Numerology is the metaphysical study of numbers and their harmonics. This is an ancient area of study whose origins are lost in antiquity. (As is the origin of numbers themselves.)
Every society that uses numbers has a form of Numerology. In the West, there are two major schools of Numerology: Pythagorean, based on the studies of the famous Greek mathematician, Pythagoras; and Chaldean, based on the even more ancient studies of the priests of Chaldea, studies that were ancient at the time of Alexander the Great.
In each Numerological system letters have harmonic numbers. Names, whether the full birth name or a nickname, can be reduced to one or more numbers. For the purpose of fictional people, the Pythagorean system appears more useful in developing characters.
The Pythagorian system prefers the use of the whole name as it would be found on the birth certificate. Nicknames, legally changed names and/or married names are analyzed secondarily to the birth name. The Pythagorean system uses the the day of the month as well as whole of the birthdate as key indicators. The whole birthdate gives a Personal Destiny Number - what karmic or spiritual lessons that are needed to be learned in this lifetime.
The Birthday number (day of month) gives the Birth Number - an unchanging indicator of personality. The Personal Year Number is an indicator of the issues being addressed in a particular year and is determined by adding the birth month number to the birthday number and to the number of the year in question. 1980 adds down to 9, 1999 adds down to 1, etc.
|1||+||2 = 3|
| Positive: proud, active, optimistic, joyful, creative, ambitious, conscientious, popular, expressive, sociable, and youthful. Also boastful, wasteful, superficial, gossipy, dictatorial, careful, extravagant, and scheming.
Negative: narrow, slow, stubborn, moody, spiteful, negative, indifferent.
Commonly Used Name
|9||+||1 = 10|
1+0 = 1
|Positive: Original, creative, leadership, forceful, ambitious, daring, active, visionary, inventive, dynamic, independent.
Negative: bossy, headstrong, fearful, selfish, bully, egotistical, domineering, tyrannical, impatient.
Birth date (as postulated by this writer based on Astrological considerations)
Jan 14, 1938
Birth Number = 14 (5)
He makes friends easily and may have more friends than most. He loves change, travel, variety, and above all -- his personal freedom. His philosophy is to be free and unattached. He has an intellectual nature, usually disliking manual labor, preferring to make his living through brain power.
Personal Destiny number = 1+1+4+1+9+3+8=27
He must learn to be: inspirational, energetic, an organizer, strong willed, forceful, artistic, humane, generous.
Learn NOT to be: emotional, narrow-minded, hasty in temper, impulsive, bitter, combative.
For the writer, Numerology can be helpful in determining how the choice of name and nickname reflects aspects of a character. Ed is not the same as Edward, James is not Jim, Jimmy or Jamie. The character's personality should reflect this - try writing James Bond, 007, as Jamie Bond and see the difference!
Also, if a character is married and/or has changed their name, the personality shift with the name change can be important. There may even be conflicts between the birth name personality and the married name personality, adding conflict and dimension to the character in question.
Some books on the subject: Numerology
For more on Numerology: What's in your Name? Demonstration Analysis.
Some Fictional Characters: