According to numerologists, each number possesses a certain power that exists in the occult connection between the relations of things and the principles in nature which they express. All that humans are capable of experiencing can be reduced to the digits one through nine. These single numbers are derived from the simplification of all combinations of numbers to their basic essence. This essence then vibrates through the single digit.
Because numerology became popular among New Age diviners in the 1970s, many people who have been introduced to the technique for the first time believe that it is of recent origin. On the contrary, numerology is among the oldest of the psychic sciences, and numerological divination and number charms are found in India, Greece, Egypt, China, and Europe.
Pythagoras (c. 580–c. 500 b.c.e.), the great Greek mathematician and mystic, proclaimed that the very world is built upon the magical power of numbers. According to his doctrines, numbers contained within them the essence of all that is in the natural and the spiritual worlds. For those who followed the teachings of Pythagoras, the number one symbolized unity and therefore the Creator-God. Two represented the duality of good and evil and stood for the devil. Four, symbolizing balance, was considered by Pythagoreans as their most holy and sacred number, and their most solemn oaths were sworn on four. Pythagoreans also used numbers to represent various planets and elements. For example, five stood for fire; six, earth; eight, air; twelve, water.
In addition to the teachings of Pythagoras, Cornelius Agrippa’s (1486–1535) work Occult Philosophy (1533) quite likely furnished the basis for much of the belief in numerology practiced in the Western world. Agrippa also emphasized the powers inherent in numbers and even prescribed certain numbers as tools in banishing evil, promoting healing, and summoning benign spirits. The energy found in the number five, for instance, could exorcise demons and serve as an antidote to poisons.
Contemporary numerologists use their various systems to produce assessments of an individual’s personality traits, behavior patterns, and to describe compatibility and a possible course of future events for their clients. Depending upon the numerological system, the first and most important number derives from one’s birth date and is determined by reducing the numbers of that date into single digits. Beyond this cycle of nine, though, are the two Master Numbers 11 and 22. These never are reduced to single digits. Take the following birthdate for purposes of illustration:
March 29, 1985
3 11 23 3 + 11 + 5 = 19
1 + 9 = 10
The number has been found in this manner: March, the third month, provides the number 3. The day gives 2 + 9 = 11. 1 + 9 + 8 + 5 = 23. Three reduces no further. Eleven does not reduce, being a Master Number. Twenty three (2 + 3) reduces to 5; 3 + 11 + 5 = 19, 1 + 9 = 10 reduces to 1.
The number one, then, is the most important number in this person’s life. It is his or her destiny, which cannot be changed, but which he or she does have the ability to direct. From this number, individuals may determine their potential; their hidden aptitudes, talents, and desires; and their specific mission in life.
According to numerology, there are specific meanings for each number, with both positive and negative aspects. Interpretations of the nine numbers may vary with the individual numerologist, but here, briefly, are some basic meanings for each number:
1—Number one people are independent and need to be, as they tend to be the oak that shelters multitudes. They must control and direct their body, mind, and spirit to the utmost efficiency. They should accept no limitations, yet they must learn to cooperate without losing their individuality. The negative aspect of the number one lies in the danger of emphasizing the needs of self over others.
2—People of the number two will naturally follow the lead of others. Those with this number become excellent diplomats, peacemakers, and go-betweens. Here, as opposed to the number one, the attraction is to groups, to communities. The number two is a perfect wife or husband, for all other numbers are compatible with them. The negative aspect of number two lies in the hazard of withdrawing from others and becoming extremely self-effacing.
3—Those on this path through life have discovered the joy of living. They will tend to find their opportunities on the lighter side of life, in circulating and socializing. An artistic environment is best for the three personalities as they are always seeking expression through writing, speaking, or art. The negative polarity for the number three personality is to become superficial.
4—These people are the builders, those who start with a firm foundation and build something of lasting importance. People who are “fours” serve patiently and dependably and are capable of great achievements. They do the job at hand, striving to perfect the form of the task before them. The opposite polarity for the four personality is to become distant and removed from others.
5— Those with the number five as their destiny must be prepared for frequent, unexpected change and variety. Five personalities do a lot of traveling and learn to understand all classes and conditions of people, and they are generally without racial prejudice. Five people always are seeking the new and progressive. Number five personalities must guard against becoming self-indulgent.
6—Because six is the number of devotional, impersonal love, these people serve quietly, cheerfully, and efficiently, applying the law of balance to adjust inharmonious conditions. People often come to six personalities for material or spiritual aid, and they must always be ready to give it. Some persons with a six life-path are musically endowed, but their real love is for the home and the harmony therein. The opposite polarity for the six personality is to become tyrannical.
7—Seven is a cosmic number related to the seven planets, seven days of the week, seven colors, and seven notes on the musical scale. Things and opportunities are brought to the seven persons, without their actively seeking them. Those with this number should use their mental abilities to probe the deep mysteries and hidden truths of the universe. They are potential mystics; and with their extreme sensitivity, the seven personalities must guard against their tendency to wish to withdraw from the larger society in which they find themselves.
8—Those bearing the number eight in their life-path are the practical people of the material world. They usually desire and achieve love, power, and success. Eight is the number associated with large corporations and organizations. It is a powerful number, and those bearing the responsibilities of the number eight may succumb to the negative polarity of becoming demanding individuals.
9—Nine is the number representing humanitarianism. Those under this vibration must be prepared to give up all personal desire and ambitions. Number nine operates under the Law of Fulfillment, and its appeal is to the all-inclusive, to the many. The negative polarity of the number nine personality is to become egocentric.
11—A Master Number: This is the number of the dreamers, the visionaries, the ones who receive their ideals intuitively. Their destiny is to reveal something new and uplifting to the world. Number 11 is the messenger, the spokesman or broadcaster. The negative polarity for revelators is to become fanatical and judgmental in their beliefs.
22—A Master Number: This is the practical idealist who is concerned with the benefit and progress of humankind. A 22 readily conceives philanthropic plans and seeks to help the masses with their improvement, expansion, and growth. The negative vibrations that accrue around the 22 personalities may lead them to become self-promoters, rather than idealists who work for the general good of the many.
According to the precepts of numerology, one’s name is very important, as it is concerned with sound, a direct manifestation of vibration. Therefore, since each letter of every alphabet has its distinctive sound, it follows that each letter would have its own distinctive number. Using the one to nine cycle it is imperative to establish the essence of the number.
The graph that follows, with a name given as an example, shows how to arrive at the number vibration.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
M A R Y J O H A Y E S
4 1 9 7 1 6 8 1 7 5 1
21 7 22
3 7 4
14 (1+4)= 5
The five is the number of this person’s name, and according to numerology such a number relates to the person’s character and personality. Referring back to the basic explanation of the number vibration, a five would make Mary a progressively minded who must be prepared for much travel and many changes in her life.
Numerologists claim that numbers hold the key to determining many aspects of one’s life and destiny. Some who practice numerology even believe that totaling the number of the vowels of one’s name can identify the essence of a person’s inner self and the soul. Using Mary’s name again, we get the numbers 1 + 6 + 1 + 5. By totaling and simplifying these we arrive at the final digit of four. This number represents Mary’s inner self. It expresses her real potential, longings, and hidden talents. As a four, her expression is to serve others patiently and dependably and to create something of lasting importance.