Wednesday, 11 March 2020

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Tarot Numerology and My Ordinal-Linguistic Personification

A photo of a jumbled pile of the Crystal Visions tarot deck, with The Fool on top

Tarot Numerology and My Ordinal-Linguistic Personification


One of my goals for this year is to get a better grip on the tarot, and I've been making great strides with the help of Yaritza of Bujo Witchcraft's #TarotForGrowth Instagram prompts (follow her on Instagram, too!). They have been so helpful! Because of this, I thought I'd also give I’ve been reading Teach Yourself Tarot series and trying her exercises. With her lessons, Yaritza is guides the reader to get in touch with their intuition and gather their own meanings for the cards, and they're just brilliant, honestly, and I'd recommend anyone trying to learn tarot give her lessons a go. I'm only a few in, but they're fantastic! Her second lesson on Numerology, however, kind of blew my mind, as it had me dive a little deeper into something how my brain works differently to most.

Before she really gets into it, Yaritza asks us what our favourite number is - mine is 6 - and then she goes on to ask why, and to really think about it: why that number? And I had to pause as I had a bit of a moment. One of the reasons is because 6 is the number you want a die to roll on when playing board games - the most number of spaces forwards, and you get to roll again. But the main reason? 6 is just the coolest number. I really like him.

I have a form of synesthesia. Generally speaking, synesthesia is where the brain processes data with several senses at once - colours or tastes/flavours associated with sounds/words being the most common kinds, I believe, which I just find completely fascinating. The type I have is called ordinal-linguistic personification (OLP) - one, I feel, is probably much less intrusive in my day-to-day life as the previously mentioned types - where ordered sequences are associated with personalities. To me, numbers have personalities. It’s not something I really think about, it just is - like how we don’t really question why the sky is blue, we just accept that it is (even though, yes, there is a scientific explanation for it - as there is with OLP). In the same way, we don’t really question why we click with people, why we warm to them, why they’re your kind of person. You could give answers if you sat down and really thought about it, but that’s the point - we don’t think about it until we're asked.

And it’s like that for me with 6. But Yaritza asked why, so I thought about it. Because he’s laid back and easy-going. Because he doesn’t take himself or life too seriously. Because he’s not judgemental. Because he’s up for a laugh. 6 would be the kind of person who’s just easy to be around, always with an easy, carefree smile. Huh - he’s also male.

But then the first exercise to mind map the numbers, and what you associate with them, starting with 0, boggled my mind further. 0 is not a number I really think about at all, because it's normally only associated with other numbers, in the tens, hundreds, etc., and in phone numbers. It's hardly ever on its own, so I didn't know who 0 was until Yaritza said to mind map with 0, and then things got kind of strange. I can't tell you who 0 is, because who they are is hidden, as they're not currently themselves. 0 isn't well, and I really don't think they're ok. 0 is an empty shell; they are blank, there is a lack of something, there is nothing, there is deadness. And through experience, I’m worried 0 is depressed. And while, yes, there are words there that someone without OLP might come up with when thinking of 0 - "empty," "nothing," "lack" - my overwhelming feeling is this is someone who is desperately unhappy.*

I started to think I'd hit a bit of a block with Yaritza's exercises - I wasn't doing it "right" because what I was coming up weren't associations but related to who the number is (or is experiencing). I would have to think beyond my gut reaction to the numbers, which I did to continue with 0. But for the next exercise, she said to mind map with the word one rather than the digit 1, because the digit could maybe be confused with I... and it was a completely different experience. With one I could make associations, but when I tried, for the sake of curiosity, with 1, I got personality traits.

Yaritza's exercises change, so it's not just mind mapping - though that is the exercise I had the most luck with - and again, with those other exercises, my associations were intuitive associations, rather than personality traits. As mind mapping worked best for me, I mind mapped all the numbers in the end, using both the digit and the word for the number, coming up with all sorts - 5 is a gossip; 7 is untrustworthy; 8 is pretty decent but distant; 9 is just the "coolest", most popular one -  but also intuitive associations off of the personality traits.

Isn't it just incredible, though, how the mind works? Synesthesia is just incredible! Do you or anyone you know have synesthesia, or specifically OLP? Anyone on a spiritual path with OLP who has made discoveries about their brains through numerology, whether related to tarot or otherwise? I'd love to know!

*I would just like to, firstly, point out here that depression isn't a personality trait, and I am aware of that. I can't get to who 0 is, because this is what's coming up. I also realise 0 isn't actually a person, I'm just trying to explain how my brain works. Secondly, I also want to say, if my description of 0 sounds familiar, I would highly recommend speaking to a medical professional. As someone who has a mental illness and sought help, the help if there, and it makes such a difference. Do ask for it. You're not alone.

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