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The system of numerology is a method
of divination which is also employed in the use of magic. The practice is
based upon statement of the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, "The world is built upon the power of numbers."
Numerological practices and beliefs have survived throughout the centuries
down to the present day. An example of this concerns the numbers 11, 22,
and 33, that are claimed to be master numbers and must not be reduced to
a single digit, which when corresponding to an individual's name prognosticate
that the individual is a highly developed person spiritually.
Based upon Pythagoras' previous stated statement, "The world is built
upon the power of numbers," numerology became systems of both divination
and magic because both systems are based upon the broader concept that the
entire universe is composed of mathematical patterns, and all things can
be expressed in numbers which correspond to universal vibrations. Therefore, all things, including names, words, birth
dates and birthplaces, are able to be reduced to numbers in order to determine
personalities, destinies and fortunes of individuals.
Pythagoras is often called the father of numerology since he made known
that the musical intervals recognized in his era could be expressed in ratios
between the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4. Also, he displayed that the numbers
1 through 4 equaled the sum of 10. He furthered demonstrated that the cycle
of numbers, 1 through 4, could be started again when reaching 10 because
all numbers larger than 9 can be reduced by a single digit by adding the
digits together. Pythagoras reasoned that the entire universe could be expressed
numerically, creating a mystical system expended by other early Greek philosophers.
Throughout the ancient history of numbers certain characteristics and values
were assigned to the integers. One mechanism which enabled the assignment
of these characteristics was the way in which the ancient Greeks recorded
the numbers in dots or geometrical figures. Odd numbers which could not
be separated were said to be masculine possessing the "generative parts,"
and represented assertion, power, and creativity. Even numbers capable of
being split into and therefore possessed femine "openings" were
considered feminine representing wholeness, stability or weakness.
In the Greek mysteries, the number 888 represented the "Higher Mind."
The Greek variation of "Jesus," "Iesous," equals 888.
The number 666 represented the "Mortal Mind." In the New Testament,
666 is called the number of "the Beast."
In early Hebrew history the interpretation of numbers was considered highly
important. Letters of the Hebrew alphabet was based on numbers, and this
relationship was related to the cosmic forces. In the Middle Ages, a numerical
evolved from the teachings of Merkabah, a sect of Judaism. In the 13th century
the German Kabbalists developed
a mystic numerical interpretation of the Scriptures.
Both the Greeks and Hebrews held 10 to be the perfect number. Pythagoras
considered that 10 comprehends all arithmetic and harmonic proportions,
and, like God, is tireless. All nations calculated with it because when
they arrive at 10, they return to 1, the number of creation. Pythagoreans
believed the heavenly bodies were divided into 10 orders. According to the
Kabbalah, there are ten emanations of numbers out of Nothing. The emanations
form the 10 sephiroth of the Tree of Life, which contains all knowledge
and shows the path back to God.
Gematria: In addition to the occult meanings of numbers , another principle
is basic to numerology- -that of gematria, or cryptograph. In Hebrew, consonants
are used as number signs, but by providing them with vowels, one can often
read them as words and can read words as numbers. A combination of gematria
and Pythagorean number symbolism formed the basis for the number magic of
the medieval Cabala This allows special reading of the Hebrew Bible to find
secret or hidden meanings in the text.
This system has also been applied to Greek and Latin and sometimes the New
Testament of the Bible. For example, various personified meanings have been
given to 666, the number denoting the Beast in the Book of Revelations.
Among these are Nero, Caesar, Martin Luther, Pope Leo X, and Napoleon.
Currently the practice of numerology in the occult often involves attempts
to discover secret meanings of occurrences and to forecast the future. When
used in these methods, numerology become a form of divination, or fortune
telling. Frequently it can be combined with other divinatory forms such
as astrology, cartomancy, geomancy, and dream interpretation.
When used in divinatory forms, numerology, also, becomes magic. Such magic,
as a theory, has Occidental roots but is usually ascribed to Pythagoras.
The theory or system theorizes "that all things are number and
that numbers influence the essence of things. Thus number is the mediator
between the divine and the earthly. So, if one performs various operations
with numbers, theses operations also affect the things related to these
Taboos: On the simplest level this principle can be seen in number taboos.
For example, in the American society most people considered the number 13
unlucky. Therefore, things connected with 13 are too be avoided such as
the 13th day of the month, especially if it is a Friday, the 13th floor,
13 dinner guests, and so on. As a contrast in Belgium it is considered a
good-luck charm for women to wear the number 13. The negativity of the number
13 is predominantly thought to have been derived from the Biblical narration
of the Last Super where Judas was the thirteenth apostle. However, an earlier
concept stresses its relationship to 12, a good number identified with the
Zodiac, which had strong positive associations in Babylonian and other early
During the 19th century, when scientific discoveries concerning light, magnetism,
and electricity were being made, the theory that numbers corresponded to
energy patterns of vibrations became popular.
Currently there are several interpretation of characteristics for numbers
1 through nine; the following represents a consensus:
Chart of Characteristics
||unity, creation, independence|
|| duality, emergence|
|| power, generative force|
|| solidity, dullness|
|| sensuality, pleasure|
|| perfection, harmony, balance|
|| mysticism, psychic, magic|
|| material, success, justice|
|| spiritual, mental achievement|
The numbers 11, 22, and 33 are said to be master numbers which are not reduced
to a single digit. People whose names correspond to these numbers are said
to be highly developed spiritually. The number 33 is that of avatar.
The practice is to total the numerical value
of a name or word. For example, the name "John Smith".
JOHN = 1 + 6 + 8 + 5 = 20, SMITH = 1 + 4 + 9 + 2 + 8 = 24, 20 + 24 = 44,
44 = 4 + 4 = 8
Determine letter numerical values from chart:
J = 1, O = 6, H = 8, N = 5; S = 1, M = 4, I = 9, T = 2, H = 8
Sum the numerical values of names:
JOHN = 20 and SMITH = 24
Change the values to single digits:
20 = 2 + 0 = 2, 24 = 2 + 4 = 6
The sum of the single digits:
2 + 6 = 8
The name of "John Smith" has a numerological
value of 8. From the Chart of Characteristics of Numbers 8
has the characteristics of material, success, justice.