The Role of Pythagoras in Western Numerology

Pythagoras, the ancient Greek philosopher, certainly made his contributions to the mathematical community – after all, if you ask most people what they know about Pythagoras, chances are they will recall the familiar equation we all learned in school, “A squared plus B squared equals C squared,” known as the Pythagorean Theorem, and used to determine the value of the sides of triangles. However, he considered himself a philosopher above all else. How did he view mathematics? More importantly, what were his philosophical, neurological, and religious contributions?

Who Was Pythagoras?

Pythagoras was born in Samos, a Greek island in the Aegean sea, in 570 BC. The son of a seal engraver, not much is known about Pythagoras’ early life. However, most scholars agree that when he was about age 40, Pythagoras traveled to Crotone in Calabria to found a school.

The school developed into a commune, the teachings of which were kept secret. It is thought that Pythagoras’ scientific, mathematical, and philosophical discoveries were taught there, and in his day he was associated with a great many discoveries. Among them were the Pythagorean theorem, which was named for him.

He was also credited with Pythagorean tuning – a system of musical tuning based on the pure, perfect fifth – the five regular solids that were later credited to Plato – the discovery of the spherical earth, and identifying Venus as a planet rather than a star. Later, some of these discoveries were attributed to his contemporaries or students, but Pythagoras began the school of philosophy which led to all.

What Did Pythagoras Believe?

Pythagoras believed in the continuity of life and rebirth of the immortal soul and believed he had lived over 99,000 lives in a row. He believed himself able to communicate with enlightened spirits, and that the planets themselves had their own particular music. This spherical music was said to correspond to the mathematical formations made by the planets, stars, and their paths in the sky. To that end, he also believed in the healing powers of music.

Most relevant to modern numerology are the beliefs Pythagoras held regarding numbers. To Pythagoras, everything in the entire universe could be explained using numbers. This did not only apply to mathematical purposes but also to spiritual purposes.

  • Pythagoras held that letters corresponded to numerals, two or three to each numeral from 1 to 9:
  • 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

A person’s entire destiny could be determined by analyzing the numbers associated with their name and date of birth. In addition, Pythagoras assigned numbers to all gods, goddesses, and other deities relative to their name and station in his society.

Destiny Number

A person’s Destiny Number, also known as an expression number, was obtained by adding up the numerical values for each letter and reducing down to a final single digit number. This number was said to reveal the opportunities a person would encounter in life.

The Destiny Number is calculated in a way similar to today’s Soul Urge number and Karmic numbers, which are calculated with the numerical equivalents to the vowels and consonants in a name, respectively. These numbers are said to represent the inner challenges and heart’s desires, and the inner hopes of each person.

Life Path Number

The more modern concept of the Life Path Number was derived from a practice of Pythagoras as well. A person’s birth date is added up and reduced to a single digit, which corresponds to a specific path in life, strengths, weaknesses, talents, and drives. Pythagoras had previously assigned qualities to each numeral he believed to correspond to the very nature of those numbers and their relation to the planets and the universe at large. These qualities also applied to individuals who were associated with those numerals.

In general, numbers could have either masculine or feminine qualities, positive and negative qualities, and could carry karmic debts – or sins from past lifetimes – into the present. The following are examples of Pythagorean number qualities

  • 1 = The beginning of all things, initiative, selfishness
  • 2= Matter, cooperation, indecisiveness
  • 3 = The ideal number, creativity, pessimism
  • 4 = Four seasons, industriousness, ill health
  • 5 = Marriage (2+3), freedom, restlessness
  • 6 = Artistic, responsible, coldness
  • 7 = The sacred number, spirituality, laziness
  • 8 = Organization, impatience
  • 9 = Selflessness, must learn to be more selfish
  • 10 = The perfect number – Pythagoreans never gathered in groups over 10
  • 11 = Master number, intuition (another master number was 22)

Many of these qualities still hold with today’s numerologists, and it can be argued that Pythagoras is the father of modern western numerology. Other religions and schools of thought around the world study numerology, but Pythagoras’ beliefs are the very foundation of numerology as it exists today.

Basic Information About Indian Numerology

Numerology is the practice of analyzing numbers and their energies and is thousands of years old. It’s no surprise, then, that some of the major world religions incorporate numerology into their studies, reaching more with numerology than ever thought possible. So let’s look at Indian numerology. How is numerology applied in Hinduism, the world’s third-largest major religion?

Background on Hinduism

One of the oldest religions on the planet, Hinduism is practiced by nearly 15% of the world’s population – approximately 1.15 billion people. Hinduism originated on the Indian subcontinent and makes up nearly 80% of India’s religious population, though it now has adherents around the world. Otherwise known as Hindu dharma, after the eternal law of the religion, Hinduism can be traced back to the second millennium BC.

