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12 - Unlimited Magical Power

Updated on December 15, 2010


I created this hub as a study of all the various Duodecads found throughout life. I expected to find some kind of mysterious correlation or similarity within all the groups....but I haven't noticed anything too noteworthy. Here is the raw data anyway. Perhaps you'll find it of use.


ps. Leave a comment if you think I've missed any other significant twelves


The number 12 is very important in many religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, but some uses are to be found in pagan times.

Throughout history, there are numerous magical/religious uses of twelves. Ancient Greek religion, the Twelve Olympians were the principal gods of the pantheon. The chief Norse god, Odin, had 12 sons. Several sets of twelve cities are identified in history as a dodecapolis, the most familiar being the Etruscan League. In the King Arthur Legend, Arthur is said to have subdued 12 rebel princes and to have won 12 great battles against Saxon invaders.

The importance of 12 in Judaism and Christianity can be found in the Bible. The biblical Jacob had 12 sons, who were the progenitors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, while the New Testament describes twelve apostles of Jesus; when Judas Iscariot was disgraced, a meeting was held (Acts) to add Matthias to complete the number twelve once more.

The Book of Revelation contains much numerical symbolism, and a lot of the numbers mentioned have 12 as a divisor. 12:1 mentions a woman — interpreted as the people of Israel, the Church or the Virgin Mary — wearing a crown of twelve stars (representing each of the twelve tribes of Israel). Furthermore, there are 12,000 people sealed from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, making a total of 144,000 (which is the square of 12 multiplied by a thousand).

There are 12 days of Christmas. The song Twelve Days of Christmas came from the traditional practice of extending Yuletide celebrations over the twelve days from Christmas day to the eve of Epiphany; the period of thirteen days including Epiphany is sometimes known as Christmastide. Thus Twelfth Night is another name for the twelfth day of Christmas or January 5 (the eve of Epiphany). Similarly, Eastern Orthodoxy observes 12 Great Feasts.

In Shi'a Islam, there are twelve Imams, legitimate successors of the prophet Muhammad. These twelve early leaders of Islam are—Ali, Hasan, Husayn, and nine of Husayn's descendants.

In Hinduism, the sun god Surya has 12 names. Also, there are 12 Petals in Anahata(Heart Chakra.)

The Twelve Apostles

The names of The Twelve are listed in 4 places in THE BIBLE (Matthew 10:2-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:12-19, Acts 1:13) with some minor differences due to the various uses of first, family, or nicknames at different times.

  • Simon. [MEANS: HE WHO HEARS]
    More generally known as Peter [MEANS: ROCK]. The brother of Andrew. A fisherman from the Sea of Galilee. Considered to be the most impulsive of the group, always ready to speak up, and swing a sword on occasion (e.g. the cutting off of a man's ear at the time of Jesus' arrest. Some traditions hold that he was eventually crucified, upside down, by the Romans. There has been a very long debate as to whether or not he was actually the first pope.
    He was active in bringing people to Jesus, including his brother Peter.
    the older brother of John. He was the first of The Twelve to be martyred.
    From Bethsaida, as were Andrew and Peter. Eventually martyred, possibly at Hierapolis.
  • Bartholomew. [MEANS: SON OF TALMAI. (Talmai is a variant of Tolmai, meaning abounding in furrows.) ]
    He was one of the disciples to whom Jesus appeared at the Sea of Tiberias after His resurrection. He was also a witness of the Ascension.
  • Thomas.[MEANS: a twin]
    He was also called Didymus which is the Greek version of his name. Not easily convinced, he has the nickname "Doubting Thomas" because he wanted to actually see and touch Jesus after His Resurrection. Certainly a good witness for us today, because he wanted indisputable proof of what he was expected to report about, and he got it.
  • Matthew. [MEANS: God's gift]
    Formerly a tax-collector at Capernaum, he became one of the more prominent apostles.
    Known as James the Younger, or James the Less, he wrote the epistle which bears his name.
  • Thaddaeus. [MEANS: WISE, THANKFUL]
    Also known as "Judas the brother of James;" while John probably referring to the same person, speaks of "Judas, not Iscariot."
  • Simon the Zealot. [MEANS: HE WHO HEARS]
    The Zealots were a nationalistic sect with very strong political views. There seemed to be a wide variety of personalities among the apostles.
  • Judas Iscariot. [MEANS: PRAISE]
    The traitor.
  • Matthias. [MEANS" GIFT OF GOD]
    To bring the number back up to twelve after Judas fell away, Matthias was chosen by the remaining eleven apostles.

The Twelve Tribes of Israel

Jacob fathered 12 sons. They are the ancestors of the tribes of Israel, and the ones for whom the tribes are named. Each occupied a separate territory (except the tribe of Levi, which was set apart to serve in the Holy Temple).

