Spiritually meaning of the Numbers 14 till 20
The number 14 is an even number with attributes similar to those of 7. A period of 14 days is half of the Moon’s 28-day cycle, so it takes 14 days (one fortnight, short for fourteen-night) for the Moon to wax from new to full or to wane from full to new. In ancient Egypt Osiris was cut into 14 parts. The number is important in Islam; the Arabic alphabet contains 14 Sun letters and 14 Moon letters. In medieval Germany 14 innocent beings gave legal protection to whomever they accompanied.
As the product of two sacred numbers (3 x 5), 15 naturally has religious significance. In ancient Nineveh the goddess Ishtar was served by 15 priests, and the city had 15 gates. The 3 x 3 magic square has 15 as its magic constant, and in Babylon this square was associated with Ishtar.
In honor of Friday the 13th this week, we’ve looked at the enormous range of symbolic roles that numbers have played in various cultures, religions, and other systems of human thought. Let’s complete the survey today with a look at numbers 16-20, plus 100.
Because 16 is the square of 4, it inherits favorable attributes. It was popular in ancient India; the Vedas talk of 16-fold incantations, and the Chinese-Indian goddess Pussa has 16 arms. The Rosicrucian’s believed that nature consisted of 16 elements.
In ancient times, in the region of Urartu, near Mount Ararat, the local deity was offered 17-fold sacrifices. The biblical Flood began on the 17th day of the second month and ended on the 17th day of the seventh month. Greek superstition holds the 17th day of the month to be the best day to cut wood to build a boat. Some followers of Sufism believe that the most sacred name of God has 17 letters. Mathematicians find 17 unusual because a regular 17-sided polygon can be constructed using the Euclidean tools of ruler and compass, a fact discovered by the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss at the age of 19.
Because 18 is twice 9, it has some significance by association with 9. In Norse mythology Haldan has 18 sons and Odin knows 18 things. The number is sacred to the Sufi mystics known in the West as the Whirling Dervishes, and their custom was for a guest to bring gifts in multiples of 18. The Indian Mahabharata has 18 books, and the Jewish prayer shemone ‘esre (Hebrew: “eighteen”) originally consisted of 18 blessings.
Eclipses of the Sun tend to recur in periods of 19 years. The Babylonians considered the 19th day of the month to be unlucky because it was 49 days from the beginning of the previous month (add 30), and, since 49 = 7 x 7, it was a day of great portent for good or evil. In Islamic numerology 19 is the value of the word Wahid (Arabic: “One”), an important name for God.
The number 20 has little mystical significance, but it is historically interesting because the Mayan number system used base 20. When counting time the Maya replaced 20 x 20 = 400 by 20 x 18 = 360 to approximate the number of days in the year. Many old units of measurement involve 20 (a score)—for example, 20 shillings to the pound in pre decimal British money.