Good work on where the 64 comes from, Steve.
I want to comment on what you and Huck have said about planets. Huck wrote, about the Valentinian system of Ptolemaeus:
Assuming, that this might be a forerunner or a relationship to the 32 ways of wisdom, I would interpret:
8 ... these are the 8 trigrams (which, as I earlier demonstrated, can be also interpreted as a 10)
10 ... this might be the mix of 3 mothers and 7 planets
12 ... the zodiac.
10 (=8) + 10 + 12 = 32
The 8 come from the Egyptian Ogdoad. Valentinus was a Greco-Egyptian who moved to Rome. Wikipedia seems accurate about theEgyptian Ogdoad, which despite its name is authentically Egyptian ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogdoad
The eight deities were arranged in four male-female pairs: Nu and Naunet, Amun and Amaunet, Kuk and Kauket, Huh and Hauhet. The males were associated with frogs and females were associated with snakes. Apart from their gender, there was little to distinguish the male gods and female goddesses; indeed, the names of the females are merely derivative female forms of the male name. Essentially, each pair represents the male and female aspect of one of four concepts, namely the primordial waters (Nu and Naunet), air or invisibility (Amun and Amaunet), darkness (Kuk and Kauket), and eternity or infinity (Huh and Hauhet).
So essentially two pairs of two pairs of opposites. Not trigrams, but clearly binary thinking.
The 10 are 5 pairs. taking the Egyptians' concept into the realm of the Judeo-Christian. The concept of "pair" is essential to this system of aeons, male and famale pairs no less. They are called "syzygies" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeon_%28Gnosticism%29
). There can be no breakdown into 3 plus 7. The Planets in Gnosticism are represented by the Archons; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogdoad
, further down.
The 12 are related to the 12 disciples according to Irenaeus in the same account. Before that are the 12 tribes of Israel. Whether the zodiac is before or after that I don't know. The pre-Persian conquest Egyptians had decans; but that doesn't mean they had a 12 sign zodiac. At the time of the alleged Moses, Egypt may have been dominated by the Hittites. I don't know if they had a 12 sign zodiac.
This division into 12 and 8 likely predates Valentinus. The Acts of John, not an especially Valentinian document, contains a section that was deleted in all but two copies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acts_of_John
), which corresponds to excerpts quoted in letter 237 of Augustine and excerpts in the minutes of the Council of Nicea (not the first, but a later one) in which all copies of this passage are ordered burned (I get this from the translator's notes in the most recent edition, not online). In it there is a hymn allegedly taught by Jesus, along with a dance, to the disciples in the evening when Judas has gone out. Jesus says (in an old online translation), "The number Eight (lit. one ogdoad) singeth praise with us. Amen./ The number Twelve danceth on high. Amen" (http://www.gnosis.org/library/actjohn.htm
). This is very Kabbalist in feeling, in that it presupposes a connection between the upper beings and the lower ones, such that the state of the upper is affected by that of the lower. Another online translation is by Meade, with his notes, at http://gnosis.org/library/grs-mead/grsm_hymnofjesus.htm
It is possible that the 8 in this hymn refer to the 7 planets and their leader in the 8th sphere. Max Pulver thought so, in an essay on the hymn (repreinted in Joseph Campbell, ed., The Mysteries
. Likewise the 12 could be the zodiac, who indeed are "on high", unlike the 12 disciples or the tribes of Israel. Or not. But if they referred to the Valentinian groupings, you would think they would have included the 10.
Since the names of the Valentinians' 8, 10, and 12 bear no relation to the disciples, it would be of interest to know on what principle they were chosen. The 8 seem to bear some relationship to the Egyptian Ogdoad.
SteveM wrote, when I asked about planetary assignments in the Zohar:
It's in Kaplan somewhere - dog/housesitting at the moment so can't give exact reference, but it will be in the double's section, if memory serves me right it will be somewhere between p.180-190. However I believe there are variations in the Zohar, and none of them make any particular sense from an astrological point of view and are based more on linguistic puns and colours. For example if I recall right the moon is variously attributed to chesed, yesod, malkuth based upon considerations such the root of the word for moon is the same as that for stone (malkuth) or white (chesed).
