8 – The Numbers

The Candidate Numbers

According to the Man in Black and Ilana, a number of select individuals were chosen as candidates to replace Jacob in the job of protecting the Island. The Man in Black further alleges that Jacob is responsible for bringing the candidates to the Island. Those chosen as candidates appear to enjoy a special protected status among the Others. As of 2007, according to Ilana, there are only six candidates remaining. (“The Substitute”)  (“Lighthouse”)  (“Dr. Linus”) Two candidates, Sayid and either/both Jin or Sun, were subsequently killed due to a trap set up by the Man in Black. Jacob revealed that the candidates are chosen because they are flawed and the names are crossed out because they fulfill a meaning, e.g. Kate becoming a mother. However, if a candidate wanted the position then the job would be theirs and their name being crossed off is “just a line of chalk”. Due to this any one of the Candidates could have become the protector of the island. (“The Candidate”) In late 2007, Jack Shephard accepted the job to replace Jacob, becoming the new protector of the Island. (“What They Died For”) Shortly after, Jack realized that he was not supposed to protect the Island, but to die saving it, since he said himself the Island was all he had left. Before he died, he named Hurley as his successor. (“The End”)

Inside Jacob’s cliffside cave, the numbers were revealing to represent the candidates.


The Candidate’s and Corresponding Number Symbolism

#4 - John Locke

#8 - Hurley Reyes

#15 - James Sawyer

#16 - Sayid Jarrah

#23 - Jack Shepherd

#42 - Kwon

#42 - Kwon

Eight (#8) 

8 is the second of the Numbers. It is the only number which is in the Fibonnaci sequence. Below is a list of appearances on the show, by episode chronology.

8 Number Symbolism 

#8 - Hurley Reyes

Sun (Fire)




