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The Significance of the Divine Number Seven in History and Mythology
7 + 13
Someone, wrote a very serious hub, about the significance of the number 9, in nature and the universe. Well, this hub, is just some lightweight fun, about the significance of the number 7.
Now for a little historical fun with the number 7
The significance of the number seven goes back to one of the most ancient of ancient religious concepts, the Astro-religion of Astrology with its seven planetary Gods:The Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury Venus, Jupiter and Saturn.
The ancient wise men (philosophers: lovers of wisdom) were stargazers, they were the original astronomers. They saw the original seven planets as rulers of the solar system and of the lives of humans on Earth. By observing the sky they saw star patterns occurring and reoccurring as the Earth went through its daily and annual rotations around the sun.
They related the various star patterns to the reoccurring seasonal phenomena of the earth and thought that a different planetary God ruled each cycle. The end of every seven-year cycle was seen as a rebirth or a renewal of the cosmos and the individual. Seven became the number of completion.
Biologists say that the cells of our bodies are completely renewed every seven years. Maybe ancient wise men were wiser than we knew.
The Old Testament shows this pattern of creating within a cycle of seven as in the six days of creation and the seventh day of rest in Genesis. We also see this cycle in the seven notes of the musical scale, the seven colors of the rainbow, the seven deadly sins, the seven virtues, even in something like the popular book "The Seven habits of Successful People" and a plethora of other sevens.
Through, its association with the seven heavenly bodies, (the seven known planets of those times), seven came to be seen as the number of things divine or sacred. In time, the seven heavenly bodies, became the seven heavenly Gods. And through the anthropomorphizing tendency of the human mind, the number seven, was broken down into male and female components. Three became the number of the heavenly male and four the number of the heavenly female.
Fertility cults abounded in ancient times because of the importance of sex in replenishing the animals needed for food and to work the land (not to mention the importance of sex and fertility for the reproduction of new offspring for the family, the tribe and the armies of the kings and emperors).The fertility of land was of prime importance because if the land was barren less people and animals survived.
As a result of the reverence people held toward their departed ancestors, the heavenly male became the father God and the heavenly female, the mother Goddess.
It’s easy to see how through the fascination of the ancients with numbers and fertility how that lead them to associate numbers with gender.
The Masculine 3. The Feminine 4
So three became the masculine number, the number of God whose symbol is the triangle representing the male genitalia (the penis and two testicles). Four became the feminine number, the number of the Goddess, whose symbol is the square or the squared circle, representing the female genitalia (any concave object or symbol was associated with the vagina).
The Divine 7
When these two are joined together they produced the Divine Child 3+4 whose number is seven. Seven became associated with the divine child or son. This is probably how the idea of the seventh son being the special son originated.
The number three is associated with the sky God, Father Sky. Four is the associated with earth Goddess, Mother Earth. Their union produces the child whose half human and mortal and half divine or immortal, whose number is of course, seven.
Seven is the symbol of a hermaphroditic, androgynous deity, the synthesis of the masculine and feminine principles of the God and the Goddess symbolizing a being beyond the range of human perception.
The symbolic image of this androgynous, hermaphroditic, perfected being is the seven-headed deity, the dragon or the monster with seven heads, used as a symbol of something supernatural, awe-inspiring, numinous or other-worldly.
The Heavenly Man
Seven became the number of the heavenly man, the perfected man, completed person, because all of the earthly and heavenly elements were perfectly and completely united in this person. Earth, wind, fire and air represent the four earthly or feminine qualities. Hindsight, insight and foresight represent the three heavenly or masculine qualities.
These concepts apply to men and women, least we have people saying that men are the only ones who have spiritual qualities and that women don't or vice versa.
These qualities also represent the four animal aspects and the three human aspects of the individual soul. The four animal aspects are the body, the blood, the breath and animal heat (metabolic processes). The three human aspects are speech, rational thought and intuition or creative ability.
Seven is an odd number associated with being lucky but there’s another odd number associated with being unlucky and it has a long history of being the number of bad luck.
