I once had a friend who said, “Math isn’t everything, but everything is math.” He was a musician, who understood the manifestation of numbers on a page in the harmonious composition of the universe. He may have belonged to the church of Pythagoreanism, founded by the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, inventor of the Pythagorean theorem, a term familiar to all students of basic geometry.
Pythagoras understood the universal language of numbers, both on the material and the spiritual plane. He spent much of his youth learning the wisdom of Eastern cultures. Although he is credited as the father of numerology in the West, there are older numerological systems that predate him. In fact, it is likely that he learned these systems, modified them, and began teaching his version in Greece to his followers. The oldest system comes from the Babylonian Chaldeans.
The Chaldeans developed and practiced many sciences that related the vibrations of the universe to events on Earth. To them, the universe was a singular symphony, where every note mattered and every sound interpreted the others, some in a harmonious way, some out of tune. All this could be understood through numbers, as the Chaldeans assigned a different numerological value to each sound or vibration. Because of the cultural outlook of the time, all knowledge was sacred and mystical because most of it came from observing the sky.
This esotericism distinguishes Chaldean numerology from Pythagorean numerology. To the Chaldeans, the number 9 was sacred and was left out of the computational system. Western numerology recognizes the spiritual side of the 9, calling it the number of the humanitarian or crusader. The 9 energy is aligned with the traits of Jesus Christ. It is a powerful number, the number of perfection and completion. Perhaps, the Chaldeans knew that man could never create something that vibrated at this level of energy, so it was pointless to use it for their own purposes.
The letter values are also different, as the sound of each letter aligns with a vibrational number unique to the Chaldeans, while the numbers are simply linear in Western numerology.
A major difference between the two is the use of two-digit numbers. Western numerology reduces all numbers to a single digit, simplifying the system. Of course, there are master numbers and karmic numbers in the Pythagorean system, but these are relatively few. The use of two digits makes Chaldean numerology more difficult for many students to understand as there are more meanings and interpretations to examine. However, the basic numbers 1 through 8 are generally similar in interpretation in both numerological systems.
Although there may be discrepancies between the two systems, the nature of the science is the same. Numerology is based on the belief that numbers embody both physical and spiritual properties, which can be used to benefit the student. Understanding how these properties interact teaches the student to participate and interact with the melody of the universe, rather than just observe and listen.