Numerology 101: An Introduction to the Fascinating World of Arithmancy

what-is-numerology

Do you believe that numbers have special meanings or vibrations?

If so, you’re not alone. Numerology studies the numerical value of letters and words and how they can be used to predict, make sense of, or understand human behavior.

Some people believe that numerology (as well as astrology) can help them make better decisions in their lives, while others simply find it fascinating to explore.

In this article, I will discuss what numerology is and some of its basics.

I will also explore some of the theories behind this ancient practice and how you can use it to better understand yourself and your loved ones.

So without further ado, let’s dive in, shall we? 🙂

What Is Numerology & How Does It Work?

Numerology, also known as arithmancy, is the ancient practice of assigning numerical values to letters to unlock hidden meanings.

The assignment of numbers to letters goes back to the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who believed that everything in the universe could be expressed through numbers.

The ancient art of numerology is often used to predict future events.

It’s occult, divine, and mystical relationship between numbers and their corresponding coinciding events.

When applied in this manner, it becomes known as Onomancy (the study of Names).

Although not fully accepted as mainstream yet, many people believe there are connections between our names and destinies.

Numerology is based on the premise (like many other divinations such as horoscopes) that everything in the universe is connected and that numbers are the universal language. This means that by understanding the meaning of numbers, we can better understand ourselves and our place in the world.

Numerology can be used for a variety of purposes, such as:

Now that we know a little bit more about what numerology is, let’s take a look at the history to see where it all began.

The History of Numerology

The practice of gematria, assigning numerical values to words, things and names, has been around since ancient times.

One example is an inscription from Mesopotamia that reads: “The king built the wall of Khorsabad 16,283 cubits long to correspond with the numerical value of his name[1]“Mesopotamia.” National Geographic Society, https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/resource-library-mesopotamia..”

Rabbinic literature used this technique when interpreting passages within scripture such as Genesis 28:14-16, where Abraham challenges God about His promise that descendants will become nations throughout instructed earth [2]Academic.oup.com, https://academic.oup.com/edited-volume/38625/chapter-abstract/335225077?redirectedFrom=fulltext..

The use of numbers in religion dates back to at least 325 AD when following The First Council Of Nicaea, departures from beliefs were classified as civil violations.

However, it wasn’t until much more recently that numerology became prominent within conservative Greek Orthodox circles.

Though, there have always been those who argued for its presence among Bible translations and architectural designs of Orthodox churches.

Numerology only became popular in the West during the late 19th and early 20th centuries with the publication of books such as The Kybalion and The Master Key System.

The practice began to decline after World War II, likely due to its association with the occult and mysticism.

Numbers have also been used in religious ceremonies since the dawn of time. The 6th-century philosopher and mystic Pythagoras felt that numbers had sacred meanings and were created by a deity.

The Garden of Cyrus, a work by Sir Thomas Browne, published in 1658, is rife with numerological ideas. The author explores how the number 5 and related Quincunx patterns are found in art, design, and nature – especially botany.

Numbers in Egyptian Mythology

The ancient Egyptians saw numbers like 2, 3, 4, and 7 as religious or magical. They also thought multiples and sums of these numbers were special.

Plurality was symbolized by the number 3 to ancient Egyptians – even the way they wrote “plurality” in hieroglyphics consisted of just 3 vertical marks ( | | | ). Triads of deities were also used often to signify a complete system.

The Egyptian god Atum provides an example of a deity who gave birth to Shu and Tefnut, thus transitioning from “1” to “3.” Another triad includes the deities Horus, Osiris, and Isis.

Numbers in Norse Mythology

3 and 9 were considered significant in Norse mythology and Viking culture [3]“Seven of the Most Important Gods and Goddesses in Norse Mythology.” Sky HISTORY TV Channel, https://www.history.co.uk/articles/seven-of-the-most-important-gods-and-goddesses-in-norse-mythology..

These numbers (and multiples) are found throughout surviving evidence of Norse mythology, in both the myths themselves and other Viking cultural artifacts.

