The actual basis of the mysteries was astrology. Every pagan god was an impersonation of some heavenly body, whether a planet or a constellation. In the serpentine pathway of the planets through the zodiac, the heathen envisioned a seven-headed dragon. Identified in Revelation 12:9, the ultimate object of all pagan worship is Satan. The superstitious pagans, living in fear of their gods, performed acts of worship in order to appease and placate them.
Each astrological deity was assigned a number. The heathen figured they could conciliate the gods by wearing a charm or an amulet representing the deity they wished to please.
The amulet shown here displays the numbers 1-36, arranged in a magic square. All the deities associated with those numbers were therefore represented. Since the celestial sphere was made up of 36 divisions, the number 666, which is the sum of all those numbers, took in the entire system of pagan worship.
The book of Revelation tells us that 666 is the number of the beast. It is the number of his name, and it is the number of a man. He that has understanding is invited to count the number (Revelation 13:17, 18).
The dragon, the beast, and the false prophet are the three manifestations of the Babylonian system of worship (Revelation 16:13). As the number that represents the whole Babylonian system, 666 is therefore the number of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.
The sun, as the grand centerpiece of all the starry host, was personified in its deified human priest on earth. Thus the kings of Babylon, and later the kings of Pergamum, and eventually the Roman emperors, were worshipped as the living manifestation of the sun god, the personal embodiment of its cult. As high priest of the sacred mysteries, those royal personages carried the title of Pontifex Maximus. As the pontiff represented the whole system, 666 was therefore the number of his name.