What is in a name?

My Sweetie & I are having our fifth anniversary – yay! It’s amazing, how quickly the years slid by. We are considering taking the same last name, a new one for both of us, or we may just rename ourselves without the same last name.

I have a difficult-to-pronounce first name, Kirsten. My name should be pronounced: “Ky-ear-stin”. You wouldn’t believe how many people get it wrong, and after thirty years of correcting people, I’m ready to let it go. That name seems to separate me from people. You can just see it in their eyes, they’d already mispronounced my name, they didn’t want to do it again, but they just… couldn’t… remember! “Oh, hey! Hi! How are you, uh (conspicuous absence of name here)”

Since my early teenage years, I’ve had a go-to short version, Kate. I’d use Kate whenever I was ordering a cab or a pizza, or meeting people for brief periods of time, like a camping trip or a trail ride. When I started working at the hospital, I decided to just go with Kate. A few people call me Kirsten, but I don’t like the way it sounds anymore, even when they get it right.

Just for the heck of it, I decided to punch my old and new first and last names into a numerology website to see if there was a difference. Here’s what my old name means:

Latin: Female, Follower of Christ

Your number is: 4

The characteristics of #4 are: A foundation, order, service, struggle against limits, steady growth.

The expression or destiny for #4:
Order, service, and management are the cornerstones of the number 4 Expression. Your destiny is to express wonderful organization skills with your ever practical, down-to-earth approach. You are the kind of person who is always willing to work those long, hard hours to push a project through to completion. A patience with detail allows you to become expert in fields such as building, engineering, and all forms of craftsmanship. Your abilities to write and teach may lean toward the more technical and detailed. In the arts, music will likely be your choice. Artistic talents may also appear in such fields as horiculture and floral arrangement, as well. Many skilled physicians and especially surgeons have the 4 Expression.

The positive attitudes of the 4 Expression yield responsibility; you are one who no doubt, fulfills obligations, and is highly systematic and orderly. You are serious and sincere, honest and faithful. It is your role to help and you are required to do a good job at everything you undertake.

If there is too much 4 energies present in your makeup, you may express some of the negative attitudes of the number 4. The obligations that you face may tend to create frustration and feelings of limitation or restriction. You may sometimes find yourself nursing negative attitudes in this regard and these can keep you in a rather low mood. Avoid becoming too rigid, stubborn, dogmatic, and fixed in your opinions.

This description fits my teens and twenties to a tee. The last paragraph in particular really hits on the feelings I was experiencing prior to relocating, and I was struggling with a three-year long bout of cyclical / seasonal depression. I certainly was working lots of overtime, struggling to succeed within the limits of time and the many constraints of city life. I had several management jobs during that time, and I was an obsessive organizer and list-maker.

Now, here’s the profile of the new name:

Latin Female Diminutive of Catherine: Pure, clear. Form of the Latin ‘Katharina’, from the Greek ‘Aikaterina’. Name was borne by a number of saints.

Your number is: 7

The characteristics of #7 are: Analysis, understanding, knowledge, awareness, studious, meditating.

The expression or destiny for #7:
Thought, analysis, introspection, and seclusion / reclusiveness are all characteristics of the expression number 7. The hallmark of the number 7 is a good mind, and especially good at searching out and finding the truth. You are so very capable of analyzing, judging and discriminating, that very little ever escapes your observation and deep understanding. You are the type of person that can really get involved in a search for wisdom or hidden truths, often becoming an authority on whatever it is you are focusing on. This can easily be of a technical or scientific nature, or it may be religious or occult, it matters very little, you pursue knowledge with the same sort of vigor. You can make a very fine teacher, or because of a natural inclination toward the spiritual, you may become deeply emerged in religious affairs or even psychic explorations. You tend to operate on a rather different wavelength, and many of your friends may not really know you very well. The positive aspects of the 7 expression are that you can be a true perfectionist in a very positive sense of the word. You are very logical, and usually employ a quite rational approach to most things you do. You can be so rational at times that you almost seem to lack emotion, and when you are faced with an emotional situation, you may have a bit of a problem coping with it. You have excellent capabilities to study and learn really deep and difficult subjects, and to search for hidden fundamentals. At full maturity you are likely to be a very peaceful and poised individual.

If there is an over-supply of the number 7 in your makeup, the negative aspects of the number may be apparent. The chief negative of 7 relates to the limited degree of trust that you may have in people. A tendency to be highly introverted can make you a bit on the self-centered side, certainly very much self-contained .

Amazing eh? Well, I do find myself struggling with trust issues a bit in the business world.

It goes on:

With a number 7 Soul Urge you are very fond of reading, and retreating to periods of being alone and away from the disruptions of the outer world. (YUP!) You like to dream and develop your idealistic understandings, to study and analyze, to gain knowledge and wisdom. You may be too laid back and withdrawn to really succeed in the business world, and you will be much more comfortable in circumstances that are tolerant of your reserve, your analytical approach, and your desire to use your mind rather than your physical being.

