The number of books available in and out of print on astrology, numerology, and tarot is mind-boggling, and continuing to grow. Unfortunately, there is a lot of “static noise” in the overall stream of information, which can make finding the best books on the subject a daunting task. Astrology, numerology, and tarot are complex tools that really require extensive study and practice, which makes beginner books that promise to “make it easy” misleading, giving these rich and deep tools short shrift. It is not my intention to review any and all astrology, numerology, or tarot books, but rather to “cherry pick” the best of books based on my work as a professional spiritual adviser, who uses these tools in my practice with clients.
Choosing the Book
For this review process, I am looking at three main factors: the knowledge and wisdom of the author, the readability and delivery of the knowledge, and the usefulness of the book – in practice or for building an understanding of the field. Beginner books will be delineated from more advanced techniques from largely philosophical and or theoretical books. Most of the books will fall somewhere between beginner and theoretical, with an eye towards usefulness. I value labels in so much as they help us move forward, but not trap us in groupthink, regardless of the group.
The Book – Modern Numerology by Morris C. Goodman
Based on my research it appears that the first hardback edition was published in 1945, and you can find used copies on Amazon and Alibris. My copy is a trade paperback published in 1968, and it appears that the last print edition was published in 1978. Even though it is dated (many of the professions for certain numbers no longer exist), the calculation methods are clearly explained and demonstrated.
The book is made up of fifteen chapters, starting with The Roots of Numerology and ending with Your Job. There is also Your Life Cycle, Hourly Cycle, Daily Cycle, Individual Month, Individual Year Cycle, and Four Month Cycle. Goodman also shows you calculations for your Vowel Vibrancy, Consonant Vibrations, and All of You related to the letters in your name. And, he has a chapter on compatibility with other numbers, How to Get Along With Other People.
Goodman uses the Pythagorean number system for his calculations, which is presented below:
The starting point for each of us is the Life Cycle number, which is the calculation of your full birth date reduced to a single digit. In my case – April (4), 12, 1968, which is 4+1+2+1+9+6+8=31=4, so my Life Cycle Number is 4, “The Mason” (24). This number is also my Job Number. The calculation of my full name results in a 3, so I am here “to inspire and uplift others” (94).
Goodman states that “a number is the name of a hidden law” (16). Number 1 “is symbolic of man standing upright” (16). Number 2 “symbolizes building into form” (17). And number 3 “represents the law of love and affection” (17) and so on through the nine numbers. Whatever your number or numbers, you will be connected to these laws. My number for my Life Cycle is “hard work” (18) and my name is tied to the law of love and affection.
Running your numbers from Life Cycle down to the Daily Cycle is a worthwhile task, as is calculating your Full Name, your Vowel Vibration, and Consonant Vibration. Goodman’s book really does provide a useful structure for looking at numbers at the microcosmic level of your day to the macrocosmic level of your yearly shift. I am currently in a (4+1+2+2+0+1+9=19=10) a 1 year, so I am “ready for new beginnings. [I] should be able to assert [myself], exercise [my] initiative, and demonstrate [my] leadership” this year (58).
The section on compatibility is also simply and efficiently structured, based on the combination and collaboration with another person’s Name Number and Life Cycle Number. My wife’s Name Number is 11/2 and her Life Cycle Number is 9. Our names combine for a 5 and our life cycles combine for a 4. We also happen to have an interesting parallel in that my birthday is the number 12 and hers is the number 21, so both are 3. 5 is about adventure, 4 is hard work, and 3 is love and affection; all pretty good numbers for our marriage.
I do recommend getting this book, both for your collection, if you are a numerology enthusiast, and for practical use, if you want to run your own calculations and do calculations for others. I use and reference this book for my numerology clients. Also, you can find inexpensive copies online and may even stumble across one at a local used bookstore, which I did while visiting Johannesburg, South Africa. I certainly do not think this is the only numerology book you should have, but if it did turn out to be the only one you used, it is a good one, and well worth the $3.00 to $10.00 USD investment. It’s a good book as a gift as well since you can do all the calculations in approximately one hour or so.
Knowing the Reviewer
I have an academic background; my PhD is in English (1996) and my concentration was rhetoric and composition. Astrologically speaking, I am an Aries Sun with Mercury, my point of communication, also in Aries. These two facts about my background and identity are the two main “lenses” of how I pick and interpret books. I want them to be well-written, researched, and presented (my academic lens), and I want them to be useful, direct, and pithy (my Aries Mercury lens).
I will be most helpful to you if my point of view and your point of view have significant similarities. If you spend enough time reading music, book, or movie reviews, and you explore a number of different reviewers, you probably experience a thrill when you find the reviewer that hits your sweet spot and you can trust him or her to give you a heads up on music, books, or a movie in a way you can trust. When you listen to music, read the book, or see the movie by “your” reviewer, you know you will not be wasting your time. I want to be “your” reviewer.