Qabalah and Gematria
Qabalah and Gematria – the Basis for Modern Numerology
By Honey B Wackx
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There are a dozen or so ancient languages, all with mysticism associated with them. However, of all those languages the mysticism surrounding biblical Hebrew is the best known in the West. The large body of esoteric teachings concerning the Hebrew language is known as the Qabalah. Qabalah, often spelled Kabbalah is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the mystical aspect of Rabbinic Judaism.
These teachings, the Qabalah, are knowledge which can only be told orally, in secret, handed down from generation to generation. In modern occultism the term Qabalah now has a somewhat different meaning than originally, which meant Hebraic secret wisdom.
Now the term Qabalah has come to mean any secret, esoteric system of thought which uses alphabet letters, color, sound, symbol, and number as the basic building blocks of its philosophical system. So now writers of recent times and today will refer to a “Celtic” Qabalah, a “Greek” Qabalah, etc.
Gematria is the traditional Qabalistic science from which the numerology we use today is a product of. It has evolved over the years and is much less complicated, and probably also somewhat less accurate than the original ancient science. Gematria consists of substituting a number value for any word in Hebrew and from that number finding a corresponding meaning in any other word with that same number value.
Gematria is a Rabbinical Hebrew term. It’s derived from Greek roots. The meaning is a measurement or counting of the letters composing any word. It is a combination of gramma (letter) and metria (measure).
The ancient rabbis charted out a much more complicated number system than normally used in modern numerology. Modern numerology, even though its roots are in the Hebrew Qabalah, is less complicated, and the scope of symbolic attributes for the number series is much smaller than used in ancient times.
As an example, the numbers 7, 70, 700, 7000 each had its own unique poetical number metaphor. However in modern numerology 7, 70, 700, 7000 are each interpreted as the single digit “7.” This is because in numerology today and in more recent times, only the first nine numbers are used and are significant. Use of higher numbers or other meanings have generally been lost through time.
At the turn of the nineteenth century was when modern numerology came into fashion. Before this, early attempts at making a Qabalah for English frequently paralleled the English alphabet to Hebrew and Greek. But today the alphabet to number code that is most common is not based on either the Hebrew or Greek language. It’s based on a much simpler serial order of the English alphabet.
From the letters of words converted to their corresponding numbers, numerologists typically come up with three divinatory calculations. These are motives, appearances, and methods. These correspond with one’s ideals or desires – their Inner Life, appearances are a person’s personality, impression and influence on others (Outer Life), and methods are one’s true will, self expression (Path in Life).
More information about a person can be obtained from their name, but these three are generally the main attributes found. All this information can be obtained from the vowels and consonants of a person’s name. Additionally a person’s birth number, derived from their birthdate yields additional information on influences present at a person’s birth.
The converting of words to numbers really wouldn’t mean anything without some sort of conversion to real meanings of the numbers. For this, modern numerology has inherited the ancient divinatory significance. Each of the nine possible numbers used in modern numerology has its own unique divinatory significance.
So by using simple addition of numbers corresponding to alphabet letters and reducing the result to a single number from one to nine, a person can gain insight into their inner and outer life, along with their life’s path. All it takes besides that easy procedure is belief.
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