Tarot and Numerology: What if Numbers on Tarot Cards Appear in Descending Order


As you dive deeper into Tarot you will eventually notice in tarot readings, the order and arrangement of the cards and their numbers in a spread are important factors in interpreting their meaning. Especially when numbers appear sequentially in ascending or descending order. C’mon, you must notice the numbers are trying to say something, even if the they do not belong to the same suit.

The order of cards in a spread is typically determined by the reader’s shuffle and draw of the cards, and typically this is considered to be a random process. However, if you were to draw cards in a descending numerical order (e.g., from the highest number to the lowest number), this usually applies to some have various interpretations.

The first thing we would like to bring to the surface is the reversal of energy. This is usually the typical representation when the cards are drawn in numerically descending way. Drawing cards in descending order could be seen as a reversal of the typical flow of energy in a tarot reading. Tarot cards often convey a narrative or progression, with higher-numbered cards representing the culmination or resolution of a situation. Drawing them in descending order might suggest that the situation is regressing or going backward in some way.

What if Major Arcana Cards appear in an descending order?

If Major Arcana cards (from the Fool (0 or 22) to the World (21) appear in a numerically descending order in a tarot reading, it can be a powerful and meaningful sequence. The Major Arcana cards are often considered the most significant and symbolic cards in the tarot deck, each carrying its own unique energy and message. When they appear in descending order, it can suggest a profound narrative or journey within the reading. In the following text I am going to give you an example and a general interpretation of Major Arcana cards appearing in descending, but in this case not sequential order. Let’s say the pull was the Hermit (9), Chariot (7), and the Lovers (6). Notice the Strength card which carries number 8 is missing, so the sequence of numbers is broken, however, the order is still descending.

So, the Hermit (9 or IX, as written on the cards) represents introspection, solitude, and inner guidance. It’s a card of self-reflection and seeking answers within. When it appears first in a descending order, it could indicate a period of introspection or a need to withdraw from external influences to find inner wisdom.

The Chariot (7 or VII) is a card of determination, willpower, and triumph over challenges. It signifies taking control of a situation, taking reins into your own hands, and moving forward with focus and confidence. When Chariot follows the Hermit, it may suggest that you have gained inner clarity and are now ready to take charge of your path.

And then the Lovers (6 or VI) pop up, which is the card is often associated with choices, partnerships, and harmony. Lovers often represent important decisions related to relationships or life paths. When it appears last in the descending order, it might signify the culmination of a choice or a significant connection with others after a period of self-discovery and determination.

In this descending sequence, I would interpret these three cards as a journey of self-discovery and transformation: you begin with introspection and seeking answers within (The Hermit). You then harness your inner strength and determination to overcome challenges and obstacles (The Chariot). Finally, you find harmony and connection, whether in your relationships or life choices (The Lovers).

What if Minor Arcana Cards appear in an descending order?

The Minor Arcana cards represent day-to-day experiences, challenges, and situations, and they are divided into four suits (Cups, Swords, Pentacles, and Wands). Let me introduce a general interpretation when cards appear in descending order within the same suit:

  • When Cups cards appear in descending order, it can suggest a journey or progression through various emotional states or experiences. It may indicate a period of emotional fulfillment and happiness (from 10 to 6) followed by challenges or introspection (from 5 to 1) or a transition (from 8 to 1) in your emotional life. The specific interpretation will depend on the question, context, and surrounding cards in the tarot spread.
  • Let’s say your sequence was 10, 9 and 8 of Cups. What now? You used to be content and super happy with your love life and now you’re about to walk away? Let’s try to break these cards apart and put the story back together.

    In numerology, the number 10 is often associated with completion and fulfillment. It signifies the end of a cycle, but also the potential for new beginnings. It’s a number of closure, and it suggests that something in your life has reached its natural conclusion. The number 9 in numerology is linked to endings, humanitarianism, and spiritual awareness. It represents the end of a cycle just before the next one begins. It can also signify a period of reflection and tying up loose ends. And number 8 is associated with material success, balance, and abundance. It often signifies achievement, but it can also be a reminder of the need for balance between material and spiritual aspects of life.

