Koren #1 @7314 Thu Apr 19 122826 1990 This article was written by Mike Nichols for the Mag

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Koren #1 @7314 Thu Apr 19 12:28:26 1990 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ This article was written by Mike Nichols for the Magick Lantern BBS.It may be freely distributed provided that the following conditions are met: (1) No fee is charged for its use and distribution and no commercial use is made of it; (2) It is not changed or edited in any way without the author's permission; (3) This notice is not removed. This article may be periodically updated by the author; this version is current as of 9/28/88. Contact Mike Nichols at The Magick Lantern BBS [(816)531-7265, 7pm. to 11am., 300 baud ONLY] for more recent updates, or to leave your own comments. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ TOWARD A CELTIC NUMEROLOGY ========================== by Mike Nichols '...I have been a word among letters.' --the Book of Taliesyn, VIII What's in a word? Or a name? What special power resides in a word, connecting it so intimately to the very thing it symbolizes? Does each word or name have its own 'vibration', as is generally believed by those of us who follow the Western occult tradition? And if so, how do we begin to unravel its meaning? Just what, exactly, is in a word? Well, LETTERS are in a word. In fact, letters COMPRISE the word. Which is why Taliesyn's remark had always puzzled me. Why didn't he say he had been a 'letter among words'? That, at least, would seem to make more logical sense than saying he had been a 'word among letters', which seems backwards. Unless... Unless he was trying to tell us that the word is NOT the important thing -- the critical thing is the LETTERS that make up a word! The Welsh bard Taliesyn was, after all, a pretty gifted fellow. He certainly put all the other bards at Maelgwyn's court to shame. And over the years, I've learned never to take his statements lightly -- even his most enigmatic statements. Perhaps he was really suggesting that, in order to understand the true meaning of a word or name, one must first analyze the letters that comprise it. Of course, this is certainly not a new theory. Any student of arcane lore would at once recognize this concept as belonging in the opening remarks of any standard text on numerology. But to read the same meaning behind a line of poetry penned by a 6th century Welsh bard may be a bit surprising. Is it possible that the Celts had their own system of numerology? Let us begin the quest by asking ourselves what we know about numerology in general. Most of our modern knowledge of numerology has been gleaned from ancient Hebrew tradition, which states that the true essence of anything is enshrined in its name. But there are so many names and words in any given language that it becomes necessary to reduce each word to one of a small number of 'types' -- in this case, numerological types from 1 to 9 (plus any master numbers of 11, 22, etc.). This is easily accomplished by assigning a numerical value to each letter of the alphabet, i.e. A=1, B=2, C=3, and so on. Thus, to obtain the numerical value of any word, one simply has to add up the numerical values of all the letters which comprise the word. If the sum is a two digit number, the two digits are then added to each other (except in the case of 11, 22, etc.) to obtain the single digit numerical value of the entire word, which may then be analyzed by traditional Pythagorean standards. The problem has always been how to be sure of the numerical value of each letter. Why SHOULD A equal 1, or B equal 2, or Q equal 8? Where did these values come from? Who assigned them? Fortunately, the answer to this is quite simple in most cases. Many ancient languages used letters of the alphabet to stand for numbers (Roman numerals being the most familiar example). Ancient Hebrew, for instance, had no purely numerical symbols -- like our 1, 2, 3, etc. -- so their letters of the alphabet had to do double duty as numbers as well. One had to discern from the context whether the symbol was meant as letter or number. This was true of classical Latin, as well. Thus, in languages such as these, it is easy to see how a number became associated with a letter: the letter WAS the number. It is a bit more difficult to see how the associations in 'modern' numerology came into being. The modern numerological table consists of the numbers 1 through 9, under which the alphabet from A through Z is written in standard order: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 --------------------------------- A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z This arrangement seems somewhat arbitrary, at best. At the very least, it is difficult to sense any 'intrinsically meaningful' relationship between a letter and its numerical value. After all, our modern alphabetical symbols and our modern numerical symbols (Arabic) come from two completely different sources and cultures. For this reason, many contemporary numerologists prefer the ancient Hebrew system because, at least here, there is a known connection between letter and number. However, when we attempt to adapt this system to the English language, a whole new set of problems crops up. For one, the entire alphabet is arranged in a different order and some of our modern letters have NO Hebrew equivalents. Thus, based on the Hebrew alphabet, the only letters for which we have numerical values are the following: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ------------------------------------ A B G D H V Z P Y K L M N W

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