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The word 'Numerology' is derived from the Latin numeralis, which means figure, character, or number, and can be defined as 'the belief in the occult influence of numbers upon the life of an individual'.  It is the study of the purported mystical or esoteric relationship between numbers and the character or action of physical objects and living things.  In simple terms, numerology is a study of numbers in your life.  You can uncover information about the world as well as each individual person through the use of Numerology, which is seen as a universal language of numbers.  If you are familiar with Astrology, then you may know a little bit about Numerology, for it is similar in quite a few ways but uses a different method to get the information and insight, i.e. numbers.

Numerology is therefore the idea that the universe is a system, and once broken down we are left with the basic elements, numbers, which can then be used to help us better to understand the world and ourselves as individuals.

A Brief History of Numerology

Numerology is an ancient system that has been used for thousands of years, spanning across the globe, but where it came from and how it came to be is somewhat of a mystery, like many ancient philosophies.  Babylon and Egypt are where the earliest written records of numerology are said to be.  Other evidence shows that numerology was used thousands of years ago in Rome, China, Greece, and Japan.

The Chaldeans -- often referred to as the Babylonians -- studied both astrology and numerology in depth and were actually the first ones to correlate numbers with the universe’s vibrations.  This is what is sometimes referred to as Chaldean Numerology.

Numerology has evolved through the ages.  Pythagoras was a famous Greek philosopher who studied Chaldean Numerology in Babylon whilst a prisoner of the Persians.  He also studied with the Magi and eventually established a secret society, which revolved around Chaldean Numerology and philosophy.  His research took numerology to a new level of understanding, hence the attachment of his name to one of the methods.  One of the key differences was that the Pythagoras version related letters to numbers whereas the Chaldeans associated the sounds of letters to numbers.

Pythagoras had a passion for the principles of math more so than solving mathematical problems.  This passion inspired him to create a system that used numbers to represent everything within the universe.

Pythagorean Numerology, which is most familiar to us today, is comprised mainly of single digit numbers 1 - 9, with every letter of the alphabet relating to one of those numbers.  In this unique language of numerology, you can start to decode the letters of your name to discover the numbers that are important in your life.

While philosophers and mathematicians used Pythagoras’ system, numerology was still not well researched and for the most part remained an unrecognised metaphysical science.  However, during the early 1900s, Dr Julian Stenton documented the various elements of numerology and popularised it, coining the term ‘Numerology’.

Since the 1970s, Numerology has been used by people in all walks of life as a personalised self-help tool.  Today, Numerology is practiced across the world and followed by millions of people.  Never has the belief in that link between the numerical and spiritual world been stronger, which explains why practitioner numbers are on the increase.  You are encouraged to read widely on the subject and to try to understand all views.  On its own, this journey can help with your own journey of self-discovery and the deeper understanding of others.

Modern History

Modern-day numerology is normally credited to Pythagoras, who was a Greek philosopher, although it is not known if he actually invented it.$nbsp; Even so, he did have some interesting theories behind it, which took numbers to a completely different level.  These theories are now the reason behind Pythagoras having the credit for modern day numerology.

Before setting out on your remarkable journey of self-discovery through numbers, it is worth knowing that there are three formal methods/versions of Numerology in use today, the Chaldean, the Kabbalah and the Pythagorean or Western.  Each version calculates your personal information in a different manner, and therefore provides a different interpretation of your life.  The accuracy of any reading will depend upon which system you use to produce your chart and reading.  There are many sites relating to all three of these methods to be found on the internet.

