The Sun is symbolic of the Monad, the beginning, the source and has always been a literal symbol of Divinity and Oneness, the giver of light etc. The light of all the planets and the Moon are only reflections of the solar rays, just as existence is only a reflection of God’s all embracing Unity. As all light is born of the Sun, so too are all numbers born of the I. It is symbolic of purity, potential, beginnings, seeds, totality and raw energy.
“ . . . because number is nothing else but a repetition of unity, let us first consider unity itself. For unity doth most simply go through every number, and is the common measure, fountain, and original of all numbers, contains every number joined together in itself entirely, the beginner of every multitude, always the same, and unchangeable: whence also being multiplied into itself, produceth nothing but itself: it is indivisible, void of all parts . . . It is therefore the one beginning, and end of all things, neither hath it any beginning, or end itself; nothing is before one, nothing is after one, and beyond it is nothing, and all things which are desire that one, because all things proceeded from one, and that all things may be the same, it is necessary that they partake of that one: and as all things proceeded of one into many things, so all things endeavour to return to that one . . . One therefore is referred to the high God, who seeing he is one, and innumerable, yet creates innumerable things of himself, and contains them within himself . . . ” (Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Cornelius Agrippa, Donald Tyson Edition)
Mercury is considered to possess a dual nature by all major astrological literature and esoterically has been referred to as being “one with the Sun”, hinting at the occult teaching that II is scarcely different from I, being its direct reflection. To correlate Mercury with II is quite natural as this number geometrically is a bifurcation of the circle and thus gives rise to consciousness or perception in the form of I & Thou. In reality II should be associated with Sun & Moon as a dyad. The Moon, with its two major phases of waxing and waning can also be associated with this number, yet its light is not its own. Thus both luminaries together symbolize the II. Mercury represents the relationship between the center of the circle (Sun) and its circumference (Moon) or Unity and Multiplicity. Furthermore while we speak of the Moon’s two hemicycles, there are in reality 4 major aspects of the Moon that human beings regularly observe and think about; new moon, full moon, waxing and waning hemicycles. Finally Mercury is considered dual in its nature, being benefic when associated with the same and malefic when associated with the former. From II the world of manifestation is born and a spectrum of experiences arises in the form of the principle of polarity (complementary opposites).
“ . . . the number two is the first branch of unity, and the first procreation . . . Hence it is called generation and Juno . . . the first form of parity: the number of the first equality, extremity, and distance betwixt, and therefore of peculiar equity, and the proper act thereof, because it consists of two equally poised: and it is called the number of science, and memory, and of light, and the number of man, who is called another, and the lesser, world: it is also called the number of charity, and mutual love, of marriage, and society, as it is said by the Lord, two shall be one flesh . . . .. This is also sometimes the number of discord, and confusion of misfortune, and uncleanness . . . Pythagoras (as Eusebius reports) said , that unity was God, and a good intellect; and that duality was a devil, and an evil intellect, in which is a material multitude . . . and two, strife, and boldness . . . (Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Cornelius Agrippa, Donald Tyson Edition)
Venus, in astrological tradition, represents a joining together of that which was previously separate and thus is evocative of harmony, just as the equilateral triangle is a harmonious and stable shape. Venus is associated with the faculty of Imagination the cosmos was imaged forth based upon III. The triangle represents God as THREE in ONE, or God in a differentiated, non-unitary, form that is capable of envisioning or planning his creation. The III is The Archetype that gives rise to all creation (Spirit, Soul, Matter; Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis). God as III is unchanging and always present in all things for without this 3 there is no basis for a cohesive existence. God as IV is the active creator and manifestor of forms, whereby the III appears to go through various shifts and changes. This juxtaposition has been described as being and becoming. It may also be described as God at rest vs God in action.
