These symbols, at the time they were made, were linked to what was known of the ancient traditions, such as the Ancient Egyptian, Hebraic, Christian and Islamic cultures.
Like parables, they tell the hidden story in a universal language that can be translated according to the understanding of the reader.
The Tarot is a book for disciples and aspirants, or those who are open and ready to hear the symbolic language of the Soul. The first language was number, then the language of pictures and myths kept the knowledge of initiatic enlightenment alive.
Numbers give us a never-ending appreciation of the cycles of manifestation of life as it progresses towards its apotheosis. Every card is a stage in our personal transformation.
The Tarot is a pictorial crystallisation of the mysterious language of number to guide us through the cycles of spiritual transformation. Each card can only be understood in relation to the one before and the one after, just as with numbers.
We can really only truly understand a 2 or a 3 if we've understood what the number 1 was about. Number 1 by itself without time and space has no chance of realising itself!