Numbers, Their Occult Power and Mystic Virtues, by W. Wynn Westcott, , at sacred-texts.com
NICOMACHUS calls it "the form of form, the only number adapted to the Soul, the distinct union of the parts of the universe, the fabricator of the Soul, also Harmony," and it is properly "Venus" herself.
It is also Zygeia and Nuptialia, and the Androgynæ who Pliny tells us were an African tribe who had "dextra mamma virilis, læva muliebris." Among the Fates it is Lachesis. Among the Muses it is Thalia.
Six is also Benevolence, Peace, and Health, Acmon, one of the Cyclops (akmon, an anvil), and Truth.
By the Pythagoreans it was called "the Perfection of parts."
As to "Marriage," it is a number equal to its parts, and marriage is a ceremony to sanction the production of offspring similar to the parent.
It is formed by the multiplication of the first (beyond unity) odd number and the first even, it resembles the union of Male and Female, as in Marriage or in Androgyneity, Health and Beauty, on account of its symmetry.
It was called "all-sufficient," παναρκεια, panarkeia.
According to the Pythagoreans, after a period of 216 years, which number is the cube of 6, all things are regenerated, and they said this was the periodic time of the Metempsychosis or the re-birth of man after each death.
When multiplied into itself, like the pentad, six has also always itself in the unit place, thus, 6, 36, 216, 1296, 7776.
On the 6th day Man was created according to Genesis. On the 6th day of the week Jesus died on the cross.
The Israelites had 6 cities of Refuge. Numbers xxxv. v. 6. There were six things hated by Jehovah. Prov. vi. v. 16. The Seraphim of Isaiah had each 6 wings.
In a Freemasons' Lodge there are 6 Jewels, three of which are immovable and lie open in the lodge for the Brethren to moralize upon, while the other three jewels are transferable from one Brother to another at the periodical changes of officers.
In the Hebrew "Book of Creation," the "Sepher Yetzirah," the Hexad is spoken of: the units representing the four quarters of the World; North, South, East, and West, and also height and depth, and in the midst of all is the Holy Temple. See my translation; cap. i. v. 11, and notes. Third Edition. 1911.
The Druids had a mysterious religious preference for the number 6. They performed their principal ceremonies on the 6th day of the moon, and on the 6th day of the moon began their year. They went 6 together to gather the sacred mistletoe (misseltoe), and in monuments and plates now extant we often find 6 of their priests grouped together. See Mayo, ii. 239.
An astronomical period of 600 years, spoken of as the "Naros," the Cycle of the Sun, the Luni-Solar period or Sibylline year, consisting of 31 periods of 19 years, and one of 11 years, is often referred to in old works on the Mysteries. It seems to have been known by the Chaldeans and ancient Indians; it is a period of peculiar properties. Cassini, a great astronomer, declares it the most perfect of all astronomic periods.
If on a certain day at noon, a new moon took place at any certain point in the heavens, it would take place again at the expiration of 600 years, at the same place and time, and with the planets all in similar positions.
It is supposed that one recurrence of this period is referred to in the 4th Eclogue of Virgil, the poem, which, as is well known, has been spoken of as containing an allusion to the Messiah, Jesus.
"The period sung by the Cumæan Sibyl has now arrived,
and the grand series of ages (that series which occurs again and again in the course of a mundane revolution) begins afresh. The virgin Astræa returns, another reign of Saturn commences, and a new progeny descends from heaven."
It has been calculated by the late Dr. Kenealy that a Messiah, or divine teacher, has been sent to the world every 600 years, thus:—
Adam, the first messenger from the Gods to our race on earth.
Enoch, the second, 600 years after.
Fo-hi, the third, to China in particular.
Brighou, a Hindoo prophet.
Zaratusht, Zoroaster, the fifth, to Persia.
Thoth, Taautus, or Hermes Trismegistus, sent to the Egyptians.
Amosis, or Moses the Jewish law-giver, the seventh.
Lao Tseu, a second to China, 600 B.C., the eighth.
Jesus the ninth, to the Jews first and then to the Gentiles.
Mohammed the tenth; he flourished about A.D. 600.
Chengiz Khan the eleventh, A.D. 1 zoo, conquered Persia.
Who the special messenger of 1800 was, the author is ignorant.
The secrets of the Naros of the Apocalypse and of the Mediatorial Sacrifice have been considered the secrets of the Ancient Mysteries. Circumcision was possibly an outward sign of Initiation in the earliest times.
Jesus, at any rate, writes the Author of the "Book of God," appeared at the 9th Naros, and no one can deny that such a messenger was expected. Juvenal, oddly enough too, mentions in Satire XI II. v. 28, "Nona ætas igitur"—"now is the ninth age"—which indeed it was, though how he knew it, is a mystery.
The Sothic Cycle was 1461 years, containing 18,000 lunations.
N.B.—Naros is not to be confused with "Saros," a cycle of the moon of 18 years and 10 days, which was known to the Chaldeans and Greeks, a period after the expiry of
which the eclipses of the moon recur similarly: it consists of 223 lunations.
