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What Is Numerology?

What Is Numerology

An Introduction to the Fascinating Science of Numbers

by Matthew Oliver Goodwin, Author of  “Numerology: The Complete Guide”

Introduction to the Science of Numerology
The Basics of Numerology
The Significant Parts of a Numerology Report
Analyzing the Many Different Names People Use
More Information About Numerology



Numerology is the study of the symbolism of numbers. It is used to determine a person’s personality, strengths and talents, obstacles to be overcome, inner needs, emotional reactions and ways of dealing with others.


The roots of numerology can be traced back some 10,000 years or more to Egypt and Babylonia. Pythagoras, who developed many of the basic theorems that form the foundation of modern mathematics (including the right triangle theorem taught in math classes today) is credited with formally organizing the field about 2600 years ago in ancient Greece. At the turn of the twentieth century, an American woman, L. Dow Balliet, and several of her contemporaries published a few books and started the modern phase of numerology. The field grew slowly through several decades. Now, in the last half of the century, increased research and publishing along with a marked resurgence of interest in numerology is taking place.


Everything in the universe vibrates at its own particular frequency. By finding the vibration rate of any object, you can establish the qualities and energies associated with it. By applying the principles of numerology—and using only the name and birth date as the basic data—you can determine the major frequencies of different people. A numerological analysis of the calculated frequencies provides significant information on these people’s personalities and character.



In the basic mathematical operation used in numerology, the numbers are reduced by simple addition. The number 15, for instance, is reduced by adding 1 + 5 to get 6. Similarly, the number 1974 can be reduced by adding 1 + 9 + 7 + 4 to get 21. The 21 can be further reduced by adding 2 + 1 to get 3.

In numerology, all numbers are reduced to the single digits 1 through 9 except the special master numbers 11 and 22. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 22 represent the major vibration rates associated with people’s characteristics.

Letters in individuals’ names are converted to numbers and then added together. These numbers, in turn, are also reduced. The letter A, for instance, is 1; the letter B is 2; the letter C is 3, and so forth. The following table shows the numbers assigned to all 26 letters in the English alphabet.


By applying simple mathematical formulas to the numbers representing a person’s name and birth date, a numerologist can derive four major core elements and some twenty or thirty modifiers. A symbolic evaluation of these elements and modifiers provides a remarkably complete and accurate character analysis. (About half the information in the analysis, incidentally, comes from the birth date and half from the name.)


The symbolic analysis of the single digits and master numbers is the essence of a numerology report or any other numerological character analysis. Since so many numbers are present and modify each other, the analysis is, as you might expect, a considerably complex operation. When you understand the basic symbolism of the numbers outlined below, though, you’ll have a useful grasp which should make it easier for you to interpret the various parts of the report.

1Independence, Individuality, Attainment;
Leadership, Pioneering, Administrating.
 This number brings strong leadership potential. As a person with this number develops this ability, they may be able to assume a significant position in the business or political world. One of the major lessons of this number is to learn the benefits of being independent. A person with this number must first learn to stand comfortably on their own two feet without leaning on other people. After that, they can advance themselves by using their ability for organizing, leading and managing. Some people spend much of their lives on the first part of the lesson. Others learn that part quickly and devote most of their lives to important leadership roles.

2Cooperation, Closeness, Sensitivity;
Balance and Harmony, Supportive.
 People with this number have an innate sensitivity and an extreme awareness of their own and others' feelings. Because they are so touched by the subtleties of everyone's emotions, they can understand a great deal from a word, a gesture or even an unspoken thought. One of the major lessons of this number is to learn to balance that sensitivity so it contributes to one’s well-being instead of tripping oneself up. Rather than becoming hurt or resentful because of their unusual sensitivity, one must learn to use their responsiveness for their own and others' benefit. Although their sensitivity may feel like a weakness, particularly in their younger years, it is, without question, one of their important strengths.

3Expressing Self, Joy of Living;
Enthusiasm, Optimism, Creativity, Sociability.
 Individuals with this number have a special gift, the potential to experience great delight in the pleasures of life. They sometimes affirm this delight with exhilarating enthusiasm, sometimes savor it with intense but quiet pleasure. One of their major lessons of this number is to learn to fully appreciate and express this wonderful joy in living. Those with this number enjoy people and spend considerable time socializing, either with many friends in varied activities or in the company of a few intimates engaged in quiet diversions. They're also apt to enjoy using their considerable creative ability.

