By Shepherd Hoodwin
In the Michael teachings, casting refers to a soul’s position within consecutively larger groupings of souls, giving one certain qualities. There are two different kinds of casting for entities (soul families) on the physical plane: initial (essence) casting (first presented in More Messages from Michael by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro in the “Michael Math” chapter), and raw number (incarnational) casting (pioneered by Michael channel JP Van Hulle). There’s a lot of confusion because the two physical plane casting systems have often been conflated. We cannot figure out our raw number from our initial casting. They are two different kinds of casting. One shouldn’t expect them to work the same way.
Our initial casting is the order in which we were cast from the Tao, governing how we tend to direct our essence energies. It can give us flavors of other roles, but not their energies (as essence twin bleedthrough does).
On the third line of my chart are the terms Casting: Cadence Position, Cadence, and Greater Cadence. On the fourth line is Cadre and Entity. These numbers are like our home address.
In the Michael teachings, the term cadence can refer to any group of seven; there are many types to which we belong. Here we are referring to the most important kind, one’s primary cadence, whose members are almost always of the same role. Our position in that is our primary casting. Our role and primary casting are the most important items on our chart, along with our essence twin (ET) role bleedthrough when our ET is discarnate.
The numbers 1 through 7 resonate with the seven roles thus:
These number correlations are the basis of “Michael math.” They move from most populous to least, and from most ordinal (narrow-focused) to most cardinal (wide-focused). This applies to both initial and raw number casting.
To give an example of initial casting, I am a sage with 5/4/3 casting, so I am a sage-cast sage. Sage is my primary casting since 5 is the first number, and sages are the fifth-position role. I am a stereotypical sage, and therefore I tend to strongly direct my sage energies into the sage domain (communication, performance, writing, teaching, singing, etc.—fifth chakra activities). If I were a warrior-cast sage, with the numbers 3/4/3, I would direct my sage energies into the warrior domain, such as the business world, in addition to my normal sage proclivities. (I have a sage essence twin, so ET bleedthrough doesn’t bring in any new role energies.)
My secondary casting is 4, or scholar. I secondarily direct my sage energies into the scholar domain, which accounts for my collecting information as well as disseminating it. The 5 number applies only to me in my cadence, so it is the most concentrated or important for me. The 4 applies to everyone in my cadence of sages (seven of us), so it is more general. One could say that it makes a larger circle around me, diluted but evident from a little further away. Therefore, Sarah Chambers channeled that the number in this position stands out to friends and family.
The third number, 3, is the weakest influence on me personally, since it applies to everyone in my greater cadence, which is forty-nine sages, making a still-larger circle of influence. For me, it adds a bit of the warrior’s enterprising nature. I include it on my charts to see whether it reinforces any other essence influences; in my case, it doesn’t.
Our entity’s number within our cadre (seven entities) is also part of our initial casting. Since it applies to all thousand or so entity members, it is far more diffuse, creating a much bigger circle around us. Therefore, according to Sarah, strangers (those farther away) will notice the casting of our entity’s position. In my case, that is a general artisan quality, since my entity is in the number 2 position of its cadre. All number 2 position entities have a generalized artisan quality. It just so happens that my entity has a lot of sages, so people will also notice a light, general sage flavor in entity members who aren’t sages. Therefore, my entity has a strong expression-axis quality, since artisan and sage are the two expression-axis roles.
I refer to myself as a sage-cast sage because primary casting, or our position within our cadence, is the most important part of our initial casting, but of course not the whole of it. I could accurately refer to myself as a sage/scholar/warrior/ artisan-cast sage, but obviously that would be cumbersome. However, since secondary casting is also quite important, I might also refer to myself as a sage with sage and scholar casting.
Cadre numbers channeled through me have no casting implications, since they are not one out of seven or twelve, but one out of infinity, a unique number for each cadre so that people can know whether they are in the same entity as someone else.
A list of entities and cadres, with their positions and traits, are here:
Michael through me refers to my cadre as 3, but it is first in its cadre group (or energy ring), which is twelve cadres. According to JP Van Hulle, its twelve positions are: love, knowledge, compassion, mentor, beauty, child, humor, discipline, anchor, healer, enlightenment, and muse. These positions particularly relate to how the cadres interact with one another. For example, cadres in the love (first) position tend to initiate new things for the cadre group; in our universe, all things begin with love.
