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Divinity in Odd Numbers


Falstaff tells us (in the Merry Wives of Windsor, v. 1) that this divinity affects “nativity, chance, and death.” A Trinity is by no means confined to the Christian creed. The Brahmins represent their god with three heads; the Greeks and Romans had three Graces, three Fates, three Furies, and a threefold Hecate. Jupiter had his three thunderbolts, Neptune his trident, and Pluto his three-headed dog. The Muses were three times three. Pythagoras says God is threefold—“the beginning, middle, and end of all things.” Then, again, there are five features, five parts to the body, five vowels, five lines in music, five acts to a play, etc.; seven strings to a harp, seven planets (anciently, at any rate), seven musical notes, etc.

Chance. There’s luck in odd numbersNumero Deus impăre gaudet” (Virgil: Eclogue viii. 75). The seventh son of a seventh son was always held notable. Baalam would have seven altars, and sacrificed on them seven bullocks and seven rams. Naaman was commanded to dip seven times in Jordan, and Elijah sent his servant seven times to look out for rain. Climacteric years are seven and nine with their multiples by odd numbers.

Death. The great climacteric year of life is 63 (i.e. 7 x 9), and Saturn presides over all climacteric years.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Divide and Govern
Divine (The)
Divine Doctor
Divine Pagan (The)
Divine Plant (The)
Divine Speaker (The)
Divining Rod
Divinity in Odd Numbers
Divino Lodovico
Dixie Land
Do (to rhyme with go)
Do for