Definition: A form of divination that assigns numeric values to names and birthdates and then uses those values to define an individual's personal characteristics, aptitudes, and life path.
Although numerology is an often practiced form of divination, it is not accepted as a math science by the traditional scientific community.In fact, noted mathematician, Professor John Webb (University of Capetown) calls it "a bogus and essentially worthless subject, even more so than astrology... the field of cranks and charlatans"
In his paper "Number Symbolism", Professor Ian Stewart (University of Warwick, U.K.) points out several discrepancies that individuals often use to make numbers appear as important in human events.For instance, numerologists often use the purported links between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy as one example of the power of numbers.
- Lincoln was elected president in 1860, Kennedy in 1960.
- Both were assassinated on a Friday.
- Lincoln was killed in Ford's Theatre; Kennedy was killed riding in a Lincoln convertible made by the Ford Motor Company.
- Both were succeeded by Southern Democrats named Johnson.
- Andrew Johnson was born in 1808, Lyndon Johnson in 1908.
- The first name of Lincoln's private secretary was John; the last name of Kennedy's private secretary was Lincoln.
However, these reporters omit certain facts that don't "fit" their purpose such as Lincoln was born on 2/12/1809 and Kennedy on 5/29/1917, numbers in month, date, and year that are nearly entirely dissimilar (except for the fact that when years are calculated – 1809 and 1917 – the result for both is the number 9), although birthdates are generally considered essential factors in divining the life path. Stewart calls this practice "selective reporting" wherein facts that fit are used and those that don't fit are ignored. When a numerology chart is calculated, individuals also often ignore results that don't fit and focus on those that do fit their character traits.
Discrepancies in numerology are even more prevalent when contacting a numerologist. Some practitioners contend that your present legal name (if used in common communication) is the name used along with your birthdates to find your personal number(the number used to interpret your life path). Others insist that your birth name is the correct name ; some make no distinction in preference to current legal name or birthname while still others require only your birthdate.
These inconsistencies bring up the question of if one's personality makes distinct changes upon marrying, re-marrying or otherwise changing one's name from Prince Rogers Nelson to Prince to using just a symbol (pictured at right).
Another basic inconsistency in numerology is the different meanings given to the ordinals, dependant on the numerologic system used to calculate and the numerologic philosophy used to divine the results.
Numerology sprang from Arithmomancy (aka arithmancy), an ancient from of number mysticism practiced by the Greeks, Chaldeans, and Hebrews. The word Arithmomancy comes from the Greek arithmos (“number”) and manteia (“divination”). The best-known example of ancient numerology is the number, 666, the "number of the beast" as according to the Bible's Book of Revelations. Over the centuries, many scholars have tried to define "who is the beast"; not surprisingly, Protestants scholars have used numerology to attribute the number to Catholic leaders, including several Roman Catholic Popes, and Catholic scholars to Protestants such as Martin Luther.
Around the 6th Century BCE, Pythagoras may have developed the first systematic form of numerology. However, so little is known about Pythagoras that the character may have been a composite of several individuals and the numerology system developed by a group of people, known as the Pythagorean followers.
A world fascination with the power of numbers continues to the present day. The number 13 is considered so unlucky that buildings are built with "no" 13th floor, the numbers skipping from 12 to 14. Airplanes have no row 13 and no racecar is numbered 13. On the other hand, the number 7, and finding a 4-leafed clover are both considered signs of good luck.
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