What's in a number? Depending on your beliefs, the answer could be "Quite a lot." Dreams have been a source of mystery and debate for centuries, and when a dream contains numbers, some dreamers turn to numerology for insight. Numerology, the nonacademic study of and belief in the significance of numbers, purports in part to help decipher the meaning of numbers in dreams. While no one can know for certain what dreams mean, numerology can offer some food for thought on what numbers might represent in the dreaming mind.

Numerology Background

Western numerology evolved from the Greek mathematician Pythagoras, who drew on the mathematical knowledge of Arabs, Druids, Phoenicians and others. Later, numerology formed in part the foundation for secret societies like the Masons. Today, numerology is used primarily as an interpretive tool, such as in dreams, and for entertainment purposes. Many individuals enjoy using numbers to try and "predict" certain aspects of life such as romantic compatibility and financial prospects, and to interpret dreams in which numbers appear.

Numerology and Dreams

Numerology assigns a special significance to each number from zero to nine. When numbers appear in combination, such as in an address or a year, the digits are added together. Their sum is the number that the dreamer should focus on. For example, if someone dreamed of the year 2015, the significant number is produced by adding 2 + 0 + 1 + 5, for a sum of eight. If the initial numbers add up to more than nine, add the resultant digits until you arrive at a single digit (e.g., 1984 = 1 + 9 + 8 + 4 = 22 and 2 + 2 = 4).

Numbers and Dreams

The unconscious mind often expresses itself via symbols and other imagery, so you may dream of numbers in a non-explicit way. For example, instead of dreaming specifically of the number three, you may dream that you see or have three of one particular item or that you or another person repeats an action three times. You could also have a dream with three distinct characters. In general, moreover, the appearance of numbers in your dreams is said to point toward a need for more organization and a more concrete focus.

Odd Numbers in Dreams

In numerology, the odd numbers are 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. Some believe that odd numbers suggest conflict, aggression, or something not properly reconciled in the dreamer's life. All five odd numbers have a detailed description that is more or less the same across numerology sources. For example, the number one is said to symbolize, among other things, a new beginning or a need to "check in" with yourself as an individual. The number three is believed to stand for harmony and creativity, while the number five is often associated with expressiveness and freedom. Seven is said to represent spirituality and nine, the final odd number, completeness and endings.

Even Numbers in Dreams

Even numbers are said to represent tranquility or balance when they appear in dreams. The even numbers in numerology are 2, 4, 6, and 8. Two is believed to represent partnerships and duality. Four is numerology's number for stability and structure, while six is said to be the number of love and harmony. The final even number, eight, is associated with abundance of all kinds of wealth.