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An Explanation of Numbers – Paul Foster Case (1933)

One (1):

The vertical line connects height and depth, and is therefore a symbol of that which links together the extremes of Spirit (Height) and Matter (Depth); of Superconsciousness (Height) and Subconsciousness (Depth). The vertical line is also particularly the symbol of man, standing upright on the earth. Among the meanings of the number are: Beginning, initiative, originality, unity, singleness, isolation, and the like. In Hebrew occultism 1 is called the Crown, to show that it represents the determining, ruling, directive and volitional aspect of consciousness; hence the Crown is termed also the Primal Will. The same philosophy also terms 1 the Hidden Intelligence, to show that the primary mode of consciousness is concealed behind all veils of name and form. In Qabalah, again, 1 is the specific number of Jechidah (IChIDH) the Self or I AM, and of that primary activity in the universe whence all other forms of energy and force are derived, known as The Beginning of the Whirlings.

Two (2):

Duality, polarity; association, coexistence, partnership; duplication, doubling, repetition, succession, rhythm; likeness, similitude, reflection, reproduction; receptivity, secondariness, dependence, connection; alternation, reciprocation; mutuality, interconnection, interdependence; periodicity, pulsation, vibration; round, revolution, rotation—are some fundamental meanings of the number 2. In the Hebrew Wisdom this number is called, in the cosmic sense, Masloth, “the highway of the stars,” that is, the Sphere of the Zodiac, or Sphere of the Fixed Stars. The idea here is that the number 2 represents the reflection of the invisible Life- Energy of the number 1 in the regular rhythmic movement of the heavenly bodies. Note, too, that the root-meaning of Zodiac is “Living.” The idea here is that the manifest movements we see in the heavens are the duplication or reflection of the invisible activities of the Primal Will. This is important, for it indicates that behind the whirling motion of the heavenly bodies, behind the succession of their positions and aspects, is something higher. The Sphere of the Zodiac is secondary, not primary. With the number 2, again, the Hebrew Wisdom associates the notion of Wisdom, which is regarded as the reflection of the Self. Wisdom is the perfect self- recognition of the I AM, the mirror in which the Self is reflected to itself. Wisdom is revealed to us by the celestial order, and the true astrology which gives us the meaning of that order is the basis of all human wisdom. Hence 2 is known also as the Illuminating (literally Shining) Intelligence. The Hebrew original also carries the significance of mental enlightenment or instruction, and reminds us that 2 has always been called the number of Science. Furthermore, this original Hebrew word refers to the idea of admonishing or warning. All this ties up with the connection between 2 and the Zodiac. The stars do literally enlighten us, for they are suns, the source of all our light. The rhythmic order of their motion is the manifestation of the Hidden Order and power of the original Whirling Motion signified by 1. From the study of that order we gain wisdom to direct our lives. Finally, the energy which streams from the heavenly bodies (including that heavenly body, the Earth, which is our own abode) is the vital force of our own organisms, hence we find that the Qabalah designates the number 2 as the specific symbol of the Life-Force in man and in all creatures; and this force, of course, is that which is most highly concentrated in the power of continuing the species, characteristic of all living things, so that this idea ties up directly with the abstract meaning of 2 as relating to reproduction.

Three (3):

The number 1 represents, geometrically, the Point which is the beginning of all manifestation. The number 2 represents the line, or extension of the activity of the Point. The number 3 is related to the Surface, or plane in which the motion of the Line generated from the initial activity of the Point becomes manifest. Again, 3 is the sum of 1 and 2, and therefore combines their meanings. As 2 is duplication, reproduction and manifestation, while 1 is original force, initiative and will, it becomes evident that 3 must stand for the actual outworking of the principles reflected from 1 by 2. In Hebrew philosophy 3 is Understanding, which is regarded as looking forward into the field of manifestation, in contrast to Wisdom (2), which is regarded as looking back toward the self-knowledge of the original I AM (1). Understanding (3) is the concrete application of abstract Wisdom (2). Note that adjective “concrete.” It represents the definite and specific in contradistinction to the vague, indefinite and general. That is concrete which has specific outlines, qualities, or properties. It is particular. It is itself, and not something else. Behind all these ideas is the thought of specific Limitation, the notion of outline, form, boundary and so on. And this idea of limitation, coherence, aggregation, consolidation, etc. is just exactly what is meant in astrology by the power designated as Saturn, the power of condensation, limitation and restriction. Thus we see why the number 3, in Qabalah, is called the Sphere of Saturn. (But here we need to remember that the “sphere” of any power or force is not that force itself. 3 is not the number of the planet Saturn, but the number of the field in which Saturn operates). In English, by derivation, Understanding and Substance are literal equivalents, and they have the same meaning in Hebrew. Thus 3 is the symbol of the actual Material or Substance out of which all forms are constructed, and is therefore called AIMA the Mother in the Qabalah. In all esoteric systems we find more or less clearly expressed the idea that original Substance is eternally pure, and this thought is connected with the various myths of a heavenly or earthly Virgin. The root-thought is that the fundamental Substance or Seed- Ground of manifestation (which the thought-habits of all mankind force us to think of as feminine) is something consecrated and holy, something pure and inviolable. Thus the idea of Sanctifying Intelligence is connected with the number 3 in the Hebrew Wisdom, to convey the idea that through growth or expression (symbolized by 3) is brought about the perfected manifestation of the potencies latent in the originating power. Perfect expression of the potencies of life brings about perfected organism, and perfected organism makes possible the expression of perfected consciousness. All organic growth and development are therefore connected with the number 3, and in the larger aspects of life-unfoldment, this number stands for the perfect evolution of organisms which shall be adequate vehicles of expression for the divine Life.
Furthermore, the occult theory of evolution is that organic change is the consequence of impulses originating within the organism. In a certain sense, the occult teaching holds that what brings about the effort which ultimately results in specific alterations of physical structure, is the living creature’s intuitive knowledge that such a change is possible. The intuition may be very vague and indefinite, hardly more than a blind urge, at the beginning of an evolutionary process; but as the creature who feels this urge responds to it with effort towards realization,
the very changes in the organism which follow that effort make the intuition more and more definite. At last the time comes when, as in men and women of real enlightenment, this urge toward improvement is clearly understood, and definitely referred to the influence of a power higher than the mere personality. Hence we can see why the Qabalists refer the number 3 to Neshamah, the spiritual “breathing” or Higher Soul, which they regard as the source of Intuition.

Four (4):

Geometrically 4 is the square, composed of equal lines forming rectangles. The use of the square in building from ancient times has made this number representative of the employment of right lines in construction, so that 4 and ORDER are fundamental associations of our thinking. Even our figure 4 shows a combination of the T-square and triangle, familiar implements of the architect and builder. As 1 plus 3, 4 conveys the thought of the organic development of forms (3) expressing the original Life-power (1). As the duplication of 2 it conveys the idea of the reproduction and continuance of Wisdom. Both types of association are connected with the esoteric meanings of 4. The literal meaning of the Hebrew word Tzedek, (which is associated with 4 because 4 is said to be the Sphere of Jupiter, and the Hebrew name for Jupiter is Tzedek) is justness, accuracy, correctness. Here it is curious to note that the first letter of Tzedek (which is spelt TzDK in Hebrew) has the value 90, suggesting the number of degrees in a right angle; that the second letter (D) has the value of 4. Hence 4 as the Sphere of Jupiter refers to a field of activity which is the scene of adjustment, right proportion, the correct measurement of forces, the true appraisal of materials. Readers of these pages who are familiar with astrology will see how truly all this fits in with the fundamental meanings of Jupiter. Jupiter is said to be the planet of reason. He signifies judges, bankers, theologians; also science, law and reason.
Well-dignified, he inclines those whom he influences to be generous, truthful, honest, moral, reasonable, sincere and upright. Jupiter, furthermore is ceremonious and inclines to good manners, to the correct performance of the ritual of human association. His relation to 4 considered as the duplication of 2 is that the development and classification of the materials of science is furthered by the scientists’ inspection and consideration of the meaning of their finding. In a sense Science feeds upon itself (as the symbol of the serpent biting its own tail intimates). Science gathers facts from the observation of nature, but the advance of science is not limited to the consideration of these objective facts. Quite as much progress is made when scientists turn from considering objective things to careful inspection of the classifications and categories of their various special fields. Thus Neptune and Uranus were discovered by this means, and the new discoveries of chemical elements have been hastened since Mendeleef compiled his tables.
All this will prepare you to understand why the Qabalists called 4 the Measuring Intelligence. The original Hebrew adjective conveys the notion of fixation, steadiness, regularity. But it also is related to a root meaning to curve, to bend, to be arched, and thus to contain, hence 4 is also called the Receptacular Intelligence or the Receiving Intelligence. Here again there is a hint of the doubling of the ideas represented by the number 2. Finally, 4 is called Mercy or Beneficence in the Hebrew Wisdom, and this is clearly enough related to the astrological ideas connected with Jupiter, the Greater Fortune. And since 4 represents the duplication of Wisdom, it is associated with memory in Qabalistic psychology. The Life-power remembers perfectly. It knows its own potencies, its own resources, and also knows perfectly the needs of every one of Its centers of expression. It is limitless in power and substance, and cannot be supposed to fail. Hence it must be beneficent. But its “good-givingness” cannot be otherwise than orderly. It is never wasteful prodigality. All the gifts of God are measured out, even when the measure is full, pressed down, and running over. Every center of expression receives, always exactly what is coming to it

