Lee Thomas uses the ancient art of numerology to chart 2011 for all of us.

Words: Nia Magoulianiti-Mcgregor


Remember the old song: ‘What’s your name, what’s your number?’ According to Johannesburg-based numerologist Lee Thomas, 47, that’s a perfect way of making some sense of the year ahead, for us personally, our businesses, our country or the world as an entity.

She says she’s a natural skeptic but found herself, after majoring in clinical psychology, with more questions than answers. When a friend first suggested she look at numerology because she might find some answers there, she laughed. 

‘I started reading up about numerology just to disprove it,’ she says.

Thomas is still reading and studying the subject 20 years later, and it has become a successful career for her : recruitment officers and HR personnel consult with her when making a choice between candidates, and new business owners come to check ‘numbers’ of a name for a new company or a brand name as, she says, ’certain numbers attract money’. And because certain numbers attract specific energies, Thomas says she may sometimes suggest a name change for a company, or even an alteration to the spelling of the company’s name, to assist in changing that energy.

‘Everything in the universe is made up of energy that vibrates at different frequencies, and all energy is connected. Numbers can be used to measure the connections and frequencies of energy.

If you grasp the numbers of any system, patterns emerge, and if you can grasp the patterns, you can grasp their meaning,’ says Thomas.

Still, she cautions, numerology is a like a Garmin: ‘You may have the co-ordinates but you still have to drive yourself to your destination. And of course, there are many routes to get there.’



It seems the year ahead also has a number.

Based on Thomas’s calculations, 2011 is a ‘number 4 year’ (2 + 0 + 1 + 1) for all of us globally. So -- is that good or bad? ‘I don’t like to give predictions of doom and gloom, but it’s not an easy year. Even so, every year presents both opportunities and obstacles. And it becomes effortless or more efficient, if we know what we are meant to be doing.’

She says the key words for 2011 are ‘practical, pragmatic and productive’.

‘Four’ represents the four corners of the Earth. Thomas says if you place four dots on the extremities of the shape of the four, you get ’a ‘square’. You can’t topple a square. It’s solid. But it’s not exciting either : ‘Four is pedestrian. It’s routine and conservative.’

Thomas says 2011 as an SOS year, in which SOS stands for Systems, Order and Structure. It’s the year where we have to do what is required using common sense so that if various aspects come crashing down – whether it’s the stock market or a building in an earthquake – we stay light on our feet are able to react quickly, ‘like a ballerina’.

‘2011 is about faith, not fear,’ says Thomas. ‘It’s a time to embrace the fundamentals -- and what has meaning for you.  ‘Because it’s an earth year, there may also be opportunities in property and mining.

On a more spiritual level, ‘It’s a time for getting back to earth for meaning. It’s about growing what we can eat and not wasting.’

But an earth year also means we could find ourselves wrestling with natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, tsunamis and floods.  They all represent the four elements: earth, wind, fire and water.

In general, Thomas summarises, 2011 is not a year for indulgence.  ‘It’s a time for knowing where we stand: it’s not about careless living.  ‘So stick with the budget, and get back to what works in your life.  We need to establish limits in all spheres of our lives, but, Thomas insists, we should see it as ‘restraining, not restricting, ourselves.’



2011 is not a relationship year, says Thomas.  ‘Find your levels of functionality and stick with that.  In other words, stick with what works, and do it more’  She says we’ll find, in 2011, that we need to ‘get on’ with our relationships rather than analyse them, and hold ourselves back from any grand scale culling.  So, if our relationships are not actually dysfunctional, then we should stick with them – but focus on what makes them work, rather than what makes them unsatisfactory. 

But even with those constraints, Thomas believes globally, divorce will be big this year.  Some may experience a personal tsunami – at worst broken foundations, at best lots of tears.  ‘It’s a year of make or break for relationships, and the break is especially for those partnerships that have outgrown their usefulness. People will view their relationships differently – if the tried and tested fails them, they may well consider restructuring and putting in place a new order.’



If you are thinking of starting a business with traditional – or earthy – products , then this is your year.  ‘Be practical and prosaic,’ says Thomas, ‘and steer away from trying to sell the new.’  That doesn’t mean it has to be boring, as there’s a huge creativity that comes with finding freedom within the boundaries of rules.  Remember, it’s an SOS year, so structures and systems should be kept firmly in place – especially when it comes to quality assurance.



Children should be brought down to earth this year, in terms of letting them reconnect and feel grounded with reality.  ‘Let them walk barefoot and get back to nature,’ says Thomas, ‘Let them look for answers there.’ As for the rest of us, well, we can learn a lot from the simplicity of children, and translate that into our own lives.  ‘(Little) children don’t distinguish between work and play,’ Thomas observes. : ‘They’re a great example of how all of us can find newness and excitement in the mundane.’ And that’s a learning that will stand all of us in good stead in 2011.’



Get back to basics.
Source new ideas from old ways.
Establish a routine.
Accept -- and enjoy – the familiar and commomplace.
Find old systems that work.
Rediscover our own bedrock (this is about facts and figures, not faith and feelings)
Embrace the simple pleasures of life.
Get back to the core and to the source.
Build on our core energies and beliefs.
… and gather strength, because is 2012 comes a new energy or transformation!



Numerology focuses on the relationship of numbers and their influence on our lives.

It’s an ancient study developed during the sixth century BC by Pythagoras, the famous Greek mathematician and philosopher, and based on the ancient works of Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Egyptians and Jews.

It works by combining the person’s birth date and their birth name to finally reveal a one-digit number for that person, which helps formulate a unique profile.  By using a series of totals and subtotals of numbers, as well as graphs, grids and tables, numerologists say they can provide a personality profile, information about our souls and egos, how we see ourselves versus how other people see us, our destiny and even our past lives.

What’s your number?

The objective is to find your one-digit number for a quick insight into your main traits.  For now, just use your birth date to work it out:

Write out your full birth date (MM-DD-YYYY) and add each of these digits together.  Example: if your birthday is November 16, 1975:

1 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 1 + 9 + 7 + 5 = 31

Take the total and add these digits.  Continue this process until you have a single digit:

3 + 1 = 4

These are some of the energies associated with each of the nine numbers:

  1. Leadership, independence, individuality, pioneering, originality.
  2. Supportive, co-operative, collaborative, negotiating, detail conscious, duality.
  3. Self-expressive, conversationalist, creative, synergy, networking, joyfulness.
  4. Stable, immovable, disciplined, habitual, conscientious, conservative.
  5. Versatile, flexible, adaptable, freedom-loving, sensual, communicative.
  6. Supportive, harmonious, companionable, nurturing, aesthetic, responsible.
  7. Reflective, introspective, private, loner, intellectual, analytical, investigative.
  8. Materialistic, worldly, ambitious, organised, orchestrating, abundant.
  9. Universal, idealistic, visionary, creative, humanitarian, compassionate.