Monday, May 25, 2009


A recent conversation on numbers with a friend of mine just back from the orient set me thinking… There is this strange aura around numbers which make them really special! They add so much meaning to our lives that we can never really imagine a world without numbers.

Many questions just jump into my mind and leave me wondering…

  •     What is it that makes a number “lucky” or “unlucky”?
  •     If a number is “unlucky” can we do away with it? Would that not mean playing with the basic foundation of the world of numbers?
  •     If a number is perceived as “lucky” for me what makes it so very “unlucky” for someone else? Is it not just another case of plain superstition or is      there more to it?

Such questions can have no end… and I could well fill up pages of content with such stuff.

These thoughts led me into actually taking some effort on figuring out what these numbers actually mean.

What was apparent from this effort was that it is not just the “numbers” but “numerology” as a subject which brings out the answers to many of my questions.

For most of us numbers are not much more than a “measure” or “count” but there are those for whom they mean much more! They associate a meaning for each number and surround each of them with a layer of mysticism. This is the foundation of Numerology. Hence to put it in simpler terms, Numerology would thus be a mystical relationship between numbers and physical objects.

Numerology has its roots tracing back to the “Pythagoreans” who made a series of discoveries on numbers which led them to assume that “all is numbers”, they have power and made them surround them with mysticism. One such discovery by them was sum of all odd numbers starting from 1 always yields a square. 

1+3 = 4 = 2^2                  1+3+5 = 9 = 3^2                    1+3+5+7 = 16 = 4^2 

In today’s modern world numerology is very often is associated with the Occult, but still that deserves some thought and consideration at least to me.

Now just to put a meaning to each of the digits along with the personal trait they carry…

0. Everything or absoluteness. All

1. Individual, Aggressor. Yang (Creativity, independence, originality, ego, self)

2. Balance. Union. Receptive. Yin (Empathy, cooperation, consideration, over-sensitivity, co-dependence)

3. Communication/Interaction. Neutrality (Artistic expression, sociability, friendliness, superficiality, wastefulness)

4. Creation (Practicality, application, loyalty, rigidity, repression)

5. Action. Restlessness. (Freedom, adaptability, travel, inconsistency, abuse of senses)

6. Reaction/flux. Responsibility. (Love, responsibility, understanding, meddling, jealousy)

7. Thought/consciousness. (Spirituality, mental analysis, wisdom, fault finding, suppression)

8. Power/sacrifice. (Executive ability, management, materiality, unscrupulousness)

9. Highest level of change. (Artistic genius, humanitarianism, romance, emotionalism, dissipation)

10. Rebirth.

There also are two more “master vibrations” which suggest the following traits

11. Intuition, idealism, invention, insensitivity, fanaticism

22. Practical idealism, material mastery, get-rich-quick schemes, viciousness

In Numerology the number 12 is considered as the number of completeness as in there are 12 months of the year and 12 signs of the Zodiac twelve hours of the clock, twelve Apostles of Jesus, twelve gods of Olympus and the number 13 is considered as the one that transgresses this completeness.

It is sometimes the manifestations of these meanings which deem a number to be lucky or unlucky for someone whose birth number would be associated with.

Coming to the general thinking of certain numbers being “unlucky” I have few such cases in my mind.

The first one obviously would be the number 13 and the history surrounding it that gives it the notion that it is unlucky. Maybe it should help if I list down a few of them.

  • In the “Last Supper” Judas was the 13th person to sit at the table
  • The numbers of Norse gods at the banquet were 12, which was crashed by the 13th “Evil” god Loki.
  • There are traditionally 13 steps that lead to the gallows.
  •  Apollo 13 was the only unsuccessful NASA mission
  • Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon with the 13th Legion, marking the beginning of the Civil War and the eventual death of the Roman Republic.

This list is long and one can just go on. But what is more important to us is do we take these events as just mere co-incidence or do we give a “Consideration” that there actually might be something that links these to the number. Hence, 13 would be best avoided :-)

Another example the number “4” considered unlucky for the Chinese, Korean and Japanese stems from the fact that the number 4 pronounced as (sì ) is a homonym with word for death/suffering (sǐ ). Hence sometimes in the Orient or heavily Asian regions the 4th Floor is represented as “F”

Some lucky numbers

  • 99 — doubly long in time, hence eternal
  • 168 — road of prosperity or to be prosperous together (trivia... Phone numbers in China start with 168)
  • 518 – which means “I will prosper”
  • 786 – Considered as the God’s number in the Mohammedan culture (trivia… 7th Generation of the x86 Processor family ex. The P4 and the Athlon is an 80786 processor)
  • 814 – which translates to “I will be wealthy my entire life”
  • 888 – Three times the prosperity
  • 1314 – Whole Lifetime Existence