    And then, if we add a layer of Tarot into the story, the Ten of Cups is a card of emotional fulfillment, harmony, and happiness in the family and relationships. It represents a state of contentment and joy in your emotional life. The Nine of Cups card is often called the “Wish Card,” signifies emotional satisfaction, personal happiness, and the fulfillment of desires. It suggests that your emotional wishes and dreams are or were coming true. The Eight of Cups, on the other hand, represents a period of emotional transition and leaving behind something that no longer serves your emotional well-being. It can signify a journey of self-discovery and the pursuit of a deeper sense of meaning.

    So, if we combine both numerological and Tarot perspective, the sequence of 10, 9, and 8 in the suit of Cups could mean that you have reached a point of emotional fulfillment and happiness (Ten of Cups). Now, you are in a phase where your emotional desires are being fulfilled, and you’re experiencing personal happiness (Nine of Cups). However, this phase is also prompting you to reflect on what truly matters emotionally and spiritually, possibly leading you to make changes in your emotional life or seek a deeper emotional meaning (Eight of Cups). In essence, this reading may indicate that you are in a phase of emotional satisfaction and fulfillment, but you are also feeling a call to explore deeper emotional and spiritual aspects of your life. It’s a time of both contentment and introspection, where you may be considering what truly brings you emotional and spiritual fulfillment.

  • In the Swords suit, a descending order might represent a progression from conflict and challenges (e.g., 10 of Swords) towards resolution or recovery (e.g., 2 of Swords). The Swords suit provides insights into a situation or a narrative related to thoughts, conflicts, and communication. The suit of Swords often deals with mental and intellectual aspects, as well as challenges and conflicts. So, when Swords cards appear in descending order, it may suggest a narrative of mental and emotional challenges, starting with difficult situations or thoughts and progressing toward resolution or a new beginning.
  • The suit of Pentacles provides insights into a situation or a narrative related to material and practical aspects of life, including finances, career, and earthly matters. The suit of Pentacles often deals with abundance, prosperity, and tangible resources. So when the suit of Pentacles appears in descending order, it may suggest a narrative of material or financial aspects of life, starting with abundance, wealth, or stability and progressing toward challenges or assessments. The specific interpretation will depend on the question, context, and surrounding cards in the tarot spread.
  • The suit of Wands often represents creativity, ambition, and the pursuit of goals. When Wands cards appear in descending order, it may suggest a narrative of personal growth, ambition, and the pursuit of goals. The sequence could represent a journey from feeling burdened or overwhelmed (from 10 to 7) to defending your position and achieving recognition (from 7 to 6) to resolving conflicts and experiencing joy (from 5 to 4) and finally to planning and starting anew (from 3 to 1).
  • So, what would be a general interpretation when cards appear in descending order across different suits?? If you draw Minor Arcana cards in descending order but across different suits, it can suggest a multifaceted approach to a situation. Each suit has its own unique qualities, and the sequence may represent the integration or harmonization of various aspects of your life. For example, drawing the 10 of Pentacles followed by the 9 of Swords could indicate a transition from financial stability (Pentacles) to addressing worries or anxieties (Swords).

    Let’s take a bit more detailed look at the following combination of Seven of Swords (Air), Six of Cups (Water) and Five of Pentacles (Earth).

    The Seven of Swords often signifies deception, strategy, or the need to be cautious. It may suggest that someone is not being entirely honest, or it could indicate a need to protect oneself from potential harm. The Six of Cups on the other hand is associated with nostalgia, memories, and reconnecting with the past. It often symbolizes a desire for emotional comfort and a return to simpler, happier times. The unlucky Five of Pentacles represents financial hardship or a feeling of lack. It may indicate a period of financial struggle or the need to seek assistance.

    These cards together could suggest a narrative where there may have been a situation involving deception or the need to be cautious (Seven of Swords), which leads to a desire for emotional comfort or a return to a more innocent and simpler time (Six of Cups). However, this may also coincide with financial challenges or hardship (Five of Pentacles).

