The Tree of Life

The Kircher Tree

Just as there are different renditions of the planetrary spheres, we also see differing versions of the Tree of Life. Oddly enough, the most common version of the Tree in use today is one generated and first published in the form below by Athanasius Kircher, a Jesuit priest (in "Oedipus Aegyptiacus" 1653). Here we see the spheres with their numbers, planets and a key word. Remember that there are more than one keyword per sphere, and that different symbologists prefer different terms.

For an excellent overview of the life of A. Kircher, I would direct you to pages 86-103 of Peter Tompkins "The Magic of Obelisks". According to Tompkins, Kircher was a firm believer in the influence of heavenly bodies on earthly happenings and phenomenon.

It was Kircher who replaced Johann Kepler as the mathematician for Holy Roman Emporer Ferdinand II. Kircher was convinced, like de Lubicz and the author of the Canon, that the temples of Egypt incorporated both the cosmology of the ancients, and their physics or science (the Enoch story). De Lubicz had called Egyptian temples, libraries in stone, vast masonry symbols that incorporated the totality of Egyptian wisdom, including science, mathematics, geodesy, geometry, astronomy, astrology, myth and art.

The Tree does the same thing. We have already shown the connection to the kabbalistic legend about the emanations of God and the descent of the souls through the planetary spheres, and would now like to give some more examples.

Agrippa and Magic Squares

A Magic Square is a square array of numbers consisting of the distinct positive integers (1, 2,3, etc.), arranged so that the sum of the numbers in any horizontal, vertical, or main diagonal line is always the same number. We are told that the first indication of any mathematical investigation into magic squares in Europe, was done by Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535), who constructed magic squares from orders 3 to 9, each associated with the then known planets, including the sun and moon.

As you can see on Kircher's Tree (above), the planet Saturn is at sphere 3 on the Tree of Life, while Jupiter is at 4, Mars at 5, 6 is the Sun, 7 is Venus, 8 is Mercury, and 9 is the moon. Looking at the magic squares, we note that the square of Saturn has three rows and three columns, while the one for Jupiter has 4, Mars 5, the Sun 6, etc.

In other words the magic square for each of the planets, the sun and the moon, consists of a matrix of rows and columns equal to the number of the corresponding sephera or sphere on the tree. The Saturn square consists of the first nine digits, and any row or column or diagonal adds to 15.

The Jupiter square consists of the first 16 digits and adds to 34.

The Mars square is 5x5 and adds to 65, the sun square is 6x6 and adds to 111, the Venus square is 7x7 and adds to 175, the Mercury suqare is 8x8 and adds to 260, the Moon square is 9x9 and adds to 369.

Note that the sum of all the numbers from 1 to 36 arranged in the 6x6 magic square of the sun are 666. The table below summarizes the information for seven magic squares.

Planet Rows and Columns Boxes in Square Sum of Any Line Sum of Perimeter Sum of Entire Square
Saturn 3 9 15 40 45
Jupiter 4 16 34 102 136
Mars 5 25 65 208 325
Sun 6 36 111 370 666
Venus 7 49 175 600 1225
Mercury 8 64 260 910 2080
Moon 9 81 369 1312 3321

What this means in relationship to the tree's form, is that, using a nine sphere tree puts Saturn at the second sphere, and there is no magic square that works for 2. This correlation between the planets and the numbers of the squares, only works if the planets start at three. Note that Kircher's Tree does not appear until 1653, over a hundred years after Agrippa's death; meaning that Kircher did not invent this system, he just published a version of the Tree.

The Shapes of the Number and Astrological Signs

I contend that if you look at the planetary signs, that you will see that they "look like" the number associated with that planet and sphere on the tree. I'll start with an easy one, four. Comparing the sign for Jupiter with the numeral 4, it is hard to deny a correspondence. To produce the numeral 3 from the sign for Saturn, you just tilt it and move the cross-bar, for 5 you tilt Mars and open up the circle, for 8 you drop the cross and close the top circle of Mercury, opening the circle of the Venus symbol produces a 7 with a cross-bar that some people use to distinguish it from a 2, the z in zodiac at the second sphere looks like a 2, thereby reinforcing what was said about this system requiring ten spheres.


10 is formed by moving the vertical line from the earth sign and removing the horizontal, 6 is formed by adding a loop to the sign for the sun, while adding the opposite loop produces a 9 from the sign for the Moon.