"keep him waiting for three days"

Numerology, or the study of numbers, is closely linked to alchemy. ‘This subject is based on the belief that the name you were given at birth and the day, month and year you were born, influence who you are and trends during the course of your lifetime.’   This clearly fits in with Coelho’s idea of a ‘personal legend’.

The number three is linked to Santiago: ‘This number is optimistic and fun loving and strives to uplift and colour its surroundings. Its energy is youthful, enlivening and enthusiastic... like a child.’ By contrast, the merchant is associated with the number four: ‘Four is constructive, realistic, traditional and cautious. It is the number of system, order and management.’