Spiritual meaning of Seven
SEVEN: research, understanding, intuition, investigation, solitude.
The sum of the spiritual 3 and the material 4 is 7. In medieval education, students pursued the trivium (grammar, rhetoric, and logic) and the quadrivium (music, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy), a total of seven subjects, collectively known as the liberal arts. Pythagorean interest in the mathematical patterns in music gives 7 a privileged role, for there are seven distinct notes in the musical scale—corresponding roughly to the white notes on a piano. Counting from 1, the eighth note up the scale is the exceedingly harmonious octave, which is how the name arose.
The number 7 is often considered lucky, and it has a definite mystique, perhaps because it is a prime number—that is, it cannot be obtained by multiplying two smaller numbers together. There are seven days of the week, named after various ancient gods and planets (Sun-day, Moon-day, Tiw’s-day, Woden’s-day, Thor’s-day, Frigg’s-day, Saturn-day). Tiw was a Norse god of war, parallel to Mars in role but to Zeus in etymology, and Frigg was the Old English version of Frea (or Freya), wife of Woden (= Odin).
Shakespeare wrote of the seven ages of man, an idea that goes back much earlier. In China 7 determines the stages of female life: a girl gets her “milk teeth” at seven months, loses them at seven years, reaches puberty at 2 x 7 = 14 years, and reaches menopause at 7 x 7 = 49. The phases of the Moon last approximately seven days, with 4 x 7 = 28 days in a month and also in a female menstrual period. Many cultures recognized seven planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) in the sense of “wandering bodies,” unlike the “fixed stars,” which retain the same relative position in the night sky. The seven candles of the Jewish menorah that burned in the Tabernacle symbolized the Creation and, according to the English scholar Robert Graves, may be connected to the seven planets of antiquity.
In ancient Egypt there were seven paths to heaven and seven heavenly cows; Osiris led his father through seven halls of the underworld. The seven deadly sins are well-known in Christian tradition. The number 7 was the fundamental number of the Rosicrucian’s, who used it as an organizational basis for their text Chymische Hochzeit Christians Rosencrantz (1459; Alchemical Wedding of Christian Rosy cross). The number was also central to the cult of Mithras, which believed the soul rose to paradise through seven planetary spheres. The Christian idea of seven layers of purgatory may be related.
The number 7 features prominently in folk sayings. Breaking a mirror leads to seven years of bad luck. In Iran a cat has seven lives, not the nine of Western myth.
The most common numbers in the Indian Vedas are 3 and 7. Agni, the god of fire, has seven wives, mothers, or sisters and can produce seven flames. The sun god has seven horses to pull his heavenly chariot. In the Rig-Veda there are seven parts of the world, seven seasons, and seven heavenly fortresses. The cow has 21 = 3 x 7 names.
In the Hippocratic tradition of medicine, 7 rules the illnesses of the body, with painful illnesses lasting 7, 14, or 21 days. In Germany it was believed that pigs would not contract hog cholera if they were treated for seven days with water containing asphodel. In Jewish magic a fever can be cured by taking seven prickles from seven palm trees, seven chips from seven beams, seven nails from seven bridges, seven ashes from seven ovens…terminating in seven hairs from the beard of an old dog.
Symbolically the number 7 represents the thinker. It embraces Science, education, knowledge and study. The written word. It is the number of the genius, the alchemist and the collective consciousness. It can be associated with travel, either physical or mental in its nature. We can feel the influence of the 6 within periods of introspection and intuition. It has a restless inquiring way about it. This number is spiritually connected to secrets, myth and rituals. It is the sacred and mysterious 7 that is associated with chance because it is almost magical. It is the number 7 that we associate with spiritual things. The ancient and the unknown. The mysterious and the unrevealed. There are many references to the 7 in religious texts. The energy of the 7 asks us to be more consciously aware. Understanding the 7 vibration will help us manifest the desired results in our lives. Sevens, like Threes, deal with magical forces. Sevens deal with esoteric, scholarly aspects of magic. Representative of scholarly activities, mystery, and the focused search for esoteric meanings. Seven deals with the activation of imagination and manifesting results in our lives through the use of conscious thought and awareness. Ruled by Saturn, Seven can represent impractical dreaming, but with a deeper understanding of the aspects of Seven, you can quite deftly utilize its magical vibration to your own benefit. Number 7 resonates with the vibrations and energies of the ‘Collective Consciousness’, faith and spirituality, spiritual awareness, spiritual enlightenment, mysticism, intuition and inner-knowing, inner-wisdom, psychic abilities, the esoteric, inner-selves, deep contemplation, introspection, eccentric, religion, thoughtfulness, understanding of others, natural healer and healing, secrets, myth, ritual, peace, poise, emotions and feelings, inner-strength, endurance and perseverance, persistence of purpose, the ability to bear hardships, quick-wit, the loner, solitary, isolation, long-sighted, the non-conformist, independence and individualism, intentions, manifesting and manifestation in time and space and good fortune.
