The Universal Language of Numbers
Let me say right up front that I’m not a Numerologist. Numbers and I seem to have an interesting ebb and flow relationship. There are many experts who swear by their accuracy and ability to provide insight and information into a variety of aspects not only in your life, but to life, spirit, the Universe and everything.
Mathematics is the only language shared by all humans regardless of culture, religion, or gender. We all use the same constructs to add up a basket of groceries regardless of country fund be it dollars, yen, rubles or pounds. This type of literacy is called numeracy, which has been the shared language of people throughout history and across continents. It links together people from ancient times, old scholars and medieval merchants to artists, modern astronauts and presidents.
It’s a language that can explain DNA, planetary motion, weather patterns, make a batch of cookies, travel from Montreal to Miami or Boston to Bangkok. And it can even be used to explain the mysteries of the Universe. Is it no wonder then that even ancient scholars placed a great significance on the meaning of numbers and developed methods of foresight using their powerful language.
Numerology is the study of the divine or mystical relationship between a count or measurement and life. It has many systems and traditions and beliefs.
Many of the ancient cultures: Babylon, China, Egypt, India,and Japan were using forms of numerology long before the Greeks and Romans. Pythagoras, the great Greek mathematician and philosopher (569-470 B.C.) is generally considered to be the originator of the popular Pythagorean system of numerology. He believed the entire universe could be explained by mathematical patterns and he was adamant that as a result of this, all things can be expressed in numbers. He was especially focused on the expression of energy patterns with intensity (movement), color (light) and sound (vibrations). But he was not interested in numerology per say. Research shows that his interest was much more mathematical and scientific than mystical. But his concept of using numbers to define and explain the universe put him in league with others who saw numbers through a mystical approach.
Through early Christian scholars, including St. Augustine the concepts of the mystical uses of numerology spread through Europe. Numerology expanded greatly during the Renaissance, and though it is often dismissed as pseudo science, its use and practice continues to be studied today by a variety of scholars and mathematicians.
The Energy of Numbers
Numbers are very esoteric in that they cannot be held or placed under a microscope and measured for their energy or vibration. A quartz crystal affects light and electricity, and can therefore be used in watches to maintain accurate time. But you can’t put a number under a microscope. But as with most things, there is an energy within the number. But here’s where things get tricky. The energy comes from our understanding of the number or what our culture has assigned to the number. The number 13 is a good example. It’s a number most people in the west don’t like. It represents negativity, black cats, or evil. To me as a pagan, it represents the number of transition or change. In general people don’t like change, so it’s seen as a negative number.
The number 2 is often viewed as love and representing a partnership or a couple. But our society gives the number this energy based on our culture and history. So the method used to provide insight into the meaning of a number is not set in stone and can be altered by the person receiving the number, and the person deriving the number.
Additionally the way a number is said can also impact it’s energy. In some circles the number 8 rhymes with mate and it’s the number of partnerships and relationships. But what if you don’t speak English? How a number is verbalized in other languages can also impact it’s energy and vibration.
Because people have their own views of the world through culture, condition and history, there are also various approaches or methods to the study of numerology. While there are many of these, several methods have risen to the top so to speak, as the most common methods or practices. These are: Chaldean, Chinese, Indian Vedic, Kabbalah, Pythagorean (also called Western) and Shamanistic (which can vary from Germanic, Celtic, Indo-European or the Americas).
Chaldean Number System
Rooted in Ancient Babylon, Chaldean Numerology is probably the oldest known numerology system. In the Chaldean system, the letter to number calculations is not determined by alphabetical order that is used in the more common Pythagorean method, but is assigned based on the vibration of the specific letter. The number formula is based on calculating 1 to 8. The number 9 is considered a holy or sacred number and does not have a letter associated with it. The only time a 9 can show up is when the final number has been calculated.
The Chinese concept of numerology is shared with other cultures and is based on mystical as well as I-Ching traditions. The common premise is that certain numbers are associated with good or evil. Yang energy is active and goes for prosperity, future and growth, thus odd numbers are said to be the negative numbers. How the numbers sound in language also has an effect on the symbology of the number. Number 4 sounds like “death” for Cantonese, but English it can sound like “more”. These variations also influence the positive Yang vs the negative Yin energy and meaning of the numbers
Indian Vedic Numerology
Vedic numerology is based on the vibratory resonance of each number and is associated with one of the nine ruling planets. Like other systems the Vedic method reduces it’s calculations to a single digit. The Hindu Priests hid their method from the general public, but through the ages, researchers and historians have managed to piece together old information with modern knowledge from Vedic priests. They place an emphasis on numbers and ruling planets, which give them areas of emphasis or characteristics.
