The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

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. 

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