This page is unfinished and under construction
Gematria is a system of assigning numerical values to words, either as a mystical or religious exercise which is supposed to express hidden truths (as in the Kabbalah of the Jews or the sacred geometry of the Greeks), or as a frivolous word game similar to finding palindromes or anagrams. In languages such as Hebrew, Greek, and Arabic, in which each letter of the alphabet does double duty as a numeral, the rules of gematria are fairly straightforward; but for English there is no single accepted system of letter-number correspondence. On this page I explore the simplest possible scheme for English gematria — assigning each letter the numerical value corresponding to its position in the alphabet, such that A = 1 and Z = 26. The value of a word or phrase is found then found by adding up the values of its constituent letters.
I call this system Simple English Gematria (abbreviated S:E:G:), a name chosen in part for its gematria properties. Adding up the letters in each word, we find that
- simple = English = gematria = 74
- Simple English Gematria = 222
The significance of the numbers 74 and 222 will be made clear later. Quite often in S:E:G:, there is a connection between a word or phrase and the number it adds up to. Here are a few examples:
- two hundred and fifty-nine = 259
- a baker's dozen = 121
- the number of Enoch's years and of Abraxas = 365
Some of these connections are more obvious than others. The first of the examples above is about as straightforward as it gets. The second is also pretty clear: a baker's dozen is a dozen plus an extra one, and the number 121 is, visually, 12 + 1. The third isn't nearly as obvious, but if you know your Bible you know that the prophet Enoch lived for 365 years before "God took him"; and if you've read Tertullian, you may remember the heretic Basilides and his god Abraxas, who created 365 heavens for 365 orders of angels, and whose name adds up to 365 in Greek gematria.
In other cases, the number itself has no particular meaning, and the significance lies in the fact that two or more related words or phrases add up to the same number. For example:
- Godzilla = Tokyo = 86
- George W. Bush = John F. Kerry = 130
As far as I know, the numbers 86 and 130 have no particular significance, but it is clearly appropriate that Godzilla should be matched with the city he destroyed, and George W. Bush with his main opponent in the 2004 election.
This page describes some of the many such coincidences which can be found using the S:E:G: system.
Twenty-six and Related Numbers
The natural number to begin with in S:E:G: is 26, the number of letters in the alphabet.
- a-bee-cee = 26
In Hebrew gematria, 26 is the value of the Tetragrammaton — יהוה, the unpronounceable four-letter name of God. In English also, 26 is the number of God.
- God = 26
In S:E:G:, then (unlike Hebrew, which has a 22-letter alphabet), 26 is both the number of God and the number of the language itself ("In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."), and is therefore the single most important number in the S:E:G: system. Since few words will add up to such a small number, the full significance of 26 is best explored by looking at other, related, numbers.
The first such number to look at is 159. I know of no particular significance to the number itself, but in S:E:G: it encodes the mystery of the Trinity — that "the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; and yet they are not three Gods, but one God" — or, written as an equation, "God + God + God = God."
- God = 26
- God + God + God = 78
- twenty-six = seventy-eight = 159
The reason the equation works, of course, is that while finite numbers like 26 and 78 may be used as symbols, God himself is infinite, and infinity plus infinity plus infinity equals infinity.
- infinite number = 159
Numerous other S:E:G: phrases indicate that 159 is a stand-in for 26. For example, we know that 2 × 13 = 26.
- twice thirteen = 159
Euler proved that 26 is the only number that comes immediately after a square and immediately before a cube.
- square-cube middle = 159
A cube has 6 faces, 8 vertices, and 12 edges, for a total of 26.
- defining a solid cube = 159
The human spine contains 26 separate bones (7 cervical, 12 thoracic, and 5 lumbar vertebrae, plus the sacrum and the coccyx).
- the spinal bones = 159
- the central ones = 159
In astrology, the constellations Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius — the 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 11th signs of the zodiac, respectively — are called the "fixed signs"; and 2 + 5 + 8 + 11 = 26.
- constellation 159
- fixed in the sky = 159
You will recall that 26 is the value of the Hebrew name of God, known as the Tetragrammaton ("four letters" in Greek).
- four letters = 159
- atoms of Yahweh = 159
- God's sublime name = 159
Another, rather less sublime divine name has the same value.
- Jesus H. Christ = 159
Twenty-six's status as the number of the alphabet — and thus the identification of the alphabet with God — is also reinforced by various phrases adding up to 159.
