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The Numbering of the Tribes After the Plague
The Redeemed

   The first numbering of the tribes occurred in the wilderness of Sinai, under the supervision of Moses and Aaron; then a second numbering was commanded by the Lord, under the supervision of Moses and Eleazar, the son of Aaron. This numbering occurred after the plague had run its course in the plains of Moab; and revealed the signature of the redeemed who were worthy to go forward to Canaan.

   Eleazar had replaced Aaron as Moses' associate, Aaron having long since "ascended into the Mount" (Mount Hor) where Eleazar, his successor, received the vestments of priesthood. The ascent of Mount Hor is one that only the greatest of Initiates can make, for it is an ascent into God-consciousness. The fact that Eleazar could ascend with Moses into the Mount, and there receive the priestly vestments of Aaron, indicates that for him, too, the Rod of Power had blossomed. Aaron remained on the Mount, but "Moses and Eleazar came down from the Mount." An Initiate's consciousness passes at will from death to life.

   The number of the children of Israel together was 6,000 and 1,730, which numerically yield 8 as the spiritual signet of all Israel. They were the survivors, qualified through suffering to be listed among the few wise men who have awakened the coiled and sleeping serpent within themselves. The Book of Numbers opens with the number of the tribes as a whole being 10, the symbol of man and woman working together in generation.

   It is to be noted that those who were numbered after the plague were not the same individuals counted in the first census, for we are told that "among these there was not a man of them whom Moses and Aaron the priest numbered, when they had numbered the children of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai." Exoterically, the old Israelites had died, and these were their children grown to maturity in the wanderings. Esoterically, this signifies that the Egos had "put off the old man" and "put on the new"; that the carnal had become immortal and terrestrial consciousness had been exchanged for the celestial.

   After the numbering various laws were laid down by Moses, among them laws of inheritance based on the numberings of the tribes. "The land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit. Land represents something acquired through a change in living. According to names, or spiritual characteristics developed, they inherited.

   The tabulation of the second census gives information as to the change in number since the first was taken; and numbers, when esoterically interpreted, indicate the change in consciousness that had taken place since the first numbering in Sinai.

   The numerological values are as follows:

Tribe: Sign: Number:
Reuben Aquarius 8
Simeon Gemini 6
Gad Aries 9
Judah Leo 9
Issachar Taurus 4
Manasseh Sagittarius 5
Ephraim Virgo 10
Benjamin Cancer 6
Dan Scorpio 5
Asher Libra 3
Naphtali Capricorn 4
Levi Gemini 5
Zebulun Pisces 11
(Simeon and Levi together: 11)

Initiatory Work Upon the Threshold

   Israel again approaches the threshold of attainment. On their first approach they were not duly qualified so were obliged to make further preparation. Instead of entering the Holy Land they were turned back into the wilderness. There, it is recorded, they died; that is their unregenerate nature finally succumbed. Now they return, reborn in consciousness. Events recorded henceforward deal with initiatory work on the Threshold, with attainment definitely at hand. Joshua and Caleb were the two most advanced disciples of Moses.

   Caleb (Leo) represents the heart and Joshua (Virgo), the mind. Caleb possessed vision and enthusiasm, without which nothing is attained. His eyes were ever upon the place where his heart abode, the land of Canaan. He represents the spirit of loving, unselfish service for others. He might have gone on into that land had he not chosen to remain in the wilderness to serve those less advanced than himself, even though his spirit yearned for the glories of the new world to which his attainment gave him the right of entry.

   These verses describe the final work of Joshua preparatory to his succeeding Moses as the national and spiritual leader of the new race. It was decreed that "at his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in." Esoterically, this refers to initiatory processes involving the "coming and the going" of consciousness independent of the physical body. Joshua was to guide prepared disciples along the path that led upward, making them truly walkers of the skies and dwellers amid the stars.

   The five kings of the Midianites are the five senses that prove to be the areat obstacles to spiritual understanding until they are liberated from the limitations of material consciousness. Once this is accomplished, a neophyte passes unharmed through fire and through water.

