Seven Planetary Spheres
The logic of this order doesn't appear to make sense until you look at an image which shows the spheres mapped onto the seven points (including the center) of a hexagram. Note how the sun (symbolized by a point in a circle) is at the center of this diagram and how the planets are divided with the outer ones being 'above' the sun. This looks like a heliocentric template for third graders.
In Revelation Ch. 1 we read- "I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candle sticks one like unto the Son of man... and in his right hand seven stars: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength." The menorah, seven candlesticks used for the Hebrew festival of lights, appears to represent the seven ancient planetary spheres, as do the seven stars in the Revelation. The days of creation and days of the week are related as well.
Astronomy learning tools
Remember that I said that they 'taught' that, not that they believed it; by which I mean that I believe that the legend of the soul's supposed journey, along with the image above, was really an ancient astronomy learning tool. Rememeber M-V-E-M- J - S-U-N-P ? Today we are taught that atoms act just like the solar system with the particles orbiting just as planets orbit the sun, while four hundred years ago people were still being burned for declaring that the sun is the center of the system, in all likelihood by people who knew that they were telling the truth. The Greeks appear to have encoded some basic astronomical facts into an image and a legend that have survived scrutiny. Two important aspects of the ancient system of knowledge appear to have been astronomy and myth making and symbolic skills.
In the middle frame above we see depicted the ancient order of descent from Saturn to Jupiter, then Mars, the Sun etc; note how it images to us a lightning strike. In Ezekiel (1:14) we read "And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning". That is to say, souls come from and return to the Milky Way via seven spheres in a path (on the image) that looks like a lightning strike. Shooting stars and stones that fall (are exiled) to the earth are also poetically compared to the descent phase of the soul's legendary journey. Meteorological and astronomical metaphors are used for the so called 'fall' from heaven to the earth.
In Rev 4:5 we see, "And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne which are the seven spirits of God." Since the soul's journey takes place via seven spheres, the creation of the world is accomplished in seven days (each day named for a sphere).
Notice that conceptually, the moon and Saturn are extremes in the hexagram figure and can be considered seperately from the other five. As a matter of fact, the sun, Helios in Greece, was depicted in a chariot being pulled by four horses across the sky. This is the same symbolism used at the Roman circuses of a chariot with four horses, Mercury Venus, Mars and Jupiter; Saturn was in a different realm and named Chronos, Time.
When any symbologist hears four horses, they will surely think of the book of Revelation, chapter 6 which gives us symbolically all the figures in hex image but one - Saturn. The ancient notion that the human souls descend from the stars (called the Fall in Genesis) is described figuratively in Revelations 1:13, where we read. "And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth" (the two extremes). In Rev 12 it speaks of the opening of the sixth seal, and mentions the Sun and the Moon. This is all the spheres down the middle of the figure except Saturn; the stars, sun, moon and the earth.
6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. A horse-man with a bow, given a crown. Sagittarius, the archer, is a horse/man and is "ruled by Jupiter, "king" of the Roman gods.
6:4 And there went out another horse [that was] red: and [power] was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
Red, given a sword to take peace from the earth. Mars is the god of war, and rules Scorpio; and while it does not say Scorpio here, it does say power (in italics). Now take a look at Chapter 9.
9:2 And he opened the bottomless pit;
Power, as the Scorpions of the Earth have power. Scorpio, ruled by Mars, so we are moving backwards through the zodiac signs.
6:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
A pair of scales. The symbol for Libra, which is rules by Venus, is the scales; symbol of the equal amounts of daylight and dark and the Equinoxes.
6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. Mercury is the ruler of Virgo, and Mercury was seen as the guide of the spirits or souls as they made the trip from the "upper" spheres to the earthly plane and back.
The only one is missing is Saturn. Remember he was dethroned by Jupiter and the Olympians. The four 'beasts' mentioned in Rev 4, are the same as the creatures mentioned in Ezekiel; those being the lion, calf, man and eagle, symbols of Leo, Taurus, Aquarius and Scorpio, the so-called fixed signs of the zodiac.
Cancer is called the Gate of Birth and Capricorn the Gate of Death, because Saturn (the god of the harvest) rules Capricorn, and Saturn is the last sphere that the soul passes on it's way back to the stars, and the Moon rules Cancer and the Moon is the last sphere that the soul passes before incarnating on the earth plane.
Jacob sees a different form, "a ladder set up on the earth and it's top reached to heaven, and the angels of God ascending and descending on it" (Gen 1:28), but you can see that the idea is the same - souls moving between heaven and the earth, one step at a time. The modern story is much simpler, you just have two steps, earth and heaven, since nobody is learning astronomy much.
When Jacob rose he took the stone that he had used for his pillow and set it up for a pillar and he called the name of that place Beth-el (house of God), but the name of that city was called Luz (Light) at first. He says surely the Lord is in this place, this is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
"This stone which I have set up for a pillar shall be God's house and all of it that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth to thee". The Washington Monument is 55.5 feet wide at the bottom and 555 feet tall, based on the idea that the ideal ratio of the Egyptian obelisks was 1:10, like the Tree of Life.
Then Jacob went on his journey and came unto the land of the people of the east...
"John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (2) "the bride, the Lamb's wife". (9) "that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God," (10) "The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal." (16) Shekinah as the Creation, earth, materiality in the Kabbalah is viewed as a cube and as the exiled wife of the King in Heaven.
"And there came unto me one of the seven angels ". (9) We are reminded that the descent 'out of heaven from God' takes place via seven planetary spheres. "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." (23) "Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal" (11) "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." (3)
The tabernacle here is the city, and contains the glory of god, the divine presence, the golden spark. In the Enoch story of the Royal Arch, the symbols that are used are a white cube and a golden triangle bearing the true name of God. The descent of the cube in Rev 21 is the creation, the exile of the Bride, moving down the image conceptually. A reunion involves moving up the image and does not occur on earth. The book appears to suggest that the bride is moving down toward a reunion, which is just not the case.
The 12 gates of the city suggest to us the twelve tribes and the zodiac signs.
The story is also the Emmanation myth of the Greeks, where the world emmanates from and returns to the One a step at a time. Theoretically the earth had to have fallen at some point also, and it is presumed that the emmanation of the world follows a path parallel that of the soul's descent. This is a mental exercise parallel to Hegel's Phenomenology of Mind. It's an allegory. Going down the figure is scattering the divine sparks, while going up the figure is gathering them up (in Hasidic terms). Alchemy uses the imagery of extracting gold from ordinary matter. The Great Seal uses E Pluribus Unum, from many one.
"The tree of knowledge of good and evil is the tree going down into multiplicity, and the tree of eternal life is that of going from multiplicity to unity. It's the same tree in two directions." - Joseph Campbell
This also yieds legends about the world being derived from the body of some god, that a god is sacrificed for the sake of creation.
Remember that, by way of anology, we are also talking about the body here. In Rev 1 we read that "the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches", which symbologists liken to 'chakras' or wheels, the seven points in the Kundalini system. Kundalini speaks of three channels or pillars and utilizes the imagery of a pair of serpents each coiled three and a half times (3.5 x 2 = 7) at the base of the spine. There are seven chakras. The kundalini is said to be raised just like the Djed. 42 months is 3.5 years. we see 3.5 indicated several times in the Revelations. The four and twenty elders around the throne (brain) are the 12 pairs of cranials nerves that combine to form the spinal column. The kundalini story is analogous to the seven spheres story, and both are included in the Revelation.