- alphabetization = 159
- the Roman alphabet = 159
- holy letters = 159
- inspired alphabet = 159
- the words of God = 159
- language of Adam and Eve = 159
And implicit in English and its 26-letter alphabet is the S:E:G: code itself.
- cryptographic = 159
- A means 1 and Z means 26 = 159
By combining two 159-phrases and adding the word "the," we can derive another important number: 351.
- twenty-six = 159
- holy letters = 159
- the twenty-six holy letters = 351
The number 351 is the 26th triangular number — that is, the sum of every integer from 1 to 26 — and is therefore the total value of the alphabet in S:E:G:.
- A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z = 351
- Alphabet has twenty-six letters. = 351
- twenty-six, number of the alphabet = 351
- the terms of Simple English Gematria = 351
- the interpretation of God's language = 351
Interestingly, 351 ÷ 26 = 13.5 — a different permutation of the same three digits. (The average value of a letter in S:E:G:, then, is 13.5; when the differing frequencies of various letters are taken into account, the average S:E:G: value of a piece of English text should be about 11.657 per letter.)
Another number which turns out to be related to 26 is 1234. S:E:G: equates counting to four with counting to 26, reinforcing the connection between the 26 letters of the alphabet and the four letters of the Tetragrammaton.
- i ii iii iv v vi vii viii ix x xi xii xiii xiv xv xvi xvii xviii xix xx xxi xxii xxiii xxiv xxv xxvi = 1234
One of the most remarkable numbers in S:E:G:, 74, can also be derived from 26, whose prime factors are 2 and 13. If we replace them with the 2nd prime1 and the 13th prime, respectively, we get 2 × 37 = 74. The number is also related to 159 (the value of twenty-six), for 15 + 59 = 74. In S:E:G:, g = 7 and d = 4 — so, just as 26 is the value of God, the digits 7-4 suggest G-d, the respectful spelling used by some Jews. The following words and phrases further identify 74 as a number of God.
- It's God. = 74
- Great I Am = 74
- heavens = 74
- chariot = 74
- clouds = 74
- elevated = 74
- greater = 74
- wiser = 74
- parent = 74
- ruler = 74
- the king = 74
- Dei gratia = 74
- theism = 74
Besides being a secondary number of God, 74 is S:E:G:'s number for Jesus. At least four different forms of Jesus' name add up to 74 in S:E:G:. The Jesus of the New Testament and the Joshua of the Old are actually two versions of the same Hebrew name, which can be written in English as Y'shua. This name is also sometimes written as the Pentagrammaton (יהשוה, the Tetragrammaton plus the letter shin), which can be transliterated as IHShVH (this is the spelling favored by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn). All have the same value in S:E:G:
- Jesus = 74
- Joshua = 74
- Y'shua = 74
- IHShVH = 74
In Greek gematria, Ίησους = 888, which is a multiple of 74 (74 × 12 = 888).
And let's not forget Lord Buckley's name for Jesus of Nazareth.
- the Naz = 74
Christians see Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, and they believe that he was the Son of God, both fully human and fully divine.
- Jewish = 74
- Messiah = 74
- Son + God = 74
- God and a man = 74
Jesus was a preacher who taught in parables. Near the end of his ministry, he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.
- preacher = 74
- parables = 74
- donkey = burro = 74
Jesus begged to be spared crucifixion, which he compared to a bitter cup, but in the end he was obedient to his Father. The killing of Jesus on the cross was brutal, but he forgave his executioners. His last words, according to John, were "It is finished."
- bitter = 74
- obedient = 74
- killing = 74
- cross = 74
- brutal = 74
- forgave = 74
- finished = 74
The story of Jesus is recorded in four books of the Bible: "The Gospel according to St. Matthew," "The Gospel according to St. Mark," "The Gospel according to St. Luke," and "The Gospel according to St. John."
- gospel = 74
- according = 74
- to St. = 74
Last but not least, Jesus' birth is now a major holiday — Christmas, "the season to be jolly."
- holiday = 74
- jolly = 74
(All you war-on-Christmas types, who see creeping secularism in the use of "holiday" as a euphemism for Christmas, take comfort in S:E:G:!)
But Jesus is not the only Bible character whose number is 74. Although 74 × 12 = 888, the number of Jesus in Greek gematria, 74 × 9 = 666, the number of the beast! Not only that, 74 is also the value of 666 in Roman numerals.
- DCLXVI = 74
A number of other Satanic words have the same value.
- Lucifer = 74
- abominable = 74
- accursed = 74
- evil god = 74
- fiendish = 74
- horns = 74
- old goat = 74
- tempt = 74
Because 74 is the number of God and Christ as well as of the devil and the antichrist, there is more than one way to interpret the following equivalences.
