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Sacred Number

26 Covens and sCores into higher numbers Alas, in a such a tiny book as this there is not enough space to cover every number in detail, so we will skip on. Small entries on higher numbers appear in the glossary see pages 56 and 57. Thirteen, the coven, beloved of the ancient Maya, and central to the structure of a deck of cards, is a Fibonacci number expressed in the motions of Venus, for whom thirteen years is eight of our own, and lest you think it unlucky, remember the teacher of twelve disciples is the thirteenth member of the gang, as the thirteenth tone in the chromatic scale completes the octave. Fourteen, as twice seven, and fifteen, as three fives, each have unique qualities but begin to demonstrate how non prime higher numbers tend to be perceived in terms of their factors. Sixteen is 2 x 2 x 2 x 2, the square of four itself a square. Seventeen keeps many secrets. Both Japanese haiku and Greek hexameter consist of seventeen syllables, and Islamic mystics often refer to it as particularly beautiful. Eighteen, as twice nine and thrice six, and nineteen, a prime number, both have strong connections to the moon see page 32. Twenty, a score, the sum of fingers and toes, is a base in many cultures. Fingercounting, as in the example shown opposite, was widespread in medieval European markets. In French eighty is still quatrevingt four twenties and the ancient Maya used a 27
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