linda falorio, 1978, 1996, 1998
Numbers stand as symbols of profound truths about God
and the Universe. Since remotest human times, numbers have been recognized as keys to a
vast universe of knowledge, the cultural repository of sacred, secret wisdom, and of
magick, and having mysterious power over both individual and collective fate. From
Classical times through the Dark Ages the secrets of the numbers were faithfully kept,
passed on through oral tradition in the mystery schools of Western esotericism, in
monasteries, and in the lamaseries of the East, their inner meanings shrouded, their
study bound by oaths of secrecy, duty, and of conscience.
In Western Esoteric tradition the arcana of numbers was
preserved in the study known as Qabalah, which is the numerically based study of
the underlying philosophic and religious meanings of sacred texts. Qabalah works on the
premise that in Hebrew, in Greek, and in other ancient languages there is no separate set
of characters for numbers, numbers and letters are signified by the exact same characters.
Therefore each letter also represents a number, such as in our use of Roman numerals ~ I,
V, X, C. and M.
It is known that the Old Testament of the Bible in its
original Hebrew and the New Testament in the original Greek, as well as the Koran in its
original Arabic language make extensive use of the various principles of Qabalah to mine a
wealth of esoteric meaning from the exoteric texts.
There are several methods of applying sacred Qabalah:
Gematria, which is the process of adding the
number-values of the letters of a word or phrase to find their Numeration.
The Doctrine of Sympathies is applied when the Numerations
of two words are found to be identical, suggesting profound spiritual connections behind
mundane facades, though such relationships are not always obvious. N.B.,
because each thought is said to contain the seeds of its own opposite, words which appear
to have contradictory meanings may very well have identical Numerations, though
much thought and meditation may be necessary before productive connections can be made.
The Least Number method is more commonly known as Numerology,
where we add and re-add the values of the letters in the word until we have reduced
the final result to a number between one and nine:
e.g. 138 = 1 + 3 + 8 = 12 = 1 + 2 = 3.
Notariqon uses the initials of the words in a
given sentence as a kind of code. Some notariqons in
popular contemporary use are: USA, CIA, FBI, UAW, NBC, UMWA, CBS.
Temura is similar to acrostics, making use of
transpositions and substitutions of letters, and has been widely used in both the
construction of, and breaking, secret codes.
The Analogy method uses the intuitive
implications of the shapes of the letters themselves.
Although language seems to be a haphazard affair shaped by
each individual who speaks it, there are many legends of linguistic origins that suggest
otherwise. For instance, the whole of the Koran is said to be based upon the number 19,
and, it is said that the Hebrew language was intentionally designed by "Seventy-two
Scholars" so that words and phrases in the sacred texts having similar spiritual
significance would have identical Numerations. The "Scholars", being seventy-two
in number correspond to the seventy-two letters of the Great Divided Name of God:
And, it is known that the Pythagorean Greeks, the Celts, and the Romans, the Irish Ollaves, all assigned different numerical equivalents to their respective alphabets.
With English any such divine intervention seems
impossible. We know that there were not "Seventy-Two Scholars" who invented
English as a nice, neat, internally consistent package, and unlike ancient languages
English is continually evolving, changed and amended by each of us who speaks it in some
small way each day as we go along. Yet, could English conceivably be a numerically-hinged
language, with its own qabalah?
In 1904, a young English poet and Magician, and member of the Hermetic
Order of the Golden Dawn ~ Aleister Crowley ~ channeled a
revelatory book while on holiday in Cairo via a praeter-human Intelligence known to
him as Aiwass. The details are related by Crowley in The Equinox of The Gods,
Vol. III, No. III. The received manuscript is known as Liber AL vel Legis. In
it he was instructed: "Thou shalt obtain the order & value of the English
alphabet; thou shalt find new symbols to attribute them unto." Exactly. A
Qabalah for the English language.
In order to begin to appreciate the significance of Liber
AL, we should understand something of the evolutionary changes in human philosophy and
culture that have occurred through history. The earliest phase is thought to have been the
Stellar, when the stars were worshipped as the source of the energy manifest as
consciousness and Life.
Stellar cults were characterized by group kinship and group rather than
individual marriage. Women belonging to the clan were free to mate as they chose, as were
men. There was no clearly delineated central authority; individuals operated within loose
confederations of mutual assistance. The Zodiac was the universal template of the soul.
As the focus of attention shifted from the stars to the earth as center of
the cosmos, the stars became mere points of light embedded in the dome of sky that covered
Mother Earth. The principal and most powerful deities were feminine, the Great Goddess was
the source. Matriarchies rose. Woman was recognized as the source of life; power was
amassed through those whom she could number as her children. The male was seen as son and
lover, the masculine role in procreation was as yet unrecognized. The Matriarchal cults
thrived as long as 30,000 years ago.
Earth as Mother eventually lost Her status as the source of life; as had
Sky, and the Great Deep. The Sun as Father took their place. The central myth of
Patriarchal cults was that the Sun revolved around the Earth: each night the Solar Logos
died; each day He was reborn. The masculine role in the procreative process was recognized
and Patriarchal patterns were ascendant.
The most powerful deities masculinized their identities and usurped the
powers of the Feminine. Sun-cults rose, such as those of Mithras and of Ra; and cults of
Dying Gods, of Dionysus and Bran, of Osiris, of Heracles, and of Jesus. Power and
privilege passed through the father's line. To preserve its purity and the power of the
male, marriage was invented as a social institution: the Feminine subdued.
Two thousand years ago the constellation Pisces took the place of Aries,
rising in the east at the Spring Equinox. Self-sacrifice for the good of the Many, as
represented by the Patriarchal State, was the major social ethic. With the sign of
Aquarius now rising in the east at the Spring Equinox, the Age of Aquarius has begun. The
Church Fathers rightly censured Copernicus for his radical assault on theological thought
in declaring that the Earth revolved around the Sun. For it was just one small step to the
further blasphemy that the Sun is just another star.
The Sun is now recognized as a rather small star in a vast universe of
stars; the Father, the Patriarchy, the State, no longer command absolute authority, or
unquestioning respect. A man is just another individual in a world also composed of women,
children, even animals and plants, all clamoring for rights. Aquarius has led in the Aeon
of the Child, characterized by individual rights, freedom, self-actualization, and