RAW NUMBER CASTING
If our initial casting is like our home address, our raw number casting is like our work address.
Each of us at our core is what might be called a “spark of the Tao,” or a unit of consciousness in the All That Is. A grand cycle is a giant loop from the Tao and back again through the planes of creation. Obviously, our current stop is on the physical plane as humans on Earth. The physical plane is the first of seven.
José Stevens writes in Tao to Earth that before we as eternal beings commit to a grand cycle, we may explore the planet as a deva (nature spirit) in order to get a feel for it and see whether we like it. Devas link directly to the Tao. The fact that I am passionate about trees and other greenery suggests that I was likely a plant deva then. Before the devic stage, we tentatively gather together into entities. After it, most if not all entity (soul family) members commit to a grand cycle. Then, things like casting order are finalized, perhaps with some changes, and the initial casting occurs from the Tao through the higher planes.
The entity “lands” on the astral plane of the chosen planet to organize its time on the physical plane prior to beginning incarnations. Each soul volunteers for specific global jobs and community responsibilities. It is the same entity but its members take different positions that are not so much about the soul’s inner qualities (as in initial casting) as about what it does on the physical plane. Raw number casting is like shuffling a deck of cards; each card retains its type (e.g., four of clubs, or server-cast warrior) but in a different order. This is raw number casting. Raw numbers are a number each entity member has, from 1 to however many members the entity has, typically around a thousand but it can be fewer or greater. If we know our raw number, we can look up where we are in its structure, which determines our global job and community responsibility.
This stage of planning is like forming a search party—the entity splits up to search for different kinds of experiences to bring back to the entity. Then the entity’s first incarnation begins, usually by the soul with the raw number 1 (1/1/1 casting), since 1 casting tends to lead the way or go first. 1 resonates with the role of server, the most ordinal role, but it is in the most cardinal position since it is first; those with 1 casting are predisposed to do server things on a large scale. JP has a raw number of 1. Her entity also happens to be first in its cadre and cadre group (twelve cadres), so she is in a very cardinal position, although her warrior role is ordinal.
There are forty-nine community responsibilities and forty-nine global jobs. In the Raw Numbers Casting Blocks PDF
you can see that each block of forty-nine contains one of each community responsibility. The same order repeats in each block. Since global jobs apply to a whole row of seven numbers, there are only seven of each global job in each block; it takes a whole side of entity, which is seven rows, to use one of each global job.
According to JP, my raw number is 41. Looking up 41 in the Raw Numbers Casting Blocks PDF, one sees that I am in the sixth (priest) position of my row (a row is like initial casting’s cadence), characterized by a community responsibility of trust and faith. The row itself is also sixth in its block (forty-nine souls, like a greater cadence), characterized by welcome, which is my global job. This block is in the first (server) position in its side of entity, which is seven blocks, or 343 souls: 7 x 7 x 7. It has a motivation of bonding, so it is called the server bonding block. So my raw number 41 reduces to 6/6/1 (or if one starts with the block first, as JP does, 1/6/6.) I otherwise have no inspiration-axis qualities on my chart, so this explains where those traits come from (priest and server are the two inspiration-axis roles).
There are three sides of 343 souls in an entity. The first is the truth (intellectual/expression) side, the second is the love (emotional/inspiration) side, and the third is the energy (manifestation/action) side.
Within each side of 343 souls, everyone has a unique combination of community responsibility and global job, but since there are three sides, there are three people who have the same combination. For example, three entity members have a community responsibility of socialization and a global job of partnership: on the truth side, it’s the member with the raw number of 33; on the love side, 376; and on the energy side, 719. Each approaches them from the point of view of their side: truth, love, or energy. So 719 explores socialization and partnership more in an energetic way.
Every time a community responsibility repeats within a side, it combines with a different set of influences. For example, the first instance of the community responsibility of nourishment has a raw number 1 (1/1/1). It is in the server bonding block with a global job of service. It’s purely inspirational, although it inspires by bringing something intellectual—truth—to bear, since it’s on the truth side. The second instance, raw number 50 (1/1/2), is in an artisan invention block with a global job of balance, so that nourishment might be done more creatively, perhaps nourishing through bringing balance. The final instance on the truth side, raw number 295 (1/1/7), is in the king mastery block and has a global job of patronage, so its nourishment has a more kingly flavor.
