108 Symbolism

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.


Candidate Number Symbolism

#4 - John Locke

#8 - Hurley Reyes

#15 - James Sawyer

#16 - Sayid Jarrah

#23 - Jack Shephard

#42 - Kwon

#42 - Kwon

108 (The Numbers) 

108 is the sum of the Numbers.

That is, 4 + 8 + 15 + 16 + 23 + 42 = 108

Occurrences in LOST

  • 108 stood out amongst the graffiti when Jack went down the hatch the first time. (“Man of Science, Man of Faith”)
  • 108 appeared on the mural in the Swan. (“Adrift”)
  • The clock in the Swan counted down 108 minutes before the Numbers had to be entered into the computer. (Note: the alarm sounded at the four minute countdown mark, and the Numbers could be input any time after this). The clock reset itself to this number after the correct numbers had been input. If the counter reached zero, a set of hieroglyphs appeared in the counter instead. (“Adrift”)  (“Orientation”)
  • 108 x 5 = 540. 540 was the number of days until “your replacement” would arrive at the Hatch, according to the orientation film. (“Orientation”)
  • # of answers to Locke’s crossword puzzle. (“Collision”)
  • 108 was part of the video reel #23108-42 that Kelvin showed to Sayid. (“One of Them”)
  • # on the log printout in the Pearl displays numbers that increment by 1:48 in base 60 (which we use for counting time). If we convert 1:48 from base 60 to decimal, we arrive at 108, which makes sense given that this is the frequency with which the code is entered. (“?”)
  • 108 is one half of the hours between intervals when the vaccine kit injections must be done (9 days). (“Three Minutes”)
  • One loud jungle frog, the coqui, which was tormenting Sawyer, has been measured chirping at 108 decibels.
  • The armory (where the guns were initially stored) spanned two lock combinations. Adding both of the lock combination numbers together results in 108 (7 + 33 + 18, 18 + 1 + 31).
  • The song “Make your own kind of music” that Desmond played in the hatch was stopped by the explosion after 1:08. (“Man of Science, Man of Faith”)
  • On the blast door map the Roman numerals CVIII were shown in a box, which translated into modern Hindu-arbic numbers is 108.
  • There were 108 beats per minute of Ben’s heartbeat on the EEG for a moment. (“Not in Portland”)
  • The time that showed on the digital clock was 1:08. (“Flashes Before Your Eyes”)
  • The number of wine cases that the monastery imported was 108. (“Catch-22”)
  • 108 times 3 equals 324 – the number of people on Flight 815.
  • In the spectral analysis of the sound made by the sonic barrier, one of the frequency bands corresponded to 972 Hz, which is the average resonant frequency of the human skull. 108 times 9 equals 972.
  • It was 108 days between the crash and the Oceanic 6 being rescued on Sumba.
  • Oceanic 815 crashed on Sept. 22, 2004. 108 days later was Jan. 8, 2005 (1-08).

  • The hourglass used by Dogen lasted 1:08.
  • Dogen twirled and studied a baseball; a traditional baseball has 108 stitches. (“What Kate Does”)
  • Jacob asked Hurley to set the lighthouse apparatus to 108 degrees. (“Lighthouse”)
  • The name Wallace was written (and crossed out) by the number 108 on the the lighthouse wheel. (“Lighthouse”)

In Find 815

  • The newspaper in the Christiane I (in the Chapter 3 Clue Hunt) had its 108th issue.

Image SourceSource 

The Ennead (The Collection of Nine)

The Ennead (meaning a collection of nine things) was a group of nine deities in Egyptian mythology. The Ennead were worshipped at Heliopolis and consisted of the god Atum, his children Shu and Tefnut, their children Geb and Nut and their children OsirisIsisSeth and Nephthys.


Egyptian mythology established multiple such groupings of deities, known as Pesedjets. The Pyramid Texts of the 5th and 6th dynasties mention the Great Pesedjet, the Lesser Pesedjet, the Dual Pesedjet, plural Pesedjets, and even the Seven Pesedjets. Some pharaohs established pesedjets that incorporated themselves among the deities. The most notable case is Seti I of the 19th dynasty, who in his temple at Redesiyah worshipped a pesedjet that combined six important deities with three deified forms of himself.