4System and Order, Service, Sense of Limitation;
Managing, Working Hard, Practical, Down-to-Earth.
 Those with this number have the potential to work long, hard and patiently. If there's a job requiring a good deal of time, much difficult work and careful attention to detail, they can probably do it well. One of the major lessons of this number is to learn the advantage of using system and order. A person with this number may choose a line of work in which their systematic approach can be developed. They're likely to be good at establishing new routines and maintaining existing ones. They will also experience limitations and restrictions at times in their life. Rather then struggle against these, it is necessary to learn to live with them, to accept them and make a meaningful life, not in spite of the limitations, but because of the limitations.

5Constructive Use of Freedom;
Variety, Excitement, Progressive, Creative.
 A person with this number displays considerable versatility—the ability to do almost anything they attempt with superior skill. This innate capacity allows them a boundless freedom most people can only dream about. One of the major lessons of this number is to learn to use this freedom constructively. Since these individuals have so many talents and so many opportunities for the use of those talents, they probably have to learn to focus their energies on a limited number of ventures rather than attempt to take advantage of all the possibilities.

6Balance, Responsibility, Love;
Supportive, Comforting, Serving, Helping.
 People with this number demonstrate an innate ability to comfort, help and serve others less able than themselves. They devote much of their effort to other people. One of the major lessons of this number is to learn the special satisfactions that come from the responsibilities one accepts. Since others will quickly recognize the caring ways of those with this number and turn to them for the help they can provide, they are apt to commit themselves to far more than their fair share. Although their sense of responsibility is one of their important strengths, they may have to learn that they don't have to be responsible for everything or everybody.

7Analysis, Understanding, Introspective;
Search for Truth, Spiritual Understanding.
 Individuals with this number have a fine analytical mind and are capable of much in the way of learning. They usually have the potential to understand fundamental truths as well as the capacity to search for ultimate meanings. They may involve themselves in complex technical, scientific or philosophical studies. One of your major lessons of this number is to use one’s abilities to learn the peace of mind which can only come from knowing oneself and accepting and expressing one’s deepest feelings.

8Material Satisfaction, Accomplishment;
Desire for Success, Power, Recognition.
 This number brings strong business ability. As a person with this number develops their executive and administrative talents, they may want to run their own business or, at the least, play a significant role in some commercial venture. One of the major lessons of this number is to learn the satisfactions of the material world and the power which comes with its mastery. Those with this number may have to learn that the attainment of wealth or power is not an end in itself, but only a means to an end. The goal, quite simply, is the happiness and satisfaction which can be achieved along with the material freedom.

9Selflessness, Humanitarianism;
Giving Without Thought of Return, Compassionate.
 People with this number have an innate love of their fellow man. They usually enjoy people as individuals and, at the same time, have a marked concern for humanity in general. They may involve themselves in philanthropic or humanitarian activities. One of the major lessons of this number is to learn to give of oneself as selflessly as possible, without thought of reward or return. As one can well imagine, this is a difficult lesson to put into practice. Much of a person’s effort may be spent in learning to balance their personal needs and ambitions, however large or small, against their inborn desire to contribute to those in need.

11Illumination, Nervous Tension;
Spiritual Channel and Teacher.
 When those with this number use their spiritual awareness, they can intuitively perceive a great deal about the non-material world—and religious, psychic or metaphysical forces. They have the potential to act as a channel for these awarenesses. They must learn to develop their ability to tune into these spiritual areas and then transmit their unique knowledge and increased perception of the deepest truths to others. This may prove to be one of the more important lessons that they learn.

22Master Builder, Latent Power, Nervous Tension;
Spiritual Understanding of Material World, High Ideals.
 When those with this number use their spiritual awareness, they are likely to intuitively perceive a great deal about the non-material world—and religious, psychic or metaphysical forces. They have the potential to apply these unique philosophical perceptions to the accomplishment of practical, down-to-earth undertakings. They may be able to develop or manage sizable ventures, particularly ventures with significant humanitarian ends. Learning to use their non-material understandings for the benefit of the material world may prove to be one of the more important lessons in their life.

