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When most people think of holistic health, numerology doesn’t spring to mind. I know I didn’t think of numerology as a part of a balanced healing regime. At first glance, one wants to relegate numerology to simple fortune telling and associate it with the arts of prediction, including astrology, tarot, pendulums, and runes. Though each is surrounded with an air of mystique and a lot of superstitions, all of these oracle systems can be a part of a whole health plan. On the surface, people think of systems such as numerology as tools for prediction, control, and learning your fate, but each is a complex system of spiritual psychology, helping us understand the root issues we face that influence our health on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.
When I think of an age where there was a synthesis between mind, body, art, and logic, I think back to the civilization of ancient Greece. Schooling in ancient Greece often included a number of disciplines, from poetry and wrestling to logic and math. Though not a perfect society by any means, they looked to the whole person, much like modern holistic professionals. Greek medicine was a mixture of science, psychology, and spirituality, but in many ways it was far more advanced for its time than we give it credit. Even now, we draw upon the symbol of Hermes, the caduceus, the staff entwined with serpents, as our modern medical symbol. A pivotal teaching of the Greeks is the study of numbers.
Mathematics is the language of the universe. I hate to admit it. I was never very good in school with math, but it is a fundamental constant. Everything can be measured in terms of distance and time. Different cultures have different ways of expressing numerological concepts, but the underlying math, expressed as geometry, connects everything. We find it in our structures and buildings, in our body, in our very DNA and now in computer code. There is no escaping the power of numbers. But if you understand their power, you can flow more smoothly with the forces of life.
Understanding how numbers affect your life is the key concept of numerology. Esotericists often refer to the “vibration” of things—from plants, stones, medicines, people, environments, and even numbers. Vibrations refer to an unseen energy, a psychic energy we haven’t quite learned how to quantify scientifically, yet it still affects us. These vibrations create the “good” vibes or “bad” vibes we feel when we meet a new person or enter a new location. They aren’t good or evil necessarily, but tell us how and what is most compatible with our own vibration. Vibrational healing, through energy work, flower essences, and visualization is a key component to holistic health. Practitioners believe that altering your vibration alters your health and that you can literally shift your health through working with techniques that change your energy—your vibration. Numbers are a way of representing these vibrational energies. Knowing what is inherent in your make up helps you work with the forces you already carry, and therefore plan for future challenges to your life on all levels.
Numerologists use a system of characteristics for each number. They find the numbers influencing you by adding up the digits of the numbers in your life. Most popular methods include adding the digits in your birthday to show your “destiny” number. Others will use the numbers of the year to show how the coming year will affect you. I’ve seen numerologists use the numbers of your home address and office building to find their influence upon you. All the numbers in your life have separate and joint significance. The day, month and year all carry specific vibrations. Learning how to mix and match the numbers, as well as interpret their broad meaning, makes numerology both an art and a science, much like astrology. For the best consideration, it is always better to get a personal interpretation of how you are expressing the numbers, rather than rely on a computer-generated reading, though the latter can be quite helpful in certain cases.
In Numerology for Beginners, Gerie Bauer helps us calculate some of these numbers. To find your Destiny number, she instructs us to:
Add together the number value of your month, day and year of birth, and reduce the total to a single digit. For example, if you were born on August 16, 1929, you would add:
August (number value) 8
Reduce this total to a single digit: 1+9+5+3=18, and 1+8=9. Therefore, the Destiny number for this birth date would be 9.
Bauer tells us that on the day when you were born “certain powers were bestowed upon you that will be with you your whole life long. Since this date is unalterable, its personal vibrations shape every event or incident in your life span. The only choice you have in regard to your destiny is to follow either the negative or the positive aspects of it.” Your Destiny number is much like your astrological Sun sign. It stays with you, but you choose how to express its powers. The more you learn its “lessons” the more you refine your expression of the power and live a healthier, happier life.
