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What is Numerology?

Numerology in its most basic form or system is the practice of using numbers to predict future events as a divinatory system used since ancient times and within many cultures.  It is believed by those who use Numerology as a divination system, that a connection exists between numerical patterns and events which happen in our life. 


In many cultures, specific numbers have been deemed as 'lucky' or unlucky'. For example in many European cultures, the number 7 is lucky and the number 13 is deemed unlucky, within some entertainment forms, such as gambling, the appearance of the number 1 on both dice 'snake eyes' is not a lucky combination at all.



There are four major forms or systems of Numerology. There is Kabbalistic Numerology or the Gematria of the Aleph-Bet, the Chaldean, the Pythagorean and Chinese System that uses the Lo Shu Square and Chinese Lucky Numbers System. The Chaldean and Pythagorean Systems of  Numerology will be the main focus of these pages.


I will on this page also talk about the numbers of the tarot cards and the numerology that is often used with readings.   Also, all the forms of numbers that make up a full numerological chart.


The  Hermetic Kabbalistic form of numerology is the system of  Gematria. This will be discussed in a lot more detail on the  Hermetic Kabbalah page, a small summary will be given on this page for numerological completeness.



Chinese Numerology


Emperor Fu Hsi created Chinese numerology nearly 4,000 years ago when he noticed the patterns within the squares on a tortoise's shell.  Inspired, he created the Lo Shu  Square, a grid of numbers, that has a great deal of importance to Chinese culture.


This mathematical discovery led to the creation of Feng Shui, I Ching, Nine Star Ki, Chinese Astrology,  and Geomancy. Even Taoism is based on the Lo Shui square. The Chinese proved their ancient belief that the Universe is based on numbers and their mathematical principles.







The Lo Shu square is a 3 x 3 grid (nine sectors). What makes it so remarkable is that every vertical, diagonal and horizontal row adds up to 15. Zero is not represented because it is considered perfect and a symbol of completion. Numbers 1 through 9 is used in Chinese Numerology. 


You may see some similarities between the Lo Shu Square and a Sudoku puzzle. I will be doing a blog post about the similarities and the differences between the two, the origins and how the two have progressed.


                                                                                           The number five is located in the centre of the square.


                                                                                                       Lo Shu Square

                                                                                     4     9     2

                                                        3         7

                                                        8     1     6

Lo Shu Square and Feng Shui

The Lo Shui Square is used in Compass School Feng Shui with the Flying Star Theory (Xuan Kong Fei Xing). The square allows a Feng Shui practitioner to analyse a house or office building to determine oncoming changes that affect the residents or office workers.


The Numbers, Meanings  & Directions in Feng Shui                   


Number                Meaning                            Direction

One                                    Unity                                                     North

Two                                    Double Happiness & Easy            Southwest

Three                                 Growth                                                 East

Four                                   Death                                                    Southeast

Five                                    Nothing                                                Center

Six                                       Profitable                                             Northwest

Seven                                 Certainly & For Sure                       West

Eight                                 Prosperous                                           Northeast

Nine                                  Enough                                                 South


Calculate Your Chinese Birth Chart Square

To calculate your birth chart square, enter the numbers of your birth month, day and year onto the Lo Shu Square by placing within a parenthesis the number of times each number appears.


This gives your best direction and other influences in your life so you can take advantage of them.


The Chinese use the Lo Shu Square chart to predict the future and find ways for you to influence your life path.


During the 2008 Olympics, the games began on 8/8/08 at 8 am, which signifies the importance the number 8 plays in everyday Chinese life.  Now to the lucky and unlucky numbers in Chinese Numerology and the reasons behind that.


Lucky and Unlucky Numbers


Chinese Numerology is based on a principle, known as a homophone, which means having the same sound but with a different meaning. 

In Chinese tradition, certain numbers are believed by some to be auspicious (吉利) or inauspicious (不利) based on the Chinese word that the number name sounds similar to.   The four numbers 068, and 9 are believed to have auspicious meanings because their names sound similar to words that have positive meanings.    Number eight is an especially lucky number because in Cantonese dialect it sounds like prosperous. Six is also a lucky number since it sounds like the Cantonese word for profitable.


If a number sounds like a similar word, then it's considered a fortunate or even lucky number.   The superstitious aspects of this primarily grow out of the Cantonese Culture but have taken root through other dialects and regional groups of Chinese.  


The Chinese meanings for the numbers 0 to 

* Pinyin (is the standard system used for romanized spelling of transliterated Chinese). The letters after pinyin are the numbers in Chinese.

All odd numbers have yang (masculine) energy, and all even numbers have yin (feminine) energy.



The number 0 (零, Pinyin: líng) is a whole number and it is also an even number for the money ends with 0. Zero, is nothing, perfection, harmony and completion.



