Numerology – Changing Ones Destiny
|By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2003|
|The authors give their final reasons for concluding numerology is a waste of time at best, and a gateway to the occult through its strong association with other occult practices.|
Changing Ones Destiny
The fourth reason we think numerology is a waste of time is because numerologists make the astonishing claim that one can actually change one’s destiny merely by changing one’s name! By doing this the person can allegedly find a happy marriage, economic security, vocational success, and so on. But if this were true, then everyone in the world should be able to easily mold their destiny into the most fulfilling and positive future imaginable. Since all numerologists who know this secret have presumably already done this, one need only study the lives of numerologists to see whether this claim is true. Numerologists everywhere should live lives far different from the majority of the human race. But obviously there is no evidence at all for such a conclusion.
Indeed, if numerologists can’t even get their own numbers aligned or their predictions right, how do we have any assurance they can help us get our lives right? To illustrate only one example of a false prediction, Vincent Lopez, the author of a 1961 text reprinted in 1969, stated, “Regarding [the 1968] Russian aggression: Russia will not stop with the Czechoslovak situation. Her next move will be into West Germany.”
Fifth, numerologists also have serious philosophical problems. They claim that one’s destiny is determined by numbers, but also that one’s destiny can be altered. And numerology, like other forms of divination, does not finally believe in chance. Again, if it did, it could not logically claim to predict the future with great accuracy. Upon what basis is one’s name likely to be a reliable index to one’s character or future if it was acquired entirely by chance? Numerologists cite various reasons alleging why one’s name is not a “chance” event (determined solely by one’s parents), but such arguments are not convincing. To claim the universe is intelligent and ordains one’s name in harmony with the “cosmic plan” says nothing, since numerologists have never told us what the cosmic plan is.
In addition, who decided that such and such a number means this or that? Why is the number 4 unlucky and “earthly”? What does it mean to be “earthly”? Who assigned this meaning or the range of its implications? Why does number 7 refer to withdrawal from the world, or why should it be considered particularly powerful in magical practice? On what logical basis should anyone accept the number interpretations?
Also, what does one do with the differences in one’s own name? For example, the number of the name William F. Meredith is 3, but the number of William Francis Meredith is 9, and the number of Bill Meredith is 4; yet all these names refer to the same person. So is his name number 3, 4, or 9? Why should it be one number rather than another when their meaning is the same? What about nicknames? Who infallibly determined their significance? What about a woman’s maiden name? If her maiden name shows her character before she is married, and if her married name reveals how her marriage has affected her and changed her character and destiny after she is married, what happens at divorce and how do we know? And what happened to the cosmic plan that infallibly assigned her birth name as a reliable interpreter? How does it take into account divorce or a voluntary change of name? Does a divorce and returning to one’s maiden name cause one to revert to previous personality and destiny? The answers numerologists give to such queries are not convincing.
Sixth, numerological literature is replete with inaccuracies and absurdities. For example, “Jesus Christ utilized numerology in his teachings, even changing the original names of his disciples to match the numerical vibrations of the mission he wished them to undertake.” Even the numbers of cities and one’s address may affect destiny: “Cities and states have their own desires or demands…. Does the city or locality to which I am moving have any of my numbers—destiny, birthpath, soul’s urge, or power number? It will be much easier to make a change if you understand it’s [the city’s] desires and needs…. New York [city] wants inspirational people [the number 11] with ideas , who can face the public or limelight and be superior.”
Even one’s home address is said to be important, its numerical significance dictating the “kind” of home it will be.
The Occult and Other Hazards
A last objection to numerology is its strong association to other occult practices. Indeed, most forms of divination are cross-pollinated by other forms. In numerology we especially find astrology, the cabala, and the tarot to be influential. In almost every book on numerology we read, astrology, cabalism, and the tarot were included as important elements.
The more involved one becomes in the world of the occult, the greater the risk to one’s overall health. Like all forms of occult divination, numerology leads to bondage to present circumstances and a fear of the future. Numerologists are known to “hurl dire judgment at the 4-afflicted person by proclaiming want, failure, death in a poor house, or a sanitarium for him.” Whereas, “if your number is 6, you should try to deal with important matters or decisions only on days which add to 6. You should also live in a house whose number is 6 and a street whose name adds to 6.”
Here, of course, we may encounter self-fulfilling prophecies, something found in occult divination in general. In one example, “Every single element on this chart called for finish, destruction, ruin.” What then is the hapless individual who trusts in the cosmic power and wisdom of numbers to do? And what about the predictions of death? In numerology, “Death can be picked out of the [cabalistic] triangles and lines. This does not [necessarily] mean the death of the person involved but could be the death of a person close to the subject…. There is no major occurrence that will happen in any life that is not shown on a Kabala.”
In fact, whether numerologists seek to reveal only the good indicators in a chart or to supply both good and bad indicators, practitioners fail them regardless. Since all forms of divination, by definition, must predict both the good and the bad, numerologists who fail to read the negative elements of a chart and only read the positive elements are not being true to numerology as a whole. After all, the numbers are supposed to reveal the clients’ whole future, so he may employ all available knowledge to his advantage. On the other hand, those who do read the negative elements in their client’s lives produce a variety of problems. These include fear and bondage to various predictions and fate, self-fulfilling prophecies, and unwise decisions based solely on information “forecast” by the numbers.
In conclusion, numerologists may claim that “all of life is controlled by numbers,” but no numerologist can deny that numbers extracted from one’s name (or other sources) can produce great confusion or contradiction. Even in the best scenario, this leaves the practitioner at the mercy of subjectivism; in the worst scenario, at the mercy of demonic powers.
- Vincent Lopez, Numerology (New York: Signet, 1969), p. 114.
- Ibid., pp. 12-13.
- Richard Cavendish, ed., Encyclopedia of the Unexplained: Magic, Occultism and Parapsychology (New York: McGraw Hill, 1976), p. 159.
- Gerie Tully, The Secret Powers of Numerology (New York: Pocket Books, 1977), p. 12.
- Helyn Hitchcock, Helping Yourself with Numerology (West Nyack, NY: Parker, 1978), p. 187.
- E.g., Kevin Quinn Avery, The Numbers of Life: The Hidden Power of Numerology (Garden City, NJ: Doubleday, 1974, rev.), pp. ix, 287; Helyn Hitchcock, Helping Yourself, pp. 6, 153, 204; Gerie Tully, Secret Powers, pp. 12-13, 24-25.
- John Ankerberg, John Weldon, The Coming Darkness: Confronting Occult Deception (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1993).
- Lopez, Numerology, p. 118.
- Richard Cavendish, Man, Myth and Magic: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Supernatural (New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 1970), p. 2023.
- Avery, Numbers of Life, p. 285; cf. pp. xvii, 201-204.
- Ibid., p. 254.
- John Ankerberg, John Weldon, Astrology: Do the Heavens Rule Our Destiny? (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1989).
- Gerie Tully, Secret Powers, p. 12.