It has been brought to my attention that I haven't written an article on my blog for a while. I'm happy to be missed.
Like any creative process, it happens when the muse strikes and being that I pursue multiple creative projects it just appears as though I lie dormant.
At any rate, today seemed like the perfect day to get my blog back in its groove. The topic that I've been thinking about the most lately, is numbers. In fact, I think about the meanings of numbers all the time.
Today I'm focusing on #7. I recently read a fb factoid that claimed the majority of people claim #7 as their favorite or 'lucky' number. So if I write about #7, I may strike a lucky chord with most of you.
It makes sense that seven is a preferred number, deeply entrenched in our collective unconscious.
Think about our ancient ancestors. Seven played a huge role in their observable universe.
There were seven observable planets in their night sky, which were promptly assigned with their deitites' names.
Observation of the moon also brought significance to seven. There were four primary stages of the moon that lasted for 7 days each.
Ancient observers noted that a woman's cycle often came after every fourth stage of the moon and lasted for about seven days. The ancient Chinese were clever enough to observe that at around the age of 14 (7x2) a girl entered into womanhood and at 49, (7x7), a woman most typically entered into her stage of menopause.
Also in the observable world, there are seven colors in the visible rainbow, seven notes to the diatonic (musical) scale, and seven directions; up down, left, right, in front of, behind, and center. Heck there's even seven attributes of every physical thing: 1) height, 2) weight, 3)width, 4) depth, 5) top/bottom, 6) front/back, and 7) left/right.
Even our bodies have seven major parts working from top to bottom: head, torso, left arm, right arm, left leg, right leg and don't forget our private parts, which were important enough for ancient man to include in his assessment of one of the seven vital body parts.
It is no wonder then why humankind adopted seven as its poster child as a magical number, assigned mysterious and esoteric powers.
Seven features dominantly in religious dogma almost universally.
The number seven is assigned to certain aspects of faith and is mentioned in the Bible at least 700 to 800 times and that's just one religious point of reference. Religious affiliation to seven is almost endless.
The Hippocratic tradition of medicine suggests that maladies of the body last 7, 14, or 21 days depending on its severity.
In China seven represents the combination of Yin, Yang and the elements; Earth, Fire, Water, Metal, and Wood. This combination of 7 is believed to bring Harmony.
From its reverance for 7, mankind detrmined there were seven days to a week, and breaking a mirror will bring seven years bad luck and that tricky time in a marriage when spouses may stray or become bored is noted as The 'Seven Year Itch.'
Heck, even Shakespeare wrote his two cents on the topic of 'The Seven Ages of Man' which was already a 'thing.'
So how does all this lead us to Tarot?
Well, it's my opinion (and not mine alone) that gaming cards as we know them derived from dice games, and cartomancy as we know it derived from divination with dice.
Modern gaming dice usually have six sides. The sum of any two numbers on a di adds to 7. In a way, seven could be said to be a number of completion. Interestingly, two dice can result in twenty-one different combinations.
From the game of 'Hazards,' an early dice game, the game of Craps evolved. In crap games, the occurrence of 7 is referred to as almost anything other than the word seven! If you roll a 7 (or an 11) on the first roll, you win! Pretty lucky.
Some research suggests that the earliest tarot decks started out with seven trump cards. The current twenty-one is another septenary.
Our tarot deck has a 7 in the major trumps, The Chariot, and four 7's, one in each suit. Seven of the trumps represent the seven virtues.
I do not necessarily perceive seven as a lucky number in tarot but its occurrence is significant.
As in games of dice, any two cards that add up to seven share a relationsip. In example; The number of the Chariot combines the three and four of the Empress and Emperor creating a merge between the mental and physical realms as a kind of vehicle for the mind.
In my own scribble, back when I was assigning the numbers of tarot their meanings, I assigned the number seven as a momentary pause to consider the reality of a situation before continuing. It's kind of a turning point number for me. Think of the Chariot and all the 7's in this context.
At the very least, when you see a seven, pause and think for just a moment at how it may apply to the question at hand. Give it an extra moment like you would when you see The Tower #16. (Which totals to 7.)
And if none of this instills upon you the awesomeness of 7, maybe this will:
Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9. Think about it.
Ok, that was a joke. :)
Before signing off, just for sh*ts and grins, on a whim I subtracted my last blog entry date (the 13th) from today's (the 29th) and got 16. The sum of which is 7. I'm sure it's just a coincidence.
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