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Why Name Numerology Is Nonsense: Sum Your Name to 666!

Simeon Visser is a writer who enjoys covering topics such as technology and travel.

In numerology, it is claimed that numbers can tell you more about yourself, your life, and even your future. Simply by looking at your name and doing some number analysis, a numerologist can tell you more about your path in life.

In some forms of name numerology, they assign values to characters of the alphabet. These numbers can then be used in calculations. For example, they can assign 'a' = 1, 'b' = 2, 'c' = 3, et cetera and that turns each name into a few numbers. The name 'john' would be 'j' = 10, 'o' = 15, 'h' = 8, and 'n' = 14. What can we say about these numbers? Let's add them together as a first step. Together these numbers sum to 10 + 15 + 8 + 14 = 47. Is 47 a special number? Perhaps; that all depends on how you interpret and explain it.

Many numerologists have shown that the names of famous people can sum to 666, a well-known number due to its presence in the Bible, also known as the Number of the Beast. You can imagine that if your name sums up to such a number, then that probably means no good.

Is there any truth to these numerological findings? Should we be worried if a name sums up to this particular number (or any other number that we consider to be special)? I don't think so. It turns out that it is not very difficult to make words sum to the number 666.

In this article, I will show a simple mathematical approach to summing many words to the desired number 666. With the help of a few lines of computer code, we can compute an assignment of numbers to characters (e.g., 'a' = 1, 'b' = 2). By correctly choosing this assignment, we can sum a name to the number 666.

Assigning Numbers to the Alphabet

Let's start with the basics. The English alphabet has 26 characters, from 'a' to 'z.' The simplest assignment of numbers would be 'a' = 1, 'b' = 2, until 'z' = 26. Each character receives a number starting from one, and the next character has a number that is one higher than the previous number.

We can also look at it like this: the character 'a' starts with 1, and 'b' is one step away from 'a', so 'b' gets the same value as 'a' but with 1 added: 'b' = 1 + 1. For 'c,' we can say that it is two steps away from 'a,' so 'c' = 1 + 2. We simply take the value of 'a', and we add the number of steps that we are away from 'a'. For 'a' itself, we can say that we are zero steps away from 'a,' so the value of 'a' = 1 + 0.



1 + 0


1 + 1




1 + 25

We can see a pattern here. Each character now has the value one plus the number of steps away from 'a.' But there is no particular reason why we have to start with the value one. We can also make that two, three, or any other number. If we start with the number two then our numbering would be 'a' = 2, 'b' = 3, until 'z' = 27. That's not a problem at all, and as numerologists, we can always come up with a reason why two had to be the starting number.

Let's give that starting number a name. I'll call n the starting number. In mathematics, we can easily give names to something, which makes it easier to reason about it. Our table now becomes:



n + 0


n + 1




n + 25

We can now talk about a number assignment in terms of the starting number n. If I tell you that n = 10 then you know the number assignment for the alphabet is 'a' = 10, 'b' = 11, until 'z' = 35. We can still recognize the simple number assignment from 1, 2, and 3, but we have simply added 10 to all the values because we started at 10.

How to Make 'Hitler' Sum to 666

We now know enough to see how we can make the name 'Hitler' sum to 666. We will use this name in the rest of this article as our example. We have expressed all characters of the alphabet in terms of n, and we also know the value that we need to sum to, namely 666. This means that we only need to solve the following mathematical equation:

(n + 7) + (n + 8) + (n + 19) + (n + 11) + (n + 4) + (n + 17) = 666

For example, 'h' = n + 7, so that is the first part of the sum on the left. The character 'i' = n + 8 and similarly for the other characters. We can simplify this equation to 6n + 66 = 666 which can be simplified further to 6n = 600. We can now see that the value of n needs to be 100. And indeed, if we fill in n = 100, then the name 'Hitler' sums up to 666:

(100 + 7) + (100 + 8) + (100 + 19) + (100 + 11) + (100 + 4) + (100 + 17) = 666

If n = 100 that means our numbering scheme is 'a' = 100, 'b' = 101, until 'z' = 125. That's all there is to it. If you number the alphabet like that, the name 'Hitler' will sum to 666. We can apply this trick again for other names because we know the name and the final number that we want to sum to. All we need to do is find the right value of n! That is not too hard, is it?

Assigning Numbers Using a Step Size

Changing the value of n is not enough because we are rather limited in what we can do with it. It only sets the number we start with, but there is one more trick we can do to increase our chances of summing to 666.

