Welcome To Numerology 101: Is A Number Ever "Meaningless"?

Photographed by Rochelle Brock.
Popular culture dictates that we fear certain numbers — 13 leaps to mind — and welcome others — hello, lucky number seven. How funny, then, that one of the core tenants of numerology, the actual study of numbers' spiritual significance, is that there's no such thing as a "good" or "bad" number.
"Every number contains its optimal qualities, while simultaneously challenging us with certain tendencies and obstacles," numerologist Felicia Bender says. In the same way that full moons can prompt different actions and behaviors in us, different numbers (and the various settings in which they appear) can act as signals for change and things to come.
So how does numerology work? Each number, from one to nine, has a spiritual meaning, which can be applied to individuals in various ways. You could simply keep an eye out for repetition and patterns in your daily life, Bender says. Maybe you always check your watch at the same time of day, or your last three receipts have listed the same price — whatever numbers you might encounter, they likely mean something, she explains. Much like beginner tarot card readers, you just need to learn what these symbols represent.
If you want to get a deeper dive into how numerology can be applied to you, specifically, you'll have to calculate your Life Path number, which is essentially a single-digit number derived from your birthdate. Bender says that your Life Path number is similar to your astrological sign in the sense that you were born into it, but it can still provide some insight into what sort of thinker you are, and what role you tend to play in your family and friend group.
But we're here to discuss the basics of numerology (Numerology 101, if you will). Ahead, we've mapped out how the numbers one through nine can help you derive a sense of your spiritual trajectory. As you get the hang of it and learn how the numbers relate to you, this practice can be as informative (and, depending how you look at it, entertaining) as your weekly horoscope. You just have to start paying attention to the numbers that come up as you go about your daily routine.
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Number One

Bender relates the number one to "independence, individuality, initiation," and an overall sense of new beginnings. When you encounter it, consider what areas of your life are ready for a change — and how you can take steps to enact those shifts yourself.
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Number Two

This number signals sensitivity and patience, Bender says, adding that it may also represent your relationships. If the number two has been appearing in your life more often recently, you may need to challenge yourself to slow down and tend to the important partnerships in your life.
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Number Three

The number three places a major emphasis on the self — how you show your feelings, how you seek improvement, and how you connect with others. Frequent run-ins with three should underline how you're communicating, with yourself and your social circle.
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Number Four

Four represents hard work and organization, Bender says. Seeing it in your life could suggest you need to pay closer attention to your fundamental needs — are you going to your regular doctor appointments? — and ask yourself whether you feel totally secure.
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Number Five

Five is basically the opposite of four. This number is associated with "freedom, adventure, change, [and] flexibility," Bender says. But, with that dynamic energy comes a need to take responsibility for yourself and learn self-discipline — otherwise, you won't get anything done.
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Number Six

Number six is rooted to matters of the home and domestic life. Seeing it come up in your everyday life might be the nudge you need to take up a more responsible leadership role in your family or friend group.
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Number Seven

Despite its "lucky" reputation, seven is actually a very personal number in numerology. According to Bender, it represents "knowledge-seeking [and] spiritual growth." Even if you're practical and analytical by nature, seven urges you to use your intuition, too.
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Number Eight

If you've been hung up on material matters, there's a chance that the number eight has something to do with it. Not only is it related to money, but it rules area of power, management, and success, too.
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Number Nine

In the same way that the number one can reflect new beginnings, number nine signifies conclusions. If this number keeps coming up for you, you might need to let go of something that no longer serves you — or, better yet, let go of something and be wiser and better without it

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