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Numerology is the modern successor to arithmomancy,[a]Arithmomancy is sometimes called arithmancy a term that is derived from the Greek arithmos (“number”) and manteia (“divination”). It embodies the belief that numbers can explain the workings of the universe and thus allow predictions to be made. In this form of mysticism numbers are substituted for letters of the alphabet, each number having an assigned significance. For instance, all even numbers are female, and the odd numbers are male. So 2 + 3 = 5, represents the marriage of a male.[b]In the Pythagorean world a female is multiplied by a male in marriage, therefore 2 x 3 = 6 is the female marriage number.[1] Perhaps the best known example of this numerical equivalence is the number of the beastThe hideous beast whose number is 666 is introduced in the Book of Revelation, which many have seen as a description of the end of the world. , 666, from the biblical Revelation to John (13:18).[2][c]A number with 666 digits is known as an apocalypse number.[2] In the Fadic system of summation used in numerology however, the number 666 would be represented as the number 9, as 6 + 6 + 6 = 18 and 1 + 8 = 9.

Although the Greek philosopher Pythagoras is generally considered to be the father of numerology, there is evidence that it had been practised in at least China and Egypt long before his time.[3]

The term numerology has also entered into mainstream mathematics.


Numerology is derived from the Latin numerus, meaning “number”, with the addition of the English -ology.[4]




Staff writer. (n.d.). numerology, n. In Oxford English Dictionary (online).
Stakhov, A. (2009). The Mathematics of Harmony: From Euclid to Contemporary Mathematics and Computer Science. World Scientific Publishing.
Temple Bell, E. (1992). The Magic of Numbers. Dover Publications.
Weisstein, E. W. (n.d.). Apocalypse number. MathWorld.