The Norse gods used the number 9 significantly, perhaps more than any other culture. The number 27 appears in conjunction with both numbers in the lunar Germanic calendar.

Number 3 occurs with great regularity when it comes to combining people and objects:

  • There were 3 original beings: the primordial cow Audhumla, Ymir the first giant, and Búri, who was grandfather to Odin.
  • Ymir had 3 children: a boy and girl who grew from beneath his arms and a six-headed son who was conceived through the coupling of Ymir’s feet.

Numerology and the Church Fathers

The Church Fathers wrote extensively on numerology throughout the early centuries of Christianity [4]“Church Fathers.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Sept. 2022, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Fathers..

The Fathers frequently spoke out against the magical use of numbers, which originated from Babylon and had been passed down to the Pythagoreans and Gnostics of their day.

They rejected any system of thought that was based only on numbers.

They had a mystical approach to the numbers of Holy Writ, and they regarded the exegesis of these mystical meanings as an important aspect of scriptural study.

There was initial resistance among Christian teachers to push the significance of numbers, but as time passed, more and more Church Fathers began to see the value in numbers.

St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) was an important early figure in this trend. His work The City of God lists many examples of mystical meanings found in numbers within scripture.

Significance of Numerology in Judaism

The use of numerals in Jewish texts and practice is complicated. Some numbers were utilized as mnemonics to assist recall information, while other numbers were regarded to have inherent significance or allusive meaning.

The song Echad Mi Yodea ( “who knows one?”), which is sung at the Passover Seder, has become associated with each of the first 13 numbers in terms of religious belief or practice.

The number 18 has special significance in Judaism since it is the numerical value of the Hebrew word chai (חי), which means “alive” or “living.” It’s considered lucky to give gifts (especially birthday gifts) in multiples of 18 to friends and family, implying that they will receive a gift of “life” or luck.

Finding Meaning In Numbers

Numerologists often use a person’s name and birth date to find out information and details about their life path, destiny, and soul purpose.

There are many different ways to interpret the meanings of numbers, but most systems agree on certain key meanings for the core numbers 1-9.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can find meaning in the example numbers down below:

Single digits (1-9)

  1. New beginnings, independence, uniqueness, assertiveness
  2. Cooperation, relationships, duality, intuition
  3. Communication, self-expression, inspiration, creativity
  4. Stability, endurance, foundation, material world
  5. Change, freedom, adventure, natural forces
  6. Harmony, balance, home, family, community, mind and goals
  7. Spiritual understanding, introspection, intuition, wisdom
  8. Power, abundance, material world, manifestation
  9. Completion, humanitarianism, global consciousness, service to others

Double digits (10-99)

10: Manifestation of power, new beginnings, divine order

20: Intuition, cooperation, relationships

30: Self-expression, communication, creativity

40: Stability, endurance, foundation

50: Change, freedom, natural forces

60: Balance, harmony, home

70: Spiritual understanding, introspection

80: Abundance, manifestation of power

99: Completion of a cycle, global consciousness

Life Path Number

The life path number is the sum of the birth date. This number represents who you are at your core and is the most important number in numerology.

Your life path number can give you insight into your skills and abilities, your destiny, and even your personal flaws.

To calculate your life path number, simply add up all the digits in your birth date and reduce the total to a single digit.

Master Number

A master number is a double-digit number with the same digit repeated, such as 11, 22, or 33.

Master numbers are thought to have extra special meaning and are often associated with intense experiences or events, such as natural disasters, near-death experiences, or encounters with the divine.

If your life path number is a master number, you may have more affinity for that energy than others.

For example, if your life path number is 22, you may be more likely to experience synchronicities or “lucky coincidences” than someone with a different life path number.

Destiny Number

The destiny number is the sum of all the letters in your name. This number represents your potential and the path you will take in this lifetime.

Your destiny number can give you insight into your talents, career path, and relationships.