To discover your hidden strengths and talents and how to make the best use of them, get your own Numerology Personality Reading now. Or, to bring more love and joy into your romantic relationships get your own Numerology Compatibility Reading now.

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The Core is the heart of any numerology analysis involving the personality portion of the reading. Much of the most important information in a numerology report is derived from the four elements making up the Core. These four elements are the Life Path, Expression, Soul Urge and Birthday.


The Life Path is the most important number in the Core—and certainly the most important number in a numerology report, too. If you could only use one number to describe a person, that number would, undoubtedly, be the Life Path.

The Life Path describes the major lessons to be learned in a person’s life. These lessons often determine the central focus of the life. The Life Path also clarifies the environment which is most conducive to learning the lessons involved and describes, as well, some of the major characteristics likely to be present in the individual’s makeup. Most people have little trouble relating to their Life Path. Some people, though, for their own reasons, have little interest in pursuing that particular direction.

The Life Path is derived by calculating the sum of the month, day and year of birth.


The Expression is the second most important number in the Core. It describes a person’s potential talents—the natural abilities as well as the related character traits. For most of us, these talents and skills are there at birth, although they are usually further developed as an individual grows and matures. Very often—but not always—these particular abilities are of primary importance in a person’s work and career. Frequently, the talents described by the Expression form the central feature of an individual’s career.

The Expression is derived by calculating the sum of the number values of all the letters in the name—for example, the letters in the full name appearing on the birth certificate.


The Soul Urge is the third most important number in the Core. It describes a person’s inner motivation—what a person wants to be, to have and to do—and the potential abilities and obstacles which accompany that motivation. The Soul Urge is influential in determining a person’s point of view and the principles on which he acts. Although the Life Path and Expression are generally easy to see in a person, the inner motivation is often a very private matter—unless revealed through the use of numerology.

The Soul Urge is derived by calculating the sum of the number values of all the vowels in the full name.


The Birthday describes some important personality characteristics but it’s the least important of the Core elements. It’s simply the reduced form of the number of the day on which a person is born.


Difficulties are generally encountered in a life when a particular energy isn’t used in a balanced manner. Repeated numbers point to this kind of difficulty. They occur when a number appears more than once in the four Core elements or in the sub-elements used to calculate those Core elements. Repeated numbers occur in about half the numerology reports.

When repeated numbers are present, the energy connected with those numbers causes obstacles because it’s either overemphasized or virtually ignored. For instance, with a balanced number 1 energy, a person would be working, among other things, to be as independent as possible. With repeated 1’s, a person is likely to be experiencing difficulties because he or she is being dominating (overemphasizing the 1 energy) or dependent (almost ignoring the 1 energy).

To discover your hidden strengths and talents and how to make the best use of them, get your own Numerology Personality Reading now. Or, to bring more love and joy into your romantic relationships get your own Numerology Compatibility Reading now.


Besides the Core elements, there are many additional numbers which describe specific features of a person’s character. Since the traits described by these numbers modify the Core elements, the numbers are called modifiers.


A Karmic Debt describes significant difficulties encountered—often for a good part of the life—while an individual learns to use an energy which feels somewhat foreign to his nature and particularly arduous to understand and apply. Karmic Debts occur in many—but not all—numerology reports.

Karmic Debts are defined when the number 19 is reduced to form a 1 Core element—or when the numbers 13, 14 and 16 are reduced, respectively, to 4, 5 and 7 Core elements. The Karmic Debts are referred to as 19/1 (read as 19:1), 13/4, 14/5 and 16/7.


Intensity points describe particular strengths or weaknesses in the personality although they are of much less significance than the difficulties indicated by the Karmic Debts. Sometimes, an Intensity Point also describes inner feelings which aren’t consistent with the characteristics which are outwardly manifested. Many—but not all—numerology reports contain Intensity Points.

