The ancient art of interpreting numbers answers to a deep-seated human need to find meaning in even the most commonplace things and events HILDI HAWKINS explains the procedures and theories of the numerologists
CAN NUMBERS REVEAL the future? Or show the hidden aspects of
a person's character? Practitioners of the ancient art of
numerology believe they can.
If the digits corresponding to your name add up to one, you
are probably a dominant kind of person, a leader. 'Ones' are pioneers, inventors,
designers - but they often put their plans into practice with little regard
for the way they will affect the people most directly involved. They tend
to dominate everyone they meet, they rarely have close friends and are sometimes,
despite their confident appearance, very lonely people.
Two is interpreted by modern numerologists as the number of
passive, receptive people. 'Twos' are quiet, unambitious, gentle, kind, tidy
and conscientious. They often get their own way, however, by gentle persuasion
rather than force. They are inclined to be hesitant, to make problems for
themselves by putting off decisions for no good reason, and this quality
can lead them into difficult situations.
Three is one of the most extrovert numbers, belonging to
intelligent, creative and witty people, who generally make friends easily
and seem to succeed at anything to which they turn their hands. They are
proud, ambitious and pleasure-loving, but their great weakness lies in their
inability to take anything - ideas or people - seriously for very long.
Four, like two, is a number corresponding to dependable,
down-to-earth people. They are born organisers. They lack the volatility
of 'ones' and 'threes', but they make up for this by their fairness and
meticulous attention to detail. They may be subject to sudden irrational
rages or depressions that seem extraordinary in people who are usually models
of calmness, Four has traditionally been regarded by numerologists as the
number of ill-luck; people whose number is four often seem to pay dearly
for any success they achieve in life.
Five is the number of bright, fast-moving, clever, impatient
people. They live on their nerves, and love meeting people and seeking out
new experiences. They are often physically attractive but rather feckless,
hating to be tied down. Five is the number that represents sex (the digits
of which also add up to five), and people whose number is five often have
varied and exciting love-lives, often problematic. Sometimes the sexual side
of their nature shows itself in excesses or perversions.
People whose number is six are among the happiest of the whole
numerological system. They are happy, tranquil, well-balanced and home-loving.
They are affectionate, loyal, sincere and conscientious. They are not uncreative;
many of them are successful in the performing arts. The negative aspect of
their character is their tendency to be rather fussy, conceited and
Seven is the number of the loner, the introspective scholar,
philosopher, mystic or occultist. These people tend to stand aside from the
mainstream of life, content to observe it. They are dignified, self-controlled
and reserved. They tend to be indifferent to worldly wealth but, while they
may seem aloof and stand-offish, make loyal friends. Despite their powerful
intellects, they are often surprisingly bad at putting their thoughts into
words, and may even dislike discussing them if they feel their ideas are
Eight represents worldly success, and people who have this number
often make successful businessmen, politicians or lawyers. Their success
is, however, often built on a great deal of hard work, which is often done
at considerable expense to their warmer, more human qualities. They often
seem to be hard, egocentric and grasping; but there can be, behind the
unsympathetic exterior, a whimsical streak that endears them to other
Nine stands for the height of intellectual and spiritual
achievement. People whose number is nine are the idealists, the romantics,
the visionaries - poets, missionaries, doctors, religious teachers, brilliant
scientists. Their great qualities are their unselfishness, their self-discipline
and their determination. Their idealism is concerned with mankind as a whole
- in their everyday lives they may be inclined to seek the limelight,and
to be fickle friends or lovers.
Some numerologists also employ the numbers
11and 22. They believe that these numbers represent
a higher plane of experience than the numbers one to nine. Eleven is the
number of those who experience revelations and suffer martyrdom; those with
names that add up to this number are often people with a strong vocation
for their work - preachers, doctors, nurses or teachers. They tend to prefer
ideas to real people.
Twenty-two is the 'master' number: people whose names add to
22 combine the best qualities of all the other numbers.
The total of vowel numbers in your name
is your heart number, which shows your inner character; the total of consonants
is your personality number, which indicates your outward personality, or
the impression you make on the people around you. (This distinction is derived
from Hebrew, in which only the consonants
of any word are actually written down; the vowels are therefore 'hidden',
and represent the aspects of the personality that are not outwardly apparent.)
Like the character types suggested by the sign of the zodiac
you were born under, the traits indicated by these numbers are to be regarded
as indicating a general type, not a detailed description. But that people
whose names add to the same number share certain personality traits can be
supported with numerous examples: the letters of the names Winston S. Churchill,
Einstein, Pablo Picasso and Florence Nightingale, for instance, all add to
11 - the number of those with strong vocations.
The same technique can be applied to the names of cities, and
many of the results seem to confirm the beliefs of numerologists. London
adds up to five, indicating manysidedness and resilience; New York to three,
indicating brilliance and glitter. The ancient cities of Oxford and Cambridge
both have the number seven - the number of the aloof, inward-turned scholar
But the ridiculous extremes to which numerology can be taken
are indicated by the prediction of an American numerologist that, since Oakland,
California, shares the number nine with Chicago, it will one day suffer a
great fire, as did Chicago in 1871.
Why should the numerological system work? Numerologists are
quick to point out instances that seem to show the importance of number,
such as the career of Louis xiv of France, He came to the throne in 1643,
which adds up to 14; he died in 1715, which adds up to 14, at the age of
77 - which adds up to 14, But is this any more than coincidence?