The Tarot Minor Arcana cards consist of four suits with each suit containing ten numbered cards from one to ten, (and four court cards, which we will look at in a later article) and the Major Arcana cards are numbered from zero to twenty-one. Just as the suits have applied meanings, each number has a meaning too. Colors also tell us a tremendous amount of information. Every image, every suit, every stroke of color, and every number has a meaning. As you learn those meanings, it will help you to find your own personal meanings for each card. And, don’t forget to keep that Tarot journal as we mentioned in our first article, Learning Tarot – The Beginning. Keeping a Tarot journal will help you to identify patterns and and meanings much more quickly, than trying to keep all the understanding in your head.
The number zero represents the limitless light of creation, unbounded space, and the primordial source. It represents nothing and everything, and the circular shape of the number zero has the properties of no beginning and no end. Zero is called the number of God, and it also signifies the Fool in the Major arcana.
One or Ace
Ones in Tarot represents unity, purpose, and new beginnings. They can symbolize action, ambition, and aggression, and they can represents one’s ego. When multiplied by itself through infinity, the number one always equals itself. The Sun in astrology is associated with the number one, and it is associated with the Magician and all of the Aces of each suit.
Two represents duality, and it shows the two sides of things… good and bad, light and dark, Yin and Yang, joy and sorrow, etc. Two also stands for balance as well as contrast, and it maintains an equilibrium with a mixture of negative and positive. It represents our unconscious mind. In astrology, the Moon is associated with the number two, and in Tarot it represents the High Priestess and all of the twos.
Three shows versatility, and the number three is symbolized with a triangle. It combines talent with creativity making it the most adaptable of all the numbers. Three equals the sum of the previous numbers, and therefore represents the completion of a cycle. The planet Mercury is associated with the threes astrologically, and the Empress in the Major Arcana, and all of the threes of the Minor Arcana.
The number four is the number of steadiness and endurance, and it’s represented by the geometrical square. Its solidity is shown by the four points on the compass, the four seasons, and the four elements (fire, earth, air, and water). It brings stability and prepares us for the transition into a new cycle. Astrology associates the planet Mars with the number four, and it is associated with the Emperor and all the fours in Tarot.
Five is our very first spiritually odd number. It represents adventure, experience, uncertainty, and sometimes conflict. The pentagram (five-pointed star) represents man and his extremities, and also his five senses. It indicates expansion, just like the planet Jupiter which is also represented by the number five in astrology. In Tarot, the number five is associated with the Hierophant and the fives of the Minor Arcana.
Six is the number of harmony. It is the higher vibration of two, and it represents dependability and service. It is the sum and the product of the the first three prime numbers (1, 2, and 3) and is symbolized by the hexagram or the seal of Solomon. The number six is associated with beauty, marriage, and labor, and of course, in astrology, it is associated with the planet Venus. It is identified with the Lovers in the Major Arcana and all of the sixes in the Minor.
In the Tarot, the number seven symbolizes mystery and knowledge, and it’s a way of exploring the unknown and the unseen. The number seven was revered in ancient times, because it contains entire systems within it. God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. There are seven notes in the musical scale, and according to Shakespeare there are seven ages of man. The number seven contains the unity of one and the perfection of six, and is associated with the planet Saturn in astrology. Seven is affiliated with the Chariot and all of the sevens in Tarot.
Material success is represented by the number eight. It’s a double cube and the higher octave of four. When halved it equals two fours, and when halved again it equals four twos. Therefore, it represents balance. The planet Uranus in astrology is associated with the number eight, and in Tarot it pairs with the Strength or the Justice* card in the Major Arcana and the eights in the Minor.
Nine is the number of universal achievement and initiation, and it is the last of the single digit numbers. As three times three, the number nine turns versatility into inspiration. It is a highly spiritual number and united with the planet Neptune in astrology. Nine represents the Hermit in the Major Arcana, which is the end of the individual and the beginning of group consciousness. He is the seeker of light and the owner of information. The nines in the Minor Arcana also represent wisdom.
Ten is the first of the two-digit numbers and the climax to which the other numbers build. It is the number one (ego and new beginnings) coupled with zero (unbounded space), and therefore a culmination of the previous nine numbers. Pluto is associated with the number ten in astrology, and it represents the Wheel and all the tens in the Tarot. The tens are interrelated with one another, as expressions of great changes. The ten of Wands can show extreme change, gain, or release of a burden. The ten of cups equates to extreme happiness and wishes coming true. The ten of Swords can fortel extreme difficulties, and the ten of pentacles bring extreme money.
Red represents passion, earthly desire, action, the need of direction, and also optimism and cheerfulness.
Dark Red can symbolize more violent or passionate emotions than red.
Pink is a little less passionate and more loving than red, since it is a combination of white and red.
Orange is associated with ambition. It is intelligence and earthly desires combined, since it is made up of the colors yellow and red.
Yellow is identified with pure intelligence and scientific thought.
Yellow-Brown is affiliated with dullness or selfishness.
Blue is consistency of purpose, strength, and reliability.
Grey-Blue represents uncertainty.
Green is the color of fertility and vegetation. It can also represent stability and healing.
Olive Green goes with envy and cunning.
Purple is the symbol of spiritual endeavors, mystic ideals, and a highly developed imagination.
Brown is the color of earthiness, practicality, plainness, and honesty.
Reddish Brown symbolizes sensuality.
Gray is identified with neutrality or uncertainty.
Black represents darkness, formality, and convention. Since black is the absence of light, it can symbolize ignorance and restrictions.
White is the color of purity, the abstract thought of love, and sincerity
*In some Tarot decks #8 is Justice and #11 is Strength
More articles on learning Tarot:
About Janet (Sparrow) Moon
Would you like to find out more about you horoscope? Free daily, monthly, and event forecasts with explanations on how to check these events with your natal chart.