Introduction to Numerology

In line with the numerology workshops (acupuncture and tuning forks) I have been running in 2022 and 2023, I decided that I would do 4 blog posts on numerology.

Part 1 will be a brief intro into numerology, its origins, the history of the time, and the ‘Ruling’ or ‘Life Path’ numbers.

Part 2 will discuss the ‘Personal Year’ numbers.

Part 3 will discuss the ‘Arrows of Pythagoras’.

Part 4 will discuss the ’27 Club’ and ’28 Set’, along with the significance of nine-year cycles.

I am not going to include the numerology ‘Pyramids’, neither am I going to look at how your name fits into numerology. This will perhaps be for another time. I just want to ease you all into numerology – not flood you with information!

Origins of Numerology/Pythagoras

To get this blog started we really should head back to where numerology all came to be; its origins essentially!! I feel this is important because it provides a context of what was happening in the world, and this helps provide an insight into what philosophers were thinking at the time.

Pythagoras was born on the Greek island of Samos in 598BCE* and died in 504BCE. He was raised within a wealthy and intelligent family and at the age of 16 ventured out to achieve further study at Phoenicia (modern day Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Israel), Egypt, and Babylon (modern day Iraq, south of Basrah – near the Persian Gulf). He didn’t return to Samos for 36 years and upon his return (545BCE) he had a university built, which only lasted two years before it was forced to close by the Greek government of the day.

He was eventually able to establish a second university in Crotona (was a Greek colony of southern Italy – now called Crotone) in 529BCE and this flourished for just on 20 years. In 509BCE the Roman Republic was founded, and this appears to be the trigger for the decline of the university.

Anyone was allowed to study at Pythagoras’s university, including men and women of any race, colour, creed, political preference, or financial standing.

“By offering a curriculum of graduated teaching of all subjects influencing human life and welfare, ranging from the microcosmic to the macrocosmic, this university developed awareness of sciences, arts and philosophy in a manner never previously encountered” (Phillips 1980, p. 3).

Learning numerology was one of the first tasks for the new student. This process enabled the student to appreciate their emotional, mental and physical strengths and weaknesses, thereby allowing them to understand themselves better. This was considered just as (or more) important as the rest of a student’s studies at the university.

“Hence, by his unique studies, researches and tutoring, Pythagoras became known simultaneously as the founder of the scientific system, of modern mathematics, musical theory, philosophy and hygiene” (Phillips 1980, p. 3).

*BCE = Before Current Era (secular)

Era of 600-500 BCE

So, what was happening in this century throughout the region of Pythagoras’s journeys?


Whilst there was a strong presence in the region for centuries prior, the official start date of the Persian Empire is 550BCE thanks largely to Cyrus the Great (Cyrus II). This empire was so large that it effectively stopped any chance of the Greeks meeting up with the Chinese or Indians. As a result, these cultures remained oblivious to what was on the other side of Persia.

Further to this, the Persian Empire was so large and encompassed so many different cultures, that it was a real melting pot for people that weren’t afraid of travelling to the region to learn and/or trade; there was so much to absorb for every aspect of one’s life, from effective farming practices, to boat building, to philosophical views on life, to different God/Goddess structures, etcetera.

Persia became a popular location for visitors for that very reason. Pythagoras (when he visited Babylon) would have been swamped by new ideas, images, and cultures. This would have refined his thinking and no doubt become an integral part of his philosophical development, as well as with the development of numerology.


Egypt was a world super-power for centuries; from its origins around 3100BCE through to its decline at various points between 700-332BCE. Just before Pythagoras was born there was a brief but brilliant Egyptian uprising led by Psamtik I (664-610BCE). After his death however there was a gradual decline again before Cambyses II (King of the Persians) conquered Egypt and became the next Pharaoh in 525BCE; Cambyses II (son of Cyrus the Great) ruled Egypt from Persia leaving a satrap on the throne in Egypt.

Once again, Pythagoras would have been drawn to Egypt because of the differences in the culture, in particular the God structure, and how this impacted on the way the Egyptians lived their lives.