Generally speaking, adherents of the Hindu religion see Hinduism as a way of life and not just a religion. They believe that truth comes in many forms and depends on the circumstances of the believer. A long, continuous tradition and many ideas, practices, and experiences form a large network of diversity within the religion.

Numerology Basics

Generally speaking, numerology is the study of numbers. However, it is necessary to dive much deeper than the surface level when it comes to discussing numerology, because numerology isn’t only about mathematics. Instead, numerology involves the understanding of each number as a different source of energy. These building blocks of energy comprise how we understand ourselves, individuals around us, and the universe at large.

Individually, each number can be analyzed to isolate particular traits, behaviors, and qualities. When taken together, patterns of numbers can be used to understand the way it all fits together, a more in-depth, overall picture of a person and their motivations. However, where do we get these numbers?

Perhaps you’ve noticed a particular number, appearing again and again in some way, shape or form, throughout your life. Maybe you’ve always had a lucky number, or a number that’s held significance for you for one reason or another. Still, other significant numbers are found in your birth date or associated with the letters of your birth name. In short, significant numbers can be found anywhere.

Numerology and Hinduism

Given the nature of the Hindu religion, it is not difficult to see how practices such as numerology came to be intertwined with the faith. Perhaps more so than other religions, Hinduism uses numerology to describe people and even their motivations. Overall, three different types of numbers are considered important to Hindus

Psychic Number

The Psychic number is said to define an individual’s character and reveal the way a person looks at him or herself. It is said to influence personality, daily interactions, and explain the actions of a person. Arguably the most fundamental number, it is derived from the day of the month on which an individual was born.

People born on the 1st through the 9th have already arrived at their psychic number. For two-digit numbers, simply add the digits. For example, a person born the 27th of the month has a Psychic number of 2+7=9.

Destiny Number

A Destiny number, on the other hand, is said to reveal how the world views a particular person. It is related to a person’s Sankara, or vibration patterns related to karma or past deeds. It is said that throughout life, people become more and more like their destiny number as they learn lessons, particularly in the late 30s and 40s.

A Destiny number is calculated by adding up the day, month, and year of birth, continuing to add until a single digit is reached. For example, a Destiny number for a birth date of 1-12-2001 would be accomplished by adding 1+1+2+2+0+0+1=7.

Name Number

A name number is said to influence relationships with other people. A person can have different name numbers based on the different names people call them, or the names they choose to go by. A name number is calculated using the sound frequencies of the original pronunciation of a name, which correspond to various numbers.

Hindu Number Meanings

Each number has a certain meaning in Hinduism, and individuals with psychic, destiny or name numbers corresponding to a certain number may be said to carry certain traits:

  1. Leadership, success
  2. Teachers, healing qualities
  3. Artists, idealists
  4. Builders, radicals
  5. Entertainers, social
  6. Nurturing, support
  7. Mystical, philosophical
  8. Hardworking, driven, fame and fortune
  9. Compassion for humanity, works for humankind

Certainly, these characteristics do not entirely describe a person, but many Hindus believe that a combination of traits of the three numbers described above can provide a basic picture. Take a moment and check out your Hindu numbers – do the listed traits describe you?


The Connection Between Numerology and the Tarot


Numerology, the study of the energy and inter connectivity of numbers, is often considered mysterious. Tarot, on the other hand, is the study of cards and how they can predict the future. These are philosophies that date back thousands of years, and they are often connected. This article will describe some basic concepts of numerology and how it relates to the Tarot.

Numerology Explained

Numerology involves the study of numbers – specifically, the study of the unique energies numbers are thought to have and the way they relate and interconnect with each other to form the basic building blocks of the universe and the individual. When studied separately, each number’s appearance can be studied as its contribution to the overall energy.

People can derive meaning from numbers that frequently appear in their lives. Often, the numbers analyzed are those deeply rooted within the individual, such as the number associated with the birth year, or Life Path Number. Another example is that of the numbers derived from a person’s name, such as the Soul Urge and Karmic numbers.

The Tarot Explained

The Tarot deck is a deck of 78 cards, each with its own meaning, imagery and symbolism. The cards are divided into two groups, known as the Major and Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana are 22 cards that represent major life lessons and events, whether spiritual or otherwise. The 40 Minor Arcana are arranged into 4 suits and represent more day-to-day challenges, lessons and events. The suits of the Minor Arcana are said to represent specific qualities:

  • Wands – will
  • Cups – emotion
  • Swords – intellect
  • Pentacles – material

When a Tarot reading is performed, the properties of each card’s imagery, suit, and life lessons is said to be able to guide the subject of the reading on the right path toward self-discovery, certain goals, and self-development.

Many still believe that Tarot can describe a fortune or the future based on a similar set of circumstances that happened in the past. Others believe the lessons are meant only to cause self-reflection and reveal a path upon which one must travel to achieve goals. In either case, however, it remains that the numbers on a Tarot deck can allow further analysis of the cards drawn.

