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A mouth full of delicious wine.
September 26th, 2011
08:40 pm


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Nine - The Moon
Why is the number nine associated with the moon? I'm looking for natural answers or for older primary sources. After talking with some O.T.O. people I've only got two viable answers which are fairly questionable.

The most natural explanation is that the human gestation period is nine moon cycles long. The average gestational period is 41 weeks, and as it takes the moon 29.53 days to go through all its cycles, this is about 9 moon cycles and 3 weeks. Considering one would naturally count from the last missed period, this is a fairly acceptable answer.

The second is that Agrippa says that the magic square of luna is 9x9. It is impossible to make a magic square of 1x1 or 2x2 (well really only 2x2), so we have to start at 3x3. Going down the traditional planetary list makes sense and that puts luna at 9x9. This is not a very satisfactory answer.

The most common instinct is to say that nine is associated with Luna as the sphere of luna is associated with yesod, the ninth emanation. I have found no evidence to support this other than Agrippa's "The Scale of the Number ten" where in the column of "Ten spheres of the world." the moon is the ninth. The sepher yetzirah doesn't support this, assigning the moon to the letter tav. In fact in the only version of the sepher yetzirah that attributes planets to the sephirot, luna is on malkuth!

Crowley and others are little help, basically having accepted this as a fact with apparently no reasoning, as is quite usual of the GD teachings.

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[User Picture]
Date:September 27th, 2011 05:41 pm (UTC)
Aside from the nine months, he doesn't really tie 9 back to the moon. Interesting as the number of man though, in Liber AL the words man and woman both appear exactly nine times. The name Nuit also appears nine times, which I am really excited right now to remember, so thanks!

You see the first layer of the circle of Loagaeth has the numbers 1-9 in it, repeating 6.23 times around the circumference of the circle, this has obvious lunar connotations. This layer also has 56 squares in it, which in combination with the circumference, screams Nuit! Up until now though I hadn't a way to attribute Nuit directly to Nine other than "For he is ever a sun, and she a moon. But to him is the winged secret flame, and to her the stooping starlight."
[User Picture]
Date:September 27th, 2011 04:33 am (UTC)
(I saw this on yor G+ first so I posted my reply there, I prefer to use LJ though)

The attribution of the Planets to the Sephiroth that we are accustomed to is from the Golden Dawn who, in turn, got it from Agrippa. While it seems pretty clear that the sequence of those two rows in the scale of the number ten is deliberate (Kether to Malkuth, the Primum Mobile to the Sphere of the Terrestrial via the Ptolemaic "spheres"), Agrippa himself states that the Planets are attributed to different numbers than the table would suggest. The Golden Dawn saw each of the Scales of the Numbers as tables of correspondence and used it as the basis of their vast system of symbolism.

However, in the chapter in which Agrippa gives his attributions of Planets to numbers (book II, chapter 21), the number nine is still attributed to Luna. The reason he gives is that Luna is the "utmost receptacle of all celestial influences and virtues."

The Ptolemaic sequence may have been adopted by the GD for a number of reasons: 1 - it puts Sol in the Center; 2 - the numbers used by Agrippa are a bit more problematic for the systematic mechanisms of the GD (9 is symbolic of both Luna AND Mars, for example); 3 - it was the sequence commonly used from the time of Ptolemy in Hellenistic Egypt all the way to Copernicus and hence the majority of Astrological, Alchemical, and Hermetic-Qabalistic texts utilized it.

The reason for numbering the Planets 3 to 9 (rather than 1 to 7 as in Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians) may have been to fit in with the Qameoth (in Ptolemaic sequence, Saturn = 3, etc). The Hexagram is itself a kind of Qameah:
and also
This works as well if the points are numbered 1 to 7 (but the constant is 12, rather than 18), but if numbered 3 to 9, the constant (18) is equal to 6+6+6, 666 being the grand total of the Solar Qameah. Also, if Saturn is Binah, then 6 (Sol) being between 3 and 9 has further symbolic implications. This method would also seem to confirm the numbering of the Scale of the Number Ten.
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