A combination of CD-Rom and Book of Interpretation, authors Shine and Lyle have formulated a completed new vision of Numerology, and left this reviewer wondering whether their system is valid.

As a brief orientatio, traditional numerology posits that each letter of the alphabet corresponds to a number from 1-9, with A=1 and I=9 and so on through the 26 letters.  So the name Lisa equals 3+9+1+1=14=5.  There are three common numbers used to provide information about one's destiny and placement in life, roughly corresponding with the sun, moon and ascendant of astrology.  These are the Life Path, Expression and Soul Urge numbers.  The Life Path is figured out by adding the month of birth + day of birth + year of birth together (i.e., September 12, 1978 =9+1+2+1+9+7+8=37=10=1).  The Expression number comes from total number value of your name (Jane Gray Doe =1+1+5+5+7+9+1+7+4+6+5 = 51 = 6).  The Soul Urge is the total number value of the vowels in your name (Jane Gray Doe =1+5+1+6+5 = 18 = 9).

The Instant Numerologist (TIN) does not compute numbers in this fashion.  Instead, it creates a grid of nine blocks and converts each letter into a number on that grid, shown as a disc.  Consistent with traditional numerology, each number symbolizes a particular kind of energy.  But TIN does not 'boil' your name down to a single number, instead it assesses character based on all the numbers, with the stronger energy naturally coming from those numbers most often found in your name.  Numbers with discs on them (letters used in your name) are 'activated' or available for use as conscious resources.  Unused numbers represent energy that we are not aware of and which therefore influences us without our knowledge.

Along with that, they have created energy flows between the numbers on the name-grid, and this was the area I found the most confusing, as the flow relationships felt arbitrary to me.  The authors explain that energy flows according to the law of inertia -- from stronger to weaker, but since the numbers are on a grid, not all numbers can influence one another, so I failed to see the balance of this methodology.  The authors have further complicated this scenario by noting energy flows in mutual exchanges and between 'masculine' and 'feminine' numbers.

As a final difference from traditional numerology, the so-called 'master numbers' of 11, and 22 are not used in this system.  Although I am not a numerologist, I would have enjoyed an explanation from the authors as to why they chose to ignore these otherwise vital numbers.

The Instant Numerologist computes a Name (all the letters of the name added), Psychic (the day on which you were born, a number from 1-31) and Fate (all the numbers in our birth date added together) number for you along with the name diagram.

There is also 'Fate Cycle' function that allows you to 'forecast' difficult and happy periods of one's life.  The premise is that fate cycles last 18 years, so if an important event occurred in one's life, a similar event or effect will be felt eighteen years later as well.  This part of the program is fairly straightforward, the reader inputs dates that were 'easy' (i.e., extremely happy) and the program plots future times of happiness.  Likewise, the reader can plot 'hard' (unhappy) times as well.

In the end, all that matters is how accurate the program is, at least in my book.  So I did rough analysis, and computed information for myself and six other people, using traditional numerology and The Instant Numerologist.  In my opinion, both methods were equally accurate, and the people I used as guinea pigs agreed with the assessments made.  The only caveat I must make is that the Fate Cycle portion of the program was extremely difficult to do.  I think that to look back on one's life and decide which moments were particularly hard, or easy, requires a level of dispassion few people can achieve.

In the end, I can say that The Instant Numerologist is an interesting look at an old method of information about one's Self, and one's place in the cosmic scheme.  I can not say it is a necessary tool, but it is not a waste of money by any means.

Note: Runs on both PC (Windows 95 or 98, no note about 2000 but it would probably be compatible) and Mac systems (OS 7.5 or higher).  System requirements for both operating systems are: 32 Mb RAM, Pentium processor, 30 Mb available on the hard disk, 4-speed CD-ROM drive and 16 bit color display SVGA or similar monitor.

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Norman Shine and Felix Lyle
Connections Book Publishing Ltd., 2000
CD and book, $22.95

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