On the love side, this repeats with raw numbers 344, 393, and 638, in which these responsibilities and jobs have a more emotional quality. And so forth. Therefore, each iteration of a responsibility and job has a different flavor. No two have the same combination of community responsibility, global job, block, and side.
Independently, German Die Quelle channel Varda Hasselmann also received information about raw numbers. Die Quelle’s paths are our position within our cadence in the raw number system. They call the sixth position, for example, the path of silence.
The Seven Paths of the Soul
1—Path of Touch
2—Path of Knowledge
3—Path of Strength
4—Path of Form
5—Path of Longing
6—Path of Silence
7—Path of Search
See the Paths of the Soul for more information:
(Longer text pieces are available both as web pages, which adjust to the size of your screen and are more convenient for phones, and as PDFs, which can be saved and shared.)
A block has seven casting columns, each containing the seven members in a particular position. (There’s no comparable term for that in initial casting.) For example, every member in the sixth position of its row is said to be in the priest casting column, since six is the priest number. They all have the path of silence, but their community responsibilities are either kindness, aspiration, courage, reflection, interpretation, trust/faith, or liberation.
With a raw number of 41, I am also in the priest salvation row, so I have double priest casting in the raw number system. In other words, I am in the priest position both vertically and horizontally within my block on the Raw Numbers Casting Blocks chart. My community responsibility of trust and faith suggest that double priest influence. The soul directly “above” me in my priest casting column, with a raw number of 34 (41 minus 7) is in the sage communication row, with a responsibility of interpretation, which reflects the combination of sage and priest.
According to Michael channel Dave Gregg, some raw numbers are popular, and up to seven entity members occupy them. Therefore, channeling more than one person with the same number in an entity is not necessarily an error. Furthermore, those in neighboring positions may work together on each other’s responsibilities and jobs.
Each entity side has 343 basic raw number positions, and there are three sides. That equals 1029. Therefore, a “standard” entity, with one soul in each position, has 1029 members. If an entity has more than 1029 members, there are two possible reasons. One is that more than one member shares a raw number. The other is that the entity has wild cards, members who sit outside of the basic structure and attach to it between two other members. (There are no wild cards in initial casting; they only exist in raw number casting.)
Wild cards, which are relatively rare, determine their community responsibility and global job differently. The raw number of the third wild card in an entity, for example, could be considered to be 1032 (1029 + 3). That soul’s community responsibility is the same as the soul with the raw number of 3, support, so entity numbering starts over in that regard. Its global job, however, is the same as that of the two other members to whom that soul attaches (whose numbers would need to be channeled). So if it attaches between those with raw numbers 12 and 13, which is in the second row of the first block, it shares the global job of the seven members of that row: health, which is the second global job out of the forty-nine. If it attaches to souls who straddle two rows, such as 14 and 15, it combines the global jobs of health and domestication.
Entity members who are not wild cards have six especially close connections: with the two on either side of them (in my case, 40 and 42), the two above and below (34 and 48), and the two in the same position on the other entity sides (384 love side and 727 energy side). Wild cards have just two strong connections; in the example above, it is with 12 and 13.
The three souls in the same position in their entity’s sides (41, 384, and 727) have a tri-bond. They can explore three sides of issues together over a number of lifetimes. For example, if the issue is abuse of power, in one lifetime, 384 might be the abuser, 727 might be the abused, and 41 might be a neutral witness unable to do anything about it. In two other lifetimes, each takes another position; e.g., 384 is the abused in the next lifetime and the neutral witness in the one that follows. Although this is obviously a negative example, any shared experience is bonding and can help to later draw the entity together when it is reuniting.
There is a third kind of casting once an entity cycles off and starts to reunite on the upper astral plane. That affects its experiences moving forward, giving its members new tasks apropos to a reuniting entity.