All the letters in any name, as we mentioned previously, can be converted to numbers. When you check how many 1’s are in a particular name, how many 2’s, etc., there are often an average amount of a particular number. This is just what a numerologist would expect. An Intensity Point occurs when there are more—or less—of a specific number than the average expected.


A Karmic Lesson is a character weakness similar to an Intensity Point, but more strongly emphasized. A Karmic Lesson occurs when there are no letters representing a specific number in a name and no Core elements with that number, either. Most—but not all—numerology reports contain Karmic Lessons.


A Modified Karmic Lesson is a character weakness similar to a Karmic Lesson but a bit easier to handle. A Modified Karmic Lesson occurs when there are no letters representing a specific number in a name but there is at least one Core element which does contain the number. Modified Karmic Lessons appear in some numerology reports.


The Personal Year does not actually predict what will happen to a person, but instead describes the energies that they will be working with during that year. It also indicates the potential opportunities available during this time. This important influence changes each year until its nine year cycle finishes. The first year in the cycle is a one year, the second year a two year, etc. until the last year in the cycle occurs which is a nine year. After the ninth year, a new one year starts the cycle all over again.

The Personal Year is derived by calculating the sum of the month and day of birth with the current year. This sum is reduced to a single digit or master number.

To discover how to navigate the opportunites and challenges of the next 12 months get your own Numerology One-Year Forecast now.


Since the birth date is fixed, the elements and modifiers related to the birth date don’t change during a person’s lifetime. On the other hand, names often undergo changes during one’s life either by choice (Robert becomes Bob) or as a specific situation requires (marriage, in particular). When names change, there can frequently be substantial modifications made to a person’s energies and personality.

You can use the Numerology Report module from Professional Numerologist to analyze any name that a person now uses, has used or is thinking of using. You can analysis as many different names as you would like for comparison studies simply by running the appropriate numerology reports. (The same birth date is always used with the different names one is analyzing.)


A numerology report using the birth date and the birth name describes the person’s basic traits as they would be seen at birth—and as they would be expected to grow and develop. The characteristics described are innate traits that would, in all probability, be present much of the life. Any obstacles described in this report are likely to be resolved, or, at the very least, partially resolved, as the person matures. Even though other names may be used as one gets older, the characteristics of the birth name are likely to be strongly felt throughout the life. In most instances, even when a person is born with a name which is changed shortly after birth, the traits described by that name still leave a heavy imprint.


Most of us use names other than our birth name. We use middle initials, drop middle names, pick up nicknames used by friends or family. Sometimes, too, we use different names for our signature or change names by marriage or adoption. At any one time in our lives, the characteristics we exhibit would be a combination of the traits of all the names we are currently using plus the traits of our birth name.

The numerology report using the birth name describes your basic characteristics. Run another numerology report using the name you currently use rather than your birth name. Compare the energies in both reports.

Let’s assume that both reports show your business skills. If your current name report shows more business facility than your birth name report, you can expect that you generally display added ability in that area. If, on the other hand, the current name report exhibits less facility in business matters, expect that your lowered facility will probably be apparent instead. In other areas—adaptability, ease of getting on with people, creativity, ease of expressing feelings, to name just a few—the characteristics of your birth name are likely to be modified so that they appear closer to the traits of your current name.

Suppose, however, that the current name report emphasizes a specific capability that is not even mentioned in the birth name report. The current name report may, for instance, show the potential for considerable organizational ability while the birth report has nothing at all to say about that kind of skill. The chances are good that you weren’t born with any appreciable organizational ability. Since there was little there to begin with, it’s unlikely that it’ll be built up into anything of any consequence—irrespective of the possibilities mentioned in the current name report.

Why does it work that way? Let’s look at a similar situation. If you were born with great talent as a painter, it’s easy to see that you can develop that talent further. This is particularly so if your current name reemphasizes that talent. If, on the other hand, your birth report suggests little painting talent, it’s hard to imagine that you’re going to turn into another Leonardo da Vinci no matter what the current report says. (About 5% of the time, interestingly enough, people can exert the force of their will and manage to develop a skill that is not mentioned in the birth name report. Although they’re not likely to become another Leonardo, they occasionally develop a talent much further than might be expected.)

