A great disservice has been done to one of our numbers. The number I am referring to is the number 6. 6 has been maligned due to book of Revelation and its reference to the number 666 as being the number of “the beast.” While 666 did refer to a literal “beast” to an early Christian community (Roman Emperor Nero), the reference truly ends there. Unfortunately, literalist interpreters of scripture have taken the 666 ball and run with it, maligning 666 along with the number 6 by associating it with the Antichrist, the devil, Satan, temptation, hellfire and damnation (so much so that in medieval times, those born with a sixth finger on one hand were killed for being a child of Satan). In truth, the number 6 has nothing to do with evil, the devil or the Antichrist, but instead has everything to do with Divine Will and making it manifest on the earth.
But, before I get into the serious stuff….two fun video clips from Sesame Street on the merits of number six:
Now, back to business…..to fully comprehend the number 6 and what it represented before certain institutions go their hands on it, we have to turn the clock back a few thousand years to the advent of gematria. Gematria is defined as: an Assyro-Babylonian system of numerology later adopted by Jews that assigns numerical value to a word or phrase in the belief that words or phrases with identical numerical values bear some relation to each other or bear some relation to the number itself. The earliest Hebrew use of gematria is in the association of numbers with the individual letters of the Hebrew alphabet (Aleph-Bet). Vav, the sixth letter in the Hebrew alphabet is the symbol of completion, redemption and transformation. Vav, in the shape of a hook, represents reaching “up” toward heaven and bringing it down to earth, representing the famous wisdom statement, “As above, so below” – or as Jesus would have said, “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you,” or as Jesus further implored in the Lord’s Prayer, “thy Kingdom come.”
6, therefore, represents the process of seeking Divine guidance so as to make Divine will manifest on this earth plane. In the Hermetic school, this process was called alchemy and was the task of the magi. In Indigeneous cultures, this was the job of the shaman. In the hands of the magi and the shaman, Divine guidance is sought through the use of creative imagination (as in shamanic journeying techniques, mystical visions or engaging in the Christian practice of Imagination/Contemplation). In these practices Divine guidance is communicated through a symbolic narrative – a dreamlike story. Within the experience, assignments are given and tasks are completed which somehow activate change and transformation on the physical, real-world, plane. Heaven is brought to earth simply by engaging in the process.
From this perspective the number six then, has nothing to do with the Antichrist, but instead, has everything to do with personal power – specifically, our ability and call to connect with the Divine and to bring Divine will into manifestation in our lives. When we engage in these practices, we are working to bring the “kingdom of God” into our earthly experience – we are bringing forth the “New Jerusalem” as envisioned in the book of Revelation.
It is important to recognize, however, that the Book of Revelation itself was never meant to be taken as prediction of the end times or as a warning of a time when the Antichrist would rule. Instead, it was written to a specific audience of Christians who were suffering under the persecution and slaughter of the Roman Emperor Nero. Nero, was the Antichrist, “the beast” about whom the author was referring. The gematria (number association) of his name just happens to be 666!
The book of Revelation was included in the bible because its message transcended the specific audience to which the author of Revelation was writing, and the times in which they were living. While Revelation was about Nero and his persecution of Christians, those who assembled the bible recognized a more universal message – one communicated in the language of a shaman or mystic. When we step back from the details (horrible beasts, harlots, plagues) and look at the wider, larger story, the universal message (beyond that of persecuted first-century Christians) becomes clear:
When we remember God (the Alpha and the Omega) as the center of our life, we experience heaven on earth.
When we forget God, we live in hell.
And as it relates to 666:
God’s goodness (three*) insures that we will find the power within ourselves to manifest heaven on earth (six) for our own highest good and for the goodness of all humanity.
*( The triple 6, (3) relates to the Hebrew letter Gimmel, which means, God’s goodness)
If this is true then why have we been led to believe that 666 is evil and to be associated the devil, hellfire and damnation? Why would an institution want us to be fearful of our own personal power that arises in our intimate connection with God so as participate with God in bringing heaven to earth? I’ll let you answer that question.
Lauri Ann Lumby teaches practices which engage the active imagination, empowering others to be a vessel through which Divine guidance is received and made manifest on this earth – thereby helping to bring heaven to earth. To learn more, contact Lauri Ann Lumby (920) 230-1313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.