“ . . . unity was God, and a good intellect . . . two strife and boldness: and three, justice, which is the highest perfection, and is not without many mysteries . . . The number of three is an incompounded number (prime), a holy number, and a number of perfection, a most powerful number. For there are three persons in God, there are three theological virtues in religion . . . For corporeal, and spiritual things consist of three things, viz. beginning, middle, and end. By three (as Tresmegistus saith) the world is perfected: harmony, necessity, and order i.e. concurrence of causes, which many call fate, and the execution of them to the fruit, or the increase, and a due distribution of the increase. The whole measure of time is concluded in three, viz, past, present, to come . . .” (Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Cornelius Agrippa, Donald Tyson Edition)
The Moon is associated with IV and classically rules over the rise and fall of temporal things and circumstances aka the realm of generation and corruption, growth and decay. In this sense the Moon is dual, waxing (building) and waning (dissolving). But in this scheme the Moon is emphasized in its 4-fold nature and its close proximity with the earth and thus taking the place of the earth itself which is considered 4-fold. The 4 phases of the Moon come to mind, but what is more primary in man’s perception are the its two major phases and what bridges them: new moon, full moon, waxing and waning. IV represents God as a creative being or power (4-faces of Brahma, the 4 letters of Tetragrammaton) which corresponds to the turning of the wheel of time and its 4 seasons, 4 directions, 4 elements etc. all of which are building blocks of life. IV, geometrically, gives rise to the perfect square and the angle of 90 degrees which are inherently very unstable and charged with kinetic energy which needs to move (to turn). With IV we get two lines or two II’s, one perpendicular to the other, thus allowing for three dimensions and the 4 basic directions of up, down, left, right.
“The Pythagoreans call the number of four tetractys, and prefer it before all the virtues of numbers, because it is the foundation, and root of all other numbers; whence also all foundations, as well in artificial things, as natural, and divine, are four square . . . and it signifies solidity . . . a four square is ascribed to God the Father, and also contains the mystery of the whole Trinity . . . And the Pythagoreans call it he perpetual fountain of nature: for there are four degrees in the scale of nature, viz. to be, to live, to be sensible, to understand. There are four motions in nature, viz. ascendent, descendent, going forward, circular. There are four corners in the heaven (sunrise, noon, sunset, midnight) . . . there are four elements under heaven . . . there are four first qualities under heaven (cold, heat, dryness, moistness) . . . also the year is divided into four parts . . . also the wind is divided into easter, wester, norther and southern. There are also four rivers of Paradise, and so many infernal . . . ” (Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Cornelius Agrippa, Donald Tyson Edition)
Mars relates to V, a profound number indeed, the union of II and III, of feminine and masculine. Mars stands as the first planet beyond the Moon (Earth) in contrast to Venus as the first planet moving inward toward the Sun. Thus Mars and Venus straddle the Earth, one on either side. V is a disruption of the IV and associated with Ether, the so called 5th element, which dissolves and gives rise to the 4 elements. V is a crisis, an uncomfortable number, for it is the union of feminine and masculine (II & III) which inevitably creates friction which will only be resolved in the 6, much as in music wherein the Dominant 7th chord, containing the interval of the tritone (formerly known as the devil in music by the medieval church) is resolved into the Tonic chord, whereby the dissonant tritone becomes the harmonious interval of the third. This symbolically means V shifting to VI or Mars shifting to Jupiter. Mars’ nature of action and motion aligns well with the change that comes from breaking out of inertia (in this case the IV which is II + II, thus in a sense incestuous and giving rise to more of the same, (sustenance) but not capable of further growth). The V is also symbolic of the spiraling nature of movement, rather than a closed loop which is captured by the IV. The year is not a perfect 360 days, one day for each degree of the ecliptic, but an awkward 365 and roughly 1/4 days, such that the beginning of one cycle is never truly the same as the beginning of the previous cycle out of which it emerged. This is also exemplified in music by the Pythagorean Comma in which a series of 7 octaves works out to be a bit more than 12 fifths. As Mars is an energy that is always propelling itself forward its symbolism fits very well with the V.