To calculate your destiny number, simply add up the numerical value of each letter in your name and reduce the total to a single digit.

Expression Number

The expression number is the sum of the letters in your full name (first, middle, last). This number reveals your talents, abilities, and potential.

Your expression number can give you insight into your gifts, skills, and life purpose.

To calculate your expression number, simply add up the numerical value of each letter in your full name and reduce the total to a single digit.

Personality Number

The personality number is the sum of the consonants in your name. This number reveals how others see you and what they think of you.

Your personality number can give you insight into first impressions, social interactions, and how people perceive you.

To calculate your personality number, add the numerical value of each consonant in your name and reduce the total to a single digit.

Soul Urge Number

The soul urge number is the sum of the vowels in your name. This number represents your inner desires, your true self, and what motivates you.

Your soul urge number can give you insight into your heart’s desire, your personal passions, and what makes you happy.

To calculate your soul urge number, add the numerical value of each vowel in your name and reduce the total to a single digit.

Angel Numbers

Angel numbers are numeric messages from your guardian angels. Angel numbers can reveal what the angels are trying to communicate to you.

Popular angel numbers include:

If you see numbers that repeat frequently, pay attention to the message they may be trying to send you.

I highly recommend keeping a journal to document any angel number messages you receive.

Numerology Reading

A numerology reading is an analysis of your personal numbers and their meanings.

A numerology reading can give you insight into your life path, destiny, and relationships.

Curious to know more about what the future has in store for you? Get a FREE reading right here:

Which Numerology Numbers Are Most Powerful?

The most powerful numerology numbers are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.

These numbers represent different energies and can give you insight into your personal strengths and weaknesses.

Let’s take a quick look at each number:

Number 1

1 is the leader, the pioneer, and the trailblazer. One is independent and confident. This number represents new beginnings, fresh starts, and courage.

Number 2

2 is the peacemaker, the diplomat, and the mediator. Two is compassionate and gentle. This number represents cooperation, balance, and relationships.

Number 3

3 is the creative artist, the musician, and the poet. Three is expressive and charming. This number represents self-expression, communication, and creativity.

Number 4

4 is the builder, the planner, and the organizer. Four is practical and down-to-earth. This number represents stability, security, and hard work.

Number 5

5 is the adventurer, the traveler, and the free spirit. Five is curious and energetic. This number represents change, freedom, and adventure.

Number 6

6 is the caregiver, the teacher, and the healer. Six is nurturing and supportive. This number represents service, love, and compassion.

Number 7

7 is the thinker, the researcher, and the philosopher. Seven is wise and introspective. This number represents knowledge, understanding, and spiritual enlightenment.

Number 8

8 is the executive, the manager, and the financial guru. Eight is ambitious and goal-oriented. This number represents power, authority, and success.

Number 9

9 is the humanitarian, the philanthropist, and the idealist. Nine is compassionate and selfless. This number represents service to others, global consciousness, and universal love.

Master Number 11

The master number 11 is a powerful vibration. This number represents intuition, inspiration, and spiritual enlightenment.

If you see the number 11 frequently, pay attention to the message it may be trying to send you.

Master Number 22

The master number 22 is all about manifestation.

This number represents the power of your thoughts and the ability to turn your dreams into reality.

Popular Numerology Methods

In numerology, you can use several methods to calculate your personal numbers.

The most common method is the Pythagorean method [5]“Pythagoreanism.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., https://www.britannica.com/topic/number-symbolism/Pythagoreanism., which uses the letters of your name to calculate your personal numbers.

Other popular methods include the Chaldean method and the Kabbalah method.

Let’s take a look at each method and the different systems in more detail below:

Alphanumeric Systems in Numerology (Pythagorean Method)

There are two main systems used in numerology: the alphabet and the numbers 1-9.

The alphabet system, also known as Pythagorean numerology, is the most common system used in numerology readings.

