Part of the Magick in Theory & Practice series.
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The commonest form of gematria is used occasionally in the Talmud and Midrash and elaborately by many post-Talmudic commentators. It involves converting words and sentences into numbers, usually by assigning numbers to each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. When converted to a number, they can be compared to other words and similarities drawn. A commentary almost completely dedicated to gematria is Baal ha-Turim by Rabbi Jacob ben Asher.
A system of recognizing a correspondence between the ten sefira on the Tree of Life and the twenty two letters in the Hebrew alphabet. This system is elaborated in many mystical Jewish writings such as the Zohar.
One example of Gematria is that there are twenty-two solid figures that are composed of regular polygons. There are five Platonic solids, four Kepler-Poinsot solids, and thirteen Archimedean solids. Since there are twenty-two letters in the Hebrew alphabet (aleph-beth), a correspondence is possible between these two facts. The art of Gematria is knowing which solid is associated with which letter.
Another example is that of Hebrew numerals. Although there are twenty-two letters, there are twenty-seven numerals necessary to sum each number up to one thousand. (one through nine, ten through ninety, one hundred through nine hundred) The Hebrew numeric system notes that the missing final five letters of the numeral system match exactly with the five 'sofeet' forms of the Hebrew letters, which are alternate forms of particular letters only used when that letter is the last consonant in a Hebrew word.
Another use is that words, which have the same numerical value, share the same qualities, and reveal still other aspects of the Divine.
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Gematria and Crowley
From Sepher Sephiroth sub figurâ D
When written large, the value of a Hebrew letter is increased by a factor of one thousand. A large Aleph is counted 1000, a large Beth 2000, etc.
Note that there are no vowels in Hebrew, only semi-vowels (A, H, V, I). Diacritical marks are sometimes used to indicate vowels, but generally the correct pronunciation of a word therefore relies on memory. In any case, this has no importance in Gematria, except that it must be noted that any given word may have many different meanings, according as it is pronounced.
M, D and S before the names of the letters shows their division into Mothers, Double and Single letters; referred respectively to active Elements (Air, Water, Fire), Planets and Zodiacal Signs. But Shin and Tau also serve to signify the Elements of Spirit and of Earth (see Liber 777).
Another excerpt from Sepher Sephiroth sub figurâ D as an example of Gematric entries:
- Wikipedia. (2004). Gematria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gematria). Retrieved Sept. 26, 2004.