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Numerology is based on the belief that reality is mathematical. It can be described as the study of numbers and their meaning and effect on our lives.
The practice of numerology has been linked to ten thousand year old practices in ancient Egypt and Babylonia as well as to that of the Indian, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew and Roman civilisations. What is clearer is that, as in the case of most esoteric practices, numerology emerged from man’s desire to make sense of life. It was designed as a simple tool for making links between man’s experience and the universal order, between the microcosm, so to speak, and the macrocosm.
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Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher and mathematician, often referred to as the father of mathematics and physics and for being one of the first people to introduce numbers to science, is credited with formalising the field of numerology two thousand six hundred years ago. He is said to have believed, like many early Christians did, that there are numerical relationships in everything and that these relationships are revealed by divine grace to those who have the mind to seek and investigate their secrets.
According to the literature, there are five types of numerology – Abracadabra, Chaldean, Kabbalah, New Kabbalah and Pythagorean. The Pythagorean system is said to be the most popular because it is easier to learn.
How it works
Numerologists are said to apply the basic laws of mathematics to the material existence of man in order to have a glimpse into the future. In practice, it is described as similar to astrology but easier to use than astrology.
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Modern numerologists have a tendency to adopt the original Pythagorean system which values numbers from one to nine and assigns them, for interpretation purposes, to every letter of the alphabet, starting with A as 1, B as 2, C as 3 etc. The nine numbers are linked to the nine numerological planets, the Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Uranus, Mercury, Venus, Neptune, Saturn and Mars and their characteristic features.
According to numerologists, because the universe vibrates at a particular frequency it is possible to find and establish the vibration rate of any object and the energies within it at a particular time. When applied to the time we are born, the position and frequency at which the planets vibrate help to determine our personality. The idea is that we are born with a set of numbers that is unique to each of us. The numbers are the key to understanding who we are and the ways in which we interact with each other. They are also the key to understanding our personality, our inner needs, the lessons we are here to learn, the opportunities and challenges that we will experience during particular times in our lives as well as throughout our lives.
What is it for?
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The theory is that our name and date of birth reveal basic data about us which a numerological analyst can use to provide significant insight into our personality as well as our character. For example, the numbers of our names are said to describe knowledge we were born with. The numbers of the date of our birth describe what we need to learn. Between both numbers, it is said, we can learn about what we want out of life including our fantasies and daydreams, as well as about our abilities, our strengths and weaknesses and our karma.
This knowledge, numerologists also believe, should equip us with wisdom to make better use of our strengths, minimise our weaknesses and flow better with the course of our lives. Beyond the personality data, numbers are also said to shape our understanding of time and money and feature prominently in our addresses, telephone pads, keyboards, bank accounts and measuring tapes. Numerologists say that although their effect on us cannot be seen or felt, they do actually have a tremendous effect on our lives.
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The thinking goes that our characteristics, our thinking, emotions, attitudes, desires, dislikes, philosophy, career and health as examples are influenced by numbers and their relationship to the relevant planets. Everything, both tangible and abstract, can be converted into numbers and understood using a spectrum of vibrations that range from positive to negative and progressive to destructive.
Although the characteristics of the numbers are said to be fixed and unalterable, each number has positive and negative qualities. It is why ultimately, numerologists argue, we can exercise personal choice and, in doing so, regulate our destinies. That is to say, we can choose to vibrate with the negative sides of our numbers or with the positive sides of the numbers that influence us.
Critics warn against engaging in numerology which they have labelled as a New Age or occult practice, whilst other cultures encourage its use as a tool for self knowledge.
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Many Christian denominations warn strongly about engaging in these methods which they believe are connected to pantheistic belief systems, which are usually associated with eastern philosophies. They believe that we do so at the risk of serious physical and spiritual harm including psychological delusion, insanity, suicidal tendencies, possession states, moral degradation, sexual perversion, fatal accidents and more. As in the case of astrology, there are dangers when the emphasis is on prediction and not on self knowledge – the danger of the self fulfilling prophecy. Numerology like astrology, proponents argue, is not meant to be deterministic or fatalistic.