Here, the Tree has been conceptualized as three pillars named Severity, Mercy and Mildness. Looking at the Kircher Tree above, you can see that he calls sphere 4 Mercy and sphere 5 Severity, these two being asociated with Jupiter and Mars respectively. Jupiter is described as a monarch on a throne while Mars is in his chariot, symbolizing two modes of governance.
We see in the overlaid image. that Osiris holds a flail in his right hand and a shepherd's crook in his left hand, which reflect the above symbolism associated with Jupiter and Mars. Compounding this symbolism, we find that the planets on Osiris' right side, Saturn, Mars and Mercury are considered malefics by astrologers, while Jupiter and Venus (who accorcing to legend sprang full grown from the forehead of her father Jupter), on his left, are considered benefics.
You will, no doubt recall the symbolism of the arrows and the olive branches that is used in the United States Great Seal, which, by the way, features 13 stars at the top, and 9 tail feathers; you know, like the thirteenth degree and nine chambers. The phrase "e pluribus unum" or one from many is a kabbalistic, alchemical slogan.
The quote from the Book of Daniel, stating that "The tree is Thou", points to a subjective view of the Tree of Life; meaning that, not only can we see the tree objectively, as an allegorical natural history, but we can also see it as a representation of the individual Self and the Body. This is shown in the illustration of Osiris with the crook and flail superimposed on the Tree of Three Pillars, where he mediates between, and balances, the two extremes on either side.
Ordinarily when we consider the tree, we do so objectively, that is from the outside, in which case we describe the pillar of mercy as the right side of the tree; but if we consider it subjectively, as a symbol of our self, we stand "in" the tree, like Osiris above, in which case, our right side matches the pillar of severity, symbolized by the flail in that image. Think right shoulder, Mars, sword, flail, severity.
This depiction of Osiris, points 1) to the possibilty that the notions on which the Tree of Life and the Kabbalah are based, are much older than we have been taught, and 2) to the idea that elements contained in both are represented graphically in culturally diverse locations.
As you study the Kabbalah and the Tree, you will learn that the top three spheres on the tree are refered to collectively as "the triple crown". Take another look at Osiris (above), and note the tripartate crown that he wears. As you can see, in the image below, the Pope also wears a triple crown.
Compare both of the above figures with that of the sixth Tarot Trump card below (numbered 5, beginning from zero) . As you can see, they all feature the human form between two pillars, identical to the pillars at the porch of Solomon's Temple, as well as the triple crown. Note the three cross-bars on the staff in the hierophant's left hand, which indicates the three pairs of spheres of the sides of the tree. Note also that the top cross-bar is shorter than the others, pointing to the A, and not the H-shaped tree.
The notion of duality is also figured by the two monks, one of whom has roses (red), while the other has lillies (white) on his garment. The same symbolism appears in the below alchemical image of the Royal Wedding.
Here is a tree image from Nazca which includes, not only a triple crown at the top, but also the three pillars. Notice how much narrower the crown is than the outer pillars, on this image. Kircher's version of the tree, is the only one that has the triple crown extending as wide as the side pillars.
Below we see an alchemical symbol which is clearly based on the tree image. At the top we see the triple crown; each serpent forms two arcs, adding four more spheres; the points where they cross is the center sphere of the sun, while the point where the tails meet is marked by a crescent moon at sphere number nine; the last sphere, that of the earth plane, is marked by the symbols for the four elements.
The next image illustrates the quote from Genisis 1:27, "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him", as well as the notion of three pillars. What is pictured is the letters of the name Jehovah (JHVH, the Tetragrammaton; four lettered name). You will note that yod, forms the head, the first he the arms, vau the trunk of the body and the second he the legs.
The sum of the numerical values of the four Sephiroth of the Center Column on the Tree-- Kether (1), Tiphereth (6), Yesod (9) and Malkuth (10) -- is 26, which is exactly the Gematria (or numerical sum) of the four Hebrew letters forming the Tetragrammaton, Yahweh:
Note that Malkuth is the earth, Yesod is the Moon, Tiphereth is the Sun, and Kether is the Throne of God, so that the middle pillar from the earth to the moon and sun, represents the "straight path" refered to in the Bible.
Since the sound of He is an "E" sound, He, Vau, He spells Eve. Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20). Therefore the four letter name can be divided in Yod and Eve, the masculine and feminine elements. In Genesis 5:1-2 we read, "In the likeness of God he made him; Male and female created he them".
Notice the crossed keys in the Tarot Card image above, and the crossed arms of the pharoah holding the crook and the flail below. The location is emphasized in the alchemical image above, where the red and black serpents cross.
Recall that each sphere on the Tree of Life is associated with certain symbols, the fourth and fifth spheres with the crook and flail, while one symbol for the sixth sphere is the truncated pyramid, and read this from http://www.freemasonrywatch.org/bnaibrith.html :
"The crossed shepherd crooks and keys refer to the Kabalistic concept of Tipereth which also can be symbolically represented by a truncated pyramid as on the back of the dollar bill. Tipereth, the sixth Sephera, is the concept of the dying and resurrecting god and is the centerpiece of being made a Mason - the ritual death and rebirth ceremony which is part of all mystery religions."
He fails to mention that Tipereth, the sixth sphere is associated with the sun, and that the death and rebirth ceremony from the MM Degree is exactly the same as Chrisitans celebrate at Easter, except that Masons are subjective about it, in their ceremony they stand "in" the tree, as mentioned above. At one level, the "dying and resurrecting god" is the sun, which is figured by Hiram and the "candidate" in Masonry, and by Jesus at Easter time. Serious students will get a lot out of reading Frazer's "Golden Bough" in this regard.
Several authors have interpreted the Hiram legend of the Third Masonic Degree in solar terms, with the three rufians and the three days that he lays in his rough grave as symbols of the three winter months, between the time that the sun dies at the winter solstice and the spring equinox. You will note that after several failed attempts at "raising" the master, he is sucessfully raised by the "grip of a Lion's paw".
In a solar legend, this of course refers to the fact that the sun rules Leo, signified by a lion; and is associated with the heart and solar plexus. The sun is in the sign of Leo in late July and August, the hottest time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
The following is an illustration taken from page 80 of Albert Pike's "Morals and Dogma", which features not only the grip, but also the X on the solar plexus, the sun center of the human body.