We've got your number

We've got your number

Numerology is one tool you could use to cast light on your personality and your purpose in life

I love learning more about myself and others. What makes me tick? And why does something bother me, but not worry my best friend? What makes us so different? Numerology, also known as the ancient science of numbers, is one way of finding out who you are, why you're here and what challenges and opportunities you're likely to face.

There are lots of different aspects of numerology, but the easiest way to define your personality is to work out your "birth force" or Life Number.

The Life number is simply the total of all the numbers in your full date of birth. You will be any number from One to Nine (and some people are Master Numbers -11, 22, 33 or 44 - but we won't go into that today).

The Life Number tells you all about your basic self - your talents, weaknesses, strengths and career potential.

I'll tell you about one of our readers, Matthew Murchie, who was born on December 8, 1993.

Life Number 6 Matthew was born under the influence of the number six - he is a compassionate person destined to be of service to others.

Although he might not realise it yet, Matthew is a natural healer and helper. People will find themselves turning to him in times of trouble - and as he matures, he'll discover that he often has just the right answer or helpful idea for them.

Young Six people are often frightened of their ability to care for others, as this brings with it a lot of responsibility. While Matthew might rather play games or hang out with his friends, he will find that others automatically seem to ask more of him than they do others.

He might rebel against this, wondering why he always seems to be the one loaded with more responsibilities than his friends or siblings. Matthew has an ability to counsel others because he is naturally strong and able to cut through the fluff to find the heart of a problem.

Responsibility is part and parcel of a Six life experience. Domestic duty, social service and being a good friend is what it's all about. That doesn't mean giving up precious time for himself, of course. Quite simply, Matthew must accept the fact that people need him - and he needs them to grow spiritually.

Idealistic, sympathetic and kind, Matthew could be taken advantage of by fickle girls who fall for his good looks and pleasant personality. When choosing a romantic partner, Matthew should be very careful that he doesn't fall in love with someone just because he feels sorry for them or wants to rescue them from their problems. He would be better off choosing a strong, positive woman than a sad, troubled one who might end up using him or robbing him of all his warm and helpful energy. As a friend, son and brother, Matthew is loyal to those he cares about. He enjoys being needed, even if he moans about having to help his grandmother with shopping or assisting a younger sister with maths homework.

Sixes were born to be crowd-pleasers. When Matthew is on top of his game, he will be adored by everybody - and might be surprised at just how much he is admired. A challenge for Matthew is his love of food. Even if he's very sporty, he'll probably enjoy sweet treats or savoury snacks, so if this is the case, it's important that he has a good exercise routine in place to build muscle and burn fat fast. Generally, Matthew is the type of person who wants people to get along. Like the Two life number, he hates it when people fight, even though he might find himself in the middle of an argument when he's trying to get everybody to calm down.

Although humble, he is a proud person who can be pushed only so far before he realises that he is being taken for a joy ride. Watch out. Matthew is a nice guy, but taking advantage of him could result in him cutting you out of his life.

He will do well in whichever career he chooses, but hobbies, relationships and other interests are just as important to him as putting lots of money in the bank, or living in a fancy house.

By developing his caring nature, Matthew will have healthy, happy relationships, the opportunity to excel in his career and the ability to attract what he needs.

Matthew Murchie's reaction

We are all fascinated by the unknown; naturally drawn to the mysterious and unexplained.

The lure of numerology is an excellent example of such an attraction. Despite every ounce of our logic insisting that prediction of one’s destiny using birth dates is just ludicrous, we all have that tiny guilty belief that maybe, just maybe, numerology can really show us our life path.

And that tiny belief is intensified a hundredfold once you read that astonishingly accurate report of your personality and history, calculated from nothing but your name and birthday.

Now, I regard myself as a rather scientific person who is adamant against irrational belief in the supernatural. Still, I found myself staggered after reading my numerological report, stunned at its accurate description of my character and the fact that it managed to make specific biographical references to me.

That being said, I was not ready to be deterred from my firm belief in rationality and logic. Armed with a pen, paper and web browser, I set about finding the rationale behind the accuracy of my report.

It turns out, numerologists employ a technique called ‘cold reading’ (also used by stage magicians and mediums) to trick readers into believing they have a divine insight into others’ lives or even have precognitive abilities. The way it works is by using statements that seem to apply only to the reader, but is actually true for most people who read it.

As an example, “Although humble, he’s a proud person who can be pushed only so far…” sounds deep, insightful and specific to the reader, but in fact, the statement applies to almost anyone in the world, most probably including you!

Another important strategy numerologists use, is to subtly make the article as vague as possible, while the reader subconsciously decides what to believe.

Take a look at these statements: “He might rebel against this…” or “Although he might not realise it yet, Matthew is a healer and helper…” or “he’ll probably enjoy sweet treats or savoury snacks…”.

