AT THE HEART OF ELVIS PRESLEY’S LIFE WAS HIS SPIRITUAL QUEST
Elvis and the science of numbers
Another strong influence in Elvis’ life was the Book of Numbers by Cheiro, also known as Count Louis Hamon, one of the most celebrated and colorful metaphysical figures of the early twentieth century. Some of Cheiro’s clients included Mark Twain, Sarah Bernhardt, Mata Hari, Oscar Wilde, President Grover Cleveland, Thomas Edison, King Edward VII of Great Britain, King Leopold l of Belgium, King Umberto I of Italy, Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra of Russia, Rasputin, Pope Leo XII, Herbert Kitchener, William Gladstone and Joseph Chamberlain.
While Elvis was as sincere about this as he was his other spiritual pursuits, this new game appealed to his boyish side as well and presented him with the opportunity for more generous gifts to his friends. Cheiro’s book explained the significance of birth dates and their related birthstones, so Elvis asked a local Las Vegas jeweler to bring in a variety of rings with precious and semiprecious stones. When the jeweler opened his huge case at Elvis’ request, not only the rings but also bracelets, necklaces, and other goodies spilled out onto the floor.
“All right, let’s see what you got, man.” Elvis was holding Cheiro’s book, according to which his own birth date of January 8 meant his birthstone was a black sapphire. He checked out my birthday, August 8. “Cheiro says you’re a black sapphire like me,” said Elvis.
The jeweler handed a beautiful sapphire ring to Elvis; he first tried it on his own finger, then gave it to me. It fit me perfectly.
“You see,” said Elvis, “it’s your ring.”
As each guy in the group came in, Elvis would verify his birth date, refer to Cheiro’s book, and ask the jeweler for the appropriate stone. The deliriously happy jeweler would quickly reach into his inventory for the ring with an opal or emerald or whatever stone was required.
When the jeweler left, his case was considerably lighter but his wallet was much heavier. Elvis’ generosity was truly appreciated by everyone, but sometimes that appreciation was tainted by greed. Previously antagonistic to his boss’s growing spirituality, one of the guys expressed a newfound appreciation for the pursuit that had become so important to Elvis.
“Well, Larry, I guess that spiritual crap pays off after all.” He admired his expensive gold ring with its beautiful jade stone. “Just keep those damn books comin’.”
Elvis found refuge in an exotic and mystical realm, as far from his world of the glittering lights of show business and the trappings of fame and fortune as you can get. Here his inner being felt at home, comfortable and safe.
Probing to uncover concealed meanings, Elvis sought to unlock hidden codes in words and phrases, unearthing new insights by rearranging letters. He came to understand that letters and numbers were keys to deeper communication.
Elvis read passages slowly and silently first, then read them aloud, as if he were trying in this way to impress their meaning on his consciousness. He would thumb through pages curiously, and then suddenly stop. When he was struck by a paragraph, sentence, or a word, he would underline it. Many of his books contain notations and reminders in their margins.
Night after night upstairs at Graceland, Elvis and I spent hours sweeping through ancient religious and wisdom texts. The science of numbers, letters, symbols, and cycles appealed to him because it explained and imposed a system on the universe. The more insights he had, the more he was able to bridge the gap between his religious upbringing and his new studies. He began to comprehend that the world truly was a conscious creation of God, complete with its own patterns and meanings. There was no such thing as coincidence; nothing happened by chance.
“Good Lord!” he exclaimed, reading from one of his books, “I probably never would have left my church if they had taught this material. I mean, to finally get even a hint of what it’s all about, to be able look behind the veils. I’ll tell you what: All those prophets and whoever it was that wrote the Bible are much wiser and greater than I ever imagined.”
Another significant eight in Elvis’ life was Colonel Parker, whose birthday was June 26 (the digits add up to 8). Ironically, Elvis’ last public performance, in Indianapolis, was on that date; and it was on June 26, two years after Elvis’ death, that his father died. His beloved grandmother, Minnie Mae, died on May 8, 1980.
The Colonel and Elvis were opposite polarities. “It’s very interesting, Elvis,” I said, “that you were born under the sign of Capricorn, and the Colonel under Cancer. You’re both eights, and Capricorn and Cancer are the exact opposite signs in the zodiac.”
“You’re right about that, Larry; we sure are opposite. The Colonel is the business end of our organization. I’m the artistic and creative end. We need each other. I stay away from his area and I want him staying away from mine. That way, it’ll run smoothly.”