You dream of being creative, intellectual, and universal; the selfless humanitarian. You understand the needy and want to help them. You would love to be a person people count on for support and advice.

Neat! I’d say the new name really seems to resonate with the new path we’re on here. No wonder Kirsten doesn’t sit right anymore.

Now, according to Cheryl Patton when she was on the Out of the Fog podcast, my “life path” number is 33 as I was born on April 3, 1979. You’re supposed to add up all of the numbers in your birth date until you get a single number, but in the case of 11, 22 and 33, you pay attention to those, the “master numbers”. Apparently, 33 is a master healer. I actually got quite excited when I heard this, as I had never heard about master numbers before. I’d always thought my number was 6, which is fine, and has been my favourite number since childhood. It’s just that I never could relate to the things that a number 6 life path is supposed to mean… which is why I wasn’t all that interested in numerology until I listened to Cheryl Patton.

I happen to be 33 years old this year too, and it has been a year of amazing growth already in the three months of being 33.

I am discovering that I really enjoy numerology. Can you tell I used to be an accountant in the city?

Now, as far as my Sweetie and I go, we’re having our 5th anniversary, in this, 2012, a year that for the earth is also a number 5 year. Number 5 is apparently a number of great change. It’s been a big year already for Sweetie & I, new jobs, new psychic stuff, new projects all the time. We’re going to be moving in the fall, too.

So, care to plug in your name to the numerology machine? What did you get?


8 thoughts on “What is in a name?

  1. Always been fond of the name Katherine (and its various short forms) myself. Good choice.

    Numerology never really caught my fancy over the years. (Astrology was more my thing.) The name thing in particular always threw me a little since the numbers you get vary so much depending on what form of your name you use. Especially now where there is also your Internet “persona” to consider, if you have one. And there are different methods for determining your life path from your birth date that change whether or not a 6 might also be a 33, for example.

    If I plug in my full name (first, middle, last) as it appears on my birth certificate (as the page recommends), my number is 3 (lots of combinations of 3 in my full name and birth date — 24 letters total, 12 consonants, 12 vowels, each name a multiple of 3, day and year of birth date reduce to 3), soul urge 5, inner dream 7. Meh.

    My life path number (from the birth date) is 1, which annoys me because (a) it isn’t at all what I would pick for myself, though I clearly did (I definitely intended to be born on that day), and (b) it’s accurate. (“You’re better working alone than with a group and you don’t take orders well.” So, so true. LOL)


    • I think I like numerology because I’m a math nerd. I enjoy looking at the patterns of life in terms of repeating and evolving relationships with numbers.

      There is also something to the energy in sound patterns, I’m sure, which is also reflected in letters, which can be boiled down to numbers again. The sound my name makes when pronounced, or is mis-pronounced, affects how the person speaking it feels.

      I like that “Kate” invites people to smile. Just try to say it and frown – it’s tough.


      • I love a good pattern, especially when it comes to numbers and life events (events within my own family have followed some pretty neat patterns); I just don’t like it that numerological calculations vary so much depending on what system you use to assign value to letters. Makes me think of houses in astrology — the houses your various “planets” fall into in your chart give additional meaning to those planets and to me it’s problematic if those houses change depending on which house system you use.

        I get what you’re saying about sounds. Say the name “Kathy” out loud. It has such a different vibration than Kate or most of the other diminutives of Katherine. I have no problem believing in a mathematical basis for that — after all, there is a relationship between music/sound and math — but numerology as a system (or systems) for assigning meaning to numbers seems too arbitrary.


      • It sounds like you’re really looking for a cut-n-dried system though, is that why you get frustrated with them?

        I don’t think there’s any one system that works for all things, and I truly believe a lot of how we understand our environment comes down to intuition. What feels right or wrong, based on the vibes or whatever.

        I think that numerology is just one way of looking at a particular patter, but I think that Albie’s on to something when he says we don’t have “all the numbers”. If you can’t look at the fractal with enough detail, you’ll miss the pattern completely, you won’t have theoretical consistency – I think this is why we don’t have a string theory / m-theory equation which satisfies our traditional scientific community yet. We have a base 10 system, and he was showing me a base 1000 system, which is kind of mind-bending to think about, but completely possible with computer assistance.

        I used to get pissed off with quantum mechanics theories for the same reason – how can this equation be true in one instance, but false in another? Is an electron a particle or a wave – make up your mind!

        I think we get into trouble when we start taking theories (ideas) and committing to a framework of rules as Absolute Truth, which is how quantum theory was first presented to me. All I could see was the contradictions. You’ve got to engage your imagination. When I returned to quantum physics as a philosophy a couple of years later, suddenly it was easy and thrilling to play with, because it wasn’t being presented to me as fact, but as potential, with some ideas that have value. I think the same applies to religious ideas and spiritual theories.


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