Alice A. Bailey had some interesting things to say about the number 666, which most know from the book of Revelation in the Christian New Testament.
“Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” -Revelation 13:18 (KJV).
Many mainstream Christian theologians and historians see this as a reference the Emperor Nero famous for his persecution of Christians. “Nero Caesar” through various forms of gematria can give the number 666 (Wikipedia).
Reading Alice A. Bailey, quotes below, her take is more on astrology, rays and energies. For example in “Rays and the Initiations” she writes “… 6 being the number of the sixth ray, it is therefore the number of idealism and of that driving force which makes mankind move forward upon the path and in response to the vision and press upward towards the light.”
Within this sum total of active, qualified energies, we have (working out today) influences and impulses from three major constellations. These pour through certain other related constellations and planets into the three major planetary centres: Shamballa, the Hierarchy and Humanity. It is with these three centres I would seek to deal and to them and their inter-relations continually make reference. I would ask you to bear in mind that these energies are transmitted from one point to another, or pass through with transmuting effect from one centre to another, thus bearing their own vibratory quality but carrying also that of the centre of transmission. In the transit of energy from a major centre to a human being and when the energy is finally grounded in the disciple’s centre, you will notice that it is then a fusion of six energies. These three groups of energies (each of them a fusion of six) make the dominating energies, controlling the human being, to number eighteen; this holds the clue to the mystery of the “mark of the beast” which is 666. This is the number of the active intelligent man and distinguishes his form nature from his spiritual nature which is 999. These three lines or streams of energy in man may be listed as follows:
It has been stated that a mystery lies hid in the 777 incarnations. This figure provides room for much speculation. (S. D., I, 191.) It should be pointed out that it does not hold the number of a stated cycle of incarnations through which a man must pass, but holds the key to the three major cycles previously mentioned. Primarily this number applies to the planetary Logos of our scheme and not so much to other schemes. Each Heavenly Man has His number and the number of our Heavenly Man lies hid in the above three figures, just as 666 and 888 holds the mystery hid of two other Heavenly Men.
Black magicians work under certain great Entities, six in number, who are spoken of, for instance, in the Christian Bible as having the number 666. They came in (being cosmic, not systemic) on that stream of force emanating from cosmic mental levels which produced the three worlds of human endeavour. Students should remember here the fact that the three lower planes of our solar system are not considered as embodying a cosmic principle, for they form the dense physical body of the Logos, and the dense physical body is not considered a principle. There is an occult significance in the expression “unprincipled.” These entities are the sumtotal of the substance of the three lower subplanes of the cosmic physical plane (our three lower systemic planes), and it is under them that the black magicians are swept into activity, often unconsciously, but rising to power as they work consciously.
In Scorpio, this serpent of matter or of illusion, with which the soul has identi- fied itself for so long, is finally overcome. It y has in it sixty stars, and again we come in touch with a significant number, for six is the number of mind, of the creative work of the universal Mind, and of the six days of creation. In the sixth sign, Virgo, we have the completed form. We are told in the Book of Revelations that the mark of the Beast is 666, and Hydra, the serpent, lies under three constellations and its number 6 is, therefore, three times potent. Ten is the number of completion. Six expresses, therefore, the limitations of the body nature working through form and the utilization of the personality; it symbolizes God in nature, whether cosmically or individually. Hydra the serpent, represents the matter as- pect, as it veils and hides the soul.
(* The link above is to a PDF document. This book does not appear to be online at Lucis Trust)
It is meaningful that this sixth sign, the number of physical plane activity, is called the number of the Beast. This idea seems to have a horrible fascination for many, but what it really means is that Virgo is a symbol of the triplicity, 6 on the physical plane, 6 on the emotional plane, 6 on the mental plane, not 666 at all.
To this center we give the name Shamballa, the component letters of which are numerically: S.H.A.M.B.A.L.L.A. or 188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.1. This word equals the number 24 which in its turn equals 6. I would call your attention to the fact that the word has in it nine letters, and – as you know – nine is the number of initiation. The goal of all the initiatory process is to admit mankind into realization of and identification with the will or purpose of Deity. The number 6 is the number of form or of manifestation, which is the agent or medium through which this realization comes and by which the consciousness is unfolded so that it can become the foundation of the higher process which is instituted at the third initiation. That initiation is closely related to the third major center, Shamballa; it is the third, from the angle of man’s perception and understanding, but the first from the angle of Deity Itself. Again, 6 being the number of the sixth ray, it is therefore the number of idealism and of that driving force which makes mankind move forward upon the path and in response to the vision and press upward towards the light. It is in reality devotion to an unseen goal, ever on ahead, and an unswerving recognition of the objective. Like all other divine qualities, it has its material counterpart, and that is why 666 is regarded as the number of the Beast or of materialism, the number of the dominance of the three worlds prior to the process of reorientation and the expression of developed idealism and purpose. The third aspect expresses itself through pure materialism, and hence the three sixes. In an ancient book on numbers the initiate is defined as “the one who has experienced and expressed 666 and found it naught; who has dropped the 6 and become the 66, and thus has found himself upon the Way; later, again, he drops the 6 and becomes the perfected 6 – form, the instrument and expression of spirit.”
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