse (The High Priestess)
Keywords:
Duality, polarity, gestation, balance, partnership, duplication, reflection, contrast, communication, repetition, choice, love, togetherness.
The Twos reflect the energy of the Aces and are therefore are considered to be duplication, repetition and duality.
The line having been extended now becomes the plane. The Twos bring us  messages of balance and dichotomy. When a Two arises in your Tarot reading, you cannot move forward until equilibrium is reached.
The Twos are numerically linked to Arcanum II, Le Papesse (The High Priestess) who sits on her throne between two pillars of duality. The High Priestess is represented by the letter Gimel (ג) from the Hebrew alphabet and it represents the Camel, an animal of trade and travel that connects two points.
In Qabalah the Twos are associated with the second Sephiroth called Chokma (Wisdom).
 
 

The Threes (III):

       
Three of Wands Three of Cups Three of Swords Three of Coins

 
Sephiroth: Binah (Understanding)
Major Arcana: L’Imperatrice (The Empress)
Keywords:
Triplicity, creativity, mystery, intuition, action, development, growth, early results, creativity, combination.
Geometrically, the number 1 represents the Point which is the beginning and manifestation of all the other numbers. The number 2 represents the line connecting two points. By further extrapolation, we can see that the number 3 is related to the plane by extending the line in another dimension. The number  3 is the sum of 1 and 2, and is a synthesis of them. In religion, the Threes are associated with many gods in a Trinity.
In architecture, the triangular shape, related to the pyramid is a sacred shape is used by many cultures around the world for spiritual connection with the divine.
The Threes are linked to Arcanum III, L’Imperatrice (The Empress) who has the archetype the sacred feminine, abundance and fertility. The Empress is represented by the letter Daleth (ד) from the Hebrew alphabet and it represents a doorway to life through the womb/vagina. Similarly the Twos ‘give birth’ to the Threes
In Qabalah the Threes are associated with the third Sephiroth called Binah or Understanding. The Twos were a reflection and duplication of the Aces and now the Threes are beginning to grow as the firm triangular, triad or trinity of manifestation.
 
 

The Fours (IIII):

       
Four of Wands Four of Cups Four of Swords Four of Coins

 
Sephiroth: Chesod (Mercy)
Major Arcana: L’Empereur (The Emperor)
Keywords:
Order, foundation, form, truth, power, stability, achievement, strength, action, endurance, organization, simplicity,
The Fours are now at their most stable and pause for rest. Four is a geometric shape related to the cube. The shape of a square in architecture is fundamental to construction and gives us the 90’ right angle. A Square has four 90’ angles which add up to 360’ forming a full circle.
The Fours are numerically linked to Arcanum IIII, L’Empereur (The Emperor). The Emperor is represented by the letter Heh (ה) from the Hebrew alphabet and it represents a window. We observe the world by looking through our eyes. The Emperor is a symbol of strength and foundation. The Emperor sits on his thrown with his legs crossed in the shape of a four, reminding us of his numerical strength.
In Qabalah the Fours are associated with the fourth Sephiroth called Chesod (Mercy).
 
 

The Fives (V):

       
Five of Wands Five of Cups Five of Swords Five of Coins

 
Sephiroth: Geburah (Severity)
Major Arcana: Le Pape (The Hierophant)
Keywords:
Instability, motion, changes, renewal, progress, struggle, exertion, mediation, unpredictability, expansion, adventure, passion, adversity.
The fives are commonly considered to be cards of adversity. In the Rider Waite Smith deck these cards indicate conflict, loss, and other negative experiences in life that must be overcome. Five is in the middle between 1 and 10 and implies a middle ground and therefore mediation.
The Fives are numerically linked to Arcanum V, Le Pape (The Hierophant). The Hierophant is represented by the letter Vav (ו ) from the Hebrew alphabet and it represents and resembles a hook. Vav is a letter that hooks two words together in Hebrew, much like a conjunction. Hook can be seen as a joining together of two different things. Similarly in Sanskrit, Yoga means union or a joining together. From Yoga we get the word ‘yoke’ which is a means of connecting a domesticated farm animal to a plow or wagon. This in turn, suggests a struggle of wills between the beast and the man plowing the field and the adversity and hardship of agriculture.
In the Rider Waite Smith decks the Fives are particularly shown in their most negative imagery. The Five of Wands shows young men in some sort of physical struggle or competition, the Five of Cups shows a forlorn characterizer with head stooped in an image of loss. The Five of Swords shows an empty victory, the Five of Pentacles shows us a very depressing image of poverty.
In Qabalah the Fives are associated with the fifth Sephiroth called Geburah (Severity). Geburah, called Severity, also happens to be on the Pillar of Severity on the Tree of Life adding to it’s association with adversity.
 