Number Seven also relates to the attributes of mental analysis, philosophy and philosophical, technicality, scientific research, science, alchemy, genius, a keen mind, specializing and the specialist, the inventor, determination, the written word, logic, understanding, knowledge, discernment and discerning, knowledge seeking, study, education and learning, writing and the writer, evolution, stability, the ability to set limits, completion, refinement, stoicism, silence, discernment, perfection, chastity, dignity, ascetic, rigor, ahead of the times.
Negatively, the vibrations of the number 7 are morbidity and depression, inactivity, hypercritical, anti-social, pessimistic, dependency and co-dependency, stagnation, lack of persistence, pride, narrow-mindedness, distance, arguments and being argumentative, misanthropic, resentment and being resentful, self-righteousness, unwilling and/or unable to share ideas and compromise, limitations and silence.
If 6 represents humanity then 7 – the center of the spiral is humanity’s connection to its source, god, Christ consciousness – or whatever name you prefer.
Seven is the number of the Universe. It is the three of the heavens (soul) combined with the four (body) of the earth; being the first number containing both the spiritual and the temporal. In looking over the list of meanings it doesn’t take long to figure out why the seven has become significant in metaphysical, religious and other spiritual doctrines – as seven represents the virginity of the Great Mother – feminine archetype – She who creates.
There are 7
ages of man
ancient wonders of the world
circles of Universe
days of the week
pillars of wisdom
rays of the sun
musical notes – sound as frequency plays a key roll in matters of Universe. There are over 80 octaves of frequency – each governing a specific manifestation in Universe.
In all cultures, myths and legends seven represents…
completeness and totality
The writings about the seven-headed dragon appear throughout India, Persia, the Far East, especially Cambodia, but also Celtic and other Mediterranean myths.
The seventh ray of the sun is the path by which the human beings pass from this world to the next. Seven days is the period for fasting and penitence. The seventh power of any number, both square and a cube and thus was given great importance.
Alchemy – There are seven metals involved with the Work.
Astrology: There are seven stars of the Great Bear which are indestructible. There are seven Pleiades– sometimes referred to as the, Seven Sisters.
Buddhist: Seven is the number of ascent and of ascending to the higest; attaining the center. The seven steps of Buddha symbolize the ascent of the seven cosmic stages transcending time and space. The seven-storied prasada at Borobadur is a sacred mountain and axis mundi, culminating in the transcendent North, reaching the realm of Buddha.
Chinese culture the meaning and symbol are intertwined throughout in their myths and legends of fairies and animal spirits.
Christian: Seven is ideology. God is represented by the seventh ray in the center of the six rays of creation. There are seven sacraments; gifts of spirit; the seven of 3+4 theological and cardinal virtues; deadly sins, tiers of Purgatory (in metaphysical belief this would be one of the lower astral planes – or in Buddhism, one of the Bardo planes). There are 7 councils of the early church – crystal spheres containing the planets – devils cast out by Christ – joys and sorrows of Mary the Blessed Virgin, mother of Jesus – liberal arts – major prophets – periods of fasting and penitence – seventh day after the six of creation
In the Old Testament there are the seven altars of Baalam; oxen and rams for sacrifice; trumpets; circuits of Jericho; seven times Naaman bathed in the Jordan. Seven is the number of Samon’s bonds; the child raised by Elisha sneezed seven times. The Ark rested on the seventh month and the dove was sent out after seven days.
The number seven is used 55 times in Revelation. It usually means fullness or completeness as in seven days of the week. God rested on the seventh day. Examples abound: seven churches, seven trumpets, seven seals, seven bowls, seven eyes etc etc.
Egyptian mythology: There are seven Hathors as Fates and the priestesses of Hathor have seven jars in their seven tunics. Ra has seven hawks representing the seven Wise Ones. Six cows and a bull represent fertility. There are seven houses of the underworld, as depicted in Egyptian myths, with three times seven gates. Seven is the sacred number of Osiris.
Graeco-Roman: Sacred to Apollo, whose lyre has seven strings, and to Athene/Minerva and Ares/Mars; Pan had seven pipes (again a reference to seven musical notes and frequency); there seven Wise Men of Greece.
Hebrew tradition: Seven is the number of occult intelligence. There are seven Great Holy Days in the Jewish year; the Menorah has seven branches; the Temple took seven years to build; and there are seven pillars of wisdom.
Hinduism there are Seven Jewels of the Brahmanas and seven gods before the floods and seven Wise Men saved from it.
Islamic: The perfect number is seven. In Islamic tradition there are references to seven:
earths and seas
prophets (active powers) states or stations of the heart The Ka’aba is circumambulated seven times representing the seven attributes of God.
Magic: There are seven knots in a cord for “spellbinding” and incantations are sevenfold. Certain orders of Brotherhood use theme of tying seven knots in their rope sash worn around their waist.
Mithraic: The cave of Mithras has seven doors, seven altars, and a ladder with seven rungs depicting the seven grades of initiation into the mystery schools.
Pythagorean: Seven is a cosmic number with three of heaven and four of the world.
Sumero-Semitic: There are seven lunar divisions and days of the week. “Thou shalt shine with horns to determine six days and on the seventh with half a crown.”, the seventh thus becomes opposition to the sun and symbolizes darkness and balefulness and therefore is dangerous to undertake anything on the seventh day because that is the day of rest. We can see here the influence of this belief in other religious contexts. There are seven zones of earth; heavens, symbolized by the planes of ziggurat.
There are seven branches to the Tree of Life each having seven leaves. Leaves are symbols of fertility, renewal and growth. There are seven gates of hell, seven demons of Tiamat and seven winds to destroy her—interesting to note that in many belief systems it is said that the astral plane has seven levels to it–one sound on one of those levels is “wind”.
Seven is a mystic number traditionally associated with Venus and more recently with Neptune. It is the number of feelings and of instincts – of the Group Mind, of Love, whether that strange, indescribable but pervasive feeling of love is towards another person, a pet, oneself or one’s God. ‘Love’ embodies tremendous sexual energy, the emotions of which may be directed in various ways.
Heptagon is the inward directing of that emotion, the containment, the ‘love inside’, that is symbolized by the heptagon. It is the love we ‘hold’ and can equally signify a deep religious conviction, a forming of our God in our own image or an infatuation with another. It is feeling contained.
The 7-pointed star or heptagram is a mystical occult symbol. Like the pentagram, it has been called the Witch’s Star, also the Astrologer’s Star. Beyond six points, the polygrams all have multiple configurations and the heptagram may be drawn in two different ways – an obtuse form and an acute angled form; both forms are unicursal, here shown together with the third 7-point figure, the heptagon.
In cabalistic terms, the number ‘7’ is attributed to Venus. It relates to Man’s mundane feelings and his instincts – to his sexuality . It relates to Man’s place in the pattern of Nature and to his linking with the Group Mind – the undifferentiated Soul of Mankind.
Man’s pattern of mundane life is much ruled by the seven day cycle of the week. The seven classical ‘planets’ : Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturlend their names to the days of the week and may be arranged around the figure of the heptagram.
Placed around the acute heptagram in the order of their apparent speed of movement in the heavens, the ‘planets’ are ordered along the unicursal line in the order of days of the week.
The heptagram also relates to the seven chakras of the body. These are the energy nodes that rise up the course of the spine from the basal node, where is coiled the Kundalini serpent, to the point at the top of the head. The mundane well-being of the body and its aura are linked to the chakras. The heptagram is symbolic of this balanced, flowing of bodily energies and of health. It is a symbol relating to healing and dynamic balance of the body physic.
There are two forms of heptagram:
The obtuse form suggests passivity, contentment and attuning with nature and its forces; of healthy rhythms and normal sexuality; of balanced feelings and satisfied desires; of normal receptivity and awareness of the feelings of others.
The acute, active form suggests an outgoing interaction with nature’s forces, making progressive use of them and directing sexual energy. It suggests strong feelings and strongly expressed desires; likewise perhaps, heightened sensitivity to the emotions of others. It is a symbol of the empath and the healer.
Combining the three seven – pointed figures together, creates a beautiful mandala of meditation.
Keywords: unusual, introspective, intuitive, psychic, wise, reserved. If expressed negatively: melancholic, odd, leaves too much to chance, hard to reach, Spirituality, mental analysis, wisdom, fault finding, suppression ,The Analyst, Thinker, Science, Learning, Education, Study, The Written Word, Logic, Alchemy, Secrets, Myth, Religion, Ritual, Understanding, Knowledge, Isolation, Chastity, Dignity, The Collective Consciousness, Genius.