“The number five is of no small force, for it consists of the first even, and the first odd, as of a female, and male: for an odd number is the male, and the even the female. Whence arithmeticians call that the Father, and this the Mother. Therefore the number five is of no small perfection, or virtue, which proceeds from the mixtion of these numbers: it is also the just middle of the universal number, viz. ten. For if you divide the number ten, there will be nine and one, or eight and two, or seven and three, or six and four, and every collection makes the number ten, and the exact middle always is the number five, and it’s equidistant; and therefore it is called by the Pythagoreans the number of wedlock, as also of justice, because it divides the number ten in an even scale . . . There be five senses in man . . . five powers in the soul, vegetative, sensitive, concupiscible (desire/lust), irascible, rational: five fingers of the hand: five wandering planets in the heavens, according to which there are fivefold terms in every sign. In elements there are five kinds of mixed bodies, viz. stones, metals, planets. plant-animals, animals . . . ” (Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Cornelius Agrippa, Donald Tyson Edition)
Jupiter becomes associated with the number 6, the honeycomb, the star of David. Two perfect triangles coming together symbolize the union of Spirit & Matter. As the 3-fold unmanifested form of the Divine becomes reflected in consciousness (Siva & Sakti) it must by necessity be a perfect reflection (another III). VI is the II expanded to be two sets of III, or two Archetypes, one born from the other, one Solar the other Lunar, which will eventually find its culmination in the number VIII (active and manifested perfection), just as the IV is the active nature of Deity, the Archetype in motion rather than at rest. VI is perfection at rest, harmony between subtle and dense parts. Jupiter in man is the faculty of Spiritual Aspiration, the dense triangle seeking to harmonize with the subtle. Thus Jupiter’s primary function of Spiritual Seeking fits well with the fundamental nature of VI, which is also correlated to the Ajna Chakra or 3rd eye, and is said to allow people to perceive the unity of existence in all things. While V was II+III, VI is IIxIII, and via this multiplication something greater is produced than is possible when the two are merely added. This + factor arising from the multiplication is the symbolical child that joins the couple together in harmony and abundance. The child can be understood as the symbolical unification of the mother and father, masculine and feminine, something born of its parents yet simultaneously more than their existence as two individuals coming together.
“Six is the number of perfection, because it is the most perfect in nature, in the whole course of numbers, from one to ten, and it alone is so perfect, that in the collection of its parts it results the same, neither wanting, nor abounding. For if the parts thereof, viz the middle, the third, and sixth part, which are three, two, one, be gathered together, they perfectly fill up the whole body of six, which perfection all other numbers want [1+2+3=6]: hence by the pythagoreans it is said to be altogether applied to generation, and marriage, and is called the scale of the world . . . For the world is made of the number six, neither doth it abound, or is defective. Hence that is, because the world was finished by God the sixth day. For the sixth day God saw all the things which he had made, and they were very good. Therefore the heaven, and the Earth, and all the host thereof were finished . . . It is also the number of man, because the sixth day man was created [via Genesis; note as well that the element carbon has an atomic number of 6] . . . there are six tones of all harmony, viz. five tones, and two halftones, which make one tone, which is the sixth . . . (Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Cornelius Agrippa, Donald Tyson Edition)
Saturn becomes associated with the number VII which is the only number below 10 to give us a decidedly obtuse division of the circle (51.4285714286). VII thus alludes to the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. VII is the central point within the VI pointed star and the number of the Sabbath, the day of “rest” or absorption of the totality of the contents of the VI preceding stages in the cycle of creation. Therefore VII is the number of mystery; Saturn and the 7th sphere mark the edge of what is known and predictable for man observing the sky with his naked eye. Saturn is the last of the planets that can be seen regularly with the naked eye and therefore marks the doorway to a land and sphere beyond our normal capacities of perception, called the 8th sphere — a chaotic mesh of stars and shapes, not subject to the same kind of order and periodicity we see with the planetary cycles. Numerologically this means the 8th and 9th layers of Consciousness, or the numbers VIII and IX which do not traditionally correspond to any planets. Thus Saturn & VII are symbolic of the final door through which a man must pass before transcending the linear and predictable structure of time symbolized by the individual motions of the planets moving against the primary motion of the 8th sphere (this primary motion derives from the earths 24 hour rotation upon its axis), and thus VIII was the number of Christ (or more mystically 888) and the dimensions of a baptistry in Catholocism for Christ was said to have transcended the limiting cycle of VII and reach immortality in the VIII.