The Greek term Ennead, denoting a group of nine, was coined by Greeks exploring Egypt, its culture and religion, especially after the conquest by Alexander the Great and during the subsequent rule of the Ptolemaic Dynasty. Greek became the language of learned studies and hence Greek terms were used by Greek and Roman authors to describe Egyptian phenomena. These others also made use of parallels between Egyptian and Greek deities to identify the two.


The Ennead “The Nine” (Egyptian Mythology) 










Numerology & Tarot Symbolism

It’s easy to occasionally overlook the number meaning of tarot cards in readings or general contemplation. The Tarot is packed with symbolism, and its numbers are sometimes taken for granted as a simple cataloging device, when actually they open up a whole new realm of mysticism and methodology.

To further understand the energy of the Tarot, we must take into account all of its aspects, including its numerological perspectives.

Numbers exude vibrations that resonate with all energy, and strike individual chords upon the harp strings of the Universe. By observing the numbers that fall in a Tarot spread, we can pluck those vibrational strings, and “ring out” further truth from a reading.

At its simplest, number meaning of Tarot cards can provide additional light to a tricky spread. These number meanings may also lend a different point of view when seeking solutions with the cards.

At its most complex, number meaning of Tarot cards can blossom into overwhelming oracles of symmetry, geometry, and startling congruency that provides us with fascinating accuracy in our readings.

As you are working with the Tarot, begin to hone in on the numbers that are being drawn to you. Use the number meaning reference below to assist you in extracting deeper interpretations in your Tarot readings.

Keep in mind, the system of Tarot numerology (or any numerology for that matter) reduces numbers. To illustrate, if you’ve drawn the Temperance card (14 of the major arcana), you will reduce the number to 5 because
1 + 4 = 5.

Some practitioners of Tarot numerology chose not to reduce the numbers at all. Rather, they use the second digit as the numerical signifier. For example, the Temperance card (14) is numerically identified with the number 4.

Number Meanings:

Zero – Beginning and Ending, Alpha and Omega, Limitless, Infinite, Unity, Pure Potential.

One – Independence, Action, Motivation, Singleness of Purpose, Driven, Positivity, Will.

Two – Balance, Contrast, Opposites, Partnership, Communication, Negotiation, Choice.

Three – Time, Creativity, Versatility, Mystery, Intuition, Fecundity, Advancement.

Four – Stability, Endurance, Practicality, Physicality, Achievement, Humility, Simplicity.

Five – Motion, Erratic, Adventure, Passion, Expansion, Travel, Unpredictability

Six – Sincerity, Unfoldment, Protection, Sensitivity, Dependability, Growth, Nurturing.

Seven – Perfection, Imagination, Awareness, Mysticism, Understanding, Healing.

Eight – Opportunity, Observation, Intention, Abundance, Repetition, Infinity.

Nine – Vision, Invention, Influence, Intellectual Power, Attainment, Anticipation.


Nine (4+8+15+16+23+42 = 108 = 9)

108 Reduced: 1+0+8 = 9  [The Ennead]

It is fitting that we now come full circle with the meaning of nine. Indeed, even the visual depiction of the Arabic “9” spirals in on itself to indicate the completion of a cycle.

Nine’s hold energy of attainment and completion, but with that closure, we understand we are also faced with renewal. There is no ending without a beginning (indeed the Latin word for nine is novem which shares its root with novus, meaning ‘new’).

I like to call upon the imagery of the alchemical Uroboros when discussing the meaning of nine because of its relation to that concept of completion versus initiation.

Alchemists were also quite keen on movement and behavior of nature, and would often indicate the Uroboros as a conveyance of rebirth and regeneration. Most importantly, this powerful symbol stands for the maxim “one is all.”

The Uroboros, and the number nine sets the soul’s intention on fathoming the idea of meeting Ourselves to make a connection, and making strides for acceptance (completion) of the endless cycles of life.

Undertones of connection and completion rise to the top of our understanding when we consider the nine as a triplication of the ternary triad. Thus, the meaning of nine reflects three realms of experience (in no order):

  • Body
  • Mind
  • Spirit

Nine’s further solidify the completion via evolution as evident in adding all of the numbers on our numerological journey through the Tarot: 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9=45/reduced: 4+5=9. Here we would find ourselves right back to the beginning.

