The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Let us Finish up Ancient and Magickal Properties of Numbers



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!

Human DNA

Honey Comb
Ear of Corn
Sunflower



11

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


12

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.

13

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.

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to receive the link to the most current weekly blog post send me an e mail with your email address. You will receive a new blog post weekly. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

The Ancient and Magickal Properties of Numbers Part III



Good Evening My Witchy Readers,

We have discussed the ancient history of numbers and the magickal, spiritual and ritual uses of numbers as they have been used throughout history and as used in various cultures especially from Biblical times.  I could have easily written a book on this topic as there is so much I left out and so much I have come across as I have continued my research and things that have popped into my mind days after I finished an article!!

I am sure many of you, my readers, have thought of your own personal, or family, cultural, or even folk magick use of numbers that I have not included. Just the other day as I was driving to work I needed to yield for a funeral procession as it drove down the street past my store and it occurred to me that it is has been traditional in many Christian beliefs to hold the wake, funeral and burial of a deceased loved one by the 3rd day after death, until just recently in this part of the country, where I am located in southern New England.  Again with the number 3. Why that may be, I am not sure, as I do know that during Victorian times, during the late 1800's deceased loved ones would be laid out in the family home for up to a week before burial and heads of state and dignitaries are often laid out for public viewing for days. The third day from death to burial could reference that Jesus was supposedly resurrected and ascended on the 3rd day after he was entombed, and that may be something done by Roman Catholics, so in a heavily populated Catholic region it can easily become tradition for everyone if they do not have their own cultural requirements.

Tonight I continue the discussion and go to the next common simple numbers that we use every day that have ancient magickal and spiritual historical usage and now we look at the number:

8

In just about all cultures and religions the number eight is a positive and fortunate number. By numerologists the number eight is a very positive, lucky number, that the square of any odd number, minus one is always a multiple of eight. (9-1=8, 17-1=8x2, 25-1=8x3) simply because it can be proved mathematically, and this is perfection to a numerologist.

In cultural mythology and belief, in ancient Babylon there were seven spheres plus an eight sphere where the gods lived thus making the eight sphere paradise, and this concept of paradise is similarly reflected in the Muslim belief that there are seven hells but eight paradises indicative of God's benevolence.

Buddhists also feel eight is a lucky number as the lotus, a significant symbol of luck in India and a favorite symbol for Buddhists has 8 petals. The Chinese uses a divination system utilizing 64 yarrow stems  8x8.

In Biblical belief eight is a number of completion found in ancient Hebrew text and we see this demonstrated in the TeNaKh in the story of the Temple being completed in eight days. Also the Tabernacle was dedicated in an eight day ceremony. Jewish holy days such as Hanukkah and Passover are eight day holidays and baby boys are circumcised on the eighth day.

If you celebrate and recognize holidays for eight days or conduct specialized ceremonies on the eighth day you already bring in the energy of the number of eight.  Wiccans and Pagans celebrate our Wheel of the Year which has eight Sabbats around the year, four Minor Sabbats which are the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes and the Winter and Summer Solstices and then four Major Sabbats which are six weeks between each Minor Sabbat on the first of that month, and this is an agricultural calendar which is attributed to the ancient Celtic nomadic tribes which were governed by the Druids. The year, divided into eight equal portions was one of the most significant aspects of their life, as following this calendar, allowed them to survive and to proliferate their race across the earth.

Modern witches also work with the four compass points and in addition to earth, air, fire ,water, we have four witches tools, wand, blade, cup and pentacle and the eight make up the base of all a witch really needs to do her work.

As a witch and pagan one is never required to wear any specific symbol, as we choose what fits us personally, so some choose to wear a pentacle, the five pointed star, some choose a seven pointed faerie star, some like the eight pointed star for the Sabbats and compass points. It is really up to the person to wear what represents what is significant to them.


It is my personal view point, that I see the number eight clearly represented during our rituals, with the four watchtower candles at each compass point around the room, with the representatives of earth, air, fire and water on the altar itself.  Then we have the witches tools on the altar, the basic pieces, the blade, the pentacle and the cup/or bowl holding the blessed water, and the wand.

