I first heard of the number of the beast in a conversation with a numerologist. Numerologists, those concerned with the science and study of numbers, have long deliberated on the significance of the number triple six, because of the statement about it in the New Testament, Revelations 13:18. Revelations is a most unusual, fascinating and often obscure portion of the New Testament. 13:18 states: "Here is wisdom, let him who have understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of man; and his number is six hundred three score and six, or 666."
The Hebrew language, the original language of the Bible (the Old Testament in particular; some scholars point out that much of the New Testament was written in Aramaic), uses words for numbers. For example, Aleph means one; Gimmel means three, and so on.
In a system called Gematria, something akin to numerology, numbers are arranged in a word to produce different meanings, still using the same basic numbers. The word for man, was also the number for The Number of the Beast. It added up to "six hundred three score and six", or 666.
This word also had other meanings such as son, beast, wisdom, anti-christ, and the unity of the race of mankind. Here we see again, how the ancients hid esoteric mysteries in seemingly commonplace language. The convoluted meanings of this passage of Revelations challenged me to explore the possibilities of astrological connections, especially from the esoteric point of view. "Esoteric" astrology concerns itself with the evolution of consciousness of "mankind" though the influence of each sign of the zodiac.
It seemed clear to me that the zodiacal sign Cancer is most related to that passage in Revelations. It is through the sign Cancer that each soul first enters into incarnation. That is, each soul "clothes" itself in a body and begins to experience emotions, instincts, and desires. Esoterically ruled in Cancer are incarnating groups, mass-mind and mass-reaction. Personal mind (that part of you which does your thinking) is not yet individualized. Your personal mind causes you to do things after thinking about them (Logic). Mass-mind, mass-reaction are more on a plane of the animal kingdom, where a dog (for instance) will do dog-like activities because it is on the same "frequency" (mass-mind, mass-reaction) as all other dogs, and yet is capable of "learning" without logic and it can be taught using "emotion" and "instinct".
Humans are subject to those same influences: a baby's crying may cause an immediate reaction of sorrow; a yellow-colored object may provide you with a greater feeling of happiness than the same object colored red, or vice-versa.
The Key To 666
Cancer is defined in "orthodox" (exoteric) astrology as a cardinal, water sign; the fourth sign of the zodiac; and, ruler of the fourth house of the natural horoscope. Numerologists consider the number four to be related to the material plane. And, Cancer is linked to nurturing, domesticity, and to the ebb and flow of emotions. It is usually associated with the developed protective instincts for self and family. I connected Cancer to 666 in this way: I began with 6 as a single digit, and equated it, with the early experience of the soul after incarnating.
According to numerology, six signifies duty and service to loved ones and immediate family members; there may also be a link here to Virgo, the sixth sign of the zodiac and an Earth sign. The planet Venus rules the number six, while the Moon "exoteric" ruler of Cancer, adds its influence of fluctuating moods, instinctive responses and hyper-sensitivity to the number 6.
The higher evolutionary stage is the double-six or 66. Here, nurturing becomes universal love and service extends beyond the family and even beyond the community. Planet Neptune, the higher octave of Venus and the esoteric ruler (or exalted ruler, to some), sensitizes the emotions so that nurturing is now altruistically experienced or may be sublimely expressed through art, religion, or selfless, humanitarian service. Neptune and the Moon combine to produce an inspired, soul-infused personality whose open arms and heart embrace all humanity.
The triple-six, or 666, "The Number of the Beast", is the final struggle within "self" to control and then totally transmute the instincts, desire nature, and the emotions from its lower state (emotional imbalance and self-centeredness) and turn it into "wisdom" and a "pureheart" which expresses love in action. The battle between self-serving desires (lower animal nature, greed, etc.) and desires for self-sacrificing service for the good of everyone wages in everyone. It is often a terrific battle, but every soul on Earth must move through this experience before evolution in "consciousness" (both personal and universal) can continue, and we become "superindividuals."
What It All Means
The symbols used in astrology are marvelous pictographs of the souls' evolutionary progress through each sign of the zodiac. The zodiacal sign following Cancer is Leo. In Leo, the closed swirls of Cancer, which depict the coming into incarnation (formations) become real. The fetus opens up to individuality, independence, creativity, and experience through birth all a part of Leo. Now, independent and alive on its own, the person begins to know himself, and experiences his uniqueness from the masses (the water), and the "will to know" is developed.
Therefore, 666 represents the challenge of change (transcendence) from selfish willfulness and emotionalism, into a being of wisdom and most of all—love; that love that "unites all races."
About The Author
Miriam "Mimi" Donner has been a professional astrologer and counselor since 1969 and her medical and healing training includes Columbia University. Mimi has lectured and taught at the United Nations, Seton Hall/Rutgers Universities and has a large private practice. She can be reached at: 821 Sky Pine Way, #G 2, West Palm Beach, FL 33415.