15 – 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 Shephard

#42 - Kwon

#42 - Kwon

Fifteen (#15) 

15 is the third of the Numbers. Below is a list of appearances on the show, by episode chronology.

15 Number Symbolism

#15 - James Sawyer

Fertility (Water)




Occurrences in LOST

  •  The Oceanic flight number was 815. (“Pilot, Part 1”)
  • The nearest town from Ray Mullen’s farm was 15 kilometers away. (“Tabula Rasa”)
  • Sun was instructed by the decorator to walk out of the airport 15 minutes after the hour. (“House of the Rising Sun”)
  • The appointment when Claire wanted to sign the adoption form was at 8:15AM. (“Raised by Another”)
  • The number of the safe deposit box that Kate robbed was 815. (“Whatever the Case May Be”)
  • Boone flew 15 hours to rescue Shannon. (“Hearts and Minds”)
  • The copiers that Charlie was trying to sell were model Number C-815. (“Homecoming”)
  • The whiskey bottle that Sawyer and Christian drank from had a number 15 on it. (“Outlaws”)
  • Aisle 15 had nerf balls in Locke’s store (aisle 8 for regular ones, strange that the balls were kept so far apart). (“Deus Ex Machina”)
  • 15 years passed between when Kate and Tom Brennan buried the time capsule and the crash of Flight 815; also, it was buried on 8/15. (“Born to Run”)
  • Michael and Walt’s room number was 815. (“Exodus, Part 1”)
  • Shannon said she didn’t want to sit next to a crying baby for 15 hours. (“Exodus, Part 1”)
  • The raft was 15 miles out to sea when they discovered the blip on the radar. (“Exodus, Part 2”)

  • When Jack met Desmond in the stadium, 15 could be seen in the seat number in the lowest row of seats (lower-right corner, wide-screen version) when Jack started to run upstairs just before he tripped.
  • Adam Rutherford’s time of death was recorded in St. Sebastian Hospital at 8:15. (“Man of Science, Man of Faith”)
  • Teresa Cortez’s door had “315 Captain” on it. (“Collision”)
  • In Charlie’s place, a Drive Shaft “Drive Across America Tour” poster hung for their concert on 8/15/2000. (“Fire + Water”)
  • Anthony Cooper’s safety deposit box was Number1516. (“Lockdown”)
  • 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, the real Henry Gale lived on 815 Walnut Ridge Rd. (“Lockdown”)
  • 15 people started helping Bernard build the SOS sign, before the numbers dwindled. (“S.O.S.”)
  • One of the LAPD cars had the number 15 on it. (“Two for the Road”)

  •  08/15 and 08/16 were the respective dates of the Widmore twins’ births in Gary Troup’s ‘Bad Twin’. (Bad Twin)
  • Cliff began his search for Zander on April 15th (4/15). (Bad Twin)

  • Jack’s pager had the time 7:15:23 on it. (“A Tale of Two Cities”)
  • Jae Lee’s hotel room number was 1516. (“The Glass Ballerina”)
  • 4:8:15 can be seen carved into Eko’s stick upon close examination. (“The Cost of Living”)
  • The issue of Playpen seen in Sawyer’s stash featured a ‘15th Annual Girls of Fiji Pictorial’. (“Flashes Before Your Eyes”)
  • The delivery man in Desmond’s flashback was looking for room 815. (“Flashes Before Your Eyes”)
  • The photo cart in Desmond’s flashback had the number 15 on the side of it. (“Flashes Before Your Eyes”)

  • In the orientation video for The Orchid, a rabbit was seen with 15 painted on its side. (Orchid orientation film)
  • The docket number of Kate’s trial was 42231815. (“Eggtown”)
  • Desmond awoke in Daniel Faraday’s Oxford laboratory and said he was in the future for 5 minutes. Daniel said Desmond was catatonic 75 minutes. The ratio of 75 to 5 is 15. (“The Constant”)
  • Ben told Locke the combination to the safe behind the picture in his house was 36-15-28. (“The Other Woman”)
  • While playing risk, Sawyer rolled 6-6-3 = 15. (“The Shape of Things to Come”)
  • Hurley ate 15-year-old DHARMA Initiative crackers. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 1”)
  • Sayid shot a man outside the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute at 8:15. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 2”)