Interestingly, I have read that Egypt was an integral part of the Greek’s evolution, and then development, of the 4 Elements; several key philosophical figures travelled to Egypt and then, upon their return, pondered how the different elements affected life at a base level (Unschuld 2009, pp. 22-34).


Phoenicia was a super-power from 1200-800BCE, with its origins dated back to about 3200BCE. Whilst its homeland was on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean (modern day Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Israel), as you can see from the map, they had settlements along much of the Mediterranean coastline.

During the lifetime of Pythagoras, Phoenicia was effectively annexed by Persia (Cyrus the Great) in 539BCE, with King Cyrus splitting Phoenicia into four vassal kingdoms. This was after Pythagoras had visited.

As you can see from the map above, Phoenicia had a huge influence on the Mediterranean and its different countries and cultures. The Phoenicians also loved to trade, and along with the trading of goods, you also get the trading of ideas. Pythagoras, by visiting Phoenicia, was able to access these ideas, and filter them through his brain, and merge/discard these ideas with the ones he got from Persia and Egypt. Consider the influences he was subject to during his travels; let’s use the modern countries names for the areas he visited (or was subject to via proxy) to give us a context:

  • Greece, Italy, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Iran, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, France, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kuwait.

His brain must have dead-set almost exploded with this learning that he did on his journeys.


Whilst not countries that Pythagoras journeyed to during his 36 years away from his Greek home, there were still some interesting developments that occurred in China and India. Some of the biggest events to consider were:

  • China – Confucius (Kong Fu Zi) was born and he developed Confucianism throughout his lifetime.
  • China – Lao Zi was born and he enhanced/improved upon Daoist thought and doctrines.
  • India – Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) was born and he developed Buddhism throughout his lifetime.
  • China – The Zhou dynasty was in serious decline with the Warring States Period just over the horizon. This was significant because it produced the ‘100 Flowers’, or 100 Philosophical Schools. It was also noteworthy because it was 200+ years of civil war (discussion for another time).


When we speak of Greece in this era we refer to two main city-states – Sparta (land-locked) and Athens (harbour city). Both cities were called on by their neighbours to fight against common enemies (Persia being just one of many examples). Sparta would send hoplites (soldiers) and Athens would send triremes (war ships).

In 594BCE Solon became sole ruler of Athens; this was an important period in Athenian history because he was more focused on establishing peace in Athens; peace in Athens first would then allow for Athens to look outside of itself. The reason this was important was because Athens was essentially neck-deep in a civil war, with aristocratic factions vying for power in Athens (and its annexed regions). This was thwarting Athens attempts at establishing a peaceful city; Solon saw the solution as a triumvirate of politically, economically, and morally sound integrations.

Unfortunately for Solon (and Athens) the factions fought back; this occurred once Solon finished his term of government, and left Athens to travel the known world. Chaos ensued and it took Athens several decades to sort itself out. The dude that sorted it out was Pisistratus (Peisistratus), who ruled as a despot or tyrant from 546-527BCE. Everything he did, he did by force. This actually ended up achieving a heck of a lot and Athens thrived. It didn’t hurt that Athens had found a rich vein of silver in their mining of Mount Laurium. This made Athens stupidly wealthy; possibly the wealthiest city-state in the world at the time.

The building projects that ensued encouraged people to gather and mingle in public places. This led to huge philosophical development with key figures (apart from Pythagoras) during this era (600-500BCE) being extremely influential in the development of philosophy (even in today’s world). They include such names as:

  • Pythagoras, Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Xenophanes, and Heraclitus.
  • And Socrates was just around the corner (born in 470BCE).

So what is Numerology exactly?

For the sake of keeping it simple, numerology is a philosophical system of archetypes. On the day you are born you are given a number (based on the day, month and year of birth) that describes who you are; everything from your strengths and weaknesses are included, as well as information on how you view the world and the people in it. Numerology can even outline the expected fall-back position that you use when you are under stress.

“…our Path is, as a matter of course, in total harmony with the law of the universe. It is, indeed, an integral part of that law which is best understood by medium of numbers, those symbols of its very essence” (Phillips 1980, p. 12).

