Also known as Numeromancy and Arithomancy. A system of divination and occult practice based on the idea that the universe is mathematically constructed, and all things can be expressed in numbers, which correspond to vibrations. Because all letters, words, names, birth-dates and so on can be expressed in numbers, which in turn are ascribed complex religious and mystical meanings, a person’s life, personality and destiny can be determined.
Occult numerology began with Pythagoras who, from certain observations in music, mathematics, and astronomy, believed that all relations could be reduced to number relations (‘all things are numbers’). This formed the basis of a mystical system expanded upon by later Greek philosophers. Jewish Kabbalah mysticism, ancient near Eastern religions (especially in Babylon and Egypt), and the Hindu, Buddhist and Chinese faiths have all erected elaborate divinatory systems based on mystical numerological correspondences.
In most occult systems only the numbers 1 to 9, together with 0, are considered in any depth, for all numbers greater than 9 can be reduced to a single digit by adding the digits together.
This reductionism is the main tool of numerological divination. Consider the number 642 which can be reduced to (6 + 4 + 2 = 12), and then (1 + 2 = 3). The number 642 is therefore equivalent to the symbolic number 3. Each number has its own characteristics and values (male/female, strong/passive, harmony/disharmony and so on) and also corresponds to a letter of the alphabet. Various formulae can be applied to a person’s name, birthday and birthplace to determine a person’s character and destiny. Numerology is also used to determine propitious days for certain activities, such as selecting marriage partners or choosing a baby’s name.