The Magic of Numerology: Numbers with Their Symbolism and Meaning
“Numerology projections will fascinate you for your entire life.”
― William Kennett
There are many ancient systems of understanding our universe and destiny that come into magical practices. Numerology is one of them. Effectively Numerology looks at how numbers influence our daily lives much as Astrology looks at planetary influences. The idea is that we can unlock some of the secrets of successful living by understanding the vibrations of numbers in our date of birth, our given name and even our phone number or address!
Numerology Around the World
Numerology appears in many cultural settings as diverse as the Greeks and Japanese, the Incans and the Egyptians. No matter the setting, each Numerology system used numbers in an effort to solve some of those ancient mysteries and nagging questions of life like, “What is our purpose?” Mind you, each culture created their own unique twist on this system. Let’s take a look.
The Magick of Chaldean Numerology
Rather than simply focus on the single numbers 1-9, the Chaldean looked at compound figures as well. Single numbers derived from a person’s name dealt with superficial personality matters. Double numbers were deeper influences including spiritual ones. After reducing a person’s name, the Chaldean Numerologist went on to examine the birth date. This was more important than a name number because it marks your point in history. While you might change your name, your date of birth remains a fixed known.
Here’s a chart you can use to determine your personality number:
While it is very lengthy to give you all 52 numerical correspondences in the Chaldean system, here are the Numbers 1-9, 11, 22 and 33 for comparison to Western tradition along with associated Tarot Cards:
1: The Sacred Masculine. Our self-awareness. Individuality, sacred purpose, dominance. The Mage in the Tarot.
2. The Sacred Feminine. Our cooperative nature. Partnership, duality, decision making, caution. The High Priestess in the Tarot.
3. The Power of Manifestation. Joy, romance, artistic insight, energetic. The Empress in the Tarot.
4. The Conscious self. Law, security, stability, strong earth energies. The Emperor in the Tarot.
5. The Bard: communication, adventure, liberation, versatility, sexuality. The Hierophant of the Tarot.
6. The Healer: Sound counsel, love, harmony, symmetry, service. The Lovers Card of the Tarot.
7. The Mysteries: Spirituality, seeking, metaphysical matters, philosophy. The Chariot in the Tarot.
8. The Constant Energy of the Universe. Power, control, recognition from honest labor, mindfulness. Justice Card in the Tarot.
9. The Humanitarian: Selflessness, compassion, growth, tolerance, patience. The Hermit in the Tarot.
11. The Warning: Unseen danger, personal trials, deceit, betrayal and other contentions.
22. The Illusion: Dreaming without foundations; false judgement or hopes. A reflection of the phrase, “If it looks too good to be true, it is.”
33. The Promise: Assistance gained through honesty and love.
Indian Numerology assigns three numbers to a person as being the most important:
- Psychic Number: Representing basic character and talents. This comes from the day of the month in which you were born. So if you were born June 13 – the psychic number is 4.
- Destiny Number: Symbolizes how the world views you and how karma impacts this life. The destiny number comes from the total of your month, date and year of your birth akin to the Life Path Number in Pythagorean methods.
- Name Number: Focuses on your interactions with others. If you change your name, or different people call you different nick names those change the vibrations with which you work. Each letter of these names has a corresponding number. You calculate them in much the same way. For example MARY is 3+1+2+1 = 7; MARYANN is the same adding 1+5+5 = 18 = 9.
Here’s a chart that shows the letter/number associations.
While this chart has similarities to the Chaldean, there are differences of note. For example, H is not 8 in the Chaldean chart but rather 5.
Now that you have your name number look up the characteristics below:
1: The Sun: Courage, fame, vital energy.
2: The Moon: Intelligence, travel, gentle disposition.
3: Virtue: Justice, respect, trustworthy insight.
4. The Occult: Magic, psychic ability, power.
5. Money: Communication skills, keen mindedness, financially sound.
6. Beauty: Music, the arts, sporting perfection
7. The Sage: Understanding the soul’s contract, healing arts, metaphysical sciences.
8: Loyalty: Diligence, change through work, long life.
9. Consistency: Physical strength, tenacity, independence, persistence.
Chinese Numerology depends on the sound of numbers when they are spoken out loud. Each digit has both positive and negative characteristics. That’s like a base on which each person can build, trustfully making the most of their personal number’s energies. Each number has elemental associations too.
- The number 1 represents independence but in the extreme loneliness. Element: Water.
- Number 2 is fortunate representing determination Element: Earth.
- 3 is also lucky symbolizing abundance and creativity. Element: Wood.
