Spiritual Meaning of Ten



Number 10 resonates with the vibrations and energies of leadership, optimism, confidence, independence, creative powers, success, energy, originality, adaptability, determination and individuality.

The number TEN reduces to the single digit of 1.  The 0 appearing with the number 1 amplifies and magnifies the vibrations, energies and attributes of the numbers it appears with.

As already stated, 10 was the Pythagorean symbol of perfection or completeness. Humans have ten fingers and ten toes. Counting on fingers probably led to the decimal number system, with its symbols 0–9 and its place values whereby the 7 in 703 counts as 7 hundreds, but in 173 it is 7 tens and in 507 it is 7 units. We consider powers of 10, such as 100 or 1,000, to be “round numbers.” However, there is nothing special about 10, and any other number from 2 onward can be used as a number base. Indeed, computers use base 2, or the binary number system, written using only the symbols 0 and 1. Mathematicians distinguish “genuine” properties of numbers, which are true independent of any notational base, with “accidental” ones that arise only because of the notational system—for example, that 153 (the number of fish in the Gospel According to John) is the sum of the cubes of its digits.

Occurrences of 10 and its powers are so common that there is no point in listing them here. However, the Ten Commandments of the Bible deserve mention, especially given that Buddhism too has its own ten commandments—five for monks and five for the laity.

Ten is the number of the cosmos—the paradigm of creation. The decad contains all numbers and therefore all things and possibilities. It is the radix or turning point of all counting.

Ten is all-inclusive representing law; order and dominion. The tetraktys 1+2+3+4= 10 symbolizes divinity and one represents a point; two, length; three, a plane or surface (as a triangle); four, solidity or space.

It is seen as the perfect–the return to unity. When based on the digits of the two hands, it is completeness and the foundation of all counting. Its highest ranges of completeness, 100 and 1000, are the basis of all Hindu cosmology, and in China the Ten Thousand Things, ie: the uncountable, symbolize the whole of manifestation.

Ten is also the number of completion of journeys and returns to origins: Odysseus wandered for nine years and returned on the tenth. Troy was besieged for nine years and fell on the tenth. Ten is the sum of the number nine of the circumference with the one of the center—being perfection. We see ten also being symbolized in rituals like the ritual of the Maypole – the one of the axis with the circle danced around.

Cultural References

Chinese: Represented by a cross formed centrally by the character chi, symbolizing the self-facing both ways as both Yin and Yang, which is considered to be the perfect figure. The Ten Celestial Stems (Kan) are possibly connected with the names of the ten-day week on the prevailing cyclic calculations, as evident in the number sixty.

Christian: There are ten Commandments of the Decalogue; as there are ten parables of the ten lamps, virgins, and talents. Tithes were to be given to God.

Gnostic: The ten Aeons become Sephiroth, emanating from the Pleroma.

Hebrew: In Qabalism ten is the numerical value of Yod, the Eternal Word, the first letter of the Divine name. Still in keeping with the Qabalist theme, ten, is representative of …

– The Decalogue

– Divine support

– Intelligence

– The Kingdom

– The ten names of God

– Resplendent

– Sephiroth The spheres or emanations from the Ein Soph, symbolized by the Tree of Life. The first being the Monad, the First Cause of the other nine which are composed of three trinities, each being an image of the original Trinity of male-female and uniting intelligence. The tenth Adoni represents the mystic return to unity. In SolomonΉs Temple there were ten lavers, tables and candlesticks. The cherubim were ten cubits high and ten Levites minister before the Ark.

Islamic: Tithing holds an important place.

Hindu: Ten is based on the higher ranges of ten, ie: 100 and 1000.

Pythagorean: Ten is The Monad, the recommencement of a series and infinite expansion. Ten is perfection.

Roman: Ten is represented by X, the perfect figure and is seen as completion.

Sumero-Semitic: The tenth day of the Spring Festival was celebrated by a procession comprising the whole of the Gods.