Not only do you have a life-long Destiny number, but also a Personal Year number. Bauer also says, “Every year has its own particular powers that fit neatly into an overall pattern when used properly. Knowing what year to begin planning, what year you will meet influential people, when to get down to the nitty-gritty and when you can expect to attain your goal is undeniably a great asset. It’s like being in the right place at the right time, and who can argue with the success of that premise?” On page 24 of Numerology for Beginners, she instructs us on how to find our Personal Year:
To find the number of your Personal Year, add together the number of the month and day of your birth, plus the current year. Example: If the month and day of your birth is December 6, and the current year 1999, add 3 (1+2 for December) + 6 (the date) +1+9+9+9=37. Reduce 37 to a single digit; 3+7=1, which is then the number of the Personal Year for that birthday.
Once you know your numbers, how do you interpret them? Well, each numerologist might have different correspondences to the numbers. One using a symbol of magical numerology from the Qabalah will differ from a more mainstream New Age numerologist. Interpretations of the numbers vary from looking at destiny number, to personal year, or to the numbers of your month, day, or week.
The work of Steven Scott Pither helps us find our own interpretation of the numbers by understanding the theory, symbols, and spiritual basis of each. His Complete Book of Numbers is a more spiritual and esoteric view of numbers in our lives, spiritual development, and historic perspective. Pither looks at the development of numerology from the ancient Greeks to the modern form. He explores the spiritual meaning of numbers and the mathematic process such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. On page 133, he gives social stereotypes for each of the numbers that can be very helpful in our understanding of them in our daily lives:
Social Stereotypes Comparable to the Numbers
- Egomaniac; Number One; Self-Start; Leader of the Pack
- Wall Flower; Help Mate; Nervous Nellie; Team Player
- Layabout; Word Smith; Chatter Box; Song and Dance Man; The Good Life
- Drudge; Honest Abe; Workaholic; Never Say Die
- Life of the Party; Wheeler-Dealer; Glad Hander; City Slicker; Playboy; Roustabout
- Homebody; Doormat; Florence Nightingale; Shrink; Family Man; Pillar of the Community
- The Thinker; Egghead; Strong Silent Type; Bookworm; Hermit
- King of the Hill; Top Dog; Social Climber; Mr/Mrs Millionaire; Overachiever, Power Broker
- Armchair Philosopher; Do Gooder; Sacrificial Lamb; Saint; Miracle Worker
Lastly, numerology can help us in all types of relationships, but particularly in matters of love. When there is harmony in the heart, our health on all levels improves. Margaret Arnold, in Love Numbers, outlines a system of numerology based on the numbers of your name, and how compatible your name vibration is with a partner.
To begin working with a name, use the chart to figure out the value of each letter in the full name. This is done by matching the letters of the name with their number equivalent, such as is done in the following examples:
MARY 4 1 9 7
JOHN 1 6 8 5
VALERIE 22 1 3 5 9 9 5
KENNETH 11 5 5 5 5 2 8
LEE 3 5 5
Next, the letters are added to find the total value of a name.
The system uses master numbers, or double numbers such as 11, 22, and 33 and can chart out compatibility and issues that arise as the relationship develops. To the benefits of numerology, Arnold says:
The value of knowing the compatibility between people is that you can have insight into how relationships between people work. You can get a feel for what is likely to happen within relationships and how to handle what happens. Understanding the people involved and the relationships between them, or between them and yourself, can help work out the relationship. When you understand that people are what their vibrations are, as shown by their numerology numbers, then you have more insight into why people do what they do. From this insight comes tolerance.
To have an idea of compatibility ahead of time makes things easier. It can cut down on time spent “looking for” compatibility by trial and error. It can enhance the depth of love in your life, and the quality of that love. A simple knowledge of numerology will help you accept and understand others better.
Numerology is a tool to understand yourself and the energies you carry in this life. Only through greater understanding of yourself can you understand others and have compassion for them. This compassion for self and others is at the root of many world religions and systems of healing. I believe compassion and love are as necessary in the healing formula as medicine and remedies. Use numerology to help your understanding of the universe. Seek out your patterns, your weaknesses and strengths, so you can choose to create your own health, and the health of this world, in a fully-conscious manner.
Christopher Penczak is an award-winning author, teacher, and healing practitioner. He has studied extensively with witches, mystics, shamans, and healers in a variety of traditions from around the world to synthesize his own practice of magick and... Read more