All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages"
While we go about our daily routine of work and occasionally indulge ourselves in a surreal type of elation through the fleeting feelings of love that we may have for our partners or children, there is one area of our lives which we usually keep all to ourselves. Our dreams are facets of ourselves which we keep hidden, only to on very rare occasions reveal to our confidants. So how exactly do these dreams fit our world as we attempt to relate our existence to the grander framework of the cosmos?
The number seven is associated with the world of dreams. It is considered to be the most spiritual digit in our number system and therefore tends to govern all that we give esoteric credence to. It has been used extensively in the allocating of orderly systems with the world we live in.
The old Testament, which is the basis for the three major religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, uses the number seven extensively:-
The book of Genesis states that it took seven days to create the world.
In the book or revelations there were seven archangels and seven spirits of God sent forth unto all the earth.
There were seven generations from David to the coming of Christ.
One of the best known biblical examples of the uses of this number is in the book of Joshua when the prophet used the vibrations of seven to bring down the walls of Jericho. He marched his army around the city for seven days, accompanied by seven priests carrying seven trumpets and on the seventh day they circled the walls seven times, shouted, and the vibration they had set up caused the walls to fall.
Seven represents happiness, but unfortunately carries with it melancholy as quite often a sacrifice must be made before perfect unity can be achieved. Such high ideals can also lead to depression as we discover that perfection is rarely achieved and compromise must be enforced to attain equilibrium. Seven quite often presents us with a choice that we must make: while all options may appear desirable, some of them have hidden pitfalls so discretion is necessary in order to make the right decision.
Seven is the number of magic, occult mysteries and clairvoyance. It is considered to be a sacred, mystic number in almost all societies including Hindu, Egyptian, Greek, Hebrew and Chinese. It is an indivisible number and therefore compared to God. On the seventh day of creation God rested, so all things must therefore rest under the influence of this number in order to reflect and contemplate on what has occurred as well as what is likely to transpire. It represents the last step before completion and is closely associated with man’s life span of three score and ten years.
Seven is linked to the days of the week and each phase of the Moon lasts approximately seven days. Therefore, seven possesses some intuitive qualities which make it a highly psychic number.
Seven occurs regularly in the order of the cosmos as there are:-
Seven colours in the spectrum.
Seven notes in the musical scale.
Seven features on the human head.
Seven vowels in the Greek alphabet.
Seven principals in man.
The seventh son of the seventh son is said to have occult powers.
The seventh hour of birth determines whether a child will live or die.
The seventh day after birth the umbilical cord falls off.
Flowering plants of a pure strain have seven outside petals. The lotus is one such flower.
There are seven major chakras, or energy points, in the human body.
The ziggurat, or ladder to heaven, has seven steps.
Seven is associated with the thalamus, the part of the brain which optic and hearing nerves spring, the spinal canal and the nervous and mental processes generally occur. Those under the influence of this number are easily worried or annoyed by circumstances or people. They are inclined to magnifying their problems and tend to become despondent and depressed at the slightest incident. As a rule, they are usually stronger mentally than physically and often overtax their strength to the point of exhaustion.
Each letter of the alphabet is associated with a vibratory frequency similar to a specific number from zero to nine. The letters that are ruled by seven are G, P and Y.
G is the numerical equivalent of 7 and represents mysticism and religious experiences. This letter is imaginative, creative, and will look for alternative solutions to everyday problems. When it is the first consonant in a name, the bearer will tend to be intuitive, learned and solitary. Negatively, G’s are loathe to take even the best intentioned advice from others.
P is the numerical equivalent of 16 which computes to 7 and represents power. It carries with it a commanding influence and possesses much knowledge. When it is the first consonant in a name the bearer is likely to think of spiritual matters. Negatively, P can be totally self absorbed with little time to empathise with the concerns of others.
Y is the penultimate letter in our alphabet and is the numerical equivalent of 25 which computes to 7. This letter represents freedom and dislikes restraint of any kind. Negatively, Y can be indecisive and as a consequence may miss out on opportunities in life.
