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What is numerology?

Numerology, the science of numbers. The idea that the universe is interconnected in a grand design has always been part of the occult tradition, and from very early times, numbers have held a mystical and symbolical significance in respect of this belief.

The 6th-century BC Greek philosopher, Pythagoras, evolved the theory that the ultimate significance of all things was their numerical value, and that universal order was based on numerical relationships. He structured this theory on the mathematical proportions of musical intervals: just as sound is made musical through numerical ratios, so unlimited space is limited by points arranged in geometrical patterns which form the boundaries of solid bodies. The order of the heavenly bodies is thus created and produces a harmony-the music of the spheres. Other Greek philosophers took this up; Plato talks about the proportions in which the universe is constructed in his Timaeus. And for the Neo-Pythagoreans, numbers and letters were imbued with supernatural powers.

In biblical literature, certain numbers have mystical importance, particularly the number 40. In the Kabbalah, numbers and letters have divine power. Each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical value, which in turn has a mystical significance. Gematria is the system by which Kabbalists converted Hebrew words into numbers and then into other words sharing the same numbers in order to discover mystical relationships between words.

Numerology has always had a prominent place in magical rites and processes. It is also used as a method of prognostication and character analysis, based on substituting numbers for the letters composing an individual's name, or finding the numerical value of birth date, etc.

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