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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

The Meanings of the Numbers

This article was written by David Allen Hulse on May 14, 2002
posted under Numerology

But what good is this bit of divinatory calculation associating numbers to names and birth dates if we do not have an oracular vocabulary which can give symbolic meaning and nuance to the number series? Luckily, modern numerology has inherited from the ancient tradition of numbers a key to interpreting the meaning of numbers.

As pointed out above, modern numerology only possesses a divinatory tradition for the first nine numbers. Each of these nine numbers has its own unique divinatory significance. The following table gives the typical symbolic correspondences for these numbers.

The Nine Numbers of Modern Numerology

Number Divinatory Meaning

1 Initiative, independence, forcefulness (masculine number)
2 Diplomacy, tact, attention to detail (feminine number)
3 Spiritual, ambition, self-expression, easy success, lucky
4 Material, labor, routine work with little monetary compensation, unlucky
5 Imagination, inventive genius, charm, restlessness, adventurous
6 Tenacity, conscientiousness, success by working with another, domestic
7 Mysticism, magick, occultism, isolation, poets and dreamers; to be misunderstood by one’s associates
8 Judgment, reason, organization, financial success
9 Sympathy, generosity; dramatic, artistic talent (higher octave—teacher, master)

These nine basic meanings have a pattern to their symbolism. The first eight numbers form four pairs of contrasts, while the ninth number sums up and balances these four opposite couplings. The odd numbers 1, 3, 5, and 7 are celestial in nature, while the even numbers 2, 4, 6, and 8 are terrestrial. The number 9 counterbalances the four spiritual odd and the four earthly even numbers.

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