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Number of holes in the human body...

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 13 Feb 2005, and now archived in the Forum Library.



similia  13 Feb 2005 
OK, this is a little silly, but I'm curious to hear what peope have to say.

I was flipping through Rachel Pollack's "78 Degrees of Wisdom" and she was comparing The Chariot (7) to Strength (8). She explains that The Chariot is 7 as that is the number of holes in the male body, and Strength is 8 as that is the number of holes in the female body (in both cases the nostrils count as only one hole). This is based on magical tradition (she says).

So I've been counting, and cannot come up with any combination that gets the same numbers as her. Can anyone please give me an anatomy lesson.

Eyes: should these count? I guess as 2.
Nose: specified as counting for 1.
Ears: I'd guess 2.
Mouth: 1
Anus: 1
Urethra: 1
Vagina: 1 in half of us.

I was thinking perhaps the urethra doesn't count, but its really not an easy oversight to make (especially in a magical system....) 


HudsonGray  13 Feb 2005 
You're right, it is hard to come up with an 8.

Nostrils are one? The skull has two holes for them, but I guess I can go with one. I don't know that I'd consider the eyes as holes, they are blocked by the actual eyeballs after all.

Maybe the belly button was counted? Though it's a blocked hole only going in 1/2 inch on most people, it doesn't connect to anything anymore.

I'm ok with ears (2), anus (1), urethra/vagina (1), mouth (1) and nose (1). The eyes would be 2 more for 8, but...they don't really seem like 'holes' to me. A 'hole' means you can put something in. Who puts things in their eyes & expects it to go way in rather than on the surface? 


similia  14 Feb 2005 
HudsonGray wrote:
Maybe the belly button was counted?


I'm trying to include the Marseille's fans.

With 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 nostrils, 1 mouth, 1 anus, 1 urethra, 1 vagina, and 1 belly button we reach 11!

Guess Strength is number 11 after all. (Of course that still doesn't sort out the poor man with only 10 holes, guess he's the 10 of Swords) 


WalesWoman  14 Feb 2005 
Guess someone needs to ask Rachel Pollack for an anatomy lesson. Not counting eyes, I get 6 for a male, unless she is also counting his sperm tube, but that still comes out the same place, so maybe she is referring to his belly button, unless she counts the third eye? The nose is one hole really, there is a thin bit of cartilege (the septum) that divides it into the two nasal cavities.
And what about all the pores and oil glands, tear ducts and mammary milk ducts? Those add up to a lot more than 7 or 8.
Nah, I think she just got carried away and the editor didn't catch that. EEEPS, guess everyone is falliable.

PS: After I posted this, I just noticed this was my 1111 post, so maybe the 11 is significant after all for the number of countable holes. Maybe Strength really is 11!

I can't believe this...the whole concept is funny. 


closrapexa  14 Feb 2005 
Ahem, men have a hole "down there" as well. I counted two ears, two nostrils, on mouth, one anus and one, um, member (!?) and came up with seven.

Do I have any others that I don't know about? 


temperlyne  14 Feb 2005 
technically the mouth and the anus form a tunnel and are part of the 'outside world', but I count them as holes. Eyes are not holes, because only light can penetrate, they are more like windows.
so this is what I come up with:

male: 2 ears, 2 nostrils, 1 mouth, 1 anus, 1 urethra = 7
female: 2 ears, 2 nostrils, 1 mouth, 1 anus, 1 urethra, 1 vagina = 8 


similia  14 Feb 2005 
closrapexa wrote:
Do I have any others


It does work out better if you leave out the eyes, and count the nostrils as two. Maybe the insistance of the nostrils as 1 was a typo and should have been 2...?

Thanks for the input all. I hope you were amused. :) 


Dark Inquisitor  14 Feb 2005 
Oh yes...it's only a matter of time, The Orifice Oracle. 


Fudugazi  14 Feb 2005 
similia wrote:
Guess Strength is number 11 after all. (Of course that still doesn't sort out the poor man with only 10 holes, guess he's the 10 of Swords)


ROFLOL - There is no way I can explain to my colleagues just why I was laughing at my screen just now...

Why is Strength in any of its manifestations or numbers linked to the number of holes in our bodies? Sounds like a Rachel eccentricity to me!! 


Jewel-ry  14 Feb 2005 
IMO - Don't count the eyes and nostrils count as two. That should add up to 7 for male and 8 for female.




Fudugazi  14 Feb 2005 
Dark Inquisitor wrote:
Oh yes...it's only a matter of time, The Orifice Oracle.


For those who really want to open up. 


