Yesterday was October 10, 2010. That’s 10-10-10.

I’m not a believer in numerology, but that’s unusual. It hasn’t happened since 1910. It must mean something to believers.

It’s one of many systems, traditions or beliefs in a mystical or esoteric relationship between numbers and physical objects or living things.

Well, I say I’m not a believer, but then I think about a few weeks ago when I was on vacation and was playing roulette. There I was playing birthdays, my sons’ jersey numbers, and a few “mystical” numbers I saw as “hot” or “cold.”

In the book Numerology: Or, What Pythagoras Wrought, mathematician Underwood Dudley uses the term to discuss serious use of serious things like the Elliott wave principle of stock market analysis. (Actually, “serious” might be overdoing it when it comes to the ups and downs of market prognosticators.)

Early mathematicians, such as Pythagoras, were into numerology. Even though today we don’t consider it math but as pseudomathematics, I played numerology games with my sons when they were very young in an effort to inoculate them from my own childhood math phobias.

Isopsephy (from two Greek words meaning “equal” and “pebble”) is the Greek word for the practice of adding up the number values of the letters in a word to form a single number.

“Numerology” has 10 letters – like our number system. Coincidence? Yes.

Those early Greeks used pebbles arranged in patterns to learn arithmetic and geometry. A Latin word for “pebbles” is “calculi”, the origin of the word “calculate.”

So, it’s not all that foolish.

Somewhere along the way, astrology and astronomy, alchemy and chemistry got into the mix. Numerology, even today, is often associated with the occult. Some astrologers believe that each number from 0 to 9 is ruled by a celestial body in our solar system.

Think about some common expressions we use. “There’s safety in numbers.” This expression means that being part of a group makes people feel more secure and more confident when taking action.

“Your number is up.” That means that a person is either in serious difficulty and something bad is going to happen, or the time has come when they will die. Why? Because numbers control our fate. Maybe.

Related to that is “It’s in the cards.” What cards? It means that something is very likely to happen. It’s based on the use of tarot cards which some people use to show what will happen in the future. Using cards with numbers (even an ordinary deck of playing cards is a variation.

So what was in the numbers for yesterday 10/10/10? I don’t know. I’m not a numerologist. But we’ll have to wait until 2110 for the next chance.

Of course, there’s always 11/11/11 next year. And you know what THAT means…

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