Roots of “Tarot Numerology”

Angeles Arrien

Angeles Arrien 1940-2014

“The Tarot is a visual map of consciousness and a symbolic system that offers insight into professional contribution, personal motives, and spiritual development of each individual.”   – Angeles Arrien, The Tarot Handbook

imagesConnecting Tarot’s major trumps with numerology is a brilliant marriage of two metaphysical systems. “Counting the Years” was written about in Prediction Magazine in 1962 by Madeline Montalban (according to Auntie’s Tarot Blog), and further developed as “Tarot Profiles” by Angeles Arrien around 1972, as taught in her 1987 publication, The Tarot Handbook. In that writing, Arrien introduced what she simply called “The Tarot Profile Methodology — Life-time symbols and current Growth Symbol and Cycle.” Today, this technique of working with the cards is often called “Tarot Numerology.”

Arrien studied the relationship between her subject’s birthdate and the corresponding Life-time symbol from major arcana cards that represent inherent potential and purpose in life. This correspondence makes sense to me since one’s birthdate in numerology signifies your life lesson while each major trump is a law or lesson of life. Arrien emphasized the core archetype of each major card as it reflects to the viewer key psychological and spiritual principles, one’s personal mythology.

“…symbols function as dynamic energy in tangible ways, that they convey meaning to the psyche, and that they point beyond themselves to the reality that they represent.” – Angeles Arrien, The Tarot Handbook

Carl Jung’s psycho-spiritual approach to examining human potential was embraced by Arrien in her own studies as a cultural anthropologist, and referenced in her writing as she describes her view of Tarot and its life-enhancing guidance in our lives.

“Archetypes are structure-forming elements within the unconscious. Their form or image appear in both individual imagination as well as the mythologies of cultures.” – Carl G. Jung

It was my privilege to study with Angeles Arrien in 1988, initiating my exploration of this profound psycho-spiritual system. Other wonderful Tarot luminaries who have been graced by Arrien’s teachings include Mary Greer, James Wanless, Arthur Rosengarten and Carrie Paris. Since then, I have developed this work further and excited to now offer what I have discovered.


You might enjoy my weblog posts on the roots and expressions of numerology:

Arithmology, Arithmancy, and Numerology in Tarot

…as well as the importance of identifying your “Soul Purpose” and path in life in these two weblog posts:

Part II – Fulfilling Your Soul Purpose

Soul Purpose “The Call to Adventure”

If you would like to learn powerful ways to support your and others’ potential for a more fulfilling life applying these Tarot Numerology skills, please enjoy these highly informative webinars at Global Spiritual Studies.

  1.  Pathworking with Tarot Numerology is a complete, comprehensive lesson and complemented by also viewing these two webinars:
  2. Sacred Journey of Your Soul – through the Major Arcana of the Tarot
  3. Psychological Challenges in the Tarot’s Major Trumps

Voyager Tarot –  thank you James Wanless for permission to display

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