Thoughts on Number 5

Contributed by Louanne Ellis, The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, Number 8, Spring 1995.

“The familiar figure drawn by Leonardo da Vinci of a perfectly proportioned man within a circle, suggesting a star, is a classic representation of five as the number of man. Unlike the animals which commonly have four feet on the ground, man is upright with his head as the crown of the star, symbolizing consciousness.

Geometrically, five is the pyramid and signifies elevation above the material and biological plane (numbers one through four). It symbolizes consciousness transcending the four elements, four corners, four seasons and four directions.

Man is distinguished from the animal kingdom by his self-consciousness or awareness, giving him the capacity to adapt. Man, through his consciousness, is able to modify his environment, creatively manipulating materials to meet his needs.

Paul Case, in his book The Tarot, expresses the opinion that adaptation is the meaing of number 5. I think, underlying the concept of adaptation, that number five means the development of consciousness, most specifically the mind, and the potential for transcendence.

Five is the first safety energy lock in the second depth. The first depth corresponds to the element earth, and the four safety energy locks represent the four elements and the building blocks for the manifestation of life. The second depth is ruled by Air, which represents the mind, the intellect and communication. Five, the first safety energy lock on the second depth, is the beginning of this process of self-awareness. The results of this process are keyed into the nature of two, whose name is Wisdom on the Tree of Life. (The Tree of Life is the diagram that contains the symbols and keys to Jewish mysticism, Qabalistic philosophy and the Tarot, which are the sources of the numerical references to colors, planets, musical notes, signs, etc.).

The beginning of wisdom and self-consciousness is shown in Biblical metaphor when Eve eats from the Tree of Knowledge, resulting in the expulsion of man from the Garden of Eden. With self-awareness and self-consciousness comes the realization of “mortality” that I believe is the basis for fear, which Mary (Burmeister) associated with SEL 5. Spiritual growth and the development of consciousness is usually a painful process. Severity is the name of the first essence of number five on the Tree of Life.

The following are the meanings of number five as differentiated through its expression in the four elements in the Tarot: five of wands (fire) – strife, cruelty, violence: five of cups (water) – disappointment in love: five of swords (air) – defeat, loss, malice, spite, slander: five of pentacles (earth) – loss of profession and money. The difficulty represented in the meaning of these cards reflects the growing pains that man experiences in his spiritual evolution. It seems as if we do not spontaneously transcend effortlessly.

The lessons of the soul and the development of consciousness are normally not gained in contentment and harmony. The instinctive desire to survive that motivated early man set in motion the development of the brain and self-knowledge. It has been the struggle for survival, comfort, food, and shelter that has driven our evolution.

The Hierophant, the archetypal symbol of the number five in the major arcana of the Tarot, usually corresponds to the astrological sign of Taurus. It is the sign that signifies our material well-being and survival skills. This connects the meaning of five and the Hierophant to growth, through the challenge to survive or to achieve comfort and pleasure. The Hierophant, or the Pope, is the agent in development which symbolizes the bridge from man to God, most generally associated with the imposition of laws handed down by religions, dictating morality and conscience, which are both attributes distinctly separating man, 5, from the animal kingdom, 4.

In the body, SEL 5 is located on the ankle. This is the area ruled by Aquarius in astrology. Aquarius is a mental, air sign (second depth) whose function is ultimately to connect the mind of man with the mind of God. So again we see a confirmation and connection to the bridge between the meaning of numbers four and five. In Jin Shin Jyutsu, the bridge is between the fourth depth and the sixth depth: the capital B bridge which makes the transition from man with human intelligence to man with cosmic intelligence. The fourth depth represents the individual soul consciousness, and the sixth, the collective consciousness. The fifth depth, which inherently contains the meaning of five, is growth at the level of spirit. All safety energy locks on the fifth depth are designated as “universal’ numbers, because the Hebrew alphabet, as the story of man, is limited to twenty-two. Our English alphabet reflects our consciousness and contains twenty-six letters, which is fascinating in Jin Shin Jyutsu terms.

If SEL 5 is inhibited or blocked, then the individual will have a difficult time energetically meeting the demands of this life. Through facing our fears we liberate our mind and release the energy that will help us learn through our actions who we are. Without discipline and courage, men will truly feel afraid. The rewards of five are strength, and pitfall is fear.

Mars is the ruler of number five on the Tree of Life, and it makes sense that courage and assertiveness (Martian qualities) are required for the process of individuation and the necessary development of the ego. In the most mundane correspondence Mars also rules the instinct for survival and the procreative drive to maintain the species.

It is interesting that the sixteen, which is literally opposed to the five, is by association with Tower, the sixteen card in the Tarot, also ruled by Mars.

The ankles are important in the initiation of energy to transcend the animal kingdom at the fives, and to transcend the human kingdom at the sixteen. The five is the beginning of the second depth and the sixteen is the beginning of the third depth. All the water flows pass through the foot at the five area integrating information and experience at an emotional level for the soul’s growth.”

Louanne Ellis has studied Jin Shin Jyutsu for ten years, astrology for twenty-seven years, and the Qabala and numerology for three years. She teaches in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico and she welcomes questions and comments.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Thank you, Louanne.

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