The tarot court cards don’t carry a numerical value, but it’s easy to apply one to them so that you may include them in any numerological work you do in a tarot reading. There are a
number of options available to us, from the simple sequence technique which I explore below,
to the Qabbalistic value of the card from their placing on the sephira on the Tree of Life, to their card counting value. I find the sequence technique to be the most effective, so let’s look at that in more depth.
If we continue counting past ten we can apply the next number, eleven, to the Page and so on
so that the court cards look like this:
- Page/Princess = 11
- Knight/Prince = 12
- Queen = 13
- King = 14
If we relate these numbers to the Major Arcana, we have the following associations:
- Page/Princess = 11 – Justice
- Knight/Prince = 12 – Hanged Man
- Queen = 13 – Death
- King = 14 – Temperance
At first look, it might seem a bit of a stretch to try and marry those cards together, but it’s not actually difficult if we think of their qualities.
- Pages bring messages / Justice delivers messages of all kinds.
- Knights are warriors who will sacrifice themselves / the Hanged Man asks us to surrender/sacrifice for our greater good.
- Queens are nurturing and promote our growth / Death brings transformation.
- Kings are the calm and steady heads of state / Temperance brings serenity.
We need single figures to include the court cards in the numerology of the Minor Arcana so
we will now apply the reduction technique to do so:
- Pages = 11 – Justice / 1 + 1 = 2 (11/2) – High Priestess and the 2s
- Knights = 12 – Hanged Man / 1 + 2 = 3 (12/3) – Empress and the 3s
- Queens = Death / 1 + 3 + = 4 (13/4) – Emperor and the 4s
- Kings = Temperance / 1 + 4 = 5 (14/5) – Hierophant and the 5s
I’m sure you’re thinking it’s a shame that the queens didn’t end up with the Empress and the
kings with the Emperor, but that would have starved us of the opportunity to examine this
further and also to explore these cards more deeply.
The Pages are numbered 11 which in classical numerology is a master number, which means
it’s special. It is the number of Illumination – of ideas, flashes of inspiration – information that seemingly comes from nowhere, from beyond the veil, perhaps? Reduced to a 2, the pages relate to the High Priestess and now it’s easy to see their correlation with connections to psychism and bringing hidden or unknown knowledge.
The Knights, while willing to sacrifice (as 12’s) are also excellent builders and creators.
Equivalent to the modern military, they bring order and harmony to communities where
others fail. To build, create and repair is the epitome of the 3 and the Empress.
The Queens, with their heavy 13 and responsibility for transformation, don’t disappoint as
leaders. Brilliant organizers and rulers in their own right throughout the ages, they make
fitting Emperors by bringing about necessary change and as with the knights, the ability to
build and repair. They do say, “behind every great man, you’ll find an even greater woman.”
And finally, the Kings with their steady and temperate 14, correlate perfectly to the serenity of the Hierophant; to the structure they represent and as heads of state, and in days of old, even kings were ruled by popes.
Note: What we are not saying is that all the Pages are the same as the High Priestess or the 2s in the Minor Arcana. Nor are we saying the Knights are the same as the Hanged Man or the 3s; or the Queens the same as Death and the 4s, nor the Kings as Temperance and the 5s.
What we are saying is that the court cards have the essence of their corresponding Major Arcana cards as their function, or within their mode of operation.
Using the Numerology of the Court Cards in a Reading
By adding the numerical values of the cards in your tarot readings, you can discover an advice card. For example, the following cards add up to 22 which reduces to 4:
- 10 of Wands
- 3 – Empress
- 9 – Hermit
10 + 3 + 9 = 22/4
In numerology, 22 is the Master Builder; in tarot, 4 is the Emperor & would become the extra advice for the querent, a way to handle their situation, the archetype to embody to see success etc.
If we were to add a court card to that list, the Page of Wands for example, we could simply add 11 which added to the original 22 gives us 33, another Master Number. According to numerologist, Hans Decoz, it provides “guidance to the world.” If we take this literally, these four tarot cards are special as a group.
If we reduce the 33 once more using the technique above, we get 3 + 3 = 6 – 33/6 = the Lovers. The advice card for that reading would be the Lovers, but we also have the value of the 6 which brings its own meaning:
- 6 – Movement, balance, solutions, harmony, healing, empathy.
An interesting thing happens when we add all four of those cards together. In adding the value of the cards together, they weren’t reduced to their single digits. If we had done that however, we would still arrive at 6, such is the nature and beauty of numbers. However, as there are two routes to the six, it is worth seeing what other cards may show themselves through this method.
- 10 of Wands = 1 (10/1)
- Empress = 3
- Hermit = 9
- Page of Wands = 2 (11/2)
- Route one: 1 + 3 + 9 + 2 = 15 – 15/6 (1 + 5 = 6)
- Route two: 10 + 3 + 9 + 11 = 33 – 33/6 (3 + 3 = 6)
Route one adds the Devil (15) into the mix, which in the Rider is visually related to the Lovers (6).
Route two gives us a more spiritually focused offering.
Is one better than the other? No, but we can see perhaps that the presence of the Devil versus the Master Number of 33 is showing us a shadow side to the reading – a sort of upright and reversed reading revealed through their numerology. In essence, a new card revealed through the numerology of the cards in the reading is providing your reading with a new spread position:
- what you cannot see
- unknown factor
- and so on.
By adding the value of the cards together in a reading you can extract further information
that will either expand or confirm the main message of the reading. It will certainly enrich it
and is a worthy exercise for you to try.
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