Numerology Explained – The Meaning of Five
According to Schiller, Five is the human soul. Certainly it reflects our bodies: head, arms and legs within the circle of soul, as pictured in Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic image of Vitruvian Man…Learn more on the numerology 333 site.
Five has long been associated with human life and with the five senses. In that way it is, perhaps, apt that the Hierophant, the inner Old Wise Man is number V of the tarot trumps. He not only represents wisdom, but also our humanity. Jung also saw five as the number of natural man. Five is the first number made up of even and odd – the combination of the masculine 3 and the feminine 2, and as such often represents the union of male and female. So, in the Intuitive Tarot, the Hierophant’s wisdom is symbolically shown in his mitre as encompassing the five main religions – the fish (Christianity), the cow (Hinduism), the five-pointed star (Judaism), and the sickle moon (Islam), all contained within an oval egg (Buddhism). The Hierophant himself, however, stands in front of an enormous moon to signify his feminine understanding.
Nature uses the five in significant ways: plants often have five petals and we, of course, have five fingers and toes, but aside from that, the five is mostly significant to humanity. The Pentateuch (the five books of Moses); the pentagram (sign of Ishtar, Venus, and goddesses related to the planet Venus) and the pentagon give an immediate lead into the importance of five in the ancient world. Paracelsus also used the five-pointed star in his medical literature. It is also mythologically important: the old solar year was based on the number 5 x 72 days (360 – based on the same breakdown of time as the hours of the day) but, to ensure the year was the correct length an extra 5 days (the epagommeneia) had to be added – Hermes, apparently, gambled with the moon god to gain these five days.
And of course we have the five elements in Semitic, western and Chinese tradition. In Hindu and Sikh tradition five was omnipresent and Chinese tradition was based almost entirely on the five – 5 sacred mountains, five degrees of nobility, five relationships between people, virtues, moral qualities, classical books, five main weapons, five punishments and fivefold luck.
In the tarot minors, five is a slightly difficult number, though one very relevant to many issues of humanity. The Five of Cups references grief and mourning, and our tendency to withdraw to process such emotions. The Five of Discs depicts the loss of home, and/or the need to leave our security every now and again, to revision our lives. The Five of Rods indicates conflict – a kind of ritualised balletic battle of the kind we find in families, relationships, and work. Finally, the Five of Swords illustrates the need to feel superior at others’ expense – patronisation, denigration, intolerance; putting others down to feel good ourselves; the tyranny of the patriarchy; and the feelings of humiliation felt by the underdog.