Simply placing a piece of jewelry or something special to you on top of a star shaped object, be it an altar pentacle, a pendant, even an altar tile or patent will charge, or what we call energize, bless and consecrate the piece you have placed on top. Leave it for a few moments, perhaps  10 minutes or so, then take off of altar and wear or use as you wish. No words need to be said.


9

In ancient Greece the three world concept soon become evolved to 3x3=9 so 9 became and today by those who follow magickal paths consider 9 to be a most magickal and lucky number, having a triple triplicity and therefore three times three is the best of the best of luck and good fortune and magickal power imbued into anything it is incanted into.

But the number nine is not considered auspicious in all cultures or religions, as in Christianity as some, back in the 16th century have pointed to the 9th Psalm in the bible as pertaining to the coming of the Anti Christ, by their interpretation at that time, and therefore attributed negative connotations to symbols with 9's associated with them.

Nine has a number of other associations with it throughout other cultures and some are even legal, such as in Wales, such as during times in ancient Wales if a dog that had bitten someone was nine steps away from it's owners home it could be legally killed!  In ancient German law, land ownership would terminate after nine generations had tilled the land.

The number nine has even entered into our common vernacular to mean either positive or negative feelings such as being on "cloud nine", "going the whole nine yards" meaning risking it all! , a "nine days wonder!" , "nine times out of ten", "nine points of law", or a "Cat o' nine tails" oooh would not want to be on the wrong end of that one!!  but the point being nine seems to be the extreme of good or maybe the highest one can achieve, as ten often seems unattainable.

I like to use nine by laying out a simple crystal grid using nine quartz crystals for clarity, cleansing and protection and enhancing my energy. :

Crystal Grid


10

I mentioned earlier that ten was considered a number of perfection, because a healthy baby born with all ten fingers and toes was considered to be perfect and healthy at first flush at birth.  I found it interesting that many sources that listed historical and magickal beliefs in numbers, found the occurrences in the powers of ten so common that many did not bother to even list them!  But for your reading enjoyment and so you do not have to wrack your brain I did more research, and have come up with some of the following here.

Of course the Bible, which is the oldest as well as the greatest resource of historical, spiritual and magickal use of numbers that we have in written history that has survived since antiquity has many instances of the number ten. We have the ten commandments that Moses brought down from the Mountain and the Buddhists also have ten commandments.

Whereas with the Egyptians seven was the number of perfection and completeness, the number ten is so for many other cultures,  where even in America we use the base 10 counting system in many areas, such as counting currency.

Ten is considered all inclusive, representing law, order and dominion.  The Tetractys is considered a sacred Greek figure which consists of ten dots, which are all inclusive of time and space, and it looks like this:

The Sacred Tetractys

It's significance is 1= a point, 2= length, 3 = a plane or surface (triangle), 4=solidity or space.  Do not simply dismiss this symbol as a geometric shape, as to the Pythagoreans, remember we discussed that cult of ancient Greeks who used numbers in spiritual and mystical ways this shape and the ten dots were perfection and as special to them as a crucifix, Star of David or Pentacle is to anyone today.

This poem was found written by the ancient Pythagoreans to the tetractys itself:

"Bless us divine number, thou who generated Gods and men! O holy, holy Tetractys, thou that which containest the root and source of the eternally flowing creation!  For the divine number begins with the profound, pure unity until it comes to the holy four, then it begets the mother of all, the all-comprising, all-bounding, first-born, never swerving, never tiring holy ten, key holder of all."

Truly in all of my research this is the first time I have come across a prayer created for and to a number, aside for metaphoric references to the one, or the all. There are some who feel that 10 broken down 1 + 0 = 1  is simply another version of the one.

The Chinese felt that ten symbolized by the cross formed centrally by the character Chi, was a symbol of perfection. Other Asian cultures feel the Yin Yang also showed this same perfection, being in perfect balance.

Yet as most Chinese are Buddhist do not mistakenly feel this is a Christian symbol, it is not. It does not represent the Christian cross of Jesus' Crucifixion. No, to the Chinese they simply see perfection in this symbol and so they see perfection in the number ten that this symbol represents.