  • Chaldean: This is probably one of the oldest functioning systems still in use today -- its roots are in Ancient Babylon.  It differs from the Pythagorean system where the calculation is indicated by the alphabetical order.  In the Chaldean system, each sign has a certain vibration.
  • Kabbalah: The Hebrew culture is the source of the Kabbalah system.  This system includes only a name of an individual, not the date of birth as in other systems, which is why it is not as popular as other numerological systems.  It involves 22 vibrations ranging from 1 to 400.
  • Pythagorean: This is the leading system in Numerology.  A second name applied to Pythagorean Numerology is 'Western Numerology'.  Each letter in the Western alphabet has a numerical value from 1 to 9 attached to it.
Dr Julian Stenton was actually the person who came up with the name ‘Numerology’.  He also brought recognition and awareness to it in modern day times, and although there is not much else known about the whereabouts of Numerology it has become quite popular in today’s society and is used by many.

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Finding Meaning in Numbers

We have learned that Numerology is the idea that the universe is a system and that once broken down we are left with the basic elements, which is numbers.  By understanding that everything in the world is dependent upon, and can equate to numbers, a numerologist can take multiple elements of a person and break them down into meaningful numbers through various methods.  These numbers can then be used to help us to better understand the world and ourselves as individuals where you can discover insights about your purpose and personality traits by working out things like your life path number, expression number and hearts-desire number among many others.

Numerology and numerological divination were very popular among early mathematicians such as Pythagoras, but are no longer considered to be part of mathematics, and are now regarded as pseudo mathematics by the majority of mathematicians.  This, of course, is analogous to the historical development of astronomy from astrology, and that of chemistry from alchemy.

It is believed that there are no coincidences in the Universe that your name and birthday affect the journey that you will take and your characteristics, in the same way, that some look at horoscopes or astrology to interpret signs or destinies.

Numerologists say that this sphere of divination is perhaps the easiest of the occult arts to understand and use, because all you need for analysis are the birth time and date, and the complete name of an individual to be able to define something of the personality and propensities of that individual.  The basis of the belief that dates and times have numerological significance appears to be that the underlying vibrations of the universe as a whole occur in regular cycles, and that things created or changed at one point or another during these cycles will express the properties which the vibrations at that particular point in the cycle create.  It is, however, less clear how names, words and appellations would follow such a rule.  One theory put forward by some numerologists is that persons who name things are subtly affected by universal vibrations to assign appropriate names which harmonise with the vibrations of the thing named.

The primary vibrations are 1 through 9.  Vibrations above 9 can be reduced to primary by adding the digits together, for example, 10, 18 and 25 become 1, 9 and 7 respectively:

1 + 0 = 1, 1 + 8 = 9 and 2 + 5 = 7.

Numerology also consists of 'Good', 'Bad' and 'Master' numbers.  These are double digit numbers such as 11, 22 and 33.  Just as there are for interpretations of individual Tarot cards and other means of divination, 'pre-defined' interpretations are assigned to reduced vibrations.  The reduced vibrations are, by nature, general and give ballpark information that may be helpful.  Because of this generality, the meanings are summarised by positive and negative keywords associated with each vibration:

  • 1 = Origin, creativity, independence, originality, ego, self
  • 2 = Marriage, empathy, cooperation, consideration, over-sensitivity, co-dependence
  • 3 = Trinity, wisdom, artistic expression, sociability, friendliness, superficiality, wastefulness
  • 4 = Permanence, practicality, application, loyalty, rigidity, repression
  • 5 = Justice, freedom, adaptability, travel, inconsistency, abuse of senses
  • 6 = Creation, love, responsibility, understanding, meddling, jealousy
  • 7 = Life, spirituality, mental analysis, wisdom, fault finding, suppression
  • 8 = Fullness, executive ability, management, power, materiality, unscrupulousness
  • 9 = Artistic genius, humanitarianism, romance, emotionalism, dissipation

Specific numbers are assigned to the letters of the alphabet, a 'systemata', one such being the Pythagorean, developed by Pythagoras, a Greek mathematician who lived during the 6th century BCE:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Having broken down the date of birth and name of an individual into a single number, the numerologist then 'divines' and 'interprets' the Life Path Number, the Number of Destiny, the Personality Number, the Soul Number and the Karmic Number.