“And the Pythagoreans called it the vehiculum of man’s life, which it doth not receive from its parts so, as it perfects by its proper right of the whole, for it contains body (4), and soul (3), for the body consists of four elements, and is endowed with four qualities: also the number three respects the soul, by reason of its threefold power, viz. rational, irascible and concupiscible. The number seven therefore, because it consists of three, and four, joins the soul to the body, and the virtue of this number relates to the generation of men, and it causeth man to be received, formed, brought forth, nourished, live, and indeed altogether subsist . . . Also of seven portions God creates the soul, as divine Plato witnesseth in Timaeus. The soul also receives the body by seven degrees. All difference of voices proceeds to the seventh degree, after which there is the same revolution [a reference to the octave in music being a repetition of the tonic] . . . Moreover the Pythagoreans call seven the number of virginity, because the first [reason] is that which neither generated, or generates, neither can it be divided into two equal parts, so as to be generated of another number repeated, or being doubled to bring forth any other number of itself, which is contained within the bounds of the number ten, which is manifestly the first bound of numbers [footnote: “Seven is the only number which, multiplied by another number, creates none of the numbers in the decad, and which is not produced by the multiplication of any number”] . . . (Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Cornelius Agrippa, Donald Tyson Edition)
The number VIII is represented by the 8th sphere of fixed stars. VIII is symbolic of the perfection and balance made manifest for the simple reason that it is two IVs, one material and one celestial. As the III represents The Archetype, the VI represents said Archetype balanced and perfected as God & Man in harmony. III and VI are unmanifest, pertaining to an inner and unchanging reality. Through the IV, the III manifests (III & IV make VII, the number of dimensions comprising reality wherein multiplicity and time exist) and there-four (pun intended) it is through IV and subsequently VIII that ultimate perfection is achieved. Thus we have inner wholeness (VI), concretization of that state (VII), and then wholeness externalized (VIII). To put it another way: “Om is the bow, the arrow is soul, The Brahman is the arrow’s target, That one should incessantly hit” (Siddhartha by Herman Hesse). These three numbers (VI, VII, VIII) can also be likened to the final three limbs of Yoga according to Patanjali: “29. The eight means of yoga are, the Commandments or Yama, the Rules or Nijama, posture or Asana, right control of life-force or Pranayama, abstraction or Pratyahara, attention or Dharana, Meditation or Dhyana, Contemplation or Samadhi“. (https://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/Light-of-the-Soul.pdf)
The Sun has also been linked to the number VIII in conjunction with the Christ Consciousness and the Christ mythos spoken of already. The Sun and the 8th sphere can both be likened to the Nous aka The Intellect (Divine Mind).
In modern astrology Uranus is most fluidly linked to VIII as it is the planet that pierces the 7-fold barrier of individualized consciousness, thus allowing the light of spirit to flood through the walls of mental/emotional limitations, wherein the whole can be perceived.