The Romans also saw their symbol for ten the X as a symbol of perfection and completion. One of the more interesting concepts of the number ten I came across which was not attributed to any one culture, but it is intriguing nonetheless, and feels like it comes from the minds of mathematicians, is that ten is the number of the cosmos. The paradigm of creation, since the decad contains all numbers, therefore all things and possibilities .  .  .  "it is the radix or turning point of all counting."

How interesting and thought provoking.  Well, from a Witches point of view, we see in the number 10, both the male in the strong phallic number 1 and the female in the feminine 0 and therefore the number can represent the God/dess to us and can be a number of Divinity, should we choose to use it in such a way.

How would you do so?  In this case, sympathetic magick is called for. So a small wand, (the 1) placed in a small cauldron or chalice (the 0 ) during a ritual especially if you wish to bring about manifestation, this can "create" or give birth to something new! A new project, the new start of a hobby or career, a new relationship or job. Take your small cauldron or chalice, write your "new" item you wish to bring into your life on it, place paper on table and fold towards you, and turn, and fold towards you again and keep turning, and folding towards you until small enough to place in bottom of cauldron/chalice. Then tap ten times with wand and then place wand in cauldron and allow tip to rest on paper and leave on altar for as long as needed for manifestation to start happening.

I will finish up this interesting and curious discussion with my next article which will touch on some different numbers we may or may not bring into our lives on a regular basis or those we might stay away from entirely!!

I hope you have been enjoying this magickal and ancient system of learning how numbers have influenced cultures and religions for thousands of years!



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. 

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to receive the link to the most current weekly blog post send me an e mail with your email address. You will receive a new blog post weekly. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Ancient and Magickal Properties of Numbers Part II


Good Evening My Witchy Reader,


 Tonight we are continuing our discussion of the magick of numbers.  Many people today, will use numbers 'magickally' or shall we even say superstitiously by planning a trip on a day with a certain number in it, or avoiding certain activities on like days. And we all know of those who play games such as lotteries where numbers can make or break a persons fortune.  The Super Bowl was recently played and players numbers, as displayed on their jerseys are sold and worn by fans quite seriously, and the numbers on those jerseys are absolutely considered lucky by many. The badge number of a police officer will have significance to the officer and his family and friends, the license plates of people, many of them are personalized to have specialized meaning and in today's society we now have security numbers called PINS that we use to protect our money, our accounts, our most sensitive information and these numbers usually have special meaning for us.

The special significance we have applied to numbers is by no means new or modern, but as we have been discussing, is perhaps one of the oldest magickal systems or religious, at least spiritually significant system we as humans have worked with. Perhaps since being able to count our fingers and toes and to marvel that we each of us have the same number as the next person, ten fingers, ten toes and the perfection that signifies.

  Just recently cave paintings showed a series of dots which by simply the number of the dots grouped together had a significance of some sort to the ancient human who painstakingly painted and immortalized them upon the cave walls tens of thousands of years ago.

I use the word magickal, another may use the word spiritual, perhaps another may use the word ritualistic, significant or important, but regardless of the words used, it is without question understood that the 'artist' felt as artists today, that the painting and the subject was 'special', special enough for the artists in some of the cave paintings that have been discovered, to go to extreme lengths to get to the locations where these paintings have been discovered.

Some of the locations are so remote and hard to access in these cave systems, that the fact that they were even discovered by cave explorers was remarkable to begin with. Then to see that tens of thousands of years ago, paleolithic man performed body contortions, even though of a smaller stature to get to the locations to carefully paint dots of varying numbers and lines.  He painted numbers of antelope and bison, and most human of all, the hand print silhouettes, of paint sprayed by mouth, over a hand laid on the surface of the stone, all five fingers splayed out in the most ancient of greetings that stretches across time and space, that we can see and touch today, is almost hard to imagine. That something human created could have withstood so many thousands and thousands of years, created with no technology, no tools, just a hand laid upon the rock and pigment chewed and spit out over the hand, and the stain remains, to this day. How remarkable.