  •  The number on Pierre Chang’s alarm clock was 8:15. (“Because You Left”)
  • Juliet told Daniel that the Swan was a 15 minute walk from the camp. (“Because You Left”)
  • As Sun went down the escalator at the airport, the woman on the intercom mentioned flight 23 to Paris at Gate 15. (“Because You Left”)
  • Jack’s cell phone number was 323-555-0156. (“The Lie”)
  • There were 15 chocolates in the box that Sun received at her hotel as Kate left. (“The Little Prince”)
  • Danielle Rousseau said her team left Tahiti on November 15th. (“This Place Is Death”)
  • Jack, Kate, Sayid, Hurley, and Ben flew out of gate 15 on Ajira Airlines.
  • LaFleur ordered all personnel to the house that was burning, which was building 15. (“He’s Our You”)
  • Miles had 15 piercings in his ears and face in a flashback. (“Some Like It Hoth”)

  • James “Sawyer” Ford was number 15 on Jacob’s list on the cave wall.
  • The adoption agency that Claire visited in the FST was on floor 15. (“The Last Recruit”)
  • The law firm that Desmond visited in the FST was on floor 15 in the same building as the adoption agency that Claire visited. (“The Last Recruit”)

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Six (#15)

15 Reduced: 1+5 = 6

The meaning of six is both delicate and mammoth as it walks into the realm of cosmic creation. We see this most evidently in the texts of the ancient Pythagoreans, who were legendary numerologists of their day (and otherwise).

These numerological theologians used all manner of perspectives to assist them in reaching the core meaning of each prime number. They understood that numbers are multi-dimensional, and so recruited geometry as teaching aids for unlocking the secrets of numbers. The number six is aligned with the: Cube, Hexagon, and Hexagram.

Each of these shapes is created from perfectly equal parts. This mirrors the underlying meaning of six as a symbol of perfect union, and the energetic emblem of soulful integration.

I rather like the simplicity nature provides in our understanding of number six through the symbolic language of bees. Their labyrinth-like homes are neatly formed hexagons.

The use of diagrams or models can prove crucial for clarity, particularly when delving into the intricate meaning of six. Hold the shapes of the six (cube, hexagon and hexagram) in your mind’s eye while ruminating over the following attributes of the number six.

Visually, the meaning of Six illustrates:

  • Spiral
  • A comma or apostrophe – a metaphor to take pause to see the connection between spaces.
  • An eye – reminding us that divine sight sees no error for divine eyes see with love

Common associations with the meaning of Six:

  • Tarot Cards: The Lovers, Six of Wands, Six of Cups, Six of Swords, Six of Pentacles
  • Colors: Indigo, Red
  • Letters: F, O and X
  • Qabalah symbol: Wav
  • Astrological: Venus

Potential Personality of Six:

People who resonate with six energy are naturally creative, have discriminating tastes, and will often be called upon to reconcile matters. They are good with numbers, are very intelligent and are able to get along with others easily. Six people have harmonious dispositions and would rather make love, not war. These people are pacifiers and like to nurture. They recognize their responsibility to others and take their role as helpers seriously.

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The Lovers (VI) 

The Lovers (VI) is the sixth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.


In some traditions, the Lovers represent relationships and choices. Its appearance in a spread indicates some decision about an existing relationship, a temptation of the heart, or a choice of potential partners. Often an aspect of the Querent’s life will have to be sacrificed; a bachelor(ette)’s lifestyle may be sacrificed and a relationship gained (or vice versa), or one potential partner may be chosen while another is turned down. Whatever the choice, it should not be made lightly, as the ramifications will be lasting.

