Tarot 101: Quick Guide to Number Patterns in the Tarot

I'm working on writing a tarot journal for the site. Obviously, I've got personal tarot journals- spaces where I reflect on and write out my daily readings, both large and small- but I wanted one that presented my tarot perspective and also acted as a reference resource for folks.

I was having a hard time getting it going. I've got the page layouts set up and I have a basic blueprint for each of the sections but the content just came up blank! This is despite having a site that is majorly tarot based, having plenty of decks, books, my own journals... all of that. And still full writer's block when I sat down to write.

I realized that this might be how folks first sitting down to the tarot might feel like.

You have your deck, your intuition, maybe one or two primer books open, and still when you lay that card down you draw a blank. So you look closer, and closer, and closer and still nothing quite rings out.

I always find that the Majors are easiest for folks to parse out- they represent easy to connect to archetypes, have broad meaning, and there's only 22 of them to reckon with. Not quite so for the Minor Arcana which leave you with 56 different cards to learn.

Majors from the Sakki Sakki Tarot; interesting to note, The Emperor & Death are related by their numbers 4 & 13 (1+3=4)

Majors from the Sakki Sakki Tarot; interesting to note, The Emperor & Death are related by their numbers 4 & 13 (1+3=4)

The solution that's always worked best for me is to step back and notice the patterns. The tarot runs on patterns and it's useful to step all the way back and look at how those patterns play out.

I suggest reducing the Minors from 56 cards to 14 patterns. Now you only have 14 patterns to learn as a foundation, leaving so much more space for you to build on and integrate new knowledge later. 

Let's quickly look at 10 of those patterns now:

Aces/Ones: potential, snapshot, impulse

Twos: balance, choice, connection

Threes: initial foundation, progression, first fruits

Fours: stability, security, selfishness, pause

Fives: conflict, challenge, disruption

Sixes: success, re-connection, checking in

Sevens: inner work, spiritual development, self-interest

Eights: personal power, action, us vs. our ego

Nines: final push, penultimate, almost there, exhaustion

Tens: chance, manifestation, results

For a deeper look at these patterns, check out the numbered quick sheet I developed for myself over time to help me draw connections and broaden my perspective during a reading.