In the Cabala seven represents the sephiroth Netzah. It symbolises the senses, animal drives and passions and is the male force behind nature. Associated with rhythm, movement, colour and the arts. It is closely linked with Venus, the goddess of sensuality and nature. It should be noted that while seven is ruled by Neptune in western numerology and the South Node in Hindu numerology, in esoteric circles Neptune is considered to be a higher octave of Venus, so in many ways seven is exalted in Venus and can quite easily relate to the vibrations of this number.
In Tarot seven represents The Chariot in the Major Arcana which signifies unity within complexity. The archetype represented in this key has gained complete control of himself and has harnessed his animal instincts. He has learned to accept the rules and restrictions laid down by society and knows how to deal with any obstacles in his path. He is able to turn a situation to his advantage while still operating within the rules which he has agreed to abide by.
The day of the month we were born bears special significance to our life path and, quite often, gives and indication of what type of career we will pursue.
Seven. If you were born on the seventh day of the month you have very high ideals about how things should be and can therefore at times feel let down when others do not live according to your expectations. You can be emotional, and this sensitivity is often channelled through your intuitive abilities. You may at times feel misunderstood as those around you make false assumptions based on circumstantial evidence. You would be well suited to a career in medicine, pharmaceuticals or the cosmetic industry.
Sixteen. If you were born on the sixteenth day of the month you are somewhat of an idealist and can buck the system in an effort to bring about what you consider to be much needed change. Negatively, you may turn to drug abuse in an attempt to escape your milieu and if not controlled this can lead to difficulties in your relationships as those close to you watch helplessly. You would be well suited to working with water, such as in the shipping, fishing or leisure industry.
Twenty five. If you were born on the twenty fifth day of the month there is a very spiritual side to your nature which you will as a rule express only to your closest associates. You have somewhat of a philosophical attitude and may become melancholy when you feel that things haven’t turned out in your favour - particularly when reflecting on your personal relationships. Negatively, you may be prone to deception in order to get what you desire, but when others discover your true motives they may not be so keen to co-operate. You would be well suited to a role as an advisor, counsellor or healer.
The month you were born bears special significance to your character and how you relate to your world. If you were born in July, which is the seventh month of the year, you are genuinely sincere and this trait attracts people to you because they feel that you will listen to them. Because you possess a will of iron, you are able to use your drive to achieve goals. Home is paramount and you will go to great lengths to ensure the family unit remains intact. While you are generally considerate of others, you can react with more than a bit of cattiness when you feel under stress.
Seven A mystic or sacred number. It is composed of four and three, which, among the Pythagoreans, were, and from time immemorial have been, accounted lucky numbers. Among the Babylonians, Egyptians, and other ancient peoples, there were seven sacred planets. The Hebrew verb for "to swear" means literally to come under the influence of seven things; thus, seven ewe lambs figure in the oath between Abraham and Abimelech at Beersheba (Gen. 21:28); and Herodotus describes an Arabian oath in which seven stones are smeared with blood. There are seven days in Creation, seven days in the week, seven graces, seven deadly sins, seven divisions in the Lord's Prayer, and seven ages in the life of man; climacteric years are seven and nine with their multiples by odd numbers; and the seventh son of a seventh son was held noble. Among the Hebrews, every seventh year was sabbatical, and seven times seven years was the jubilee. The three great Jewish feasts lasted seven days; and between the first and second were seven weeks. Levitical purifications lasted seven days; Balaam would have seven alters, and sacrificed on them seven bullocks and seven rams; Naaman was commanded to dip seven times in Jordan; Elijah sent his servant seven times to look out for rain; ten times seven Israelites went to Egypt, the exile lasted the same number of years, and there were ten times seven elders. Pharaoh in his dream saw seven years for each of his wives; seven priests with seven trumpets marched round Jericho once every day, but seven times on the seventh day. Samson's wedding feast lasted seven days; on the seventh he told his bride the riddle, he was bound with seven withes [sic], and seven locks of his hair were cut off. Nebuchadnezzar was a beast for seven years. In the Apocalypse, there are seven churches of Asia, seven candlesticks, seven stars, seven trumpets, seven spirits before the throne of God, seven horns, seven vials, seven plagues, a seven-headed monster, and the Lamb with seven eyes. The old astrologers and alchemists recognized seven so-called planets. According to the Muslims, there are seven heavens. Benét's Reader's Encyclopedia (Siepmann, 1987)
Seven Champions The mediaeval designation of the national patron saints of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Spain, and Italy. In 1596 Richard Johnson published a chap-book The Famous History of the Seven Champions of Christendom. In this he relates that St. George of England was seven years imprisoned by the Almidor, the black king of Morocco; St. Denys of France lived seven years in the form of a hart; St. James of Spain was seven years dumb out of love for a fair Jewess; St. Anthony of Italy, with the other champions, was enchanted into a deep sleep in the Black Castle, and was released by St. George's three sons, who quenched the seven lamps by water from the enchanted fountain; St. Andrew of Scotland delivered six ladies who had lived seven years under the form of white swans; St. Patrick of Ireland was immured in a cell where he scratched his grave with his own nails; St. David of Wales slept seven years in the enchanted garden of Ormandine, and was redeemed by St. George. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (Evans, 1989)
Seven Deadly Sins also called cardinal sins. Any of the sins originally identified during the early history of Christian monasticism and grouped together as early as the 6th century by St. Gregory the Great. The traditional catalog of the seven deadly sins is: (1) vainglory, or pride; (2) covetousness; (3) lust, understood as inordinate or illicit sexual desire; (4) envy; (5) gluttony, which usually included drunkenness; (6) anger; and (7) sloth. The classical discussion of the subject is in the Summa theologiae, by the 13th-century theologian St. Thomas Aquinas. The seven deadly sins were a popular theme in the sermons, morality plays, and art of the European Middle Ages. Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature (1995)
Seven Heavens A concept of ultimate spiritual bliss based upon some verses in the Koran and further elaborated by Muslim commentators. Muslims believe that Allah created seven heavens, on above another, and that the Prophet Muhammed was carried there on his horse Borak. Benét's Reader's Encyclopedia (Siepmann, 1987)
Seven Kings of Rome In its earliest days Rome was ruled by a succession of seven kings. According to tradition these were Romulus (founder of the city), Numa Pompilius, Tullus Hostilius, Ancus Martius, Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius, and Tarquinius Superbus. The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature (Howatson, 1989)
Seven Lamps of Architecture Book-length essay on architecture by John Ruskin, published in 1849. According to Ruskin, the leading principles of architecture are the "lamps" of Sacrifice, Truth, Power, Beauty, Life, Memory, and Obedience. The noblest style of architecture was Gothic, but in time medieval architecture had lost the power to resist innovation. This loss of vitality was the result of the spiritual decline of Christianity during the materialistic Renaissance. The essay took the studies of a generation of medievalists and provided them with a general framework and a moral flavor. Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature (1995)
Seven Last Words The Seven Last Words are the last utterance of Christ on the cross... The words are "My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" ...recorded in Mark 15:34, and Matt. 27:46. Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins (Hendrickson, 1987)
Seven Liberal Arts A loose classification of the subjects comprising the educational curriculum in the West during the Middle Ages, from the late fifth century AD onwards. The name 'liberal arts' seems to originate with Aristotle who in the Politics talks of eleutherai epistemai, 'brances of knowledge worthy of free men', the basic knowledge needed for a properly educated citizen... They were divided into the trivium, namely grammar (i.e. literature), rhetoric, and dialectic, and the more advanced quadrivium, namely arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature (Howatson, 1989)
Seven Names of God Of the many names the ancient Hebrews had for the deity, the seven names of God were those over which the scribes had to take particular care, the names being: El, Elohim, Adonai, Yhwh (Jehovah), Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyer, Shaddai, and Zebaot. Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins (Hendrickson, 1987)
Seven Natural Wonders of the World 1) Mt. Everest. 2) Victoria Falls. 3) The Grand Canyon. 4) The Great Barrier Reef. 5) The Northern Lights. 6) Paricutin. 7) The Harbor at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Seven Sages Name given by Greek tradition to seven men of practical wisdom--statesmen, law-givers, and philosophers--of the seventh and sixth centuries BC. The list of sages is variously given in different authorities, but generally it comprises Solon of Athens, Thales of Miletus, Pittacus of Mitylene, Cleobulus of Rhodes, Chilon of Sparta, Bias of Priene, and Periander of Corinth. The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature (Howatson, 1989)
Seven Seas The Arctic and Antarctic, North and South Pacific, North and South Atlantic, and the Indian Ocean.
Seven Senses According to ancient teaching the soul of man, or his "inward holy body" is compounded of seven properties which are under the influence of the seven planets. Fire animates, earth gives the sense of feeling, water gives speech, air gives taste, mist gives sight, flowers give hearing, the south wind gives smelling. Hence the seven senses are animation, feeling, speech, taste, sight, hearing, and smelling. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (Evans, 1989)
Seven Wise Masters also called The Seven Viziers, The Story of the Seven Sages, or Sinbadnameh...("The Book of Sindbad") A cycle of stories, presumably Indian in origin, that made its way through Middle Persian and Arabic into Western lore. In the frame story, an Oriental king entrusted the education of his son to a wise tutor named Sindbad (not to be confused with the sailor of The Thousand and One Nights). During a week when the prince was ordered by Sindbad to maintain silence, his stepmother tried to seduce him. Having failed, she tried to accuse the prince before the king and sought to bring about his death by telling seven stories. Each of her narratives, however, was confuted by seven sages, who in turn told tales of the craft of women. The prince's lips were at last unsealed and the truth made known. The oldest surviving text of the story is in classical Arabic and is included in The Thousand and One Nights Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature (1995)
Seventh Heaven The Muhammadan Seventh Heaven, is said to be "beyond the power of description." ...In the Islamic graded concept of Heaven, which also prevailed among the Jews, one goes after death to the Heaven he has earned on earth, and the Seventh Heaen, ruled by Abraham, is the ultimate one, a region of pure light lying above the other six, the Heaven of Heavens. Anyone in Seventh Heaven is thus in a state of ineffable bliss, having the greatest pleasure possible. Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins (Hendrickson, 1987)
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son Seven is the most mystical and magical of numbers, and in the lore of folk magic, the seventh son of a seventh son is believed to be born with formidable magical and healing powers: he is clairvoyant, capable of casting powerful spells, and possesses the ability to heal by a laying on of hands. Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft (Guiley, 1989)
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages 1) The Colosseum of Rome. 2) The Catacombs of Alexandria, Egypt. 3) The Great Wall of China. 4) Stonehenge. 5) The Leaning Tower of Pisa. 6) The Porcelain Tower of Nanking. 7) The Mosque of Hagia Sophia.
Seven-year Itch The seven-year itch has been synonymous for sexual desire since 1660. Seven-year itch had no sexual connotation when first recorded in 1899, simply meaning "a type of itch allegedly requiring seven years of healing." Influenced by the sense of itch as sexual desire, it came to mean a married man's urge to roam after seven years of marriage, a meaning widely popularized by the Marilyn Monroe movie The Seven Year Itch (1955). Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins (Hendrickson, 1987)
Seven Year's War (1756-1763) The war against Fredrick the Great of Prussia waged by France, Austria, and Russia. England aided Fredrick with subsidies and Hanoverian troops. The war ended with the treaty of Hubertusburg, by which Frederick retained all his dominions. The war carried with it the struggle between France and England overseas, which was settled in the Peace of Paris of 1763, leaving England predominant in India and America. Benét's Reader's Encyclopedia (Siepmann, 1987)
No number seems to be more mystical than the number seven. Throughout the world there seems to be a ‘knowing’ about its wider significance. But why is this? Could the ancients have intuited something we have missed?