It works the same way, of course, with other abilities, too. You can develop your basic talents, for sure, but you can only occasionally build up an ability when there is little or nothing there to begin with.

If you have several different current names—say, one that you use in business, another that you use with your family and still another with friends—run a numerology report for each name and than compare it with your birth report. Remember to always use the same birth date.

If you are trying to find a more optimum name, there are several things to keep in mind. First, choose a new name to best balance the energies already in your birth report. For example, if your 1, 4 or 8 (pragmatic) energies are too strong, you may be inflexible. By choosing a current name that de-emphasizes this energy, this trait can be brought into better balance. On the other hand, if you already have some business ability but it is not emphasized, you may want to choose a name that is stronger in this area.

Next, examine the modifiers. Whichever name—birth or current—that gives the more balanced use is the one that predominates.


When you change your name by marriage, you can get some idea of how your life might change from the new name. Compare a report using your married name with another report using your current name. Compare both reports to your birth name report, too. If there are several possible marriage names, you may want to look at them all and pick the one that feels most comfortable.


You can get some idea of what children are going to be like by looking at their birth reports—even before they’re born. Since you usually don’t know the exact birth date in advance, some people run reports for several different possible birth dates. Some people even run several different names for each date to make sure they find the name they like the best. If you want even more information, you may want to compare a new born’s birth report and current name report—one report using the name you’d expect on the birth certificate, the other using what you expect will be the current name.


You can pick out names for businesses with Personal Numerologist and Professional Numerologist the same way you pick out names for people. Sometimes, too, if a business is just being started, you may have a choice of what date you decide to begin operations. You may want to run a number of numerology reports combining different birth dates with different business names so you can compare them. Hint: If the Life Path or Expression of a business turns out to be a number 1 or a number 8, the potential for money and success may be markedly increased.

The success of any business is dependent, of course, on more than the name of the business. It also depends, as you might expect, on the main people running the business. Run numerology reports for all these people and you can get some further indication of what to expect when they’re all working together.


Numerology The Complete Guide, Volume 2 - by Matthew Oliver Goodwin Numerology The Complete Guide, Volume 1 - by Matthew Oliver Goodwin The information in these pages barely scratches the surface on this exciting subject. If you’re interested in learning more about numerology, you may want to read the book, Numerology: The Complete Guide, written by Matthew Oliver Goodwin—the same author of the text and program algorithms used in Numerology Report, Relationship Report and Yearly Report modules of Personal Numerologist and Professional Numerologist. The book is published in two volumes: Volume 1 covers the basics of personality analysis; Volume 2 covers advanced personality analysis, changing names, naming babies and the progressions. Both volumes are available from Volume 1 and Volume 2. You can also get your own instant Numerology Reading here.

When it comes to picking names for new-born children, marriages, businesses—or yourself—it’s often a good idea to obtain a personal consultation with a professional numerologist. They can often provide additional important insights and can be found by contacting your local new age book stores. You can still run reports using the Numerology Report module, though, to get the general picture.

Did you know hidden in your name is a sacred code, that once scientifically decoded, can show you how to:
  • Understand your true purpose, giving you a deeper appreciation of your life and its significance.
  • Develop your existing talents and abilities to further your livelihood, relationships, finances and more.
  • Recognize hidden strengths and talents to help you create new opportunities in your life.
Extensive research with 1,000 participants has confirmed the remarkably high accuracy of these reports, by renown numerologist Matthew Oliver Goodwin. Get your own Numerology Reading and learn how to unlock your full potential today.



Matthew Oliver Goodwin, renowned numerologist Matthew Oliver Goodwin, a MIT graduate, architect, renown numerologist and author of the highly acclaimed, "Numerology: The Complete Guide," was a co-founder of Widening Horizons. He developed a complete family of Numerology Software for both professional and personal use. Published by Widening Horizons, this software allows you to do in minutes what a professional numerologist takes hours to do. Using an integrated approach -- similar to what a professional numerologist does in a personal reading -- results in unusually accurate and insightful reports. Programs include Numerology Personality, Numerology Compatibility and Numerology Forecast Reports, and Numerology Charts. You can download a free trial version of this program or get your own online numerology readings by Goodwin, instantly.

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