16 – 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

Sixteen (#16) 

16 is the fourth of the Numbers. Below is a list of appearances on the show, chronologically by episode.

16 Number Symbolism

Sayid Jarrah



Sun (Fire)

Occurrences in LOST

  • Jack did his first solo operation on a 16-year-old girl, in the story about fear he told Kate. (“Pilot, Part 1”)
  • Jack, Kate, and Charlie found the pilot 16 hours after the crash. (“Pilot, Part 1”)
  • The number 16 was displayed on the doubling cube while Locke explained backgammon to Walt. This was also shown to display a 4 in the same scene. (“Pilot, Part 2”)
  • Sayid said the transmission from Danielle had been playing for 16 years; since we know that was how long she had been in the island (and she was pregnant when she got there), we also know her daughter Alex was that many years old. (“Pilot, Part 2”)
  • Jack told Chrissy at the airport desk he had to land in LAX in 16 hours, to bury his father. (“White Rabbit”)
  • Sawyer needed $160,000 for his con of Jessica. (“Confidence Man”)
  • The poster on the wall of the pool hall had the date June 16th. (“Confidence Man”)
  • It had been 16 weeks since someone had won the Lottery before Hurley did. (“Numbers”)
  • Sam and Lenny heard The Numbers 16 years ago. (“Numbers”)
  • Hurley paid the Old Scooter Man $1600 for his scooter at the the airport. (“Exodus, Part 1”)
  • Hurley left his mom $160 million. (“Exodus, Part 1”)

  • Desmond was peddling the exercise bike 16 miles per hour. (“Man of Science, Man of Faith”)
  • The number 16 was scribbled on the wall of graffiti when Jack went down to the hatch for the first time, along with 8, 42, and 108. (“Man of Science, Man of Faith”)
  • The number 16 was on one of the gas pumps in Hurley’s flashback. (“Everybody Hates Hugo”)
  • Shannon said she would be working at her internship 16 hours. (“Abandoned”)
  • Anthony Cooper’s safety deposit box in “Lockdown” was number 1516. (“Lockdown”)
  • The September 22nd System Crash occurred at 4:16. (“?”)
  • While Mr Eko was posing as a priest in Australia he was sent to investigate a miracle involving Charlotte Malkin. He was told by Richard Malkin that he knew it was a fraud as he too was a fraud and even accepted $16,000 from a couple in LA to tell a girl (Claire) to give away her baby. (“?”)
  • One of the LAPD cars had the number 16 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)
  • The Widmore gate code was #81516. (Bad Twin)

  • Jae Lee’s hotel room number in The Glass Ballerina was 1516. (“The Glass Ballerina”)
  • Juliet entered 1623 into the sonic fence keypad. (“Left Behind”)
  • Jack and Kate spent tense moments in the jungle, gathering firewood and breaking it into pieces, and during their angry silence and the following conversation, they broke 8 branches into 16 usable pieces. (“One of Us”)
  • The keypad in The Looking Glass had 16 keys, each a musical value, in a 4×4 pattern. (“Through the Looking Glass, Part 1”)

  •  The docket number of Kate’s trial was 42231615, the last four Numbers in reverse. (“Eggtown”)
  • The timer on the bomb Michael was given by the others to set off on the freighter had a countdown of 16 seconds. (“Meet Kevin Johnson”)
  • Jack pumped Desmond’s chest 16 times when trying to revive him after pulling Desmond’s body from the water. (“There’s No Place Like Home, Part 2”)

  • The swinging pendulum in Ms. Hawking’s lab passed the camera 4 times, then another 4 times (making 8). If it continued, there would be a total of 16 passes (and consequently, 15 before it). (“The Lie”)
  • The model of the real “Jughead” bomb was EC16. (“Jughead”)
  • At the beginning of the episode, the time on the microwave was 3:16. (“Some Like It Hoth”)
  • Naomi offered Miles 1.6 million dollars after his “audition”. (“Some Like It Hoth”)

  • Sayid Jarrah was number 16 in Jacob’s list on the cave wall.