Why not a fisted hand, rested against the stone, with paint sprayed over it? Why not any of a number of hand figures, that could have been left behind? No, these ancient artists wanted their five, distinct fingers clearly shown. Perhaps because the healthy child as today, would have its parents look for and count five fingers and toes on each limb, to do an initial check for health after initial birth? We can never know for sure, but it seems as if each finger was significant and needed to be showcased and so they remain.



So with this discussion we continue with the number:

6

Perhaps the most recognizable symbol demonstrating the number six is the Hexagram, also known as the Star of David, the Jewish Star, also known as the Shield of David.  In my research I have found many websites that reference the Star of David with mystical and occult properties but of the appx 15 million followers of the Jewish faith in the world today, the main followers of the mystical system, the Kabbalah, is a sub group within the Jewish religion called Hasidic Judaism and they make up only approximately 400,000 world wide.  So, when I saw that it was a fairly small sub group that felt the Star of David had mystical and occult properties, I went looking further for the general understanding as just about all Jewish followers wear the Star of David or see it as a prominent symbol of their faith.

Therefore it appears, that certainly not all, not the majority feel it is mystical and certainly do not see occult properties in it's symbolism, so I soon came upon a beautiful understanding which explains how some Rabbi's interpret the six pointed star to reference the six corners of the universe that is the whole of the universe and is under the control of the creator / God.  I also saw a brief explanation how the center is open as God cannot be described or given a tangible image, so the space is representative of the vast all, that is the vastness of the God.

I see some similarities to the Wiccan understanding of our Pentacle. The lower four points, for us, representing the earth elements topped by spirit, and some feel the circle surround represents the universe, and this is also seen in the hexagram. I found it interesting, that although the hexagram has been referred to as the Star of David or Shield of David since the 17th century, it first became representative of the worldwide Zionist community and then the broader Jewish worldwide community in 1897. It appears to have no Biblical historical association.

Now the mystical and occult aside, the Star of David is without doubt a spiritual and very powerful symbol just as the crucifix is for those of Christian belief. For many it is also protective and many feel it brings them close to their higher power, which is why many of all faiths wear religious symbols today.

The six is also seen in mathematics as a perfect number, as 1+2+3 = 6  in mathematics is considered a perfect number, as it is one that equals the sum of its divisors. In the same way 28 is also a perfect number.  The Chinese feel that the number six is auspicious and lucky because it sounds like another word that is a positive and auspicious word.

It is a stable, and sure, solid and secure number.  It is also a number of completion and can be used to finish up projects. This comes from the Biblical story of creation from the Book of Genesis, as the Earth was finished being created on the sixth day.

One of the simplest ways to bring this energy into your life is to wear the symbol. But, if the symbol is not something you choose to wear, but you wish to bring it's energy into your life, you may do this by having a dining room table, or kitchen table with six legs, or a table with six chairs around it, in the "heart of the home" as this brings stability and security and a solid foundation to the heart of the home. Many people feel different parts of the home may be the heart of the home, but if meals are eaten in a certain area of the home, this is usually the heart of the home. Where family, or even the lone inhabitant of the home sits and eats meals, designates the heart of the home.  This place should be made a bit special. Even if it is on your sofa, make it special, by having a special side table, place a candle or a table cloth, and keep the area neat and clean.

Of course any cluster of pretty crystals of six, placed in the center of the home, the center of the dining room table or the western side of the home, in a room along the western wall, is also helpful. The center of the home is health and wellness, and the western side of the home is family. These categories bring stability to the house in general, so either of these areas will work, in addition to the area of where you have created the heart of the home by your dining habits.

7

The number seven can have it's own book devoted to it. There are so many areas, cultures, mythologies, superstitions, beliefs, good luck, bad luck, all wrapped around the number seven, that for this discussion, I will simply touch upon some of the more interesting and perhaps some more obscure to keep the discussion short enough for easy reading.

We have the 7 days of the week, named after ancient Gods/Goddesses and planets, the seventh day was a day of rest Biblically, and many religions still recognize this and encourage it's followers to take the "seventh" day, which is universally understood to be Sunday, off from work and to rest and relax this day, though in much of mainstream society it is no longer considered a holy day.