Furthermore, multiplication by nine always produces digits that add up to nine; more symbolism of that “all is one” concept – completion/connection.

Visually, the meaning of Nine illustrates (inverted & sideways too):

  • Uroboros
  • Comma (just like the six, establishing a pause from one phase to the next
  • Spiral
  • Stick balloon – be light and be grounded simulateously. This image is also akin to the “hobo” bag of the Fool – a journey of experience and understanding with a goal to completion.

Common associations with the meaning of Nine:

  • Tarot Cards: The Hermit, Nine of Wands, Nine of Cups, Nine of Swords, Nine of Pentacles
  • Colors: White
  • Letters: I and R
  • Qabalah symbol: Teth
  • Astrological: Neptune

Potential Personality of Nine:

Those who resonate with nine vibration are magnetic, charming, and conduct themselves with ease and confidence. The are versed in a myriad of topics, and express skills in seemingly countless arenas. When given a channel of expression, these people create amazing feats of accomplishment. Nine people are influencial, and easily manage groups of people. These individuals are perfect for leadership and places of power when they utilize their nine strengths in a healthy manner.

Images Source | Source 

The Hermit (IX) 

The Hermit (IX) is the ninth 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.

Some frequent keywords are:

  • Introspection —– Silence —– Guidance —– Reflection
  • Solitude —– Looking inward —– Reclusion —– Being quiet
  • Inner search —– Deep understanding —– Isolation
  • Distance —– Retreat —– Philosophical attitude

The Waite version of the card shows an old man carrying a staff in one hand and a lit lantern in the other. In the background is a wasteland. Just beyond the wasteland is a mountain range.


The Hermit has internalized the lessons of life to the point that he is the lesson. The Hermit, as a kind of shamanistic hero, has made the complete journey – both the withdrawal and the return. As Joseph Campbell said, “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” (The Hero with a Thousand Faces)

There are two possible ways this card can be interpreted:

  • First, the need to withdraw from society to become comfortable with himself.
  • Second, the return from isolation to share his knowledge with others.

Mythopoetic approach

An old hermit walked around the village and the area day and night, and even in daylight still carried a lit lantern. One day the villagers had enough curiosity to ask him “Sir, why do you carry your lantern lit in daylight?” He said, “Because I’m searching for an honest man.”

This is a story most often attributed to Diogenes of Sinope, one major contributor to the Cynic school of philosophy.

There are several different cycles embedded in the Major Arcana. One of them is 1-9, 10-19. The Magician to the Hermit; the Wheel of Fortune through The Sun. The Fool gains knowledge of the external world, meets the mysteries, finds the initial object of desire, finds mastery, finds knowledge, finds a new object of desire, leaves home, gains some strength, and withdraws for a time to integrate the lessons learned before starting on the next turn of the spiral, where the Wheel of Fortune spins us into a new adventure.

Alternatively, The Hermit may be the old man or woman, metaphorically, that we meet who gives us the insights or tools or training we need to confront the beasts of the forest, the sealed cave, the gated castle, the wormhole.

The Hermit is related through a cross sum (the sum of the digits) to The Moon. While The Hermit mostly integrates the lessons of the sunlit world, the Moon stands at the threshold of light and dark and churns the waters of life. In both cases, treasures can be uncovered through contemplation of what is brought forth. In both cases, monsters may be found.

Some say that The Hermit is a Threshold Guardian, representing an obstacle the Querent, the hero of the piece, must overcome to move on.

A potentially dangerous aspect of The Hermit is his retreat, his isolation. We all need to retreat sometimes; retreat and renewal are necessary for growth. But The Hermit may be tempted to completely withdraw from the world, not because the journey is done, but because the dragons of the real are too daunting, or because the trivial pleasures of the cave are too intoxicating. Withdraw at the wrong time, stay withdrawn too long, and growth stops.

The cowl The Hermit wears protects him and isolates him. Hopefully, at some point, he casts it off and rejoins the world.

Some say that The Hermit represents the time we learn our true names, who we really are. The Greek philosopher Thales is reported to have been asked, “What is the most difficult of all things?” To which he is said to have answered “To know yourself.” The Hermit is given time to obey the Delphic Oracle’s demand: know thyself.

Image Source | Image & Source 

Associated LOST Themes & DHARMA Stations


%d bloggers like this: