Arithmancy and Numerology

Arithmancy is the ‘correct’ term for divination using numerology. Numerology is when you assign special significance to numbers but arithmancy is when you add up numbers in a date, word etc. and interpret the number you get. Essentially, arithmancy is what you do when you put numerology to use. However, most diviners use the phrases interchangeably.

The history of numerology/arithmancy is a long one but its use as a form of divination can be traced back to Babylonian times. The spiritual significance of numbers obviously dates back much further than Mesopotamia, as numbers are a universal fascination. Here are some fun number facts:

- What can be understood today as the number zero was first used by the Mayans and possibly invented by them or the Olmecs.

- The number eight is lucky in China.

- The ancient Egyptians considered the number seventeen to be unlucky.

- One hundred and eight is a sacred number in Hinduism.

- In many ancient and modern cultures, forty is the number of death.

While the above numbers are fascinating, today we will not be diving into any number above 9. However, if you want to look at numbers above 9 in more detail, I suggest you refer to a book on symbols (there are good ones on amazon).  

In Western numerology, there is a standard way to interpret numbers meanings. However, I should point out that there will be slight variations based on the diviners education, culture and their understanding of numbers. However, before you jump into meanings you have to be able to calculate number values.

Numerology: Calculating Number Values

The value of each letter in your name (or company name if it’s a business reading) depends on how it corresponds to each letter in the alphabet. Each letter is given a number up to 9 and after 9, it goes back to being equal to one. So A equals one, I equals 9 and J equals one again; 

When adding, some people like to add all of the numbers as one then break that down into a signal number and others like to add each number then break that down.

So, the first step in getting a value for my first name would be to get the value of the letters:

L = 3

I = 9

S = 1

A = 1

For the first method, I would add all of these numbers together. These numbers add up to 14 then 1 + 4 = 5. So with this method, my life path number is 5

For the second method, you add each number together in a row then add them together and so on. So, I would add the value of L and I, then I and S and finally S and A. Once I had did that, I would add those values together until I got one number and break that number down into one digit. Here’s a chart which illustrates my point: 

You can use whichever method you feel called to use, its up to you. You can also do both methods with your first name, surname or both together! Any way is good.

Once you have your number, you can interpret your life path! The numerological value of your name is said by diviners to reveal your personality and can even effect your life path and achievements. The British model Agyness Deyn even changed her name to Agyness (born Laura Michelle Hollins) after consulting with a numerologist. A name change obviously served her well because she went on to grace the cover of Vogue, was the face of Jean Paul Gaultier’s Ma Dame perfume and appeared as Aphrodite in the movie Clash of the Titans.

Numerology Meanings

1: One is the number of the leader and rulership. If one is your number, you are a natural born influencer and would do well in a position of authority. However, you may have a tendency to start strong but end weak but this can be worked around by listing others to do your bidding.

2: Two is the number of opposites and balance. If you have received this number, you have a two way personality and can sway between extremes. You love hard and hate hard. You like dark medieval art and unicorns. Two is also the number of femininity and, if you are male, you are in touch with your feminine side.

3: As two people can make three, three is the number of creativity and groups. If you have received this number, you enjoy spending time with others and socializing. You like to have a fun time and bring others together. You have a great imagination and are talented in the arts.

4: Four is the number of logic and reasoning. If you have received this number, you have above average intelligence and like to solve problems. Another strong personality trait is that of endurance; you can survive anything life throws at you.

5: Because we have four limbs and a head, five is the number of humanity. If you have received this number, you enjoy the pleasures of life and all that the world has to offer; good food, beauty and travel. You are adventurous and like to explore.

6: Six is the number of love and is sacred to the Greek goddess Venus ruler of romance. If you have received this number you are a loyal lover and are committed to your friends and partners; matters of the heart are of extreme importance to you.

7: Seven is the number of mysticism and the occult. If you have received this number, you have an avid interest in anything related to the paranormal. Your intuition is your greatest super power and you can be considered psychic. Religion and spirituality play a huge role in your life.

8: Eight is the number of drive. If you have received this card, you are a perfectionist who aims to do well in everything you set your mind to. You overachieve in subjects which interest you and you pursue the things you want relentlessly. Often, people with the number eight are highly focused on their career or business.

9: Nine is the number of wisdom. Those who receive 9 are wise beyond their years. They are charitable and able to look past people’s short comings. Number 9’s know that we are all human; they do not discriminate against any color, culture or creed. If you have received number 9 you want to make the world a better place.

Numerology and Compatibility

There is something else you can do with numbers which you may remember from your school yard days, and that is to work out compatibility based on percentages and calculations using a key word such as ‘loves’ or ‘flames’.

Yes this is a form of divination and falls under arithmancy. So, if you have done this you can tell people you have been practicing arithmancy most of your life! For those who don’t know, here is how it is done.

The first step, is to take the two people’s names. So, lets say that we have a Lesley Stone and a John Dire Smith. You then take a word which represents what you’re measuring such as Hates or Loves. Then, you add up the amount of letters in each name for each letter of the word. So, Lesley Stone and John Dire Smith has:

L = 2

O = 2

V = 0

E = 4

S = 2

Next, you calculate the number value using the second method outlined above. So: 

The final number is given as a percentage because you are scoring the relationship out of 100. Anything less than 50 is said to be undesirable, above 50 is good, above 70 is very good and above 90 is fantastic. Lesley and John got 47% so no luck for them! 

That’s all from Arithmancy and Numerology for now! Till next time diviners!

If you have enjoyed this post, and are interested in divination, check out my free Fortune-Telling Meanings ebook which includes, not only number meanings, but symbols from A for acorn to Z for zoo! (Instantly downloadable on mobile, tablet and computer!) 


Lisa Boswell is an award-winning psychic reading teacher who currently resides in Scotland. Through her website DivinationAndFortuneTelling.com she teaches both experienced and would be diviners how they can predict the future. 

Born into a Romany Gypsy family of fortune tellers, Lisa has had an active interest in the occult from a young age. She specialises in teaching predictive divination, easy mediumship and fortune-telling. Learn more here


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    Post showing the life path meanings of numbers in numerology divination. This post includes how to make the calculation. Not all numbers are related to spirituality or compatibility; they cover the spectrum. If you want to learn fortune telling, a strong foundation in numbers will help you on your way in not just your divination (especially Tarot and Astrology) but also your spiritual practice in general. 

Post showing the life path meanings of numbers in numerology divination. This post includes how to make the calculation. Not all numbers are related to spirituality or compatibility; they cover the spectrum. If you want to learn fortune telling, a strong foundation in numbers will help you on your way in not just your divination (especially Tarot and Astrology) but also your spiritual practice in general. 

 Illustration: Post showing the life path meanings of numbers in numerology divination. This post includes how to make the calculation. Not all numbers are related to spirituality or compatibility; they cover the spectrum. If you want to learn fortune telling, a strong foundation in numbers will help you on your way in not just your divination (especially Tarot and Astrology) but also your spiritual practice in general. 

Illustration: Post showing the life path meanings of numbers in numerology divination. This post includes how to make the calculation. Not all numbers are related to spirituality or compatibility; they cover the spectrum. If you want to learn fortune telling, a strong foundation in numbers will help you on your way in not just your divination (especially Tarot and Astrology) but also your spiritual practice in general.