The history of numerology is somewhat cloudy with no definite answer as to where it first originated. Egypt and Babylon are recognized as the earliest recorded history of numerology by the majority of numerologists. It was here that the Chaldean system was developed under the influence of the Hebrews. There is also evidence of the use of numerology thousands of years ago in China, Rome, Japan and Greece. The credit for modern numerology, however, is most often given to the Greek philosopher Pythagoras.
Pythagoras was born is Greece around 590 BC and was one of the best known philosophers of his day. If his name sounds familiar it is likely because you were taught his theories in high school geometry class. He was a very important figure in the development of mathematics, although little is known about his true achievements.
There is very little recorded of the early life of Pythagoras, but it has been reported that he was a very magnetic, attractive, charismatic person and that everyone loved him. He is also believed to have won prizes for his agility at the Olympic games.
When Pythagoras was around 50 years old he established a school that was sort of a secret society in Crotona, Italy. The society was called the semi-circle and there he taught Mathematics, Astronomy and Music. The society was open to both men and women. and it is said that his students were made to adhere to a strict code of secrecy and were not allowed to put any of his teachings in writing. It has also been reported that his students had to go through a 5 year period of perfect silence which allowed them to reach a level of deep contemplation and to develop faith. Most of the little that is known of what he taught was written down after his death.
Rather than focusing on solving mathematical problems like modern day mathematicians, Pythagoras was primarily interested in the concepts or principles behind the mathematics. He felt that the entire universe could be expressed through numbers, and created a system for this that was then further expanded by other Greek philosophers. Although Pythagoras did not invent numerology, his theories took it to a different level which is why he is often credited with being the father of numerology.
Although the exact origin of Numerology hasn't been truly determined, there are strong clues. The Pythagorean and Chaldean schools of numbers are the most commonly used. Chaldean Numerology is older, but the Pythagorean system of numbers is far more popular especially in the west.
Pythagoras was considered a master mathematician. Born in Greece in the 6th century B.C., he demonstrated a natural gift with numbers. Many people are familiar with his theorems in geometry. However, he is also considered to be the Father of Modern Numerology. It has been recorded that he spent many years of study in Egypt and other parts of the world learning the ancient science of numbers. He later brought this knowledge back to Greece, where he taught for nearly forty years, and established a college and philosophy of numbers that would bear his name to this very day.
It was said that Pythagoras taught in secret. That each student, selected with care, had to go through a five year period of perfect silence for the purpose of contemplation to develop a deep sense of faith. Furthermore, his students had to commit his teachings to memory, for it was forbidden to put any of it in writing. It was only after his death, around the year 500 B.C., that his faithful followers broke with this tradition.
The Chaldean system of numbers better known as Mystic Numerology gives us an even stronger clue to the age of this science. Astrology, Numerology, and other occult studies were considered a religion, but not in the way we would know it today. Many Chaldean priests were also famous astrologers. They held the belief that all things were part of Divine Providence, and that the planets were simply heavenly interpreters. In the time of Alexander the Great, around 356 B.C., the Chaldean believed that their knowledge of Numerology and Astrology went back at least 473,000 years. Perhaps it was no accident that, in time, Chaldean and the occult became synonymous. The Chaldean system of numbers is still in use today.
There are other schools of Numerology as well, all reflecting their individual places of origin as well as how they're applied. For instance, there were the ancient Brahmins of India. Cheiro (1866-1936), a leading palmist, numerologist, and psychic of his day, credited these mystic men of the East for much of what he knew. In ancient Japan, there's a system known as Ki, based upon certain numerical patterns found in the birth date. This system is slowly coming back into public notice. Then there is the sacred system of Hebrew Numerology, better known as the Kabalah, which is based upon the meanings of letters and sounds. And there's still another system coming from Africa that uses numbers for divination purposes. No matter what part of the world we look at, there's a system of Numerology that had its beginnings in the dawn of time.
Though numerology is probably the least known or understood of the metaphysical sciences it is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Today it is most often used to discover secret meanings and to predict the future.