Picture this: You’re on your lunch break. You know it’s going to end soon, so you look at the clock to see how much time you have left. It’s 2:21 p.m. What do you do? Most people would go about their lives, enjoying their last moments before returning to work, but some people (myself included) operate differently. Astrology enthusiasts know 222 is an angel number — like all repeating numbers — so whenever I see a potential sequence on the clock, I refuse to miss the moment. But if you’re forcing yourself to see an angel number every chance you get, do they really mean anything? Below, two astrologers and a tarot card reader share their take on inorganic interactions with angel numbers, so the next time you’re counting down the seconds until the clock changes, you might want to read this first.
In case you need a refresher, angel numbers are thought to be a sign from your angels in numerology. The most well-known angel numbers are the ones that appear in repeating sequences, like 111 and 222, however, non-repeating numbers that hold significance in one’s life (like a birthday or anniversary) can be considered angel numbers as well.
Whenever you see an angel number, there are many ways to interpret it. According to astrologer Maryaam Lewis-Herbert, aka @ShawtyHerbs on TikTok, angel numbers may be a signal from your spirit guides that you need to “pay attention to something,” or they’re a sign that something significant is happening in your life.
Angel number encounters are meant to be extremely comforting and affirming, especially when you see them in unexpected places. But, there’s an argument to be made that when you force an encounter with an angel number you’re not actually receiving a spiritual sign at all, but are instead assigning meaning to something on your own.
So, does purposefully double-tapping that IG post to be 444th like mean there’s clarity coming to you, or has the internet’s obsession with angel numbers convinced us we need to see them every chance we get for good fortune? Like all things related to astrology, it’s all up to your interpretation.
Is It Bad To Force Yourself To See Angel Numbers?
Though counting down to 11:11 can be fun, tarot reader Brittany Bento (@brittanybento on TikTok) believes that forcing encounters with angel numbers can significantly diminish their meaning. “I don’t believe in coincidences, but when you’re forcing yourself to see something, that’s your logical mind making something happen,” Bento tells Bustle. “It’s not necessarily something being brought to you from spirit.”
Lewis-Herbert views purposeful angel number encounters a bit differently. “If you are intentionally trying to see angel numbers… that could just create more of their energy in your life,” she says. The astrologer also believes there are several ways to see angel numbers besides repeating groups of three, and considering how numbers correlate to your birth chart or ruling planet can add a layer of importance when spotting one.
Take 111, for example. The astrologer explains that the number one is ruled by the sun in astrology, but you can also add the numbers to get three, which is ruled by Jupiter. So, if you’re having recurring interactions with 111, you can uncover its true message by finding the sign and house that your sun and Jupiter are in on your birth chart. By taking this “personalized approach” to angel numbers, you’re not only receiving a clearer message from spirit, but the TikToker believes it prevents the sequences you see from losing their meaning, too.
Despite Lewis-Herbert’s thorough approach to angel number encounters, the Toronto-based creator emphasizes the importance of using your intuition when it comes to number sequences — and same goes for the astrology content that pops up on your FYP. Like angel numbers, Bento explains those videos may have been sent to you as a lesson in discernment rather than a message from the stars.
Does Seeing Multiple Angel Numbers Lessen Their Meaning?
If you’re seeing several sets of angel numbers a day, after a while you might start to wonder if they actually mean anything. According to astrologer Ryan Lu (@e.mo.tions on TikTok), it’s up to you to decide how you feel about the repeating number sequences. If you have a job that requires you to deal with numbers a lot, you’re probably going to encounter your fair share of angel numbers in a day. If you want those numbers to mean something, then you’re more than welcome to take them as a sign. If you believe that the angel numbers you see in that context don’t hold any weight, that’s OK, too.
“For angel numbers, it really depends on exactly what you believe them to be, and what your relationship with them is,” says the NYC-based creator. “For example, I might look at angel numbers and think, ‘This is something reassuring to me,’ but someone else might look at it like a warning, and it really does come down to your [own] belief.”
The astrologer shares that the excitement of seeing angel numbers never wears off for him, and even admits that he will sometimes purposely post his TikTok videos on an angel number. Lu even tips in angel numbers and has assigned personal meanings to different angel number sequences.
Lu and Bento both emphasized that while there’s no such thing as seeing too many angel numbers, you should probably minimize your forced encounters with them as much as possible. Sure, if you’re actively seeking them out because they make you feel all fuzzy inside, that’s one thing. But if you let your frequent encounters with angel numbers dictate your life and “start to make something of what is going on, then they could turn into something they’re not,” Bento warns.
How To Know If An Angel Number Actually Means Something To You
If you’re looking to establish a relationship with angel numbers, Lu recommends checking in with yourself when you see an angel number by asking questions like, “What did you feel when you saw it? What was going on in your life? What were you thinking about when you saw that number? [Are] there any patterns that you’re noticing? Is there any kind of mindset that you’ve become familiar with whenever you see that number?” Depending on your answers, you’ll be able to decide whether or not that number was a sign for you.
Though everyone has their own beliefs about purposeful angel number encounters, these numerology enthusiasts all agree on one thing: There’s no such thing as a real coincidence. A repeating sequence can either be a true sign from your angels or a test of your intuition, and you can take some steps to figure out which is which. You can start by checking in with yourself every time you see a synchronicity, like an angel number or a tarot reading via the FYP, to discern if the message is actually for you. Or perhaps you just caught that 5:55 on the clock because you’ve been counting down the minutes until you can clock out at 6 p.m.
Maryaam Lewis-Herbert, astrologer and TikTok creator
Brittany Bento, tarot card reader, psychic medium, and TikTok creator
Ryan Lu, astrologer and TikTok creator