Numbers and Tarot: An Ordinal Story

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Numbers and Tarot: An Ordinal Story, or, The Progression of the Pips

The spring wrangler, Jay Cassels of Sacred Lotus Healing, enticed us with the topic Fables and Fortunes. He invited us to explore story as related to tarot, perhaps telling a story that teaches the cards. Story is important to me and I teach classes on dramatic structure for understanding spreads and mythology and the Major Arcana, I also include stories for each of the Minor Arcana cards in my series on tarot card astrology. But one story I haven’t yet used to teach tarot is the story of the numbers. Jay’s prompt inspired me to extend my tarot tales to the sequence of numbers (and also to develop a class on numbers and tarot!). Inspired by the correspondences of the qabalistic Tree of Life, Numbers and Tarot: An Ordinal Story tells the story of the tarot pips as they progress from Ace through Ten.


One. Beginning, or, The Open Door

“In the beginning” is how the important stories start. The time when something was but everything else wasn’t. The very first inkling that the Something-That-Was is going to take a chance and open the possibility to what is yet to come. When you open the door to leave on your adventure, the light of the unknown blinds you…

Two. Extension, or, The First Step

…but you step over the threshold anyway. When you decide to embark on a journey you are so overwhelmed with excitement you could burst. Every possibility is before you. Where to go? What to see? Who to visit? Your mind goes everywhere all at once, but your feet still need…

Three. Container, or, Choosing a Direction

…to choose only one direction to go. It’s easy to simply follow the road ahead of you. But what if you were the very first Something-That-Was and nothing at all existed but you? How do you find your way in the pitch-perfect darkness that extends in all directions outside the glow of your own brightness? Find your own inner darkness and feel the forces that hold you safe in perfect stillness from which springs forth the impulse…

Four. Form, or, On Top of the World

…that moves you onto your unique path. Yes! You’re here! You’ve done it! You’re on your path! Awesome! Totally cool! Atta-girl! You’re so proud of yourself that you’re on your way to Something Big that you stop for a drink to celebrate. You want to contemplate and thank all the people who got you where you are today, and look forward with a higher vision towards the possibility that is tomorrow. Ok, seriously, quit it with the speech writing. You have a long way to go! And who knows what lies ahead, even on your personal path to success. Here you are all starry-eyed, looking ahead…

Five. Disruption, or, Colliding with Other Worlds

…you shouldn’t have done that. You know what. Imagine the possibilities of what it could be. You saw all the way through, didn’t you. To the perfect ending. Wow, that’s one long road. I mean, you don’t need to get all the way there. Plenty of good places to stop, hang out, appreciate. But now you’ll always know where it could take you. And you’ll always know that you don’t actually have what it takes to get there. Plain and simple. You blew it. Better go back to the bar…

Six. Balance, or, Connecting the Dots

…and thank goodness you did because this time you meet the cool kid. Your Merlin. Gandalf. Dumbledore. Your guide who doesn’t have a lot of time for you, because, hey, he has way more important worlds to save than yours, but he knows your world and your path and when he bumps into you, he always says, by the way, did you …. something phenomenally important that you haven’t done and actually hadn’t even thought of although now it seems a tad obvious, huh. But even though he’s already disappeared around the corner, you still feel him there. You know what? When this guy is the voice in your head, things go pretty good, even when it’s hard. Deep breath. Sigh of relief. And…

Seven. Desire, or, Pressing Forward

…on track again. Last time we tried to move forward everything fell apart. So it’s a lot harder this time, even with the good guy guide in your head. But you want it. You want it bad. I mean, at first you weren’t even sure what it was, but now you know you can’t live without it. Are you here yet? At the place where nothing can stop you? Where your drive to reach your goal makes everything else fade into fuzzy zigzags around the edge of your piercing laser vision? Because the victory lap happens for the ones who stop looking for blocks and only see the road.

Eight. Logic, or, Holding Back.

But there are still roadblocks, right? I mean we’re not in Unicorn-Rainbow-Sparkle land. Because boring. Did you ever jump rope, double dutch, when you were a kid? Two ropes spinning at cross purposes and somehow you’re not only planning to get mixed up in all this, but you’re supposed to dance and sing for as long as you can. Or kind of bounce and chant. Anyway, before you can dance, you have to find the beat. So you watch those ropes, slap, slap, slap, and you become one with them, and their movement, and you wait, and then there is the perfect opening and you go for it. If you merge without looking, you crash. If you match the rhythm, it all flows.

Nine. Imagination, or, Picture Perfect.

Now you’re ready. You know what you want, so clearly that you can see it in your mind’s eye in perfect detail. You know how to zoom in on any step of the process that’s blurry, and up the resolution. Your resolution to get it done. If Eight was the on-ramp that put you on the super highway to your goal, Nine is the exit. You know exactly where it is, change lanes, slow it down, circle the cloverleaf, and you’re almost home. You see the future as clearly as you remember the past. Every memory you’ve made is a crayon in the box of infinite colors that you use to picture-perfect your future. Because everything is a reflection. Reflect on that.

Ten. Manifestation, or Kingdom Sweet Kingdom.

Congrats. Here’s the keys. It’s all yours.

Numbers and Tarot: An Ordinal Story, or Back It Up

Not only is it important to learn the story of the numbers from Ace to Ten, but we also benefit from understanding the sequence in reverse. What’s the story of the numbers from Ten to Ace? You’ll have to tune in another time for that one!

Oh, and I still have to tie the ordinal story into the tarot cards, but that’s what the twelve-session class is for! We’ll splash around in the deep end comparing correspondences and cards. Check out Numbers and Tarot: An Introduction to Qabalistic Numerology at my school on Thinkific.

Meanwhile, be sure to hop on to hear the fables and fortunes of our other bloggers!

Numbers and Tarot: An Introduction to Qabalistic Numerology.

If you’d like more information on my Numbers and Tarot class that explores qabalistic numerology as it relates to the tarot pip cards, visit my school on Thinkific and add your email to the mailing list to get the latest updates.


Joy Vernon
Joy Vernon

Joy Vernon is widely recognized as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty-five years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup grew into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Now Joy runs the Greater Seattle Tarot Meetup. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher in Burien, Washington. To learn more, please visit

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  1. You do know that I love your work, your posts and the amazing way that you put things across, I am so thankful to have crossed your path, and learnt so much each time we’ve shared space (albeit cyber) when we’ve blog hopped together.

    • Thank you, Jay! I am very grateful to you for this topic. It really inspired me. I consider today’s post to be a (very!) rough draft of something that I will probably continue to work on for a long time to come. Thank you for opening up this possibility for me!

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