View Full Version : Geber & 17

06-15-2009, 09:08 PM
Abu Musa Jābir ibn Hayyān al azdi, or Geber, deserves his own thread I think. There is a great possibility that there would not be much practical alchemy, or chemistry for that matter, without this one. For a quick look at his bio go here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geber)

Don't get confused, there is also Pseudo-Geber (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudo-Geber)

"The first essential in chemistry is that you should perform practical work and conduct experiments, for he who performs not practical work nor makes experiments will never attain the least degree of mastery."


I think this is pretty interesting:

Geber's alchemical investigations were theoretically grounded in an elaborate numerology related to Pythagorean and Neoplatonic systems. The nature and properties of elements was defined through numeric values assigned the Arabic consonants present in their name, ultimately culminating in the number 17. - source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geber)

Don't know how reliable Wiki is, but I had never heard of this before. Googled a little more:

Either 16 or 18 unit squares can be formed into rectangles with perimeter equal to the area; and there are no other natural numbers with this property. The Platonists regarded this as a sign of their peculiar propriety; and Plutarch notes it when writing that the Pythagoreans "utterly abominate" 17, which "bars them off from each other and disjoins them". - source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_17)

J‚bir Ibn Hayy‚n, in his book "Book of the Seventy" (Kit‚b al-sab'Ón) attaches a very great importance to the numerical series: 1, 3, 5, 8 and 28 (the sum of 1, 3, 5 and 8 giving 17), because according to him: "All, in the universe, is governed by the number 17 - the metals for example have 17 'power'" and the form of any thing in the world is 17. - source (http://www.ridingthebeast.com/numbers/nu17.php)

1+7 = 8


06-15-2009, 09:55 PM
I don't really get any of that number thing. 1+7=8, has it not always? I read some of the sources but just got more confused.

Could you please explain the significance...

Thanks in anticipation

06-15-2009, 10:25 PM
I believe Hephślios is also another advocate of the number 17. If I remember correctly, he noticed this number popped up quite often when researching alchemy and the occult.

To be honest with you Ghislain, I'm not all too sure of its significance either. :)

06-16-2009, 07:46 AM
Jabir was a real genius. A great, talented alchemist.

Concerning the number 17 in the Golden Dawn system it is said to be the number of the Sun, of the Flyfot Cross.

06-16-2009, 04:39 PM
Numbers can have the same meaning as symbols. I am not saying 17 is a very important number, I just raised the issue!


06-16-2009, 04:55 PM
Numbers can have the same meaning as symbols.

Hmmm... if i were to look at it as a symbol id probably say its either (or both) the 1= the person/Alchemist who has mastered the 7 (4 elements and 3 principles, or the 7 operations... etc..). Or the 7 combines to form the 1 stone. (if read right to left)

or maybe look at it as each "1" within "17" as a piece of it: 7 processes(with metal/planet correspondences) + the 4 elements + 3 principles = 14 + duality (2) = 16 and either + the alchemist OR it all combined/coagulated, to create 1 = a total of 17.

just a thought. :)

06-16-2009, 06:18 PM
I think it's usually best to assess a number, particularly a prime number, by the patterns in which it is found. Many numbers, such as 666, 111, 365, etc, get their primary mathematical significance because they appear in magic squares: a 6x6 magic square of the numbers 1-36 totals 666, with every line of numbers granting 111. 365 sits smack dab in the middle of a 9x9x9 cube.... etc... when you cut everything else away, what a number means consists precisely in how it interelates with other numbers. Of lesser importance, but still helpful is the way that numbers total words in a given language such as Greek, Arabic, or Hebrew.

17 has a special relationship to Pythagoras' Tetractys...


4 stages produce the Manifold.

17 emerges when you make the attempt to assign the #'s 1-10 along the tetractys triangle so that it operates like a magic square...


Where the outside lines are always 17... Thus 17 is arguably an emergent property of 10, in light of 10's emergent relation to the number 4. This is all mathematics and number harmonics/relationships, interpreted intuitively.

It follows though, that if 4 is assigned a human meaning, and 10 a human meaning, that 17's human meaning will have something to do with how it is related in terms of pattern to the numbers 10 and 4, the tetractys... Hence Pythagoras... These things (numbers) have a habit of acting as gravitation foci for the rather fluid energy of human desires and emotions. Thus it can be said that our 'Id' hangs upon a numerical lattice in much the same way that dew clings to a spider's web.

I'm going to say that in light of the above concerns, one reasonable interpretation of 17 is that it demonstrates the resonant frequency of a harmonized, self-integrated mathematical microcosm. That is 4 produces 10, and once 10 is re-organized in light of recognition of this fact, the resultant harmony radiates 17.


06-16-2009, 07:04 PM
Love that triangle Anibis. I am still non the wiser but I'm amased at how, if you follow a thread it leads many places.

Tetractys (http://www.reference.com/search?q=Tetraktys)

06-16-2009, 09:32 PM
"Bless us, divine number, thou who generated gods and men! O holy, holy Tetractys, thou that containest the root and source of the eternally flowing creation! For the divine number begins with the profound, pure unity until it comes to the holy four; then it begets the mother of all, the all-comprising, all-bounding, the first-born, the never-swerving, the never-tiring holy ten, the keyholder of all".

And Ten doth remember Four, yea doth our Mother recollect her own Father. And yea doth her own Father breathe forth the Hours into her body. And when the Daughter who is Mother remembers the Father who is Demiurgos, then she reformulateth her presence... The vessels of emanation do divine in themselves the form which perfects the order of their birth, and coordinates their labors. In thus doing they do raise the spell of Beauty Immanent. The Three which are Eleven, and the Three which are Seventeen. Yea, do they conjure the faces within, and those without: the Strings, and the Harp.

And the manifold makes itself, itself within. Thus is the flesh of our body. All cascades into All. Whisper it, Shout it, Sing it. Lo, and HA, it matters not.

solomon levi
06-17-2009, 07:12 PM
I don't really get any of that number thing. 1+7=8, has it not always? I read some of the sources but just got more confused.

Could you please explain the significance...

Thanks in anticipation

This is called theosophical addition... when you take a number and add its
digits to get a root number from 1 - 9. For example, 138 = 1+3+8 = 12 = 1+2 = 3;
so the root number of 138 is 3. Then you can apply the usual
numerology correspondences.

06-19-2009, 07:55 AM
Geometry provided some answers...but seventeen is quite peculiar.

08-12-2009, 09:56 PM
An old member here on AF (no longer around, though) pointed out (on another (http://forums.abrahadabra.com/) board) that the path no. 17 of the Tree of Life which is the path of Zain:

The symbolism is explained in more detail by showing the numerical (and thus the Kabbalistic) formulae upon which they are constructed and by which we can interpret them:
(the Hebrew letter zain is) attributed to the Twins, Set-Horus,. Zain is the number seven, the number of Sevekh, the earlier form of Set as the son of the Mother, Typhon, one of whose symbols was the crocodile, the water-snake or the Dragon of the Deep. Like the progeny of Tiamat [note: the Dragon-goddess of the ancient Babylonian myth-cycle of creation] Sevekh [Set] assumed his mothers totem, the crocodile. - source (http://www.gnostic-scriptorium.com/concourseDragon.asp)


08-20-2011, 06:02 PM
17 =
Long described at MIT as ‘the least random number’ - source (http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/R/random-numbers.html)

Link: Properties of 17 (http://www.vinc17.org/d17_eng.html) and 17 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/17_(number)).