Five (5):

As representing the sum of 1 and 4 it may be taken to represent the consequence of the codification (4) of the powers of the Primal Will (1); as being the consequence of the reasoned measurement (4) of the impulses of the Origination Energy of the universe (1). Such codification of the best of human knowledge as to the sources of our power, as to the laws of life, as to the potencies of our being has, as its consequence, the body of knowledge embracing philosophy, theology and metaphysics. This body of knowledge is the substance of religion. It is the aggregate of the self-revelation of Spirit to human consciousness. And it is in this sense that the number 5 represents religion, both in its exoteric forms and in its esoteric inner substance.
As representing the sum of 2 and 3, the number 5 may be taken to represent the consequence of the working of Wisdom (2) upon Understanding (3), whereby the multiplying and manifesting power of Understanding gives definite form to the more abstract principles of Wisdom. Here, too, we have the Life-force (2) working itself out into manifestation through Intuition (3). Hence, in this connection, 5 may be regarded as peculiarly the number which represents the processes whereby wise knowledge of nature’s hidden laws and forces comes to be part of human consciousness. Considered as the middle term between 1 (beginning) and 9 (completion), the number 5 is a symbol of meditation, adaptation, agency, and the like.
In the astrology of the Qabalah, the number 5 is called Madim, the Sphere of Mars, and it has also the names Pachad, Fear; Geburah, Strength or Severity; and Deen, Justice. Again let me remind you that 5 is not Mars itself, but the sphere or field of the Mars activity. Astrologically Mars represents force, strength, courage and activity. Mars rules the muscular system, and as ruler of Scorpio, has much to do with the force of reproduction. Now, just as 3 is in a sense the manifestation of 2, or concrete development of 2, so is 5 the manifestation or concrete development of 4. It is the consequence of the abstract order symbolized by 4. It is, so to say, that Order transferred from the sphere of abstract principle to the field of concrete application. It is the Cosmic Order perceived by Reason as that Order actually operates in the field of human activity and experience.
Primitive man, encountering that order at work in the world around him, does not even dream that the events of his daily experience are expressions of order, much less of truth and beneficence. He fears his environment, and transfers that fear to whatever mysterious beings he imagines to be the causes of what happens around him. Thus, for the primitive mind, the religious aspect of the number 5 is truly expressed by the word Pachad, Fear.
More highly-evolved mentalities see the regularity and order of the universe, and learn, to some extent, that knowledge of the cosmic order puts power in the hands of him who possesses it. Such men see the world around them as a veritable Sphere of Mars, in which the fittest and strongest survive. Unless there be a touch of spiritual intuition in the consciousness of such men, they will never see the universe as other than a power source, ruled by inexorable laws, which may be utilized by the man who knows them, to dominate the rest of humanity, and control the forces of nature. This level of consciousness in relation to the number 5 is expressed by the word Geburah, Strength or Severity.
Higher spiritual intuition, however, enables those who possess it to recognize the truth that the manifested Order of the universe cannot conceivably be other than perfect Justice. To such minds the number 5 becomes the symbol of the high types of adaptation and adjustment by which a man brings himself into perfect harmony with the real tendencies and purposes of universal activity.
In this connection, note that 5 for Qabalists is the number of “personal will,” representing that feeling of tension within the personality which accompanies the making of choices or decisions. All choice and decision, it will be observed, has for its object some particular adaptation of the conditions of the chooser’s environment. (Here we include in environment all the conditions of the mental and emotional life, the states of which appear to the person observing them as being just objective, if apparently less substantial, as are the things and conditions outside his body.
The particular aspect of intelligence associated with 5 by Qabalists is called the Radical Intelligence. The original Hebrew means “original, rooted.” It calls up the picture of the great tap-root of a tree, and reminds us that the tap-root is the means or agency whereby the tree adapts the chemical conditions of the soil to its requirements, and the means also, by which it holds itself firm and upright. The root is a source of contact and a source of sustenance, but most important of all, a source of adaptation and specialization, a source of power and strength. In one of the Hebrew books of occultism, it is said that the Radical Intelligence emanates from the depths of the primordial Wisdom. Now, Wisdom is 2, the Sphere of the Zodiac, and the field of the cosmic Life-force. Hence here is a hint that 5 is somehow to be regarded as specially related to the number 2; a suggestion that whatever we find explicitly expressed by 5 we may also find implicitly present in 2. I speak of this in order to remind you that in the Major trumps of Tarot, 2 is the number of La Papesse while 5 is the number of Le Pape. On the practical side, 5 represents Applied Science in all its variations, including magic, the ceremonial part of religion, but most important of all, the ritualization of daily life. And correct ritualization of daily life means, basically, the correct synchronization of personal action with the rhythmic alternation of forces represented by the movement of the planets through the zodiac. The “highways of the stars” telegraph to us the symbolic messages whereby we may know the will of our Father in Heaven. To decipher the message, and live in accordance with it, is true religion, perfect wisdom, and applied science that links human conduct with the very tap-root of cosmic vitality and order.