Occurrences in LOST

  •  The survivors flew on Oceanic flight number 815 (first mentioned in “Raised by Another”) (“Pilot, Part 1”).
  • Jack struck the lock on the cockpit door 8 times until it fell open. (“Pilot, Part 1”)
  • Charlie’s shoe size was 8. (“Pilot, Part 2”)
  • Ray Mullen’s wife had been dead 8 months when he met Kate. (“Tabula Rasa”)
  • Kate was arrested 8 years ago. (“Tabula Rasa”)
  • Locke and Helen had been talking for 8 months before he asked her to go to Australia with him. (“Walkabout”)
  • Charlie went without his guitar 8 days. (“House of the Rising Sun”)
  • Drive Shaft was going on tour for 8 weeks. (“The Moth”)
  • Michael worked in construction for 8 years. (“The Moth”)
  • Sawyer was 8 years old when his dad committed a murder-suicide and left him an orphan. (“Confidence Man”)
  • The appointment when Claire went to sign the adoption form was at 8:15AM. (“Raised by Another”)
  • Kate would spend 8 hours in the woods with her father tracking deer. (“All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues”)
  • Jack pounded on Charlie’s chest 8 times before he started breathing. (“All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues”)
  • Boone’s t-shirt had a number 8 on it (in the form of a Japanese kanji symbol). (“All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues”)
  • The number of the safe deposit box that Kate robbed was 815. (“Whatever the Case May Be”)
  • It had been 8 years since Michael got hit by a car; also Michael had been writing Walt for 8 years. (“Special”)
  • When Michael met Walt for the first time in Australia, they were standing in an octagonal room. (“Special”)
  • Claire went missing for 8 days after Ethan kidnapped her. (“Homecoming”)
  • The sum of the numbers Tommy typed into the jukebox was 8. (“Homecoming”)
  • The copiers that Charlie was trying to sell were model Number C-815. (“Homecoming”)
  • Sawyer and Christian Shephard took 8 whiskey shots. (“Outlaws”)
  • The associate instructed Jin to drive 8 miles away. (“…In Translation”)
  • The news station at Hurley’s lotto interview was KSVU-8. (“Numbers”)
  • The logo of the Mega Lotto Jackpot had a hidden 8. (“Numbers”)
  • 8 people died in Hurley’s shoe factory fire, according to Ken Halperin. (“Numbers”)
  • Aisle 8 had regular balls in Locke’s store. (Aisle 15 had nerf ones, strange that the balls were kept so far apart.) (“Deus Ex Machina”)
  • Shannon was 8 years old when her dad married Boone’s mom. (“Do No Harm”)
  • Jack’s best man said he should have 8 beers before giving the speech. (“Do No Harm”)
  • Kate and Tom Brennan buried the time capsule on 8/15. (“Born to Run”)
  • Michael and Walt’s room number was 815. (“Exodus, Part 1”)
  • A number 8 was on the Old Scooter Man’s hat in the Sydney Airport (who Hurley bought the scooter from for $1600). (“Exodus, Part 1”)
  • Adam Rutherford’s time of death was recorded in St. Sebastian Hospital at 8:15. (“Man of Science, Man of Faith”)
  • The DHARMA logo was octagonal. (“Man of Science, Man of Faith”)
  • It was 8 months until Sarah’s wedding, from the time of the car accident. (“Man of Science, Man of Faith”)
  • The number 8 was on a heart rate monitor in St. Sebastian Hospital. (“Man of Science, Man of Faith”)
  • There were 8 people at Michael’s injunction to prevent his ex-wife from leaving. (“Adrift”)
  • 8 crash survivors had died at this point when Michael told Ana Lucia that there were 40 people at their beach. (“Orientation”)
  • The number 8 was on one of the gas pumps in Hurley’s flashback. (“Everybody Hates Hugo”)
  • Randy accused Hurley of eating an 8 piece Mr Cluck’s chicken pack without paying in Hurley’s flashback. (“Everybody Hates Hugo”)
  • In Charlie’s place, a Drive Shaft “Drive Across America Tour” poster hung for their concert on 8/15/2000. (“Fire + Water”)
  • The Blast Door map featured the expression “√16. √64. √225” beneath The Flame which evaluates to 4, 8, and 15. (“Lockdown”)
  • According to the driver’s license found by Sayid, Henry Gale lived on 815 Walnut Ridge Rd. (“Lockdown”)
  • The platform that crashed in the accident involving Hurley was supposed to hold 8 people (but 23 were on it, causing it to crash). (“Dave”)
  • The Pearl was an octagonal room. (“?”)
  • Desmond had 8 months to get ready for his race around the world. (“Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1”)
  •  08/15 and 08/16 were the respective dates of Widmore twins’ births in Gary Troup’s ‘Bad Twin’. (Bad Twin)
  • Gary Troup stated that he went to Australia 8 times for research on his book “Bad Twin”.
  • The number of the locker that housed Kate’s dress was 841. (“A Tale of Two Cities”)
  • Eddie Colburn’s Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department ID was 84023. (“Further Instructions”)
  • Sawyer’s prisoner ID was 840. (“Every Man for Himself”)
  • Munson’s prisoner ID was 248 in the prison that Sawyer was also in. (“Every Man for Himself”)
  • A number 8 was painted on the back of a white bunny that Ben showed Sawyer. (“Every Man for Himself”)
  • 4:8:15 can be seen carved into Eko’s stick upon close examination. (“The Cost of Living”)
  • Jack operated on Ben in OP-08. (“I Do”)
  • After Mr. Eko died, John Locke saw a scripture “John 3:05” on the prayer stick. 3+5=8 (“I Do”)
  • The delivery man was looking for room 815. (“Flashes Before Your Eyes”)
  • In Phuket Jack wore a pendant shaped like an 8. (“Stranger in a Strange Land”)
  • Juliet’s mark had an eight pointed star on it. (“Stranger in a Strange Land”)
  • Tricia Tanaka worked for Action 8 news. (“Tricia Tanaka Is Dead”)
  • The last digit on the odometer when Claire crashed her car was 8. (“Par Avion”)
  • Locke fell 8 stories after being pushed out of a window by his father. (“The Man from Tallahassee”)
  • Nikki and Paulo stole 8 million dollars worth in diamonds. (“Exposé”)
  • The Medusa Spider paralyzed its victims for 8 hours. (“Exposé”)
  • Spiders are one class of very few animals with 8 legs. (“Exposé”)
  • Juliet tied a knot that clearly shaped an 8. (“One of Us”)
  • Jack and Kate spent tense moments in the jungle, gathering firewood and breaking it into usable pieces, and during their angry silence and the following conversation, they broke a total of 8 branches. (“One of Us”)
  • Charlie told Nadia that he had not been in a fight since he was 8 years old. (“Greatest Hits”)
  • The clock on the Looking Glass logo showed the time 8:15.
  • Jack watched Action 8 News to learn about the car crash. (“Through the Looking Glass”)
  • Mrs. Arlen’s son was 8 years old when Jack rescued him from the car crash. (“Through the Looking Glass”)
  • Jack watched Hurley’s chase on Action 8 News. (“The Beginning of the End”)
  • The ladybug behind Matthew Abaddon had 8 dots. (“The Beginning of the End”)
  • The registration of the helicopter was N842M. (“Confirmed Dead”)
  • Elsa told Sayid to meet her at the restaurant at 8:00. (“The Economist”)
  • Jack said there were 8 survivors of the flight while on the stand at Kate’s trial. (“Eggtown”)
  • Desmond went back in time 8 years to 1996 while experiencing side effects from his travel off the island to the freighter. (“The Constant”)
  • The number 8 appeared twice on the number plate of the taxi that Ben was in when he went to visit Charles Widmore in London. (Incidentally, the car behind the taxi when it stopped had the number 8 on it.) (“The Shape of Things to Come”)
  • Sayid told Ben that he waited 8 years to find his wife. (“The Shape of Things to Come”)
  • Sayid shot a man outside the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute at 8:15. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 2”)
  • The sign on the Oxford University Department of Physics was Claredon 142-08. (“Jughead”)
  • The raft of the science expedition had 8 sides. (“The Little Prince”)
  • There were 8 total time shifts in This Place is Death – 2 with Jin & Rousseau, 5 when the group was together, and 1 when John Locke turned the wheel. (“This Place Is Death”)
  • Jack was seated in row 8 on Ajira Airways Flight 316 which departed from Gate 15. (“316”)
  • Ben was also seated in row 8 on Ajira Airways Flight 316, as he was seated across the aisle from Jack who was in seat 8C. (“316”)
  • Frank said he had been working for Ajira Airways for the past 8 months. (“316”)
  • The death date on the headstone John Locke visited was April (which is month number 4) 8, 2006. (“The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”)
  • There was a number 8 on the license plate of the van Ben was standing in front of when he and Sayid met in Moscow, Russia. (“He’s Our You”)
  • There was a number 8 in the ear of the rabbit statue under which Miles found the key. (“Some Like It Hoth”)
  • Miles signed the DHARMA van back in and put the keys on hook #8. (“Some Like It Hoth”)
  • Jacob visited 8 people off the Island who would later arrive on the Island on flight 815. (“The Incident, Parts 1 & 2”)
  • Juliet hit Jughead’s thermonuclear core with a rock 8 times. (“The Incident, Parts 1 & 2”)

