Saturday, January 29, 2011

More on Numerology-Tarot Card Correspondences

We had been looking at how the numerology of a person’s—and in this case, Barack Obama’s—birth day, month, and year can be added up and then broken down to correspond with tarot cards that serve as Soul symbols and Personality symbols, as well as challenges for a specific year. However, when we contemplate the individual numbers that make up a person’s birth date, we can see further tarot correspondences by looking at the cards associated with the individual numbers for day, month, and year.

So, in the case of Barack Obama, whose birth date is 8-4-1961, Eight corresponds to Strength, Four to the Emperor, 1961 (1 + 9 + 6 + 1 = 17) to the Star, whose 1 + 7 further breaks down to 8, the number of Strength. From a general psychological viewpoint, we tend to resonate to the number associated with our birth day moreso than our birth month and year, so it is interesting that Emperor energies are central to Obama’s numerology. Because Strength comes up twice in this formula, the powers of the Strength card are also underscored in his life. Similar principles apply when we look at his year card portrait: 8-4-2011, which combines Strength and the Emperor with, once again, the Emperor, meaning that those already central Emperor energies will be emphasized this year.

Seeing that the different components of the birth date correspond to tarot cards, a person’s birth date suggests a natural tarot arrangement that comprises something of a personal tarot “snapshot,” and which can be mused upon for purposes of magic and meditation. How many cards you would include in such a layout depends on whether, in the process of breaking down the numbers, you get cards between ten and twenty-one, which in turn can be reduced to cards between one and nine. Some folks may get a good number of cards in their arrangement, but everyone will get at least three cards out of the process. In Obama’s case, you could use a three card layout: Strength-Emperor-Star, or a four-card: Strength-Emperor-Star-Strength. Because Strength is used twice, you would need to pull a Strength card from another deck if you wanted to do this as a card arrangement. If, instead, you wanted to focus on Obama’s presidential challenges for the year—or anyone’s challenges for a given year—you could lay out an arrangement based on the birth day and month, plus the card for the present year. Furthermore, you could also do arrangements based on whatever numerology-card correspondence combinations you can come up with for a person, including layouts based on his or her Soul and Personality Symbols.

One other quick observation on playing with President Obama’s card combinations: If you add his birth day and month, you get the number Twelve, which corresponds to the Hanged Man card, and which, in turn, can be broken down to Three, corresponding to the Empress. Traditionally, the Hanged Man could denote issues around life in suspension, though modern tarot readers emphasize its positive aspects related to time out for meditation, self sacrifice, and the ability to see things from a different perspective. Mary Greer relates it to unconditional love and complete devotion to one’s work or cause [“Tarot Constellations” 69]. The Empress denotes generativity and abundance, and relates to the creative forces of the number Three. We already looked at the numerology by considering Three’s creative qualities applied to the Emperor Year. However, in considering Obama’s personal life, we can also see the Empress symbolism has bearing on the central role Michelle plays both as wife and First Lady. So, for example, if you were musing on Obama’s Emperor Year numbers, using the basic numerology system described in previous posts, 3 + 4 = 7, and represented that visually with tarot cards, Empress + Emperor = Chariot, you get a certain harmony in the pairing of Empress and Emperor, and can consider how the idealized archetypal pair inspires the movement and innovation suggested by the number Seven, and by the Chariot. (If one wanted to get into Chinese symbolism, the harmonious relationship of Emperor and Empress is essential to the balance of the cosmos, and is denoted by the dragon and the phoenix)

OK, to conclude my discussion on how a person’s birthday numbers can provide images and arrangements for tarot meditations and spells, in my next post, I will discuss why and how you can use such techniques. Also: how to use tarot spells in a way where you are not trying to use coercive magic to force other people to do your evil bidding, but rather, put positive images out into the universe as suggestions for empowerment or improvement.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Obama’s Numerology, continued

For those who were confused by the previous post, I have gone back and edited it a little, which I hope will better explain the two different systems of looking at a person’s “year card.”

So, to continue the discussion: we have gotten an inkling as to how Barack Obama’s August 4th birthday numerology might have larger implications in the Emperor year 2011. Now, let’s take a closer look at how his birthday numbers correspond to some other tarot cards, and the sort of personal meanings these cards can hold.

In a system which I believe was developed and introduced by Angeles Arrien, and which has been further articulated by Mary Greer, you can find Major Arcana cards that serve as Life-Time Soul and Personality symbols. This involves adding the numbers in your birth day, month, and year, and then breaking them down numerologically to get a number between one and twenty-one, (if possible--not everyone will be able to do this), and then a number between one and nine. Everyone has a number between one and nine that corresponds to one of the first tier of Major Arcana cards, and this card serves as you Soul Symbol. For persons who can only get one tarot card correspondence, that functions as both Soul and Personality symbol. The Soul card symbol pertains to a core need for spiritual fulfillment, and the Personality symbol reveals some unique form of personal expression that you display as a means of meeting your soul needs. When the Soul and Personality qualities are combined, the underlying spiritual drive is more immanent in your personal expression.