The number 2 (二 or 两, Pinyin: èr or liăng) is most often considered a good number in Chinese culture. There is a Chinese saying: "good things come in pairs". It is common to repeat characters or double symbols in product brand names,  such as Double Fortune, Double Elephant or  Double Happiness, which even has its own character 囍, a combination of two 喜. In Cantonese, two (Jyutping: ji6) is a homophone of the characters for "easy" (易) and "bright" (亮). In Northern China, the number, when used as an adjective, can also mean "stupid". 



The number 3 (三, Pinyin: sān, Jyutping: saam1) sounds similar to the character for "birth" (生, Pinyin: shēng, Jyutping: saang1), and is considered a lucky or positive number. The number 3 is significant since there are three important stages in a man’s life (birth, marriage and death). Also, the moon frog, also known as the money frog or money toad; a Feng Shui symbol. 









The number 5 (五, Pinyin: wŭ) is associated with the five elements 'Wuxing',  (Water, Fire, Earth, Wood, and Metal) in Chinese philosophy, and in turn, was historically associated with the Emperor of China. For example, the Tiananmen gate, being the main thoroughfare to the Forbidden City, has five arches.  Number 5 is popular as it appears a the centre of the Lo Shu Grid


However, not all dialects sound the same and in Mandarin, "五"  it sounds the same as "无" (Pinyin: wú), which means "not, without".

While In Cantonese, "五" is pronounced as (MH), same as "唔", which is usually used as the word "不" means "not, no". Therefore, the number five is also negative.  No one said that Chinese numerology was an easy subject.  



The number 6 (六, pinyin: liù) sounds similar to the character 流 (liú) which means "to flow" and also sounds like "luck" or "road". Therefore Six is considered lucky in business. On the other hand, Six in Cantonese which has a similar pronunciation to that of "lok6" (落, meaning: to drop, fall, or decline). Six is also associated with the six senses, (in Chinese culture the mind is added as the sixth sense) and with the maximum score, you can throw with a die. There is a saying that "Double xix will make you happy".  Who has not let out a whoop of joy when playing board games and you threw a double six in the game, I have, numerology is about having fun too.



The number 7 (七, Pinyin: qī (Mandarin) "chut" (Cantonese) symbolizes "togetherness". It is a lucky number for relationships. It is also recognized as the luckiest number in the West and is one of the rare numbers that is great in both Chinese and many Western cultures. It is a lucky number in Chinese culture because it sounds like the Chinese word 起 (Pinyin: qǐ) in Mandarin meaning arise, and also 气 (Pinyin: qì) meaning life essence.


In Cantonese, it sounds like the verb "to leave" which adds emphasis. For example, three and seven together in Cantonese emphasizes that you not only are able to grow, but you can also grow out of any situation you might be trying to have. It is, for this reason, it is auspicious. If it was combined with the numbers 4 and 5, i.e. 457, this would be extremely inauspicious as it would translate literally to "Death does not allow you to leave" or interpreted "Even in death you cannot escape."  That is why some Chinese people consider the number 7 to be 'ghostly or spiritualistic'.  The seventh month of the Chinese calendar is called the 'ghostly month', and it said that the gates of hell are open for the dead to visit the living. 



The word for "eight" (八 Pinyin: bā) sounds similar to the word which means "prosper" or "wealth" ( – often paired with "發財" during Chinese New Years, but is used alone or paired with numerous other "compound words" that have a meaning of luck or success, Pinyin: fā). In regional dialects the words for "eight" and "fortune" are also similar, e.g., Cantonese "baat3" and "faat3". The word is also phonetically similar to the word for a hundred (百), alluding to greater wealth. Note as well, this particular symbol matches the mathematical symbol of infinity. While Chinese does have other words for luck, this full understanding of luck that includes the infinity concept marries into a Chinese understanding of this particular word.

There is also a visual resemblance between two digits, "88", and 囍, the "shuāng xĭ" ("double joy"), a popular decorative design composed of two stylized characters 喜 ("xĭ" meaning "joy" or "happiness").


Examples of the number 8 within Chinese and Asian culture and business:


The number 8 is viewed as such an auspicious number that even being assigned a number with several eights is considered very lucky.

  • In 2003, A telephone number with all digits being eights was sold for CN¥2.33 million (approximately US$280,000) to Sichuan Airlines in Chengdu, China.

  • The opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing began on 8/8/08 at 8 seconds and 8 minutes past 8 pm local time (UTC+08).

  • ChinaTaiwanHong KongMacauMalaysia and Singapore use the time zone UTC+08:00.

  • A man in Hangzhou offered to sell his license plate reading A88888 for ¥1.12 million (roughly $164,000).

  • A Chinese man in Las Vegas purchased bulb #8 and #88 from the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign on 8/8/2008.

  • The Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia each have 88 floors.

  • The minivan that GM makes for the Chinese market is called the Buick GL8, but the minivans it sold in other countries didn't have that name.

  • The Air Canada route from Shanghai to Toronto is Flight AC88.

  • The KLM route from Hong Kong to Amsterdam is Flight KL888.