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Seven (#16)

16 Reduced: 1+6 = 7

The meaning of seven dealing with perfection can be traced back to the steps taken by early astronomers (and astrologers). These stargazers identified seven dynamic celestial orbs:

Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn

Identification of these seven heavenly beauties gave way to an army of correlations that march through our every day life even today.

For example, these “planets” were associated with deities who were said to govern the ways of the universe in many cultural accounts.

From there we see the formation of time delineation as each of these “planets” correlate with the days of the week.

The meaning of seven deals with perfection because we see a specific unfolding in its evolution. As mentioned before, each consecutive number inherits a bit more depth than its predecessor. Seven is the embodiment of all the attributes of each number that existed prior to it. Its association with the initial planets identified by the human senses is an indication of how expansive its vibration is.

Concepts of perfection, evolution, structure and manifestation come into further focus when we recognize the presence of seven in cosmic building blocks. To wit, there are seven colors in the rainbow which, alchemically speaking, is a bridge that spans the gap between mundane and enlightened.

Furthermore, there are seven musical tones, which correlate with each of these colors. Esoteric wisdom indicates manipulation and utilization of these notes and colors will serve as a progressive path to the evolution of consciousness.

The meaning of seven reminds us that there is symmetry, reason, and order within the structure of the Universe. Even when things seem chaotic, there is a pervasive network of structure that is comfortingly consistent in its behavior.

We see this consistency in the drive of the Charioteer who is unwavering in his goal as he utilizes the septenary forces of the cosmos to navigate his way to his destination. When we see these structures of planets, days, time, measurements, harmonies, and hues, we begin to understand why number seven resonates with the Chariot card in the Major Arcana.

The esoteric scholar who learns the way of these foundational resonances is the master of the perfection he seeks in the Universe. Let your own scholarly studies further unfold by contemplating these attributes of seven:

Visually, the meaning of Seven illustrates:

  • Arrow tip – seeking the point
  • Greater than/Less than signs
  • The top is a smooth plane connected to a curved body – symbolic of structure fused with pliability

Common associations with the meaning of Seven:

  • Tarot Cards: The Chariot, Seven of Wands, Seven of Cups, Seven of Swords, Seven of Pentacles
  • Colors: Violet
  • Letters: G, P and Y
  • Qabalah symbol: Zayin or Zein
  • Astrological: Saturn

Potential Personality of Seven:
People who resonate with number seven are scholars and poets. They are intelligent with amazingly analytical minds. Yet, their minds are usually in a dream world where they can move things and events to their liking. Although their reality in much different than other’s – it is a reality of their own making. These people have the ability to bring the perfect people, places, and events in their life experience that lead them on a path of consistent revelation.

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The Chariot (VII) 

The Chariot (VII) is the seventh trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.


A. E. Waite was a key figure in the development of modern Tarot interpretations. However not all interpretations follow his theology. All Tarot decks used for divination are interpreted through personal experience and standards.

Some frequent keywords are:

  • Conquest —– Honor —– Victory —– Energy
  • Egocentrism —– Self confidence —– Conviction —– Anxiety
  • Willpower —– Self assertion —– Hard control —– Discipline
  • Inflexibility —– Success —– Wealth —– Recognition
  • Impulsivity —– Command —– Bravery —– Pride

A powerful, princely figure sits in a swift chariot, pulled usually by two sphinxes or horses. There is often a black and white motif, for example one of the steeds may be black and the other white. The figure may be crowned or helmeted, and is winged in some representations. He or she may hold a sword or wand, or other masculine symbol. The Thoth Tarot deck has the figure controlling four different animals, representing the four elements.


It has been suggested the square on the charioteer’s chest is a representation of the earth tattva.