Kaplan has a list of 10 sources for Planetary attributions, the Zohar not among them, and they are all to letters, not sefirot. All are the same except the Gra: they go in order from Saturn to the Moon, Beth to Tau. If letters are intepreted as conectors between sefiroth, as they look in the diagram, then Saturn would connect Keter to Tiferet, Jupiter would connect Hochma to Chesed; Mars would connect Binah to Gevurah; the Sun would connect Tiferet to Yesod; Venus would connect Chesed to Netzach; Mercury would connect Gevurah to Hod; and the Moon would connect Yesod to Malkhut. This makes perfect sense to me.
The Gra, exceptionally, goes: Moon, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter. I have no idea where that comes from. On p. 283 Kaplan does list correspondences to sefirot, this time the Gra only: Moon to Chesed, Mars to Gevurah, Sun to Tiferet, Venus to Netzach, Mercury to Hod, Saturn to Yesod, and Jupiter to Malkhut. This seems to come directly from his letter assignments, going from Chesed to Malkhut, the lower sefira of the pairs connected by the letters.
SteveM gave a quote he said was from the Zohar:
69....This continues until a planet called Saturn is reached in the second firmanent of the world of Asiyah. All seven planets are located in the world of Asiyah, and they are called Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury and Moon. Through these planets, every change comes to the world. The first planet, Saturn, feeds from the lowest of the seven chambers of the world of Briyah, and the rest of the planets from the other chambers...
What translation are you using? I am very suspicious of it. The terms "world of Asiyah" and "world of Briyah" are not in the Zohar that I know of. There is a similar passage in Tishby's translation (Tishby, Wisdom of the Zohar
, p. 599;. on the previous page he has mentioned "the first hall", out of seven :
Below this hall the spirits spread out to all parts of the firmaments beneath, until they reach the planet Saturn. They all look upon this hall from which they are nourished, [and] all those in the hall look upon this spirit, as it is written, "wherever the spirit was to go they went; they did not turn as they went" (Ezekiel 1:12). This is the hall called "the sapphire pavement" (livnat ha-sapir).
This is in the "chariot" section, Zohar
I, 41a-45b in Tishby's edition. No association with a particular sefira is stated on this page. A paragraph later a "second hall" is mentioned. Somewhat later Jupiter is mentioned (p. 602) from which "many are given jurisdiction over the world", meaning by "many" certain "hosts and camps". I can't tell what sefira Jupiter is assigned to, except that it is something close to the one with Saturn. Then the third hall is mentioned (p. 602), that of nogah, brightness, with "no color to be seen it". Then Mars is mentioned (p. 604), and messengers of judgment and punishment. Then the fourth hall is mentioned, that of a spirit called zekhut, merit (p. 605). a hall of judgment. The sun is mentioned (p. 607); Tishby doesn't capitalize the word. Then the fifth hall (p. 607); Venus and love are mentioned (p. 609). Then the sixth hall is mentioned (p. 610), and more about love. So maybe the halls are assigned to the planets that came afterwards rather than before.
Then (Tishby p. 611) we learn that Abraham is to take the hall assigned to love. So apparently Abraham gets Venus. Jacob is also mentioned. Isaac, on the left, gets that of judgment, but I don't know what planet that would be. "The other prophets" get the "two below"; I guess that would be Moses and Aaron, but I don't know what planets; it is either Mars and Jupiter or Jupiter and Saturn.. Then "sapphire pavement" is assigned to Joseph, i.e. Yesod. Maybe that means that it is also assigned to Saturn, but I am not sure whether "saphire pavement" is assigned to Yesod or Hod.
So you see that much is obscure. Mercury isn't mentioned. The Moon may be mentioned at the beginning, as a pun on "levenah", pavement, vs. "levanah", moon and white. The Sun might be either Gevurah or Tiferet. All we can say for sure is that there is a planetary progression upwards in these "halls" from Saturn to Venus, and from at least Yesod to at least Chesed. The seventh hall seems to be related to the top three sefirot, but no planet is assigned that I can find. By "assigned" I mean "connected", because the planets are a long ways down from the sefirot.
I don't know about elsewhere in the Zohar.