What if we could have number assignments like the following? We would give 'a' = 1, b = '3', c = '5' and so on. Instead of adding one each time, we add two for each next character. We are making slightly bigger steps this time. Let's call this our step size s. In our previous numbering schemes, we used a step size of one, but we can now vary our step size.

In the numbering scheme that I just showed you, we can see that 'c' is two steps away from 'a' and the step size itself is two (because we are adding two each time we go to the next character in the alphabet). So the value of 'c' is the starting value n plus two times the step size s. This becomes 1 + 2 * 2 = 5, where * is the multiplication symbol.

Our table becomes the following:



n + (s * 0)


n + (s * 1)




n + (s * 25)

We can vary our starting number n and our step size s to create a large variety of numbering schemes. For n = 1 and s = 1 we have our most basic numbering scheme 'a' = 1, 'b' = 2, et cetera. For n = 0 and s = 5 we have 'a' = 0, 'b' = 5, c = '10', et cetera. And lastly, for n = 33 and s = 7 we have 'a' = 33, 'b' = 40, 'c' = 47, et cetera. I'm just giving some arbitrary examples to show you what we can do by simply varying n and s.

This gives us quite a few numbering schemes. There are so many different combinations of values for n and s that we cannot easily find a numbering scheme that sums to 666 by hand anymore. That is why I have written a few lines of computer code to do it for us.

The following code is written in the Python 3 programming language, and it searches for values of n and s that make a word sum to the value 666. You don't need to understand this code but I'm just sharing it so those who are familiar with it can run the code and play with it. As a minor detail, we are only going to search for values between 1 and 100, so we don't allow the value zero for both n and s.

word = input('Give a word: ')
for n in range(1, 101):
    for s in range(1, 101):
        vals = [(n + (ord(c) - ord('a')) * s) for c in word.lower()]
        if sum(vals) == 666:
            print('n =', n, 's =', s, vals)

Let's see what we get when we run this for 'Hitler':




71, 81, 191, 111, 41, 171



75, 84, 183, 111, 48, 165



79, 87, 175, 111, 55, 159



83, 90, 167, 111, 62, 153



87, 93, 159, 111, 69, 147



91, 96, 151, 111, 76, 141



95, 99, 143, 111, 83, 135



99, 102, 135, 111, 90, 129



103, 105, 127, 111, 97, 123



107, 108, 119, 111, 104, 117

The values column shows us the values of each individual character in the word 'Hitler' using the numbering scheme of that row.

A pleasant observation is that it also finds a numbering scheme with n = 100 as we derived earlier in our search. The last numbering scheme has n = 100 and a step size of one, which is indeed what we used when we found our first numbering scheme that summed 'Hitler' to 666.

We can see there are actually 10 numbering schemes that satisfy our criteria. So it is not that difficult to make 'Hitler' sum to 666 because any of these numbering schemes will do. While playing with this computer code, I found that many words have multiple numbering schemes. For example, 'potato' has four of them, 'beer' has eight of them, but 'Einstein' and 'dishwasher' have only one numbering scheme each. Nonetheless, this means that there are many words and names that sum to 666.

Further Analysis of This Approach

What can we say about word length? As you might expect, words that are too short don't always have enough 'values' in them to sum up to 666. Similarly, words that are too long risk overshooting the value 666. You simply cannot make them sum to a very low number. Words that tend to do well have a length of around four to seven characters.

With the above considerations in mind, I cannot guarantee that your name will sum to 666 with this numbering approach. Your name might be too short or too long for this approach to work. However, I have played with the above computer program for a while, and I can tell you that many of the words you'll come up with will sum to it.

I also haven't provided any mathematical proofs for what words will and what words won't sum to 666. I don't intend to do that because that is not the point of this article. The point is that by using basic reasoning, we can see that this form of name numerology is clearly nonsense. There is no special meaning to be found in a word or name that sums to 666 because practically all words can sum to it if you choose your numbering scheme properly.

How to Become a Name Numerologist in the Digital Era

There you have it, folks. A small piece of computer code is all you need to become a name numerologist in this digital era. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  • Ask for someone's name and run the above code.
  • Check whether that person's name sums to 666 and choose any numbering scheme you like from the results.
  • Come up with elaborate reasons why a particular starting number and step size are so mystical and important.
  • Ask for a financial contribution so that you can help this person overcome the evilness of his/her name.
  • If the person's name does not sum to 666, ask for money anyway...

This is, of course, a joke. But I'm afraid it is not far from reality if I look at all those television programs and products that are available to people who believe in these things.