Apart from a ‘ruling’ or ‘life path’ number, you also have birth-chart formulas, arrows on the birth-chart (discussed in my third blog post), day numbers, personal year numbers (discussed in my second blog post), and pyramids. Numerology can also be combined with astrology and you can also put the name you were born with into your chart. As you can see there is a lot of information that can be gathered via numerology, which helps to fill-out your archetype.

Let’s start with our ‘ruling’ or ‘life path’ number!

Numerology ‘Ruling’ or ‘Life Path’ Numbers

As stated above your ‘ruling’ or ‘life path’ number is the number you get when you add up all the numbers from the day you are born.

Your ruling number describes your purpose in life, best expression, distinctive traits, negative tendencies, and recommended development. Interestingly, this will also aid in outlining suitable career choices for you.

So how do you work out what your ruling number is?

Essentially you add up all the numbers in your birthdate. In most cases you take the numbers back to a single digit (there are a few exceptions which we will discuss shortly). I will provide two examples:

Example 1 – 26/11/1975

2 + 6 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 9 + 7 + 5 = 32; 3 + 2 = 5; therefore in this example the ruling number is a 5.

Example 2 – 2/2/1947

2 + 2 + 1 + 9 + 4 + 7 = 25; 2 + 5 = 7; therefore in this example the ruling number is a 7.

Exceptions to this rule – if your birthdate adds up to 11, 22, or 33 these are generally taken as ‘Master’ numbers and are not taken back to a single digit. Having said that, the single digit is still written afterwards, as in, 11/2, 22/4, 33/6. There is also some debate around 44/8 being a ‘Master’ number. Considering the infrequency of this number, I am tending to agree. Children born on select dates from 1995-1999, could have the 44/8. After 1999, the 44/8 won’t occur again until 29/09/2499; effectively 500 years.

An example of a Master number is a birthdate of 10/10/1973.

1 + 0 + 1 + 0 + 1 + 9 + 7 + 3 = 22; 2 + 2 = 4. In this example, the ruling number is a 22/4.

The reason you still keep the single number in mind is because inherently you will still have a lot of traits of the single digit, as well as the Master number.

As for me providing a brief overview of each ruling number, I have always found that it is better for each person to read about their ruling number in its entirety, rather than have me provide an abridged version for you here; because, to be honest, I am a big chance of skipping out the bits that are what defines you. So therefore, it is much better for you to read about your ruling number yourself.

A few final thoughts: with your ruling number or life path number, you have to take the good news with the bad news; meaning, there will be some traits that define who you are that might not be perceived as strengths by everyone on the planet. But if these are your traits then don’t pretend otherwise. Your ruling number is who you are as a person and nobody is perfect. You don’t get to choose your ruling number and therefore you can’t choose to be something you are not. So look at the information for your ruling number objectively. You should find that you are somewhere in the vicinity of 60-80% of what is said about you, sometimes a little less and sometimes a little more.

A few websites that you can get ruling numbers from include:

A selection of books that you can get more information on ruling numbers:

  • Ducie, S, 1999, The Complete Illustrated Guide to Numerology, Element Books, Shaftesbury.
  • Millman, D, 2018, The Life You Were Born To Live, H J Kramer and New World Library, Novato.
  • Phillips, D, A, 1980, Secrets of the Inner Self: The Complete Book of Numerology, Angus & Robertson Publishers, North Ryde.
  • Phillips, D, A, 1992, The Complete Book of Numerology: Discovering the Inner Self, Hay House, Inc, Carlsbad.
  • Power, C, 2004, Action, Attraction, Integration: Using Numbers to Empower your Life, Joshua Books, Maroochydore.
  • Taylor, A, Y, & Hyer, H, W, 1956, Numerology: Its Facts and Secrets, Wilshire Book Company, Hollywood.

Other texts and websites referenced for this blog:

My second blog post on numerology will follow in the next 1-2 weeks. It will be on your ‘Personal Year’ numbers.

Love and light to you all

David Hartmann

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