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History and Science Behind Numerology

Author: Rev. Onyx HP
Posted: April 7th. 2013
Times Viewed: 4,332

Numerology is a very ancient metaphysical science similar to astrology. It dates back into antiquity. The big difference between them is that numerology deals with how numbers influence objects and people in the universe, while astrology uses the planets, sun and moon.

The roots of numerology date back thousands of years and variations of it can be found in most cultures. Many people dismiss numerology as a pseudo-science, but it has been studied and taught by some of the most respected mathematicians in history.

Many mathematicians and people of learning throughout history have realized that numbers are the key to the mystery because they unlock the vibrational content of any and all things. Numerology is based on physics. Everything that exists has motion in the realm of vibratory frequency. In order to measure vibration, we need numbers.

Letters are symbols for sound. Each sound has a set rate of vibration that can be measured. And each letter’s place in the alphabet is its rate of vibration.

Originally only the spiritual leaders had use for the alphabet, since only they were educated and taught to read and write. Furthermore, in comparing alphabets, the actual sounds of the Indo-European letters, which stem from the Hebrew, are in amazingly the same order. This renders our modern words as potent as those in the classical magical (spiritual) alphabets, when it comes to numerology.

Reverend Don Lewis High-Correll, in his Correllian First Degree course, defines numerology as the “use of numbers for divination and analysis of the inner meanings of words and numbers.”

Numerology, at least in its modern form, can be generally traced back to a man named Pythagoras, approximately 2500 years ago. He was born in the sixth century BCE.

Pythagoras, which means “Pythia Spoken”, was born to Mnesarchus and his wife Parthenis. While visiting the Oracle at Delphi, the Pythia (oracle) prophesied that the unborn child would be of great beauty, great wisdom, and great service to mankind. Parthenis was so overwhelmed by this prophecy that she renamed her unborn child Pythagoras for “Pyth” in reference to the priestess and “Agor” which means “Spoke”.

Pythagoras was a mathematician, philosopher and theorist. He was quite possibly the first person to realize that numbers are the very foundation of the universe. He was arguably the greatest of the Greek philosophers in terms of metaphysical thought.

Pythagoras studied under many well-known philosophers and teachers of his time, among these were Pherekydes, Thales, and Anaximander. These philosophers and teachers each made their indelible mark on Pythagoras’ own later teachings.

Among the ideas of these three philosophers and teachers that would filter into Pythagoras’ own worldview, teachings and philosophies were the following:

Pherekydes taught about the immortality of the soul and the idea of reincarnation. He was also known for using the pentagram as a symbol and allegorical teaching tool for his students. Both of which Pythagoras, and his successors, would do later as well.

Thales taught, among other things, that the world was round, not flat, as was the common theory of the time. Again something that Pythagoras would pick up on in his teachings.

Anaximander taught that the four elements had their origin in spirit, not water, as Thales had suggested.

Pythagoras had a wide and notable career as a mathematician, philosopher and teacher. But the most notable contribution to numerology that he made was what later became known as the Pythagorean Numbering system.

He took the numbers one through zero and placed them in a horizontal line. Then placed each letter of the alphabet correspondingly under a number horizontally, thus making a grid numbers and letters with each letter corresponding to a number from one through nine. Obviously this was done in his native language but would come to be adapted for the use in ours as well.

The next step in western numerology jumps primarily to the “Brethren of Purity”. The name of this Islamic brotherhood can also be translated as the “Brethren of Purity”. The full translation of the Arabic name is “Brethren of Purity, Loyal Friends, People worthy of praise and Sons of Glory”.

Marie Anne Schimmel in “The Mystery of Numbers” says, “For the Brethren of Purity, numerology was a way to understand the principle of unity that underlies everything. It is the science that is above nature and yet is the root of all other sciences.”

They were the first known to put to wide use the thoughts and precepts of Pythagorean numerology. They were a secret society of Islamic philosophers in Basra, Iraq, active in the Tenth Century AD.

