figure five (5) - echoed by the (upper-case) letter ‘S' - is of the
ophidian-symmetric type (see ‘two').
still widely used Roman numeral V (upper-case letter ‘V') - despite
appearing as a quasi-alphabetical numeral - is actually a numerical
figure of a far older type, exhibiting a vestigial link to pre-symbolic
tallying systems (such as the ‘five-bar gate' (see ‘one')).
figure ‘5' designates the number five, the third odd number (with
odditude of 2), and the third prime (fifth prime = 11).
is one of the two prime factors of the decimal module (with two),
a fact that is usually attributed to the number of fingers on one
hand. It is on this basis that five serves as modulus or submodulus
in many counting (and currency) systems.
digitally cumulates to fifteen.
Keypad direction: Centre.
number five has particularly strong anthropomorphic associations,
due to its multiple connections with human biological organization.
These are not restricted to the five digits per limb (so crucial to
the social history of numeracy), but extend also to structural dimensions
as varied as the five senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch),
and the five spinal-levels (coccygeal, sacral, lumbar, dorsal, cervical).
These anthropomorphic resonances are disturbed, however, by instances
of fundamentally pentagonal body-plans - pre-eminently that of the
star-fish - which is intrinsic to the aberrancy of the Lovecraftean
monotheistic traditions the number five is associated with doctrinal
authority, as evidenced in the Pentateuch (or five books of Moses),
and in the five pillars of Islam (the ‘arkan,' or five ritual duties).
occult circles the importance of the number five is even more emphatic,
as indicated by the five elements of Chinese alchemy, and by the designs
of the pentagram, the pentazygon, and the the Atlantean Cross (with
its five ‘stations').
relics of the authoritative sense of five can be found in the ‘Five-year
plans' of command economies, in the geopolitical symbolism of The
Pentagon, and perhaps in the near-universal prestige invested in Intel's