Pythagorean numbers: the pentad
1 + 4, 2 + 3 < You can use all the previous numbers to add up to 5.
The Romans gave us quin (quinue, quintus, quini) for for five from which we derive quintuplets
The Greeks gave us penta for five from which we derive pentagram, the five pointed star, and the Pentagon.
May is the fifth month, and here in the Northern Hemisphere it is the height of spring. Friday is the fifth day of weeks starting on Monday, and if you have followed this series you will see I've changed from Sunday as the first day, but ALL THINGS THREE and FOUR cover both. It's quirky, I know, but so is this whole series. This is because five works much better on Friday. We have a five day work week, which, and thank heaven, usually quitting time at 5:00 p.m. We have five senses, and five fingers or toes on each hand and foot. The name Friday comes from the Norse God Frigg or Frigedaey, the goddess of marriage, who was wife of Woden & mother of Thor, and we all know, May is prime wedding month. Friday is also the Latin day of Venus.
Five is a prime number. If you divide the perfect number, ten, into equal parts your get five. The Pythagoreans called it the number of equilibrium. Boron (B) is the fifth element on the Periodic Table. In money, we have the fifty dollar bill, the fiver or five-dollar bill, and the nickel or five cent piece. Five star is the highest quality in hotels and restaurants, along with five star brandy and five star generals. Reporters are supposed to follow the five W's of who, what, where, when and why.
In religious associations, you will find it is a Christian symbol of sacrifice since it symbolizes the 5 wounds of Christ on the cross. The Fifth Commandment is to honor thy father & thy mother, and David chose five smooth stones out of the brook; five wise and five foolish virgins are found in the Book of Matthew 25:3. Joshua killed five kings. The Pentateuch is the first five books of Old Testament.
In games and sport five is represented in the 5-gaited horse, Little Phoebe (dice slang), V, Vee, Fiver, Quint, and Five Spot in cards.
Numerology assigns the number five to the alpha letters of e, n, w. It is the House of Leo in Astrological associations.
Because five is the odd center of the nine numbers, in prophetic references it represents the fulcrum point, so it becomes the number of chance, the pivotal point where past and future are both visible at the same time. This also puts five as the number of temptation as it concerns the five senses and all of feeling in the sensual world. It is another number of sex and reproduction.
The Greeks considered the pentagram a sacred symbol. The pentagram represented light, health, and vitality; only later in history did it become tied to witches. Because five is free from the disturbances of the four lower elements, Greeks held the number symbolic of ether, the fifth element. Five-point star represents man (head, arms, legs) and his destiny and it is also symbolic of Nature. The deities associated with this number were Nemesis, Bast, and Venus. Five is associated with the intellect, communication, mental and nervous processes, dexterity, ambiguity, writing, and diplomacy. The keywords are reconciliation, alteration, cordiality, sound, providence, marriage, & immortality.
The Roman signifier V now represents victory.
Five has some negative connotations. It can indicate untruthfulness and unreliability, or weakness in someone's mental processes. If you come up on the wrong side of five you have ill luck, imperfection, imbalance, and darkness.
In Tarot divination, the fifth card is the hierophant, who represents traditional or orthodox teaching. It shows a preference for the outer forms of religion, the ritual, and the doctrine or the ceremonial rather than the spiritual. This card displays the importance of social approval, the need to conform to society.
Symbols of five include the God Mercury, Hermes the Magician, the hand, the body, and the pentagram.
In slang usage we have the 5 & 10 or five and dime store, half a sawbuck, the high five, and we all like to take five.
~ * ~For more information and sources for this information:
Wikipedia has more on things five.
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.