There is a significant difference of opinion in numerological circles as to the significance of the number 11. Many consider eleven to be an angelic or master number, a number for delving into the mysteries. Others see it as negative, forever caught between ten and twelve. The association of eleven with negativity may have emerged with Babylonian myth, which tells of the struggle between Tiamat and the ordering gods. Here Tiamat (chaos) is supported by eleven monstrous beings. However, we might also wish to consider that this may simply be a myth from the early patriarchy, where Tiamat is seen as female, and the ordering gods as male.

Later on we find the Dionysiads, eleven women of ancient Sparta whose group formed to counteract the worst excesses of the Dionysian revels. In medieval times, St Ursula was supposed to have travelled to Cologne in a fleet of eleven boats, each of which carrying 1000 virgins (i.e. 11,000 altogether). Unfortunately it was a dangerous time and they were all martyred. Would this have something to do with the fact that the carnival season in the Rhineland begins at 11.11 on the 11th November each year?

It is probably not significant that soccer teams have eleven players – ten plus the goal keeper… But, we should consider the ‘eleventh hour’ – an hour of significance, and the last time changes can be made to avert disaster.

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In the Tarot Majors, eleven is either Justice, or Strength, depending upon your deck. Arthur Waite transposed the two images for reasons he did not elaborate (although pictorially, Justice’s scales might be better illustrated as an 8, albeit on its side). (In the earliest decks Justice may well have been numbered 20, just before The World, so it’s an auspicious, well-travelled card.) If Justice is 11, it’s well-balanced by the two equal 11s on either side, and (at least in our day and age) we might think of it as mute. However, it is more usual to see Strength as 11, and here both aspects of the number are seen, with the angelic or master aspect holding a lion in check. This is fortitude, the inner strength that allows us to control the raging beast within. (The darker aspects of the number might be seen as the Id (the unconscious, powerful instinctive urges and instincts) being held in check by the super-ego or higher self). Thus eleven is about a dialogue with the unconscious, being able to release and resolve our unconscious energies.

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In the Minors, the ‘mute’ aspect of the number is seen in the Pages, who symbolise young, tentative energy. The Page of Cups, for example, looks with concern at a large goblet being offered to her. She is not at all sure she will take the cup, even though it is an offering of love – and she is right to be concerned, as her youth may well preclude her ability to deal with the challenges of intimacy.

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The Page of Discs (Pentacles) looks fixedly into a large coin. Again, she seems to need help but also may have shut herself away in order to concentrate on the issue. This Page, however, is grounded and sensible, and will probably make her decisions wisely – as long as she does not become too isolated.

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The Page of Rods, in contrast, is creative and intuitive, but can become defensive and unhappy if she cannot find a way to express herself. She’s a poet or an artist, and because of that needs – more than any of the other Pages – to delve into her own unconscious. Like the Page of Cups, she’s caught between childhood and adulthood, but what calls to her is not growing up, it’s her soul. She can be quite angry, caught between her idealism and the way she sees the world outside.

Similarly, the Page of Swords is a truth-seeker, driven by the need to stay true. Like Joan of Arc, she will, if need be, go to war to ensure she stands fast by her own integrity. If the card is reversed, she is probably contemplating some action that would compromise that integrity.

The Pages, despite their youth, all feel under pressure to discover something about themselves – without realising that the eleventh hour will come and go many times in their lives, and each time it will leave them wiser and more true to themselves than before.