Good Evening My Witchy Readers,
I am completing this interesting and fascinating discussion on the ancient historical, spiritual, cultural and religious beliefs in numbers that span back over thousands of years and can be found in just about every culture on every continent on earth.
We started with Paleolithic man and we can see how we continue today relying heavily on numbers in so many ways. For instance, here in America we use and enjoy counting systems from various cultures throughout history in our modern society. Did you know that when we tell time on our clocks, since our clocks only have 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour we are using a base 60 system developed by the ancient Sumerians?
Then when we use a tape measure and measure a foot in 12 inches we can thank the ancient Romans for that measuring system we still use today.
Fibonacci Numbers / Sequence / Code:
One of the classes I teach is a class on sacred geometry and many people initially misinterpret and think that sacred geometry is evidenced in grand Cathedrals and great works of art and such human created things, and they could not be further from the truth. No, no. When I say sacred, I mean as in Divinely created in Nature.
Created by the Creator, whomever that may be for you. Now do not stress if math is not your thing, I'm not crazy about math myself, but the Fibonacci numbers are simple once you know their code. First you start off easy with:
0 + 1 = 1, then 1 +1 = 2, 1+2 = 3, keep adding the last two digits in the equation, the last number and the answer to make your next equation, so next is 2+3=5, then 3+5=8 (do you see?) well what does this all mean? Well I can get all mathematical and confusing and tell you how the farther you go with the sequence the closer to Pi it gets you and then the Golden Ratio of Phi but all you need to know is scientists and mathematicians are able to, in their genius, find the Fibonacci sequence in nature naturally occurring such as in the combs of bees honey combs, with each and every chamber of a honeycomb made by bees anywhere in the world being exactly the same, with the mathematics of the honeycombs equaling the Fibonacci code in some fashion. Now most of these things have been discovered since the advent of the computer as computers are able to determine these intricate codes, long before people can discern them, unless one is a veritable genius !!
Every ear of corn in the world will have 14-18 rows of kernels and always an even number of rows never an odd number of rows like 13 or 15 and this falls within the Fibonacci sequence, as do the number of kernels of seeds on a sunflower, and many things that grow in nature. Scientists have found this to be true so the magick in numbers occurs not just for humans but in the natural world also, it has a reason a purpose, even if we can not discern it. Now a botanist knows this is because of the growth pattern of the flower buds and how they naturally develop on the stalk, but nonetheless they fall into this mysterious code as does even our very strands of human DNA!
A number that has come into the spotlight in more recent times, especially since the digital age is 11.
Since 11 is a double digit that repeats itself, it is firstly considered a Master or Power number in numerology and Astrology, and is afforded special 'powers' simply because of that status.
In modern numerology it is considered to represent concepts such as idealism, or even impractical idealism, visionary concepts, refinement of ideas, intuition, revelations, artistic and inventive expression, avant-guarde, androgynous, even film and fame and refinement when working successfully with a practical understanding partner.
Also, even though ten is considered by many cultures to be the perfect number because of it's attachment to Divinity, here on earth 11 is the representation of two individuals coming together yet retaining their individuality, yet becoming one unit, thus the super power of two minds and one focus so using this concept the group mind, or super conscious can become very powerful, and magickal especially when wanting to create change and manifesting desired outcomes.
I always found it interesting when the phenomenon of 11:11 or 1:11, or any combination thereof started to make it's appearance because firstly, one has to note the obvious, that this number combination has only been around since the advent of digital time pieces. Yet . . . when initially, yes, even I pooh, poohed the idea of 11:11 having any sort of special, mystical meaning simply because I come from a time long before digital technology, as you know witches are timeless!!
Yet, I have come around in my thinking because, as we have advanced in our technology, I also believe humans have advanced in our "awakening" or shall I take a step back and say "some of us" for sadly, not everyone out there even appears to want to be awake. But for those who seek to live in the light, yes I can appreciate that seeing a number like 11:11 or any omen, and as my training has been Druid based and nature based for so many years I have to appreciate any omen, even a digitally based one, as having significance, and if a person finds a moment of balance, clarity and awakening in any symbol, or sign, or image I simply cannot say it has no value. Mine have value to me.
