Wednesday, July 16, 2014

All Things Two



Two
Continuing on with my words, intuition, divination, lore, and superstition involved with numbers, here is two. The strongest aspect of two is that it contains many conflicting symbols, as represented in yin and yang, capable of complete opposites, or like wings permitting flight, or snake fangs, striking with a double dose of poison.

Cardinal: two
Greek: Beta
Hindu-Arabic: 2
Roman: II
Pythagorean numbers: duad

Roman words of two come from duo (duae, duas, duorum, duabus), secundus as in second and secondary; and bini meaning two each as in biannual, bicameral, binary, biceps, bilateral, bias, bifocal, and bicuspid. Greek gives us two prefixes of two: di used in forming many scientific words like diatomic, diacid, and words like dialogue; and dual as in duet, duality, duplicity, dualist, duplex, duplicate. Notice the words involving conflict, betrayal, and two-sidedness. More English words relate to two as in yoked, doublet, reproduction, sex, again, both, wings, and semicircle.

As already mentioned, the prefix di is forms many scientific words; however, the element with the atomic number two is Helium (He). The astronomy we have twin stars like Gemini, and Castor and Pollux. Our bodies have two ears, two eyes, two lips, two nostrils, two arms, hands, two legs, feet, two lungs, two kidneys, and either two ovaries or two testicles. Birds have two wings. In mathematics and measurement, we have two-dimensional or flat, and any number divisible by 2 is called 'even.' The geometric symbol for the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and parallel means at least two lines run side by side. In geophysical features, U.S. Highway 2 runs on the northern border of the United States from Houlton, Maine to Rouses Point, New York. Of course, it is broken into two sections, with the second running from St. Ignace, Michigan, to Everett, Washington.

On the calendar, February is the second month. February comes from a Roman word for purification, a rite that took place in this month. Monday is moon day, because the moon follows the sun, but depending on the weekly calendar can be either the first or second day of the week. The moon is also a feminine symbol tied to two, and a pair of days, Saturday and Sunday, comprises the weekend. April Fool’s Day comes on April 2, which also ties into the moon and folly.

In monetary associations, we have two bits equaling 25 cents, and the two-dollar bills. Once, before the U.S. mint actually printed two-dollar bills, there was a saying “As fake as a $2 bill.” It seems people distrust two-dollar bills, one reason so few are minted and found in circulation. Some users think these bills bring bad luck.

Christians consider the duality of Christ, having both a divine and human nature. The second human created was Eve, the first woman. The Second Commandment says, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images.”

In games, you can get the deuce or two-spot in cards, snake eyes in dice, a double-run in baseball, or two points for scoring in basketball.

Two is an important number in Cinese T'ai Chi.

Two is the symbol of women and represents the feminine in all things such as marriage (as coupled with a man), motherhood (mother and child), and the Yin or eternal female. Because female cycles are tied to the moon, a clear association lies between female gender identification, the moon, and two. The moon as related to women and their patterns gives associations such as the unconscious, emotions, bio-rhythms, instinctual responses, reflection, passivity, the soul, family matters, and heredity. This also makes two audacious because she separated herself from the Divine One, as the moon is now known to have separated itself from the Earth.

Two also identifies the person who is second in command, second place, second-rate, and the red ribbon winner.

The night as opposite to the day’s sun belongs in the symbols of two. As one speaks to ultimate power, two represents a differing outlook, one looking for peace, and working differences out harmoniously. In its difference from one, two means a changing perception of self, a consciousness of being someone in some place and time. Other symbols of two include anything including two such as horns, antlers, or two fingers held upward. It is yin-yang of nature, and so represents duality, changeability. After all, woman change their minds all the time, don’t they?

In Astrology, two encompasses the House of Taurus (the bull; what?) and symbolizes the planet Venus (another female symbol). In numerology, the alpha associations are the letters b, k, t, which are the second letters in each one through nine count the alphabet. This is important in divination because you add up your letters to find you guiding number.

Because two is a number of duality in pairs and opposites, it is an inclusive number. This dual nature makes for positive attractions, complements, and partners.

Because of the yin-yang association, two is the number of opposites: day & night, good & evil, heaven & hell, husband & wife, light & dark, hot & cold, joy & sorrow, male & female, me & you, sister & brother, positive & negative, and truth or lie. In color opposites, we have black & white, red & green, yellow & purple, orange & blue.

As a number of opposites, two comes with negatives. Two is a symbol of ignorance and despised by the Pythagoreans as a symbol of polarity, similar to the US Congress today. Two was also known as evil because of its relatedness to all things feminine, a number related to Isis, Lydia, Ceres, Artemis, Diana, Maia, and Juno (Ahh, those misogynistic ancients — go figure). Because of above, two supposedly creates a desire for evil (darkness) and desiring matter (over 1’s spirituality). From there, two devolves into a number representing antithesis, divided polarities, uncompromising opposites, indecision, and thus passivity, and subordination. Slang usage reflects this inherent evil in such epithets as two-faced, double-cross, second-place, second-rate.

In Tarot Divination, the high priestess card represents two. She symbolizes the passive principle of life (female, right?). She represents potentiality, unconsciousness, an unrevealed future, or hidden influences at work in the supplicant's life. The card's placement in a reading is of special value for artists, poets, composers, or anyone connect to the arts. When the high priestess appears in man's reading, it might represent the perfect woman of a man's dreams. If upside-down, the high priestess indicates conceit, sensual pleasures over deeper commitment, and being content with the surface aspects of one's life over inner spirituality.

We also have words of pairing: couple, pair, twins, mates, two halves, Siamese twins, opposites, twosome, team-up, dual citizenship, dual personality, and two-dimensional.

We also have famous pairings like comedians Abbott & Costello, Adam & Eve from the Bible, Batman & Robin from comic books, TV, Movies, TV cartoon characters Beavis & Butt-head, Bert & Ernie from Sesame Street, Cisco Kid & Pancho from movies, dancers Cissy King and Bobby Burgess on Lawrence Welk Show, dancers Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire from movies, TV cartoon characters Heckle & Jeckle, comedians Laurel & Hardy, TV and movie icons the Lone Ranger & Tonto, Romeo & Juliet from the Shakespeare play, TV cowboy and girl Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, singers Seals & Croft, singers Simon & Garfunkel, comedians the Smothers Brothers, singers Sonny & Cher, and cartoon characters Tom & Jerry.

Two's other side
Other common phrases dealing with two:
couple-up
dual purpose
double deal
double life
split tongued
either… or
good things come in twos
it takes two
like two peas in a pod
neither… nor
number two – gotta poo
pair of wings
put two and two together
seeing double
tete-a-tete
twice as much
two armed
two bit
two faced
two by four
two cents worth
two legged
two step
two timing
two way

As you can see, two is a conflicted number, but a very useful one! So there it is — all aspects of two, but certainly a list that is not all-inclusive. Wikipedia has a page on Two.
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Sources Some information was drawn from:
The Discoverers by Daniel J. Boorstin
A Complete Guide to the Tarot by Eden Gray
The Numerology Workbook by Julia Line
The Dartmouth Number Symbolism in the Middle Ages site offers much info on numbers in Christianity.

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