The Lovers is associated with the star sign Gemini, and indeed is also known as The Twins in some decks. Other associations are with Air, Mercury, and the Hebrew letter ז (Zayin).

A. E. Waite was a key figure in the development of modern Tarot interpretations. (Wood, 1998) However not all interpretations follow his theology. Please remember that all Tarot decks used for divination are interpreted up to personal experience and standards.

From Suite101: Tarot Card Symbolism – The Lovers of the Major Arcana: “The Lovers are the image of the first true challenge of the Fool’s life — a choice in love. This does not only mean a choice between two women, or two men. It also is a reflection of chosen values, of the decision the Fool must make, which will define him as a person. The Fool is not yet fully mature, and so has difficulty separating his physical desires from what is right.

The consequences of the choice he must make are far-reaching, affecting every part of his life. This choice is thrust upon him before he is ready, as are many choices in life, and so a mistake may be inevitable. This situation cannot be avoided, and a choice must be made; abstaining from this choice is not an option.

The Fool, not yet ready for this, does not fully understand that all choices — good and bad — carry consequences. This is an important lesson for the Fool, for he must realize that all things have a cost associated with them.”

Some frequent keywords used by tarot readers are:

  • Love relationship —– Union —– Passion —– Sexuality
  • Pleasure —– Humanism —– Desire —– Personal beliefs
  • Individual values —– Physical attraction —– Connection
  • Affinity —– Bonding —– Romance —– Heart

Following the Marseilles Tradition, also there are:

  • Choice —– Doubt —– Difficult decision —– Dilemma —– Temptation

Mythopoetic approach

The Lovers represent the impulse that drives us out of the Garden, towards adulthood. Sometimes, that impulse manifests as curiosity (Eve, Pandora, Psyche); sometimes it manifests as sexual desire (the basis of much great literature, as well as ordinary romances, most teen movies, and even horror films); sometimes it manifests as duty (a soldier heeding the call). Whatever it is, once we have stepped past the threshold, there is no returning to the garden.

The Lovers is associated through its cross sum (the sum of the digits) with The Devil, Key 15. He is often the source of the impulse, or that thing inside of us that responds to it. The Devil’s energy is absolutely necessary, absolutely deadly.

The Lovers also represent raw desire.

Hajo Banzhaf suggests that if the Major Arcana is seen as a map of the Sun’s circuit of the Sky, The Lovers is high noon. Consciousness is at its fullest. Frequently, cards show the Sun in the position of noon. Two trees, bearing fruit and flame, represent the intoxication of the material world.

When The Lovers appear in a spread, it typically draws the Querent’s attention to whatever impulse drove her from home, to whatever impulse made him move out, reject the faith of his fathers, made him accept the call. That original impulse should be honored, but if it dominates the Querent’s life, it will grow tiresome. The call must be renewed.

It can signal that an examination of the Querent’s relationship with the garden is needed, be it exile or absence. Sometimes, it can be useful to go beyond Eden and talk about other gardens: the bittersweet Kingdom of Logres built by Arthur to keep back the rising dark for a generation, the idyllic Hobbits’ Shire in The Lord of the Rings, or just a happy childhood. Look for misty eyes of memory, or bitterness at the lack of a past paradise.

The Lovers are also a reminder that we need others to become fully human. Lovers, friends, adversaries–each one teaches us, each one stretches us.

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The Devil (XV) 

The Devil (XV) is the fifteenth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.


In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Devil sits above two naked human demons—one male, one female, who are chained to his seat. The Tarot Devil card is derived in part from Eliphas Levi’s famous illustration “Baphomet” in his Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (1855). Baphomet is winged and horned, combining human and bestial features. Many modern Tarot decks portray the Devil as a satyr-like creature. In the Tarot of Marseilles, the devil is portrayed with facial features in unusual places, such as a mouth on his stomach, eyes on his knees, and with female breasts and male genitalia.