I hope this article encourages you to look more critically at what some people are telling you and whether it makes sense or not. Educate yourself, and don't give money to those who claim to help you by doing a few number tricks.

Spend your money wisely and ask yourself: am I really getting value for my money? Can they get away with telling me anything after I have paid them? If the answer is yes, don't spend any money on it. Some people take advantage of others who need any form of guidance in desperate times. The bottom line is that they will tell you whatever you want to hear in exchange for your money.

This article was written by Simeon Visser.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2010 simeonvisser


hieros777 on February 25, 2018:

What an embarrassingly simple analysis.

Matilda Mk2 on September 10, 2014:

I call Name Numerology, Nameology.

Nameology and Numerology sounds like such a serious science like Astrology and all the other ‘ologies’.

I so wanted to believe in Nameology and Numerology, so that I can say I Am a woman of science.

After much studying, I got really deflated and frustrated because Numerology tends to reduce everything to single units of numbers, therefore placing less value and less importance on large numbers.

Sticking with familiar numbers - if I moved to 666 Bible Avenue for example, I would like to know the significance of the whole number - ie six hundred and sixty six, whereas Numerology does the following:

6 + 6 + 6 = 18,

1 + 8 = 9.

The value of 666 = 9 (or some such nonsense).

That makes no sense to me.

I know there’s a Hubber out there that’s ready to correct me and comment on how wrong I Am.

My point is that on the whole - Nameology and Numerology is set up to make the study of numbers more diverse, fun, and interesting, but not necessarily a Truth and most certainly it is not a subject to be taken literally or seriously.

I also think that both Nameology and Numerology was OK for the ancient mystics who wanted to inspire hope to those who believed in the power of numbers and apply a personable meaning to your family name and first name, along with your DOB - (date of birth) and the day of the week you were born.

Nameology and Numerology are two of the ancient scientific arts which have survived today but the two may lose it’s standing in the digital era - even as a fun tool - because most Numerology charts, interpretations and systems don’t necessitate the power of large value numbers. In other words, any number bigger 9 is repetitive of the single number components 1- 9.

So 666 is seen as either 3 x 6 = 9, or 6 repeated six hundred and sixty six times.

One of the reasons why Numerology reduces numbers to single component values, is because the single number is supposed to represent Karma - the amount of Karmic Debt you racked up in your previous lifetime. Double numbers like 11, 22 …. 66 etc are valued numbers as they indicate ‘no’ karmic debt to pay back.

The Mark of the Beast has a total value of 9 karmic debts to pay back for previous lifetime of crime offences and violations committed against The Law.

Thank You!

Praveen on March 31, 2012:

Numerology is a science of vibration not numbers itself. If you use your critical thinking factor alone on names and numbers then you have not understood what numerology is really about! For example God is 14 in Chaldean and Dog is 14 in Chaldean but they possess different vibrations. Gods rule us and we rule dogs! Every atom in the universe has vibrations. Oxygen vibrates in a different frequency when compared to other gases. Half truth like yours is more dangerous than a lie itself. Analyse a subject more deeply before you make an article on them. Numerology is as complex as maths. Good Luck :)

simeonvisser (author) on August 18, 2011:

@Brandon: That is an arbitrary rule which does not need to be imposed on the numbering scheme. Where does it come from and why does it need to hold? We can easily number the alphabet from 1 to 26 without problems.

Brandon on August 17, 2011:

You're a dumbass. You can't go higher than 9

A=1 B=2 C=3 D=4 E=5 F=6 G=7 H=8 I=9 J=1 and so on

simeonvisser (author) on July 24, 2011:

What I described was a method of getting the numbers to sum up to whatever your number you want. If you then publish the result on some numerology website, it will be considered amazing by believers.

Just think about every major news event: the date and related numbers get added, multiplied and subtracted to obtain a desired 'evil' or 'positive' number. It has always been playing with numbers until you get what you want.

Critic on July 22, 2011:

I don't think that's numerology. Numerology is not inventing your own formula and assigning any value to the letters so that it equals to a weird number you fancy.

You can't force the results. A will always have the value of 1. You can't change it. Otherwise you're cheating.

simeonvisser (author) on December 31, 2010:

@Moon Willow Lake: Yes, it can be a good laugh and when you keep that in mind it's fine. But there are people who take it very seriously so that's why an article like this shows that the numberological findings are not that special.

Moon Willow Lake on December 31, 2010:

I've always looked at things like Numerology as something for fun. As long as one doesn't take it seriously and isn't spending what they absolutely need to survive on it, then a little fun once in a great while doesn't hurt. Thanks for the interesting math lesson.