As one of Hermione’s favorite subjects at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Arithmancy has had a mention or two in JK Rowling’s infamous series. But beyond being taught by Professor Septima Vector, the details concerning the subject don’t go any further: the books are empty of arithmantic detail and films don’t actually show any scenes of Arithmacy Class at all (Harry didn’t take the subject).
So the question remains: Does Arithmancy actually exist!? What does it mean, how do you calculate it and what is it even for…!?
What IS Arithmancy?
Arithmancy is an ancient divination method which can be traced right back to Babylonian times. But unlike the modern Pythagorean Numerology that we practice here at Numerologist, it doesn’t rely on alphabet-to-number conversion charts, where A=1, B=2, C=3, etc…
Letters are sometimes involved in Arithmancy, but more often than not, numbers stand alone.
Much in the same way that crystals, cards and the I-Ching are used to gather information about people and situations, and foretell their future, Arithmancy uses numbers and math for divination. And whilst Numerology is more commonly used as a tool for describing energy states, Arithmancy is used as an oracle.
Beware of the many websites will claiming to explain Arithmancy in exactly the same way as pure Numerology (often describing how to calculate the Life Path, Expression and Soul Urge Numbers). The truth is something a little different and much more varied. Because whilst interlinked and crossing over in places, Numerology and Arithmancy are actually two very different arts.
Where Does Arithmancy Come from?
Since numbers are a universal language, we find Arithmantic methods throughout history and all over the world. Thought to originate in Mesopotamia, it also has roots in cultures as varied as Ancient Egypt and the Mayan Civilizations.
Arithmancers in Ancient China would use Arithmantic methods in their writing, by counting the number of brush strokes it took to write a name, statement or question. They would then base the answer they were seeking on the symbolism of the number of strokes.
In ancient Greece, number values would be allocated to the names of combatants in battle. These would then be studied by Arithmancers and the outcome of battles was foretold according to the numerical symbolism.
Can Arithmancy be Used Today?
Yes! One of the simplest method of Arithmantic divination which can be used by anyone is called the Pyramid Method.
The Pyramid Method: What it is and How to Use it!
To begin, a question needs to be posed. But there are just as rules about formulating the question that need to be followed, for your arithmancy practice to be accurate:
- The question should be meaningful; frivolous questions get frivolous responses.
- The question should relate directly to the person asking it since truth comes from within. These means don’t ask in behalf of other people but feel free to guide them through their own process.
- The question should be one that you do not already have an answer for; the Universe does not like rhetorical questions. (It’s surprising how easy it is to do this!)
- Try to avoid definitive “Yes” or “No” questions. Instead pose your question in such a way as to gain more information, clarity or insight around a subject.
With that in mind, let’s begin the example with a simple question:
“Should I get a dog this year?”
First, count the number of words in the question, which is “7”. This 7 becomes the first number in the first row of the pyramid and goes in the upper left-hand corner.
Begin to build the rest of the row by counting the number of letters contained in each word, listing them from left to right. The first row should look like this:
7, 6, 1, 3, 1, 3, 4, 4
To create the second and continuing rows, add the numbers from left to right and list them individually, beneath each calculation.
7+6=13, reduced to 1+3=4, so the first number of the second row will be 4.
The next is 6+1=7, so the second number will be 7. Keep going in the same direction, one row at a time, until you have completed the Pyramid.
7 6 1 3 1 3 4 4
4 7 4 4 4 7 8
2 2 8 8 2 6
4 1 7 1 8
5 8 8 9
4 7 8
8 is a number which represents abundance and good fortune, but it also represents overcoming challenges and accepting the flow between these states. Since the 8’s governing planet is Saturn, ruler of time and material restrictions, we may expect to be shown limitations, delays and very the specific obstacles in our path. However, 8 is also a number that represents dogs, herdsmen and so forth, meaning that this isn’t necessarily a negative arithmantic response.
Need More Clarity?
It’s quite usual when practicing Arithmancy to end up with more questions than answers! Because more insight around a subject doesn’t necessarily mean a clear “yes” or a clear “no”! So in order to get more information about the outcome, here are a couple of quick methods you can try:
- Find the arithmantic sum of the numbers in the first row, and compare that sum to the final number of the Pyramid. In this case, the first row of numbers sums to
- 2 and 8 are compliments, and 2 indicates that some compromise, partnership or association must be made before the result can be achieved. This information expanding method can be incredibly useful for unclear answers.
