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Numerology and Names

Alphabet Soup

An onomonist is someone who believes that names can foretell future events or individual destinies.

What's in a Name

The use of numerological systems to unlock hidden meanings dates back to the beginning of recorded history. The Hebrews, Sumerians, Chaldeans, Greeks, Hindus, and Egyptians all used numerical systems to decipher hidden messages contained in sacred writings.

Now that you've been working at picking baby names for a while, you may have noticed that certain names just seem to work better for you than others. The reason for this, some people believe, is that these names have a particular resonance or harmony that appeals to you. They sing to some element of your being in ways that others don't. In other words, they have good vibes.

Unlocking the keys to these vibrations is part of the theory behind numerology, which assigns a numerical equivalent to each letter of the alphabet. These numbers are then combined to determine the unique vibrations that each name contains.

It was a Greek philosopher and mathematician who first brought forth the idea that numbers could influence a person's destiny. Pythagoras, who believed that all things could be expressed in numerical terms, also thought that numbers were the key to understanding the spiritual path to God. Applying them to names, he felt, could yield secrets that would guide the bearer on his life journey.

Today, numerology, along with other divination systems such as astrology and tarot card reading, is considered a pseudo-science by many. Personally, that's where I place it as well. There could be something to it. Then again, maybe there isn't. But there's no denying the fact that there are forces in this world that we are barely aware of or know very little about (which is the reason why I still read my daily horoscope). Maybe the ancients did know something we don't know. I figure it can't hurt to cover all the bases!

The Number Game

What's in a Name

Hedda Hopper, the revered gossip columnist of yesteryear, didn't have much luck in her life until her given name, Elda, was changed by a numerologist to Hedda. Her career took off soon after.

Numerology is used by some parents to select names that, when combined with their surnames, yield numbers with the qualities that they feel they want for their children. Another use, perhaps more practical for you, is to see if you like the characteristics of the number values that apply to the names you like. Here's how to find what these values are.

Use the following table to determine the numbers that correspond to the letters in a given name. Write the result in the spaces below the table:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z

Letters ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

Numbers ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

Next, add these numbers together. If you come up with anything other than 11, 22, or 33, which are considered master numbers (I'll get to this later), add the individual numbers together again. For example, if your total came to 13, add the 1 and the 3 together to equal the number 4.

The last number you come up with is the one you'll use to determine the qualities of the name you're considering.

Reading Your Numbers

So how does something as simple as a number translate into a vibration that unlocks the wisdom of the ages? Remember, Pythagoras and his buddies believed that all things could be expressed in numerical terms, so they assigned certain personality traits and characteristics to each number based on their observations of the individuals who carried them. While the exact interpretations will vary depending on the numerologist that presents them, these are the basics:

  • One, since it's the first number, represents beginnings or unity.

Names with this number are considered dynamic and independent, and the people who have them are seen as self-assured, competitive, natural leaders. On the down-side, they don't like to take orders or come second, and they can be overbearing, egotistical, and bossy. Ones are often in positions of power where they can control outcomes and accomplishments. They make good administrators, company presidents, military officers, and athletes, as they like careers where they can be in authority and take the lead.

Currently popular one names include:

Girls Boys
Alix Adam
Brittany Brant
Camille Brice
Ciana Colter
Diandre Darin
Hannah Jedediah
Katie Joseph
Kimberley Nicolas
Kyra Zachary
Lexie Zane


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More on: Choosing a Name

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Baby Names © 1999 by Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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