We are familiar with the seven deadly sins, these have been over done in literature and Hollywood   and the four phases of the moon, the waxing, full, waning and new moons last seven days each, which create the lunar month of 28 days. Astronomers in antiquity recognized seven planets, which were considered to be the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn.

In folk superstition commonly still believed, break a mirror and have seven years of bad luck, in Iran a cat has seven lives not nine lives, and the number seven for the ancient Egyptians was considered the number of perfection, effectiveness and completeness.

 In ancient Egyptian mythology a legendary famine lasted seven years, and to keep the Goddess Sekhmet from killing it is reputed that 7,000 barrels of red beer was necessary to keep her happy! I'm sure it kept her followers happy, indeed!

Yet, in China, because the sound of the word seven, sounds like the word for gone, it is considered unlucky and associations with seven and dates with seven in them are kept for holding sacrificial ceremonies, and for those leaving and moving away.

Although many are familiar with the eight branch menorah used as a symbol for the Jewish festival of Hanukkah there was a much older version, where Judas Maccabeus ordered the construction of a seven branch candelabra which he placed in the sacred Temple after it was desecrated by Antiochus IV Epiphanes. At this time the menorah was the preeminent symbol of the Hebrew people and their faith so it was a trophy for their enemies to steal. The menorah has three branches on either side with a higher central post in the center, to hold a "servant light" candle to light the others.

The menorah, that is used for the holiday Hanukkah today now has eight branches, four on either side with a ninth center post for the servant light. This represents the story of the eight days the oil lasted after the re-dedication of the second temple after the Maccabean Jews regained control of Jerusalem. A menorah used at times other than Hanukkah will have six branches and the seventh servant candle in the center, usually.

As we are speaking of the ancient Hebrews, which today are the followers of the religion of Judaism, they see the number seven as one of the most powerful numbers in their history, as we can see written of in their ancient stories. There are seven Patriarchs, seven Matriarchs. A Hebrew word for luck, gad, equals seven in gematria, another Hebrew word for luck, mazal as in mazal tov, equals 77. The Hebrew word gematria is a Kabbalistic method for interpreting the Hebrew scriptures by computing the numerical value of words, based on those of their constituent letters. Again, this is only done in a small portion of the Jewish faith but it demonstrates the importance that numbers hold for some and the extent that people will go, when they see the ability of numbers to interpret Biblical text.

In addition to the story of creation and the seventh day of rest, their are seven laws of Noah, several Jewish holidays are seven days long, the land of Israel was allowed to lie fallow one year in seven, and today there are seven wedding blessings, seven circuits are performed by the groom at the wedding, and there are seven days of mourning following the death of a close relative in Jewish funeral rites. These are just a few as I could seriously write a book on the significance of numbers found throughout the Old Testament and the TeNaKh.

We find numbers the most significant in the most ancient of civilized cultures, such as the ancient Hebrews, who have one of the oldest ongoing religious practice and culture.

The seven pointed star, also known as the fairy star, the septagram, the heptagram, the Elvin star, and anciently as the Star of Babylon. The first documented use was in the Kabbalah, and some Christian sects would use it to represent the seven days of creation. The first written mention of it in reference to the Faerie connection was in 1987.  Aleister Crowley also utilized it as did and has many modern day magickal groups, covens and even the Native American Cherokee nation has used it as a symbol of spiritual and religious significance in modern times.


Of course wearing the star symbols, using the star symbols as a crystal grid is also a way to bring in this energy. Draw or obtain a star design on a mat or paper or velvet cloth and place crystals on the star shape and it will help bring in various energies enhanced by the seven pointed star, and will intensify the qualities of the stones and crystals chosen.


The magick of numbers will be continued and I hope you are enjoying this fascinating and exciting glimpse into ancient history and learning some interesting ways you can use number energy in your life today! Ms. Faith

Live, Laugh and Always Love!




© 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. 