 

The Sixes (VI):

       
Six of Wands Six of Cups Six of Swords Six of Coins

 
Sephiroth: Tipareth (Beauty)
Major Arcana: L’Amoureux (The Lovers)
Keywords:
Balance, harmony, symmetry, equilibrium, solutions, polarity, harmony of opposites, protection, unfoldment, sensitivity, empathy.
Sixes represent growth, overcoming challenges, leaving bad situations behind, and gaining a greater understanding of who you are right now.
Geometrically six can be depicted as two triangles, each triangle having three sides. In Alchemy, triangles are used to represent the four elements. The element of fire and masculine energy is represented as a triangle with the point up and base down. The Alchemical symbol for water and feminine energy is a triangle with the base pointing up and the ‘apex’ pointing down.
A cube has six sides and when opened up, the six sides can be made in to a cross, the sacred symbol of Christians.
The synthesis of these two opposing elements gives us the ancient symbol commonly referred to as the Star of David.
The Sixes are numerically linked to Arcanum VI, L’Amoureux (The Lovers). The Lovers is represented by the letter Zain (ז ). Zain is also the word in Hebrew for penis and sword. Eros depicted as floating in the sky above the Lover, is pointing his phallic projectile at the Lover, which also resembles the letter Zain. In Buddhism the sword is symbolic of cutting through the thoughts and illusions of the mind. The Lover must make a very tough decision, and requires the sword that cuts through illusion. We can see the Lovers card as a struggle between male and female, and the coming together (synthesis) of these two energies.
In Qabalah the Sixes are associated with the sixth Sephiroth called Tipareth (Beauty).
 
 

The Sevens (VII):

       
Seven of Wands Seven of Cups Seven of Swords Seven of Coins

 
Sephiroth: Netzach (Victory)
Major Arcana: Le Chariot (The Chariot)
Keywords:
Rest, courage, safety, will, intelligence, transcendence, victory, perfection, healing, responsibility.
The seven cards teach that you must have faith in yourself and the universe. There are many things happening to you, but confidence, determination, and truth will see you through.
The Sevens are numerically linked to Arcanum VII, Le Chariot (The Chariot). The Chariot is represented by the letter Chet (ח), which represents a fence, field containment.
In Hebrew, the words for ‘seven and ‘oath’ are very similar.
In Qabalah the Sevens are associated with the seventh Sephiroth called Netzach (Victory).
 
 

The Eights (VIII):

       
Eight of Wands Eight of Cups Eight of Swords Eight of Coins

 
Sephiroth: Hod (Splendor)
Major Arcana: La Force (Strength)*
Keywords:
Opportunity, abundance, repetition, manifestation, skill, practicality.
Twice the solidity of Four, physical perfection, enmeshed in the material world
Eights are cards of work and change. These cards tell you that the only way to get where you want to be is to change what you’re doing right now.
The Eights are numerically linked to Arcanum VIII, La Force (Strength). Strength is represented by the letter Teth (ט) which also represents and looks like a snake. The snake in many cultures is seen as representing regeneration and life-force. In Brahmic traditions, this primitive life-force is called Kundalini.
In Qabalah the Eights are associated with the eighth Sephiroth called Hod (Splendor).
 
 

The Nines (VIIII):

       
Nine of Wands Nine of Cups Nine of Swords Nine of Coins

 
Sephiroth: Yesod (Foundation)
Major Arcana: L’Ermite (The Hermit)
Keywords:
Strength, completion, attainment, perfection, end of a cycle, optimism.
The nines represent fruition. Things are coming together, and you may or may not like what you see now.
The Nines are numerically linked to Arcanum VIIII, L’Ermite (The Hermit). The Hermit is represented by the letter Yod (י) which means ‘open hand’. which is the first letter in the name of God. It resembles a flame and is said to represent the hand of man.
In Qabalah the Nines are associated with the ninth Sephiroth called Yesod (Foundation). In Qabalah the number nine is strongly connected to the physical, manifested reality and to the spiritual realm. Nine is the highest numerical value of the single digit numbers. Gestation in humans takes nine months.
 
 

The Tens (X):

       
Ten of Wands Ten of Cups Ten of Swords Ten of Coins

 
Sephiroth: Malkuth (Kingdom)
Major Arcana: La Your de Fortune (The Wheel of Fortune)
Keywords:
Final manifestation, realization, continuation, endings, completion, recognition.
After completion. Distilling all the numbers to create the seed of a new cycle.
The tens are about final outcomes and the end of a current cycle. They carry messages about the rewards or consequences.
The Tens are numerically linked to Arcanum X, La Your de Fortune (The Wheel of Fortune). The Wheel of Fortune is represented by the letter Kaph (כ) which is the first letter in the name of God.
In Qabalah the number 10 is a number of completion of a cycle and the beginning of another. On the Qabalah Tree of Life, there are ten sephiroth  describing the process of Creation. In the Torah there are the Ten Commandments. Numerically ten can be represented as (1+ 0). Le Foul (The Fool) ie No-thing and the number 1 Le Bateleur (The Magician) is the manifestation of something out of No-thing.
In Qabalah the Tens are associated with the tenth Sephiroth called Malkuth (Kingdom). which is the complete manifestation of the physical world.
 
 

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