The number seven in alchemical thought may not be the pinnacle, but it is certainly the goal. It represents self-awareness and inner-wisdom that will deliver a richer quality of life.
The symbolic meaning of seven is believed to resonate with vibration and energies picked up by our chakra system, hence why there are seven core energy centres in the human body. It is also believed that by activating and aligning your seven chakras, the energy flows through your body easier. This is conducive to good health.
The seven is, therefore, recognised as a divine number and the power held within the seven can manifest things in your life by accessing the higher self through imagination, awareness and visualisation.
As you will learn in our Number Symbolism Course, the seven is also associated with a moment of self-realisation. And herein lies the esoteric meaning of the number seven.
The Symbolic Meaning of Seven in Religions
In the Bible’s version of the creation story, the seventh day was when God rested and thus is a symbol of “completion or divine perfection”. In other words spiritual enlightenment.
The symbolic meaning of seven appears numerous times in the Bible, each time indicating the completion of a project. You can read more about sevens in the bible on GotQuestions.org.
Hindu scriptures say there are seven dimensions of consciousness above the earth and seven below. In Hindu mythology the story of seven Rishas reference Pleiades, called the Big Dipper in the US, and the Plough in England. In South America, it is known as the potato sack. The Pleiades is often referred to as the seven sisters in astronomy circles.
Many ancient cultures in the Americas built their settlements to reflect the constellation of Pleiades. This may have been a symbolic ritual to reflect the seven energy centres in the body. Certain parts of the body are connected through meridian lines.
The ancient seemed how closely linked the different parts of the body is. For example, to by stimulating a certain part of the foot, you can release blocked energy flowing to and from the vital organs; lungs, liver, pancreas etc.
The actual reason for why ancient builders went to such great lengths to build settlements in alignment with The Pleaides is unknown. We can only speculate, and given my view of symbolism revolves around the psychobiological system, a connection with the chakras is my best guess.
Whatever the reason, the constellation and the number seven were immensely important to them. You can read more about the esoteric meaning of the seven in Andean cultures in my book, Journey’s To Ancient Worlds: What Modern Man Can Learn From Ancient Civilisations.
The Number Seven in Hermetic Alchemy
The entire philosophy of Hermetic teaching is given in seven principles of truth. We find it reflected in the Tarot as the Chariot, indicating the initiate has to struggle with their desires to overcome weakness.
The number seven is also associated with self-sacrifice, a concept that also features in other world religions. What this means, therefore, is that when the seven appears in your life you have to give in to temptation and maybe make sacrifices in order to bring in something new – that typically manifests with the power of seven.
But like all numbers and symbols, the seven has a negative aspect. The duality is depression, inactivity and pessimism which leads to loneliness, stagnation and co-dependency.
The seventh stage does not necessarily have to be spiritual enlightenment, but an understanding of your true character. You can only transform into the seven by examining negative attributes of your character and adopting the seven steps of alchemical transformation.
When the seven appears in your life, it is a sign that a goal or transformation is complete and, when positive, is the best you could have wished for. Do not be afraid to give up things in your life that do not serve you, because whilst ever you keep negative things in your life, you cannot make way for the positive things the seven can bring you.