The number is forever associated with the spiritual. By this, we mean some form of god-force, best explained as something ‘other’ than us. Yet I’m uncomfortable with this definition.
We can bring that mystical ‘seven’ into this law.
It seems to be correct to life and the universe. Indeed, it seems that there are seven fundamental ‘groupings’ of things in the universe.
What do we mean by this? Well, there is the lifeform, the species, the planet, the solar system, the galaxy, the island universe, and the universe itself. Existence appears to have seven levels, each one bigger, and conceivably more ordered, than the lower.
Does each level have its own consciousness? Well, the first definitely does. It is our own mind. As for the species, Jung seemed to capture that; and ideas of Gaia seem to take the concept into the planetary level.
Could our consciousness ascend up the levels of a universal consciousness in this way? If so, would accessing the species level lead to telepathy; would accessing the planetary give us an ability to affect matter, as in psychokinesis? And what wonders could exist in even higher levels?
Of course, this is mere speculation – a mind wandering through the universe. But without ideas to capture our imagination, can either science, or religion, move on, cooperate, or adapt? There is a universe out there. And we could be part of it in a far more fundamental way than we as yet understand.
The Number 7 has for ages been regarded as the Number of mystery relating to the spiritual side of things. It may be remarked that all through the Bible and other sacred books, the seven, whenever mentioned, always stands in relation to the spiritual or mysterious God force, and has a curious significance in this sense whenever employed.
A DEEP significance was attached to numbers in hoary antiquity. There was not a people with anything like philosophy, but gave great prominence to numbers in their application to religious observances, the establishment of festival days, symbols, dogmas, and even the geographical distribution of empires. The mysterious numerical system of Pythagoras was nothing novel when it appeared far earlier than 600 years B.C. The occult meaning of figures and their combinations entered into the meditations of the sages of every people; and the day is not far off when, compelled by the eternal cyclic rotation of events, our now sceptical unbelieving West will have to admit that in that regular periodicity of ever recurring events there is something more than a mere blind chance. Already our Western savants begin to notice it. Of late, they have pricked up their ears and begun speculating upon cycles, numbers and all that which, but a few years ago, they had relegated to oblivion in the old closets of memory, never to be unlocked but for the purpose of grinning at the uncouth and idiotic superstitions of our unscientific fore-fathers.
As one of such novelties, the old, and matter-of-fact German journal Die Gegenwart has a serious and learned article upon "the significance of the number seven" introduced to the readers as a "Culture-historical Essay." After quoting from it a few extracts, we will have something to add to it perhaps. The author says:
"The number seven was considered sacred not only by all the cultured nations of antiquity and the East, but was held in the greatest reverence even by the later nations of the West. The astronomical origin of this number is established beyond any doubt. Man, feeling himself time out of mind dependent upon the heavenly powers, ever and everywhere made earth subject to heaven. The largest and brightest of the luminaries thus became in his sight the most important and highest of powers; such were the planets which the whole antiquity numbered as seven. In course of time these were transformed into seven deities. The Egyptians had seven original and higher gods; the Phœnicians seven kabiris; the Persians, seven sacred horses of Mithra; the Parsees, seven angels opposed by seven demons, and seven celestial abodes paralleled by seven lower regions. To represent the more clearly this idea in its concrete form, the seven gods were often represented as one seven-headed deity. The whole heaven was subjected to the seven planets; hence, in nearly all the religious systems we find seven heavens."
The beliefs in the sapta loka of the Brahminical religion has remained faithful to the archaic philosophy; and--who knows--but the idea itself was originated in Aryavarta, this cradle of all philosophies and mother of all subsequent religions! If the Egyptian dogma of the metempsychosis or the transmigration of soul taught that there were seven states of purification and progressive perfection, it is also true that the Buddhists took from the Aryans of India, not from Egypt, their idea of seven stages of progressive development of the disembodied soul, allegorized by the seven stories and umbrellas, gradually diminishing towards the top on their pagodas.
