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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