  • Hugo Reyes was number 8 on Jacob’s list on the cave wall. (“The Substitute”)
  • The shipping container that held Locke was labeled 823, seen clearly on the beach after Frank mentioned Locke was “gettin’ pretty ripe.” (“The Substitute”)
  • The clock on Sawyer’s night stand in the flash-sideways timeline read 8:42. (“Recon”)
  • Jin stayed in room 842, separate from Sun’s room. (“The Package”)
  • The title for Ab Aeterno is a reference to Proverbs 8:23.
  • Mikhail knew eight languages. (“The Package”)
  • The number 8 was the chosen candidate to protect the island. (“The End”)

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Eight (#8)

The meaning of eight rolls into our consciousness with the momentum of all the numbers that came before it. We just stepped out of the aspects of structure and perfection in the number seven, and that paved the way for yet another evolution in the magic of numbers.

As an evolved child of structure, the number eight seeks balance with non-structure. Number eight is about cycles, revolutions, and progress gained on the invisible level.

Eights most obvious symbolic tell is its written Arabic form (“8”). When we recognize is voluptuous curves, we also identify the lemniscate or infinity symbol. This symbol deals with balance, time, and more interestingly, the recycling travel path of energy.

Visually, the meaning of Eight illustrates:

  • Cell mitosis – reminiscent of the process of joining, dividing, evolving
  • Lemniscate (infinity) symbol
  • Eyes – (tipped on its side) seeking out higher wisdom

Common associations with the meaning of Eight:

  • Tarot Cards: Strength card or the Justice card depending on which deck you’re using. Eight of Wands, Eight of Cups, Eight of Swords, Eight of Pentacles
  • Colors: Brown, Red
  • Letters: H, Q and Z
  • Qabalah symbol: Cheth
  • Astrological: Uranus

Potential Personality of Eight:

Those who resonate with the vibration of eight are extremely successful – particularly in business where success relies on a period of time that allows progress to unfold. These people see trends and the bigger picture, and are able to ride a wave to their great gain. Conversely, they know when to pull out of engagements too, they have a special sense that gives them insight into the cyclical nature of things. These people are great at games of chance, stock markets, and anything that deals with playing the odds or working with statistics.

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Strength (VIII) 

Strength is a Major Arcana Tarot card, and is numbered either XI or VIII, depending on the deck. Historically it was called Fortitude, and in the Thoth Tarot deck it is called Lust. This card is used in game playing as well as in divination.

Description and usage as in divination

A. E. Waite was a key figure in the development of modern Tarot interpretations (Wood, 1998). However, not all interpretations follow his practice. Tarot decks, when used for divination, are interpreted by personal experience as well as traditional interpretations or standards.

