Saturday, March 18, 2017

Self-knowledge through tarot

Tarot is a powerful tool for gaining access and insight into the Soul and its chosen path.  The key to finding peace and wholeness is by 'knowing thyself'.  But obviously this has to be followed by action.
Knowledge for the sake of knowledge only weighs down the heart and soul
and burdens the mind.  Self-knowledge needs to be turned into self-mastery in order for your Spirit to enter the stream of your life.

A simple and direct path to allow Spirit into your life and to take control, is the Eastern approach to having a guru who guides you from his or her wider vantage point into subduing your personality traits.  This, however, is not an easy path for most Western minds.  In the West we are conditioned to 'become the hero of our own story';   to have goals;  to overcome obstacles and to use the mind actively. Tarot offers a tool and practise that marries both those approaches and can reveal to you Wisdom that is embedded
in your body and Soul.  Of course, it is your responsibility and work to implement the results of self-analysis and to transform your thinking and behaviour.

A powerful way of working with your birth date and destiny numbers and tarot cards I gained from working with various tarot decks and teachers through the years..

First simple step of working with self-analysis is to keep a tarot journal   Make notes of important readings and most importantly of essential information such as your destiny numbers (following below). 
Leave some blank space next to each page so that you can return often and add to your compendium of Self.

*Step one - write down your full birth date and add up all the numbers.
The sequence in which you do so does not matter.  I will use my own as
an example.

11.01.1960  =  11+1+1+9+6+0=28 reduces to 10 and reduces to 1

*Step 2 -  This adding up sequence of all the numbers of the birth date gives me a destiny number  of #1
which is the Major Arcana Card I Maria Prophetissa ( traditionally in other decks the Magician card)

Maria Prophitessa, the magi
Mysteries of Mary Tarot deck

*Step 3 -  the reduction sequence also included #10 (see above) 
The number ten card in the Major Arcana of the deck is
 X The Spinning Wheel (the Wheel of Fortune)

X The Spinning Wheel
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

So I have two Major Arcana cards pointing the way of destiny for me on my life path.
You may have one or two cards depending on how the numbers reduce.

As explained in the hand book of this deck, each card is an archetype.
Each archetype corresponds to astrological planets, signs, houses and
it also corresponds to fairy tales, myths, Biblical stories, folk tales and so forth.

*Step 4 - Study these two cards of your life reading. Try to understand their
character and their core messages.  Read their stories.  Read other
tarot cards' versions and stories of these two archetypes. Find as many correspondences
as you can that relates to these two.  Keep
your eyes and ears open for breadcrumbs calling you to a deeper
understanding of these two archetypes and how they play out in
myth and fairytale.  *If your destiny or life path number only adds
up to one digit without a double digit preceding it, then that is the number
and archetype that you work with.  Not to worry, many other numbers
will be added to your mix of archetypes.  

*Step 5 - find the minor arcana cards that relate to these two majors.
For instance, all Aces relate to the I Maria Prophetissa or The Magician.
So now unpack the Ace of Vessels, the Ace of Holyrood, the Ace of Distaff
and the Ace of Roses.  Each suit applies to an element in your make-up
and to an aspect of your life.   By reading the stories and the qualities
of these four Aces, you will uncover clear guidance on the nature
of your own matrix of perception, experience and response to life's duality.

The four Aces of the minor Suits
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

*Step 6 - find the Tens of all four suits as they relate to the Ten in the Major Arcana.
Unpack all four Tens and you have another layer which will assist you in understanding
the tapestry which is your personality and the lens through which your
True Self manifests and expresses into this world and in this lifetime.

The Tens of the minor suits
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

*Step 7 - another powerful and important number is the actual birth day.
Mine is Eleven which is the card XI Holy Wisdom (traditionally known as Justice)
and all Servants of the four suits in the deck are related to this card.
This tells me that the archetypes of Justice and Holy Wisdom is of great importance
to my personality and the way that i approach the world.  And that it is
expressed through the stories of the Servants of the deck.

XI Holy Wisdom
Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

One would think, oh wow, that sounds wonderful, but remember that each
archetype has a dual nature.  Therefore it is very important to study the shadow side of these archetypes.  And it will be of great help to you personally to do so as it is oftern very
difficult to see the way that we trick ourselves into not seeing the real rationale
behind our feelings and reactions.  Do not be
afraid of looking at the unpleasant and uncomfortable parts of these
beings.  See how they act out in stories and you may find that some
of your most frustrating personality traits are revealed!!
In order for wholeness to be manifested, a sacred marriage has to
take place.  A marriage calls for compromise and give and take
and acceptance of both as equal.  The same applies to your inner world.
When you only pay attention to the one aspect of the archetype, be it
the masculine or feminine, dark or light, 'good' or 'bad' side,
then you will end up with an imbalance.  Imagine a small boat on the river
steering with only one oar.  That boat will go round and round (a bit
like a dog chasing its own tail) and will not be able to travel down
the river.  Does this sound familiar?  Do you ever experience this
feeling seeing the same scenery flashing by?  Do you feel as though you
are stuck in the same horror movie of powerlessness in your own head?
That is the secret weapon of the ego : POWERLESSNESS.

