Numerous references to the number 7 are found throughout history — in religions, cultures and ancient civilizations. The number seven is most often associated with good luck. It is believed that the importance of the number seven began in ancient times. During that time, before the invention of the telescope, only seven planets were visible in the skies — the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. This may explain why many ancient cultures adopted seven gods or deities.
The ancient Greeks thought the number seven to be extremely lucky. Pythagoreans considered the number seven to be a perfect number. There were seven ancient Roman and Egyptian Gods. Hinduism recognizes seven major chakras (energy centers in the human body). The Arabs built seven holy temples. In Japanese tradition, there are seven lucky gods that bring good fortune. There is also a belief that seven ancient Buddhas existed.
References to the number seven appear many times in the Bible (Old Testament). For example, God created the world in six days and the seventh day was the Sabbath or day of rest; King Solomon’s temple took seven years to build; every seven years is considered a holy year in the Hebrew Torah; Israelites during the battle of Jericho were told that marching around the walls of the city seven times would ensure their victory and its walls would come tumbling down; the Kaballah seven-knot, red-string bracelet to protect from the evil eye and negative thoughts; and in Jewish tradition, the deceased are mourned for seven days, which is known as sitting shiva (shiva literally means seven). As far as the Christian Bible (New Testament), examples of the number seven are abundant: seven seals in Revelations; seven sacraments; seven stars; seven deadly sins; seven last plagues; and seven heavenly virtues.
Even to gamblers the number seven is lucky. Three sevens make a blackjack, a big payout on a slot machine and a winner in the game of craps. The opposite sides on dice add up to seven. On July 7, 2007, the casinos were full up, as hopefuls tried to beat the odds on this lucky date of 07/07/07.
The number seven has been, and still is, universal. Here are more some examples: seven wonders of the world, seven seas, seven continents, seven hills of Rome, seven notes in a musical scale, the seventh inning stretch at a baseball game, seven colors in a rainbow, seven spots on a ladybug (always a good-luck symbol), seven days of the week, the seven-year itch and Snow White’s seven dwarfs. Also, it is believed that the seventh child of a seventh child will be psychically gifted.
For the most part, the number seven is associated with good luck. However, in the Chinese culture it symbolizes death. Also, breaking a mirror is thought to bring seven years of bad luck. This superstition may have stemmed from the Romans who believed that people underwent a physical and spiritual regeneration every seven years and that the mirror was a reflection of the soul. Thus, when a mirror is broken, the person’s soul would have to wait seven more years for regeneration. However, given the examples listed here, it is almost a sure thing that the number seven is a lucky, protective and positive symbol for most people.
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