KETHER, the Crown, as stated previously, relates to the number one, and was the command to become manifest, then by a series of projections, the other qualities followed.
Number two, called CHOKMAH or Wisdom is the number of polarity, the number of duality, the positive and negative principle, for instance of the biblical good and evil. Number two refers to those religions that regard God as something separate from themselves.
Number three, BINAH, meaning Understanding, contains the original idea of begetting; ie in man and woman, who in unification, beget the third, the child. It is often called the Heavenly Mother or Holy Spirit as the third aspect of Deity; Father, Son, Holy Spirit. In the personality, it is representative of body, soul and spirit.
We then come to the hidden Sephiroth, Daath, meaning Knowledge. As Chokmah is force and Binah is form, their conjunction produces a Sephira which is hidden, which has no number and is not shown on the Tree of Life. The Zepher Yetzirah states, “Ten is the number of the ineffable Sephiroth, ten and not nine, ten and not eleven.” Daath is the first hidden union of Chokmah and Binah, of Wisdom and Understanding, or of Yin and Yang. Daath is hidden by the Abyss, but an experience of knowledge or Daath is required to cross the Abyss, the gulf between the Supernal Triangle, symbolising the mysteries of the Immortal Spirit and all that is beneath, the mental, the astral and the physical worlds. It is the area of demarcation between the Macrocosm and the Microcosm.
CHESED, called Mercy is number four. In Chesed is found the beginning of manifestation; four is the number by which everything was realized and created in both the invisible and the visible worlds. It is the externalization of the combined powers of the Supernals. Therefore number four is the highest number as far as the practicing Kabbalist is concerned as it is the perfect representation of the tetragrammatonic principle. It represents all four basic elements—fire, air, water and earth and the four fundamental qualities of God, will, wisdom, love and immortality.
Number five, GEBURAH, means Severity leading to Strength. Geburah is the perfect balance of Chesed (Mercy). As Chesed is loving and compassionate, Geburah is severe and demanding of due. Sometimes the lessons of Geburah can be shattering. It tears away all that is useless and ineffective. It is the most radical tool of the spirit, and can be equated with the Planet Mars as well as the Roman God of War.
Number six, is called TIPHARETH, which means Beauty. From a certain point of view, number six in its symbolical form, the six pointed star, relates to the Hermes tablet which starts with the words, “That which is above, is also that which is below.” The lower triangle symbolizes man in his three aspects of body, soul and spirit, while the upper triangle symbolizes the divine powers and virtues.
NETZACH is the name of Number seven, and it means Victory. It is not only the number of harmony and fertility, but also the number of love in all its facets, regardless of whether it is the shallowest or the most elevated form of spiritual love. The qualities of compassion, mercy, purity, happiness and chasteness are also aspects of love, and therefore resonate with number seven.
Number Eight is called HOD and means Glory or Splendour. Hod is the number of the concrete, rational mind, and thus the number of knowledge. It is also the number of the mental body. All theoretical knowledge, besides any knowledge of Magic, Kabbalah, literature and science falls under the influence of Hod. Hod and Netzach like Geburah and Chesed are effective only when their energies are merged in a third Sephira, and in this case we see the merging of Hod and Netzach giving rise to Yesod (Moon).
As we approach the Ninth Sephira YESOD, which means Foundation, what has previously been considered as theoretical may well become very practical. Yesod represents the original idea of the astral world and all its analogies. At the same time, nine is the number of rhythm and life in its most subtle form.
In the order of the ten Kabbalistic Keys which correspond to the numbers one to ten, Number ten is the last number and is called MALKUTH and means the Kingdom. It is the reflection of number one in its roughest form. Ten is the number of physical matter, ie it is the number of the realization of the earthy element in its most cohesive form.
If you have an understanding of the meanings of the Sephiroth, it will make for an easier understanding of the meaning of the numbers of the Tarot.
The fundamentals of the numerical Kabalistic ideas on creation are laid down in the treatise, the “Sepher Yetzirah,” also called the Book of Formation.