To The Power of Twelve

XII

Book of Face; Ch. 13, Verses 16 – 1ᘔ

I spoke recently (see 13 is 1) about the 12 part cycle (with 13 being a return to 1).

How did I come up with this?
Is there any rhyme to my reason, any method to my madness?

Why 12?

~

Practical

There are 12 months in a year.
There are 24 (12 x 2) hours in a day.
There’s 12 inches in a foot.
There’s a 12 donuts in a dozen (shocking!).
There’s 12 days of Christmas (although I don’t know of anyone celebrating all 12).

~

Music

There are 12 pitches in the chromatic scale.

A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G#

The term octave refer to a 7 note scale with 8 being a return to the first note.

For example: C major

C D E F G A B C

This will bring us to the next point

~

Colour

There are 7 colours in the rainbow.

R O Y G B I V

Now lets overlay with the major scale:

C D E F G A B
R O Y G B I V

Lines up pretty nicely.
But what about all those #s (sharps) we have in the chromatic scale? Where do they fit into the rainbow?

Well I guess we gotta point out that the 7 colour rainbow is really an arbitrary choice.

I mean what’s Indigo anyway?

The rainbow and the visible light spectrum (which is essentially what we’re seeing in a rainbow) is a spectrum.
Meaning that one colour gradually changes to the next (a gradient).
So when does red stop being red, and start being orange? And what about the transition, the different hues of red. Like scarlet or crimson, etc.

The 7 colour rainbow is arbitrary.
Newton originally described rainbows as five colours, but added orange and indigo to make it align with musical scales.

So lets look again;

C c# D d# E F f# G g# A a# B
R      O      Y G     B       I       V

or

A a# B C c# D d# E F f# G g#
R      O Y      G       B I      V

So what are all those sharps?
Well they’re colours, they just don’t meet the established criteria for what makes a distinct colour in the rainbow.
They could be: Scarlet, Chartreuse, Cyan, Ultramarine, & Purple. (or whichever other names you’d like to use)

~ Did you know?

  • There are several languages that do not contain separate words for blue and green.
    For instance Vietnamese, Thai, old Chinese, and old Japanese.
    They describe them as shades of the same term.
  • There are also languages with additional colour names.
    Russian has additional distinct words for what we would call Light Blue and Dark Blue.

~

Highly Divisible

While maintaining a relatively small numerical size, 12 is the most divisible (able to be divided into parts) number.
12/2=6
12/3=4
12/4=3
12/6=2

It’s able to be divided into halves, quarters, thirds, and sixths (important for sacred geometry).

Sure there’s other good choices – 60 (used by the Sumerians and Babylonians) (60/6=10, 60/5=12)
But at this point the numbers become too large to be of practical use.
12 maintains a relatively small number while still allowing a great deal of divisibility.

It is a superior highly composite number.

~

Base 12

My own intuition and analysis, coupled with my research on 12, has led me to the idea of a base 12 number system, what one would call duodecimal or dozenal.

The current numbering system is base 10, the decimal system.

Now I’ll try not to make this too complex or mind numbing.

Basically the systems lined up would be like this:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 …    22  23  24 …

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9  ᘔ   Ɛ  10 11 12 13 14 …   1ᘔ  1Ɛ  20 …

(note: the two symbols used are those advocated by the Dozenal Society of Great Britain, other symbols could be used)

Now you may be thinking that this does not make sense.
And that’s fair.
We’ve been raised our whole life counting to ten then moving to 10+1, etc.
(unless perhaps you were born in certain parts of Niger, Nepal or India)

But if we had been brought up on this system it would be as natural as the current system.

But why a change?

Because base 12 just works better.

But the final quantitative advantage, in my own experience, is this: in varied and extensive calculations of an ordinary and not unduly complicated kind, carried out over many years, I come to the conclusion that the efficiency of the decimal system might be rated at about 65 or less, if we assign 100 to the duodecimal.

—A. C. Aitken, The Case Against Decimalisation (Edinburgh / London: Oliver & Boyd, 1962)

It’s more divisible, it produces less repeating decimal places when rendering fractions.

It’s more in tune with the natural cycles of the world.

We are more likely to divide by 3 than 5.

But the fact is a change is not overly likely.

The headaches involved with switching everything we’ve done from decimal to dozenal is likely too much.

We’d have to change all our math equations and text books and… well, a whole lotta things.

So maybe let’s leave that one for now.

(If you have an interest in this line of thought take a trip over to Wikipedia’s page on duodecimal.)

~

Sacred Geometry

The shapes of Metatron’s Cube, and the Flower of Life relate closely with 12.

Metatron’s Cube is composed of 12 circles surrounding a central (13th) circle.
It can be used to create all the Platonic Solids.
It is also the produces the Star Tetrahedron (the Star of David).

Now the topic of sacred geometry is one that I can delve into quite deeply and extensively (long-winded-ly perhaps), and if you’ve made it this far you’ve trudged through some mind concepts already.
So let’s save the rest of this topic for a future post.

(but if you’re interested now there’s plenty of information on Metatron’s Cube and Platonic Solids floating around the interwebs)

~

Suffice to say that 12 is a great number to work with, and an efficient number to work with, and maybe a divine number to work with.

And that is why I use 12 to define the cycles.

It might be arbitrary and it might not be.

But it seems like good reasoning to me.

Do you agree?
Or have any thoughts?
(There’s a little box below for all that good stuff 😉 )

Until next time,

Namaste¹²

One thought on “To The Power of Twelve

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