RedMaple  14 Feb 2005 
Obviously, Rachel Pollock needs an anatomy lesson.

I had always heard that it was the number of openings in the head -- 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 nostrils, one mouth that added up to seven.

But if you take each of the senses as only one opening: ears, nose, eyes, mouth = 4, then the other openings add up to 7 for women, 6 for men.

There are 28 days of the moon cycle, divided by 4 is 7.

Seven is important because there are six directions - N,S,E,W, Sky and Earth, and then the seventh, the center, the place of spirit.

Seven is of course the largest prime number under 10, which would make it magical, since 10 is the number of human beings (number of fingers.) 


DollieAnna  14 Feb 2005 
pores are holes, as are glands (sweat, oil, etc) with their openings..you'd have alot of counting to do 


yusia  14 Feb 2005 
What about the third eye? lol 


DollieAnna  14 Feb 2005 
yusia wrote:
What about the third eye? lol

yes, lol! 


Rosanne  14 Feb 2005 
Ye olde Maxim for The Orifice Oracle
The Good Lord gave us two ends
Our success depends upon the one we use the most-
Heads we win, Tails we lose.
One short sentence has caused me so much laughter today- thank you Dark Inquisitor 


AmberWolf  14 Feb 2005 
temperlyne wrote:
technically the mouth and the anus form a tunnel and are part of the 'outside world', but I count them as holes. Eyes are not holes, because only light can penetrate, they are more like windows.
so this is what I come up with:

male: 2 ears, 2 nostrils, 1 mouth, 1 anus, 1 urethra = 7
female: 2 ears, 2 nostrils, 1 mouth, 1 anus, 1 urethra, 1 vagina = 8


Do sound like the most logical conclusion. It go against what the author said tho, but maybe it WAS a typo after all.

Would be interesting to find an answer from her somewhere. :)

*AmberWolf go hunting* ;) 


Rosanne  15 Feb 2005 
I had to go to the doctor this afternoon, so I asked him about the Human Holes. he laughed at my description and gave the medical term(which I can't remember) but said medically they were egress points for fluids and said
The Organ- Skin
2 Eyes(the tear Ducts)
2 Ears
1 Nose
1 Anus
1 Urethra
1 Vagina - 8 for males -9 for females. 


Imagemaker  15 Feb 2005 
Ah, nothing like getting actual anatomical accuracy! Thanks for clearing this up, now the eyes make sense. 


Eco74  15 Feb 2005 
Rosanne wrote:
I had to go to the doctor this afternoon, so I asked him about the Human Holes. he laughed at my description and gave the medical term(which I can't remember) but said medically they were egress points for fluids and said
The Organ- Skin
2 Eyes(the tear Ducts)
2 Ears
1 Nose
1 Anus
1 Urethra
1 Vagina - 8 for males -9 for females.

So not accounting for the less obvious skin that was probably not that closely examined back then, we are left with 7 for males and 8 for females.

I'm glad you asked him Rosanne. You've saved me bundles of time searching medical/mystical websites for clues. ;) 


Kissa  15 Feb 2005 
Hmmm...

Was never that impressed by Mrs Pollack's work but now, I must admit I am quite confused.

Don't like the gender division at all. All female and male things. And if you even reduce gender specificity to holes, well.. isn't that too hum... reducing?

This is the kind of things I dislike very much about RWS tradition: authors trying to have the weirdest theories fitting the images and vice versa...

Kissa 


Phaedra  15 Feb 2005 
For an occult take, I dug out an old copy of the Farrar's The Witches' Way and found their description of the Openings of the Body Ritual. This is intended as a protective spell to seal the aura.

They list the following openings:

On a man: Right eye, left eye, right ear, left ear, right nostril, left nostril, mouth, right nipple, left nipple, navel, tip of penis, anus (twelve openings in all).
On a woman: Right eye, left eye, right ear, left ear, right nostril, left nostril, mouth, right nipple, left nipple, navel, urethra, vaginal opening, anus (thirteen openings in all).
(pg 85)

Thirteen -- Death and rebirth?

Anyway, I think it's beside the point to think in terms of literal openings. The Farrars are talking about psychic openings. Pollack is talking about symbolic openings, as well.

I'm not sure where Rachel got her count, but I don't find her logic any more convoluted than, for example, what is used to assign cards to the Kabbalah. Different systems of thinking about the cards give different explanations. That's the essence of a symbol, after all; something that is less literal than words. 


The Number of holes in the human body... thread was originally posted on 13 Feb 2005 in the Talking Tarot board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the active threads in Talking Tarot, or read more archived threads.

 
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