The Numbers And Their Planetary Rulerships:
# 1, 10, 19, 28 are ruled by the SUN, count 1 for letters: AIJQY
# 2, 11, 20, 29 are ruled by the MOON, count 2 for letters: BCKR
# 3, 12, 21, 30 are ruled by JUPITER, count 3 for letters: GLS
# 4, 13, 22, 31 are ruled by RAHU, count 4 for letters: DMT
# 5, 14, 23, are ruled by MERCURY, count 5 for letters: NE
# 6, 15, 24 are ruled by VENUS, count 6 for letters: UVWX
# 7, 16, 25 are ruled by KETU, count 7 for letters: OZ
# 8, 17, 26 are ruled by SATURN, count 8 for letters: FHP
# 9, 18, 27 are ruled by MARS, no letters for 9
The Kabbalah Numerology system comes from the Hebrew mystics. The Kabbalah number system only looks at the person’s name, not their birth data which is one of the reasons it is not popular among numerologists. This system has assigned twenty-two vibrations ranging from 1 to 400.
Pythagorean (Western) Number System
The Pythagorean System is not based on a formula derived by Pythagoras. But he is associated with its creation. The system that bears his name is said to be rooted in Gematria, which is one of the Kabbalah disciplines. Western numerology is but a way to adapt the principles of Gematria into the Latin alphabet so as to get the numbers of words and names as well. This system assigns the number value by the sequence of the Western alphabet and uses a number formula based on calculating 1 to 9.
This is the version I am most familiar with and the method that was taught to me. It is a combination of Celtic and Cherokee approaches merged into one and places a great emphasis on the Great Spirits and nature as a whole. But it doesn’t see the singular numbers as being more important than double digit numbers. So when assigning numbers to the alphabet, it uses as many numbers as is needed. In the case of the Western Alphabet A to Z, the numbers assigned would be 1 to 26. But when calculating numbers, it focuses on the singular data. For instance, if your name calculates to 14, the 1 and 4 are added to 5 in order to determine the value of meaning.
Not All Systems Are The Same
Some systems calculate your Birth number based on your date of birth. While others use your given name on your birth certificate. Some numerologists insist on only using your given name, while others will use the name you identify yourself with. For instance, your name on your birth certificate might be Victoria or even Vicky, but the name you identify yourself with is Vickie. That slight change in letters can make a difference in your numerological calculation.
Then there’s the question of first, middle or last name? Which do you use? Some insist on only using your first name, while others insist on your full name. And what type of information can you learn about yourself? In the method I’m familiar with (and I’m by no means an expert), the name on your birth certificate identifies your Birth number, the name you use every day is your Soul or Character number and maybe influenced by magikal practices. You may also have a Spirit Number or Shaman Number that identifies your spiritual purpose in this lifetime.
Systems also pay attention to your birthday date and again, there are different approaches. If your birthday is May 20, 1971, most people will calculate the date through numerological representation 05/20/1971. Some systems will drop the century mark all together and only use the 71. But some systems calculate the birthday as ‘May’ 20, 1971; using both alphanumeric and numeric representations.
Not all systems approach the look into your personality, spiritual mission, strengths and weaknesses in the same way. So it’s important to find a method that you identify with the most and stick with it. Also keep in mind that all those online internet sites offering free numerological readings don’t tell you how they go about their calculations. Their mission is to gain your interest and then offer you a paid reading. It’s hard to know what you’re getting, when you don’t know how it’s being done.
Calculating Your Numbers
Again there are differences based on the system used. Most systems calculate numbers down to a single digit. But not all do this. Below is an example of how the Shamanistic system would calculate your given name.
We’ll use Anthony as our example.
|Total Calculated Numbers||7+5+7||1+9||1+0||1|
Now that you have your number(s), what do they mean. Each method of numerology assigns its own meaning to numbers. And even within a single system, there maybe variations in interpretation. One method may say the number 3 is a whole number representing the mind/body/spirit. Another method may say it’s a number of community, social structure or group dynamics. There are so many variations that it’s hard sometimes to tell which one to follow.
Numerology has been used to look into the meaning behind names, birth dates, scholarly works, spiritual texts and historical events for eons. The popular ‘Bible Code’ is based on numerological calculations and an interpretation of the data. Events in history have been connected and linked to modern day problems both financial and political and have been prophesied as warnings for future events.
My best advice for those interested in numerology is to find a very well educated practitioner and talk to them about their approach to using numerology to decipher the codes in your name or birthday. Who you select as your guide can be equally important as the method they use.
On Monday night (March 19, 2012), Paul Cagle, Sushi, S.E. Burns and I sat at our round table for The Ænigma Project and held a discussion about Numerology. If you missed the show you can still listen to this episode on the show’s broadcast Archives on Tenacity Radio – 2012-03-19-Numerology