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Saturday, October 1, 2016

LITTLE LECTURES ON MAGICK: NUMBER SYMBOLISM

The Apologia for this System is that our purest conceptions are symbolized in Mathematics. "God is the Great Arithmetician." "God is the Grand Geometer." It is best therefore to prepare to apprehend Him by formulating our minds according to these measures.

By "God" I here mean the Ideal Identity of a man's inmost nature...

Crowley; Magick: In Theory and Practice


At the root of the Western Esoteric Tradition which informs not only Enochian, but the Tarot and the Qabalah as well, lies a set of symbolic numbers. These originate mainly with Pythagoras (circa 570-495 BCE). "The numerals of Pythagoras," wrote Porphyry in the 4th century CE, "were hieroglyphic symbols, by means whereof he explained all ideas concerning the nature of things." This is exactly how they are understood in Magick today. Crowley adds to this;

Let us say, once again, that the magical language is nothing but a convenient system of classification to enable the magician to docket his experiences as he obtains them. Yet this is true also, that, once the language is mastered, one can divine the unknown by study of the known, just as one's knowledge of Latin and Greek enables one to understand some unfamiliar English word derived from those sources...

Numbers, because of their universality, are generally understood to be the best tools for classification at the Magician's disposal. They are a shorthand for very complex ideas, and because Magick often deals with highly subjective concepts, a way to ensure as much clarity as possible in communicating such things. Thus, without further ado, let us look at the numbers essential to Tarot, Qabalah, and Enochian Magic.

Zero
Zero, also known as Silence, Nothing, or the Void, is the Infinite. It contains and is the sum of all opposites within it (0 = n + -n). Creation ex nihilo is simply zero dividing back into paired opposites (see Genesis 1). One useful way to think of zero is infinite potential; a blank sheet of paper has the potential to become anything...a love letter, a laundry list, a recipe, an origami crane. It is empty, but by virtue of this has infinite potential.


Zero exists beyond time, beyond definition, and beyond thinking. It is the highest level of reality in multiple traditions, from the Hebrew Ain Soph which exists above the Tree of Life to the Buddhist nirvana.

One to Three; the Heavens

Ancient Near Eastern, Classical, and Indian traditions divide the universe into two; the Heavens and the Earth (though some traditions include a third realm, the underworld, it is generally considered to exist within or under the Earth). The Heavens are the Ideal Plane, existing beyond time or matter, and they are usually symbolized by the Circle or Sphere. The Earth is the material world, symbolized by the Square or Cube.



One: the Point is very nearly Nothing. It has no length, no breadth, no depth. It has no mass. It only has position. Yet, like the Nothing it emerges from, it contains all the other numbers inside it. Every other number is made of it. This is the fertilized egg before it begins to divide. This is the breath you draw before uttering a word. This is the nucleus of the Big Bang.

Two: the Opposite, the Other, the Double (Devil). The moment One emerged from anything, Two was born, because "this" implies "not that." One is Unity; Two is Division, Opposition, and Expansion. Two points make a line, a direction.

Three: She is the Queen of Heaven. The moment Separation occurs at Two, a Third element is created...Space. This third point defines and measures the first two, establishing limit. Three is Geometry; she is the Circle (Centre, Radius, Circumference), the Triangle, and the Creatrix of Three Dimensional Space (Up/down, Left/Right, Front/back). Finally, she is the Gate between Heavens and Earth.


Four to Ten; the Earth

Four: After Space is created, a fourth point allows the creation of the Tetrahedron, the first Pythagorean solid. Four is Matter, the Four Elements of Creation. It is the Tetragrammaton, YHVH, the Demiurge who mistakenly believes he is the highest god because he cannot see beyond the Abyss yawning between the Heavens and Earth.

Five: This is Matter in Motion, and therefore Time. It is the Tesseract and the Pentagram, which creates stability through motion.

Six: Now that Matter has a past and a future, it is capable of Individuality and Consciousness. It can say "I was that, I am this, I will be that." It can grow and change. Six is also the Emissary of the Heavens, the Word Made Flesh. 1 + 2 + 3 is 6, the Three Supernal numbers incarnating as the six faces of the Cube.

Seven: Six, given Individuality, now interacts with the other individuals around it. Seven is Sensation, the Self reaching out to Experience the World (the center of the Cube reaching out to the six faces). Further, just as the triangular prism breaks white light into seven colors, there is a special relationship between 3 and 7 (seven being a direct extension of the three vectors--up, down, left, right, front, back, and now a center). 3 is Heaven, 7 is Earth and together they are One and Zero (10).

Eight: the Individual experiences Sensation, and moving through Time, Learns from its experiences. Eight is Learning, and the means the means to record Learning...Language and Communication.

Nine: the Individual experiences Sensation, Learns, and cireates a sense of Self from its unique adventures, an Ego. But this is the Created Self, the Lesser Self. It is a reflection of the True Self at Six. Nine is the Number that Always Returns to Itself. It is the Waking Self of daily life, not in control but responsive and prone to illusions. But it is also desire, and the desire to create. It is the Self that most people identify with.

Ten: Here the cycle is complete. The Point has expanded, incarnated, and created a Universe to experience and better know itself. It has formed a world for itself, and now yearns to Return.


The Planets; The Path of Return

If One through Ten marks the path of descent and manifestation, the planets associated with these Numbers show the reverse path, Ascension, return to the infinite.

Ten is Earth, the Material World. It is the Mother who gives birth to us. Nine is Luna, the Moon. This is the Virgin, the Child that believes itself to be the center of existence, lost in illusions and dreams.

Eight is Mercury, the Student. It is the mischievous child between infancy and adolescence, clever and capricious. Seven is Venus, the Adolescent who begins to yearn for the other. Six is Sol, the Golden Youth in the prime of life. Five is Mars, the Adult, fighting to make a mark on the world. Four is Jupiter, the Father, who now has a family and children. He has conquered the world and is passing it on.

Three is Saturn, Old Age, the Wizard and the Crone. It sits on the edge of the Abyss. Saturn is also Death, the portal back to the Infinite. Two is the Zodiac, expanded space. One is the Sphere of Fixed Stars.


The Numbers of the Cube

There are a few more significant Numbers, and they all relate to the Cube, the symbol of Material Space.

We have discussed how 3 and 7 relate to the Cube. 8 is also related, as it constitutes the number of points or corners. The next Number is 12, the number of edges. It is associated with the signs of the Zodiac, which guard the borders of the cosmos. 13 is the 12 edges plus the center. It is the Sun moving through the belt of the Zodiac.

After 12 and 13, two more numbers merit discussion. The first is 22, or 3 + 7 + 12. 22 is the whole of Creation, the Heavens and the Cube. We will be discussing it in more detail when we get into the Qabalah and Tarot.

26 is similar to 22; it is the 8 corners of the Cube added to the 6 faces and 12 edges. Again, this number will become critical when we discuss Qabalah.

Finally, we must discuss 37. This is again a manifestation of the relationship between 3 and 7, Earth and Heaven. But it is also the "seed number" of the Triples, all of which have great significance. 37 x 3 is 111, 37 x 6 is 222, 37 x 9 is 333, 37 x 12 is 444, 37 x 15 is 555, 37 x 18 (6 + 6 + 6) is 666, and so on.



1 comment:

  1. I seriously can't get enough of this. Thanks for sharing and keep 'em coming!!! ��

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