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How to Calculate Your Tarot Birth Card, Plus Short Birth Card Meanings: Infographic

By Tina Gong


I first came across tarot birth cards when I was part of a regular class with the folks at The Tarot School, a little weekly meet up hosted by the incredibly insightful Wald and Ruth-Ann Amberstone in Forest Hills. It’s been a long time since I’ve attended. I moved to Brooklyn last year - making the commute to Queens pretty terrible.

Out of the many things I took away from those little workshops, was the concept of birth cards. If you are familiar with the zodiac, they offer a similar function: they give us a feeling of being part of a larger whole, of having a place in the world and a role to play. In these systems, everyone has a unique strength and weakness. With the ability to embrace our own blessings and faults, we can learn to appreciate all the strange and beautiful wonders that other humans bring to our world as well. 

They give us a feeling of being part of a larger whole, of having a place in the world and a role to play.

Birth cards are meant to describe a facet of yourself that is constant (unlike our moods, events in or lives, or states of being). These can be used to give insight on the energy present during birth, and through them, you can discover what your challenges, roles, and greatest potentials in life are.

How to Calculate Your Tarot Birth Card

This is the method that I was introduced to, and one that I am most familiar with, the same one that was developed with The Tarot School.

  1. We start by breaking your birthday into 4 groups of 2 digits each such that you can add these two digit numbers together like so: MM + DD + YY + YY
  2. If the sum is a 2 digit-number, add them together. This is your first birth card. Reduce this to a single digit to get your second birth card.
    1. Ex: 11 + 22 + 20 + 00 = 53
    2. 5 + 3 = 8: Strength - First Card
    3. 8 = 1 + 7 = 17: The Star - Second Card
  3. If the sum is a 3 digit-number, add the first 2 digits with the 3rd digit. This is your first birth card. Reduce this to a single digit to get your second birth card.
    1. Ex: 07 + 20 + 19 + 89 = 135
    2. 13 + 5 = 18: Moon - First Card
    3. 1 + 8 = 9: Hermit - Second Card
  4. One exception to all these rules is when your sum equals 19. Most people will have 2 cards, but those with this sum will have 3. This is because 1 + 9 = 10, and 1 + 0 = 1, effectively making your cards The Sun, The Wheel and The Magician

The folks at the Tarot School also have a handy little calculator to do all the math for you:

Calculating Tarot Birth Card Infographic

How to calculate your tarot birth card infographic. Plus tarot birth card meanings.

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Chart of Tarot Birth Card Combinations

The following is a short explanation of each birth card’s path, what each pair (or triplet’s) purpose and role in life is to be. If we get enough requests, we’ll go ahead and put together something a little more in-depth!

Numbers Tarot Birth Card Combination
21 > 3 The World, The Empress
20 > 2 Judgement, The High Priestess
19 > 10 > 1 The Sun, The Wheel, The Magician
18 > 9 The Moon, The Hermit
17 > 8 The Star, Strength
16 > 7 The Tower, The Chariot
15 > 6 The Devil, Lovers
14 > 5 Temperance, The Hierophant
13 > 4 Death, The Emperor
12 > 3 The Hanged Man, The Empress
11 > 2 Justice, The High Priestess
10 > 1 The Wheel, The Magician

Tarot Birth Card Meanings (Brief)

World, Empress

The World and The Empress - Tarot Birth Card Meaning Revealed

Your path is one of self-actualization, to bring together all the disparate parts of yourself in order to feel completely at home in this world (The World). Throughout this path, you will be guided by love - both giving and receiving love (The Empress). This loving and caring aspect within you will be your compass towards fulfillment, and is the gift you give to all others.


Judgement, High Priestess

Judgement and The High Priestess - Tarot Birth Card Meaning Revealed

This path is one of breaking limitations, of releasing oneself from established modes of thought, and rebuilding them anew (Judgement). You will be guided by your intuition (The High Priestess), and it is through learning to trust your inner voice that you will create your most important work.


Sun, Wheel, Magician

The Sun, The Wheel and The Magician - Tarot Birth Card Meaning Revealed

Like the Wheel and Magician birth cards, this path is about adapting to change, and moving alongside nature’s cycles resourcefully. It is about recognizing and understanding the natural shifts of the universe (The Wheel of Fortune) while using your inner powers of manifestation and creation to move along with those cycles with grace and success (The Magician). The Sun gives an air of contentment, joy and peace to this path, giving you the cue to enjoy the abundance that your path brings you.


