Have you ever wondered what meanings may lurk beneath a number, perhaps one that keeps reappearing in your life? Since time immemorial humankind has wondered about the nature of number and how it relates to life. Numerologists believe that there are nine unique archetypes corresponding to nine cycles of development – the numbers 1 through 9. These numbers are also called Core Numbers or, Digital Root Numbers. Since Compound Numbers are merely combinations of these 9 Core Numbers, understanding the meaning of a number is predicated upon a thorough examination of these Roots. We shall now examine the evolution of these Root Numbers.
We begin with the Zero. This is the un-manifest where everything exists in potential. The Zero neither contains nor is contained by any number. It exists outside of any cycle. When the Zero is added to any number it symbolizes a perfection of that number’s meaning. Although 1 is the root of 10, 10 is not strictly synounymous with 1. This is because the addition of the Zero signifies a perfecting of the 1 influence, in effect moving out of the cycle of 1 through 9 and into a higher order – 10 through 19. When Zero is added to a number it tends to bring a universal responsibility to its root number. It is out of this formless perfection that some-thing appears.
Moving out of the formless realm of the Zero is some One thing which is whole, unified, and independent of the Zero. Our symbol for The Number One, 1, is a pillar. A phallic shape. The one is a masculine energy that strikes out on its own and pioneers what is new, original, and seething with energy. This One is the irreducible fact of consciousness, the eternal I AM.
Between the Zero and the One all other numbers have their being. As soon as the One appears it is placed in relation to the un-manifest Zero. For the One to be One at all it must be independent of something hence, the arising of The Number Two. The Two brings about a relationship, it holds within it the strength of the One but with a humbleness reflected in its character. The symbol itself, 2, reveals a man at prayer bowing to some greater power (1).
Once we recognize the arising of self and our relationship to something ‘higher’ (be it g-d, nature, principle or idea) we feel the need to express this understanding. The Number Three brings us into the social sphere. Out of the un-manifest Zero, 0, an independent form arises, 1, which brings us into an essential relation, 2, which we need to in some way express, 3. The character of the Three, 3, reflects this openness in its form. It is open at its top, receiving the higher influences, and open at its bottom, expressing those influences to others.
If what we express is to be of lasting value we must work to create a solid foundation – the Four. Many projects falter before reaching this point, making it to Three but never bridging the gap between expressing a higher ideal, 3, and embodying a higher ideal, 4. In order to maintain its balance the 4 must close off or limit the influence it is working with. The Number Four takes the ideas expressed by the Three and adds a self-imposed limitation, creating a stabile and enduring foundation.
After the discipline of the Four we encounter the change and activity of The Number Five, in effect testing the solidity of our foundation. The Five, 5, turns itself around and introduces freedom and adventure. It is open in both the front and the back. It is a point where decisions must be made, and true to its form, those decisions could radically alter the outcome.
The freedom introduced to the Four through the Five brings about a new balance symbolized in The Number Six. It simultaneously broadens the limits of the Four and places the necessary responsibility upon the five. The Six, 6, is pregnant with love. It is the number of family and social responsibility. The social responsibilities of the Six create a need to understand and gain insight, a need to find some way of placing experiences into a meaningful whole.
The Number Seven questions and seeks answers to the grand riddle of life. It is a number of magical, mystical maturity. Its character, 7, may be likened to an old man bent over with age or perhaps, carrying a staff or lantern that casts its light into the darkness surrounding it. It is the number of introspection, planning, and inner searching. Through the control, insight and planning that emerges with the Seven we realize that we reap what we sow.
The Number Eight becomes a carrier of dynamic power and the success of the seeds planted all the way back with the One. Its character, 8, reveals a perfect balance between the world of ideas and the world of action. It is closed off indicating the power that will bring ideas into fruition.
After the rewards bestowed by the Eight we realize we are reaching the end, The Number Nine. As we confront this ending the focus shifts from the material to the spiritual. Selfless service and universal ideas become paramount. The character of the Nine, 9, is very much like the Six, 6. Whereas the Six sends its love to the material world of family and friends, the Nine closes the cycle by returning its love and compassion to higher ideals.
And again we are faced with the Zero. We may start a new cycle, beginning once again with One. It is possible we may continue our endeavor and raise the One to the relative perfection of the Ten, learning lessons of a higher order. In either case, we find everything between nothing (0) and something (1).
by Jakob Steele