Before students could enter his School of Mysteries, they first had to master the four disciplines of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music. Pythagoras taught that the vibrations emitted by stars and planets produce sounds - the 'Music of the Spheres' - and that numerical patterns and geometric ratios explained all natural phenomena, musical harmony, and the underlying intelligence of the Universe. It is believed Pythagoras gained his insights while studying Kabbala and Egyptian texts in the Middle East, and under Zoroaster himself in Persia.
Pythagoras taught that on a macrocosmic level, numbers represent the Universal Principle through which all things evolve and manifest. A thought or idea must pass through nine stages (the numbers 1 – 9) before it can become a reality, while on a simpler level numbers represent the life events of the individual.
Most people are familiar with the alphabetic/numeric system that gives a number value for each letter of the alphabet, used for birth dates and personal names.
In personal numerology, the vowels of the name given at birth represent the Soul number, or Inner Self, with the sound of the first vowel having special spiritual connotations. In my own name, Ruth, for example, the letter U symbolises a cup, which by extension can mean a goblet, chalice, cauldron or womb, with all the symbolic connotations of abundance, creativity, and fertility. The number given for U is 21 - which reduces to 3 - and gives similar qualities of sociability, creativity, fertile imagination, and communication - all good qualities for a writer!
The consonants represent the Outer Personality, and the combined letters of the full name gives the individual Path of Destiny, which may be altered simply by changing one's name. The date of birth, however, representing the Life Lesson the individual must learn, cannot ever be altered. We're stuck with it for life - or lives - until we learn our lesson!
There are many excellent books on the market that give the interpretations of each number on a general level. Few, however, explore the more esoteric aspects of numbers, for apart from a pattern for life in our name and date of birth and our progress as human beings on this Earth, there is an even more powerful system that encompasses the whole Universe.
Humans have been fascinated with the heavens since our earliest beginnings, evident in ancient megalithic structures and edifices such as Karnak, Stonehenge, the Sphinx, and the Pyramids of Egypt and South America, all built to geometric principles and celestial alignments referred to as Sacred Cosmology.
Apart from the day to day positioning of sun and moon used to determine the changes of seasons, the ancients of all cultures were aware of the immense regular cycles of time they called the Great Ages. In astrological terms, these Great Ages, or Precession of the Equinoxes, were identified by the constellations of the Zodiac, each covering a span of roughly 2160 years.
The earliest known calendrical records of the historical age are the Sumerian tablets from around 3100 BCE, and the megalithic circle of Stonehenge known to have commenced at the same time (the start of the Bronze Age). This new era corresponds with the mid point of the astrological Age of Taurus (4380-2220 BCE), a female earth sign ruled by Venus. Mother Goddess religions and matriarchal societies are evident through all Neolithic cultures. The Taurean Bull is a dominant motif in world mythology throughout this time period, glimpsed in the legendary Minotaur, the Minoan frescoes of 'bull leaping', the God Apis and sacred horned Cow Goddess Hathor of the Egyptians, and other matriarchal 'Earth Mother' deities.
From 2220-960BCE, the world entered the Age of Aries, a male fire sign ruled by Mars, and we can see the rise of patriarchal religions, warrior societies and the use of forged metal weapons fired by intense heat. The Ram icon is now a central motif, such as the Ram headed sphinxes at the Temple of Karnak, begun in 2100 BCE to honour the god of war Montu, among others.
Around 960 BCE, we enter the Piscean Age, a female water sign ruled by Neptune, with monotheistic religions dominating world faiths, and the fish glyph symbolising Christianity still influencing much of the world today.
Traditionally, from around the year 2000, the world is said to be entering the Age of Aquarius, a time of great change and upheaval, a rise in consciousness, and a gradual shift to more humanitarian and peaceful solutions to mankind's problems. Ruled by Uranus, the planet of innovation, the male air sign of Aquarius the Water Bearer is represented by the double zigzag glyph symbolic of water. All very odd for an air sign! How does this all fit in with the cosmology legends of other cultures?