The “Michael Math” chapter explains that with casting numbers, cardinality and ordinality are reversed: server is the most ordinal role, but 1 casting, which resonates with server and all the ordinal inspiration overleaves, is most cardinal since it comes first. That allows souls to experience each role’s qualities in a cardinal as well as an ordinal way, other than 4/scholar, which stays neutral since it’s in the middle. This is true of both kinds of casting.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE SYSTEMS
Initial casting groups souls by roles: a string of greater cadences of, say, sages first, then servers, etc. In raw number casting, the basic groups of seven, rows, can have mixed roles. That is one giveaway that they are different systems.
In initial casting, the first number (position in one’s cadence) has the strongest impact on the individual and the following numbers become progressively more diluted. With raw number casting, the importance of its three numbers varies by circumstance.
Entity structure in its initial casting from the Tao can be complex and variable. There are some classic patterns in entity structure, but it can be tailored to what its members want to experience during the upcoming grand cycle. As Michael is fond of saying, “All is choice.”
For example, there can be several strings of greater cadences of one role clustered together, but no set number—there could be one greater cadence of sages in an entity, or eight. There could even be empty, uninhabited spaces in cadences or greater cadences, although this is rare.
Many entities have just one string of each role, but some entities choose to have more than one of certain roles spread throughout the entity. If that is the case, there could be, for example, two or more sages with 3/6/1 initial casting, because the third number refers to our greater cadence’s position within our string of greater cadences, not within, say, all the sages in our entity—our entity may have more than one cluster of sages. For example, there could be two greater cadences of sages followed by six of servers, one more of sages, four of scholars, five of kings, and two more of sages—so not all the sages are in one “place.”
In addition, some entities might choose to have all seven roles rather than the more common two to four.
Raw number casting is more uniform: 7 x 7 = 49. 49 x 7 = 343. 343 x 3 = 1029. It is about specific global jobs and community responsibilities, forty-nine of each, and not about the structure of the entity itself. These are inherent to working on the physical plane, so it’s a matter of choosing from these naturally occurring energies, just as we pick from one of seven with each of the roles and overleaves. However, those global jobs and community responsibilities manifest differently in different contexts, such as in different cultures, and certainly on other planets with different sentient life forms.
Side of entity in raw number casting is not the same as love, truth, or beauty orientation on my charts. There are no sides in initial casting; initial entity structure isn’t in three parts.
In our universe, the emanation from the Tao divides, like through a prism, into three fundamental forces: love (emotion), truth (intellect), and beauty (vitality, or pure energy). On the Michael chart, these show up as the inspiration, expression, and action axes. Each soul must tie into one or two of these universal forces in order to maintain its existence in the universe. A fourth quality, assimilation, is neutral and is inherent in the created universe—you might say that it was already here. These four forces then go on to account for all creation.
In raw number casting, the three fundamental forces show up in the three sides of the entity. In initial casting, orientations are distributed randomly through entities by the choices of individual entity members. An entity doesn’t necessarily have equal numbers of each orientation. A whole cadre is more likely to, but it’s not required.
I have a truth/love orientation, which means that from my initial casting, I am always working to integrate truth and love. Orientations are usually just love, truth, or beauty, not a combination, but some sparks do choose to work with integrating two of the three forces. On the other hand, in my raw number casting, I am on the truth side only—truth characterizes my community responsibility and global job, as it does for everyone on my side of my entity.
We could theoretically also have a raw number in initial casting, but the potential complexity and variability of entity structure makes it less well suited to assigning a unique, definitive number to each essence. It would be like trying to assign a numerical order to people on a field where many are lined up in the center but some are lined up off to the side—our decisions about where to integrate those on the side into the main line would be somewhat arbitrary.
Initial casting is more “baked into” our essence than raw number casting; it is more likely to show up in one’s appearance. Here is an invaluable tool for learning how casting or essence twin bleedthrough can modify one’s appearance.
Raw number casting is most relevant to the sorts of tasks undertaken on the physical plane. However, it continues to color the soul somewhat as it moves through the higher planes, especially the astral and causal, although less so than initial casting does. (Our experience on the three high planes is abstract and more unified.)
CASTING VERSUS ROLE
Neither kind of casting is more important than our essence role, which is our basic nature. Sometimes, however, our secondary influences, especially our initial primary casting and/or ET bleedthrough, jump out at others first. The roles of server, artisan, and scholar tend to be more mild-mannered, whereas the other roles have stronger flavors. If secondaries have a stronger flavor than a person’s role, they have a greater tendency to be noticed first.