Six (6):

As 1 plus 5, the number 6 shows the result of the correct ritualization and application of the forces having their origin in the Primal Will. As 2 plus 4, the number 6 becomes the representative of those inner states of consciousness having principally to do with the codification and arrangement (4) of the materials of more or less abstract knowledge and science (2). As 3 plus 3, the number 6 refers to the fact that as soon as there is new development and organization (3), the results so achieved themselves become the subjects or material for the evolutionary process. All these ideas, here but dimly suggested, are to be found explicitly connected with the number 6 in the age-odd symbolic meanings of that number. Its most familiar symbol is the hexagram, or six-pointed star, among plane figures; but the cube, or hexahedron, is its representative among solids.
A correct ritualization of the forces originating in the Primal Will (1 plus 5) must needs work itself out in conduct which shall be an accurate and adequate reflection of that Will. Thus the number 6 is regarded by Qabalists as representing the reflection of the Universal Self or Cosmic I AM by the personalized Self, the Ego which is the center of reference for every human being’s experience. And the perfected expression of the number 6, at its very highest level, is, on the one hand, perfect obedience to the Law, and on the other, extraordinary control of external conditions. The truly wise man serves God and masters nature.
Thus he becomes an actual mediator between that which is above him and that which is below. This idea is definitely related to 6 in the Qabalah, which calls 6 the intelligence of mediating influence. To mediate is to stand between, and thus to act as a point of division between two opposite fields of activity. A mediator is an arbitrator between two conflicting parties. Right mediation is therefore right assessment of the respective claims of the two parties, and gives to each what belongs to it.
It is in this sense that the number 6 has come to be related to the idea of discrimination. The number itself proceeds directly from the number 2, in this wise; We cannot consider 2 without implying the pre-existence of 1. Therefore 2 really includes the ideas of 1 and 2. The sum of these is 3. Thus, in occult arithmetic, we say that 3 is the “theosophic extension” of 2. Similarly, 3 implies the pre-existence of 2 and 1, so that the theosophic extension of 3 is the sum of 1, 2 and 3, or 6. Hence we say that 6 has its roots in 2. This is hinted at also when one considers the hexagram, which is composed of two equilateral triangles, pointing in opposite directions, yet blended with each other. Similarly the cube, by the perfect equality of opposite faces, conveys the fundamental ideas of the number 6.
This number is called Tiphareth, (ThPARTh), Beauty, in the Qabalah, and in the Bible, as in the Qabalah, this word is definitely associated with man, which is also one of the traditional names (ADM, Adam) of the number 6. Thus in the 13th verse of the 44th Chapter of Isaiah we read: “The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man (in the Hebrew Tiphareth Adam); that it may remain in the house.” This passage is part of a denunciation of idolatry, and refers to the making of an image, or idol. Thus it is in direct connection with the attribution of imagination to the number 6 in Qabalistic psychology. But it has a deeper meaning, and that is why I have introduced it here.
The number 6 is also called The Sphere of the Sun, and refers to the field of operation of the ray of the cosmic Self reflected into, or terminating as, the personal Ego. There is a certain strictly true sense in which that which appears to us to be the central point of our personal being, or the central “I” which is the hub around which all things in our experience revolve, may be regarded as none other than this end or the territorial terminus of a stream of vibratory energy having its other end in the actual physical Sun which is the central body of our solar system. The Sun is not a mere mass of flaming gas. It is the body of the controlling Intelligence of our world-system, or perhaps it might be more correct to say that the Sun is the physical organ of that controlling Intelligence. The truly discriminating wise man sees himself and his actions as the terrestrial expressions of impulses and energy originating in the Sun. Such a wise man regards himself, and other human personalities, as being none other than so many different examples of solar intelligence and action. And through a vivid realization of this truth, the wise make themselves true mediators, producing harmony and beauty through their own ritual of life, and inspiring others to copy that ritual.