It will tell you and make you feel that it is not in your hands to
change your circumstances nor your feelings of pain and betrayal
and shame.  But of course, this is the BIG Lie.
(Read the four cards from the Mysteries of Mary Deck that tell the stages
of the story of The Handless Maiden)

Yes, you will be asked to do that which is seemingly impossible as
the Handless Maiden had to when she grew back her hands by rescueing
her drowning child.  But you have access to that guidance!
One could say that you will have to do things differently in order to bring
a change.  In order to do things differently you first have to understand
what it is that you are repeating blindly.  Once you are no longer blind
and you can see the pattern of the archetype ruling you, you can come
to accept this truth, then surrender to this power that Is in your life
and finally, you can make a new decision. 
 (You can read more about these spiritual practices on my 
Temple of Mary blog at

So to return to the numbers of my destiny.  I can reduce the Eleven to the
Ten and the One once again.  So you can see from this repetition that
these numbers are crucial on my path.

You can then add the number of your birth month and its corresponding

Let us look at the Wheel for example.  One will find lots of information
on the positive effects and blessings of the Wheel of Fortune.  But an
important fact about a wheel is that it turns and that which is up
will be down, and that which is down, will be up.  In other words,
there will be many ups and downs on the path and many changes.
The path may never ever look like perfection to the observer or
outsider as things are continuously changing and in flux and often
great times of chaos will be experienced.  Should one be concerned
with the good opinion and approval of others, or should you be a perfectionist,
 then you will suffer greatly with the Wheel in your tarot chart.  Our minds do not like
change and we resist change and chaos to the point of absolute death!
The mind is much happier with the image of perfection than being alive.
So if you have the Wheel as a strong archetype, then you will often
be confronted with criticism from others about 'always changing'.
Change evokes fear in the mind.  You may be confronted with deep seated
fear yourself as you are faced with change.  The mind is very wily
and a true trickster and will convince you that your resistance
to change is not resistance, but in fact good common sense or the
best choice for you right now.  But now that you are armed with this
knowledge of CHANGE in your tool kit, you can be more aware
of the way that you deal with change and you can focus on allowing
change into your life, understanding that it is the ebb and flow
and new blessings can only flow in, once the old has left.

When you take this core aspect of change and apply it to the Tens
of the minor arcana, then you will  see how these four cards reflect
this balance of dark and light, up and down, desirable and undesirable.
In the Ten of Vessels we see Anne and her daughter Mary at the hearth
of the home surrounded by the vessels of contentment and family love.
The Ten of the Holy Rood is the Lady of Glastonbury and the sorrowful
story of the aftermath of the crucifixion of Jesus and how his family
and followers were dispersed around the world.
The Ten of Distaff is Our Lady of Untier of Knots where you are
encouraged to surrender your pain and suffering and trust in the process of un-doing
once more.
And finally in the Ten of Roses we see Mary as Queen of Heaven,
where the transcendent nature of the feminine is celebrated alongside its
immanent nature and where duality exists in a delicate balance of a wheel
continuously turning.

Every person has a Golden Council of Twelve.  Twelve main archetypes manifesting in a relationship between masculine and feminine.  These twelve archetypes can be likened to the twelve disciples of Jesus, or the twelve knights of the Round Table of King Arthur.  However, they are not all male, but each archetype has a male and a female counterpart.  And then there is the thirteenth one, the authentic you, that is destined to become the Guru of your own inner council in order to guide them to the Spirit Self.  Next time we will have a look at the various ways of accessing this inner council and uncover the gifts that they bring to the table.



  1. So 12 would be the flowering cross? And 3 would be Maria Natura? And then to read all the 3's in 4 suits and handmaiden cards relate to 12? Thank you!

    1. Indeed! as the tarot has 22 major arcana cards it is different to numerology which only works with the numbers 0-10 and then the master numbers of 11 and 22. Some systems continue with these double digit master numbers up to 99.

  2. Thank you for this beautiful tarot to access inner wisdom and journey within!
    My birth date is 28. Does this mean my numbers would be 10? Do I reduce it to a single digit?
    And when I add my numbers I get 57. So then I reduce it to 12. Do I reduce again to a single number here too? Blessings xxx

    1. Hi Taryn, the birth day of 28 gets reduced to 2+8=10 and then again 1+0=0. The first reduction is also of importance as I will explain in my next post. 57-12-3 is the reduction. And you can then apply both the 12 and the 3 here, blessings

  3. What are the minor arcana cards that go with The Priestess/Mary Sophia? Love this spread. It resonates deeply!

    1. II Sophia-Maria is the numerical ruler of all the twos - look out for my blog post soon to be published discussing these in more detail

  4. Also, what's your favorite reference book for a standard set of Tarot cards? Thank you!

    1. I have found that books discussing tarot in general rather than a specific deck gives you the basic foundation. I suggest books by Mary K Greer and Robert M Place xx

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