Determining Your Tarot Birth Card

You are probably aware of your astrological sign, but you may not realize that you also have a tarot card that corresponds with your birth date. Your tarot birth card represents your potential—qualities that will be helpful for you to develop throughout your life.

There are different systems for calculating your birth card. My good friend, Carole Pierce of Crossroads Tarot, has taught me an easy method, which she has generously allowed me to share here.

Take each digit of your birth date and add them together.

For example,
January 3, 1980 is calculated like this: 1 + 3 + 1 + 9 + 8 + 0 = 22.
September 22, 1947 is calculated like this:  9 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 9 + 4 + 7 = 34.
October 29, 1999 is calculated like this:  1 + 0 + 2 + 9 + 1 + 9 + 9 + 9 = 40.

If the resulting number equals 22, such as in the first example, keep it. Your birth card is The Fool.
If the resulting number is a double digit other than 22, add the digits together to reduce the number.

In the last two examples above,
34 reduces like this: 3 + 4 = 7. The birth card for 7 is The Chariot.
40 reduces like this: 4 + 0 = 4. The birth card for 4 is The Emperor.

If the resulting number is a double digit other than 22, reduce it again. For example, May 24, 1952 must be reduced twice like this:
5 + 2 + 4 + 1 + 9 + 5 + 2 = 28
2 + 8 = 10
1 + 0 = 1. The birth card for 1 is The Magician.

Each reduced number, corresponds with a Major Arcana card as follows:

1 = The Magician
2 = The High Priestess
3 = The Empress
4 = The Emperor
5 = The Hierophant
6 = The Lovers
7 = The Chariot
8 = Strength
9 = The Hermit
22 = The Fool (On his card, The Fool’s actual number is 0.)

The Fool

You have the potential to be an open-minded free spirit who seeks adventure. You have the ability to know when to be spontaneous and take chances and when to look before you leap.

Key words and phrases: open-minded, free spirit, spontaneous, seeker of adventure, individuality

The Magician

You have the potential to make all your dreams become a reality because you are a well-rounded person. You have the ability to be practical, intelligent, sensitive, imaginative, and creative. Most importantly, you have the ability be disciplined and focused.

Key words and phrases: making dreams become a reality, well-rounded, disciplined, focused

The High Priestess

You have the potential to make good decisions because you have the ability listen to your heart and understand what motivates you. Deep down you know when to stop and think before you act. You also have the ability to keep secrets.

Key words and phrases: thinking and reflecting instead of acting, listening to your feelings, intuitive, self-aware, keeper of secrets

The Empress

You have the potential to be happy and thrive because deep down you know how to take care of yourself. Getting in touch with nature can bring you a sense of inner peace. You also have the ability to be nurturing and bring happiness to others.

Key words and phrases: nurturing, creative, vibrant, appreciates nature

The Emperor

You have great potential to be a leader. You can be assertive, confident, and responsible. You have the ability to bring structure and organization to chaos and confusion.

Key words and phrases: assertive, confident, organized, responsible, leader

The Hierophant

You have the potential to teach and lead others. You have the ability to be patient and explain difficult ideas so that others can understand them. With The Hierophant as your birth card, tradition might also play an important role in your life.

Key words and phrases: teacher, mentor, tradition

The Lovers

You have the potential to make a great difference in the world because you are passionate about what you believe. You also have the ability to find love in your life because you feel good about yourself and know how to live fully. You can be very loving and sweet.

Key words and phrases: loving, passionate about ideas and causes

The Chariot

You have the potential to set clear goals for yourself and to confidently channel your energy towards them. You also have the ability to be confident when making a decision.

Key words and phrases: goal-oriented, confident, good at decision making, will power


The Strength card represents a special kind of strength. It does not symbolize brute force or aggressiveness but rather a more quiet inner strength. You have the potential to handle difficult people and situations with a gentle touch. You have the ability to know if someone is trying to take advantage of you or intimidate you and can be assertive in this situation without losing your cool.

Key words and phrases: inner strength, a gentle touch, assertive

The Hermit

You have the potential to be self-aware—to think about your life experiences and understand how they have made you who you are. You also have the ability to help others find meaning in their lives.

Key words and phrases: self-aware, introspective,lights the way for others, guides others

In her book, Tarot for Yourself: A Workbook for Personal Transformation, Mary K. Greer teaches an alternative method for calculating your personality and soul cards along with your year card and other cards of personal significance.  Ruth Ann Amberstone and Wald Amberstone, in their book, Tarot Tips, provide yet another method for calculating two birth cards.


Illustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.