Numerology and the Tarot Compared

Each deck is numbered the same – the 22 cards of the Major Arcana are numbered from 1 to 22. The 40 cards of the Minor Arcana are numbered from 1 to 10 within each suit. Overall, then, there are five cards per deck that correspond with each number from 1 through 10 – one from the Major Arcana and one each from the suits of the Minor Arcana.

Numbers 1 through 10 are each given particular meanings as they relate to both the Major and Minor Arcana:

  • New beginnings, the initial step of a journey
  • Partnership, a choice between two things or paths
  • Growth or progression of a project or relationship
  • Foundations, structure, practicality, a measure of success
  • Instability, change, and perspective
  • Stability, friendship, helpers and community
  • Patience with the journey, peace with waiting
  • Progress, anticipation of the ultimate success of the journey
  • Completion of the numerological cycle and the journey
  • Rebirth, beginning the process over again

When cards are shown, the suit, number, and life lesson of each is taken into account. Numerology does not stand on its own within Tarot; rather, all aspects work together to form a picture of the journey.

Life Path Number and the Tarot

In some cases, the Major Arcana are considered to show numbers corresponding to the numerological Life Path Numbers. Your Life Path Number can be found by reducing the numbers of the day, month and year in which you were born to a single digit. For example, a person born 10-22-2001 would reduce those numbers to 1+0=1, 2+2=4, and 2+0+0+1=3, and then add each together 1+4+3=8. The final Life Path Number is 8.

The Birth Card is the Major Arcana card that corresponds to your Life Path Number. In this case, the eighth Major Arcana card is Justice, and its traits and meanings would correspond to the individual’s own. In addition, each birth card is said to have specific strengths, challenges, and insights for love, career, and more.

Overall, numerology does not encompass all of what a Tarot reading is meant to accomplish. However, the associations between the two are clear. Numerological analysis and Tarot reading can work hand in hand to provide a more complete picture of the goals, traits, abilities, and characteristics of the individual and the challenges they face.


Introduction to Chinese Numerology

Of all the cultures in the world that have studied numerology, the Chinese are often credited with beginning the practice first. The earliest recordings of ancient Chinese numerological studies are from over 4,000 years ago, but perhaps the most remarkable part is that many Chinese continue the practice today. What are some of the basic concepts of Chinese numerology? Which concepts are in use today?

Emperor Fu Hsi

There exists a wealth of famous tales about each of the five legendary emperors of China, but perhaps none is as well known as that of Emperor Fu Hsi. Fu Hsi was the first of the mythical emperors, and was said to have come to life as a divine being with a serpent’s body in about the year 2852 BC. Later, he was depicted as a divine head situated on a mountain, in homage to the great gifts he gave humankind, such as the ability to hunt animals with iron weapons, fish with nets, cook with fire, and marry other humans. However, his greatest contribution is considered a neurological gift.

Legend says that one day, Fu Hsi was walking along a river when he observed a unique turtle, already a lucky omen. On its shell, the turtle carried markings of a 3×3 grid. Coupled with his later visions of events and things occurring in threes, Fu Hsi formed the Lo Shu grid, a 3×3 square comprised of numbers that add up to 15 regardless of which row, column, or diagonal you select.

Basic Concepts

From there, Fu Hsi formed the basic tenets of the I Ching, used to explain whether a particular number is good or bad, lucky or unlucky. Most of these descriptions hinge on what the number sounds like when spoken aloud. Other beliefs based on the Lo Shu grid include feng shui, Chinese astrology, and Taoism.

Overall, six basic concepts of Chinese numerology are among those we hear about today. These basic concepts encompass many of the terms most familiar to Westerners:


Numbers are either yin or yang, also described as even or odd. Yin numbers are even, such as 2,4,6,8 and so on. Some numerologists consider even numbers the luckiest, while others disagree. Twos are considered lucky, while fours are not lucky at all.


Yang numbers are odd numbers. Again, there is discrepancy over which is considered to be generally luckier, though threes are considered lucky while other odd numbers are not often considered lucky.

Lucky Numbers

Much of Chinese numerology concerns lucky numbers. Most of the lucky numbers are considered so because they sound like words that carry a positive meaning. For example, 6 is considered lucky because its Cantonese word sounds very similar to the word for “profitable.” 8 and 9 are also considered especially lucky numbers.

Unlucky Numbers

Like lucky numbers, unlucky numbers have homophones – however, their homophones often carry negative meaning. For example, 4 is considered especially unlucky because it sounds much like the Cantonese word for death.

Feng Shui

Feng Shui is based on the homophone principles that some numbers are lucky because they sound like words that have positive associations. Numbers also have an associated direction, allowing a practitioner to analyze a home or other building to determine how the space affects the people inside it, and what changes could be made to promote desirable qualities. A home with a harmonious flow of energy, or Chi, based on the associated feng shui numbers, is desirable.

