The Power of Five

Look around. There's a lot of meaning in the number five.

Number Five. Shoreditch. Power of Five

Numbers or words? You’re either drawn to one or the other. For me, figures have never held as much magic and potential as the infinite possibilities of letters and words, but it’s only recently that I’ve questioned whether I’ve been getting it wrong all of these years. 

Numbers, figures, digits, glyphs. Each one holds its own power and opportunities. Square numbers. Odd numbers. Percentages. Fractions. Numbers can’t be argued with or changed. They can’t morph as easily from one value to another. They hold their own. Self-assured and confident, they (literally) are the sum of their parts. Whereas words, they can be misspelt. Miscommunicated. Mislead.

The language of numbers

Perhaps this is what led me to discover numerology. The so-called ‘universal language of numbers’. I wanted to know how the other half live. What is it that numbers can tell me about the world that words can’t? And what language do numbers speak exactly?

I read articles. I mapped my life path. The kind of fortune-telling fun and personality portraits that I haven’t indulged in since my years of teenage sleepovers. And yet, here I am, thirty-something year old, and drawn so effortlessly into the appeal of aligning parts of myself and my story to a numerical life path; a number that’s deduced by adding my date of birth together until I arrive at a single digit. 

I was sceptical, but also fascinated and then, surprised, to realise that so many of the personality traits were true for my number (I’m a nine in case you’re wondering), and that the corresponding numerological profiles of my husband and children were also spot-on. Describing their flaws and positive qualities with razor-like precision. One number in particular stood out to me, as I read about each numerology life path. The number five.

The power of five

Described as one of the most dynamic and energetic numbers, five is always in motion and has a daring nature. People with this number (not me incidentally), are audacious risk-takers. They are spontaneous, courageous and independent in mind and soul. They change things up regularly and live life with confidence - completely on their terms. Somewhat selfish but always brave, the qualities held by five definitely made me stop and think. If I’d had five as my life path number, perhaps my life would have turned out differently?

Bringing five into focus

Call it an experiment, or an early mid-life crisis, but I wanted to put this type of ‘five-like’ energy into my life, to see if I could manifest some fundamental changes about the way I do and see things. When it comes to language I often take words and try to adopt their meaning, subconsciously repeating them to myself in times of need - whether it’s being more patient, thoughtful or assertive. So could embracing a number and all that it symbolises have the same effect?

Traditionally speaking, five is already imbued with meaning. There are five senses. There are five elements. We have five fingers, five toes. There are five holy mysteries: Father, Son, Spirit, Creation and Redemption. In Christianity it’s considered a divine number whereas in China it is seen to be both lucky and unlucky. There are five working days in a week. We clock off at 5pm. It’s the midway point between zero and ten. It’s a number then, that has already captured our imagination in many ways, a number to be reckoned with.

Five alive

It’s thought that the form a number takes reflects the energy and qualities it has. The number 5 has a uncontrolled and meandering form, going in all directions, starting off backwards in a straight line, then descending downwards momentarily, before veering off course and looping back in a circular motion, in a different direction from where it started. Dynamic certainly. But is it even possible to be more ‘five’ when you’re dished out another number at birth?

I started my five experiment by saying ‘yes’ more often. And notably, saying ‘no’ when I didn’t want to do something. I accepted invitations and went out more, and had a lot more fun - whereas usually I’d find it stressful to organise myself. And I said ‘no’ more often too – checking in with myself more regularly to assess what it was that I really wanted.

Numbers or nature?

I immediately felt out of my comfort zone by going against my (numerological) nature, but I was surprised to find myself feeling energized too. Just by flipping my auto-responses and daring to change plans and make last-minute decisions made me feel more present and made me realise that if I wanted to, I could command more power. And have more adventures.

I also tried to plug into fives more readily – from tuning into my senses, being mindful of my power to see, hear, taste, touch and smell. It was strangely life-affirming – a dynamic that five is very much aligned with.

Of course, who we are is inevitably the result of all sorts of genetics, circumstances and life experiences. But part of us is intrinsically, innately true. Perhaps we are all born with a number or a life path or a set of predispositions, but either way, embracing facets of ‘five’ has genuinely been a thought-provoking experience. 

Social, free, pleasure seeking, determined. Embracing the qualities that five has to offer has taught me to loosen up and I’ll be drawing on ‘five’ more in the future. Five reminded me to stop being such an in-my-head nine. To stretch my limbs, travel off the beaten track, veer off piste and finally say what I mean. Stop people pleasing and experiment. Living life in lane ‘five’ felt liberating and joyful. Almost childishly quixotic yet completely reassured.

So now, whenever I feel a little too melancholy, bored or powerless, a little too ‘nine,’ I have a new way of breaking the spell and seeing things differently. It’s simple, it may even be crazy, but visualising the number five, tracing its shape in my palm or on a table top instantly makes me feel more in control and bristling with ideas. Trust me – try it! Whether it’s the form, the figure, the thoughts or just plain projection, there must be something in it. In any case, it seems I have gained a new respect for numbers and have even learnt the basics of a whole other language.

By Ursula Brunetti 

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