Decoding Chinese Numerology & How to Use It

Updated March 30, 2022
Woman decoding Chinese numerology

Chinese numerology is also called Lo Shu numerology. Lo Shu numerology is not something many people have seen, and it's different from other forms of numerology. So, how did Lo Shu numerology come into being? Lo Shu numerology was inspired by a turtle's shell.

The Story of Chinese Numerology

About 4,000 years ago, China's Lo River flooded and swamped the local population. The desperate people pleaded with the river god to return the water to its banks. To their surprise, a turtle surfaced on the river. The people saw a pattern on its shell, a grid of nine squares. Each square had dots adding up to numbers. No matter how the dots were added across the rows, either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, the sum was 15. The diagram was called "Lo River Writing" or the "Lo Shu." The turtle gave the people the pattern on its back as a map or grid of the natural flow of chi and the elements.

How Chinese Use the Lo Shu Grid

The Lo Shug grid (Magic Square) and its numbers became a foundational tool in Chinese numerology, Feng shui, I Ching, and Nine Star Ki astrology. This Magic Square is also carried as an amulet or placed in homes and offices as a protective charm.

Lo Shu Square Numbers

Lo Shu numerology is based on your birth date. It has 9 numbers. Lo Shu doesn't use zeroes, so forget about those. Each number has a meaning, is either yin or yang, and represents a direction, a season, a Chinese element, and specific colors.

Chinese Numerology Lo Shu Grid

Horizontal Rows in Lo Shu Grid

There are three horizontal rows in the Lu Shu grid representing the mental, emotional, and physical planes of existence.

  • The top horizontal line of the grid is the "Mental Plane." It represents the powers of memory, intellect, analyzing capability, and thought.
  • The middle horizontal line of the birth chart is the "Emotional or Spiritual Plane." It reflects sensitivity, freedom, love, artistic inclination, spiritual independence, and intuition.
  • The bottom horizontal line of the grid is the "Physical or Practice Plane." This plane represents practical abilities, organizational skills, materialistic abilities, verbal expression, and the ability to use the hands.

Vertical Columns in Lo Shu Grid

Every chart also consists of three vertical rows, representing thought, will and determination, and action.

  • The first column is known as "The Plane of Thought." It reflects a love of order and method and the ability of a person to be thoughtful and thorough.
  • This second column is called "The Plane of Determination and Will." This column reflects a person's determination and will to succeed. It also shows patience and persistence in realizing his goals.
  • This third column is called "The Plane of Action." It revolves around the individual's ability to put their ideas into action and accomplish something.

Diagonals in Lo Shu Grid

The two diagonals forecast how a person will be lucky and successful in life. They measure the fortune of an individual.

A Basic Lo Shu Numerology Reading

Magic square of order three and planet Saturn

There are three steps to a basic Lo Shu reading:

  1. Place the numbers in a birthdate in the appropriate square of the 3x3 grid.
  2. Check for specific patterns in the grid's rows, columns, and diagonals.
  3. Give the reading based on the patterns found, the squares in the grid with more than one digit, and squares that have no numbers.

Step One: Place the Digits

Distribute the digits of the person's birthdate in the correct spots. For example, all 4s in the birthdate go in the upper-left corner square, all 2s go in the upper-right corner square, and all 5s go in the center square. For instance, using the birthdate 12/22/1944 to create a grid that looks like this:

Reading Lo Shu Grid

Step Two: Look for Patterns

Look at the rows in the grid and find places where every square in that row has at least one number, or every square in that row has no numbers. Do the same for the columns and diagonals.

  • If there are three squares of a row, column, or diagonal are filled, that's a plus. The more numbers in a square, the more important the qualities of the number are to the person's life.
  • Whenever the three squares of a row, column, or diagonal contain no numbers, that plane of existence is lacking.
  • If a number disappears on a Lo Shu numerology grid, it's a sign of deficiency related to that number.

Brief Lo Shu Numerology Reading

Below is simple and brief reading as an example of how the Lo Shu numerology grid works. As is seen in the Lo Shu grid above, all three squares in the first row are filled. The first row is the mental plane. This indicates a person whose memory, intellect, and analyzing capabilities are of paramount importance to them. However, they're entirely lacking on the emotional plane. This is a person who spends a great deal of time in their head analyzing things but lacks the ability to communicate their emotions.

  • The person has three number 2s. The meaning for number 2 is cooperation. This indicates the person makes an extra effort to listen and is open-minded, fair, and cooperative with others.
  • They also have two number 4s. The meaning of number 4 is money and wealth. Two number 4s indicate the person is likely to be financially prosperous.
  • This person has two number 1s. The meaning for the number 1 is beginnings. The second column in the third row relates to physical or practical action. This is an individual who likes to start up new projects that have practical applications.
  • Number 9 is in the first row and second column. The meaning of 9 is fame and prosperity through mental will and determination.

You can determine many things about this person just from the above characteristics.

Missing Numbers

If any of the numbers are missing in the Lo Shu grid reading, the individual will lack that number's characteristics. However, there are simple Feng Sui remedies for these missing numbers. Note the missing numbers in your reading and incorporate the missing numbers' Chinese element, direction, and colors into your life. For example, if number 9 is missing, adding red to your home and wardrobe will increase your prosperity. If number 4 is missing, wearing a golden chain around your neck can grow your wealth.

Learning Chinese Numerology

Lo Shu numerology is fast and easy to get started. Like any other type of numerology, the more you practice, the more you'll know and understand. Start with yourself and people you know well, and you'll soon find out how fun and easy it is.

Decoding Chinese Numerology & How to Use It