Your Life Path Number

In Numerology, your life path number is the most important number as it forms the basis of what path your life could take.  Similarly, it should be reflective of who you are, or should be, in your personality and traits.  A life path number also outlines any opportunities or challenges you may face, as well as any lessons you may have to learn along the way.  Each life path number has a different meaning:

It is calculated by adding up the numbers in your full date of birth.

  • For example, April 4th 1992, would be 4 + 4 = 8. Then the 1992 is broken down as 1 + 9 + 9 + 2 = 21.
  • Now you add the two digits of 21 together as 2 + 1 = 3.

This is the same with any double-digit numbers which you should keep adding together until you end up with a 1-digit number.

  • Example: 19 becomes 1 + 9 = 10, then 1 + 0 = 1).
  • Finally, add the 8 and 3 together for your life path number i.e. 8 + 3 = 11.
  • Sound complicated?  It's easier than you'd think.

Once you have determined your life plan number, you can then see what it says about you and your life.  And it is surprising how accurate just knowing the general traits of your life path number can be to an individual.  This is why many go on to find out more about themselves with more in-depth readings.

Your Expression Number

Also known as your destiny number, an expression number is said to delve into your abilities, desires and personal goals.  It could also make you aware of any inherent traits that you may carry.

Your expression number is calculated by converting your FULL birth name (including any middle names) into numbers using the Pythagorean chart.  This type of chart correlates a letter with a single digit number.  Then, the total sum is broken down to a single digit number.  Once again, the master numbers apply to your destiny number and are not reduced any further.

Whatever expression number you are left with has a different meaning and works in combination with other core numbers to build a picture of who you are and what you’re about as a person in the wider universe.

Your Soul Urge Number

Your soul urge number is often referred to as the Heart’s Desire number in numerology.  This can symbolise a reflection of your inner, or true, self.  The most interesting thing about the soul urge number is that it often reveals truths in people that they only recognise once a reading is completed.   For example, your heart's desire number may show that you actually crave power, or that you are much deeper and require a higher level of fulfilment.  Alternatively, you may have a need to feel valued or cared for.  All of these qualities can often sit beneath the surface and in revelation can be quite enlightening, even changing the entire direction of a person's life to find true happiness.

The calculation is similar to others using your full birth name.  However, you only calculate the value of the vowels to reveal your inner urges or desires.

Your Personality Number

Your personality number is calculated using only the consonants in your full name.  This is then followed by the same process of allocating a number to each letter before adding them up and breaking them down to get to a single digit number or master number.

The personality number is literally the side of you that you allow people to see; in turn this shows how others see you.  What is true of most people is that we hide our true selves and therefore live under a persona.  Sometimes this is done with great consideration.  However, most of the time we do this without even realising it, or being entirely conscious of it.  For that reason, it is often quite enlightening to see how your personality number can show the things that you ignore or don’t deal with by acting the way that you do.  Consequently, in turn, it can reveal deeper insights into your behaviours in different circumstances.

Your Birth Day Number

Lastly but by no means least, your birthday number holds the key to you and your destiny.  This number is based entirely on the exact day you were born.  Combined with your life path number and other core numbers this can unveil your gifts, talents and even your entire life's purpose.  Based on your day of birth with the month, your birthday number will tell you of specific talents and potentially where they fit into your universe in order to give yourself true purpose.

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Seven Interesting Facts about Numerology

By now you should be starting to realise that the numbers in your life (whether you notice them yet or not) could have more meaning than you think.  Here are some interesting facts about Numerology that are worth knowing:

1.     Positive and Negative Numbers.  All numbers used in numerology include both positive and negative features that should be recognised.  Though numbers have a balance of positive and negative throughout their whole self, it is important to know that numbers are influenced by many factors.  This includes your outlook and other numbers that are correlated with your different life aspects, such as career, business, health, and love.

A true, in-depth numerology forecast will not simply focus on the positives and will consider the impact of negative numbers in your chart in order to give you the best understanding of yourself.  This is where numerology is used to help people focus their lives for the better.

