Numerology is any belief in divine, mystical or other special relationship between a number and some coinciding events. It has many systems and traditions and beliefs. Numerology and numerological divination by systems such as isopsephywere popular among early mathematicians, but are no longer considered part of mathematics and are regarded aspseudomathematics or pseudoscience by modern scientists.
Today, numerology is often associated with the paranormal, alongside astrology and similar divinatory arts.
Despite the long history of numerological ideas, the word "numerology" is not recorded in English before c.1907.
The term numerologist is also used derogatorily for those perceived to place excess faith in numerical patterns (and draw scientifically unsound inferences from them), even if those people do not practice traditional numerology. For example, in his 1997 book Numerology: Or What Pythagoras Wrought, mathematician Underwood Dudley uses the term to discuss practitioners of the Elliott wave principle of stock market analysis.
· 1 History
· 2 Methods
o 2.1 Number definitions
o 2.2 Alphabetic systems
o 2.3 Abjad system
· 3 Chinese numerology
o 3.1 Chinese number definitions
· 4 Other fields
o 4.1 Numerology and alchemy
o 4.2 "Numerology" in science
o 4.3 Numerology in gaming
· 5 Skepticism
· 6 In popular culture
· 7 See also
· 8 Notes
· 9 References
· 10 External links
Modern numerology often contains aspects of a variety of ancient cultures and teachers, including Babylonia, Pythagoras and his followers (Greece, 6th century B.C.), astrological philosophy from Hellenistic Alexandria, early Christian mysticism, early Gnostics, the Hebrew system of the Kabalah , The Hindu Vedas, the Chinese "Circle of the Dead", Egyptian "Book of the Masters of the Secret House" (Ritual of the Dead).
Pythagoras and other philosophers of the time believed that because mathematical concepts were more "practical" (easier to regulate and classify) than physical ones, they had greater actuality. St. Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354–430) wrote "Numbers are the Universal language offered by the deity to humans as confirmation of the truth." Similar to Pythagoras, he too believed that everything had numerical relationships and it was up to the mind to seek and investigate the secrets of these relationships or have them revealed by divine grace. See Numerology and the Church Fathers for early Christian beliefs on the subject.
In 325 A.D., following the First Council of Nicaea, departures from the beliefs of the state Church were classified as civil violations within the Roman Empire. Numerology had not found favor with the Christian authority of the day and was assigned to the field of unapproved beliefs along with astrology and other forms of divination and "magic".Despite this religious purging, the spiritual significance assigned to the heretofore "sacred" numbers had not disappeared; several numbers, such as the "Jesus number" have been commented and analyzed by Dorotheus of Gazaand numerology still is used at least in conservative Greek Orthodox circles. Numerology is prominent throughout SirThomas Browne's 1658 literary Discourse The Garden of Cyrus. Throughout its pages the author attempts to demonstrate that the number five and the related Quincunx pattern can be found throughout the arts, in design, and in nature – particularly botany.
Modern numerology has various antecedents. Ruth A. Drayer's book, Numerology, The Power in Numbers (Square One Publishers) says that around the turn of the century (from 1800 to 1900 A.D.) Mrs. L. Dow Balliett combined Pythagoras' work with Biblical reference. Then on Oct 23, 1972, Balliett's student, Dr. Juno Jordan, changed Numerology further and helped it to become the system known today under the title "Pythagorean", although Pythagoras himself had nothing to do with the system. Dr. Jordan's work "The Romance in Your Name" provided a system for identifying key numerological influences in one's name and birth date and remains a seminal interpretive guide for practitioners today. Subsequent 'numerologists' including Florence Campbell (1931), Lynn Buess (1978), Mark Gruner (1979), Kathleen Roquemore (1985) expanded on the use of numerology for assessing major aspects of personality and cyclical patterns in life.
Australian philosopher David Stove pointed out different pseudoscientific beliefs, for example numerology and astrology, may be pathological in different ways. When critiquing such pseudoscientific beliefs, philosophers and scientists should take into account that the fallacies that give rise to the "particular awfulness" of one pseudoscientific belief may not be applicable to another.
There are no set definitions for the meaning of specific digits, and interpretations of the meaning of digits and their orders vary throughout different cultures and schools of numerology. Common interpretations include:
1. Individual; aggressor; self; leadership yang
2. Balance; union; receptive; partnership yin
5. Action; restlessness; life experience
6. Home/family; responsibility; artistic in nature
7. Thought/consciousness; spirit
9. Highest level of changes
Some numerologists analyze double-digit numbers as well, from 10 to 99. These numbers (e.g., 11, 22, 33, ...) are commonly referred to as "master numbers" (Buess, 2005). This study of numerology is based on the evidence of significant double-digit numbers in the Kabbalah, the I-ching, the Pythagorean numerology, the Tarot Arcana of the Eastern faiths, and the Runes of the Viking age. Various authors of numerology books determine various meanings for each number, from 0 to 9 and from 10 to 99.
Of relevance to numerical interpretations is arithmancy, which refers to a group of techniques involving the manipulation of numbers in order to determine meaning.
There are many numerology systems which assign numerical value to the letters of an alphabet. Examples include theAbjad numerals in Arabic, the Hebrew numerals, Armenian numerals, and Greek numerals. The practice within Jewish tradition of assigning mystical meaning to words based on their numerical values, and on connections between words of equal value, is known as gematria.
For example, numbers are assigned to letters as follows:
· 1 = a, j, s
· 2 = b, k, t,
· 3 = c, l, u,
· 4 = d, m, v,
· 5 = e, n, w,
· 6 = f, o, x,
· 7 = g, p, y,
· 8 = h, q, z,
· 9 = i, r,
.....and then summed. Examples:
· 3, 489 → 3 + 4 + 8 + 9 = 24 → 2 + 4 = 6
· Hello → 8 + 5 + 3 + 3 + 6 = 25 → 2 + 5 = 7
A quicker way to arrive at a single-digit summation (the digital root) is simply to take the value modulo 9, substituting a 0 result with 9 itself.
Different methods of calculation exist, including Chaldean, Pythagorean, Hebraic, Helyn Hitchcock's method, Phonetic, Japanese, Arabic and Indian.
The examples above are calculated using decimal (base 10) arithmetic. Other number systems exist, such as binary, octal, hexadecimal and vigesimal; summing digits in these bases yields different results. The first example, shown above, appears thus when rendered in octal (base 8):
· 3, 48910 = 66418 → 6 + 6 + 4 + 1 = 218 → 2 + 1 = 38 = 310
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