Now before you start thinking Led Zeppelin, slow down! This stairway to heaven takes lots of work and self-reflection. No buying your way in with seven.
Seven is a sacred number all over the world. In Western religions, God created the world in seven days: well, really six, while he rested on the seventh day. But that rest is part of creation too. In Christianity, there are seven deadly sins as well as virtues, seven sacraments, seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, and seven joys and sorrows of Mary. They each represent steps (or backtracking with the sins) in consciousness and spiritual growth.
In Buddhism, where seven symbolizes the ascent to the highest state of consciousness, the Buddha’s seven steps ascend the seven cosmic stages transcending time and space. In Islam, there are seven heavens, seven attributes of God and you walk seven times around the Ka’aba in Mecca. In Judaism, there are seven branches to the Menorah, and seven holy days in the Jewish year. In Hinduism, there are the seven jewels of the Brahmanas.
Seven symbolizes a completion, and implies wholeness. Like the universe that contains us, seven is made up of the numbers three and four. Three symbolizes the realm of spirit or heaven while four represents the material world. Four (Earth) grounds the Three (spirit). Together, they make a complete whole, a living form or being. Seven brings the inner and the outer, above and below, together.
Seven is not a static number, but one that indicates movement and growth, change and awakenings. Maybe that’s why seven is often seen as a stairway or ladder, something that rises up to the heavens, or to something greater. When we look at seven this way, we can see how seven implies a maturing process, which includes tests, inner understanding and discipline. Seven is present at those times in our lives when we have to face up to something and take a stand for our principles, when we have to prepare our body, mind and spirit to meet the challenges of our lives.
Seven represents the energy we use when we rub up against our principles and work hard to walk our talk. When we meet the tests of seven with integrity, we gain mastery over our lives. We could say that seven is the energy that brings out our truest nature, our Self.
Seven moves us on to greater heights, deeper insights and more balance. That’s why there are so many categories that include seven initiatory planes or steps, such as: The seven Heavens, the seven Hells, the seven Rays of the Sun, the seven Pillars of Wisdom, the seven Ages of Man, the seven days of the week, the seven notes on the musical scale, the seven Chakras, the seven colors of the rainbow, the seven circles of the universe, the seven Wonders of the World.
While many people still think that spirituality does not include the body, contemplate the Dance of the Seven Veils, which embodies the mystery of the universe.