Also, our essence role is more internal—it is literally our essential nature—whereas our initial casting is how we project that into the world, another reason it might be noticed first.
If secondary influences are reinforced elsewhere on our chart, that makes them all the stronger. Let’s say that a scholar has warrior primary casting, a discarnate warrior essence twin (whose energy bleeds through), the warrior attitude of cynic, and is third-level young (the warrior level of the number three/warrior soul age). You would probably think that the person is a warrior unless you carefully studied their eyes.
This is probably not the first time that we as sparks of the Tao (our innermost nature) have inhabited a physical life form capable of reason. The average person on Earth has done it four times before, each time in a different life form on another planet. Some humans have done it as many as nineteen times. Each time we do a grand cycle, we develop more complexity—we become more skilled at this game. If an entity has a high average number of previous cycles, the consensus might find it interesting to vary initial casting’s usual entity structure. (See Chapter 15, “Previous Cycles,” in my book Journey of Your Soul.)
Nothing on a Michael Reading chart, including our casting, describes traits of the spark of the Tao or is carried forward from previous grand cycles. If we choose to embark on another grand cycle after reuniting with the Tao, we start with a blank slate and can choose everything new. As they say, variety is the spice of life. We are here partly to grow, and a variety of experiences gives us more growth.
It’s not likely that we’d want to have the same combinations of traits again. If we already did a grand cycle as a server with a server essence twin and king primary casting, the next time we’re a server, we might choose to have a sage essence twin and scholar primary casting, which would give us a more informational orientation.
We are likely to join with some friends from previous cycles on new adventures, so members of our current entity or at least cadre might be sparks we knew during at least one previous cycle, albeit in new configurations. The Michael teachings name a relationship essence mate to refer to a soul who was our essence twin during a previous cycle. Task mates are former task companions.
Since “all is choice” and entities reconfigure each cycle, an entity could include essences with three previous cycles alongside those with eighteen. We choose how we want to experience each planet, and with whom. In addition, we choose the speed with which we move through the physical plane, so an entity could include baby souls alongside old souls, although entity mates tend to move more in tandem. There are few rigid rules in the universe—just tendencies.
As complicated as this all might sound, virtually everything taught in metaphysics, including the Michael teachings, is already a simplification of a reality far too complex for us to understand in human bodies limited by five senses and our modest brain. We can only work with models that approximate reality. Entities are not physical objects with different locations within them, like street addresses, but we use that model for our convenience. We are actually talking about different vibrational frequencies.
As we ascend through the higher planes, consecutively larger groups reunite; consciousness as an individual lessens and consciousness as the larger unit increases. Michael is on the mid-causal plane and they speak of themselves as a reunited entity—the one thousand fifty warrior and king souls work together much more directly and are more integrated than when they were incarnating on the physical plane in their own individual lifetimes. They identify with the whole entity, just as our thumb might identify as being our body. However, reunification occurs without the parts dissolving. I can communicate, for example, with the specific member currently most responsible for dictating my charts, a server-cast king in terms of initial casting.
Michael will experience more integration still as they move through the higher planes. At one point, they will identify as being their cadre, and later, their cadre group, etc. until they have completed this grand cycle and are again fully integrated with the Tao.
If you’ve had your raw number channeled, look it up on the Raw Numbers Casting Blocks PDF. At the bottom of the box is your community responsibility. To the left is your global job.
Ed Hamerstrom had a series of individual Michael channeling sessions around 2010 with JP Van Hulle on this subject. They discussed each of the forty-nine community responsibilities and forty-nine global jobs. You can look up yours by searching the two PDFs of the transcripts. Many thanks to JP and Ed for this invaluable resource, and to Barbara Taylor for creating the graphics for the Raw Numbers Casting Blocks PDF, based on JP’s work. Also, big thanks to Varda Hasselmann for her permission to include the Paths of the Soul PDF, an excerpt from one of her books, generously translated by Torsten Sohns. If you received a chart from me, the PDFs are also in the accompanying Chart Reference Material folder.
More on Casting, by Dave Gregg:
Raw Numbers Casting Blocks:
Paths of The Soul: