Numbers, Their Occult Power and Mystic Virtues, by W. Wynn Westcott, , at sacred-texts.com
As was the case with the Monad so the Dyad also was said to represent a large number of different objects and ideas; things indeed so dissimilar that it is difficult to understand how such multiplicity of opinion arose.
And first it is the general opposite to the Monad, the cause of dissimilitude, the interval between multitude and the Monad. Of figures, those which are characterised by equality and sameness have relation to the Monad; but those in which inequality and difference predominate are allied to the Dyad. Monad and Dyad are also called Bound and Infinity.
1. It was called "Audacity," from its being the earliest number to separate itself from the Divine One; from the "Adytum of God-nourished Silence," as the Chaldean oracles say.
2. It was called "Matter" as being definite and the cause of bulk and division.
3. It is called "the interval between Multitude and the Monad," because it is not yet perfect multitude, but is parturient with it. Of this we see an image in the Dyad of Arithmetic, for, as Proclus observes, "The dyad is the medium between unity and number, for unity by addition produces more than by multiplication, but number by addition produces less than by multiplication; whilst the Dyad, whether added to itself or multiplied by itself, produces the same."
4. "Fountain of Symphony," and "Harmony."
5. Erato, because it attracts the Monad, like Love, and another number is formed.
6. Patience, because it is the first number that endures separation from the Monad.
7. Phanes, or Intelligible Intellect.
8. It is the fountain of all Female divinities, and hence Nature, Rhea and Isis.
9. Cupid, just as Erato, from desiring its opposite for a partner.
In Astronomy, we speak of 2 nodes, Caput and Cauda Draconis; and in Astrology of 2 aspects of the planets, Benefic and Malefic.
The Two Pillars IKIN and BOZ at the entrance of King Solomon's Temple are notable symbols of Strength and Stability; they are comparable to the Two Beings, Kratos and Bia, who appear in the Play by Æschylus, as a male and a female potency, who bind Prometheus.
The Chinese speak of Blue as the colour of Heaven, because made up of Red, Male, and Black, Female; of the active and the passive; the brilliant and the obscure.
The followers of Pythagoras spoke of two kinds of enjoyment. First, lasciviousness and indulgence of the belly, like the murderous songs of Sirens; second, honest and just indulgences, which bring on no repentance.
Hierocles says 2 things are necessary to life, the aid of kindred, and benevolent sympathy of one's neighbours.
A notable ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic was formed of two serpents in connection with a globe or egg, representing the world. Another celebrated pair, in connection with worship, is the association of a tree and a serpent, referring as some say to the Mosaic account of the Tree of Knowledge and the Tempter Serpent. Some have supposed that it is only since the condemnation "on thy Belly shalt thou go" that the Serpent has been limbless, and obliged to crawl.
Note, it has been argued, and by a great churchman too, that the whole tale rests on error, and that for serpent we should read "Ape" (Rev. Adam Clarke). This is substituting one error for another.
In the orgies of Bacchus Mænades, the worshippers had
snakes twined in their hair and danced, singing "Eve, Eve, by whom came the sin." See Clemens Alexandrinus, Protrept. 9.
Duality introduces us to the fatal alternative to Unity or Good, namely Evil; and to many other human and natural contrasts—night and day, light and darkness, wet and dry, hot and cold, health and disease, truth and error, male and female, which man having fallen from his high estate, from spirit to matter, cannot avoid associating himself with. Two is a number of Mourning and Death, misfortunes are apt to follow; turn to our History of England, see the unhappiness of Kings numbered the second of each name—William II., Edward II., and Richard II. of England were all murdered.
The Romans dedicated the 2nd month to Pluto, God of Hades, and on the 2nd day of it they offered sacrifices to the Manes.
Pope John XIX. instituted the Fête des Trépassés (All Souls’ Day) on November 2nd, the second month of Autumn.
The Two Talmuds of the Jews, among other quaint notions, have the following ideas of the number Two.
It is not every man who deserves to have two tables; this meant that very few deserve to have the best of the next life, as well as the good things of this one.
There are two important things; first, that one's bed should be placed north to south, and that one should pray in front of his bed. There are two ways before a man, one leads to Paradise and one to Gai-hinnom, the place of punishment.
There are only two Jewish laws, the written law of Moses, and the oral law of the Kabalah.
Every Jew who goes from the Synagogue to his house on the eve of the Sabbath is accompanied by two angels, one good and one bad, and if the house is all in order the good angel confirms a blessing, but if it be in disorder the good angel has to say Amen to the condemnation spoken by the evil angel.
Two are better than three; this means youth is better than old age with its staff of support.
There were two women notorious for their pride, and their names were contemptible; Deborah meant wasp, and Hulda weasel. Many persons nowadays believe that birth names somehow affect their owners, as names given are prophetic of the nature and fate of the person.
Speech may be worth one Selah (a Jewish coin), but silence is worth Two.
A certain man had two wives, one young and one old; when he was forty and inclined to become grey, the young one pulled out all the grey hairs, and the old wife pulled out all his black hairs; so he became bald. Which things point a moral as well as adorn a tale.
Given two dry firebrands of wood and one of green, the dry will destroy the green.
Two dogs once killed a lion, so the minority must at last always give way to a majority.
The Talmud argues that Adam had two faces; some say one before and one behind, while others say one looked to right and one to the left. Others say that Adam was both a male and a female. Others say that Eve was made from his thirteenth rib, and was not drawn out from his head, lest she should be vain; not from his eyes, lest she should be wanton; not from his mouth, lest she should talk too much; not from his ears, lest she should be an eavesdropper; not from his feet, lest she should be a gadabout; and not from his heart, lest she should be jealous: yet in spite of all these precautions woman has developed all these faults.
Of two who quarrel, he or she who first gives in shows the noblest nature.
Two negatives or affirmatives are as good as an oath. Shevuoth, 36, 1.
The Twos of the Two Testaments are two Tables of the Law; the Disciples were sent out two and two; two disciples were sent by Jesus to fetch the ass's colt; two to make ready the Passover; two disciples buried Jesus; Caleb and Joshua were the two spies; two angels rescued
[paragraph continues] Lot; there were two witnesses of the Resurrection, and two of the Ascension.
The Book of Revelation of St. John the Divine speaks of Two Witnesses, two olive trees and two candlesticks.
If a dream was dreamed two times it foretold a truth; as in Genesis xli., Judges vi., First Book of Kings, chapters ix. and xi.
The animal kingdom shows all sexual generation to arise from pairs of contrasted beings, the male and female; the microscope now discovers to us the spermatozoon and the ovum, but the truth was known of old to philosophers of India, Egypt and the Gnostics, in whose lore we find human generation to spring from the Serpent and the Egg.