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Numerology is the name of several systems of belief that involve a connection between numbers and living things or physical objects. The exact details of numerology differ depending on which school of thought a numerologist happens to subscribe to. Modern numerology is influenced by many more ancient philosophies. To understand exactly what numerology is, it is helpful to first understand its history.

History of Numerology

Numerology is usually agreed to have first existed in the ancient civilizations of Babylonia and Egypt. There, an early form of numerology called the Chaldean system was created with influence from the Hebrews. Evidence also suggests that more forms of numerology were practiced in ancient China and Japan. While these systems of numerology helped form a basis for traditions to come, the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras is generally considered to be the father of numerology.

Pythagoras lived and taught in Greece in the sixth century BC. Many of his earliest teachings on numerology have been lost, as they were considered very sacred and powerful and thus were only transmitted orally. However, his teachings formed the basis for the Pythagorean school of thought that spread across the Roman Empire. Pythagorean numerology holds that the chaos of reality can only be truly understood through the use of numbers. Pythagoras considered numbers perfect in that they represented definite value and could be used in equations that could be proven absolutely. He saw numbers as far more reliable than other physical properties, and they were therefore the best way to understand reality. Pythagorean numerologists believed that everything can be understood in terms of numbers, and that every number has a specific meaning. By finding the number value of a word or name, you could use this value in such a way to determine that word or name's true hidden meaning.

What You Should Know About Numerology

Modern numerology generally adopts the Pythagorean method of applying values to letters. For instance, A is 1, B is 2, C is 3 and so on. However, when adding the values of letters in a word, numerologists usually use what is called natural or Fadic addition. This means that all values will be added repeatedly until a single digit is reached. For instance, if a numerologist were adding 9 and 5, the answer would of course be 14. However, the Fadic system of addition requires a single digit, so each digit of the answer, 14 in this case, is added together until a single digit is reached. In Fadic addition, 9 plus 5 equals 14, which is split into 1 plus 4, which equals 5. This is the value of the word or name.

While thoughts differ on what each digit means, there are some interpretations that are more common than others. Some examples include:

1 - Individual or aggressor.

2 - Balance and union.

3 - Communication, interaction and neutrality.

4 - Creation.

5 - Action.

6 - Responsibility or reaction.

7 - Consciousness and thought.

8 - Sacrifice or power.

9 - Change.

Regardless of the accepted meanings of the digits, the associated characteristics are usually vague. It is the responsibility of the numerologist to interpret these meanings according to his or her judgment.

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