Chapter

THE APPROACH TO EXPERIENCE: THE FIRST LETTER THE FIRST VOWEL

THE FIRST LETTER AND FIRST VOWEL OF THE Definition NAME DESCRIBE THE NATURAL OR INNATE APPROACH, THE METHOD OF RESPONSE AND REACTION TO EXPERIENCE. The First Letter and First Vowel are directing modifiers.

These are important modifiers. Since the nature of a person's experience is structured by the core and since the approach to this experience is structured by the First Letter and First Vowel, the approach can have a LIMITING or STABILIZING or ENHANCING effect on a person's experience.

With an effort of the will, the approach can be shifted. It takes a significant force to change the approach so that, for instance, there is an enhancing effect rather than a limiting effect on a person's experience. You are, to a great extent, attached to the First Letter and First Vowel much as you're connected to the core.

Some numerologists define the First Letter (or Cornerstone) as the approach to material experience, the First Vowel as the approach to spiritual or non-material experience. In my experience, the approach to material and spiritual experience is an amalgam of the letter and vowel. The vowel predominates, supplying sixty percent of the direction while the letter supplies forty percent.

Turn to chart 11: the first letter, page 354. Here you'll find descriptions of the portion of the approach symbolized by the consonants. The vowels are not included in this chart, but are found on chart 12: the first vowel. W and Y are sometimes consonants and sometimes vowels. Chart 11 describes W and Y as consonants while Chart 12 describes these letters as vowels.

To the right of each letter on Chart 11 is a key phrase summarizing the characteristics described.

The traits described are often symbolized in the letter itself. For example:

H, M rest solidly on two legs, denote awareness of the material world.

(A, a vowel, rests on a similar base, soars upwards to symbolize originality and creativity.)

B, D (and O, a vowel) are enclosed, self-protected, retiring.

E, C are open-ended, spontaneous, adventurous.

Y has two arms, two directions, a sense of uncertainty, vacillation.

As shown on Chart 11, the letters can be grouped according to modifier energies. For example, all letters with 1 modifier numbers—A,J,S—represent qualities of leadership while all letters with 7 modifier numbers—G,P,Y—represent qualities of thinking. The fourth horizontal row compares the letters directly above.

The letters can also be grouped horizontally. In the upper row, A through I (the first through the ninth letters), the energy is usually positively oriented—C is a spontaneous creator while D is a steady builder.

In the second row, J through R (the tenth through the eighteenth letters), the energy is considerably less pure. L represents the reasoning creator (as opposed to the spontaneous creator of C) and M is a controlled builder (compared to the steady builder of D). In the top row, the noun and adjective of the key phrase are supportive; in the second row, the adjective generally weakens the thrust of the noun.

And, in the third row, S through Z (the nineteenth through the twenty-sixth letters), the energy often feels misdirected. W represents an encounterer, but, unfortunately, a limiting en-counterer (as compared to the E adventurous encounterer). Y represents an uncertain thinker. The noun and the adjective tend to be at odds with each other. The notable exception here, like the K exception in the second row, is the V inspirational master.

Think of the descriptions as only a beginning in your under-

Chart 11: The First Letter standing of the individual letters. With the key phrases and descriptions as a base, compare the characteristics you observe in people and enlarge your awareness of the letters.

chart 12: the first vowel, page 368, describes the portion Chart 12: of the approach symbolized by the vowels. As shown on the The First chart, the vowels must be viewed in terms of their pronun- y0\yel ciation:

Long vowels—A in James, E in Eva, I in Ida—contain energy in the purest, most positive form.

Short vowels—I in Lisa, O in Oliver, U in Ruth—have the same general characteristics as the long vowels, but they have considerably less power and are more muted in expression.

Combined vowels are two vowels combined in the same syllable—AU in Aubrey, E in Eugene, AY in Rat/mond. The power and expression of the combined vowels are as muted as the short vowels.

Familiarize yourself with the approach represented by each vowel and the nuances reflecting the vowel's pronounciation.

A stresses LEADERSHIP, individuality, creativity.

E stresses ADVENTURE, activity, change.

I stresses HUMANITARIANISM, creativity, deep emotions > "

O stresses HARMONIZATION, responsibility, self-containment, concealed feelings.

U stresses SENSITIVITY, intuition.

W stresses VACILLATION.

Y stresses THOUGHT, analysis, introspection, vacillation, intuition.

With just a little memorization, you can begin to use the Commentary First Letter and First Vowel. For instance, the next time you meet a Mary, see if you can see the leadership, the individuality, the creativity associated with the A along with the controlled, practical and steadying effect of the M. The characteristics just mentioned describe the way Mary approaches experience—which, in terms of numerology, is the way Margaret and Maria and Mark and Matthew and Matilda also approach experience. The approach will appear somewhat differently in all the different Marys and Margarets, of course, depending on their cores and other modifiers. But, when you start to look, you'll be amazed (a) that the approach is usually very much apparent, and (b) that the approach is expressed in such a variety of ways because of the presence of the other numbers. I particularly enjoy this exercise because it doesn't involve any calculations. With a little practice, you can shake hands with a person, think about their first name, and, almost instantly, have some useful awarenesses.

This may be fun to practice, but you can't, of course, use the First Letter and First Vowel all by themselves and expect to acquire a deep understanding of another person. These are two modifiers and must always be viewed as modifiers of the core energies. Let's examine a few illustrations of the natural approach modifying the core.

Example: The core energies are limited

Muriel has a 6 Life Path

1 Expression

2 Soul Urge

7 Birthday

Muriel's energy is likely to be devoted to harmonizing and balancing situations (6), leading and promoting (1), giving love and affection (2), as well as expressing some creative urges (6).

Muriel's long First Vowel U describes, among other traits, a conservative streak and a sense of indecisiveness. Muriel's First Letter M indicates a controlled approach, self-discipline and a steady, thorough worker. Muriel's approach to her experiences is likely to reflect these characteristics. She'll tend to LIMIT her growth because of her approach. (It's true that the U will also stress sensitivity and idealism while the M will also stress organizational ability. The positive qualities of these traits will, of themselves, enhance the possibilities for growth, but the total effect of the MU leans toward the conservative and controlled—toward limiting development.)

Example: The core energies are enhanced

Clive has the same core as Muriel.

But Clive's long First Vowel I describes a very intense approach with much passion and sensitivity. And Clive's First Letter C stresses an exhilarating expression of the joy of living coupled with spontaneous creative inspiration. Since Clive's response to his experience will probably stress these traits, his approach will ENHANCE his development.

Don has a 5 Life Path

3 Expression

1 Soul Urge

2 Birthday

Don's energy is probably involved in making the most of the exciting opportunities he finds (5), expressing the joy of living (3), actively seeking situations where he can use his abilities (1).

Don's short First Vowel O indicates stress on responsibility, self containment, controlled emotions, an innate understanding of how to protect himself from life's storms. Don's First Letter D describes a self-disciplined, efficient, conservative approach. With a different core, Don's natural approach might stifle and restrict his growth, but, with his high-flying core energy, Don's approach is more likely to STABILIZE his development.

Example: The core energies are stabilized

It's usually fairly simple to describe the natural approach to experience, but it's not always as easy, as in the above three examples, to pinpoint the limiting, stabilizing or enhancing tendencies. If the effect of the approach on a person's experience proves more complex than in our simple examples, describe which individual traits are limiting, which stabilizing and which enhancing. And it's fine if it feels a little ambiguous! Life—and character traits—more often than not, are full of complexities and ambiguities. A partially ambiguous reading is merely a reflection >of the person's ambiguous structure!

Here are a few special cases: Special

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