Great stuff Huck, thanks for sharing!
Lots to think about in this arrangement, which seems very sensible.
The inclusion of the number 286 is remarkable - it never occurred to me to add the mystic number of the spheres (55) to the mystic number of the paths/trumps (231). This number plays a big role in the Trigrammaton system, but that's a bit too far off-topic
0+1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10+11+12+13+14+15+16+178+19+20+21 = 231
is more trivial
than the 231 as the number of relations between 22 letters, naturally depending on the law, that the first letter could relate to 21 others, the second could relate to 20 (not counting the relation to the first), the third could relate to 19 (not counting the relation to the first and second), the next to 18, the following to 17 etc. ... an operation, which naturally produces the same number 231.
"More trivial" is somehow "better".
Why not counting 1+2+3 etc. till 22, instead of counting 0+1+2+3 etc. till 21?
Well, there was the idea to connect the values of the binary code 2^6.
Between the pair-elements of this system the value 111111/000000 has clearly an outstanding role against pairs as for instance 100000/0111111 or 100100/011011 or 110000/0011111 or 101000/010111.
So the idea, that the letter, which was addressed to the pair 111111/000000, MUST get a specific role inside the created alphabet. So Alef, the first letter, got this role. A letter, which gave birth to all the other letters. The origin of all others.
That's another trivial wisdom, if one knows, that's the binary code 2^6 was the major object and not the alphabet, which was just a creative addition for the practical use in writing.
One can create a lot of alphabets or writing systems, but one cannot create the binary code. Somehow it's already there, and it's even a little bit older than the decadic system of numbers.
Anyway, they (the authors of SY) made, what they made, and they found the number 231 + 55 = 286 more interesting than any other. And so they created their humble number-game in the book. And it's trivial enough, that one can redetect it.
Bu I would assume, that the author of the original alphabet wasn't interested in such complications.
He was interested in a straight and simple system. He would have distributed the different binary pair symbols in a most simple way:
1 (0 or 1) - 3 mothers - 6 other double letters - 12 simple letters
Checking the used names of letters (and their meaning) it appears, as if the last 12 letters (letter 11-22) present some parts of the body, in the manner, that 11-16 present the body, and 17-22 present the face or the senses. Both together seem to build a sort of alphabet-man, a rather good idea, if one reconsiders the original problem of the alphabet-creator to form an alphabet, which was easy to learn for everybody, and funny enough for children.
We had once a long talk about it, a long, long time ago ...
The letters 5-10 are not so easy understood, as far the names are concerned. Generally one has to suspect, that the creator took already existing and used words to make teaching the alphabet VERY EASY, so he must have chosen words, which fitted the intended sound and in a similar way could be understood in the context of his didactical plan.
We have lost his context, so we possibly don't understand the joke ... nowadays.
Aleph ... ox ... they had a bull cult
beth ... house .. where you are now
gimel ... gimel ... a way to travel
daleth ... door ... here the world of the alphabet opens
double letters = ??????
simple letters = the Alphabet man
... ... hoping, that's trivial enough.
The alphabet became successful, that's what we know, very deciding for our Western culture. More complex and more difficult writing systems were replaced.
Gutenberg was happy, that he hadn't to make 1000s of Chinese kanji signs for printing.