1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
For some, the following may be difficult to understand or accept.
To discuss numbers without the mention of Pythagoras would be doing our readers a terrible disservice, so we’ll start right there.
Pythagoras lived in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. He was considered one of the most well known philosophers and mathematicians of that time, and perhaps of all humanity. Considering that his work highly influenced Plato and Aristotle, his notorious takes on life, numbers, geometry, metaphysics, etc. are astoundingly vast and insightful.
Pythagoras used mathematics solely for mystical purposes.
That alone is quite eye opening.
People today use math for so many different purposes. From calculating quantities to figuring out the area of an object, math is used every single day in hundreds of thousands of applications. The fact that Pythagoras and his followers (known as Pythagoreans) only used math to derive meaning from life is quite fascinating 🤔.
Today, how is that most people are using math everyday without the secrets of life in mind? Quite baffling really…
FINDING MEANING IN NUMBERS
If Pythagoreans were interested in seeking the wisdom and knowledge behind mathematics for mystical and philosophical meanings, we must discipline ourselves to understand the core meaning or symbolism of each number.
Any number, whether it be a multi-digit number or single digit number, can be decoded and understood in a deeper meaning. For introductory purposes, we will focus on the core single digit numbers to begin.
But what if a number is beyond single digits?
To reach the root number (also known as a “digital root”) of any multi-digit number, we must reduce the number just as the “rule of thumb” shows us on the human hands. Below is an example of how to reduce the number 5,903:
- Sum the digits of the number together, like this: 5 + 9 + 0 + 3 = 17
- If the sum of the digits creates a single digit, you have your root number.
- If the sum of the digits creates a multi-digit number still, continue the reduction process. In our example, 17 was the original sum. Reduce again, this time use 17: 1 + 7 = 8
- Once a single digit is reached, the root of the beginning number has been unveiled. Otherwise continue again and again until that root number presents itself.
Now that we understand how to find the root number of any number, let’s look at the meaning of the base root numbers.
THE ESSENCE OF EACH NUMBER
The number 1 represents beginning, unity, and independence. The 1 is androgynous (neither male or female), demonstrating the unity and the creation of all things. Some argue that Pythagoras believed 1 is simply just “the beginning” and perhaps not a true number at all. It is also believed that 1 is actually not odd, or even! It was just the “whole”, the 1. 1 is both limited (it is just 1 in itself) and also unlimited due to the fact that it can make all numbers in an unlimiting fashion (two 1s make a 2, three 1s make a 3, four 1s make 4, and so on forever). 1 relates to nothing else around it. It is alone, and it is all it knows, and feels complete on its own. Interesting to think about.
The number 2 represents duality, companionship, togetherness, and partnership. Since there is an argument that everything has duality, 2 could be considered the first true number as 2 has a relationship relative to another body, the 1. The 2 wants to assist the 1 and feels incomplete on its own. A great example of a 2 is the creation story of a man and woman. The woman was the second human created, the first example of a count. Two people. The 2 is feminine and receiving, just as Eve received a rib from Adam.
The 3 represents spirituality, the divine, and openness. The Holy Trinity comes to most minds. Pythagoras called 3 “the One and the Many” due to the fact that 3 is birthed from the 1 (the whole) and the 2 (multiple) as 1 + 2 = 3. In human nature, the 3 can also represent creation as the creative principle of the universe and God; there must be two to create a third. Again, from the 1 and the 2 comes the 3. Openness is demonstrated in the 3 by the open ends of the 3’s left side (of the glyph) being open to the world around it. The 3 naturally is symbolized by the triangle (3 sides) and is considered to be a masculine number.
The 4 is the order and physical formation of the material world. The glyph, from the top point of the 4, has two lines protract down. One down to the left and the other straight down. As the lines descend from the top, this is explained as “spirit descending into matter”, just as the 3 is the creative principle that can allow the 4 to exist. Think of the 4 main elements (earth, air, fire, water), 4 moon phases, 4 seasons, etc. all forming the physical realm that makes up our world. The 4 can also represent a square, which is a symbol of foundation. The 4 can be limiting at times since it can feel boxed in from the square.
The 5 represents openness and creation. Notice that the 5 is open on both sides of the glyph. This signifies the openness and freedom of the 5. The 5 is also the sum of the first even number (2) and the first odd number (3), signifying the bond of the female energy (2) and the male energy (3). Furthermore, the 5 glyph is comprised of two straight lines (male) and a curved line (female) which further strengthens its connection to creation. The 5’s curved bottom also shows that 5 is always on the move, is adventurous, and adaptable. Due to the glyph containing several angles and segments, the 5 demonstrates variety as well. Lastly, the 5 is the middle of all numbers – 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 – it is the fifth number from either the beginning or the end, showing its ability to see all perspectives.
The 6 represents family, loyalty, teaching, and service to others. The 6 is the first “perfect” number; a number in which the sum of its divisors equals its total. (1 + 2 + 3 = 6) Not only does the sum of its divisors equal 6, but the product of the 6’s divisors equals 6! (1 x 2 x 3 = 6) This phenomenon shows us that 6 has the ability to teach us lessons. The 6 is also a number of reproduction and regeneration, as you can see by the circular “bump” in the 6 glyph that resembles the womb. The 6 also represents the body, as God created man on the 6th day, and all things have 6 sides (top, bottom, left, right, front, back). Not to forget the number of the beast (or man) 666.
The 7 is the number of depth, mysticism, wisdom, spirituality, secrecy, and continued education. As the truth-seeking number, the 7 always looks deeper into layers and levels of education and wisdom. Consider the 7 days of the week, which on a deeper level are derived from and represent the various gods and planetary bodies. Also, the 7 notes of the musical scale can reach new levels by attaining the next octave, demonstrating deeper levels/combinations in music. Just as God rested on the 7th day to look back at His creations, the 7 glyph also stops its course. Instead of continuing upwards to the right to the 8 and 9, the 7 glyph turns back into its self to review the meanings and lessons of the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 for fuller understanding. Due to the diligence of the 7 to return into itself, the 7 is intellectual and represents deeper thinking with the ability to seek answers and wisdom to deeper levels.
The 8 is self-sustaining and often challenges other numbers to become self-sustaining as well. Success is also a characteristic of the 8 due to its “successful” pattern it accomplished, the infinity symbol. The 8 shows a representation of light and darkness, the above and below, the spiritual and the Earthly. The bottom “o” of the 8 is the vibrational understanding of the material world and the top “o” of the 8 is the connection to intelligence. The 8 can represent balance, fairness, and good judgment as it displays balance and symmetry in its appearance. 8 is hardworking and continual, as its glyph demonstrates.
The 9 is a spiritual number of completion, representing all of the numbers and their meanings. The 9 can draw the attributes from any of the preceding numbers and can become any essence it desires (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 = 36 = 3 + 6 = 9). The 9 holds the knowledge of all numbers before it. Pythagoras called the 9 the “good and evil” number, as an enlightened 9 should understand the difference between good and evil, positive and negative, clearly. The 9 also signifies completion as mentioned, as the following number is 10, which is simply a 1 just on a higher level or plain. The sequence of all things repeats itself with 10 (1), 11 (2), 12 (3) and so on. The 9 is all knowing and all giving.