When we distill the numbers for Barack Obama, born on 8-4-1961, we find a Soul card number of Two, which corresponds to the High Priestess. An individual with this Soul symbol will strive to see into the nature of things. In the political arena, such a person would want to explore all the issues, as well as the needs and philosophical motivations of the different political actors and factions. Whether those are qualities we Americans value in our leaders, I don’t know, but I would hope that it provides the ability to establish some common ground.

Getting a personality number between ten and twenty-two for Obama, I have discovered, is interesting, because it makes a difference whether you do the numerology horizontally like this: 8 + 4 + 1 + 9 + 6 + 1 = 29 and 29 = 2 + 9 =11 (the Justice Card, though in some systems, the Strength card ), or whether you initially stack the numbers vertically, which is the technique that Arrien and Greer use, and which in Obama’s case results in 20, (the Judgment card). [For numerological reasons that I am not sophisticated enough to understand, it appears that the horizontal method casts a nine.] I won’t attempt to replicate the vertical example in this blog, because I’m not sure I can get the numbers to line up in the right columns. So, it would seem that Barack Obama has two personality cards, depending on whether you add horizontally or vertically. This does not suggest a split personality, as both Justice and Judgment share the High Priestess’s number Two as their root or Soul core. Here, we might see the High Priestess’s emphasis on intuition expressed through a personality that tries to understand both sides of an argument, and that tries use this understanding to achieve transformation.

So, that is some of what we can learn about President Obama using the Soul Card and Personality Card system. However, there are still some other observations to be made in relating his numbers to tarot cards, and how a person’s tarot portrait can be used in empowering meditations and such, so this discussion will be continued in the next post.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

President Obama in the Emperor Year

In a recent post I mentioned that 2011, being an Emperor year, is potentially auspicious for a president, so I have been taking a closer look at President Obama’s numerology. Barack Obama was born on 8-4-1961, so if we apply the basic technique for magical numerology demonstrated in the previous post, by adding the birth month (8) to the birth day (4), we get 12; then, we reduce that to the smallest number, so 12 = 1 + 2 = 3. The creative qualities of the number Three can combine with the Emperor’s concern with establishing order and laying foundations, so we have the potential for a very productive year. And indeed, because Obama’s Three combined with the Emperor’s Four yield Seven, the number of innovation, this can lead to the creation of systems that actually solve problems.

There is, however, one aspect of the Emperor that some folks may regard as being somewhat disconcerting, and that is his military interests. Although the Emperor archetype has various ancient father-god affiliations, the Golden Dawn system of tarot interpretation associates the Emperor card with the war god Mars, and indeed, the figure in this card is typically portrayed with weapons and armor, often wearing a ceremonial helmet, (a practice historically associated with the emperor Constantine). Consequently, Obama’s 2011 could also see more creative forms of warfare and military build-up. However, let us hope that the afore-mentioned problem solving potentials will ensure security by finding more creative diplomatic arrangements.

The system I have described that involves breaking the birth day and month to a number between one and nine is slightly different from, but ties in with the system for obtaining a personal year card, developed by Angeles Arrien, who refers to this as the Growth Symbol for the year. The latter technique involves adding the individual numbers of your birth day and month to those of the present year, and then breaking them down to a number between one and twenty-one. This gets you a personally meaningful tarot card correspondence. So, in Obama’s case, we add 8 + 4 (i.e., 12) to 2011 to get 2023, which breaks down to the number 7, associated with the Chariot. So, his personal growth for this year will likely involve taking control of forces that want to pull in different directions, and harness them to ride a wave of energy into the future. However, other persons might get a number between one and twenty-one, so their challenges would relate to those higher-numbered cards. Basically, the difference between the two Year Card systems I have described is the former relates the card of the year to other basic numerological principles, while the latter more specifically relates the year to the symbolism of a particular card determined by one's individual numbers. Of course, as there is a relationship between the cards' symbols and numbers, the two systems do have a certain amount of overlap.

