To this centre we give the name Shamballa, the component letters of which are numerically: S.H.A.M.B.A.L.L.A. or 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1. This word equals the number 24 which in its turn equals 6. I would call your attention to the fact that the word has in it nine letters, and—as you know—nine is the number of initiation. The goal of all the initiatory process is to admit mankind into realisation of and identification with the will or purpose of Deity. The number 6 is the number of form or of manifestation, which is the agent or medium through which this realisation comes and by which the consciousness is unfolded so that it can become the foundation of the higher process which is instituted at the third initiation. That initiation is closely related to the third major centre, Shamballa; it is the third, from the angle of man’s perception and understanding, but the first from the angle of Deity Itself. Again, 6 being the number of the sixth ray, it is therefore the number of idealism and of that driving force which makes mankind move forward upon the path and in response to the vision and press upward towards the light. It is in reality devotion to an unseen goal, ever on ahead, and an unswerving recognition of the objective. Like all other divine qualities, it has its material counterpart, and that is why 666 is regarded as the number of the Beast or of materialism, the number of the dominance of the three worlds prior to the process of reorientation and the expression of developed idealism and purpose. The third aspect expresses itself through pure materialism, and hence the three sixes. In an ancient book on numbers the initiate is defined as “the one who has experienced and expressed 666 and found it naught; who has dropped the 6 and become the 66, and thus has found himself upon the WAY; later, again, he drops the 6 and becomes the perfected 6—form, the instrument and expression of spirit.”
The number 24 is of deep interest, expressing as it does the double 12—the greater and the lesser zodiac. Just as the number 6 expresses space, so the number 24 expresses time, and is the key to the great cycle of manifestation. It is the clue to all cyclic appearance or incarnation. Its two figures define the method of evolution; 2 equals the quality of love-wisdom, working under the Law of Attraction and drawing man from one point of attainment to another; whilst 4 indicates the technique of conflict and the achieving of harmony through that conflict; 4 is also the number of the human hierarchy, and 2 is the number of the spiritual hierarchy. Technically speaking, until the third initiation, the initiate is “occupied with the relationship of the 2 and the 4; these, when placed side by side, connote relation; and when placed the one above the other, the initiate passes from the 4 into the 2.” Needless to say, there is much more to say anent these figures, but the above will suffice to show the satisfactory nature of esoteric numerology—not numerology as understood today.
I would have you note that the sounds which compose the word “Shamballa” are predominantly along the line of will or power or of first ray energy. Of the nine letters, six are on the first ray line of force. 18.104.22.168.3.1.—spirit and matter, will and intelligence. Two of them are along the second line of force, 4 and 2. The number 8 inaugurates ever a new cycle, following after the number 7, which is that of a relative perfection. It is the number of the Christ-consciousness; just as 7 is the number of man, 8 is the number of the Hierarchy, and 9 is the number of initiation or of Shamballa. Forget not that, from the angle of the Hierarchy, the third initiation is regarded as the first major initiation.
These preliminary remarks are intended to convey much esoteric information to those who realise that number gives the clue to the form and purpose of the life which the form veils. At the third major initiation, the third planetary initiation (which is in fact the first solar initiation), the liberated disciple for the first time—alone and unaided—invokes the highest spiritual centre on our planet, Shamballa. This he does because, for the first time, consciously and with understanding, he registers the life aspect (which has brought his soul into action through the medium of form) and vibrates to the Monad. That registration enables him to contact “the bright centre, lying far ahead,” to blend his individual will with the divine will, and to cooperate with the purpose aspect of manifestation. He has learnt to function through form; he has become aware, as a soul, of the divine form in its many aspects and differentiations; he now starts off upon the way of the higher unfoldment, of which the first step is contact with Shamballa, involving the fusion of his self-will and his spiritual will with the Will of God.
Bailey, A. A (1960) The Rays & the Initiations: A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Vol V, pp. 79-81. Lucis Trust.