This popular New Age form of divination has several ancient sources, but its philosophical source is our old friend Pythagoras. The Presocratic Greek philosopher believed that reality could be reduced to numbers and mathematical principles. He also invented the stringed musical instrument called the lyre and studied astrology, but he is most famous as a numbers man.
How It Works
Pythagoras said that the letters of the alphabet corresponded to certain numbers. This is the principle of numerology. Of course, Pythagoras's alphabet was different than our own, hence some adaptation was required in different cultures and languages. Pythagoras was one of the first to suggest that, based on numerology, your name can tell you much about your personality. Just as astrologers believe that the stars can shape your character, Pythagoras and contemporary numerologists believe that the letters in your name and the corresponding number they generate can explain who you are. Legend has it that Pythagoras changed his name from time to time in order to see how aspects of his personality would change.
In the post-Renaissance age, the Scientific Revolution and Galileo's telescope created the science of astronomy. As astronomy grew, astrology lost some of its reputation as the mystical poor relation of the exalted newfound science.
In numerology, each letter of the alphabet has a corresponding numerical value, and these have a particular cosmic vibration. The combination of letters and numbers is said to create a unique vibration that reveals much about the person, and numerological readings can be used to understand the present and plan for the future.
A Sample Profile
Pythagoras did not have the advantage of the Internet for a quick reading of himself. For the purposes of research, the author of this book visited a Web site that offers free numerology readings and entered his name and birth date and received an instant personality profile. Here is a thumbnail numerological sketch of the author of this book:
(Quite flattering. The author likes to think so, yet others may have a different opinion.)
(Those who have seen the author's small New York City apartment would chuckle at this observation.)
(Many who know the author are having a big laugh at this. The author is a notorious procrastinator.)
(That, dear readers, is for you to decide!)
It would seem that numerology is not an exact science.