Gematria is a numerological technique whereby the letters in a Hebrew word are converted into their numerical equivalents and the resulting string of numbers is used to find other Hebrew words with the same numerical value, thus drawing symbolic parallels between them. A text like Godwin’s Cabalistic Encyclopedia is invaluable in locating meaningful matches. An instructive example is offered by the words AHBH (Ahbah), Love, beloved; AChD (Echad), One, unity; and ZW (Ziv), Glory, splendor, all of which express the number 13.
I used this method to transliterate the English first names of myself and three family members into their Hebrew counterparts and then transform them into numbers that relate to various concepts in Kabbalistic and Hermetic mysticism. Using public-domain clip art, scissors, rubber cement, a scanner and colored pencils, I turned those ideas into a form of personal heraldry that I’ve used for various purposes. At the very least, when framed they make an interesting wall hanging.