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to receive the link to the most current weekly blog post send me an e mail with your email address. You will receive a new blog post weekly. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Ancient Magickal Properties of Numbers


Greetings My Witchy Reader,

Many people have heard of numerology, and the use of numbers and their association with one's name and birth date to find their power number (s) and using their numbers magickally.  Yet many people do not know that numbers have been used magickally for thousands of years and are one of, if not the oldest, sophisticated magickal system known to humankind.

Whereas an entire book or more could be written on this subject, there is literally, as I just mentioned, thousands of years and hundreds of cultures and religious traditions and magickal, superstitious and folk magick beliefs regarding numbers, some very complex like magic squares that even our founding fathers, like Benjamin Franklin took pleasure in creating.

For our discussion here, I will stick with the simple basic numbers 1-10 and a few additional, special ones.  I will in addition to discussing the ancient magickal/religious/spiritual/superstitious beliefs in the powers of numbers, also mention ways you can use "numbers" in magickal spell casting, ritual ways to affect your life today.

Archaeologists have found bones dating as old as 30,000 years or older with hash marks, which are believed to mark the cycles of the moon, thus keeping a type of calendar, and these marks being groups becoming a numerical grouping allowing humans to count the cycles, we know ancient humans have been counting since they noticed their very own fingers and toes.

We do know the very first "organized" numerical system was devised by the ancient Babylonians,  ahhh, the Babylonians one of my favorite ancient cultures, often over looked yet still, so many of their inventions or innovations remain with us to this day!!  For this discussion we will stick to their contribution of giving the world a comprehensive numerical system that they developed from their regions ancestors the Sumerians, who first came up with a counting system based on 60.  The Babylonians are the inventors of the abacus which is still available to this day, but used more as a curiosity than an actual manual calculator.

Since the beginning of time, many practical things have been mixed and mingled with the magickal. from foods, for the ancients saw things that you ingested that would keep you alive as magickal and in some ways it is! To drinks, especially those with fermented qualities, it can be magickal if you don't over do!  Herbs, well .  .  .  giggle, now, now, of course I mean, herbs that could make one feel better and get over an illness,  to giving one a ritual spiritual experience during an ancient ceremony maybe while even wearing animal hides and masks all to create a magickal effect. Candles and fire light that could stave off the darkness could be considered magickal as it kept away the evil that may be hidden in the dark.

But numbers? Something as simple as the gathering of a number of the same objects? How could that be considered magickal, or even special? Well, it comes down to how you "see" things, how you perceive. It is no coincidence that numbers have been considered special and mystical in just about every culture and religious belief tradition on earth for thousands of years, since the very first, our friends the Babylonians. So let us discuss and see a few examples for our most common and easily understood numbers:

1

For many cultures, especially monotheistic, those ruled by a one God religious structure, it typically stands for unity, the oneness with God and mankind. In Judaism the practice of gematria is actually the spiritual interpretation of numbers, and is one technique for interpreting sacred texts.

The was an ancient cult in Greece called the Pythagoreans who had a great magickal belief in numbers and attributed the number one as a non number, believing it to be singular, and that the word number means plural. But aside from that they felt that odd numbers were male in nature and even numbers were female and that by adding one number it changes.



One, magickally can in many ways be the most poswerful number to use, when many feel three is the most magickal or other numbers like nine (which is 3X3) I have found one to have the most intensity when used with focus. For a spell for yourself and a spell you want to have manifest, strongly, with purpose, place on your altar, along with your other spell items and candles a large white pillar candle. One which is much large, taller, wider and over powers the rest. This is designed to help you focus and connect your magickal goal as an unbroken conduit with the Divine.

To control and direct the energy of "the one" take a wand and touch your forehead and visual the end result of your desires, your spells outcome and then draw an imaginary line from your forehead to the candle and touch the edge of the candle. It is not necessary to touch the flame of the candle. If you have a full altar set up, then add a step, by taking your wand, touch it to the altar pentacle, then to your forehead, then to the candle edge.

2

The number two represents balance, and the duality found in nature and in human nature. We see this in the Hermetic Principle of Polarity, male/female, sun/moon, night/day, God/Goddess, good/evil, God/Satan, invoke/banish. I could write volumes on the number two and the concept of duality, as the world is made up of the principle of polarity.  But whereas some see balance, and the calm, tranquility and zen-like quality that they feel is achieved with gaining balance and steady emotions, some in the past as now who see the number two as the challenges of the temptation between two strong pulling forces, perhaps the eternal struggle between good and bad within each of us.