2.     Master Numbers in Numerology.  Master numbers in numerology are 11, 22 or 33.  They have deep and powerful meanings  The true meanings can be good or bad depending on the context, so it is important to interpret master numbers properly.  Mostly they should be used for guidance or revelation of certain circumstances that impact somebody's life in a way that needs to be addressed.

Typically, the methods used during a numerology reading mean that double-digit numbers found in dates of birts (birth day numbers) are usually split apart and added together to leave a single digit number that becomes a part of the calculation.  But when the result of a calculation equates to a master number, it is not reduced and will carry its own meaning.  Master number 11 can relate to ‘instinct’ and faith.  Similarly, it could signify fear and anxiety, so has to be carefully read.

Number 22 is the Master Builder.  It is the most powerful indicator of ambition and success, though often requires guidance or different perspectives.  The number 33 has various meanings as one of your core numbers, i.e. Life Path, Expression, Personality etc.  Not forgetting that all of these master numbers can be combined to form entirely different meanings in partnership with others, or as a triangle of enlightenment!

3.     Using Numbers as a Guide for Life.  Numerology in its fullest form is much more than a reading or insight into who you are as a person.  In fact, many followers and advocates of numerology include highly successful celebrities who attribute their careers to numerology.  The science of numerology tells you what your barriers are, and it can give you a direction based on your position in the universe, potentially attributing to this success.  Deep and powerful feelings that many initially find hard to comprehend become apparent, it can inspire people to change their direction completely and begin to treat numerology as a forecast for life.

4.     Converting to Numerology.  Numerologists often report that once people take the step to look further into their numerology chart, they are so taken with the revelations of some of their core desires and issues in life that they will often continue on their path of discovery and enlightenment.  Once you discover the accuracy of numerology readings, you can discover the truth yourself.  In addition, learn what those inner feelings have been trying to tell you all of your life.

5.     Strengths and Weaknesses for Purpose.  Because of the accuracy of reading and insights they reveal, friends and others that have taken numerology readings will often encourage others to look into numerology as a way to find their true strengths and weaknesses.  Through this discovery alone you can give yourself a better idea of what you should and shouldn’t be doing in your life.  Furthermore, this could give you greater purpose to move forward.

6.     So Many Numbers and Meanings.  Though there are calculators and online tools to work out your individual core numbers, it is important for people to understand that there are so many numbers and meanings behind combinations of numbers and your individual self that you need a proper numerologist to interpret these for you.  Where a birthday calculator can give you that one number and its meaning can show you certain basic principles behind your character, your life path number gives that factor a different meaning or viewpoint.  This is where numerology provides greater insight than horoscopes and other spiritual based methods used in a similar way.

7.     Numerology from Birth.  One of the most fascinating aspects of numerology is that the readings are all based around the time you entered the universe in your human form, i.e. since birth.  In other words, whether you like your name or not, or when your birthday sits in the year, all of it has a meaning.  If it were known at your time of birth and your parents were numerologists, then effectively you would never have had to consider who you are and what you should be doing in life to make you happy, or important.  So be proud of your full name and whenever your birthday may fall.  Numerology, and its factors suggest everything about the reason you are here at all -- and it’s never too late to find out.

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Naturally, like any form of Divination, Numerology has its share of skeptics who argue that numbers have no occult significance and cannot by themselves influence a person's life.  They regard Numerology as a superstition and a pseudoscience that uses numbers to give the subject a veneer of scientific authority.

At least two studies have investigated numerological claims, both producing negative results: one in the UK in 1993, Maurice Townsend Numerology: An Experiment and one in 2012 in Israel, Numerological research and its results.  The UK experiment involved 96 people and found no correlation between the number seven and a self-reported psychic ability.  The experiment in Israel involved a professional numerologist and 200 participants, and was designed to examine the validity of a numerological diagnosis of learning disabilities, like dyslexia and ADHD, and autism.  This experiment was repeated twice and still produced negative results.

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