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In the great wisdom traditions of antiquity, numbers played a very important role. Not as significators of quantity - as we mostly use them today - but as significators of various qualities. Thus, the number One signified the quality of Oneness or Unity. The number Two signified the quality of Duality rather than merely the quantity of two. And so forth.
There are definite numerological, cosmological, and astrological/astronomical reasons for there being twelve zodiac signs. Three modes of creativity (the constructive, sustaining, and dissolving or destructive modes) are multiplied by four aspects of manifestation (the four seasons, four elements, four directions, etc.) and we have the twelve "signs" of the zodiac.
So, I don´t think the number twelve necessarily has to be associated with patriarchy, nor the number thirteen with matriarchy, although such associations may have arisen later, due to solar and lunar symbolism. In fact, according to the ancient traditions, even numbers are associated with the feminine and odd numbers with the male. And in some traditions the sun is seen as female and the moon as male.
There are definite cosmological, astrological/astronomical, and geographical reasons for dividing a nation into twelve parts, tribes, etc. And, as shown in the book "Twelve Tribe Nations" that I referred to earlier, such twelvefold patterns were almost universal in the ancient world. Which means, of course, that the "twelve tribes of Israel" - if ever real - were just part of a normal and worldwide pattern.
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© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.