The Esoteric Meaning of the Number 17

Mary holding crucified ChristThe 17 is a prime number associated with transformation, or resurrection, given it is the manifestation of 16. This can be either negative or positive depending on the choices you made in the earlier stages of development.

In brief, 16 determines whether you stay in the base consciousness of the number six or transform into the divine-consciousness of the number seven.

In the ancient world, the number seventeen was a highly spiritual number representing love and peace, or sin and evil. If you fail to make the right decisions as seen in the number 16 you will continue to encounter obstacles.

In Hebrew, the 17 is the number of sin. Pythagoreans also said the seventeen is when “The Devil triumphs over God.” The Devil is the six and the divine feminine is the Seven.

The Sufi alchemist, Gabir ibn Hayyan wrote everything in the world is the 17, the law of equilibrium. This also relates to the 17th card of the Tarot Deck – The Star – which represents resurrection, rebirth after death. It is not by coincidence that Osiris raises from the dead on the 17th day of the month of Athyr in Egyptian mythology.

The number 17 in religion

Both the Christian and Muslim religions emphasise this point too. In Exodus, the Ten Commandments are explained in 17 verses. The Ten Commandments of course are the laws man must obey in his attributions towards God and his fellow men.

The number also features significantly in the New Testament, although its meaning is hidden in the depths of the ocean – quite literally in fact. When the apostles could not catch any fish, Jesus suggests they cast the net on the right side of the boat. They did and caught 153 fish.

When you add consecutive numbers from one to 17 (1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9 + 10 + 11 + 12 + 13 + 14 + 15 + 16 + 17) you get 153. It is significant here that it is the right side of the boat the fisherman have success – the right side of the brain is mostly associated with the control of emotions so nurture your feelings and look to improve your intuition.

This makes more sense when you consider the number 17 is associated with the zodiacal sign of Capricorn, the goat. In Greek mythology, the God Pan was half goat representing the base impulses of man. In Matthew 25:33, he write: Sheep on the right..goats on the left.

In Islamic tradition, initiates use 17 words in their daily prayer and seventeen liturgical gestures. Chapter 17 verse 1 states “Most glorified is the One who summoned His servant (Muhammad) during the night…He is the Hearer and the Seer.

In Shi’ite mysticism, seventeen was the number of dead bought back to life, an idea the ancient Greeks also believed. Essentially, the myth refers to resurrection.

And so we find the same pattern repeating. Therefore, consider this. The 17 is the power of 1 and 7, new beginnings and divine power. It is said in Buddhism, that when we meditate we become one whereby it is possible to bring the all into existence, and seven in the result of all stages that precede it, thus the outcome will be positive or negative depending on life choices you make.

Significantly, 17 reduces to eight in gematria. This system was initially used by the ancient Babylonians and in alchemical traditions the eight is to where “knowledge of the Great Secret is attained.”

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