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Celtic Numerology

: A Treatment of Thought


'...I have been a word among letters.'
--the Book of Taliesyn, VIII





What's in a word?
Or a name?
What special power resides in a word, connecting it so intimately to the very thing it symbolizes? Does each word or name have its own 'vibration', as is generally believed by those of us who follow the Western occult tradition? And if so, how do we begin to unravel its meaning? Just what, exactly, is in a word? Well, letters are in a word. In fact, letters comprise the word. Which is why Taliesyn's remark had always puzzled me. Why didn't he say he had been a 'letter among words'? That, at least, would seem to make more logical sense than saying he had been a 'word among letters', which seems backwards.
Unless he was trying to tell us that the word is not the important thing -- the critical thing is the letters that make up a word!
The bard Taliesyn  gifted fellow. He certainly put all the other bards at Maelgwyn's court to shame. And over the years, I've learned never to take his statements lightly -- even the most enigmatic.
Perhaps he was really suggesting that, in order to understand the true meaning of a word or name, one must first analyze the letters that comprise it. Of course, this is certainly not a new theory. Any student of arcane lore would at once recognize this concept as
belonging in the opening remarks of any standard text on
numerology. But to read the same meaning behind a line of poetry penned by a 6th century Welsh bard may be a bit surprising. Is it possible that the Celts had their own system of numerology?

Let us begin the quest by asking ourselves what we know about numerology in general. Most of our modern knowledge of numerology has been gleaned from ancient Hebrew tradition, which states that the true essence of anything is enshrined in its name. But there are so many names and words in any given language that it becomes necessary to reduce each word to one of a small number of 'types' -- in this case, numerological types from 1 to 9 (plus any master numbers of 11, 22, etc.).
This is easily accomplished by assigning a numerical value to each

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