“The Pythagoreans call eight the number of justice, and fullness: first, because it is first of all divided into numbers equally even, viz. into four, and that division is by the same reason made into twice two, viz. by twice two twice; and by reason of this equality of division (2×4), it took to itself the name of Justice, but the other (2x2x2) received the name viz. of Fullness, by reason of the contexture of the corporeal solidity, since the first makes a solid body . . . hither belongs the number to eternity, and the end of the world, because it follows the number seven, which is the mystery of time: hence also the number of blessedness; for Christ teacheth so many degrees of blessedness, as you may see in Matthew . . . (Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Cornelius Agrippa, Donald Tyson Edition)
The number IX is merely the perfected and completed nature of III, thus The Archetype unfolded to its supreme and perfect apex. I, III and IX are in a sense always present when anyone of them is being considered because I appears as III while this appearance of III is itself trinitarian in each aspect, making IX an illusion in many respects. In a 24 hour period the stars and planets rise and set according to the primary motion of the 9th sphere (The Primum Mobile) from east to west. This is symbolic of unification or wholeness because all of the planets, which each move at their individual rate in the opposite direction of the rising and setting of the sky, become united in equal speed along with the realm of stars and constellations — all rising and setting in a beautiful simultaneity, individual yet not. Thus the 9th sphere is beyond representation but the best we can do is to say that a starless sky might suffice. The Moon can also be linked to IX, for the simple reason that 9×3=27, the number of days (approximately) the Moon takes to make a full 360 degree circuit. IX is also the number that will take us back to I, in the form of X (a new beginning) just as the Moon returns the Sun’s light to its source in the sense that the Moon is the only planet to gradually appear to grow dark as it rejoins the Sun, and ultimately enters that darkness. In this sense there is a 9th phase of the Moon wherein it becomes one with the Sun and its light is blotted out. Astrology today affords Neptune as the primary planet dealing with IX, for just as IX dissolves all things into one all embracing motion, so too does Neptune symbolize dissolution of the individual into the sea of wholeness, in which no individuality remains. IX is also symbolic of a gestation period prior to a birth into totality (X) (the 9 months of pregnancy, the 40 days/nights of the flood, the 40 years of wandering in the desert (40 is 360/9)).
“. . . hence there are nine movable spheres, and according to those there are nine Muses . . . which nine Muses indeed are appropriated tot he nine spheres, so that the first resembles the supreme sphere, which they call primum mobile . . . yet sometimes it signifies imperfectness, and incompleteness, because it doth not attain to the perfection of the number ten, but is less by one, without which it is deficient . . . (Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Cornelius Agrippa, Donald Tyson Edition)
Beyond the 9th sphere lies The Empyrean, the realm of unity and the Godhead. More simply the X returns us to the I, which is the beginning and end of all things. Thus X is utter mastery, completeness, and the beginning of a new cycle. 10 in number are the orifices in a woman’s body, in contrast to the man who bears only 9, mirroring the lost leg of one of his x chromosomes making it a y — a mutated x. Thus woman is naturally the more complete being and reflection of Divinity, much to the she-grin of most men and the confusion of many women today. X is 1 and 0 — the pure root of consciousness and all things coupled with the 0, the representation of boundlessness and infinity. Thus it is a return to what we always were all along ; ourself (1) with knowledge of the whole (0). In the realm of current astrological symbolism X is linked with Pluto, which is always returning us to what we fundamentally are. Pluto and X are symbols of The Avatar, God in human form, come to purify the veiled world created by man through the fires of spirit so that the Truth that was always present is again revealed and another phase of the cycle commences.
“The number ten is called every number, or an universal number, complete, signifying the full course of life: for beyond that we cannot number, but by replication; and it either implies all numbers within itself, or explains them by itself, and its own, by multiplying them . . . This number also is as circular as unity, because being heaped together, returns into a unity, from whence it had its beginning, and it is the end, and perfection of all numbers, and the beginning of tens. As the number ten flows back into a unity, from whence it proceeded, so everything that is flowing is returned back to that from which it had the beginning of its flux. So water returns to the sea, from whence it had its beginning, the body returns to the earth, from whence it was taken; time returns to eternity, from whence it flowed, the spirit shall return to God that gave it; and lastly, every creature returns to nothing, from whence it was created, neither is it supported but by the word of God, in whom all things are hid; and all things with the number ten, and by the number ten, make a round, as saith Proclus, taking their beginning from God, and ending in him . . . God therefore that First Unity, or One Thing, before he communicated himself to inferiors, diffused himself into the first numbers, viz. the number three, then into the number ten, as into ten Ideas, and measures of making all numbers, and all things, which the Hebrews call ten attributes, and account ten divine names; for which cause there cannot be a further number. Hence all tens have some divine thing in them, and in the Law are required of God as his own, together with the first fruits, as the original of things, and beginning of numbers, and every tenth is as the end given to him, who is the beginning, and end of all things . . . (Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Cornelius Agrippa, Donald Tyson Edition)