We have many ‘7s’ in our lives. The 7 day week, 7 wonders of the ancient world, 7 wonders of the modern world, 7 colours of the rainbow (although this one is debatable – some believe there is only 5) and from Cracked.com, 7 man-made materials that defy physics. The number 7 seems to have a distinct power in the mind of most of mankind. I thought about this for some time and remembered that I had a book that explored exactly this phenomenon.
I found a book many years ago that was lying around my workplace. I handed it to the boss and after 3 months, no-one had claimed it so he gave it back to me. This book, “The Ancient Wisdom” by Geoffrey Ashe, took me on an amazing adventure that I have never forgotten. It crystallised a number of things in my mind in relation to human myth and legend. That these things generally have a kernel of truth and persist in there power over our imagination even in today’s hi-tech society.
Many ideas in the book are beyond my ability to capture here, suffice it to say, that I want to touch on some things and leave the rest to you to discover for yourself.
The number 7 is known as a Heptad. Its power over man’s psyche was discussed by Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (HPB), the founder of the Theosophical Society. She claimed that mysterious masters had imbued her with knowledge involving the heptad and that it was a sacred number to humanity. In her book, “The Secret Doctrine” she claims that 7 is a magical and sacred number and is the supreme number in the higher mysteries. This may well be so.
In a previous 3 part article, 7 Chakras, 7 Sacred Directions, I discussed another combination of the heptad in relation to its spiritual connections. It seems that HPB may have had some insight after all. Geoffrey Ashe was sceptical at first and used the works of Dr Carl Gustav Jung to see if there was an alternative explanation to the power of 7 only to find that Jung himself seemed to avoid discussing it. I found this quite curious.
7 seems to permeate many of our ancient myths, legends and religious texts. It is mentioned in the Old Testament, the Qu’ran, has connections to Babylon, Greece and many other centres of civilization in the ancient world. It even makes its way to India where it appears in the Rig Veda texts.
Numerologists and psychologists find that the number 7 is uncooperative. It cannot be divided by anything other than 1 or itself. It does not equal the sum of its divisors as 6 does making 6 a perfect number and when multiplied by any number greater than 1 it disappears completely.
One theory of the power 7 has over human imagination is that it is linked far back in antiquity to the constellation of Ursa Major, the great Bear, which was used to identify the north point. In Greek it was known as “Arktos” and in Latin, “Septentrio”. September was originally the 7th month of the year when the ‘north wind’ began to blow.
The journey to trace the power of the number 7 covers a vast amount of territory and includes religious material, occult type material, explorations of 19th and 20th century adventurers in central Asia and the collection of myth legend, prophecy and tales concerning cultural heroes.
It seems that the number 7 and its influence can be traced back to ancient times. Its power over humanity continues to this day coming down to us through a multitude of sources. It is linked to various religions, cultures and spiritual pursuits. I believe that it does have a magical aspect linked to humanity’s need to impose a sacred order on the face of the world.
Tell me what you think about the relationship humanity has with the number 7 by leaving me your comments below.
Image: Star crop circle
Source: The Ancient Wisdom by Geoffrey Ashe (1972) ISBN 0333198670