  • The Etihad Airways route from Abu Dhabi to Beijing then onwards to Nagoya is Flight EY888.

  • The United Airlines route from Beijing to San Francisco is Flight UA888, the route from Beijing to Newark is Flight UA88, and the route from Chengdu to San Francisco is Flight UA8.

  • The Air Astana route from Beijing to Almaty is Flight KC888.

  • The British Airways route from Chengdu to London is Flight BA88.

  • One of Cathay Pacific's flight numbers from Hong Kong to Vancouver and New York is CX888.

  • Singapore Airlines reserves flight numbers beginning with the number 8 to routes in China.

  • SriLankan Airlines reserves flight numbers beginning with the number 8 to routes in China.

  • The US Treasury has sold 70,000 dollar bills with serial numbers that contain 4 eights.

  • Boeing delivered the 8,888th 737 to come off the production line to Xiamen Airlines. The aeroplane, a Next-Generation 737-800, features a special livery commemorating the aeroplane's significance.

  • In Singapore, a breeder of rare Dragonfish (Asian Arowana) (which are "lucky fish" and being a rare species, are required to be microchipped), makes sure to use numbers with plenty of eights in their microchip tag numbers, and appears to reserve particular numbers especially rich in eights and sixes (e.g., 702088880006688) for particularly valuable specimens.

  • As part of grand opening promotions, a Commerce Bank branch in New York's Chinatown raffled off safety deposit box No. 888.

  • An "auspicious" numbering system was adopted by the developers of 39 Conduit Road Hong Kong, where the top floor was "88" – Chinese for double fortune. It is already common in Hong Kong for ~4th floors not to exist; there is no requirement by the Buildings Department for numbering other than that it being "made in a logical order."  A total of 43 intermediate floor numbers are omitted from 39 Conduit Road: those missing include 14, 24, 34, 54, 64, all floors between 40 and 49; the floor number which follows 68 is 88.

  • Similar to the common Western practice of using "9" for price points, it is common to see "8" being used in its place to achieve the same psychological effect. So for example menu prices like $58, $88 are frequently seen.



The number 9 (九, Pinyin: jiŭ, jyutping: gau2), was historically associated with the Emperor of China, and the number was frequently used in matters relating to the Emperor, before the establishment of the imperial examinations officials were organized in the nine-rank system, the nine bestowments were rewards the Emperor made for officials of extraordinary capacity and loyalty, while the nine familial exterminations was one of the harshest punishments the Emperor sentenced; the Emperor's robes often had nine dragons, and Chinese mythology held that the dragon has nine children. It also symbolizes harmony.


Moreover, the number 9 is a homophone of the word for "everlasting' or "long lasting" (久), and as such is often used in weddings. It is also a homophone for the words "to have enough", "to save". Hence, when you put it with other words that are lucky, it emphasizes the benefit of that number 89 (To have enough luck), 29 (to easily have enough), 39 (grow enough). Here the word enough means more "to have that which you need to achieve your goals" vs. "just enough." When combined with the number 4, it's still not necessarily auspicious.


Unlucky Numbers

In Chinese tradition, certain numbers are believed by some to be auspicious (吉利) or inauspicious (不利) based on the Chinese word that the number name sounds similar to.  The numbers 4 and 13 are considered unlucky in Chinese numerology. The number 13 when added to itself is 1+3=4. In the Chinese language, the number four sounds like the word used for death. Numbers 4, 13 and 14 are omitted in some Chinese buildings.



Number 4 (四; accounting 肆; pinyin sì) is considered an unlucky number in Chinese because it is nearly homophonous to the word "death" (死 pinyin sǐ).


Due to that, many numbered product lines skip the "4": e.g., Nokia cell phones (before the Lumia 640, there is no series containing a 4 in the name), Palm PDAsCanon PowerShot G's series (after G3 goes G5), etc. In East Asia, some buildings do not have a 4th floor. (Compare with the Western practice of some buildings not having a 13th floor because 13 is considered unlucky.)


In Hong Kong, some high-rise residential buildings omit all floor numbers with "4", e.g., 4, 14, 24, 34 and all 40–49 floors, in addition to not having a 13th floor. As a result, a building whose highest floor is number 50 may actually have only 35 physical floors.



Five (五, pinyin: wǔ, jyutping: ng5) is associated with "not" (Mandarin 無, pinyin wú, and Cantonese 唔 m4). If used for the negative connotation it can become good by using it with a negative. Thus, 54 means "no death". 53 ("ng5 saam1" in Cantonese) sounds like "m4 sang1 (唔生)" – "not grow" or alternatively in a specific context "not live".


A Neutral Number On Its Own.



The number 1 (一, pinyin: yī; Cantonese Yale: yāt) is neither auspicious nor inauspicious. It is a number given to winners to indicate the first place. But it can also symbolize loneliness or being single. For example: November 11th is the Singles' Day in China, as the date has four ‘1’ which stand for singles.

Lo Shu Square