(Copyright for Tarot
cards to the left: From left to right -- Rider-Waite Tarot,
U.S. Games; The Blue Moon Moon Tarot, Julie Cuccia Watts;
Osho Zen Tarot, St. Martin's Press; Robin Wood Tarot, Llewellyn
Almost everyone knows their astrological
sun sign, but did you know that the Tarot has similar, personal
correspondences? Based upon your date of birth, the cards
reveal personality traits and may even help you understand
more about the patterns of your life's lessons.
It is easiest to understand these patterns
by examining the Major Arcana of the Tarot, the trump cards.
The Major Arcana consists of twenty two cards, each of which
has many layers of meaning as an individual entity. But we
can learn a great deal about the human condition when the
Majors are viewed as a sequence. This progression is often
called The Great Journey or The Fool's Journey.
Starting with The Fool (whose number is
zero), the soul travels through a series of life lessons,
represented as archetypes or symbols. For example, Number
I, The Magician, represents the beginning of consciousness,
action and power; the High Priestess, II, is a more intuitive,
inward-directed power leading to III, the fertile, creative
expression of the Empress. Moving along through the
different lessons, after a time of introspection during IX,
The Hermit, we emerge with X, The Wheel of Fortune, ready
to turn our life in a more positive direction, and so on.
In short, the Fool's Journey is a map that can show us the
ups and downs we may expect on the road to wisdom.
In Tarot readings, when the Major Arcana
cards appear, there is a valuable, karmic message being offered.
But we can also use the numbers of our birth date to understand
this sequential process, helping us to navigate through the
triumphs and perils of living.
How to Figure Out Your Tarot Personality
Simply take the month, day and year of your birth and
add them up. Then add each of the numbers of that sum together.
If the resulting number is greater than 22, add the digits
together. Once the number is 22 or less, you have the number
that corresponds to your Tarot personality card. For instance,
Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1929. By adding 4+4+1929,
we get a total of 1,937. By then adding 1+9+3+7, we get the
number 20. So, her personality card is XX, Judgment. But,
interestingly, the 20 can also be reduced to 2, revealing
an additional aspect, her "soul" card, of II, the
There are many possible combinations, which
Tarot expert Mary Greer calls Tarot Constellations. Interestingly,
some of these Tarot combinations are so rare as to be nearly
non-existent. For example, after a gap of 900 years, people
whose dates add up to unreduced 2's only just began being
born on Dec. 31, 1957. And there has not been an unreduced
year of The Magician since Jan. 1, 998 C.E. The next will
not come until Dec. 31, 9957, if we can make it that long!
While we are very used to understanding
the sun sign traits, it is fascinating to discover the similarities
among Tarot profiles. For example, His Holiness the Dalai
Lama was born July 6, 1935, in the nurturing sign of Cancer.
Realizing that looking only at the sun sign and not studying
his entire chart is an oversimplification, it is still easy
to understand his Cancerian concerns about protecting his
people and his need to return to his homeland.
When calculating his Tarot profile, you
will find that his birthday reduces to the 22-4 group, in
which the Soul Card is the Emperor (IV), and the Personality
Card is the Fool (which can either be 0 or 22). His Emperor
aspect reveals that the nature of the work he must do in this
lifetime has to do with leadership and authority. But the
Fool's characteristics hint at an impulsive side, a deep sense
of humor, and a love for adventure.
Yearly Tarot Profiles
In a similar way, every year has a "personality"
that corresponds to the Major Arcana and on a global and individual
level, we travel upon our era's part of The Fool's Journey.
Of course, there are many cultures who number their years
differently, but for our purposes, we will stick with the
generally accepted Western dates. In a later article, I will
discuss how to calculate your own Year Card.
The year 2003 has some challenging but hopeful
aspects. It is the second in a two-year cycle that deals with
power and authority issues. 2002 was a year of the Emperor,
Card IV, representing patriarchy, power, establishing order,
creating stability. In our country's political arena, we certainly
saw this influence, with Homeland Security being the highest
priority and the push towards war with Iraq.
The upcoming year gives way to V, The Hierophant
-- a teacher archetype whose energies revolve around tradition,
education, and religious authority. It will be an auspicious
time if you are thinking of going back to school, or upgrading
your training and professional credentials. This is a year
that supports inner growth and development. Take plenty of
time for contemplation, meditation, and perhaps exploring
new spiritual practices.
This year will have its share of challenges,
however. In Tarot, all the Five's are numbers that point to
some stress and adversity. Such difficulties may be exactly
what is needed, though, to break through excess authority,
habitual "should's" and limiting, dogmatic beliefs.
In my next article, we will explore in depth the first nine
cards of the Major Arcana, to better understand how to read
this extraordinary road map to enlightenment and soulful treasure.