A great deal of scholarship, both Western and Islamic, has been spent trying to pin down the identities of this secretive brotherhood. No one knows for sure who their members were, even today. But their esoteric teachings and philosophy are set forth in the “Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity”. This is a compendium of fifty-two epistles that would greatly influence other and later encyclopedias.

Of what little is known, we know the following: The brotherhood met on a fixed schedule. There were three meetings each month. The first, near the beginning of the month, was for speeches. The second was held near the middle of each month. During the second meeting there were discussions concerning astrology and astronomy. The third monthly meeting was held near the end of the month, probably around the twenty-fifth. At this meeting the brotherhood recited hymns with philosophical meaning. The Brotherhood also held three feast days each year. One each was held when the sun entered the zodiac signs of Aries, Cancer, and Libra.

Within the “Brethren of Purity” there were four ranks, which we know about as evidenced by the encyclopedia. These were loosely divided by age grouping.

The first of which, at least fifteen years old, were called “The Craftsmen”. Their honorific was the “pious and compassionate”. Next were the “Political Leaders” of at least thirty years of age, holding the honorific of “good and excellent”. The “Kings” came next. These brethren were at least forty years old and held the honorific of “excellent and noble”. The highest of the ranks within the brethren were the “Prophets and Philosophers”. These men were at least fifty years old. This was the most aspired to rank within the brethren. This was considered the “Angelic” rank.

Throughout history the ideas and concepts of numerology would be kept alive in the Freemasons and other similar secret societies. Until being “rediscovered” publicly by a woman by the name of Mrs. L. Dow Balliet of Atlantic City, NJ, in the early 20th century AD.

Mrs. Balliet was a music teacher specializing in music composition. She found that the letter name of a musical note and its sound has the same vibrational quality. She wrote several books on “number vibration” around the year 1903 AD. Her teachings and writings are rooted in Pythagorean thought.

One of her students (Florence Campbell) wrote “Your Days Are Numbered”, which is still one of the main handbooks on the subject of numerology. Another student of Mrs. Balliet (Dr. Julia Seton) gave the science its current name – numerology.

Dr. Julia Seton (1862 – 1950) was an influential humanitarian, suffragette and lecturer in New Thought who toured the English-speaking world extensively. It was she who brought Mrs. Balliett’s ideas to a worldwide public. She also wrote several essays on the subject, and it is her book “Symbols of Numerology” which is credited with giving the Science of the Vibration of Names and Numbers its modern name.

While Dr. Seton, and many other of Mrs. Balliett’s students, wrote influential books on the subject, it was Dr. Seton’s daughter, Dr. Juno Jordan who gave Numerology it’s scientific footing. Turning her back on a career in dentistry, Dr. Jordan studied psychology and founded the Californian Institute of Numerical Research with the intention of testing and perfecting the system. The Institute continued for twenty-five years, closing only when the research body had convinced themselves that the theory was robust, the methods accurate and the interpretational guidelines valid. The results were published in Dr. Jordan’s seminal work “The Romance in Your Name”.

I will leave the final words to Mrs. L. Dow Balliet:

“No talent can remain mute if it has been gained. No place can hold you that you have outgrown. ‘The Law of Nature is compensation’ – it will move you to where you belong. Deal only with yourself. Do not blame others. In-harmony cannot find you if there is no point of contact.”


1.Witchschool First Degree, Rev Don Lewis Highcorrell, Llewelyn Publications, 2010

2.Exploring Numerology (Life By The Numbers) , Shirley Lawrence, New Page Books, 2003

3.Glynis Has Your Number, Glynis McCants, Hyperion Books, 2005

4.The Complete Idiots Guide to Numerology, Kay Lagerquist PhD and Lisa Lenard, Penguin Books, 2004

5.Comparative Religions Course, (Pythagoreanism) , Rev Don Lewis Highcorrell

Copyright: Author retains all copyright


Rev. Onyx HP

Location: Thomasville, North Carolina


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