It’s difficult to deconstruct the Tree of Life. It’s a dynamic system, and no part of it has meaning independent of the rest. The Paths, the Major Arcana, are transmit energy; the Sephiroth, the Minor Arcana, condition it.
On the path the Manifestation the Eight receives energy from Five, the Powerhouse of Change. The energy comes via the Hanged Man, the release into the Abyss that comes after the purgation of Five. It also comes from Six, from the Solar Centre of the Tree of Life, the Hub of the Wheel, and it comes via the path of the Devil.
Sometimes called the Lord of the Gates of Matter, sometimes attributed to Capricorn, the Devil is the Master of Material Form. In the House of Hod, Eight, these things are brought together. Hod creates articulation, structure. In a way you could say that we die on the Path of the Hanged Man, the release is so deep. Nothing left but our soul, maybe. But the goal is Manifestation, Incarnation. We need a structured body, cells, DNA, the whole inconceivable complexity of the incarnate body.
And each of these infinitely complex units needs to be charged with fire. To accomplish the Divine Fire is divided, and subdivided. One way to think of this might be as a transformers, receiving and conditioning raw power.
The Eight of Wands is sometimes called the Arrows of Desire. I fear it, and long for it. It’s theoretically easier to desire nothing. Easter religions, often poorly understood, and evolved in a culture which didn’t (and still doesn’t) leave much room for desire, a culture where you are socio-economically boxed in from birth to death.
But all living things desire, and we are not different from all other living things.
In my own life desire is moving, and I can feel it articulating itself, preparatory to creating form. I’ve lived in a pretty dark and formless place for quite a while, maybe since my return, all in bits and pieces, from China a year ago. I have lain in some kind of formless darkness for almost a year, and now out of it I can feel fingers and toes, arms and legs of a new life trying to form. It’s terrifying. It makes me want to die. I can’t stand this. I don’t want to become again. And at the same time as I feel some of the chronic health issues that accompany lying too long in the dark start to tighten up, feel myself re-awakening, I like it. I feel the fire moving through me, feel the possibility of manifesting a new and articulated life.
If this is true, then the next step is either along the path of the Sun, as all of this creates consciousness, or along the path of Judgment, as all of it creates a container for itself.