Kua Numbers

Kua numbers are similar to other forms of numerology, where your birthdate is used to calculate a number which analyzes your feng shui needs. For men, you will need to add the last two digits of your birth year until you get a single number. For women, add the last two digits until you get a single number, then add 5; if necessary, add until you again reach a single number. This number’s associated properties are said to group you into either an East or a West feng shui group, and describes your lucky directions to face while working or sleeping.

Today’s Chinese Numerology

As mentioned, many of these practices are used today in modern Chinese numerology. Decisions are made regarding the stock market, based on numerology. Homes are considered and rejected based on the house numbers they bear – house numbers including 4 may be rejected due to the unlucky association with death. Even the most skeptical westerners can subscribe to the ideas of feng shui.

Overall, there is much we can learn through the study of Chinese numerology. The practice has been around for over 4,000 years and is not likely to go anywhere soon. Perhaps you can incorporate Chinese numerology into your own studies of how numbers affect you and the world around you.


3 Most Notable Numerology Methods

Many people believe that numbers have great significance in our lives. At its core, numerology is simple; however, it’s the applications of numerology that hold a vast array of meanings. What is numerology? Where did it come from? What are some of the major beliefs that shape the study of numbers? This article will address these questions and more.

Numerology is the study of significant numbers in life

Simply put, numerology is the study of numbers, just as psychology is the study of the human psyche. However, most don’t stop at simply looking at the properties of a given number. We study how those numbers are interconnected and how they can be used to discover information about the world and the people in it. To use our earlier example, psychologists don’t simply study the parts of the human brain, they study how the different parts of the human psyche interconnect and work together and determine what it can tell us about how individuals operate separately and together.

Numerology, then, is the idea that numbers are the basic elements of a much larger picture. Studied separately, each number can be analyzed for its specific meaning to an individual or to the universe. Put together, a series of numbers has a lot to tell us about the world and ourselves.

Have you noticed certain numbers frequently appearing in your life? Perhaps you’ve noticed a certain series of numbers, or repetition of a single number over and over. Numerologists believe that these numbers have their own unique vibrations, or energy, and have something to tell you regarding your own life or your place in the world.

Where did numerology come from?

Numerology has been practiced for thousands of years, long before it had a name. In fact, most of today’s major religions have a history of embracing numerology in their earliest days. The ancient Babylonians, as well as the ancient Jews and Hindus, believed in the spiritual significance of certain numbers, and some of these beliefs have held over time. However, it was an ancient Greek who formed many of the theories numerologists subscribe to today – Pythagoras.

Yes, that’s right, Pythagoras of the Pythagorean theorem, the formula for finding the length of the third side of a triangle. Many of us can probably rattle off the equation by rote – “A squared plus B squared equals C squared.” Pythagoras, however, wasn’t just interested in finding the length of triangle sides; he was also convinced that numbers held energy and was interested in how they connected. In short, he was a numerologist.

Major practices in numerology

If you’ve read even a little bit about numerology – perhaps on an internet page or a magazine article – you’ve probably heard of a few major practices of numerology. Most of these practices involve getting to a root number, or reducing digits until you arrive at a single number, with a few exceptions. These significant numbers can tell you a great deal about yourself, your innate traits, and where you’re headed.

Life Path Number

Perhaps one of the more commonly discussed numbers, your Life Path Number can tell you all about your purpose in life, strengths and weaknesses, talents, and reasons for your actions. To find it, simply use your birthdate – let’s use 12-13-1990 for the purposes of discussion. Reduce each element of the date to a single digit: 12 becomes 1+2=3, 13 becomes 1+3=4, and 1990 becomes 1+9+9+0=19 then 1+9=10, then 1+0=1. So, 3, 4, and 1. Add the final digits and 3+4+1=8 for a final Life Path Number of 8.

In this way, a study of the characteristics associated with the given number, a Life Path Number is thought to reveal the motivations and traits of a particular person.

Soul Urge Number

This number is found a bit differently than the Life Path Number. Pythagoras, as well as most other numerologists, believed letters of the alphabet had corresponding numbers and developed a chart to show their interconnectivity. The Soul Urge Number is found by using this chart to find the numbers associated with the vowels in your name, then adding and reducing until a single number is reached. That number describes the associated personality and challenges of the person, as well as their heart’s desire

Karmic Number

The Karmic Number is found the same way as the Soul Urge Number, except that it uses the consonants in your name instead of the vowels. The Karmic Number is said to reveal your innermost hopes and desires, as well as your fears.

What can you learn from studying the numbers associated with your life? Numerology aims at answering that question, and many more. The answers are truly endless.


3 Most Notable Numerology Methods