Gematria is a method of contemplation utilized within Kabbalah, it falls within the scope of what is termed "Sacred Geometry."
The idea underlying gematria is that all things have a unique vibration. When we see the color "red," that vibration is the same vibration every time we see the color "red." The vibration of "red" is translated into numbers representing a light frequency, and that same number also is the same frequency as a particular musical note. Thus, Numbers are a "shorthand" for the visible and audible vibrations we experience. "In the beginning was the Word" can be understood as "in the beginning was vibration."
The Torah (5 books of Moses of the Old Testament; Torah means "law") was written originally in Hebrew glyphs. Unlike the letters of the English or other modern alphabets, Hebrew glyphs are both numbers and letters, AND they represent concepts. We have a remnant of this in English where the letter "A" also denotes singularity (e.g.: a house) and "uniqueness." In Hebrew, the glyph that would correspond to our "A" is called "Aleph." Aleph is also the number "one," "Echad." Finally, Aleph is a silent glyph and symbolizes the out-breath of Spirit
("Hear oh Israel, the Lord our G_d is One").
With this in mind, the entire Torah can be seen as a series of numbers. "In the beginning" would look like "BRAShYTv" (Beth, Reish, Aleph, Shin, Yod, Tav) or 2, 200, 1, 300, 10, 400. Each of those numbers/letters has concepts associated with them. In Kabbalah one contemplates each concept to "unfold" the meaning...to draw closer to Spirit. It is a form of meditation. The following is how a Kabbalist might unfold the first word of Genesis (bereshith; "in the beginning").
The first digit of a number (1-9) relates to the physical realm. The second digit (10-90) relates to the mental realm. The third digit (100-900) relates to the emotional realm. When one looks at the numbers forming "bereshith," one notices that there is only one mental number, "10." There are two physical numbers (2, 1) and three emotional numbers (200, 300, 400). What might this indicate? To me, it shows that creation was not created so much because of an idea (mental) but because of a desire (emotions). Spirit "wanted" to create the universe. The two physical numbers indicate that this creation was to be dual...to be a paradigm of duality...to reflect the "One."
There is more, :) Each of these numbers has a unique concept associated with it:
2-choice, principle & law, duality
3-harmony, family, spirit, understanding
4-building, form, responsibility
In our example, "bereshith," we have will and individuality on the mental and physical level. This confirms my belief that we all have free will...creation was created with free will in the image (imagination?) of God. Choice, principle and law, duality, is on the physical and emotional level. Spirit wanted creation to "feel" their choice, to understand principles and laws of creation through the senses, and this requires duality. Both harmony, family, spirit, understanding (3) and building, form, responsibility (4) are on the emotional level. Why? Again we are to experience, feel, sense, live! Life is to be lived with passion and not analytically.
One also can add the numbers together and see what this combined vibration creates. The numbers, when added together, equal 913. "Bereshith" created harmony, family, spirit, understanding (3) on the physical level (Eden? Earth?), and will, individuality on the mental level (serpent & tree story?). But what is "nine" on the emotional level? Nine is the ability to complete, to "let go and let God," to bring things to wholeness. So what does this mean? Perhaps that embedded within creation, within each one of us, is the ability to become complete, to truly realize our Spiritual inheritance. >
Remember that this is only a partial meditation on the first 5 letters of Genesis...one can find endless hours of delightful contemplation and revelation utilizing this process.
In Oneness,Rev. Kythera Ann
Sacred Geometry Course Description
Kabbalah Course Description
School Statement of Purpose
Index of Courses
Return to Main Page
List of Metaphysical Articles