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Chinese Numerology

Chinese numerology is considered to be one of the earliest forms of numerology. The origins of Chinese numerology date back 4000 years ago.

A famous tale is that the first of the five mythical emperors of China, Wu of Hsai, was working on the banks of the Yellow River trying to find a method to prevent the floods.

It was during the course of this work that Wu found a tortoise shell, which at the time was considered to be a very good omen. This shell, however, was extremely rare, unique and special because it had fascinating markings on it: a magic 3x3 square.

This square later became known as the 'Lo Shu Grid'. The 'Lo Shu Grid' is particularly remarkable because every row, column and diagonal on the grid add up to the number '15'.

Chinese numerology is based on mystical traditions, including the I-Ching. The common premise is that certain numbers are associated with 'good' or 'bad'. The element that makes a number 'good' or 'bad' is the punning and word play possible in this many-tone language.

Over time chinese numerology evolved into three different systems that are being used today. There is the Western version of chinese numerology, the traditional chinese numerology and the Ki system. The following presents an introduction to some basic concepts used in chinese numerology.

Six basic concepts in Chinese Numerology


Examples of a 'yang number' are the 'odd numbers': 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, etc.


Examples of a 'yin number' are the 'even numbers': 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, etc.


A 'lucky number' is a number which is based on chinese words that sound similar to other Chinese words. The numbers '6', '8', and '9'' are believed to have auspicious meanings because their names sound similar to words that have positive meanings. For example: Number '8' is a lucky number because it sounds like the 'prosperous' (in Cantonese language).


Number '4' and number '13' are an 'unlucky number' according to the principles of Chinese numerology. The number '13' adds up to '4'. The number '4' sounds like the word 'death' (in Cantonese languge). One should notice here that you do not have to worry much about the number '4' if the pronunciation of this number in your language does not sound similar to the word 'death'.


The chinese numerology is based on homophone principles. Homophone refers to having the same sound but different meanings. Therefore, according the Feng Shui, words with similar sounds make a number lucky or unlucky.


The calculation of the 'Kua number' is based on the year of birth (the last 2 numbers), but is different for men and women:
- For men: add the last two digits until you get a single number. Then deduct this single number from 10. For example: a man who is born in 2008 has the 'Kua number': 2 (10 - (0+8) = 2). - For women: add the last two digits until you get a single number. Then add this single number to 5. For example: a woman who is born in 2008 has the 'Kua number': 4 (= (0+8) + 5 = 13: 1+3=4).

Chinese numerology & the Chinese Elements

Five Elements

The five Elements are related to the numbers 1 to 9 as follows:

  • Wood is associated with the numbers 3 and 4.
  • Fire is associated with the numbers 9.
  • Earth is associated with the numbers 2, 5 and 8.
  • Metal is associated with the numbers 6 and 7.
  • Water is associated with the number 1.
Chinese Numerology

There is a famous legend about the origin of Chinese numerology. It is believed that a Chinese emperor saw a tortoise shell with a perfect grid of 9 squares with markings on it. It was a magic square. As it was found on the Lo river, it is called as the Lo Shu Grid/Square. The numbers in the grid are such that their addition in vertical, horizontal or even diagonal manner sums up to 15. The number 15 is the span of days between a full moon day and a new moon day, and vice versa.

The Lo Shu Grid/Square

4 9 2
3 5 7
8 1 6

Lo Shu Grid is the base of Chinese numerology. You can calculate your personality traits and strengths with the help of this grid. Although it looks very complex on first sight, it is quite simple to calculate your personality traits. You just need your birth date, month and year for calculations. Every number is symbolic of certain human traits. Therefore, a person will possess the characteristics of the numbers that are present in his birth date.

The following chart will help you to understand the personality traits associated with each person. One must remember that the number zero is not used in Chinese numerology, only numbers from 1 - 9 are used.
Numbers Once Twice Thrice Four Times
1 Introvert Communicative Talkative Compassionate
2 Sensitive Bright Very Sensitive Loners
3 Excellent Creative Over imaginative Over imaginative
4 Orderly and stable Pragmatic Hard working More physical activity
5 Caring Persistent Determined Instantaneous action
6 Good advisers Originative High tempered Emotional
7 Learn through experience Spiritual Learn through loss Difficulties in many fronts of life
8 Scrupulous Adamant Materialistic Ceaselessly in motion
9 Intelligent Critical Givers Brilliant but, loners

For e.g., if the birth date of a person is 14-09-1988, he will possess qualities related to numbers 1 (twice), number 4, number 8 (twice), number 9 (twice). You can look in the above chart and find out many qualities of this person.

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