The Telefol language of Papau New Guinea uses a base-27 counting system, derived from counting human body parts — the left pinky to the left thumb (1-5); the wrist, lower arm, elbow, upper arm, and shoulder (6-10); the side of the neck, ear, and left eye (11-13); the nose (14); and similarly on the right side in reverse order, from the right eye to the right pinky (15-27)
27 is one of the few “self-locating” strings in Pi. Self-locating strings appear at the position corresponding to their value. Using “zero-based” indexing (counting the number after the decimal place as position number zero, which is customary in computer science), 27 occurs in the 27th and 28th positions.
In Kabballah, the Jewish book of mysticism, the 27th path is the Sekhel Murgash, or Path of Natural Intelligence, whereby “the nature of everything found in the orb of the sun is completed and perfected.”
In the I Ching, the ancient Chinese Book of Changes, the 27th hexagram is Corners of the Mouth. This hexagram communicates the importance of feeding one’s superior (and not inferior) impulses — if one’s best self is nourished, good fortune will follow.
In Buddhist philosophy, 27 is the highest level of spiritual attainment in Rupa-loka (the material world). Above that are four more levels of attainment in the non-material world — infinite space, infinite consciousness, nothingness, and finally: neither perception nor non-perception.
In the King James version of the Bible’s Old Testament, the 27th word is “deep” — In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
The “27 Club” is a pop culture meme describing the many artists who died at age 27 — including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Brian Jones, and Amy Winehouse.
The English alphabet contains 26 characters. In the seventh century, European monks invented the whitespace character between words, which made reading dramatically easier. Including the whitespace for legibility, the alphabet contains 27 characters.
In the Platonic dialogue, Timaeus, Plato states that God created the “Cosmic Soul” of the universe using two mathematical strips of 1, 2, 4, 8 and 1, 3, 9, 27, arranged in the shape of an inverted “V.” This shape is known as the “Platonic Lambda,” in which the highest number is 27.
Saturn reassumes the same position every 27 years. In Astrology, this is called the “Saturn Return,” which occurs between the ages of 27 and 29, and then again at 54. The Saturn Return is said to be a time of reckoning, when people weed out their lives.