Abi Latham of Glasgow, Scotland, was recently in the process of moving homes, an experience that she described as “chaotic and stressful at times.” Then she started noticing the number 33 in random places, such as on car license plates, shopping receipts or digital clocks.

“I knew that this was a sign from my angels that everything was going to work out perfectly in the end,” says the founder of Cat Care Checklist, via email. “I’m convinced that it wouldn’t have worked out nearly as well if I hadn’t been attuned to the guidance of my angels.”

Latham is a clear believer in numerology, which assigns magical properties and “vibrations” to specific numbers. Numerology is used for several purposes, like predicting the future, determining compatibility between potential mates and figuring out a person’s lucky number or lucky dates. What Latham saw that guided her to a calm state were “angel numbers,” best described as repeating numbers.

According to numerologist and “Glynis Has Your Number” author Glynis McCants, the repeating 3s were just about a best-case scenario for Latham. “If you see 333 that is wonderful,” McCants says, adding that those numbers are “literally supporting you.” Repeating 3s, she notes, want a person to get back to laughter and communication. “When a person sees repeating 3s, they’re basically instructed by the universe not to let the past or the future make you stressed out.”

### What Are Angel Numbers?

Numerology dates back thousands of years to the discovery of mathematics. Greek philosopher and math whiz Pythagoras is credited by numerologists with assigning attributes to each digit. “When a number repeats itself, it exemplifies that energy,” McCants says. “When we see numbers that recur it is always a message to us; it’s like a spirit that looks at you.”

Indeed, psychic reader Emily Newman describes angel numbers in an email as “manifestations of divine energy” that “signal we are on the right track or point us in the right direction while we are experiencing difficulties.” Even people who don’t know anything about angel numbers still find them to be fascinating. “It’s cool to see a pattern,” McCants says. However, “When you understand what it means it’s even better, more exciting.”

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Skeptics might say that the universe isn’t sending any messages, that humans have a natural tendency to look for patterns where none exist intentionally, just like we see faces in clouds or rock formations.

“Apophenia results from the evolution of human cognition,” writes anthropology professor John W. Hopes in Psychology Today. “The ability to spot and recognize patterns — patterns that represent things to eat, things to avoid, or things with which to try and reproduce — is an adaptation with positive feedback for survival… However, apophenia is not just recognizing patterns. It’s interpreting patterns in meaningless data as if it were meaningful.”

True believers don’t agree. “For some people, angel numbers may just be an interesting coincidence. But if you’re someone who believes in the divine and the power of signs, then you may feel that seeing angel numbers is a way for your guardian angel to communicate with you,” emails Sofia Celestino, a numerologist from DestinyAwakens.com. “No matter what your personal beliefs are, there’s no denying that seeing the same number or a sequence of numbers, over and over again can feel pretty significant.”

### How to Interpret Angel Numbers

First, it’s important to know that each number often has more than one “vibration,” or interpretation. Soul and business coach Krystal Souza counsels her clients to only “follow what resonates.”

She offers the following example. “Seeing the number 111 for you might mean you’re in alignment, you’re in flow, but for someone else, it means you need to get your thoughts in order.” To really get the most out of angel numbers she says you should check in with yourself and really figure out how you’re feeling. Ask “what messages do I really need to hear?” Then see what vibrates.

Here are some examples of how numerologists interpret the following angel numbers:

### Repeating 1s

There are a couple of different common scenarios for repeating 1s. When presented as 111, it’s seen as a “sign of new beginnings,” emails Johanna Augusta, numerologist and astrologer at Ministry of Numerology. She says this is because the number 1 “carries the energy of new beginnings.” As a result, “when you see this number it’s a sign that your angels are trying to tell you that something new is on the horizon.”

A commonly noted pattern is 1111 or 11:11, say on a phone or clock. McCants loves this one because it literally looks like a doorway of opportunity. “I encourage my clients if they see 11 11 to spend that full minute asking for what they want,” she says. This desire could be a romantic relationship, the perfect house or a better job.

### Repeating 2s

These numbers promote trusting your gut instinct, McCants says. “When you see it, it’s saying ‘go with it, don’t overthink it,'” she explains. It’s also about balance, however. So, a workaholic who sees repeating 2s should think about other areas of life that need attention, like love or relaxation.

### Repeating 3s

As already mentioned, 3s are fun and playful, and want a person to not be so stressed out. However, another interpretation is that repeating 3s tell you to “go deeper into your life’s purpose and explore more,” says Newman.

### Repeating 4s

Repeating 4s are all about integrity and facing things, according to McCants. “If you see 444 and you’re covering for someone at work, it’s saying don’t do that, the truth will set you free.” The sequence 444 also represents knowledge and achievement. “It’s reminding you to achieve prosperity, security,” she explains. So, move up that ladder or shoot for the stars if you see repeating 4s! “Concentrate on your aim and have faith in what you’re doing,” McCants adds.

### Repeating 5s

Time to embrace change. This is the universe’s way of reminding a person not to control everything. “The natural state of life is chaos,” McCants explains. “Don’t let it take away your joy. Be in the moment and have fun.” She notes that repeating 5s are a way of reminding someone about something they wondered about, but never got the answer to.

### Repeating 6s

Although many people are freaked out by 666, McCants says that it’s a powerful angel number that is mostly about family. “If you see it, it’s asking you about your home environment. Are you happy where you live? Do you want to move?” It also gives a person the option to choose between the devil or angel on their shoulder. “It takes two to have an argument, so don’t join in,” she says. Also, 666 is a reminder to turn something negative into a positive.

### Repeating 7s

A number with repeating 7s is a reminder to “remain cool and refrain from attempting to control things,” Newman explains. It can also serve to inspire people to be more spiritual.

### Repeating 8s

Angel numbers with 8 in them are a nudge to acknowledge that you’re stuck in a repeating cycle, “attempting to control things that are out of your hands,” says Newman. “It would be beneficial if you established a sense of balance in your life.”