You can harness the energy of the two by placing two candles on your altar, they can be God/Goddess candles, a Black candle for the Goddess, black as She is of the night and the moon and a white candle for the God as He is of the day and of the sun. Now, it is important that any candles on the altar are lit and burned. That is crucial. Then your normal spell candles and any other candles, are also lit and burning. You may light the candles, the black and the white candles, about a foot apart if you have the space and then move them closer every 5-10 minutes.  When they are touching, allow them to burn down. During this time, you can take a few moments, as many as you desire and press your hands together as if in prayer, and open them but keep them attached as if hinged. Palms facing the flames on the altar and direct your energy towards them. See the end result you desire.



Hold them out to the candles flames and imagine the energy of the two, increasing and getting stronger and flowing into you doubling your strength, your energy, your power and your spells final result.
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3

So many people, even those who have never considered themselves magickal or even taken the magickal seriously have at the very least heard of the phenomenon of the power of three!! Come on! It gets kind of ridiculous if you think about it. From bad things that come in threes, to deaths that come in threes, to sneezes coming in threes, to things grouped in threes such as 'body, mind & spirit',  'life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness', The Three witches in Macbeth,  breakfast,lunch & dinner!! Think about it, who decided three times a day was the right number of times to eat?  Well you get my point, threes are found in every area of life and have been for ever.

The Ancient Druids had a great influence with their perception of the three world concept. For centuries civilized societies such as the Greeks believed in the three world concept, Heaven, The Physical world and The Underworld. It has had a mystical power for so many people ever since. Historically three colored cats were protective pets to have in the house.

In the Jewish tradition three signifies stability and completeness, as demonstrated by the three Pilgrimage festivals, Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot, and the three Patriarchs.

In witchcraft we will use the three finger point to represent the witch, and the symbol of the witch when in the magick circle doing various things. It looks like this:



Many people today use the three dimensional pyramid shape on their altar to bring in empowered energies. Pyramid shaped boxes can be used to place small items within to charge them and empower them by placing them inside for a short period of time. Solid stone and crystal pyramid shapes can be placed on the altar to bring additional energy and empowerment to the altar and the work being done there. And this shape also brings the stability that is known to be found int he number of four.

Using three candles, which is my traditional practice and has been for over 30 years, of using a candle for each the maiden (a white), the mother (a red), and the crone (a black) on the altar representing the triple Goddess by which the three represent the Goddess as a whole entity.  Another way of focusing the energy when doing a candle spell, make a triangle with your forefingers and thumbs and gaze at the candle flame through the window and allow your vision to blur and visualize the end result.



4

The number four has long represented firm foundation, think of a table, bed or a chair. Four legs or corner stones securely settled on the ground.  Also like the pyramid we discussed earlier, whereas a pyramid has three edges when looked at, it has four sides and a base with four edges so it has a combination of three and four and many choose one or the other and the shape works very well for millions of people.

We have so many associations with the number four in nature from the four phases of the moon: full, waning, new, waxing, to the four seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall, to the four stages of life for human kind: infant, youth, adult, elderly and in medieval times physicians felt the human body had the four "humors" with which they used to diagnose and treat people with illnesses, and they practiced an outdated practice of "bleeding" a patient to keep their humors in balance!!

The Passover Seder honors the significance of the number four with it's four questions, the four cups of wine, the four Matriarchs, and the four cardinal directions. Four also has importance in the Jewish esoteric interpretations, e.g. the four Rabbis who entered the Orchard (Paradise), and four angels who surround the throne of glory just to name a couple.

We see the four come into great significance in the Pagan belief system and in modern day Wicca with the four elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water, we have four witches tools, wand, blade, cup and pentacle.  The witches pyramid which is a name only for a philosophical concept those of us who have studied more old school have practiced: To Know, To Will, To Dare, To Keep Silent has been a rule for many years for the witch for protection, anonymity and safety.