Seven (7):

Seven is the great sacred number, and to exhaust its occult meanings would require volumes. One most important thing about this number is that it is seldom found in nature. Conventionally, the week has seven days, but the number is only an approximation. The selection of seven as a number to represent musical tones and colors is purely arbitrary. So is the sevenfold classification of the principles of man. And since the discovery of Uranus and Neptune, we know that there is no particular connection between the number 7 and the number of the planets. Neither is there any mathematical way to construct an exact regular heptagon or seven-sided figure. Such a figure can be constructed, but it must be done by trial- and-error, and demands considerable skill of the draftsman.
In the Qabalah 7 is named Netzach, a word which is ordinarily translated Victory, but which has often the secondary meaning of Eternity. It is often used as an adjective signifying “perpetual,” or “continual.” It is from this Hebrew name for 7 that many of the occult meanings of the number are derived, such as: Success, mastery; upper hand, whip hand; ascendancy, conquest, triumph. These ideas are clearly suggested by the symbolism of Key 7, Le Chariot.
The special mode of consciousness associated in Hebrew Wisdom with 7 is the Occult or Secret Intelligence. The Hebrew word here translated “Occult or Secret” is NSThR, Nesther, from SThR, Sether, signifying “to shut up, to cover, to hide, to veil, to conceal.” There is a close correspondence of meaning between this particular terminology and the Sanskrit Bupta Vidya, or Secret Wisdom. And if you are at all familiar with modern works on Occultism, particularly with those of H. P. Blavatsky, you will understand that the number 7 is, so to say, the seal of the Secret Doctrine. It is so in the Orient, and equally so in the Occident, for the Western School of Adepts, when they summarized their occult knowledge in the Rosicrucian Fama Fraternitatis gave an elaborate description of a seven-sided building as the key to that strange little book. Again, the Tarot itself is built on a system of sevens. For it is composed of one un-numbered, or Zero, card and 77 or 7 x 11 other cards. The major trumps fall naturally into a scheme of 7s, thus:


1 2 3 4 5 6 7

8 9 10 11 12 13 14

15 16 17 18 19 20 21

The minor trumps are 56 in number (7 x 8), and each suit is composed of a double septenary, or 14 cards. Thus this sacred and mysterious number is stamped on the Tarot, which is none other than the ROTA mentioned by the Rosicrucians as one of their most cherished possessions.
The number 7 is known also as the Sphere of Venus, and the magic square of 7 x 7, containing 49 cells, is given by Cornelius Agrippa and others as the one which particularly belongs to Venus. Remember here, as elsewhere, that the Sphere of Venus is not to be confused with Venus herself. This Sphere of Venus is said in Qabalistic psychology to be the seat of desire, closely akin to what Hindus call Kama.
In the Tarot all the Sevens of the minor trumps indicate, more or less, the temporary cessation of activity. So does Key 7 in the Major Trumps. And when, in the final stage of a divination, the Significator falls in the 7th place on the Tree of Life, the meaning us much the same. If the cards in this final layout are Well-dignified, the suggestion is usually that the Querant will enjoy a well- earned rest. If Ill-dignified, the intimation is that he will be delayed and blocked in his actions, that his desires will be active, but not fruitful.”
A Course on Tarot Divination – Paul Foster Case (1933)

Eight (8):