- One last method, if you really can’t understand the significance and meaning of the outcome number you have received, is to simplify your question. (It’s really important NOT to do this if you simply don’t like the answer you’ve been given!). Have you phrased your question in a way which is unnecessarily complicated? Have you used excess, superfluous words? Have you asked your question clearly enough, and to the point? Or try changing your angle, and see if you receive a new response which has a clearer and more understandable outcome.
Arithmancy Outcome Number Meanings & Interpretations
For general interpretations of the numbers 1-9, follow this link to the Numerologist Number Dictionary. But in order to help you better understand the outcome number, here are some alternate and little-known things the numbers symbolize. Note that these number interpretations are totally arithmantic in nature so they’re a little different from the numerological associations that you may be used to. So be careful, because these symbols, planetary references and meanings work really well with this method of answering questions but not with your numerology chart. In birthday and name numerology they should be used only by very experienced Numerologists.
Arithmancy Outcome Number 1
1 is associated with the eagle, the Lion, male royalty, palaces, theaters, beaches, deserts, officers, judges, political leaders, gold, the eyes, favor, security and Sunday.
Arithmancy Outcome Number 2
2 is the number of the Moon. It can show a lack of concentration, uneasiness, or instability and often indicates the need for some guidance or strength from outside, often in the form of another person. It gives positive answers, but something needs to change before they can happen.
2 is associated with liquids, medicine, chemistry, sea creatures & amphibians, women in general, the “common” people, relationships, travelers, fishermen, messengers, chauffeurs, sudden changes & Monday.
Arithmancy Outcome Number 3
3 is associated with social activities, entertainment, knowledge and communication. Also large herbivores, dolphins and whales, churches, public conventions, doctors, clerical leaders, scholars, lawyers, justice, wisdom and Thursday.
Arithmancy Outcome Number 4
4 represents the Black Sun; in India, this is known as Rahu, the north nodal point. It can mean interference, obstacles and stagnation. With 4 as a result in Arithmancy, there is no guarantee, especially regarding money. It could very well mean struggle.
4 is associated with people of harsh speech, difficult places, dense forests, places with snakes, poison, grave situations, expensive things, domination fanaticism and obstructions to the truth.
Arithmancy Outcome Number 5
5 is the number of Mercury, which can be indicative of success if the question regards education or relationships. But, you’ll need to use caution here, because 5s tends toward freedom and not stability.
5 is associated with Mercury, mathematicians, students, merchants, poets, ambassadors, clerks, opportunists, clever speech, shops, schools, places where games are played and Wednesday.
Arithmancy Outcome Number 6
6 is the number of Venus and favors art, beauty, friendship, peace and harmony. Any question regarding a treaty or agreement, or a social get-together would want 6 as its final digit. 6 can also mean gifts from women.
6 is associated with jewelers, musicians, actors, artists, those involved in fashion and cosmetics, gardens, fountains, beds, dancing schools, furniture merchants, caterers, groomers, calves, goats, deer and Friday.
Arithmancy Outcome Number 7
7 represents the Black Moon; in India, this is known as Ketu, the south nodal point. It refers to the life of the mind; anything requiring reason and forethought is favored, but business and relationships are not.
7 is associated with vultures, horned animals, places below ground, caves, fanatics for a cause, solitary people, those who renounce the world, spiritual liberation, treasure and wisdom-bearers.
Arithmancy Outcome Number 8
8 is the number of Saturn and can indicate delays, obstacles and difficulties of all sorts. If the concern is about long-term contracts, farming, manufacturing, or financial discipline, the answer may be favorable.
8 is associated with dogs, bears, wolves, cats, control, construction workers and tradesmen, those who work behind the scenes, undertakers, gardeners, patient people, seriousness, taking command and Saturday.
Arithmancy Outcome Number 9
9 is associated with hawks, sharks, predators in general, guard and hunting dogs, soldiers, surgeons, butchers, thieves, watchmakers, those who work with fire, cooks, furnaces, competitors and Tuesday.
The Pyramid is a reliable technique of Arithmancy, and fits in well with other Astro-Numerology methods. As you practice it, your knowledge of the numbers will grow, and your interpretations become much more subtle than you might currently imagine!
Try it and be amazed! Then be sure to leave us a message below, to tell us of your wizardry wins!