   After the conquest of the Midianites, Moses asked: "Have ye saved all the women alive? Behold, these caused the children of Israel . . . to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord" (Numbers 31:15,10). Fearing these women might again seduce the Israelites from their "strait ways" he ordered that all the women be slain. Only the young virgins were to be kept alive. These women signify the feminine principle which causes man to sin until it has been "killed"; that is, controlled, uplifted, and transmuted.

   The thirty-second chapter of Numbers deals with the inheritance of the tribes of Reuben and Gad on the eastern side of the Jordan. Although Moses granted them their inheritance (Gilead) before the Promised Land had yet been conquered, they agreed not to settle there until they, with the other tribes, had conquered the territory beyond Jordan. "And Moses gave them, even to the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuben, and unto the half the tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land, with the cities thereof in the coast, even the cities of the country round about; Manasseh, the son of Joseph, is Sagittarius, power of the higher mind. Sihon means a sweeping away; and Og, gigantic. To remove obstacles in the way of securing complete control and possession of the Promised Land is a "gigantic" task. Gilead, though it means hard and rough, is, nevertheless, "pleasant pasturage". It is promised to them if they succeed. They do so. We read: "And the children of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead, and took it, and dispossessed the Amorite which was in it." This attainment was accomplished in the beginning by Caleb and Joshua only. The thirty-third chapter of Numbers is a synopsis of the journeying of the children of Israel, as it was said to have been written by Moses, from the time they left Egypt until they arrived in Canaan. Names of cities given in this chapter are really ciphers used to describe soul evolution from the beginnings of physical embodiment until Initiation, or cosmic consciousness, has been attained.

   The first stage of Israel's journey was from Rameses (high, exalted) to Succoth (changeable). They then pitched in Etham (truth) on the edge of the wilderness, three days' journey frorn Etham they stopped in Marah (bitter). "And they removed from Marah, and came unto Elim: and in Elim were twelve fountains of water, and threescore and ten palm trees; and they pitched there. From Elim they went to the Red Sea, and from the Red Sea to the wilderness of Sin. Elim means a well of' truth; the palm trees symbolize spirituality. The Red Sea represents man's unregenerated desire nature; the wilderness, the barrenness of an unillumined life. These are conditions encountered in a soul's pilgrimage as it travels toward the Holy Land.

   Other points on the path of conquest are: Alush, which means worldliness; Rephidim, the place "where there is no water to drink." Kibroth-hattaavah, carnal mind; the Rithmah, its overcoming; Rimi-non-parez, fruitfulness; Libnah, spiritual ecstasy; Hor-hagidgad, seeker of truth; Kadesh, on the borders of the wilderness of Zin, stands for the borders or beginnings of freedom in spirit; Mount Hor, a further overcoming; Zalmonah, a shady place. And the mountains of Abarim before Nebo by the Jordan, the place of attainment of celestial wisdom, near Jericho, the valley of fragrance.

   "And they pitched by Jordan, from Beth-jesimoth even unto Abel-shittim in the plains of Moab." Jordan signifies the sacred stream of transmuted fire, the life force within "the house of the spirit" (Beth-jesirnoth). Abel-shittim, the acacia meadow, is the place where grows the Tree of Life. The ancient Egyptians referred to "the Valley of the Acacia" as the place where the Nine Gods walk. The cities mentioned belonged to the Reubenites, and thus point astrologically to the Aquarian ideal of Initiation.

   The Promised Land was now attained, but the work of purification and transmutation had to be completed. The order was for the removal of the inhabitants who dwelt in the land they had come to possess (unregenerate elements), lest they later become "pricks" in their eyes and "thorns" in their side and vex them.

Final Preparation and Accomplishment

   The boundaries of the tribal inheritances in the Land of Canaan are described in the thirty-fourth chapter of Numbers. Boundaries typify certain vibrational rhythms belonging to definite areas of spiritual consciousness. In personal life, the inheritance refers to that "karmic portion" which each Ego attracts unto itself through the practice of righteousness, or right living.

   Akrabbim means scorpions and refers to the sense life; Zin, a rock wall, signifies a great obstacle; Kadesh-barnea means the sacred desert, Hazar-addar, the place of glory; and Azmon, firmness. This is the southern border of the new land. The great sea (the emotional life) forms the western boundary. St. John states that in the New Day there will be no more sea, he also speaks of the Temple containing a molten sea, both being references to the stilled, controlled emotions.

