Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Phillosopy 08
The ogdoad–8–was sacred because it was the number of the first cube, which form had eight corners, and was the only evenly-even number under 10 (1–2–4–8–4–2–1). Thus, the 8 is divided into two 4’s, each 4 is divided into two 2’s, and each 2 is divided into two 1’s, thereby reestablishing the monad. Among the keywords of the ogdoad are love, counsel, prudence, law, and convenience. Among the divinities partaking of its nature were Panarmonia, Rhea, Cibele, Cadmaea, Dindymene, Orcia, Neptune, Themis, and Euterpe (a Muse).
The ogdoad was a mysterious number associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries of Greece and the Cabiri. It was called the little holy number. It derived its form partly from the twisted snakes on the Caduceus of Hermes and partly from the serpentine motion of the celestial bodies; possibly also from the moon’s nodes.
Of the Number Eight, and the Scale thereof
The Pythagorians call eight the number of justice, and fullness: first, because it is first of all divided into numbers equally even, viz, into four, and that division is by the same reason made into twice two, viz. by twice two twice; and by reason of this equality of division, it took to it self the name of justice, but the other received the name, viz. of fullness, by reason of the contexture of the corporeal solidity, since the first makes a solid body.
Hence that custom of Orpheus, swearing by eight deities, if at any time he would beseech divine justice, whose names are these. Fire, Water, Earth, the Heaven, Moon, Sun, Phanes, the Night.
There are also only eight visible Spheres of the heavens: also by it the property of corporeal nature is signified which Orpheus comprehends in eight of his Sea songs.
This is also called the covenant or circumcision, which was commanded to be done by the Jews the eighth day.
There were also in the old Law eight ornaments of the Priest, viz. a breast-plate, a coat, a girdle, a miter, a robe, an Ephod, a girdle of the Ephod, a golden plate; hither belongs the number to eternity, and the end of the world, because it follows the number seven, which is the mystery of time: hence also the number of blessedness; for Christ teaches so many degrees of blessednesses, as you may see in Matthew: It is also called the number of safety, and conservation, for there were so many souls of the sons of Jesse, from which David was the eighth. Also Zacharias, the father of John, received his speech the eighth day.
They say this number was dedicated to Dionysus, because he was born the eighth month, in everlasting memory where of, Naxos the Island was dedicated to him, which obtained this prerogative, that only the women of Naxos should safely bring forth in the eighth month, and their children should live, whereas the children of the eighth month in other Nations die, and their mothers then bringing forth are in manifest danger.