Tuesday, January 20, 2015

All Things Eight


Part of world-building for any story is relating it to the readers. Most already have 'favorite numbers' and most have what they think is coincidental information about certain numbers, but these beliefs have developed over literally millennia of using numbers. They are considered powerful concepts, which I used as part of a belief system in the fantasy series of the Aegis stories. So I continue with more factual, magical, and mythical information about numbers, this time eight.

Cardinal: EIGHT
Hindu-Arabic: 8
Ordinate: Eighth
Roman: VIII 
Greek: Eta
Pythagorean number: the ogdoad
1+7, 2+6, 3+5, 4+4, 2x4, 2x2x2
The first cube number

The Roman word octo (Octavius) indicated eight and gives us October (the Roman 8th month), octave, octopus, and octagon.

Roman had an eight-day week. The geometric symbol for eight is an octagon. Oxygen (O) is the eighth periodic number. It is the first cube number (2x2x2). Cars used to routinely have eight-cylinder engines, but now only select models, some SUVs and trucks have them.

In various religious associations, eight is the Christian number of regeneration or resurrection. The Eighth Commandment is ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ Jews practiced circumcision on the eighth day after birth. There were eight sects of Pharisees, and eight prophets descended from Rahab. Triple eight (888) is the number of Christ the redeemer.

In games, we have the eight ball in pool, and eight pawns on each side in Chess.

Numerology assigns eight to the letters h, q, and z. The eighth house is the House of Scorpio in Astrology. It is the number of material success and worldly involvement because eight has a four-fold balance because when halved its parts are equal and when halved again they are still equal. The Greeks considered it the number of justice because of its equal divisions. It represents all that is solid and complete. Eight represents cycles of time, too, as the four seasons sub-divided once more into two solstices and equinoxes. In Christian symbolism, it stands for the afterlife. It is the number of regeneration and of the Gods who accompanied Thoth. The number eight represents the joining of the two spheres of heaven and earth. It is the number of the force, which exists between terrestrial order (the square) and external order (the circle). Eight is associated with the Serpents of the Caduceus, the balancing of forces, the equilibrium of different forms of power and with infinity. Eight is the balance of cause and effect.

Eight is a mysterious number also associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries and the Cabiri. Also called the little holy number. Eight is a mysterious number also associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries, and the Cabiri.

In Tarot divination, the eighth card represents strength, which represents rest and victory, self-discipline and stability. It indicates learning to balance between spiritual & carnal nature. It shows the force of character, spiritual power overcoming material power, love triumphing over hate.

Saturn, which governs melancholy, reserve, limitations, seriousness, economy, authority and the ability to accept and work with the limitations of life symbolizes eight. It is the number of Demeter. The Caduceus, the figure of Justice with a sword pointing upwards and a balance in her left hand, also symbolizes eight. A double square and the infinity sign (eight on its side) symbolize eight.

You might use common, the slang phrase behind the eightball, to show a loss.

The date, 08/08/08 had an impact in social media. From an article about weddings on August 08/08 by Jennifer Lee in the New York Times, 8/3/08: AFTER becoming engaged last year in Paris, Grace F and her fiancĂ© returned to New York to discover that event spaces for their wedding on the second Friday of August were already booked. The logjam was unusual for a Friday, but the date in question is this Friday — 08/08/08. “As a homonym, the number 8 sounds like ‘good fortune’ in Mandarin and Cantonese,” said Ms. F, who, like her fiancĂ©, is of Chinese descent.

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