Moon, Hermit

The Moon and the Hermit - Tarot Birth Card Meaning Revealed

Your path is about finding the clarity in the darkness, about finding truth in an uncertain world. The Moon presents us with phantoms, dreams and illusions. It is about the hidden facets that are just below the surface. The hermit is the seeker, who uses their internal truth to light the way to finding your own personal wisdom.


Star, Strength

The Star and Strength  - Tarot Birth Card Meaning Revealed

This path is one of hope - of the choice to look at all that life brings you with optimism (The Star), requiring of you great inner Strength. Yours is the choice of moving away from sorrow, towards regeneration, which takes great resilience in times of suffering. To have hope is the source of your action, to have Strength is assurance that you will succeed.


Tower, Chariot

The Tower and The Chariot - Tarot Birth Card Meaning Revealed

Yours is the path of restoring balance in the face of violent transformation. In the face of groundbreaking change, it is your sense of balance that will be your guide. The Tower destroys foundations and structure ruthlessly in order to reveal a new path forward, but this energy will be guided by the Chariot’s deliberate and careful control of impulses.


Devil, Lovers

The Devil and Lovers - Tarot Birth Card Meaning Revealed

Deep sensuality is indicated by this birth card pair - for the Devil is the combination of both the divine and the beastly. He is playful in the realm of the material, but his pure enjoyment can lead some to be enslaved. The lovers however bring an element of love to his passionate animalistic nature. His beauty in the horror is redeemed.


Temperance, Hierophant

Temperance and the Hierophant - Tarot Birth Card Meaning Revealed

Your path is one of guidance - of using your great wisdom (The Hierophant) to bring calm and peace to conflict (Temperance). Having these two cards come together is akin to having two great advisors - one bearing the keys to long established knowledge, and the other equipped with the gentle serenity to unify disparate groups.


Death, Emperor

Death and the Emperor - Tarot Birth Card Meaning Revealed

In this path, the Death card represents the ending of cycles - of closing doors to open others anew. It is here where the Emperor’s power, authority and structure are needed in order to create stability and security. For the new cycle to be ushered in, a strong and willful hand will be needed to steer its movement.


Hanged Man, Empress

The Hanged Man and The Empress - Tarot Birth Card Meaning Revealed

This path represents gentle progress during moments of delays, and the willful sacrifices of the Hanged Man made with the nurturing care of the Empress. When faced with the Hanged Man’s deliberate choice to remain in his suspension, the love within the empress guides him to continue his spiritual path.


Justice, High Priestess

Justice and The High Priestess - Tarot Birth Card Meaning Revealed

Your path unites clarity, fairness and harmony with deep intuitive understanding and knowledge. Justice and the High Priestess are concerned with two different sides in life - the transactional and the spiritual. Your insights tend to go deeply, a powerful compliment with Justice’s objectivity and sharp decision making.


Wheel, Magician

The Wheel and the Magician - Tarot Birth Card Meaning Revealed

Like it’s 3 card cousin, these birth cards deal with following the cyclic change of the universe and the random hand of fate (The Wheel of Fortune) using the manifestation powers and resourcefulness of the Magician. Wherever the wheel shifts, you will be ready.


Tarot Birth Card Meanings - Full Infographics

Tarot birth card meanings infographic - part 1

Tarot Birth Card Meanings Infographic - Part 2

Labyrinthos Academy Crest: Tarot for Health, Wellness and Psychological Balance


  • Juliette
    My combo is Tower/Chariot and it freaks me out that the Tower is one of my birth cards. That card has always scared me to my core.
  • Sora Gemini
    My pair is the Devil and the Lovers. The path is one of restoring beauty from beastly. I confirm if that’s true or not, but I do know that whatever others think is all bad. I always think the opposite, after all everyone has a little good in them right? It’s just it is for being human.
  • Nancy Pianfetti
    I loved learning the birthday tarot cards. It was interesting that my husband and I share the same cards and also the same Life Path number in numerology. I think its wonderful that you included the calculator. You are a font of information and I always learn something when I visit your site. Thank you!
  • Adrian
    I mistook my math and thought I was in the Sun/Wheel/Mage category. Fixed my math and I’m in the Moon/Hermit zone. As much as I agree with both, the Moon/ Hermit does suit me best. My interest is piqued.
  • Tina
    Hi Brandy! So multiple schools of thought have different ways of calculating birth cards. In the top of the article, we explained where we got ours. I’m not too familiar with other methods – where did your friend learn how to do it?

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