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Occult Symbolism In The Number 12


By James Donahue

February 2006


Numbers have a language of their own in the occult world. They become a universal language whereby all things are in some way connected.


In our examination of the number 12 we first must look at the fact that two digits are represented here; the 1 and the 2. To the occultist these numbers are immediately added so that 1 plus 2 equals 3. Thus the number 12 also has a second occult meaning in the number 3. The three might signify a manifestation in a third dimension.


The number three is the first sacred or perfect number. It represents the Pagan Trinity. It is represented geometrically in the triangle and spiritually as the Third Eye of Hinduism. Occultists multiply and add three to other sacred numbers to create new numbers.


People born with the Number three as their destiny number identify with the Emperor Tarot. They excel at writing, speaking, singing, acting, litigating and teaching. They possess a natural ability to uplift others with words and thought. They are good leaders, speak with authority and reason, and are usually very organized.


It is said that occultists often use the triple numbers 333 as a secret number representing the dreaded 666. But we have heard that the real reason is that this number, 333, is an occult symbol for Choronzon, the dreaded spirit of chaos. This entity also is known as the spirit of dissolution and Lord of Hallucinations. Everyone who comes in contact with Choronzon falls into ruin. The demon is said to create confusion of thought and turn people insane.


Returning to the number 12, we find this number is linked to the Hanged Man Tarot. Unlike the Emperor, this card reflects a time of stalemate. Energies can hang in limbo and when the card appears in a reading, change is usually recommended to get things in motion once again.


Twelve is a higher octave of the number three. The number appears within a multi-dimensional grid or matrix of pyramids within such images as the Tree of Life, the astrological signs of the zodiac wheel and the alchemy wheel of time.


Humans have used 12 as an ancient standard for measurement. We have twelve months in a year and twelve hours on a clock. We measure by the foot, which contains 12 inches and sell by the dozen, the gross, or shilling, all representing numbers of 12.


There are 12 fruits of the Cosmic Tree, the pagans believed there were 12 days of return to chaos at the Winter Solstice, 12 days of Yuletide and Christmas and the Chinese recognize 12 Terrestrial Branches in time.


Religious belief systems utilize the number 12. Jesus, Buddha and Mithra each had 12 disciples, the Moslems say there were 12 descendants of Allah, and the Hebrews say there were 12 Tribes of Israel. The Christians mark 12 fruits of the spirit and 12 gates and foundation stones of the Holy City. The Celtics count 12 paladins of Charlemagne, and King Arthur’s court had 12 knights at the Round Table.


In the Book of the Revelation, we see the number 12 in constant use. There is a woman with a crown of 12 stars on her head. The New Jerusalem has 12 gates and on the gates are written the names of the 12 tribes. The wall of the city had 12 foundations and on them were the names of the 12 apostles. We also see the numbers 144 and 12,000 which are multiples of 12, 1,260 days, 42 months, time, times and half a time, three and a half days, a description of periods of persecution.


There are some strange reasons for the use of 12 in English measurements. For example the foot is the approximate length of an average man’s foot. Yet the decision to square it off at exactly 12 inches seems to come from unknown origins. Fourteenth Century King Edward II ruled that an inch should be three grains of barley placed lengthwise end-to-end. Thus the measurement of the inch appears to have had something to do with deciding on the exact length of a foot.


Yet the number 12 comes up in so many of the sacred records, as well as the tools we use in our daily lives, like clocks and the purchase of baked goods, its roots lie deep in the collective unconsciousness. There is sacred geometry there. That the number is divisible by three, and when multiplied by the sacred numbers becomes an important number in itself.


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