By its form, suggesting a twisted belt, in whose loops wheels would revolve in opposite directions, the number 8 symbolizes the truth that opposite modes of expression (all pairs of opposites) are effects of a single cause. 8 is the digit value of the name IHVH, Jehovah, 888 is the numeration of the name Jesus in Greek, 8 is the “Dominical Number,” or “Number of the Lord” in Christian tradition, and it is the particular number of the “god” named Mercury by Romans, Hermes by Greeks, Nebo by Assyrians, and Thoth by Egyptians. Thus 8 is most definitely the number of Magic and Hermetic Art, the number of supreme attainment. Some shadow of this truth, and of the association of 8 with Mercury, god of commerce, is shown in the attribution of the meaning “big business” to 8 in modern numerology.
The form of the figure is derived from the twined serpents of the wand of Mercury (See Key 1, Le Bateleur, where the juggler holds such a wand in his left hand.) The movement of the hand in writing the number 8 is a rhythmic alternation which suggests action and reaction, and therefore compensation, equation, equalization, coordination, and like ideas. Here we have an image of the alternate cycles of involution and evolution. Rhythm is perhaps one of the most important meanings of 8. All the great forces of nature have their characteristic rhythms, and the great magical secret is related to this truth. Much of the practical work in magic consists in processes whereby the operator attunes certain of his own activities to define cosmic rhythms, so that he vibrates in synchrony with them. A hint of this is given in the major trump entitled Strength, or La Force, which is numbered 8 in the occult Tarot.
The Hebrew name of 8 is HVD, pronounced “hode”, and usually written Hod. It is usually translated Splendor, but its root-meaning is prominence or eminence. Thus the root-ideas associated with 8 in the Qabalah are: Distinction, Eminence, Importance; Intensity, Fullness, Greatness; Immensity, Infinity (which is represented in mathematics by the horizontal 8).
The mode of consciousness represented by 8 in Qabalah is named the Perfect Intelligence, and the adjective translated “Perfect” is ShLM, rendered in English as “Salem.” It signifies: Whole, entire, perfect; healthy, full of strength; peaceable, friendly. It is noteworthy, too, that a slight variation of the same word, spelt with the same letters, but with different vowel-points, means requital, or recompense, and thus ties in with the idea of compensation suggested by the form of the figure 8. This mode of consciousness is directly connected with the functioning of the self-conscious level of the human mind, personified as Hermes or Mercury, for it is through the functions of this part of our make-up that we discover, classify and utilize the cosmic rhythms. By this means we attain to perfect physical and psychical adjustment, and thus to health of mind and body. And because a perfectly healthy person is self-confident without being egotistic or bumptious, such a person is naturally peaceable. Personal and national ill-health is expressed in irritability, strife and warfare. Persons and nations with healthy minds and bodies keep the peace.
8 is the Sphere of Mercury in the Qabalistic system.

Nine (9):

As the last of the series of numeral symbols, 9 represents completion, attainment, realization, the goal of endeavor, the end of a cycle. But this completion is not absolute cessation. The end of one cycle is the beginning of another. Every End is the seed of a fresh Beginning. In Hebrew Wisdom, therefore, 9 has from time immemorial been associated with the idea of reproduction.
Its Hebrew name is Yesod (ISVD), signifying Bias or Foundation. This word is often used to signify commencement or beginning, and thus bears out what was said about 9. Other words related to 9 in this connection are: Ground, support, substratum; fundamental, principle.
9 is also termed the Pure or Clear Intelligence. The Hebrew adjective is THVR, Tahoor, signifying clean, shining, not soiled, pure (as Unalloyed gold). In the metaphysical sense it refers to the sublimation and purification of consciousness. But the important point to be noted here is that 9 on the Tree of Life also relates to the automatic consciousness, the subconsciousness of modern psychology. This is the habit-mind, and since habits determine fundamental character and temperament, here is a very strong hint that the supreme attainment, or completion of occult training, is the establishment of right habits, the purification of the automatic consciousness, so that he who has completed the Great Work maintains his right relation to the cosmic rhythms automatically, without the necessity for continual conscious effort which
besets those of us who are not yet perfect adepts. Key 9 of the major trumps will repay study in this connection. Note that the Hermit has himself reached the heights of attainment, but that he is disseminating light to others who struggle upward on the path.
9 in the Qabalah is called the Sphere of the Moon.