The circumference of a globe has been fixed at 360 degrees, six sixties; the hour divided into 60 minutes, each of 60 seconds. The Tartars had a period of 60 days, the Chinese also; and the Asiatics generally a period of 60 years. The Babylonian great period was 3600 years, the Naros multiplied by 6.
The "Lily" which in all the old Annunciation pictures Gabriel presents to the Virgin has 6 leaves, and the flower shows 6 petals all alike, around a central three-headed stigma, as is botanically correct. One of the three main divisions into which plants are arranged by Botanists, is typified by a predominance of the numbers 3 and 6, in all parts of the flowers, 6 leaves forming a perianth, 6 stamens, and a 3-lobed stigma with a 3- or 6-celled ovary is the common arrangement.
Berosus, one of the Chaldean Priests, mentions three periods of time, a Sossus of 60 years; a Naros, or Neros, of 600 years, and the Saros, 3600 years. There seems some confusion here with the Saros of 18 years and 10 days.
Bailly, in his "Astronomie Ancienne," p. 31, says: The Brahmins used the numbers 60 and 3600 in computing time. The Chaldeans also did so. The Brahmins have also an Antediluvian period of 600 years. The Tartars and Chinese also used a period of 60 years in their computations of time.
Under the number, Six, too, we must not omit to mention the symbol of the double triangle, Hexapla, or Hexalpha, the Shield of David, it is used at present as a sign in the Degree of the Royal Arch in England. It must not be confused with the Pentalpha which is the true Solomon's seal. In Christian Churches we find the Hexalpha used to express the union of the Divine and human natures, deemed to exist in Jesus, the Christ of the New Testament. The blending of the two triangles has also been used to typify the union of Fire and Water; for the early symbol of Fire was the triangle apex upward, and that of Water the same
apex downward: the symbols of Air and Earth were two similar triangles, each with a cross bar.
The Talmud says:—
Six things are disgraceful to a wise man; to walk alone at night; to scent oneself for walking by day; to talk with a strange woman in the street; to talk at table with the ignorant; to wear ragged shoes, and to be late at the house of prayer. Berachoth, 43. 2.
Six things lay up capital for hereafter, and also bear interest in this world; hospitality well ordered; comfort to the sick; prayerful meditation; early instruction of children; training in the Mosaic law, and charitable treatment of a neighbour. Sabbat. 127. 1.
Evil Demons have 6 characters; like men they take food and drink, they beget and they die; like angels, they have wings, they pass from one end of the world to the other, and they can learn the future. Talmud.
Solomon is called by six names; Solomon, Jedidiah, Koheleth, son of Jakeh, Agur and Lemuel: see "The Fathers," "Aboth," by Rabbi Nathan.
There are 6 kinds of Fire,—common fire which eats and does not drink; fire that drinks and does not eat, as fever; fire that eats and drinks, that of Elijah, 1 Kings xviii. 38; the fire on the Altar which consumed both moist and dry; the fire of Gabriel which consumed other fire, and the Essential fire of God which consumed evil angels. Yoma, 21. 2.
The Tables of Moses were said to have been 6 hands-breadths long, 6 wide and 3 thick. Talmud; Nedarim, 38. 8. Hershon reckons that if cut out of Sinaitic stone, each Table would have weighed 28 tons, but he is in error, reckoning hands-breadths as ells, as 18 inches instead of 4 inches.
The Angel of Death had no power over 6 holy persons; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron and Miriam. Bava Bathra, 17. 1. These died by the Divine Kiss of death, but it is not so definitely stated in the case of Miriam, for fear of scandal.
The Lion has 6 names in the Book of Job; ARI, ShchL, KPIR, LISh, LBIA and ShChTz.
The Serpent has 6 names; NChSh, OKShUB, APOH, TzPOUNI, TNIN and ShRP. Nachash the Brazen Serpent; Okeshub, an asp, Psalm cxxiv. 4; Opoh, an adder, Isaiah xli. 24; Tzephouni, the basilisk, Isaiah xiv. 29; Tanin, the serpent or crocodile; and Seraph, a serpent of fire. See Rabbi Nathan, cap. 29.
Six blasts of the Horn were blown on the eve of the Sabbath, and then the Sabbath had begun.
W. F. Shaw says that 6 is the number of temptation and sin, for at the 6th hour of the 6th day the first temptation came into the world. Six is the number of toil and work, for 6 days the Israelites had to collect manna; at the 6th hour of-the 6th day Jesus was sentenced to death, and in the Revelations the 6th seal, trumpet and vial were all emblematic of woe. The Flood came when Noah was 600 years old.
The number 666 was an emblem of the Great Wicked One, still without identification, but he is implied in a prototype, Schechem ben Hamor, whose name is 666 by Gematria, ShKM BN ChMVR, he was the corruptor of Dinah. See Genesis xxxiv. verse 2.
The Jews expected that the end of the present dispensation of the world would arrive after 6000 years, and St. Barnabas repeats this as a reasonable belief of the ancient Christian Church.
The Ancient Egyptians had for their highest Priests a College of 6, of which hardly any information has come down to us; but one Aseshra is mentioned as Master of the Mysterious Words of the 6, and a statue has been found of one Ei-meri, whose engraved title is Chief of the Dwelling of the Great Six.