Overview: The Twelve Tribes: [Encyclopaedia Judaica]

Asher - happy, blessed
Benjamin - son of the right hand
Dan - Judge
Gad - Troop, fortune
Issachar -
Joseph* - Increase, may God multiply
Judah - praise
Levi - United, joined
Naphtali - Wrestle, struggle
Reuben - behold a son!
Simeon - he who hears
Zebulun - home, dwelling

Twelve Signs of Zodiac (Horoscope)

The word Zodiac literally means animals and refers to the patterns or configurations of creatures as seen in the twinkling stars at night. The Zodiac belt is the great circle around which our luminescent Sun apparently moves month by month throughout the year, transceiving the energy of those different constellational signs and thereby transmitting the celestial radiations to our Earth

Broadly speaking, the 12 signs of the Zodiac can be divided into both masculine and feminine, positive and negative, or, active and passive.

The masculine signs are:

Aries - Active, intelligent, famous, traveler, wealthy, warrior, variable fortune, ambitious, phlegmatic, powerful, marked personality, impulsive, irritable, pioneering, initiative.

Gemini - Learned, astronomer, scholarly, grammarian, polite, wealthy, critical, assimilative, good conversationalist, shy, reserved, lacking in originality.

Leo - Stubborn, fixed views, strong, cruel, independent, organizing capacity and talents for propaganda, humanitarian, frequenting solitary places, generous, famous.

Libra - Manufacture of liquors, popular, tactless, base, drunkard, loose morals, arrogant, wicked, frank, submissive, pompous.

Sagittarius - Short-tempered, spoils, reliable, rich, obstinate, respected by all, happy, popular, religious, wealthy, musician.

Aquarius - Poor, unhappy, unlucky, unsuccessful, medium height, rare faculties, self-esteem.

The feminine signs are:

Taurus - Clever, reflective, attracted by perfumes and dealer in them, hated by women, slow to action, musician, self-confident, delicious drinks, happy meals, tactful, original, sociable, intelligent, prominent nose.

Cancer - Somewhat harsh, indolent, wealthy, unhappy, constipation, sickly, traveling, independent, expert astrologer.

Virgo - Linguist, poet, mathematician, taste for literature, well read, scholarly, artistic, good memory, reasoning faculty, effeminate body, frank, lucid comprehension, learned in religious lore, reserved, wanting adulation.

Scorpio - Adventurous, bold, fearing thieves and robbers, reckless, cruel, stubborn, unprincipled, impulsive, idiotic, indolent, surgical skill, dexterous, military ability.

Capricorn - Mean-minded, stubborn, ignorant, miserly, pushy, unhappy, boring, active, meddlesome, obliging, humorous, witty, affable, prudent, firm.

Pisces - Pearl merchant, peaceful, wealthy, uneventful, religious, prodigal, loved by women.

The 12 Signs of the Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese Zodiac doesn't follow constellations. The zodiac symbols represent twelve different personalities. In Chinese astrology, the zodiac symbols are assigned by year Chinese Zodiac signs are sub-divided into inner animals (representing months of the year) and secret animals (representing each hour of the day). This enables the 12 basic animal signs to be interpreted in 8,640 possible combination's.

Rat - Forthright, systematic, industrious, eloquent, obstinate.

Ox - Dependable, patient, ambitious, modest, materialistic.

Tiger - Unpredictable, passionate, rebellious, impulsive, quick-tempered.

Rabbit - Gracious, sensitive, amiable, artistic, opportunistic.

Dragon - Vigorous, noble, dignified, decisive, grandiloquent.

Snake - Wise, sensual, prudent, purposeful, mendacious.

Horse - Quick-witted, perceptive, agile, intelligent, arrogant.

Ram - Sincere, shy, creative, determined, pessimistic.

Monkey - Motivating, inquisitive, sociable, competitive, manipulative.

Rooster - Organized, conservative, alert, zealous, egotistical.

Dog - Honest, loyal, amicable, idealistic, judgmental.

Pig - Gallant, trusting, scrupulous, naïve, self-indulgent.

The Pearson-Marr 12 Archetypes

The Pearson-Marr 12 Archetypes are 12 personality types that are consistently identifiable in virtually every character in the history of storytelling. Characters in movies, books, plays, video games, and everything in between all can be categorized under one or more of these archetypes. Through understanding these archetypes, anyone can utilize them in order to create more interesting, deeper, and simply put, higher quality characters. Writing for a character you can understand more deeply will allow you to dictate his interactions with other characters more smoothly, easily, and, if correctly applied, will improve your role-playing by having a character that simply makes sense. There's no sense in having characters whose interests and motives change on a whim; one of the most important things to being a successful RP'er is writing consistently.

It's important to note that the use of the 12 Archetypes for your characters doesn't mean they will all be totally predictable; the Archetypes act as a loose skeleton for the different types of characters seen throughout the history of literature and storytelling. Just because you used them won't make your characters stereotypical and unoriginal. (If they are, that's your own fault.)