Ten (10):

The number 10 is a sacred number in occultism. Symbolized as shown in the margin.





it was called the Tetraktys, and on this figure Pythagoras is said to have sworn his pupils to secrecy. 10 is a self-reproductive number, because the sum of the numbers from 1 to 10, or the theosophic extension of 10, is 55, and the digits of 55 add to 10.
In Hebrew Wisdom 10 is called Malkuth (MLKVTh) the Kingdom. It is also known as the Sphere of the Elements, the Hebrew for this designation meaning literally, “The Breaker of the Foundations,” or that in which the fundamental basis of manifestation is divided into apparent multiplicity, or broken up into parts. The meaning of “kingdom” is, the realm of a king, the sphere of a king’s operations, also the government, laws and administrative activity whereby the authority of a king is made manifest. Thus in the Bible the idea of “Kingdom” is definitely connected with the Ten Commandments which are the summary and basis of the Mosaic Law. The Kingdom in other words is the manifest law. Thus the theosophic extension of 10 gives the number 55, or the doubling of 5, the number of Law and Justice.
10 is also called the Resplendent Intelligence, but the Hebrew adjective is probably derived from a word meaning number, measure, arrangement, composition. The root-idea is that of Order, and just as 10 is the theosophic extension of 4, so is the idea of arrangement implied by 4 worked out to its completion in the occult meaning of 10. Key 10 in the major trumps represents this conception of a world-order, or cosmic mechanism.
In the human organism, 10 corresponds to the field of sensation, to the point of contact between a human being and the world around him.
The connection of all this material with divination may not be apparent at the first or even at the tenth reading. But the student who wishes to be a true diviner will do well to develop as much understanding of these ten fundamental numbers as he can. For the final stage of the divinatory operation, in which the basic meanings of one of these numbers is the key to the interpretation of whatever cards appear in the layout, is the one which most often leads to the discovery of the essential significance of the operation.
The operation itself is concluded by counting the cards, and pairing, as in earlier stages of the divination. Because there are 78 cards in the pack, and they are dealt one at a time into ten heaps, the first 8 piles will contain 10 cards each, and the last two will contain only 9 cards. And since the Significator will be one of these, in piles 1 to 8 inclusive there will be a single card left over at the completion of the pairing, while in piles 9 and 10 the pairs will come out even. The single card in the first 8 piles, and the card to the left of the last pair in the 9th and 10th piles will be the one that gives the final indication as to time. The rule for judging this is the same as that given in the preceding lesson.”
A Course on Tarot Divination – Paul Foster Case (1933)

The Numbers in Relation to the Suits


Ace of Wands – Ace Drastic material change
Two of Wands – Ambition
Three of Wands – Obsolete
Four of Wands – Celebration
Five of Wands – Calamity
Six of Wands – Success
Seven of Wands – Competition
Eight of Wands – Obstacles
Nine of Wands – Recovery
Ten of Wands – Strain
Page of Wands –  Helpful friend
King of Wands – Knight Material advancement
Queen of Wands –  Settling with possessions
King of Wands – Material wealth


Ace of Cups – Drastic change of feelings
Two of Cups – Bond
Three of Cups – Festivity
Four of Cups – Melancholia
Five of Cups – Despair
Six of Cups – Happiness
Seven of Cups – Temptation
Eight of Cups – Disgust
Nine of Cups – Gluttony
Ten of Cups – Bliss
Page of Cups – Comforting friend
Knight of Cups – Emotional advancement
Queen of Cups – Settling emotions
King of Cups – Emotional restraint


Ace of Swords – Drastic change of action
Two of Swords – Crossroads
Three of Swords – Separation
Four of Swords – Commemoration
Five of Swords – Desertion
Six of Swords – Loss
Seven of Swords – Betrayal
Eight of Swords – Victim
Nine of Swords – Anguish
Ten of Swords – Defeat
Page of Swords – Allied friend
Knight of Swords – Advancement in action
Queen of Swords – Settling calamity
King of Swords – Decisive action


Ace of Pentacles – Drastic change of thought
Two of Pentacles – Confusion
Three of Pentacles – Pondering
Four of Pentacles – Self-obsession
Five of Pentacles – Destitution
Six of Pentacles – Generosity
Seven of Pentacles – Contemplation
Eight of Pentacles – Skill
Nine of Pentacles – Prosperity
Ten of Pentacles – Wisdom
Page Pentacles – Agreeing friend
Knight Pentacles – Intellectual advancement
Queen Pentacles – Settling mind
King Pentacles – Intellectual prominence

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