Shakespeare’s Codename

I strongly suspect that the surname “SHAKE-SPEARE” is a deliberate attempt at numerological precedence or numerical encoding especially when diagrammatically represented as a coded crossword. In the name Shakespeare there are 11 letters comprising of the two words “Shake” (5)  and “Speare”(6) joined together in two syllables each beginning with the letter S. However, these reduce to ten letters when arranged as a crossword puzzle, see image above. The “Neo-Platonic Magic of Shakespeare” where a great number of references and metaphorical tropes in Shakespeare’s work are actually derived from the early Neoplatonic Schools in Europe, rarely are they analised for their significance or meaning by orthodox academics and scholars. See also: The Secret Alchemy of Shakespeare and The Queen’s Sorcerer

Scientists say today that there are not just 3, or 4, nor 5 dimensions in the known universe but an almost unbelievable Eleven. Although this sounds like something concocted from the Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, this is in fact the latest startling revelation to come out of the development of “String Theory”. However, perhaps they are seeing “double”, but on a more serious note, they are by no means the first people to employ such a number in the context of a Cosmic Creation Map. The number 11 is the first, whole double number of those after 1-9 denoting a parallel cycle (viz; 11, 22, 33, 44, 55, 66, 77, 88, & 99). The second parallel cycle involves the triplicities of 111, 222, 333, 444, 555, 666, 777, 888 & 999. The double and triple numbers have great significance in the study and practice of Numerology and mathematical symbolism. Primarily it denotes basic logic in contradistinction to higher intuitive knowledge and the paradoxes often associated with it.

Nevertheless, these two words can be arranged in a variety of different ways forming different gestalt shapes. From a numerological analysis we can deduce that the letters S, E and A (“SEA”) are repeated and other words are found therein such as ARE, PEAR (a fruit), SPEAK, EAR and HAKE ( a type of sea fish). In fact many other 4-letter words could be formed from this small selection of letters for example; HARE, APE, SHEEP, HARP, REAP, PEER, RAKE, HARK, PARK and KEEP. Furthermore, the 5-letter words derived are HEARSE, SHEAR, and SHARE.

Gemini (the Twins) an illustration from the ‘Poeticon Astronomicon’ by C.J. Hyginus, Venice, 1485 (woodcut) by Italian School, (15th century) woodcut Stapleton Collection.

The Eleventh level of the Calendrica Magica from the Alchemical tradition does not have any special significance other than the number is strongly associated with St. Augustine – ie; one more than the perfection of ten. In medieval Europe it was euphemistically known as the “Devil’s dozen” and denoted conflict, dearth, danger or rebellion. In the Holy Grail Legend the number eleven represents the emergence of the Wasteland, when the 12 Grail Knights go in search of the Holy Grail, in order to cure the Maimed King. Its mathematical value is important in calendar systems and of course because it signified half the number of the 22 Tarot trumps. Ambiguously it also contains the gestalt image of the sigil for the zodiacal sign of Gemini – the so-called two pillars on the outer section of the Tree of Life or the Twin Kingship‘s of the Mycenaean peoples. Often referred to as the portal it denotes the twin pillars of a Neolithic astronomical observatory (Stonehenge), which was itself a giant Earth-based chronometer. The so-called “Invisible Sphere” on the Tree of Life however was called Daath – it symbolised the point of transition from one cycle to another, it signified both death and re-incarnation. In astrology it is strongly associated with the North Node or Dragon’s head.

A diagrammatic representation of the Minoan Board Game which was also a calendar

Perhaps the number 11’s true value and significance must have been lost to mankind, because some of its numerical attributes were connected to a calendar system attributed to the ancient Minoans living on the island of Crete around 2,500 BC. The board game was discovered in Egypt and the dice found  in Crete. In this calendrical board game were two pieces representing the cycles of the Sun & Moon which are moved around on the throw of dice. These 2 markers, one for each player, are placed on the border frame of some small floral motifs, each one representing 10 days. They are moved along the 14, then 22 positions (14+22 x 10 = 360) the number of days in a year excluding the 5 epagomenal days celebrated at New Year. The numbers contained on the dice are related to the movement of the Moon piece. The Etruscan calendar cycle was composed of 110 years ie 22 x 5 years which also coincides with their numerical alphabet values. The planet Venus also takes approximately 263 days from its’ position as morning and evening star (2+6+3 = 11) and is also the natural ruler of Gemini.