So for all of my friends, students and readers who see something special in this image, this is for you!!! It is supposed to stand for spiritual awakening, and it is considered to be a digital code for that awakening as we are now more programmed, perhaps by using our devices as often as we do, to be more receptive to the digital coding that surrounds us. No, I am not saying any other life form is programming us, we are programming ourselves!! I will leave alien life forms for another magickal person to write about on their blog, goodness I have enough just to keep my cauldrons bubbling and not spilling over!! haha
No discussion regarding the magick of numbers would be complete, even a brief one, without mentioning the number 12. As we have twelve months of the year, we share between twelve moons, both full and new and thirteen depending upon the year, but both 12 and 13 are significant when it comes to the moons.
There are the twelve zodiac /astrological houses and symbols, as well as the Chinese zodiac having twelve beasts split into six domestic Yang, and six wild, Yin.
Along with our day and night split into twelve hours each.
In ancient history twelve was very significant as for the Hebrews: there were twelve tribes of Israel, there were twelve fruits of the Tree of Life and Twelve Gates to the Heavenly City, there are twelve loaves on the table of the temple which represented the twelves months of the year, Aaron had twelve precious stones in his breastplate and there were twelve sons of Jacob.
In Christianity there were twelve disciples of Jesus, twelve fruits of the spirit, twelve days of Christmas.
In Graeco-Roman there were twelve Greek Gods and Goddesses on Mount Olympus and Hesiod mentions there were twelve Titans. Twelves is also the number of the tables of the Law and the days and nights of Saturnalia.
In Hermetic there were twelve torments and in Islamic culture there are twelve descendants of Ali.
In some cultures and religions at twelve years of age the children are considered to leave childhood and enter young adult hood or their teenage years.
At this point, you have some really good ideas on how to bring the magick of numbers into your life. For the number twelve I have a very good friend that changes the table cloth every month with a new table cloth with a new design for each month, bringing in a new seasonal energy, which I really love the idea of. I also know people who decorate their front door with a different wreath for every month or season.
Of course! How could I possibly write a compilation of magickal numbers without the biggie, the number that some people dread and others just as much feel is lucky?
Many attribute the cursed unlucky number 13 to the Last Supper with Jesus and his disciples and supposedly Judas being the 13th guest and his betrayal, well it is hard to know, after over 2,000 years if the story is even accurate at all, or how many guests were present, or what the circumstances were as most of the story was recorded many, many years after the fact.
There was also the massacre of the Knights Templar that occurred on Friday the 13th in 1307 yet as a Wiccan Priestess my studies took me in a different direction. The number 1 and the number 3 when we put them together make up the Divine number for the Goddess, the Divine Mother Goddess. Many that follow our ways feel that along with the elimination of the Goddess and her followers throughout the Burning Times when it is reputed that up to 7 million women, men and children were eliminated over the course of approximately a thousand years in Europe from the time of Pope Gregory's start at unifying the Catholic church in Europe to the end of the 18th century in New England that were put to death for the crimes of heresy and witchcraft and sundry other offenses of like kind.
The fear of a simple number, becomes more significant when we look at the previous part of this article and the prior articles talking about the power given to the magickal belief in numbers for thousands of years. If a simple number could represent the Goddess and the Divine feminine then there was a reason to blacken it and make it evil and harmful and so unlucky some people feared the very number in their day could put their lives in jeopardy! Many people then came to fear Friday the 13th! Hmmmm, interesting, not only is 13 a number which represents the Goddess, but Friday is the one day of the week that represents the Goddess Venus, the planet Venus that ancient mankind could look into the night skies and see and would consider that he was seeing his Goddess creator above the earth, actually seeing Her in the night sky. So, is it mere coincidence that Her number 13 and Her day of the week, Friday would, when combined suddenly with the introduction of Christianity become an evil, unlucky and feared day when it fell?