    Let’s add a numerological explanation to the sequence of cards above and I am sure this will provide additional insight:

  • In numerology, the number 7 is often associated with introspection, analysis, and seeking answers. It’s a number of contemplation and inner exploration. In the context of the Seven of Swords, it could indicate a need to carefully examine a situation or to trust your instincts when it comes to potential deception or hidden information.
  • The number 6 in numerology is linked to harmony, balance, and nurturing. It often represents a harmonious and nurturing environment. In the context of the Six of Cups, it suggests a desire to find emotional comfort and reconnect with the past in a balanced and harmonious way.
  • The number 5 in numerology represents change, challenges, and adaptability. It signifies a period of transition and adjustment. In the context of the Five of Pentacles, it could indicate a financial challenge or a need to adapt to changing circumstances.
  • So, if you combine the numerological aspects with the tarot interpretations, we can say that the Seven of Swords suggests the need for introspection and careful analysis in a situation involving potential deception, while the Six of Cups signifies a desire for emotional balance and comfort while reconnecting with the past. The Five of Pentacles on the other hand implies a period of financial challenge or change that requires adaptability. Together, this sequence may suggest a need to carefully examine and adapt to a situation that involves both emotional and practical aspects of life. It encourages introspection, seeking emotional balance, and being adaptable in the face of challenges.

    What if Court Cards (King, Queen, Knight, Page) appear in descending order?

    Let’s analyze cards if you draw the King of Cups, Queen of Cups, Knight of Cups, and Page of Cups in that order. The King of Cups represents emotional mastery, control, and wisdom. He embodies the mature and balanced aspects of the suit’s energy, offering emotional stability and empathy. The Queen of Cups follows the King and represents emotional intuition, nurturing, and deep empathy. She is emotionally mature and sensitive to the needs of others. The Knight of Cups is more action-oriented than the King and Queen. He represents pursuing emotional quests and idealistic dreams. It’s a youthful and sometimes impulsive energy. And the Page of Cups is the most youthful and open-hearted of the Court Cards in the Cups suit. He signifies the beginning of emotional exploration, creativity, and receptivity to emotional experiences.

    In this sequence, the cards – from King, through Queen, Knight and Page suggest a progression from mature emotional mastery to more youthful and open-hearted exploration. The King of Cups represents a mature and emotionally balanced state. The Queen of Cups continues with emotional maturity but adds nurturing and empathy. The Knight of Cups introduces a more active, idealistic, and youthful emotional energy. Finally, the Page of Cups signifies the initiation of emotional exploration and creativity.

    So, this particular sequence may indicate a journey or progression within the emotional realm, potentially involving a transition from emotional mastery and maturity to a more youthful and open approach to emotions.

    But, what if cards from different suits in a tarot reading appear in descending order?

    If you draw the King of Pentacles (Earth), the Queen of Cups (Water), the Knight of Swords (Air), and the Page of Wands (Fire), what do the cards try to say?

    King of Pentacles belong to the Earth element, and this particular King represents stability, financial success, and practicality in the material world. It suggests that you or someone around you is grounded and has achieved a level of financial security or mastery in earthly matters. The Queen of Cups belongs to the Water element and as such the Queen embodies emotions, intuition, and empathy. It signifies a deep connection with your emotional self and others. It can represent emotional support and a strong intuitive presence. The Knight of Swords belongs to the Air element and this Knight is associated with quick thinking, communication, and intellectual pursuits. It suggests a period of action and decisiveness in the realm of thoughts and ideas. And Page of Wands is within the Fire element, so it represents youthful enthusiasm, creativity, and new opportunities. It often symbolizes the spark of inspiration and the initiation of a passionate endeavor.

    So, in this scenario, we can interpret this sequence as starting with a solid foundation in practical and material matters (King of Pentacles). You then tap into your emotional and intuitive side, drawing on empathy and support (Queen of Cups). You take swift and decisive action in the realm of ideas and communication (Knight of Swords). Finally, you embark on a new creative and passionate endeavor (Page of Wands).