26 Apr The number Eight
All numbers have meanings, and different meanings within different cultures. But there is one number that seems to cross cultures, transcending religious and ethnic boundaries with its underlying meaning of immortality: the number eight.
To the Egyptians, eight was the most magical of numbers and meant ‘balance’ and ‘cosmic order’. According to Tim Wallace-Murphy and Marilyn Hopkins, the authors of Rosslyn, eight sacred sites formed a great cyclical ritual performed by Egyptian initiates. The initiates were issued with a Caduceus staff. The ultimate goal, after learning the healing mysteries of the serpent and how to kill one, was the elixir itself. In effect, the ritual was a re-enactment of what was later to become the alchemical quest – the search for the later Philosopher’s Stone or Elixir of Life acted out in some kind of great Passion play.
The Philosopher’s Ladder, or Scala Philosophorum, which is associated with the shaman’s ‘sky ladder,’ ‘tree’, ‘pole’ or ‘spiral vine’, all allusions to the spinal axis, has eight steps, as depicted in a carved relief at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.
The number eight was also of great importance in Islam, evidenced in Islamic architecture and art, which influenced the Templars, who incorporated the number into their Templar Cross and octagonal buildings … Eight was to many different societies the number for resurrection and immortality. When placed on its side, the figure eight gives us the lemniscate (∞), commonly used to symbolize infinity or eternity. It is therefore the symbol of the serpent, the eternal self-eating, self-creating Leviathan, as symbolized in the circular Ouroboros snake or serpent that is shown swallowing its own tail.
8 is the first cube of energy, and is the only evenly even number within the decad. The Greeks thought it an all-powerful number; they had a Proverb “all things are eight.” Camerarius, in his edition of the Arithmetic of Nicomachus, calls it Universal Harmony, because musical ratios are distinguished by this number.
The Ratio of 9 to 8 is sesquioctave, this forms a tone and is attributed to the Moon.
Bragi in the Scandinavian myths is the god of poetry and a divine intoxicating drink which has the name “Honey of Poetry” and is a source of poetic inspiration, that corresponds to number 8 in numerology and to the Greek Dionysus. So again we have a link to a special mixed drink with special powers in a strange cup and a number 8 … to be continued