Having gotten into Obama’s numerology, I have a great deal more to say about it, including ways that it brings in the symbolism of other tarot cards, and how Michelle is part of the picture, and even how one could use this information to construct tarot spells promoting global well-being. However, as I find it difficult to get computer time, I shall try to break this information up into a series of short posts over the next few days or weeks.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Surveying Your Empire in 2011

In the previous post, I ended with a suggestion about surveying symbolic worlds and setting them in order. Because 2011 is an Emperor year, you can work with some basic numerological correspondences by adding the numbers of your birth day and year, reducing them to a number between one and nine, and then adding them to the Emperor’s number Four. This gives you a new number that illuminates some possibilities for structuring your own world. (Note: the principles and nuances here are slightly different from finding your personal year card, which involves adding your birth day and year to the number Four, and then, if need be, reducing that number to 21 or less, to identify a corresponding tarot card.)

For example, suppose a person was born on May 6th, so 6 + 4 = 10 = 1 + 0 = 1. The Number One is the impulse to lead and innovate, so this combines with the Emperor’s will to create structure and stability. Furthermore, because 1 + 4 = the energetic Number Five, this in turn may facilitate social change.

In the case of someone whose birth day and year gives Two, the Emperor’s will to create structure and stability guides his or her ability to promote relationships and foster understanding, which supports more satisfying personal and social relationships.

For a birth day and year that make the number Three, you can find creative ways to apply the Emperor’s planning and decision making to new innovations and ideas.

A birth day and year that yield the stable and foundational number Four, combined with the Emperor year’s number Four, may result in especially solid new structures and levels of personal organization.

The number Five’s multi-sensory, multi-tasking qualities combine with the Emperor’s ability to think big, yielding a multiplicity of new possibilities.

The number Six’s interest in the quality of social life combined with the Emperor’s interest in social engineering can generate lifestyle improvements.

When the number Seven’s innovative qualities are applied to the Emperor’s structures, a positive result may be the creation of systems that do a better job of solving problems and meeting human needs.

The number Eight’s concerns with organization can combine with the Emperor’s executive functions to realize a grand vision and projects carried out on a large scale.

The Emperor’s ability to bring ideas into reality applied to the number Nine’s powers of magical proliferation can result in stability that generates abundance.

For a better understanding of applying the year card to basic numerology, you might also refer to my last year’s comments on the Empress Year card.

Monday, January 17, 2011


This new year, 2011, has the Emperor as its year card, because in magical numerology, 2 + 0 + 1 + 1 = 4, the Emperor’s number. This makes it a potentially good year for building more stable structures and for accomplishing realistic goals. However, as the Emperor is also concerned with boundaries and consolidation, he also tends to require some discipline, austerity, and self-sacrifice.

In terms of our larger economic situation, people who have been slammed by the hard times have had to do a lot of retrenching, whether that requires streamlining and refocusing their businesses, or going back to school, or moving in with their parents or children. However, once these people have gone through the worst and lost what there was to lose, (getting down to the bare bones—after all, the Death card’s 13 [13 = 1 + 3 = 4] is a shadow factor for the Emperor), the groundwork that they lay for the next phase of their lives will likely be informed by the Emperor’s practical outlook, based on what is most secure and workable. While this probably won’t translate into immediate benefits for society in general, it will make a difference in the long run. Although the Emperor may sometimes set some narrow boundaries in accommodating the reality principle, he also has the ability to see the big picture and take the long view.

I believe that the Emperor as year archetype bodes well for President Obama, because the Emperor tarot card seems to be favorable for incumbents. For example, I predicted that George Bush II had a good shot at a second term, because the Emperor was the card that came up when I inquired as to who was most likely to win that particular election. Perhaps now that the worst part of the Recession seems to be getting behind us, Obama will be able to do more to restore order in the symbolic cosmos which the Emperor’s orb and crown suggest, (the 8-sided crown being a medieval symbol for the ideal society). This is also a good time for us as individuals to survey our own symbolic worlds and consider the best ways to set them in order.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Because the tarot encompasses a broad array of human life experiences, and human life is often frustrating and challenging, we necessarily draw a good number of cards that are ambiguous or disappointing. However, there are times when we need to focus on positive images, including at the start of a new year, when people traditionally surround themselves with auspicious things. Here is a little reading you can do to pick out three cheerful images as qualities that you can activate in your life in 2011:

Shuffle and cut your cards as you pose the request, “Please show me three positive energies that I can summon and amplify in my life in this upcoming year.” Then, placing your deck face up, go through it and pick out the first three cards you come across that give you a strong, clear message of happiness and cheer. This is of course somewhat subjective, (and also somewhat dependent on the deck you’re using), so don’t worry about traditional meanings, just go by what cards evoke a positive response for you. However, to avoid ambiguity, it is best to bypass any reversed cards, even if they would otherwise be perceived as positive. Lay the cards out before you, considering them individually, and taken as a group—and then think about proactive things you can do to bring those cards’ energies into your life. Also, throughout the year, you might want to keep an eye out for little synchronicities that build up around these images.