I have only heard of the number four having a reputation for bad luck for the Chinese, simply because in one of the Chinese dialects, the word for four sounds very similar to the word for death, so they try never to say the word. But other than that the number four is considered a good luck, positive number in every other culture on the earth and can be used in many ways.

The pyramid will also work here, an altar placed on 4 small legs or elevated feet in each corner. It does not have to be very high even a few millimeters up from the table top will also help lift the energy/ the vibrational level of the spell you are casting. This type of spell is wonderful to cast to perform a new house, new home, new relationship, new job blessing after you have already settled into that new position, to give stability and security.

Place a stone, it need not be big or heavy, in each corner of the elevated altar. A quartz crystal is typical, but a stone of the earth like Tigers Eye for a new home, or a stone of the hearth like a Carnelian for a new home, a stone of wealth, like Malachite for a new job and a stone of love like Rhodochrosite or Rose Quartz for love.

After you have burned the candles, you can take the stones and place them in corners of your home or in your room, on your desk at work, where ever you can see them and touch them daily to feel their security and strength.  Even having a small bowl with four pretty stones or crystals set near by, is strong and will help make you feel stronger and more self assured.

5

For the number five I will end this article, and continue with more numbers with my next article. There is so much that can be talked about this tends to be one of my longest discussions, and I am only just touching on a tiny bit of each number, but remember number magick and belief in the power of numbers goes back well over 5,000 years ago. Well five is also a number of strength, even more secure than four. Think of a tent. Not only do you have the four corner poles but the center post, which even boy scouts know provides one of the strongest designs to keep the elements at bay when out in harsh conditions.

We also see five as highly protective since the earliest of ancient times. There are five books of Moses for the ancient Hebrews, and the Psalms are divided into five sections,  and the Hamsa, a talismanic hand of protection is divided into five fingers.

One of the more famous/infamous symbolic uses of the number five is the pentagram/pentacle.  Firstly to help define clearly, a pentagram is a geometric shape also called a 5 pointed star and it looks like this:

A pentacle, is also a five pointed star with a circle around it. The apex, or top point for both are always pointed up, for Wiccans, witches and magickal people who truly know what they are doing and are working positive magick and not simply playing child's games. Yes. for some of you out there, I did say that. Frankly if you want to corrupt a symbol, why don't you go out an get one of your own and leave the positive, beautiful symbols of others alone, but that's another discussion!




Anyways!! Back to stirring my cauldron!! Okay The pentagram/pentacle is used for protection and the lower four points reference the physical world, earth, air, fire and water and all things physical. The top point, the apex, references the spiritual. We use it as protection and to keep on mind we keep the spiritual above the physical at all times. Ah well, .  .  .  like all well meaning people, we try.

Now the number five was of great significance to the ancient Greek Pythagoreans we spoke of earlier, as the number two stood for the female and the number three was male so it was a great number for marriage and romantic union.

Even the Meso American culture the Mayas believed the number five to be very special and magickal. They saw the human body, had five fingers and toes on a hand or foot, the body has five limbs, two arms, two legs and a head, and following the ancient belief that hearkens back to the number two belief that every person has both good and bad inside, that there is both good and evil, the Maya felt that their was inside each person both five virtues and five vices.

To use the number five we, witches use a pentacle as a central altar piece always, when we set up an altar and whether we are casting a spell or simple lighting candles, we always have that pentacle. For me it is the one of two ways I use the aspect of the five in ritual. But you can have it in any manner you wish.

Another way I use it is in the traditional Goddess pose during ritual. In the sketch below it is depicted in the center drawing.

So with candles, rocks, body positioning, visualization, these are just a few of the ways we can bring the magick of numbers and their power into our magickal workings.  I will demonstrate more techniques in my next article touching on the next five numbers and some other magickal numbers. It is seeing their placement and feeling their power which gives you a connection and helps manifest your power and magick.

I hope as you read this it causes you to think about the numbers and how they manifest in your life!


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. 

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to receive the link to the most current weekly blog post send me an e mail with your email address. You will receive a new blog post weekly. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.