Noting that E =x3, S & A = x2, the remaining singular letters are H, K, P, and R. Therefore the word SHAKESPEARE accrues the total value of 108 which is a magical number in many numerological systems throughout the world firstly because it is a multiple of 9×12, a type of harmonic in astrology and in Ramon Lull’s mystical numerology.

Lull’s Magical Figure diagram depicting the alphabetic system of Ramon Lull, from ‘Ars Brevis’, 1617 edition. The central A represents the trinity, the nine divisions of the outer circle, the Absoluta (first) and the releta (second). The ten letters are the basis of his complex system of astrological analogy.-

In traditional interpretive numerology a number nine personality type is spiritually profound, self-reliant, energetic and fearless. They may encounter struggles or obstacles in life but they will work towards overcoming them and defeating their enemies and opponents too. At times they can be wrathful, argumentative or contradictory, but being conscious of their innate reserves they rarely back down from their inherited principles. Others may perceive them as hasty, lacking planning or organisation, eccentric and sometimes too independent for their own good. 

Symbolically the number NINE represents profundity or truth, the crown of creation, the three worlds ie: spiritual, intellectual and the physical, the planet Neptune or the South Node. In Edward de Vere’s natal chart the Moon, Neptune and Mercury are conjunct and as many astrologers understand bestows an imaginative and literary sense which is almost clairvoyant. In other words a perceptive and natural genius. Nine is the first squared uneven number and therefore has great magical and symbolic value in various traditions and religions throughout the world. It was strongly associated with a totality or absolute that contained within it an infinite series of permutations. The Hindus place great significance on the numerical cycles or multiples of the number nine. The ninth sphere on the Tree of Life is Yesod the abode of the 9 muses of Greek Philosophy:

Clio Terpsichore Polyhymnia Calliope Erato Urania Euterpe Melopemne Thalia

In pagan iconography the number nine came to symbolise the 9 fold manifestation of the 3-fold Goddess, here 9 becomes the number for the arts and sciences expressed for popular entertainment and delight. Nine therefore represents the common people, a crowd or audience. Similarly the Orphics defined 9 aspects of the known Universe, arranged as 3 triads.

Night Heaven Time

Ether Light Stars

Sun Moon Earth

During the Renaissance these were further expressed in their entirety within a cosmology known as Francesco Giorgio‘s Three Worlds that as I have said was expounded upon by Ramon Lull. The Greek/Russian mystic G.I. Gurdjieff went further to evaluate his teaching in numerical terms with the use of a 9 sided figure called the Enneagram which was derived from Egyptian sources. The Aztecs believed there were nine regions of the underworld. In the Islamic tradition while Allah is beyond comprehension he can be expressed as the 99 names of God. The number nine also symbolises the 10 orifices (excluding the navel or omphalos) of the human body.

Equivalent to the play “Merchant of Venice”

In Tarot symbolism the number 11 represents JUSTICE or EQUILIBRIUM, while 108 (which reduces to 18, then 9) represents the MOON (a choice of paths ie; the 9th Sphere-Yesod), and the HERMIT (someone who must hide their inner light-Yod) or the planet MERCURY, with its rulership in the zodiacal sign of the Twins). Oddly enough the word SHAKESPEARE actually rhymes with Edward de Vere whose surname means “Truth” or “Springtime”. Unfortunately, in western numerology his name reduces to 114 which in turn reduces to 6 which in Tarot represents the zodiacal sign of The Twins or The Lovers Trump 6 (Romeo & Juliet?).

Equivalent to the play “Romeo & Juliet”

More recently it has become known that Edward de Vere was a member of a Masonic Fraternity, possibly the Sacred Order of the Rose-Cross and in that order attained to the 28th degree. Furthermore, like Dr. John Dee and Sir Francis Bacon he also worked as an efficient and effective spy and must have used a spy nickname but what has puzzled researchers was what name did the 17th Earl of Oford use secretly to identify himself to fellow Masons? My suspicion is that he used the initials TT or “4T” (denoting FORTY, derived from his title “OXenFORDe”, meaning a ford in a river where oxen cross), the same as those ending the Sonnets Dedication. But it is also quite likely that he used the last word “FORTH”, ie: 4TH as a pseudonym taken from the Kaye cipher where the letter T has a numerical value of 20, so two T’s (TT) are totalled to 40. There is a clue in the second verse of Shakespeare’s Sonnets #2, “When forty winter’s shall besiege your brow”? (4T)? ATHENA= “THEN AA” which is synonymous with the “heavenly Twins” APOLLO, patron of poets and ATHENA, the lawgiver, similarly AO would be used to denote Apollo and Orpheus (the Alpha & the Omega, or first and last).