In the mysterious worship of Mithra there were "seven gates," seven altars, seven mysteries. The priests of many Oriental nations were sub-divided into seven degrees; seven steps led to the altars and in the temples burnt candles in seven-branched candlesticks. Several of the Masonic Lodges have, to this day, seven and fourteen steps.
The seven planetary spheres served as a model for state divisions and organizations. China was divided into seven provinces; ancient Persia into seven satrapies. According to the Arabian legend seven angels cool the sun with ice and snow, lest it should burn the earth to cinders; and seven thousand angels wind up and set the sun in motion every morning. The two oldest rivers of the East--the Ganges and the Nile--had each seven mouths. The East had in the antiquity seven principal rivers (the Nile, the Tigris, the Euphrates, the Oxus, the Yaksart, the Arax and the Indus); seven famous treasures; seven cities full of gold; seven marvels of the world, &c. Equally did the number seven play a prominent part in the architecture of temples and palaces. The famous pagoda of Churingham is surrounded by seven square walls, painted in seven different colours, and in the middle of each wall is a seven storied pyramid; just as in the antediluvian days the temple of Borsippa, now the Birs-Nimrud, had seven stages, symbolical of the seven concentric cycles of the seven spheres, each built of tiles and metals to correspond with the colour of the ruling planet of the sphere typified.
These are all "remnants of paganism" we are told--traces "of the superstitions of old, which, like the owls and bats in a dark subterranean, flew away to return no more before the glorious light of Christianity"--a statement but too easy of refutation. If the author of the article in question has collected hundreds of instances to show that not only the Christians of old but even the modern Christians have preserved the number seven, and as sacredly as it ever was before, there might be found in reality thousands. To begin with the astronomical and religious calculation of old of the pagan Romans, who divided the week into seven days, and held the seventh day as the most sacred, the Sol or Sunday of Jupiter, and to which all the Christian nations especially the Protestants--make puja to this day. If, perchance, we are answered that it is not from the pagan Romans but from the monotheistic Jews that we have it, then why is not the Saturday or the real "Sabbath" kept instead of the Sunday, or Sol's day?
If in the "Rámáyana" seven yards are mentioned in the residences of the Indian kings; and seven gates generally led to the famous temples and cities of old, then why should the Frieslanders have in the tenth century of the Christian era strictly adhered to the number seven in dividing their provinces, and insisted upon paying seven "pfennigs" of contribution? The Holy Roman and Christian Empire has seven Kurfursts or Electors. The Hungarians emigrated under the leadership of seven dukes and founded seven towns, now called Semigradyá (now Transylvania). If pagan Rome was built on seven hills, Constantinople had seven names--By-sance, Antonia, New Rome, the town of Constantine, The Separator of the World's Parts, The Treasure of Islam, Stamboul--and was also called the city on the seven Hills, and the city of the seven Towers as an adjunct to others. With the Mussulmans "it was besieged seven times and taken after seven weeks by the seventh of the Osman Sultans." In the ideas of the Eastern peoples, the seven planetary spheres are represented by the seven rings worn by the women on seven parts of the body--the head, the neck, the hands, the feet, in the ears, in the nose, around the waist--and these seven rings or circles are presented to this time by the Eastern suitors to their brides; the beauty of the woman consisting in the Persian songs of seven charms.
The seven planets ever remaining at an equal distance from each other, and rotating in the same path, hence, the idea suggested by this motion, of the eternal harmony of the universe. In this connection the number seven became especially sacred with them, and ever preserved its importance with the astrologers. The Pythagoreans considered the figure seven as the image and model of the divine order and harmony in nature. It was the number containing twice the sacred number three or the "triad," to which the "one" or the divine monad was added: 3 + 1 + 3. As the harmony of nature sounds on the key-board of space, between the seven planets, so the harmony of audible sound takes place on a smaller plan within the musical scale of the ever-recurring seven tones. Hence, seven pipes in the syrinx of the god Pan (or Nature), their gradually diminishing proportion of shape representing the distance between the planets and between the latter and the earth--and, the seven-stringed lyre of Apollo. Consisting of a union between the number three (the symbol of the divine triad with all and every people, Christians as well as pagans) and of four (the symbol of the cosmic forces or elements), the number seven points out symbolically to the union of the Deity with the universe; this Pythagorean idea was applied by the Christians--(especially during the Middle Ages)--who largely used the number seven in the symbolism of their sacred architecture. So, for instance, the famous Cathedral of Cologne and the Dominican Church at Regensburg display this number in the smallest architectural details.