Not only do these statements apply to most people – who doesn’t enjoy sweets and snacks? – they are also left deliberately ambiguous. If one reads something that doesn’t apply to them, they’d simply ignore it, but if it does so happen to apply, they would be amazed!

The next technique is a little bit more subtle. Notice how my whole case study is positive, portraying me as a wonderful person – even going so far as to call me “a knight in shining armour”! All this praising and admiration beguiles me into wanting to believe everything in the report. Imagine if the whole report was about my shortcomings, I would have probably tried to reject everything from the first sentence!

When you have time, try reading different numerological life paths. I’ve read through different versions of all 9 life paths and found that all of them seemed to apply to me.

In a nutshell, numerologists do a fantastic job of appearing to predict people’s destinies, and I was deeply impressed by how effective it was after reading my own case study. But don’t forget to start thinking straight again after getting over the initial shock!

How to do it

First, have pen and paper ready and follow these steps carefully.

Write the day, month and year of your birth.

Here's an example: Cheryl Smith's full date of birth is 14 May 1980. Because she was born in May, her month of birth will be 5. If you were born in January, it would be 1, or if born in February, it would be 2, and so on.

Add up all the numbers in the full birth date until you have a single number at the end.

Here is Cheryl's calculation: 14 + 5 + 1980 = (1+4) + 5 + (1+9+8+0) = 5 + 5 + 18 (1+8) = 5 + 5 + 9 = 19 = 1+9 = 10 = 1+0 = 1. Ten reduced to a single number is 1. Therefore, Cheryl's life number is ONE.

Find out what your number means

1 Mr or Ms Independent. You were probably born into a close family or have a tight circle of caring friends. Either way, your lesson is independence. You must learn to do things your own way.

The One is an individual. It's important that you stand on your own two feet and take responsibility for your life.

A natural leader, you'll be a good boss some day. Medicine, engineering and the arts are smart career choices.

2 The Diplomat. You are sweet and caring. One of your biggest dreams is to make the world a better place.

You hate it when people argue and also bottle up your feelings because you don't like hurting others. Release negative emotions by doing vigorous exercise or listening to music.

Hotel management, nursing or any other career in which you can help people are top job choices.

3 The Hollywood celebrity. Imagination and fantasy are the air you breathe. Even if you're shy, anything to do with the arts, creativity, drama or expressing yourself is where you're most at home. Your destiny is to bring joy to others. Focus on developing a talent, whether it's singing, sculpting, drawing, pottery or interior design, and become the best you can be.

You'll enjoy theatre, film, painting, graphic design or any other creative field where you can dare to dream.

4 The Worker. Want to get the job done? Call a Four. Strong and determined, you are the builders of the world. When faced with tough situations, you can take on far more than others. If you keep calm, are logical and take care of your responsibilities, you'll be extremely successful. Consider administrative, technological or engineering fields as possible careers.

5 The Energy Bunny. Quick-witted, intelligent and freedom-loving, you see life as a big, bold adventure.

Your lesson is to find a balance between all that restless go-go energy and committing to positive relationships and projects.

You might find that you get bored easily. That's okay, but don't give up before you've reached your goals. Journalism, public relations, marketing and any job involving meetings and team-building are wonderful career choices.

6 The Caregiver. Friends, family and strangers always seem to turn to you in a crisis. People think you're the one in charge when things are tough.

Being a good friend and citizen will bring you the best opportunities in life. Even when responsibilities seem to weigh you down, by helping others, you will find so much more coming back to you.

For a soul-boosting career, choose education, hospitality or medicine.

7 The Seeker. You want to understand the meaning of life and, more than anything, dislike shallow people or things.

Studying is one of your greatest passions, even if you are not very academic.

Do you hide your feelings behind a brave face? Try to be more open, even though you don't like people getting too close to the inner you.

Consider careers in science, statistics, teaching, philosophy, psychology or journalism.

8 The Whiz Kid. Want someone to run your company and make a fortune? Look no further than an Eight. Ambitious and organised, you were born to run in the rat race, have natural authority and are capable of great things. With commitment and determination, you can rise to the top in any career - but do remember that all work and no play is not healthy.

A happy career for you? Being head of a company, president of a country or starting your own business. You're the boss.

9 The Positive Thinker. Compassionate, caring and worried about global warming, you feel deeply about the state of the nation and your neighbour. This attitude often gets you into trouble, because you poke your nose in where you shouldn't - just because you want to help.

Your greatest lesson is to have faith in yourself. To feel calm, safe and happy, you must love yourself first. Once you do that, things will fall into place.

Being a travel guide, social worker, game ranger, environmentalist, politician or teacher might appeal to you.

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