A mandala depicting the orbital cycles of the planet Venus around the Sun every eight years

In Freemasonry the number forty is relevant to the planet Venus because against the background of the Zodiac, Venus completes a five pointed star shape every eight years and returns to its exact starting place after five cycles, or forty years. Every eight years it marks a point in time when the solar calendar, the lunar calendar and the sidereal calendar all coincide within two minutes. After five cycles, i.e. forty years that time is synchronised to within fractions of a second, providing a calendar and a clock that was used to set the time of day until the 1950’s when even more-accurate atomic clocks were developed. Put simply, Venus is the metronome of our planetary world. Understand this and such other vital functions as the seasons and the tides, and you master your environment both in terms of farming and seamanship, ensuring that you will eat and trade efficiently. This was of great importance to early civilizations and well repaid the centuries of observation necessary to learn this. Megalithic observatories were created at Newgrange in Ireland some 5,500 years ago to accurately measure the Venus cycle and mark the Winter solstice. This was an important measurement tool for these ancient astronomers because when viewed from Earth, Venus was the most accurate indicator of the time of year, in the solar system. The study of Phoenician gods revealed three goddesses to be different aspects of the planet Venus. A similar trilogy exists in the Norse pantheon, but with different names. It is believed that the Phoenicians, or Canaanites carried their beliefs with them when working on the Temple for Solomon and may have affected its ultimate design. The family of William St. Clair of Roslyn fame, hereditary Grand Masters in early Scottish Masonry include both Jewish and Norse ancestors, so it is possible that Venus became involved in early Masonic ceremonies via Scottish Freemasonry.

An apology or confession regarding a certain “actor” (Will Shakspere of Stratford) by a Masonic Brotherhood

It is said that the first known name for the city of Jerusalem was Urushalim, “Uru’ founded by “Shalem”, the name of the Canaanite god of Venus in its evening setting, but Solomon’s Temple was facing in the opposite direction, towards Venus rising in its role as the morning star. We can be certain that King Solomon’s Temple was built by Canaanites who were known to worship Venus, also we can understand that Solomon had no tradition of his own to give him the knowledge of how to build a temple that was properly constructed to interface with the heavens. However it is perplexing that these Venus worshipping Phoenicians were allowed to build the house of God. Biblical scholars have noted from passages such as I Kings 11.5 that Venus was worshipped by Solomon in her special form as the deity of the Phoenicians and he fell out of favour with God. The official worship of Venus as Astarte, the Queen of Heaven continued in the Kingdom of Judah until circa 600 BCE. Moses created Princes of the Tabernacle and the initiations took place when the Pentagram, or blazing star was to be seen in the east. Edward de Vere‘s emblem features a shining 5-pointed star.

A blazing star that is referred to as a Pentagram can only be a reference to Venus which had long been associated with the pentagram because of the planet’s apparent movement around the sun when observed from Earth. It is suggested that when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in year 70 of the Christian Era, a number of the Princes of the Tabernacle managed to escape to locations across Europe. It was from these families that the men came, who went on to found the Knights Templar.

The heraldic arms of Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, note the Blue Boar on the crest