Another view is that the mood of the card may be characterized as that of conquest. It represents a battle that can be won if the Querent has the willpower for it. The battle is usually an external one, with a clear goal and plan of action. Qualities needed to win the battle include self-reliance, righteousness, conviction and plain hard work. The steeds represent powerful forces, internal or external, that can be controlled to achieve the goal.

The chariot is one of the most complex cards to define. On its most basic level, it implies war, a struggle, and an eventual, hard-won victory; either over enemies, obstacles, nature, the beasts inside you, or to just get what you want. But there is a great deal more to it.

What does this all mean? It means a union of opposites, like the black and white steeds. They pull in different directions, but must be (and can be!) made to go together in one direction. Control is required over opposing emotions, wants, needs, people, or circumstances; to bring them together and give them a single direction, your direction. Confidence is also needed and, most especially, motivation. The card can, in fact, indicate new motivation or inspiration, which gets a stagnant situation moving again. It can also imply, on a more pragmatic level, a trip (usually by car), a vehicle – in the shop for repairs if the card comes up reversed – or a message.

The Chariot is a fascinating card, but also frustrating. It is armored, but also cut off – a charioteer fights alone. It moves from one plane to the next (water to land and back again) – conscious and unconscious, earthly and spiritual. It succeeds by attacking from the side, rather than straight on.

On one hand, the Chariot indicates loyalty faith and motivation; a conviction that will lead to victory no matter the odds. But on the other chariot can also signal a ruthless, diehard desire to win at any cost. The Querent should be reminded to save his energy for what comes after.

If inverted, the meaning remains the same, but the Querent is in danger of losing the battle due to a lack of control.

The Chariot has many allusions to the kabbalistic Ma’asei Merkavah. According to Waite, the figures on the charioteer’s shoulders are supposed to be the Urim and Thummim, which were divinatory tools often used by the Israelites for guidance during times of war. Waite describes the charioteer as conquest on all planes — in the mind, in science, in progress, and thus able to reply to the riddles of the sphinx, even though he is not of priest and thus unable to answer to the High Priestess.

Mythopoetic approach

Structurally, the Chariot follows The Lovers. After the impulse that pulls us out of the Garden, we get on our chariot and depart. At that point, we are the Hero of our own story; maybe the Hero of everyone’s story. That Hero might represent Helios, the Greek god who drives the Sun’s chariot across the sky, bringing light to the earth. The danger of this card is well illustrated by the myth of Phaëton. Among other things, this story illustrates the danger of reaching too high, unprepared.

The Chariot is Key Seven of the Major Arcana, it represents the possibility of traveling through the mysteries of the universe. It also evokes the seven gates of hell that Inanna passed through, required to partially disrobe at each one before finally being presented to the Queen of the Underworld, her own sister, Ereshkigal.

Ra from Egyptian mythology piloted the boat of the sun across the sky and back to the gates of dawn down the Nile every night. One night, Apophis, Chaos and Old Night swallowed the river to keep the sun from rising. Fortunately, Ra’s usual enemy, Set, took it upon himself to save the day by slicing Apophis open, allowing Ra to escape. This story bespeaks the reversals of the night, where our deadly enemies may be our best friends.

Another famous chariot driver was the god Krishna who in the Bhagavad Gita drove Arjuna’s chariot and gave him illumination.

The Chariot is related through cross sums (the sum of the digits) to Key 16, The Tower. Much like the Chariot takes us from our womb, our happy home, our happy village, or our planet, the Tower carries us from either what we have constructed for ourselves, or what has been constructed for us.

Some authorities say that he is the God of Spring, the Son of the Queen of Heaven. The canopy of his chariot is her starry gown; he wears the waxing and waning moon on his shoulders; the circle of the Zodiac is his belt. He channels energy from the world above (signified by the eight pointed star on his brow, eight here representing Venus) to the world below (signified by the square on his chest, the four corners of the Earth). The star can also represent the infinite, the square the earthly spheres of time and space.

He is fueled by contradictory impulses, represented by the black and white sphinxes that pull his chariot.

