authored by Alan G. Hefner

he 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
mysticism evolved from the teachings of Merkabah, a sect of Judaism. In the 13th century the German Kabbalists developed gematria, 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 numbers."

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 astral mythologies.

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
of Numbers



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.

Analysis procedures:

Numerology Chart






































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.

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