According to Waite, the Devil is standing on an altar. In his left hand, the Devil holds a great flaming torch inverted towards the earth. A reversed pentagram is on his forehead.

Eliphas Levi says in his book, Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual that:

“A reversed pentagram, with two points projecting upwards, is a symbol of evil and attracts sinister forces because it overturns the proper order of things and demonstrates the triumph of matter over spirit. It is the goat of lust attacking the heavens with its horns, a sign execrated by initiates.” In Native American tarot, the attribution is often more complex than this.

Divination usage

Some frequent keywords used by tarot readers are:

  • Materialism —– Ignorance —– Stagnation —– Self-bondage
  • Lust —– Egoism —– Obsession —– Anxiety —– Anger
  • Hedonism —– Passion —– Instincts
  • Sexuality —— Temptation —– Doubt —– Vice
  • Futility —– Physical attraction —– Pessimism —– Insight

Please remember that all Tarot decks used for divination are interpreted according to personal experience and standards.


The Devil is the card of self-bondage to an idea or belief which is preventing a person from growing or being healthy—an example might be a belief that getting drunk each night is good for you. On the other hand, however, it can also be a warning to someone who is too restrained and/or dispassionate and never allows him or herself to be rash or wild or ambitious, which is yet another form of enslavement.

The Devil is the 15th card of the Major Arcana, and is associated with earth and Capricorn. Though many decks portray a stereotypical Satan figure for this card, it is more accurately represented by our bondage to material things rather than by any evil persona. It also indicates an obsession or addiction to fulfilling our own earthly base desires. Should the Devil represent a person, it will most likely be one of money and power, one who is persuasive, aggressive, and controlling. In any case, it is most important that the querent understands that the ties that bind are freely worn.

Mythopoetic approach

The Devil is both the Ur-Adversary, and a tremendous source of strength. He represents nearly an inexhaustible source of energy. Battling him gives us strength. Submitting to him completely is ego-death.

As with The Magician (Tarot card), the iconography of most of the standard Tarot suits appear. His wings represent Air, the suit of Swords. The torch in his hands, and the flames in the tail of the male devil represent Fire, the suit of Wands. The grapes in the tail of the female devil invoke Earth; the same grapes appear in most of the cards in the suit of Disks. Only water, Cups are missing. On one level, this is curious; water is of the unconscious, and The Devil dwells in the subconscious. On another level it is heartbreaking; what is missing from the Devil’s realm is The Grail, the kindly blessings of the Cup.

Perhaps to make up for the lack of water, the kindlier aspects of this card can be seen in the Two of Cups.

If the Major Arcana is analogized to the Sun’s circle across the sky, The Devil governs the Sun at midnight, when it is most vulnerable to the Old Night. The ancient Egyptians tell of the serpent demon Apophis, Chaos, who would sometimes lay in wait for Ra as he piloted the boat of the Sun down the Nile to be born again in the morning. Sometimes, Apophis would swallow the sun. Mercifully, the reversals of the night brought Set to an unlikely rescue; he ripped Apophis open and let the Sun escape. Set, The Devil, is the adversary but sometimes, he is our best and only ally.

In Jungian terms, he is The Shadow: all the repressed, unmentioned or unmentionable desires that lurk beneath.

The Devil is related both through his cross sum (sum of the digits) and his iconography with Key VI, The Lovers. Both cards speak to our drives; the drives that take us out of the garden; the drives that make us hard, make us warm, make us live. The central character in each is winged; each lives in the archetypal ether. Each is crowned: the Angel in The Lovers with fire, The Devil by a Pentagram and ram’s horns. Above each rides a naked man and a naked woman. But in The Lovers, there is still some sense of newness, wholesomeness, and hope; in The Devil they are chained by the neck and partially transformed into creatures of the underworld; transformed by their taste of the darkness; by the fruit of the underworld.

The chains are loose. They can be slipped. The Devil’s own torch can light the way out and light the return, back to the surface.

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