By Nicole Hennessy
Lying in a hospital bed when she was just 18, Laura Varcho rummaged through a cart of books that had been wheeled into her room.
Immediately drawn to a book on numerology, she opened her selection and began looking for answers or insights into who she was or might become.
For a few years, she’d already been studying astrology and other so-called “occult” practices, so this wasn’t foreign to her; it was comforting and familiar.
Before figuring out her numbers, Varcho scanned each one, reading about what they meant.
“I would really love to have that life path,” she thought, stopping at the number 3, a laid-back, creative, imaginative number.
Quickly, she added together the letters of her full name and birthday, arriving at her number: 3. It turned out the number she was initially drawn to was her life number. Happy, she continued researching exactly what that meant.
“As I was reading it,” she remembered, “it just bowled me over because it was so exact. It was so true!”
Though she considers herself a skeptical, somewhat cynical person who doesn’t “swallow this stuff hook by the sinker,” 30 years later, numerology is still a part of Varcho’s life. And, wanting to share it with others, she’s begun giving lectures on the subject.
Last year, she gave a lecture at the Lakewood Public Library, and found one session to be so limiting that she continued conversations with attendees in the parking lot after the library closed. So this time, she’ll be hosting a series of three sessions.
Some people are skeptical of numerology, but when people come to her, Varcho said, “They can’t believe you’re telling them about themselves. You know things about them that you see in their chart.”
“Oh, yeah, that is me,” they’ll say.
Or, “Oh, yeah, that did happen to me. This is how I feel.”
Varcho’s constantly learning about numbers and how they relate to her life. For her, there is no end point in that education. It is an evolving knowledge. While she doesn’t study it every day, she says that even if she did there’d still be more to learn.
“Numbers permeate every corner of our existence,” she said.
One part philosophy and one part mathematics, the system is ancient in its origins, though the versions practiced today are modernized, as many ancient interpretations on numerology have been lost or destroyed.
“Whatever’s been trickled down or sifted through from that ancient knowledge is what we’re working with,” Varcho explained.
Varcho considers her numbers in her day-to-day life, but not to the extent that other believers might, particularly because it’s her belief that people should not be constrained by any dogma whatsoever – be it religion, capitalism, New Ageism or any other belief system.
Rather, she uses what tools she has to make decisions that best suit her in each moment. She likens her relationship to numerology to checking the weather before heading out for the day.
“It’s all about knowing yourself and being true to yourself,” Varcho said.