The Greek mathematician Pythagoras (circa 570 BCE to 490 BCE) is considered the father of western numerology and the author of the Pythagorean theorem (A2 + B2 = C2 ).
While scholars say that it is unclear that these concepts can be attributed directly to Pythagoras, or are the work of his students, the concept of a structured cosmos with a significant relationship to numbers is widely considered to be Pythagorean in origin. The resulting numerological system focuses on significant numbers in an person's life, reducing these numbers through reduction (addition) to a single digit number which is assigned special meaning thought to relate to the individual's life path or character. Double digit numbers are assigned significance only when occurring as 11, 22, 33 - the master numbers.
As an example of Pythagorean or western numerology, I'll use my own birth date, August 22nd 1957, which can be reduced, by adding 8 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 9 + 5 + 7, to 34. 34 can be further reduced to 3 + 4, giving a result of 7. The number 7 is then considered to be my "life path" number and can be interpreted in a predefined way. While I am not entirely clear on where these predefined interpretations originated it is not impossible that they result from the philosophy of Pythagoras. Historians agree that he taught a doctrine which emphasized the soul, reincarnation, destiny and an ordered cosmos which is not at odds with the tenants of western numerology as I understand them.
It is not enormously important to me personally whether these interpretations originated with Pythagoras or evolved over time. The true test of any system is, for me, the degree to which it resonates with my own intuition and I find that many of the number seven associations do resonate for me and are consistent with my own intuitive understanding of my individual life path.
Meaning of the number seven:
Seven is considered a mystical or spiritual number. Those with a life path of seven are thought to be intelligent, analytical and focused. They may also introspective, socially awkward and intuitive with a strong drive to acquire metaphysical knowledge. The number seven is found in the seven days of the week, the seven visible colors of the spectrum and the seven notes of the musical scale. It is associated with the sign of Cancer (my moon sign) and the Tarot card of the the Chariot which is my assigned card by at least one method of reckoning.
Look for more articles on numerology in the upcoming months!