- tarot = 74
- occult = 74
- Muhammad = 74
Are tarot cards and other occult traditions good or evil? Was Muhammad a true prophet or a false one? S:E:G: fits with either interpretation. (It also fits with my uncle's theory that Lucifer, Jesus, and Muhammad are three incarnations of the same being.)
It's also worth drawing attention to the fact that tarot = cross = 74 — a nod to Whitley Strieber's system of tarot symbolism as detailed in his book The Path. He claims that his system, which involves laying out 26 tarot cards (the 22 trumps, plus the 4 aces to represent the 4 suits) in a cross-shaped pattern, was revealed to him by a mysterious character whom he calls the Master of the Key.
- the key = 74
Even the fact that Strieber uses 26 cards to represent the full 78-card deck is reinforced by S:E:G:, in which, as you will recall, twenty-six = seventy-eight. Strieber's putting an entire suit on the same footing as a single trump card is also instructive. If each of the 26 cards in the cross were expanded into a full 14-card suit — creating such cards as the Ace of Chariots, the Seven of Fools, and the Knight of Temperance — there would be 364 cards in all. That's the 12th tetrahedral number, just as 78 is the 12th triangular.
- the majestic twenty-six-suit deck = 364
- fourteen layers of twenty-six = 364
But, getting back to 74 — being such a powerful number, closely associated with both God and Satan, both Christ and antichrist, it's supremely appropriate that it should also be the number of Simple English Gematria itself.
- Simple = 74
- English = 74
- Gematria = 74
Of course, I usually write the initials S:E:G: rather than the full phrase Simple English Gematria, but fortunately each initial has the same value as the word it stands for.
- initial = 74
Even the S:E:G: system of letter-number correspondences is encoded in the number 74.
- A-B-C becomes 1-2-3 = 74
No matter what system of gematria one uses, anagrams will have the same value. (For example, earth = heart, not only in S:E:G:, but in any normal system of English gematria.)
- anagrams = 74
An example of this would be ars magna ("great art"), which is an anagram of anagrams. And gematria is indeed an art, a thing of beauty, which can connect each word with a number.
- ars magna = 74
- beauty = 74
- connect = 74
- a number = 74
Thrice 74 is 222, a number which also refers back to the divine 26. For instance, 222 reflects the two digits of the decimal number 26, for 2 + 2 + 2 = 6. More significantly, 222 is the way one writes twenty-six in the trinary (base-three) numeral system — the system which would naturally be favored by a three-person'd God.
- God writ trinarily = 222
The number 222 is, visually, a series of three twos.
- It's two-two-two. = 222
- the great triple-two = 222
- a two twixt twain = 222
- the second figure thrice = 222
- a numeral thrice repeated = 222
Since simple = English = gematria = 74, it follows that 222 is the number of Simple English Gematria.
- Simple English Gematria = 222
- English-based isopsephia = 222
- letters as numerals = 222
- to count from A to Z = 222
- alphabetic numerology = 222
- alphanumeric system = 222
- the secret of the alphabet = 222
- It is hidden in the alphabet. = 222
As we've seen already, some truly remarkable patterns emerge from S:E:G:.
- written patterns = 222
- impossible coincidences = 222
- numerous parallels = 222
Some would see the hand of God in this.
- God's sacred handwriting = 222
- the language of the soul = 222
To others, a coincidence is just a coincidence. S:E:G:, as usual, allows for either interpretation.
- coincidental patterns = 222
- superstitious fad = 222
I was once in the habit of abbreviating Simple English Gematria as S∴E∴G∴, following each letter with three points which I called "magickal puncktuation." The spelling was stricktly a jocke, a parody of Aleister Crowley, but then I discovered its gematria value:
- magickal puncktuation = 222
I accordingly switched to two-dot puncktuation — S:E:G: — to better represent the number 222. Each colon represents a two.
- colon = a two = 59
Space, Time, Matter, and Energy
In S:E:G:, these four words represent every combination of the two digits 4 and 7:
- space = 44
- time = 47
- matter = 77
- energy = 74
Apocalypse Nine One One
Revelation 9:11 reads, "And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon." In his essay Apocalypse Nine One One, my uncle William John Tychonievich draws parallels between this verse and the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001. S:E:G backs him up.