The modern Masonic Temple is designed along the same astronomical lines as the Temple at Jerusalem, with the free standing pillars of B and J marking the extremities of the rising sun at the summer solstice in the North, and the winter solstice in the South. On the equinoxes the sun rose between the two pillars in a position due East and on certain dates the planet Venus rose as a bright star ahead of the sun to shine brightly through the dormer into the holy of holies. The layout of every Masonic Temple is said to be a model of Solomon’s Temple, and today every Master Mason is raised from his temporary death by the pre-dawn light of the rising Venus at a symbolic equinox (Hesperus). The rising of Venus was central to Canaanite theology and was associated with resurrection, as it is in Freemasonry in our third degree. When the candidate is raised from his tomb his head rises in a curve towards the East to meet Venus which is also rising above the horizon. The falling star of Venus is known as “Luciferus”. The East-West line marks the equinox, the point of equilibrium between the two solstices, when there are twelve hours of light and twelve of darkness. It appears that some rituals of Craft Masonry are based upon astronomy and have a heritage well over five thousand years old. In these the W.M. directs the candidates gaze towards the East where he can see a five-pointed ‘star’ rising before the sun at dawn. The planet Venus as she moves around the sky touches the path of the sun in just five places, just like the W.M. embracing the candidate at just five points, when he is raised. Cyclical appearances of the planet Venus, in a pre-dawn rising against a particular part of the sky were clearly of great importance in the early period of Jewish Kings as the Bible tells us. Saul, David and Solomon, all ruled for forty years, a full Venusian cycle. It seems that Freemasonic ritual aligns with the astral cultic practices of the royal lineage of Jerusalem, the city of Venus.

The pentagram, star, compass, pyramid and all-seeing eye are Masonic symbols

The authors Knight and Lomas are Freemasons and conclude that after 14 years of research and four books culminating in The Book of Hiram, they have found the missing link between Judaism and Christianity on the one hand and the secret Masonic tradition on the other. Freemasonry is a major untapped source of information about our past that is in danger of being lost, forever because of lack of knowledge of the rituals. To lose the information buried within in its rituals, before it is properly understood would be throwing away one of the true treasures of the western world. There seems to have been a hidden astral agenda, in mainstream Judaism and Christianity, that has survived in the Masonic tradition and been reinforced by Norse beliefs in the power of the Bright Morning Star we call Venus. The picture that has been revealed is that some of the rituals of Craft Masonry have been based on astronomy and have a heritage that is over 5,000 years old. They found a chain of belief that has survived being passed through several different cultures to end up in modern Masonic Temples, where it is now faithfully recited without a proper understanding from whence it came, nor what it represents.

Double and triple letters are used in Freemasonry to denote clues to a cipher or code. The first line of the sonnets immediately alludes to mathematical principles – “From fairest creatures we desire increase,” which simply refers to the process of multiplication, while the next refers to a limited period or decrease in number – “should by time decease”. So if we multiply the number of the verse, which is two by forty we get eighty (AT). The second verse mentions the number forty, which as we know has biblical as well as calendrical connotations. As many people know the prophet and evangelist John the Baptist spent 40 days and forty nights fasting in the wilderness. However, as a calendrical number we can see that 360 days of the year (excluding the 5 epagomenal days) divided by 40 equals 9 – the number of the Greek Muses and the number of days and nights that Odin hung from the tree, Ygdrassil in order to receive his prophetic vision. Moses sat on the Holy Mountain and listened to God for 40 days, the Egyptian God Osiris disappears for forty days before his renewal or return, and Mohammed attained salvation at the age of 40. There are a number of important reasons why this number should appear; forty represents the number of Absolute Completion and Spiritual Attainment.