In this system, each letter of the alphabet is assigned a number:

  • A = 1
  • B = 2
  • C = 3
  • D = 4
  • E = 5
  • F = 6
  • G = 7
  • H = 8
  • I = 9
  • J = 10
  • K = 11
  • L = 12
  • M= 13
  • N= 14
  • O= 15
  • P= 16
  • Q= 17
  • R= 18
  • S= 19
  • T= 20
  • U= 21
  • V = 22
  • W = 23
  • X = 24
  • Y = 25
  • Z = 26

To calculate your personal numbers, simply add up the numerical values of the letters in your name.

Latin Alphabet Systems in Numerology

The Latin alphabet is also used in a variety of numerological systems.

There are many interpretations, including:

  • Chaldean
  • Pythagorean
  • Hebraic
  • Helyn Hitchcock’s technique [6]Hitchcock, Helyn. “Helping Yourself with Numerology.” Amazon, Parker Pub. Co., 1988, https://www.amazon.com/Helping-Yourself-Numerology-Helyn-Hitchcock/dp/0133867560.
  • Phonetic
  • Japanese
  • Arabic
  • Indian

The Chaldean Method

The Chaldean method is a lesser-known way to count, but it was more popular in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The name “Chaldeans” comes from an old meaning for Aramaic languages — a group that spoke these dialects was called ‘the people who speak strange words.’

This counting system does away with 9 because they believe God wouldn’t let us assign numbers like this one (9) or 10; instead, leaving them out entirely when doing calculations.

The Chaldean Method is a system where letters are given values, and it is done by relating Latin letters to Hebrew alphabetical letters through sound instead of using the old gematria place-value system.

The Agrippan Method

The 16th-century esoteric writer Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa [7]Compagni, Vittoria Perrone. “Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa Von Nettesheim.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University, 18 Mar. 2021, … Learn more arranged the letters of the Latin alphabet according to their place value at that time, as follows:

The-Agrippan-Method

It’s important to remember that the letters U, J, and W were not typically included in the Latin alphabet during this time period.

English Qaballa

EQ, or English Qaballa, is a system of Hermetic Qabalah that revolutionized the interpretation of the letters of the alphabet by assigning values to them. This method was developed in 1976 by James Lees.

With the intent of understanding the complexities in works such as Liber AL vel Legis, better known as the Book of Law, which was inspired by the late Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), this system was established [8]“The Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley – Ebook.” Scribd, Scribd, https://www.scribd.com/book/515960794/The-Book-of-the-Law-Liber-AL-vel-Legis-The-Central-Sacred-Text-of-Thelema..

The English Qaballa is a qabalah rather than a system of numerology. A qabalah is concerned with 3 topics: 1, a language; 2, a holy text or texts; and 3, mathematical rules at work in these two.

Arab Numerology (Abjad system)

In Arabic numerology, each letter of the alphabet has a numerical value. This system is called Abjad notation or Abjad numerals. It forms the basis of ilm-ul-cipher, the Science of Cipher, and ilm-ul-huroof, the Science of Alphabet.

The Abjad system was first used in the 9th century and was popularized by Al-Kindi (801-873 AD) in his treatise on cryptanalysis, De Radiis [9]“Al-Kindi 801-873 (Chemistry, Medicine, Philosophy).” Muslim and Jewish Culture in the European-Latin Middle Ages, 3 July 2016, … Learn more.

This system is also used in other Semitic languages, such as Hebrew and Syriac.

Chinese Numerology

The meanings assigned to the digits and certain number combinations are seen as more fortunate in China. Even numbers are considered lucky since it is thought that good luck arrives in twos.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and related fields such as acupuncture rely on mystical numerical connections.

Example: “The 12 vessels circulating blood and air corresponding to the 12 rivers flowing toward the Central Kingdom”.

Indian Numerology

In southern India, the Chaldean method used by Cheiro is mostly found in Tamil Nadu, with numbers assigned to the English alphabet being the same as in the Chaldean system favored by Cheiro.

There is no 9 assignment in this technique. Numerologists study double-digit integers from 10 to 99.