- 4 is unfortunate and can portend some type of “death”. Element: Wood.
- 5 is a mixed bag. It has ties to the five natural elements, but it also sounds like the word “no”. Generally, it is a number stressing balance. Element: Earth.
- Number 6 has auspicious vibrations especially when talking about wealth. Element: Metal.
- The number 7 is positive and upbeat with a focus on relationships. Element: Metal.
- 8 is the number of success, prosperity and wealth. Element: Earth.
- Last, 9 is a number associated with longevity, truth and leadership. Element: Fire.
The Pythagorean system of Numerology is the best known of all approaches and the one most widely used. Pythagoras took cues from various mathematical disciplines that include those of Arabia and Egypt. There were also spiritual influences from the Druids, Rosicrucians, and Masons.
Pythagoras looked at the world in a unique way. He said “Numbers rule the universe.” He also believed that to understand God and the Universe we first had to understand ourselves. This corresponds to the Wiccan ideal: Know Thyself.
The main focus for Pythagorean Numerology are the numbers 1-9 and your birth date. Reducing this to a single number is simple. 5/26/75 becomes 5+2+6+1+9+7+5 = 35 or 3+5 = 8. This is considered a person’s Life Path number. The only time you do not reduce the result from this addition is if you get to the numbers 11, 22, and 33. These master figures represent higher levels of awareness and achievement. 11 represents the messenger, 22 the teacher and 33 the sage or leader.
The resulting Life Path Number is considered the most important one in your entire Numerological outlook. It reveals personality traits, challenges you may face and the lessons you are here to learn. There is also a Personality Number that’s derived from the numerical associations with the consonants in your full given birth name and the Heart’s Desire Number – obtained by the vowels in your given name.
We will review the correspondences in the Pythagorean system in the next section on Western Numerology.
Western Numerology Associations
Knowing several different approaches to Numerology gives you greater versatility. Now let’s compare the previous systems with the symbolic value attributed to single numbers and master numbers in the West.
One: Creation. The beginning. The Sacred Masculine. The power of the will, courage, rebel with a cause, self-awareness, independence. Tarot Card: The Magician.
Two: Knowledge. The peacemaker. The Sacred Feminine. Diplomacy, nurturing, sensual, insightful, loving, enduring, kind. Planet: The Moon. The High Priestess.
Three: Youth. The inner child. Imagination, communication, happiness, upbeat energy, dynamic movement, humor. Tarot Card: The Empress.
Four: Reliability. The dependable friend. Earthy, grounded, conscientious, meticulous, honest, thrifty and generally careful. Tarot Card: The Emperor.
Five: Possibilities. The adventurer. Daring, dynamic, durable, humorous, adaptable, brave, global minded. Tarot Card: The Hierophant.
Six: Responsibilities. The advocate and healer. Caregiving, accountable, understanding, empathic, committed. Tarot Card: The Lovers.
Seven: Spirituality. The wise one. Intelligence, systematic, focus, insightful, thoughtful, courtesy, refinement. Tarot Card: The Chariot.
Eight: Leadership.The authority figure. Symmetry, success, shrewdness, sound judgement, talent, effectiveness. Tarot Card: Strength.
Nine: Cooperation. The humanitarian. Generous, giving, cultured, kind-hearted, noble, charitable. Tarot Card: The Hermit.
Using Numerology for Magic
While learning about your personality, life path, and destiny numbers is very informative, there is much more you can do with numerology in your magical work. For example, let’s say you are preparing a Goddess-oriented ritual that honors Maidens, Mothers, Crones, Witches, Daughters, Aunts Nieces, etc. The Number most suited to this goal would be 2 – the Sacred Feminine. With that in mind you can:
- Have two candles on your altar (or at each Quarter point).
- Use two Goddess-oriented foods, in Kitchen Witch fashion, for the post ritual feast, complete with a two-ingredient magical potion (grains, dates, apple juice with strawberries)
- Create power pouches with two symbolic items inside
- Enact spells or design charms that employ two components
- Chant your spell two times or sing your invocation twice
- Use two drops of essential oil for anointing or burning in a fire
- Have two sticks of Goddess-incense on your altar like jasmine and rose
- Activities within the ritual move around the space twice, or in which the group works in pairs
- Decorate the sacred space with flower petals or living plants sacred to the Goddess.
- Look for dates and times that have 2 as a key number
- Wearing two pieces of Goddess jewelry
There’s probably a lot more. The general idea is a layering of symbolism and energy. Every element of ritual and magic creates greater detail and meaning. This, in turn, strengthens your observance and its results.