   To the north was Mount Hor, the high place. There it was that Aaron "died" and Moses placed his priestly garments upon Eleazar. Darkness had been made light. Hamath means fortification; Zedad, side; Ziphron, a sweet odor, and Hagarenan, a place of fountains. To the east, the place of light was Riblah, meaning fruitfulness. "By their fruits shall ye know them." Ain means fountains; and Chinnereth, which is now the Sea of Galilee (or Sea of the Circle), is the sacred sea, the place of miracles of a Christed one. Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh had already received their inheritance. The mind symbolized by Manasseh is the path, and its spiritualization is the first work undertaken by a disciple. It is also the most diffficult. Hence, only half the tribe at first received its inheritance. Mind is capable of higher development than any other of man's vehicles; yet as it is the most recently acquired, it is the one upon which the least work is done.

   Eleazar and Joshua now divide the remaining inheritances among the tribes, taking ten men to assist them. These were:

Tribe: Sign: Assistants: Meaning:
Judah Leo Caleb honorable
Simeon Gemini Shemuel friend of God
Benjamin Cancer Elidad one whom God loves
Dan Scorpio Bukki the promised
Manasseh Sagittarius Hanniel God is gracious
Ephraim Virgo Kemuel raised by God
Zebulun Pisces Elizaphan wisdom
Issachar Taurus Paltiel salvation through God
Naphtali Capricorn Pedahel God hath delivered
Asher Libra Ahihud brother of mystery

   The Levites received their forty-eight cities given up to them either wholly or partially. These Levitical cities were divided into two classes: (1) Those for the priests proper, descendants of Aaron, were thirteen in number, and all in the tribes of Judah, Simeon and Benjamin; but the attar and the Tabernacle were in the tribe of Ephraim (Virgo, the virgin consciousness). (2) Those for the Levites, or subordinate priests, thirty-five in number, were divided among the other tribes. The Levite bands formed the choral group in the Temple services.

   Of the forty-eight Levitical cities, six were assigned as cities of refuge where a manslayer might find haven. Three cities were chosen on each side of Jordan, one for the south, one for the center, and one for the north of the land. These cities of refuge represent certain centers in the body of a disciple who has earned his inheritance. The three cities "on this side of Jordan" symbolize the most important lower centers in the body, namely, the centers corresponding to the creative organs, the spleen and the solar plexus. The three cities "in the land of Canaan" represent the centers in the head, namely, the pineal and pituitary glands, and the frontal sinus or "seat of the spirit" in the forehead.

   Esoterically, all Levitical cities express the highest meaning of Gemini, the service of pure wisdom through a spiritualized mind. This is shown in the measurement of the cities, and also in other details connected with their building.

   Two is the number of polarity. The new Levitical city measured 2000 cubits on the north, east, south and west, forming a perfect square, or the number 4. It is the place of perfect balance, the blending of Fire, Air, Earth and Water. Faust, in coming to understand this mystery, exclaimed: "All honor be for evermore, to the Elemental Four." The 2000 multiplied by 4 again reduces to the number 8, number of the "few Wise Men" and of the blessed new land of promise.

   These Levitical cities may be compared with the priestly communities of Chaldea and Egypt which were also set apart with Temples or shrines of their own. They mark the site of ancient Palestinian shrines which were abolished when the worship of Jehovah was centered in the Temple at Jerusalem. This first occurred in the time of King Josiah, when the Book of Deuteronomy was discovered; but the complete centralization of worship did not take place until after the Babylonian captivity, under the influence of Ezekiel and Ezra.

   The Book of Numbers closes with an account of the inheritance given to the daughters of Manasseh. Physiologically, man possesses a masculine and a feminine brain. Both require regeneration. The feminine is the older and the more difficult to rebuild. The first to be developed, it will be the last to be redeemed. This is the order of the regenerative process as given in the Bible.

The Ceremonial of the Mystic Death

   The original Book of Jasher, to which Madame Blavatsky alludes, was one of the most profoundly esoteric of early Hebrew manuscripts in relation to the inner meanings of numbers. This work is no longer available for esoteric investigation. The existing fragment bearing that name is purported to be the work of an Initiate son of Caleb, who bore the name of Jasher.