The Unlucky Number?
That would be the number thirteen, as in Friday the thirteenth!
There are still buildings that don’t list a thirteenth floor.They actually have a thirteenth floor but it’s labeled the fourteenth floor. So people who are superstitious about the number thirteen have no idea that when they're on the fourteenth floor they're really on the dreaded thirteenth floor.
Thirteen became the unlucky number because this was originally the number of divine beings and only divine beings could use that number. If you used a number that was sacred to the Gods bad things happened to you. So people started having negative connotations about the number thirteen and over time thirteen became the bad or unlucky number, the number of the devil and evil, which is really; you guessed it, the number of God. Let me show why,
God, Divinity, And The Number 13
The most ancient symbol of the creator God was the Sun, because people saw that all life was dependent on the Sun. The twelve sun signs of the Zodiac are arrayed around the Sun God, the Cosmic Man making his number, you guessed it, thirteen.
Jesus had twelve disciples which makes Jesus’ number thirteen and symbolically makes him a Sun God.
There are the twelve tribes (sons) of Israel (Jacob) making Isreal’s number thirteen and Jacob symbolically a Sun God.
Hercules And The Zodiac
There are the twelve labors of Hercules which represents the sun passing through the twelve houses of the Zodiac making Hercules’ number thirteen and symbolically a Sun God.
But I digress.
So lets get back to other examples of significant sevens.
In the Old Testament, there are the seven eyes of the Lord (Yahweh), "For who hath despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth." Zech 4:10
In Alchemy there are seven metals corresponding to the seven planets or planetary Gods, corresponding to the seven days of the week:
1. Gold is the Sun for Sunday.
2. Silver the Moon for Monday.
3. Iron is Mars for Tuesday.
4. Quicksilver is Mercury for Wednesday.
5. Tin is Jupiter for Thursday.
6. Copper is Venus for Friday.
7. Lead is Saturn for Saturday.
The numbers three, four and seven symbolize various types of time.
Three symbolizes annual time: The past, present and future. four symbolizes seasonal time: spring, summer, fall and winter. Seven symbolizes total or complete time, the synthesis of annual and seasonal time. Three (annual time) + four (seasonal time) = seven (total or complete time).
There were the 7 wonders of the ancient world.
1. The Pyramids of Egypt
2. The Walls of Babylon
3. The Hanging gardens of Babylon
4. The Statue of Olympian Jupiter
5. The Temple of Diane at Ephesus
6. The Colossus of Rhodes
7. The Tomb of Mausole
There are the seven chakras of the Yoga subtle body system.
1. Muladhara is the chakra of the Kundalini serpent Goddess which is said to be wrapped three and half time around the base of the spine.
2. Swadhistana the sexual energy chakra.
3. Manipura is stomach plexus or sun chakra.
4. Anahata is the center or heart chakra.
5. Vishuddha is the throat or speech chakra.
6. Ajna is the brow or forehead chakra, the chakra of thought, intuition and insight.
7 Sahasrara is the crown or brain chakra, the chakra of oneness or completeness.
There are the seven colors of the rainbow.
Leading to the seven notes of the musical scale
A B C D E F G
There are seven years of bad luck if you break a mirror,
The seven voyages of Sinbad
The seven ages of man
1-7 is early childhood to late childhood
7-14 is late childhood to early adolescence
14-21is early adolescence to early adulthood
21-28 is early adulthood to late adulthood
28-35 is late adulthood to early middle age
35-42 is early middle age to late middle age
42-49 is late middle age to early old age
I think by now you get the picture about how seven became the divine or lucky number. I hope you found all this trivia about the magnificent seven informative and entertaining.
Hey! The Magnificent seven!
There's another seven for you, from the old movie "The Magnificent Seven (1960)" starring the late Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen.
And last but not least!
The Judaeo-Christian God Creating The World In Six Days And Resting On The Seventh!
Well I think that's about it for the sevens.
So Long And Good-bye!