The primal force
In Numerology, each of the nine single-digit numbers has a personality -- a limited range of qualities and traits that makes it unique and recognizable. To me each number is a character, like any human being. In order to understand how numbers affect us based on their location in the chart, it helps to get to know each single digit number as if it were a person.
The goal is to get beyond each number being just a list of positive and negative qualities and to, instead, make each number come alive -- to sense how the numbers play off of each other. If you sense some exaggeration in my descriptions, remember that these nine "individuals" are extremes by their very nature (while we, as human beings, are made up of a mixture of all the numbers' traits).
Among the nine single-digit numbers, the 1 takes a special place. From a spiritual perspective, it is the number of creation, the primal force from which all other numbers spring forth (as opposed to the often quoted zero from which, by definition, nothing could possibly come into being). It is said that when you truly understand the place and function of this most primal of all numbers, you will know all there is to know and enlightenment is yours. This statement, of course, does not apply to an understanding of the number 1 from a Numerologist's perspective alone, but perhaps that is a good place to start, as the personality of the number 1 aligns nicely with its more elevated spiritual symbolism.
The 1 is a doer, a powerful force that produces results and does not allow anything or anyone to limit its potential. The 1 is aggressive, a necessary energy for creating and producing. The 1 is always in the forefront: a spearpoint directing and leading others. The shape of the number 1, just like the shape of all other symbols, reflects its meaning; it walks upright with pride and purpose. Strong, determined, unwavering and with specific goals in mind, the 1 can turn dreams and ideas into reality. It pushes obstacles aside or simply drills right through them.
The 1 grows, transforms and improves in perpetuity, precisely the way Mother Nature does. After all, nature's primal force and most basic building block is the number 1. Nature knows no mercy and its cruelty can be heartbreaking. However, it knows balance and gives life indiscriminately and without judgment. Scientists sometimes compete with nature, genetically altering fruits or breeding bugs for specific purposes. An understanding of nature teaches us that this is never a good idea and almost always produces unexpected backlashes. The number 1 has a similar built-in perfection and balance; you can force a change here or there, but negative repercussions are likely.
The 1 tends to have a simple, straightforward view of life and its many complexities. It trusts its own ability to separate right from wrong. It doesn't waste time on abstract ideas or anything else that isn't in line with its pursuit of results. The 1 is no preacher, no philosopher, no spiritual explorer, no dreamer and certainly not an idealist. It is a pragmatist, a ruthless conqueror and a warrior extraordinaire. It is individualistic and independent to a fault. It will attempt to force its values and opinions on you but it won't accept, or even listen to, yours.
The 1 does not hesitate when it senses a need for confrontation. It is jealous and extremely stubborn, but also courageous and willing to try anything new if it sees promise, even at great danger. It is, if you haven't guessed, the most masculine of all numbers. There is a certain quality, a sense of honor and responsibility that demands our respect, and it has a sense of justice that cannot be denied. The number 1 cannot witness injustice without jumping in and setting things straight.
Its purity of purpose is an admirable quality of the number 1. It sees things for what they are and hypocrisy doesn't stand a chance. Befriend a 1 and you have a friend for life. You can poke fun at a 1 and not have to worry about hurt feelings. A 1 has a great capacity for humor, including the self-deprecating kind. If, however, you try to cater to a 1 to win its love or friendship, you'll lose its respect instead. Stand up to a 1 and you may lose the fight, but you'll gain its admiration. If you are in trouble and need help, the number 1 is who you want on your side -- there is no more dedicated protector or braver partner. If you are in love, the number 1 is the most difficult of all lovers: demanding, jealous, confrontational and impatient. If you find yourself in the service of a 1, you will be pushed to the limit, abused at all hours, and incapable of living up to its expectations. But you will also, without a doubt, become the best you could ever be. If the 1 is your enemy, you will be crushed without mercy.
If you yourself are a 1, your happiness and satisfaction will come from your work more than from any other source. And if it was possible for a person to be fully and truly a 1 and only a 1, that individual would be successful and intimidating, as well as extremely unpleasant and dangerous.