Biblical Numerology

Biblical-Numerology

Biblical numerology is the interpretation of numerical values in the Bible [10]“Biblical Numerology.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Sept. 2022, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_numerology..

In ancient times, numbers were often used to convey hidden messages, not just math such as in the context of:

  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Percentage
  • Fractions
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Calculus
  • Statistics
  • Mean
  • Probability

The Bible contains hidden messages, and numerology is one way to uncover them.

There are a few different ways a person can interpret numbers in the Bible, but the most common is to use them as symbols.

For example, the number 7 is often used to represent completeness or perfection because there are 7 days in a week and 7 colors in a rainbow, and it took God 7 days to create the world.

The number 40 is also significant in the Bible, often representing a period of testing or trial, as seen in the story of the Israelites’ wanderings in the desert.

Apocalyptic Numerology

When we talk about apocalyptic numerology, we refer to the study of certain numbers in the Bible that are believed to have prophetic meaning [11]Doan, James. “Allegory and Numerology in Apocalyptic Endgames.” Academia.edu, 28 Oct. 2016, https://www.academia.edu/29503538/Allegory_and_Numerology_in_Apocalyptic_Endgames..

The most famous example is the number 666, found in the Book of Revelation and associated with the Antichrist. This number is also called the “number of the beast.”

My Final Thoughts

It’s no wonder that numerology has been used for centuries by many cultures worldwide.

Its ability to uncover hidden messages and meanings is a powerful tool for understanding ourselves and the world around us.

All the way back in the time of the ancient Greeks, philosophers such as Pythagoras and Plato believed that numbers had a profound effect on reality.

And in more recent times, people like Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce have used numerology to make predictions.

Whether you’re looking for guidance in your personal life or want to better understand the world around you, numerology can be a helpful tool.

There is a lot to learn, but it’s definitely worth exploring if you’re curious about this fascinating subject.

If you’re looking for a place to start, I highly recommend taking this personal numerology reading. It’s a great way to get an in-depth look at your unique numerology chart and learn more about what the numbers mean for you.

Thanks for reading – Johanna Aúgusta!

References

References
1 “Mesopotamia.” National Geographic Society, https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/resource-library-mesopotamia.
2 Academic.oup.com, https://academic.oup.com/edited-volume/38625/chapter-abstract/335225077?redirectedFrom=fulltext.
3 “Seven of the Most Important Gods and Goddesses in Norse Mythology.” Sky HISTORY TV Channel, https://www.history.co.uk/articles/seven-of-the-most-important-gods-and-goddesses-in-norse-mythology.
4 “Church Fathers.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Sept. 2022, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Fathers.
5 “Pythagoreanism.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., https://www.britannica.com/topic/number-symbolism/Pythagoreanism.
6 Hitchcock, Helyn. “Helping Yourself with Numerology.” Amazon, Parker Pub. Co., 1988, https://www.amazon.com/Helping-Yourself-Numerology-Helyn-Hitchcock/dp/0133867560.
7 Compagni, Vittoria Perrone. “Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa Von Nettesheim.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University, 18 Mar. 2021, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/agrippa-nettesheim/.
8 “The Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley – Ebook.” Scribd, Scribd, https://www.scribd.com/book/515960794/The-Book-of-the-Law-Liber-AL-vel-Legis-The-Central-Sacred-Text-of-Thelema.
9 “Al-Kindi 801-873 (Chemistry, Medicine, Philosophy).” Muslim and Jewish Culture in the European-Latin Middle Ages, 3 July 2016, https://worldhistory.live/al-kindi-801-873-chemistry-medicine-philosophy/.
10 “Biblical Numerology.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Sept. 2022, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_numerology.
11 Doan, James. “Allegory and Numerology in Apocalyptic Endgames.” Academia.edu, 28 Oct. 2016, https://www.academia.edu/29503538/Allegory_and_Numerology_in_Apocalyptic_Endgames.