- bottomless pit = World Trade Center = 185
- Abaddon = king = USA = 41
- Apollyon = Osama bin Laden = Nine One One = Bush-Cheney = war in Iraq = 110
In Helter Skelter, Vincent Bugliosi cites the same verse (incorrectly referring to it as "Verse II") in connection with Charles Manson, adding, "The king also had a Latin name … It was Exterminans." Then, using the abbreviation for "true name," he tells us to whom he thinks this alias belongs: "Exterminans, t/n Charles Manson" (p. 319). Again, S:E:G: agrees.
- Exterminans = Charles Manson = 142
The number 121 is, visually, a 12 followed by a 1. This is reflected in the fact that twelve one = a baker's dozen = 121.
121 also appears to be the number of the apocalypse. Revelation, apocalyptic, antichrist, Second Coming, and seven seals each add up to 121. So does a war at Megiddo (Armageddon means "valley of Megiddo"). Other 121-words which may be relevant include atrocious, brightness, consequence, downwards, everybody, exaltation, extravagance, forgetting, glittering, indistinct, possessed, primitive, principles, superior, supremacy, thousands, threatening, tortured, twisting, universal, unwilling, utterly, and warriors.
666 is the 36th triangular number, and of course it is the "number of the beast" as specified in Revelation 13:18: "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." The following phrases all indicate this number:
- the thirty-sixth triangular number, declared the number of the beast = 666
- a numeral thrice repeated, the triangular expansion of thirty-six = 666
- Revelation of Jesus to John, thirteenth chapter, eighteenth verse = 666
- Bible, Revelation of St. John the Divine, chapter thirteen, verse eighteen = 666
- Wisdom: Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast. = 666
So whom does S:E:G: identify as the beast? Well, virtually no one's name is long enough to have such a large S:E:G: value, so some type of title or description must be appended — which means lots of fudge room. Give me a few minutes, and I can make a beast out of virtually anyone. Here are a few examples:
- George Walker Bush, the Texan President of the United States of America = 666
- Hu Jintao, Paramount Leader of the Communist [expletive] occupying China = 666
- Joseph Smith, Jr., of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints = 666
- folk music icon Robert Allen Zimmerman, commonly known as Bob Dylan = 666
- the ridiculous Scientologist actor Thomas Cruise Mapother IV = 666
- Professor Clinton Richard Dawkins, famous ethologist and atheist = 666
When the names of the 26 letters are spelled out, a bee cee dee e ef gee haitch i jay kay el em en o pee cue ar ess tee u vee double-u ex wy zee = 666. Unfortunately, it appears that no one actually pronounces the letters that way. While haitch and zee are accepted variants of aitch and zed, respectively, I know of no dialect which uses them both. Zee is an Americanism, whereas haitch is Hiberno-English. Also, wye (not wy) is the standard spelling of the penultimate letter. So, yes, this one is a bit fudged — but still irresistible.
The New Testament might also be the antichrist:
- the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles, and the Apocalypse = 666
Nineteen associates attacked the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. = 911.
Gay men are pejoratively known as fags. Both AIDS and the "camp" aesthetic are associated with gays.
- gay = fags = AIDS = camp = 33
The number 33 is appropriate for a number of reasons. In Pythagorean numerology, even numbers were considered female and odd numbers male. Since 1 was at that time considered neither even nor odd, 2 was the basic female number and 3 was the basic male number. The numbers 5 and 6 — 3 + 2 and 3 × 2, respectively — were known as the "marriage numbers" because they combined male and female. In the context of this ancient symbolism, it makes perfect sense that a pair of threes should represent a male-male relationship. The number 3 also suggests the triangle, a common gay symbol, and the fact that homosexuals are sometimes referred to as a "third gender." 3 + 3 = 6, suggesting the six colors of the gay pride flag. Also, the number 6 on the Kinsey scale indicates "exclusively homosexual."
The word fags is closely associated with Fred Phelps, the leader of the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, whose web address is godhatesfags.com. Some speculate that Fred Phelps is himself gay.
- Fred = 33
- Fred Phelps = God hates him. = 109
Other gay-related words add up to 33-related numbers:
- homosexual = 133
- queer = 66
- sexual orientation = 222
The connection between 133 and 33 is clear enough, and of course 66 is twice 33. As for 222, it is three twos, just as 33 is two threes. Further, if the number 2 represents a couple, 222 could stand for the three possible pairings: male-female, male-male, and female-female.
Recall that 2 is female, 3 is male, and 1 is of undefined gender. A pair of ones, then, would be the perfect symbol for bisexuals.
- bi = AC/DC = 11
Nor does S:E:G: disregard heterosexuals.
- straight = men + women = homophobia = 102