Hermes Trismegistus, early founder of Occult Science

Now verse 3 is strange in that it advises “look in thy glass (suggests a scrying crystal?) and tell the face thou viewest, now is the time that face should form another”. The term “face” is and was used extensively as an arcane term meaning “lens or mirror” and more modern astrological reference meaning “arc”. Mirrors and glass lenses were employed in astronomical telescopes in the 15th to 16th centuries. Technically, it is the division of the signs of the zodiac into 72 degree arcs, each of 5 degrees and accorded a certain planetary rulership. Each sign therefore is composed of 6 equal-arc divisions or “semi-decans”. It was used from the time of Ptolemy to calculate the precession of the equinoxes, a sort of astrological time grid whereby one sixth of a house represented one year (lit: “face for one year”) as well as in a symbolic sense to understand the influence of progression on radical planets. But it also calculates the first day of Spring. It can also be read astrologically and symbolically as a day, a month, a year, or a great yearie: “magnus annus” (the Platonic cycle = 25,920 years, but in precession the vernal point takes 2,160 years to pass through one sign of the zodiac). Virgil describes it as the age of Saturn which divides the historical period of mankind into 2 ages those cycles of conjunction between the planets Saturn and Jupiter (ie: Darkness and Light, their conjunctions in the same degree of the zodiac takes 400 years and in the same sign 40 years) which from the time of Jesus Christ until that of Copernicus the rate of precession was constantly being recalculated “ is the time to form another”.The vernal point actually retrogrades (goes backwards) at the rate of 1 degree every 72 years. Ovid mentions our current epoch as the Fifth Age and Manilius thought inaccurately that it took 100 years for the Sun to move retrograde through the zodiac one degree. But what is actually retrograding extremely slowly is the Synodic Vernal point, the so-called Spring degree and what is coincidental is that de Vere was born in Spring and his name not only means truth but “Springtime”. The third line refers to Saturn (the riper/grim reaper or father), it’s diminishing role as a god/planet – “should by time decease” and “his tender heir”Jupiter by my reckoning, – “bear his memory”, take over his role as time-keeper and of course king of the gods (12 year Jupiter cycle). It should also be noted when looking for secret ciphers that the English alphabet is composed of symmetrical and asymmetrical letters especially when a phrase is seen in a mirror (ie: “glass”). So, a V Y or W is symmetrical and does not change when viewed in a mirror but B, D, or F etc are asymmetrical and change. Some letters are wholly symmetrical such as H, M, W, O, or I which do not change either when mirror reversed. But they were also used by spies to analyse phrases so if we were to place the Sonnets Dedication in front of a mirror then the initials W.H. would become H.W. (Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd Earl of Southampton) and since at the time the Sonnets were written the Earl had been stripped of his title, lands and estates he was technically a “Mister”.

The Sonnets Dedication composed of 28 words and contains anagrams, allusions and a cryptic code

In the Dedication to the sonnets which is composed of 28 words excluding the “TT” (another clue) since de Vere was reputed to be a 28th degree Mason, what is conspicuously absent from the dedication is the 6 letters C, J, K, Q, X, and Z, since several of Shakespeare’s plays can be detected as anagrams within the dedication too eg: Othello, Twelfth Night, Henry the Eighth, or All Is True, Hamlet, All’s Well That Ends Well, As You Like It, Henry the Fourth, etc but what is naturally excluded is all the Richard plays, A Comedy of Errors, Coriolanus, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, King John etc. The name of Shakespeare’s patron Henry Wriothesley is also there as well as Edward de Vere, and E. Regina together with all their heraldic mottos eg: SEMPER EADEM (“Always the Same”, Elizabeth), VERO NIHIL VERIUS (“Nothing Truer than Truth”, Edward de Vere), and (“All For One”, Henry Wriothesley).

And again in the lines of Sonnet #76:

“Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Showing their birth, and where they did proceed?”

Now the phrase “ever the same” translates as Queen Elizabeth’s motto (Semper Eadem) and it could be construed that the phrase “That every word doth almost tell my name” conceals a very simple clue to the identity of the author and “all one” a reference to Oxford’s and Henry Wriothesley’s own family mottos “All For One”. Although clearly the word “WILL” also appears in Sonnet #135 repeatedly (13 times) perhaps more as a decoy confirmation or tongue in cheek diversion particularly in Sonnet #135 which happens so often as to make it too obvious but probably pleased the censors. And to add even more to these cryptic speculations the word Devereaux (Earl of Essex) coincidentally also contains De Vere’s name. If the author of the Sonnets was obliged, for whatever reason to conceal their true identity they would have also been obliged to confirm the existence of their “shadow” too. Again the phrase “From a Never Writer to an Ever Reader” repeats de Vere’s name as an anagram. The Sonnets dedication has 4 “double TT’s” in it with the fourth “TT” (as a gestalt it resembles the pillars of Hercules, or dolmen arch of the Druids as well as the Greek letter Pi, Π) indicating exactly where de Vere was entombed at Westminster Abbey when the grid is superimposed upon the floor plan. The Melusine engraving in Baldasare Castiglione’s book is also a clever and significant emblem, and so is the Anchor emblem in the title page of “Venus & Adonis”, printed by Richard Field.

The double A mirrored as a decorative motif in the Sonnets title page
The links to my publications “Shakespeare’s Qaballah”, a Companion to Shakespeare Studies and my anthology of poetry, “Parthenogenesis” are as follows:


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