No less an importance has this mystical number in the world of intellect and philosophy. Greece had seven sages, the Christian Middle Ages seven free arts (grammar, rhetoric, dialectics, arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy). The Mahometan Sheikh-ul-Islam calls in for every important meeting seven "ulems." In the Middle Ages an oath had to be taken before seven witnesses, and the one, to whom it was administered, was sprinkled seven times with blood. The processions around the temples went seven times, and the devotees had to kneel seven times before uttering a vow. The Mahometan pilgrims turn round Kaaba seven times, at their arrival. The sacred vessels were made of gold and silver purified seven times. The localities of the old German tribunals were designated by seven trees, under which were placed seven "Schoffers" (judges) who required seven witnesses. The criminal was threatened with a seven-fold punishment and a seven-fold purification was required as a seven-fold reward was promised to the virtuous. Every one knows the great importance placed in the West on the seventh son of a seventh son. All the mythic personages are generally endowed with seven sons. In Germany, the king and now the emperor cannot refuse to stand as god-father to a seventh son, if he be even a beggar. In the East in making up for a quarrel or signing a treaty of peace, the rulers exchange either seven or forty-nine (7 X 7) presents.
To attempt to cite all the things included in this mystical number would require a library. We will close by quoting but a few more from the region of the demoniacal. According to authorities in those matters--the Christian clergy of old--a contract with the devil had to contain seven paragraphs, was concluded for seven years and signed by the contractor seven times; all the magical drinks prepared with the help of the enemy of man consisted of seven herbs; that lottery ticket wins, which is drawn out by a seven-year old child. Legendary wars lasted seven years, seven months and seven days; and the combatant heroes number seven, seventy, seven hundred, seven thousand and seventy thousand. The princesses in the fairy tales remained seven years under a spell, and the boots of the famous cat--the Marquis de Carabas--were seven leagued. The ancients divided the human frame into seven parts; the head, the chest, the stomach, two hands and two feet; and man's life was divided into seven periods. A baby begins teething in the seventh month; a child begins to sit after fourteen months (2 X 7); begins to walk after twenty-one months (3 X 7); to speak after twenty-eight months (4 X 7); leaves off sucking after thirty-five months (5 X 7); at fourteen years (2 X 7) he begins to finally form himself; at twenty-one (3 X 7) he ceases growing. The average height of a man, before mankind degenerated, was seven feet; hence the old Western laws ordering the garden walls to be seven feet high. The education of the boys began with the Spartans and the old Persians at the age of seven. And in the Christian religions--with the Roman Catholics and the Greeks--the child is not held responsible for any crime till he is seven, and it is the proper age for him to go to confession.
If the Hindus will think of their Manu and recall what the old Shastras contain, beyond doubt they will find the origin of all this symbolism. Nowhere did the number seven play so prominent a part as with the old Aryas in India. We have but to think of the seven sages--the Sapta Rishis; the Sapta Loka--the seven worlds; the Sapta Pura--the seven holy cities; the Sapta Dvipa--the seven holy islands; the Sapta Samudra--the seven holy seas; the Sapta Parvatta--the seven holy mountains; the Sapta Arania--the seven deserts; the Sapta Vriksha--the seven sacred trees; and so on, to see the probability of the hypothesis. The Aryas never borrowed anything, nor did the Brahmans, who were too proud and exclusive for that. Whence, then, the mystery and sacredness of the number seven?
But as everything on the earth and above the earth has its meaning, and especially its secret or soul meaning, its place, position, and number, in the order of things, which is the highest form of design, every day of the week, every hour of the day, and every minute of the hour, has both its meaning and number.
Anthony North, May 2008
Tracy Porter 1998
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