Shakespeare’s Codename

I strongly suspect that the surname “SHAKESPEARE” 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.

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.

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.

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 the 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?).

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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