Numerological Fun with the Trumps

Discussions of the arcane symbols of Tarot
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Symbols appear on each and every tarot card - visual signs that convey meaning. Some of them are highly individual and personal, others time-honored and traditional. Some are easy to understand, others difficult and multivalent. In this forum, we want to study symbols from different decks, traditions and cultures together using books, websites, lwbs and our own intuition.
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Barleywine
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Joined: 15 Aug 2017, 07:19

Numerological Fun with the Trumps

Post by Barleywine » 16 Oct 2017, 17:35

I was thinking today about the ways that the Major Arcana cards tie together numerologically. Except for the Fool, all of them have what Phillip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm call “numerological counterparts:” trump cards whose numbers when subject to mathematical reduction result in a lower-numbered card with which the original card can be seen as having a metaphysical affinity. For example, the Sun, Card #19, when reduced produces the Wheel of Fortune, Card #10 (1+9=10); but in this one case it doesn’t stop there, since 1+0=1, or the Magician, Card #1. I’ve been playing around with this idea for some time, and thought I would try coming up with a visual display that would show these relationships graphically.

But I didn’t get very far with that before I had an epiphany about the Magician that ties almost all of the other cards together (the three exceptions are special cases that I’ll cover later). As the first officially numbered trump card (the Fool as 0 is a card apart), the Magician can be considered the “Master of Ceremonies” or “Leader of the Parade” among the Major Arcana. In reading Cherry Gilchrist’s book, Tarot Triumphs, I learned about medieval processions in which floats were first used; she imagined each of the trump cards being a float in the procession, with the Magician in the lead. A special relationship exists between the Magician and the other single-digit trumps that follow it, one which also includes higher-numbered trumps that are numerological counterparts for an earlier card in the set. It all comes together rather neatly and creates more food for thought. Following is an example of what I’m talking about:

Image

Here, adding the Magician to the Priestess produces the Empress, since 1+2=3; but suppose we put the Magician in the “tens” position and the Priestess in the “ones” position of the arithmetic expression: we get 12, the number of the Hanged Man. Turning that around, the number of the Hanged Man when reduced by addition (1+2) results in “3,” the Empress. What I find interesting here is that two different mathematical operations produce a synergy, the two parts of which I wouldn’t have seen in any other way (except maybe accidentally).

The rest of the Magician sequence can be seen on my blog (address below); I didn't want to have to bring all those photos in here.

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whatsawhosit
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Re: Numerological Fun with the Trumps

Post by whatsawhosit » 04 Jan 2018, 05:33

This is such a powerful tool to find correspondences!!! I love it.

How about this one, I have spent dozens of hours rearranging the cards for this looking for harmonies....
and discordancies

Every tenth card is an octave from the card you started counting from. So we would add 9 to any card and we will find the card that is sympathetically harmonic.

If you were to start with card 19 you would add 9 and then add the sum together. 19+9=28 2+8=10 1+0=1

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2dogs
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Re: Numerological Fun with the Trumps

Post by 2dogs » 04 Jan 2018, 07:52

Yes 9 is a significant number as adding any multiple of 9 doesn't change the final digit you get from reduction. The multiples of 9 all reduce to 9 in the end - 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81, 90, 99, 108, 117, 126, 135, 144, 153, 162, 171, 180.... Our system is really based on 9 digits and a nothing.
If the Lord Almighty had consulted me before embarking on creation thus, I should have recommended something simpler. Alfonso X (the Wise)

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