The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Tarot Birth Cards

The English language is full of expressions that hint at the connection between the objects in the sky at birth and our journey on this Earth. We refer to things that happen to us as being “written in the stars” and to particularly fortunate people as being born under a “good star.” Two lovers who seem at odds with one another are called “star-crossed.” The celestial objects present in the sky at our birth are believed to set the course for our lives that follow.

Tarot also helps us identify the main themes that guide our lives based on birth dates. In this post, we will calculate our tarot birth cards and see how they help define us as individuals.

What is a Tarot Birth Card?

Tarot birth cards, also known as “life path cards,” describe unique character traits or qualities that are constant for us, regardless of our phase of life. Each person has one to three birth cards, depending on their birth date. These tarot birth cards correspond to one of the 22 major arcana cards in a tarot deck.

Calculating Your Birth Card(s)

First, write down your birth date in DD//MM/YYYY format to determine your tarot birth cards. For example, if you were born on October 17, 1973, you would write the following:


Next, add the digits for the whole birthdate together:

17+10+20+03 = 14

Then, since that number is less than 22, your birth card would be #14 – Temperance. You would also have a second card (1+4=5) – the Hierophant.

If your birth year was 1987, however, your total would be 17 + 10 + 19 + 01 = 47. Since this is greater than 22, you would add the two digits together, to get 11. You would have two birth cards: 11 (Justice) and 2 (1+1) (the High Priestess).

Special Cases

Three-digit totals: Imagine your birthday is November 18, 1973. Your total would be 18+11+19+71 = 119. In this case, the first two digits become one number (11), which is added to the second number (9), for a total of 20, corresponding to the Judgment card. You would also have a second card (2+0=2), the High Priestess.

A Total of 19: If your dates total 19, you will always have three birth cards: the Sun (19), the Wheel of Fortune (1+9=10), and the Magician (1+0=1).

How to Use Birth Cards

There are many ways to use birth cards in your meditative or spiritual practices. Here are just a few:

  1. Use them to gain better insight into your core personality when making decisions.
  2. Use the card as a significator, one you place on the table when creating a spread to represent yourself or the person you are reading for.
  3. Meditate on the meaning of the card as part of your daily meditation when seeking spiritual guidance.
  4. Look for these cards to pop up as representations of people during readings, and consider their position and your own situation when reading the cards.

My birth cards are the Lovers (6) and the Devil (15). At first, this alarmed me, until I saw the meanings. Lovers (or Love, depending on your deck) signifies oneness, attraction, association, and connection. When taken to the extreme, this need for connection and attraction can become attachment, dependence, temptation, and addiction (the meaning of the Devil card). For me, this describes both a need to connect and get approval, as well as a tendency to forget to keep my personal boundaries safe and maintain my own personal identity.

What are Your Birth Cards?

In the comment section (without revealing your birthdate – you don’t want to share that publicly!), tell us your birth card(s) and what they reveal about your unique character.