When this card appears, it evokes the Querent’s own path – calling, exile or random journey. The danger is getting on the wrong path – being overwhelmed and dying before our due time.

He may warn that we are in danger of being pulled to pieces by forces we do not control and do not understand.

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The Tower (XVI) 

The Tower (XVI) (most common modern name) is the sixteenth trump or Major Arcana card in most cartomancy Tarot decks. It is not used as part of any game.


This card follows immediately after The Devil in all Tarots that contain it, and is considered an ill omen. Some early painted decks such as the Visconti-Sforza tarot do not contain it. Also, some Tarot variants used for game playing omit it.

Early printed decks that preserve all their cards do feature The Tower. In these decks the card bears a number of different names and designs. In the Minchiate deck, the image usually shown is of two nude or scantily clad people fleeing the open door of what appears to be a burning building. In some Belgian tarots and the seventeenth century tarot of Jacques Vieville, the card is called La Foudre or La Fouldre, (“The Lightning”) and depicts a tree being struck by lightning. In the Tarot of Paris (17th century), the image shown is of the Devil, beating his drums, before what appears to be the mouth of Hell; the card still is called La Fouldre. The Tarot of Marseilles merges these two concepts, and depicts a burning tower being struck by lightning or fire from the sky, its top section dislodged and crumbling. Two men are depicted in mid-fall, against a field of multicolored balls. A. E. Waite’s version is based on the Marseilles image, with bits of fire in the shape of Hebrew yod letters replacing the balls.

A variety of explanations for the images depicted on the card have been attempted. For example, it may be a reference to the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, where God destroys a tower built by mankind to reach Heaven. Alternatively, the Harrowing of Hell was a frequent subject in late medieval liturgical drama, and Hell could be depicted as a great gate knocked asunder by Jesus Christ, with accompanying pyrotechnics. The Minchiate version of the deck may represent Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Divination usage

Some frequent keywords used by card readers are:

  • Chaos —– Sudden change —– Impact —– Hard times
  • Crisis —– Revelation —– Disruption —– Realizing the truth
  • Disillusion —– Crash —– Burst —– Uncomfortable experience
  • Downfall —– Ruin —– Ego blow —– Explosive transformation

Upside down :

  • To be currently in a harsh and chaotic situation but exiting in a good manner. Indeed you are falling but landing with your feet over the soil.
  • The same of the normal position but less negative because their incorrect position can block some powers of the card.


Many differing meanings are attributed to the card:

  • To some, it symbolizes failure, ruin and catastrophe.
  • To others, the Tower represents the paradigms constructed by the ego, the sum total of all schema that the mind constructs to understand the universe. The Tower is struck by lightning when reality does not conform to expectation.
  • Epiphanies, transcendental states of consciousness, and Kundalini experiences may result. In the Triple Goddess Tarot, the card is named “Kundalini Rising”.
  • The Tower further symbolizes that moment in trance in which the mind actually changes the direction of the force of attention from alpha condition (pointed mindward) to theta condition (pointed imaginal stageward). A Theta condition (especially in waking versions of theta states) is that moment when information coming into the ego-mind overwhelms external or sensory stimuli, resulting in what might otherwise be called a “vision” or “hallucination.”
  • Each card in the Major Arcana is a related to the previous ones. After the self bondage of The Devil, life is self correcting. Either the querents must make changes in their own lives, or the changes will be made for them.
  • The querent may be holding on to false ideas or pretenses; a new approach to thinking about the problem is needed. The querent is advised to think outside the box. The querent is warned that truth may not oblige schema. It may be time for the querent to re-examine belief structures, ideologies, and paradigms they hold to. The card may also point toward seeking education or higher knowledge.
  • Others believe that the Tower represents dualism, and the smashing of dualism into its component parts, in preparation for renewal that does not come from reified, entrenched concepts. The Ivory Tower as a parallel image comes to mind, with all its good parts and its bad parts.

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