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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Gematria

This article was written by David Allen Hulse on May 31, 2002
posted under Numerology

Of all the ancient magickal languages, the mysticism surrounding biblical Hebrew is the best known in the West. The body of esoteric teachings concerning the Hebrew language is known as the Qabalah (meaning that knowledge which can only be imparted orally in secret, handed down from one generation to the next). In modern occultism, the term Qabalah, which originally meant Hebraic secret wisdom, has now come to mean any secret, esoteric system of thought which uses alphabet letter, color, symbol, sound, and number as the basic building blocks of its philosophical system. Thus modern writers will refer to a "Greek" Qabalah, a "Celtic" Qabalah, or even a "Wiccan" Qabalah.

The traditional Qabalistic science from which modern numerology has evolved is called gematria. Gematria is the art of substituting a number value for any given word in Hebrew and finding a corresponding meaning in any other word equal to that specific number value. Gematria is a Rabbinical Hebrew term derived from Greek roots. It is a combination of gramma (letter) and metria (measure), to denote the measurement (or counting) of the letters composing any word, just as geometry is the measure (metria) of earth (geo).

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