The Archetypes

Innocent: Every era has myths of a golden age or of a promised land where life has been or will be perfect. The promise of the Innocent is that life need not be hard. Within each of us, the Innocent is the spontaneous, trusting child that, while a bit dependent, has the optimism to take the journey.

Gifts - Optimism, trust, hope, faith, simple virtue

Pitfalls - Naivete, childish dependence, denial, obliviousness

Orphan: The Orphan understands that everyone matters, just as they are. Down-home and unpretentious, it reveals a deep structure influenced by the wounded or orphaned child that expects very little from life, but that teaches us with empathy, realism, and street smarts.

Gifts - Realism, resilience, interdependence, empathy

Pitfalls - Cynicism, tendency to be victim or to victimize, chronic complaining

Warrior: When everything seems lost, the Warrior rides over the hill and saves the day. Tough and courageous, this archetype helps us set and achieve goals, overcome obstacles, and persist in difficult times, although it also tends to see others as enemies and to think in either/or terms.

Gifts - Discipline, courage, determination, skill

Pitfalls - Fear of impotence leading to ruthlessness, arrogance

Caregiver: The Caregiver is an altruist, moved by compassion, generosity, and selflessness to help others. Although prone to martyrdom and enabling behaviors, the inner Caregiver helps us raise our children, aid those in need, and build structures to sustain life and health.

Gifts - Community, nurturance, compassion, generosity

Pitfalls - Martyrdom, enabling others, co-dependence, guilt-tripping

Seeker: The Seeker leaves the known to discover and explore the unknown. This inner rugged individual braves loneliness and isolation to seek out new paths. Often oppositional, this iconoclastic archetype helps us discover our uniqueness, our perspectives, and our callings.

Gifts - Autonomy, ambition, identity, expanded possibilities

Pitfalls - Inability to commit, chronic disappointment, alienation and loneliness

Lover: The Lover archetype governs all kinds of love—from parental love, to friendship, to spiritual love—but we know it best in romance. Although it can bring all sorts of heartache and drama, it helps us experience pleasure, achieve intimacy, make commitments, and follow our bliss.

Gifts - Passion, commitment, enthusiasm, sensual pleasure

Pitfalls - Objectifying others, romance/sex addictions, out of control sexuality

Destroyer: The Destroyer embodies repressed rage about structures that no longer serve life even when these structures still are supported by society or by our conscious choices. Although this archetype can be ruthless, it weeds the garden in ways that allow for new growth.

Gifts - Metamorphosis, revolution, capacity to let go

Pitfalls - Doing harm to self/others, out of control anger, terrorist tactics

Creator: The Creator archetype fosters all imaginative endeavors, from the highest art to the smallest innovation in lifestyle or work. Adverse to stasis, it can cause us to overload our lives with constant new projects; yet, properly channeled, it helps us express ourselves in beautiful ways.

Gifts - Creativity, vision, skill, aesthetics, imagination

Pitfalls - Self-indulgence, poverty, creating messes, prima-donna behaviors

Ruler: The Ruler archetype inspires us to take responsibility for our own lives, in our fields of endeavor, and in the society at large. If he/she overcomes the temptation to dominate others, the developed Ruler creates environments that invite in the gifts and perspectives of all concerned.

Gifts - Responsibility, sovereignty, control, system savvy

Pitfalls - Rigidity, controlling behaviors, and attitude of entitlement, elitism

Magician: The Magician archetype searches out the fundamental laws of science and/or metaphysics to understand how to transform situations, influence people, and make visions into realities. If the Magician can overcome the temptation to use power manipulatively, it galvanizes energies for good.
Gifts - Transformative, catalytic, or healing power

Pitfalls - Manipulation of others, disconnection from reality, cultist guru-like

Sage: The Sage archetype seeks the truths that will set us free. Especially if the Sage overcomes the temptation of dogma, it can help us become wise, to see the world and ourselves objectively, and to course-correct based on objective analyses of the results of our actions and choices.

Gifts - Wisdom, non-attachment, knowledge, skepticism

Pitfalls - Being overly critical, pomposity, impracticality, lack of feeling/empathy

Jester: The Jester archetype urges us to enjoy the process of our lives. Although the Jester can be prone to laziness and dissipation, the positive Jester invites us all out to play--showing us how to turn our work, our interactions with others, and even the most mundane tasks into FUN.

Gifts - Humor, life lived in the moment, exuberant joy

Pitfalls - Debauchery, irresponsibility, sloth, cruel jokes, con-artistry


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    • privateye2500 profile image


      8 years ago from Canada, USA, London

      wow - this is sort of interesting really...what made you think of this?

      A LOT of this has to be copied though right? As it is rather ancient stuff.


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