   In this book Jasher states that in their journeyings each man among the Israelites carried the coffin of his father; i.e., of his tribe. Esoterically interpreted, this means that Initiation passed from father to son and was concerned with the development of the Earth-consciousness, including a knowledge of all past events pertaining to the history of Earth and man. This type of Initiation, passed through the tribe by family inheritance, was an expression of the activity of cosmic memory. Thus the Initiate lived fully aware of the lives of his forebears, merging himself into an age-old stream of ancestral consciousness. In effect, he laid down his personal life and took upon himself the life of the tribe.

   Initiation, then as now, meant a voluntary laying down of the personal life-though in a slightly different sense than we understand that sacrifice today. This sacrifice of the personality was symbolized by death; and death is symbolized by a coffin. The coffin of the tribe has reference to a certain initiatory word or power given under the impulse of the twelve zodiacal Hierarchies, one for each tribe. The "death number" of the sons of Jacob as given herewith are taken from the Thorah.

   Joseph died at the age of 110, the esoteric value of which is 11. Its highest meaning is polarity, the keynote of Sagittarian attainment.

   In the seventy-second year of the wanderings occurred the death of Zabulun at the age of 114, or 6 — the beginning of a new life. "And he was put into a coffin and given into the hands of his children." Pisces ends a cycle and prepares for the new.

   In the seventy-fifth year occurred the death of Simeon at the age of 120, or 3. "He also was placed in a coffin and given into the hands of his children." At this time Egyptians went to battle because in a cave of the mountains a large animal was destroying the sacred ox, a reference to the evolutionary impetus of the incoming cycle of Aries which was displacing the older Taurean forms of worship.

   In the seventy-ninth year Reuben died at the age 125 or 8, the mystic hieroglyph impressed upon atoms and planets alike at their birth. It is the number of the Double Feminine, under which intuition functions fully as it will in the new race of Aquarius.

   In the eightieth year occurred the death of Dan (Scorpio) at the age of 102 or 3, the trinity of spirit, soul, body. Medieval alchemists held that iron could be transmuted into gold only when the Sun went through Scorpio. This points to regenerative work to be accomplished under this sign of the redemption. Both Simeon and Dan herald the way of emancipation, Simeon through the mind and Dan through the emotions.

   In the eighty-first year came the death of Issachar (Taurus) at the age of 122 or 5. This means liberation through karmic purification, symbolized in the five-pointed star of the pioneer. In the eighty-second year Asher (Libra) died, at the age of 123 or 6. Solomon's Seal, the six-pointed star, represents the union of the human and the divine, the ideal attained by Asher.

   In the eighty-fourth year came the death of Gad (Aries) in his 125th year, or under the vibration of 7, the number of his completion. In the eighty-sixth year occurred the death of Judah at the age of 129 or 3. In this number we discern the final perfection of the blended spirit, soul and body, the miracle of love or Leo.

   In the eighty-ninth year Naphtali died at the age of 132 or 6. Naphtali is Capricorn, the sign of Christed man. Naphtali's death under the vibration of 6 indicates the successful blending of Fire and Water (spirit and matter): Solomon's Seal set upon Naphtali's Cave signifying the miracle that was transpiring within.

   In the ninety-third year occurred the death of Levi at the age of 137 or 11, number of mastership and the insignia of those who are chosen to serve in the Tabernacle.

   Benjamin never took part in the battles, and there is no mention of his death. His is the power of the spiritually illumined who have entered in by the Door or Gate (Cancer) to partake of the waters of eternal life from Him who makes all things new.

   Jacob died at the age of 147 years, or 3. This signified his achievement through transmutation of the powers of the Holy Trinity in active manifestation in the highest aspects of Will, Wisdom and Activity.

   The Book of Numbers has been classed with the world's immortal literature. Within its pages is traced numerically the path of the soul's pilgrimage until it is again at rest in the heart of the Great Oversoul. Numbers herein inscribed are but shadow-forms of the Eternal, veiling profound truths. When one has "learned to count aright," this Book stands revealed, for every race and age, as the supreme numerical Odyssey.

 — Corinne Heline

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