In early English nursery rhymes they mentioned thirteen months in a year because of the natural moon cycle of thirteen moons in a year, and in England a calendar of thirteen 28 day months plus one day, known as a year and a day was still in use until Tudor times.
Nowadays the superstitions regarding the fear of the number thirteen persist, with hotels not having a thirteenth floor, and some airports, such as in Scotland not having a thirteen runway or gate, and many airplanes do not have a thirteenth row of seats skipping and going from row 12 to 14.
But I admit, I look for the last row of a movie theater and try to sit in seat 13 if I can as it is almost centered in the very middle of the last row and I find it to be perfect for sound and I always liked 13! But I am a witch! haha or should I insert a cackle here? hee hee
There might also be a reason why early Christians feared the number 13. Because a congregation of witches, called a coven, a traditional coven was made up of couples, man/woman 6 couples, for a total of 12 people, led by a High Priest or a High Priestess, making the group total 13. There is mythology as to why this number of couples and some have suggested that the magick circle, which was also traditionally supposed to be 9 feet (there's those numbers again!) in diameter would comfortable fit this number of people.
Well, if you know your measurements, a 9 foot diameter circle, is only 4 and a half feet from center out to the perimeter. All the way around, and with an altar, even a small one in the center, or in ancient times a fire in the center, hmmmm, that's a bit close and toasty if you ask me.
So yes, 6 couples, 12 people led by a Priestess or Priest, making 13 total, but I believe personally that witches years ago, when having their rituals and gatherings out of doors were never held to such strick measurements as these. Why? There would be no need, when one could frolic and dance about the bon fire with no restrictions. I tend to think legend and lore gets away from people at times, and it makes for a good story, but my point is, I feel the number, 13 is significant for a coven and it is more likely that 6 couples, and a leader is more likely a small enough group of people, to get together, and be close enough and trusting enough where each could trust and rely on the others not to betray their identities which would bring about their arrest, torture and death.
For the smaller the group, the less likely the chance of someone telling secrets. That was paramount back in the day. Nowadays we still run the risk of betrayal by those close to us and so called friends allowing our closest and most private of secrets and confidences being carelessly trampled on with little regard, but thankfully our very lives are no longer at stake.
So, when thinking of the number 13, witches may have automatically come up, as superstitious, fearful people forced to attend church every week, if not more so, and being filled with the fear of the devil and the evil witch, quickly thought of the legends and lore surrounding the witch and her coven of 13 when the number was mentioned.
But then, not all accounts of 13 is so awful. Take the bakers dozen for instance. A typical dozen eggs or a dozen head of cattle or a dozen bales of hay would be an even 12, but a bakers dozen has always been 13 or even 14! The reason is back in Medieval times in England bakers did not use scales and fluctuations in their bread baking, some loaves being smaller or perhaps filled with more air, if allowed to rise too much, amounted in less bread and customers would be in effect "cheated" out of their shillings for their bread. The fine was a flogging!! Pretty harsh! Apparently the English in Medieval Britain took their bread baking seriously! WOW! So, to be sure they did not get a surprise beating, because as a shop keep myself I know that customers can sometimes be . . . let us say, hard to please, at times, the bakers took to giving a 13th loaf, or in some cases even a 14th loaf! I bet the 14th loaf was from bakers who had received a beating prior!!
So, even today, in America we can find a "bakers dozen" and walk away with 13 pieces of bread or rolls but today I have a feeling we actually pay for that extra piece of bread, but it is a nice legend nonetheless.
This has been a fun, interesting and very complex discussion as there was so much more I could have gone into, but I hope it gave you a taste of what one of our earliest, and oldest magickal systems looked like and still affects us to this day in some ways.
Which numbers are magickal to you? Have you given them some thought? Hmmmmmm I find my magickal numbers change depending on all sorts of things. And I'm not telling!
Live, Laugh and Always Love, Ms. Faith
© 2010-2018 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.
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