By Marian Connor

I was thinking what shall we include in this second instalment of the meanings of 8? I realise this is a commentary that could run and run and I think it may be worth returning to it from time to time but for today let’s have a look at

Spiders   Nerves   Symbols   Octagons

Spiders

Arachnids have 8 legs. Orb Weaver Spiders also have 8 eyes. They spin silk for their webs which is stronger by weight than steel, as resistant as Kevlar which is used to create bullet proof vests.

The longest piece of cloth created from spider silk using the silk of over 1 million spiders was made into a cape which exhibited at the V&A in 2012.

2 photographs side by side - on the left an image of golden spider web silk from the V&A and on the right a grey and black Kevlar bullet proof vest - the silk is stronger than the vest

 

Video of those industrious spiders spinning golden threads.

 

In Judaism, circumcision takes place on the 8th day of life.

 

There are 8 days of Hanukkah.

 

Cervical Nerves

There are 31 pairs of spinal nerves each associated with a vertebra of the spine which receive sensory messages from the body and send messages to motor fibres within muscles to create movement. Within part of this Central Nervous System 8 pairs of these nerves are situated within the cervical spine affecting particular areas of the body referred to as Dermatomes.

List of cervical nerves C1 to C8 and a image of a man back and front with the Dermotome regions marked in colour

This illustrates the possibility that problems within the body are often instigated far from the area affected. Taking care of your spine and musculature with good posture and movement will help keep your spine healthy and keep you hopping and skipping into old age.

My what lovely posture you have

 

Eight Treasures 

Book        Leaf         Pair of Horns          Lozenge

Coin         Mirror               Pearl                Stone Chime

These symbolic emblems found in Chinese ceramics, textiles and carpets, once thought to symbolise offerings now often depict the desire for material possessions and are seen entwined with red ribbons which suggests a use as a charm.

 

Eight Immortals symbolise longevity seen in Chinese Fine & Decorative Arts, Ceramics and Silk.

Taoist in origin incorporating Lao Tzu the founder of Taoism in the 16th century, a religion which teaches that we should be in harmony with nature and the universe, this is the Tao – the way.

“He who conquers others is strong. He who conquers himself is mighty.”

Lao Tzu from the Tao Te Ching

 

8 Lucky Emblems

Buddhist symbols of augury featured on ceramics, pray flags and in architecture.

Wheel of Law   Conch Shell    Umbrella         Canopy

Lotus              Vase/Jar          Two Fish          Mystic Knot

 

Octagon

8 is the first cubic number 2 x 2 x 2. The union of 2 overlapping equal squares creates an octagon. This shape has a long history within architecture and masonry, often used to bridge the gap between a square and a circle, representatives of heaven and earth.

An illustration of 9 octagons in blue and white on a yellow square back ground

 

Justice and equilibrium (image above) is the architectural link between square and circle, the octagon stands for peace through reconciliation of heaven and earth. And since lasting peace is impossible without justice, that virtue is also demonstrated in the octagon. There are many ways of drawing eight-sided and eight-pointed figures and dividing their areas. Those that best depict the fair, even-handed nature of the octagon have areas equally divided between light and dark. These figures and their dominant number 8 are popular in eastern systems of divination and are considered lucky.

(Extract from the book ‘How the World is Made. The Story of Creation according to Sacred Geometry by John Michell with Allan Brown 2009)

 

So there you have it a small assortment of 8 in all its glory. I hope this has tickled your fancy to explore the meanings of whatever number happens to speak to you or is your lucky charm. Enjoy.

A trio of hand drawn octagons in black and white on a red background illustrating dark and light.

 

Image Tile/Header– Octagon – An illustration by Allan Brown of a beautiful geometrically ingenious octagon that appeared in a crop formation about 200 ft wide in Alton Barnes, Wiltshire in 2004.  

Octagon images – By Allan Brown from the ‘How the World is Made. The Story of Creation according to Sacred Geometry by John Michell with Allan Brown 2009)

Hyperlink – Golden Spider Silk by the V&A

Hyperlink – Want to improve your posture? Try this – Mind Body Green

If we have whet your appetite for further discovery, keep in mind that we create interactive experiential workshops and events embracing the 8 elements, exploring a myriad of ways to enhance your happiness and health. Oh yes and let’s not forget these are beautifully packaged with individually created accoutrements for your delectation. All delivered by us, in a delicious way.

If you haven’t read ‘The Alchemy of 8’, or our other blogs, why not check them out.

 

Copyright © 8 in the Universe Limited 2015.  All rights reserved

Photo of Marian Connor and black text saying "Always looking over the horizon to discover treasures to share. Often times whilst partaking of a fine red."