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The Significance of a Name Print E-mail
John Burton   
Thursday, 09 April 2009
The Significance of a NameHave you ever assumed that someone, whom you have never met before, with a double barrel name, will be posh? Or, that a man called “John Smith” will be unexciting?  We all form impressions of a person on the basis of their name: it’s a fact.

Imagine if you had an outlandish name. You would probably either respond by becoming the victim of a weary, lifelong joke, or rise to the challenge by developing a personality to equal your name. Life would likely be miserable if your name was Adolph Hitler, yet you might be destined to become a celebrity with a name like Fifi Trixibell (daughter to Bob Geldof and Paula Yates).

Whatever your name, you are likely to be known by several variations, each one representing a differ aspect of your nature.

People we meet in an official, and emotionally detached situation will possibly know us only by our title and surname. Those who know us in a more casual social context might only know our first name. Individuals who know us intimately may refer to us by a “pet” name, chosen specifically to reflect our character or relationship with them. Our close friends may similarly refer to us by a different “nick-name”. In other words, in these varied relationships, the other person knows something different about us, and will have an altered perception of our personality, status and potential.

What about circumstances in which people change their names? When a child is adopted, their surname changes, hopefully along with their self-esteem, security and potential (assuming that adoption is usually beneficial to the child). When a woman marries, her fate changes – “for better of for worse” – and she will become differently perceived. Divorcees may revert to their maiden name, often in an effort to move forward to new possibilities. Others use Deed Poll to take a new name, because they feel this will somehow be a benefit to them.

The significance of numbers

The Numerological process converts a name to a number by assigning a specific value (from 1 to 8) to each letter of the name, and sums those numbers according to a few simple rules. The second hurdle to overcome, when making a judgment on the possible validity of Numerology, is therefore reflection upon the significance of numbers.

Our entire understanding of the world we inhabit is based on mathematics (plus non-scientific spiritual perceptions of course). Scientific theories and hypothesise are all underpinned by measurements, equations and calculations. Much of what we experience on a day-to-day basis, in this digital age, is the product of numbers.

You don’t need to know why a mobile ‘phone works in order to recognise that it does work, and it isn’t too difficult to acknowledge that converting a bunch of letters to numbers could reveal a hidden secret, given our mathematical universe.

So does Numerology work?

Many authors provide example analyses of famous people to illustrate the accuracy of Numerology. Rather than jump on this bandwagon, I will share one of my experiences.

Some years ago I worked in an office comprising about 80 people. The name of every person was analysed for fun. The results were very surprising. The managers’ names all produced interpretations appropriate to their status (they would be successful, attain specific skills or attributes, etc). The vast majority of the administrative staff were of a type: long serving, and more interested in doing a job than having a career. Almost all, despite little similarity in their names, shared the same analysis - along the lines of little material gain or advancement. Sadly, the few “rising stars” (those who were working toward promotions) shared the same fate. Briefly, their destiny was either failure, or achievement of their ambitions at a high price. The outcomes were not disclosed to the individuals, and so far as I know, the latter group are still trying to get to the next rung of the ladder.

So does Numerology work? It’s up to you to decide. My aim is merely to encourage you to try it for yourself.

Astrological forecasting is immensely popular, but in its generic form, it caters for 12 characters and fates. Numerology recognises 52 broad types. I find it easier to accept the possibility that our name determines whom we are more than the “month” of our birth*, that general character and destiny options are more numerous than 12, and it is within our gift to modify our fate though a change of name. (NB: Numerology also uses the date of birth to calculate character types and destinies, but that’s a story for another time.)

Prudence dictates a final word of advice. Numerology is not going to give you messages of doom and gloom. It will flag-up warnings, which may allow you to slightly alter the course of your life to avoid disappointment or conflict. In the case of my “rising stars”, they both have otherwise happy and full lives. The analysis simply warned that the career path was not their route to joyful achievement.

About the Author: Portrait artist working mainly from clients' own photographs. Portraits by John Burton

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