Much speculation is concentrated on the Mayan long-count calendar beginning 3115 BCE, and with an end date of 21/12/2012. This is when, on the December solstice, the sun passes through the Galactic centre of our Milky Way galaxy at the crossing point the Mayans called the 'dark road', believed by them to be the cosmic womb where stars are born, and a portal to another world. This alignment happens once every 25,800 years and is said to herald a time of floods, earthquakes and intense global confusion. We are certainly getting a preview of things to come if the current extreme weather patterns and global financial crisis with attendant protest marches is anything to go by. But is there any scientific data to back up the Mayan prophecy, or is the Earth merely going through its normal cyclical pattern? Perhaps looking at some numbers might give a clue.
In the system of numerology, 21/12/2012 adds up to 11, an esoteric master number (like 22 and 33) that does not reduce. As the higher vibration of 2, number 11 assigns qualities of spirituality, altruism, social justice and the opportunity to change society for the better. It has influence over intuition, inventions and advanced technology. On a negative level, when the higher vibration is not lived up to, 11 brings on sudden changes, unexpected events, and preludes great destruction and endings.
It is significant that Aquarius is the 11th sign of the zodiac, associated with the 11th house of high ideals, friendship and social conscience, ruled by the planet Uranus. A characteristic of Aquarius is a love of freedom and independence often showing up in rebelliousness, and a tendency to be unpredictable and eccentric. Uranus adds the influence of originality and inventiveness, and an intense energy, which, if not channelled positively, can result in impulsive actions leading to accidents.
Factors common to number 11, the sign Aquarius and the planet Uranus appear to be a desire for social justice and freedom for all, originality, inventiveness and increased development of advanced technology. On a negative level, if these aspirations for new beginnings are frustrated, they can lead to rebellion, impulsive actions leading to accidents, destruction and endings - all typical of the Age of Aquarius.
It seems that if the world lives up to the higher vibrations of number 11 and the altruism of Aquarius, we are given the opportunity to change society for the better. But if we continue to exploit humanity and deplete the earth's natural resources, we will see an increase in revolutionary upheavals, natural disasters and destruction caused by technology - already witnessed in the Middle Eastern conflicts, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and floods, tsunamis, and disastrously inadequate nuclear power plants. Will it get any worse from December 2012 as the Mayans forecast? Oh yes, according to NASA and the National Academy of Sciences!
At the end of 2012, our sun commences its 11 year cycle of maximum solar activity, when solar flares from massive explosions on the sun's surface shoot charged energy particles, accelerated by solar winds, out into space at a million miles an hour! These solar maximums and geomagnetic storms happen every 11 years, causing temporary disruptions to the magnetosphere, the magnetic field that normally deflects charged particles and space debris away from the earth, resulting in power surges, short circuits, and blackouts.
In 2007, astronomers discovered a huge rip in the magnetosphere, possibly breached by bursts of electromagnetic energy from the sun, allowing in a massive influx of radiation which is weakening the magnetosphere, eating away at the ozone layer, and causing a shift in the earth's poles. When the next maximum solar flare hits this chink in the earth's armour, the shock waves of energised particles could slam into orbiting satellites, shorting out electronic signals, melting power grids, and causing havoc with aircraft control, communications, and the computers of crucial public utilities.
If sceptics think this is another exaggerated Doomsday scenario, the American government is certainly taking the global threat seriously. According to a team of American investigative reporters, the US government has been constructing underground facilities with powerful generators, and enough water and supplies to see thousands of 'select' individuals through the 'fire storm'. When they asked the Deputy Commander of the Cheyenne Mountain Complex who the 'select' individuals would be, they were told they would be "civilians who support the mission".
The ancient practices of numerology and astrology give us some indication of potential future events, but positive or negative outcomes depend on our actions. It is up to us collectively to live up to the higher ideals of the Aquarian Age that promises a new beginning of peace, goodwill, and respect for the planet. Let's do it!
Ruth Drobnak is a numerologist fascinated by the underlying patterns of the Universe