Numerology: An Introduction and Brief History


What is Numerology?

Numerology is a divination system based on numbers and the idea that everything in the Universe can be boiled down into a number with a specific meaning. Every letter, birthday, and year is able to be interpreted within the systems of Numerology. These numbers are then used to draw conclusions, summaries, and meanings based on their symbolic significance within the system of Numerology. By looking at the meanings behind numbers 0-9 you can use Numerology to know more about yourself, your destiny, love, and much more!

A Brief History of Numerology

Various systems of Numerology developed throughout the ancient world. One of the most famous ancient Greek mathematicians, Pythagoras, alive around 540BCE, helped establish modern systems of numbers and mathematics in use today. Much of modern Numerology was developed throughout the 1900s, where ancient mathematical theories combined with the power of numbers created the mystical meanings we know today. There are two main systems currently in use that can trace their origins back through ancient history; Pythagorean Numerology and Chaldean Numerology.

Chaldean Numerology: Ancient Metaphysics

Chaldean Numerology is predominantly used In India today and is said to predate Pythagorean Numerology. This Numerology practice developed alongside astrological practices in the ancient lands of Canaan, Babylon, and Persia.

Whereas both systems in use in the present day assign each letter of the alphabet to a number, the Chaldean system only uses numbers 1-8. The number 9 is left out due to early Numerologists believing it to have such significant mystical origins it could not be used for mundane use. Chaldean style Numerology is still practiced today, requiring a bit more studying and interpretation than the Pythagorean Numerology.

Pythagorean Numerology: Early Religious and Mystical Origins

The early Christian church placed great meaning in the use of numbers which can be found in many parables, timing, and repetitions throughout the New Testament of the Bible. At that time, the use of numbers for religious purposes was not called Numerology; although immense importance was placed in the meaning of particular numbers. Some numbers thought to have multiple religious significances include 3, 7, and 8.

In early Jewish mysticism, known as the Kabbalah, great emphasis was placed on numbers; corresponding to each letter of the ancient Hebrew alphabet. Many of these ancient teachings found their way into Europe in the Middle Ages. The occultist and alchemists of that time created many texts and correspondences between numbers, the Hebrew alphabet, and Gnosticism.

The Pythagorean system, or Western Numerology, was popularized by author and Numerologist Juno Jordan. Jordan closely studied the relationship between numbers, personal Numerology, and world events throughout the mid-1900s. Jordan helped solidify many modern interpretations of each number and the use of Numerology for prediction and prophecy.

Around the same time that Juno Jordan was expanding upon her work in the mid-1960s, other Numerologists were doing the same. Systems developed during this time resonated with humanistic astrology, which focuses closely on one’s personal experience and destiny. Numerology would develop right along these lines to become what we practice today. Using your birthdate and name you can come up with your Destiny Number, Life Path Number, Soul Urge Number, and Karmic Number. These 4 components are part of your personal Numerology reading.


Chaldean and Pythagorean Numerology are the most popular in use today, however, there are other systems that can be explored including Chinese Numerology and the Abjad system using the Arabic alphabet. Regardless of which system you choose to use, Numerology is steeped in ancient history and mysticism. It is clear that ancient mathematicians and mystics saw the significance that numbers have in the universe.

These scholars recognized how everything in our world can be broken down into smaller pieces, into number formulations, and combinations. The occult practitioners of the day were able to draw out the hidden meaning these numbers held and systematically create the Numerology we use today.

Each number has had centuries to evolve into a complex configuration of meanings. Behind the earlier religious overtones that numbers were associated with, Numerology has evolved into a system that can be used for divination, self-help, and daily guidance.

©2018 Christine Hirlehey

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