What is Numerology? In simple terms, it is the system of beliefs in the spiritual relationship that exists furtively between living beings or inanimate objects, and numbers. With Numerology and the various numerological practices, many people believe future predictions can be possible, which lends to the belief system an air of occult, fringe science (not uncommon to other fringe sciences like astrology which makes similar divination claims). With a rich history stemming back to the first major mathematicians of the civilized world, there are many justifications for people to still practice Numerology in today’s world.
The history if Numerology dates back as far as the late-500’s B.C. Pythagoras of Samos, an iconic Greek mathematician (of the Pythagorean Theorem) was the father of Numerology along with his contemporaries in ancient Babylon. The first man to ever call himself a ‘philosopher’, Pythagoras was instrumental in getting disciples and followers of other philosophies alike to recognize the relationship numbers had with order in the world. The fact that mathematical concepts were able to describe much of the way the world works (as Isaac Newton would prove much later in history as being true) was the basis for Pythagoras and other founders of Numerology to take math to another level beyond the physical realm.
Following in Pythagoras’ footsteps would come others who were important to the development of Numerology. St. Augustine of Hippo was an outspoken supporter of the belief in numbers, and in 400 A.D. said of numbers that they were “the Universal language,” a quote which has gone on to inspire the works of many other fringe sciences like astrology and alchemy in addition to the development of Numerology. Christian beliefs had also implemented many tenets of early Numerology around this time, and despite the official religious response to these practices being labeled as ‘blasphemy’ there was much talk over numerological concepts like the ‘Jesus number’ (888, simultaneously a symbol of eternal life due to the inverted ‘infinity’ symbol that an 8 represents, and also from the so-called miraculous properties of 888 being the sum of a string of consecutive primes—97 + 101 + 103 + 107 + 109 + 113 + 127 + 131).
There are several different systems and methods used to practice Numerology. With Pythagoras’ method, a person would give their full name and birth date, and the numbers of total letters/vowels/etc. in the name would be converted through the Pythagoras System into an analysis of their personality as it’s defined by Numerology. Each individual digit extracted from the conversion of a person’s name is defined by the numerological characteristics of the numbers. For instance, getting converted into a number list with a ‘3’ is translated to mean a person has great amount of socialization ability in their personality. Many modern religions and ethnicity have practicing numerological systems to convert alphabetic letters into Numerology numerals, such as Abjad, Armenian, Hebrew, and Greek numeral systems.
The modern applications of Numerology are varied and far reaching. A lot of professional gamblers swear by the merits of various numerological methods when betting at games of chance, such as a craps game or betting on a roulette spin. As the odds of any bet are ever unchanged despite any betting strategy, the only real advantage one can have over games of chance would hypothetically be a spiritual one. In many video games and movies, Numerology has become somewhat of a misnomer, from being portrayed as a cult-like following to that of a math-nerd’s almost magical command over the universe through the use of a single calculator. If there is thing for sure, it’s that Numerology’s history is definitely not finished being written yet.