Some frequent keywords are:

  • Self-control —– Being solid —– Patience —– Compassion
  • Composure —– Stability —– Perseverance —– Moderation
  • Kindness —– Gentleness —– Slowness —– Softness
  • Serenity —– Comprehension —– Discipline —– Inner strength

The design of this card is fairly constant across tarot decks. The key characters are that of a woman and a lion, with the woman looking calm and gentle, yet dominant over the lion. Many cards, including that of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, have the woman clasping the lion’s jaws. Another feature of the RWS deck is a lemniscate (a kind of geometric form) hovering over the woman’s head. Other decks have the woman sitting upon the lion, or merely with one hand upon it. Some decks feature just one of the characters; flowers are often presented on this card.

History of Tarot

The Strength card was originally named Fortitude, and accompanies two of the other cardinal virtues in the Major Arcana: Temperance and Justice. The meaning of Fortitude was different from the interpretation of the card: it meant moderation in attitudes toward pain and danger, with neither being avoided at all costs, nor actively wanted.

The older decks had two competing symbolisms: one featured a woman holding or breaking a stone pillar, and the other featured a person, either male or female, subduing a lion. This Tarocchi del Mantegna card (image, left), made in Ferrara around 1470, illustrates both. The modern woman-and-lion symbolism most likely evolved from a merging of the two earlier ones.


The modern interpretation of the card stresses discipline and control. The lion represents the primal or id-like part of the mind, and the woman, the ‘higher’ or more elevated parts of the mind. The card tells the Querent to be wary of base emotions and impulse. For example, in The Chariot card, the Querant is fighting a battle. The difference is that in Strength, the battle is mainly internal rather than external.

In the Crowley deck this card is entitled Lust, and receives a different focus, as a sun sign (zodiac), namely Leo, implying a potency that is sexual, creative, and intuitive, which are all attributes of the element Fire. The other Leonine quality of generosity, or mercy, is also an aspect of this power or strength. There is a further connection with the heart chakra in kundalini yoga.

If inverted, the Querant is in danger of losing control to impulses and desires. Pride and unwarranted anger are also often associated with the inverted card.

Some refer to it simply as a challenging situation requiring persistence and effort.

Mythopoetic approach

Hercules, the son of Zeus, is an archetype of strength. He is a Solar Hero, as shown by his archetypal 12 labors – each one standing for one sign of the Zodiac.

Strength can manifest itself in unexpected ways. One of Hercules’s adventures was to clean the Augean Stables, which had been filling with horse excrement for as long as anyone could remember. Hercules diverted a river, washing the manure into the surrounding fields, renewing the land.

Cybele is associated with large cats, and is often depicted either enthroned with one or two flanking her, or in a chariot being pulled by large cats. Some contemporary sources have associated Cybele and Artemis with this card.

Moreover, it is associated with Gilgamesh, the King of Ur, who abused his power and his people. The people prayed to the goddess Ishtar (see also, The Empress) and she sent Enkidu to teach Gilgamesh to be human. The two of them bonded, and fought monsters. Unfortunately, they overreached themselves, and Enkidu died.

In the myth, Gilgamesh is horrified by the death of Enkidu and goes on a quest to defeat death. He fails, but in the process, he learns what he needs to become a good king. Here, strength is symbolized as mastering the challenges presented.

Additionally, this card is associated with the suit of Wands. Fire, a generative masculine force, is leavened somewhat by the fact that it is dominated by a feminine figure.

Strength is associated through the cross sum (the sum of the digits) with The Star. The Star is often interpreted as paradoxical and a bad omen. While the comet is associated with foretelling the birth of kings, the Star signaled to Dante that he had found his way out of the Underworld.

The Lion in the standard card represents the Sun, making Strength a solar hero, much like Hercules or Herakles, with whom lions are associated.

Because it is usually the eighth card, it is associated with Arachne. Arachne challenged Athena to a weaving contest and was victorious. Then, Athena transformed Arachne into the eight-armed spider, to punish her for the victory. (In some versions, Arachne was not turned into a spider immediately, as Athena was able to accept defeat. However, when Arachne began bragging to everyone around her that she had defeated Athena, the goddess turned her into a spider – punishing her not for her victory, but for her [excessive] pride.) The danger of challenging the mysteries is that we may be destroyed or transformed by them.

Eight is also associated with the Great Goddess because it takes eight years for Venus and Earth to sync up against the zodiac.

When Strength appears in a throw, it may be a signal that The Querent is facing a challenge that requires a strong response, rather than brute force. Occasionally, strength comes by diverting forces, diverting rivers, or fighting on a new battleground. It is a sign that the Querent has left home and needs to start drawing on all of his or her resources to meet the challenges of the exterior world.

The danger of Strength is that it can work against the Querent.

In Gnosticism, Demiurge is symbolised as Lion-headed serpent, and his mother is Sophia.

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