THE SACRED NUMBERS 7 AND 12.
In reference to the planets, and the signs of the Zodiac, the numbers seven and twelve were recognized as sacred by the ancient Astrologers, and dedications were made to them in all kinds and sorts of forms. In the allegories, the genii of the planets were designated as spirits or messengers to the Supreme Deity, imaginarily enthroned above the firmament, which we find described in Revelations iv. 5, as "Seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God;" and 7
which were represented by lights burning in seven branched candlesticks set before the altars in the temples; the central light for the Sun; the Moon, Mercury and Venus on one side; and Mars, Jupiter and Saturn on the other. The seven branched candlesticks seen in all Catholic churches, and in some Protestant ones, are intended to represent the same planetary system.
Among the numerous dedications to the genii of the planets we mention the seven days of the week, the seven stories of the tower of Babylon, the seven gates of Thebes, the seven piped flute of Pan, the seven stringed lyre of Apollo, the seven books of fate, the book of seven seals, the seven castes into which the Egyptians and East Indians were divided, and the jubilee of seven times seven years. Among the dedications to the twelve signs we mention the twelve months of the year, the grand cycle of 12,000 years, the twelve altars of James, the twelve labors of Hercules, the twelve divisions of the Egyptian Labyrinth, the twelve shields of Mars, the twelve precious stones, ranged in threes to denote the seasons, in the breastplate of High Priest, the twelve foundations of the Sacred City, referred to in the Book of Revelation, the twelve sons of Jacob, the twelve tribes of Israel, and the twelve Disciples. In the Book of Revelation alone the number 7 is repeated twenty-four times, and the number 12 fourteen times.