Symbols - What does heaven look like
One of the strange aspects of the number thirteen is that, despite the present day symbolism of thirteen as being 'unlucky', 13 is not an unlucky number, it is a very auspicious one.
It is symbolically Twelve plus One.
- One is the symbol for 'God' - the Ultimate Intelligence or as Cirlot says "it is equivalent to the Centre, to the non manifest point, to the creative power or the 'unmoved mover'."
- Twelve takes its symbolism from the number twelve, but more specifically the Signs of the Zodiac. In this context they are a symbolic representation of the types of activity one can find in the Method used for the Great Work.
Thus any gathering of twelve plus one extra is an indication of the execution of a major challenge within the Great Work. In some respects it is an indicator that a major change in the fortunes of humanity is likely to take place, if 13 are gathered together with spiritual intent.
Jesus with his 12 apostles was thus symbolically a representative of God [Jesus] the main innovator, together with one apostle for each of the activities in the Method used for the Great Work. In theory and symbolically each apostle represented a Sign of the Zodiac.
Clearly 13 is, in some senses, representative of perfect order. What is unlucky is if one member of this perfect grouping is missing or, as Judas was, not actually supporting the cause. The unluckiness is caused by the marring of perfection.
This idea of the Rule of Twelve, which might be better called the Rule of 13, was a key part of the Mysteries. In order to accomplish anything which was a part of creation or destruction one needed a leader as close to 'God' as possible, in effect a god, together with 12 other people, each of whom had a role equivalent to those I have described for the Signs of the Zodiac.
Within the Mysteries themselves the making of a god - being itself an auspicious event - involved a candidate and 12 helpers.
These twelve worked in such a way that by their capacity to direct their thoughts to higher spheres, they supported the one who was being initiated, by strengthening him when his feeling of self hood was being annihilated by the process he was undergoing
This celebration of 12 plus one can be found in all sorts of objects, which have been designed to keep the old symbolism alive and 'ticking':
- A clock - which although we have a 24 hour day are still divided in a circular clock that has 12 markings for the Hours and which has hands whichmove around a still centre - the One
- The markings of the wind rose – Eurus, Solanus, Notus, Auster, Africus, Euroaster, Zephyrus, Stannus, Ireieus, Boreas, Aquilo and Volturnus
- The circular court of the Dalai Lama
- The Twelve Apostles with Jesus
- The 12 Knights of the Round Table along with King Arthur
- The 12 peers of France - whose centre was the King. The prestigious title and position of Peer of France (French: Pair de France) was held by the 'greatest', highest-ranking members of the French nobility.
- Romulus's creation of 12 lictors - A lictor (possibly from Latin: ligare, "to bind") was a Roman civil servant tasked with attending and guarding men of the Roman Republic and Empire who held imperium, the right and power to command
- The compass markings or cardinal directions
For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.