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Old Bead Arrangements for the Names of God

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This is a history of how I came up with the list I use for the 99 Names of God, and a description of a 43-bead rosary I used from about 1998 to 2000. I also had a 17-bead bracelet that "zipped" the larger rosary in a very complicated way that's probably of interest to no one but me. I wanted to put it here for my own reference, and in case of the remote possibility that someone else might find it interesting.

Before I finalized the 99 Names of God, I had 40 categories with several names in each one. The 40 categories were sub-categories of nine larger categories, which were in turn sub-categories of three main categories (Transcendent, Subtle, and Merciful). Here are the 40 categories:

I made a wooden necklace with beads for each category, dividers between the nine sub-categories, and larger dividers between the three main sub-catetories. The pattern was 7,3,3--5,4,4--4,3,7, with one large bead connecting the ends. However, to make the pattern symmetric, so that I could travel either way around it, I eventually moved one bead so that the pattern was 7,3,3--5,4,5--3,3,7

I also came up with a bracelet of 16 beads plus a large bead, that zipped this pattern. I would go around it three times, once for each of the three main categories in the above list. It used three kinds of beads that became spacers in each pass, as well as counter beads and one small bead at the end that was only used for the last pass. As with the necklace, there was a large bead to connect the ends. The pattern looked like this: ****32*13*21***&. The "1" beads divided the set into groups of 7, 3 and 3, the "2" beads divided the set into groups of 5,4 and 4, the "3" beads divided the third set into groups of 4,4 and 7. On the first two passes I would skip the small bead at the end. I was very pleased with the resulting symmetry. You can see the bracelet in the above photo.

On each of the 40 beads, I would say several Names, taken from the following list.

The 99+ Names of God

Eventually I made a more formal list with 99 Names in it. As in the previous list, I would select names from each category, but used a certain number of names from each category for a total of 99. I ended up making a 99 Names rosary with 40 colored sections, with the set number of beads in each one. It was in using that rosary that I eventually memorized the list that I use now, on a strand of 33 beads, and sometimes on the Catholic rosary beads.

See the description of the 99 Names and the Universal Rosary on the "Karen's Prayer Beads" page for more explanation of the 33-bead strands. I haven't used those old beads for a decade now, preferring the Universal Rosary, but I like the way they look, and I wanted to remember how they work.

Here is the list. I've put asterisks between the first 12, the next 9, and the last 12 in each column, because I use markers in my strand of 33 beads at those positions to help me keep track of where I am.

1. Transcendent 34. Subtle 67. Merciful
2. Mystical 35. Creator 68. Clement
3. Wonderful 36. Preserver 69. Temperate
4. Glorious 37. Destroyer 70. Compassionate
5. Shining 38. Humbler 71. Caring
6. Splendid 39. Exalter 72. Loving
7. Mysterious 40. Life Giver 73. Kind
8. Unseen 41. Death Giver 74. Peacful
9. Indescribable 42. Manifest 75. Tranquil
10. Incomparable 43. Hidden 76. Patient
11. One 44. First 77. Healer
12. Unique 45. Last 78. Nourisher
* * *
13. Eternal 46. Wise 79. Bountiful
14. Everlasting 47. Aware 80. Abundant
15. Undying 48. Awake 81. Enricher
16. Good 49. Seer 82. Bestower
17. Praiseworthy 50. Hearer 83. Gracious
18. Commendable 51. Knower 84. Protector
19. Pure 52. Answer 85. Guardian
20. Holy 53. Revealer 86. Subduer
21. Truth 54. Opener 87. Trustworthy
* * *
22. Compelling 55. Nigh 88. Dependable
23. Powerful 56. Reckoner 89. Haven
24. Exalted 57. Numberer 90. Harbor
25. Mighty 58. Judge 91. Refuge
26. Majestic 59. Just 92. Savior
27. Ruler 60. Equitable 93. Liberator
28. Maker 61. Witness 94. Counselor
29. Originator 62. Rememberer 95. Keeper
30. Author 63. Recorder 96. Foundation
31. Designer 64. Harvester 97. Hope
32. Weaver 65. Gatherer 98. Helper
33. Fulfiller 66. Unifier 99. Friend

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