Washington DC Monumental Core Shown to Be
Comapre the previous images with what Manley P. Hall has labeled the Nine World's image of the Norse Tree of Life (Yggdrasil). The main conceptual difference between the two, besides the different numbers of spheres, is that the Norse saw the Earth as the center, and the sun as the top sphere, or goal.
Hall tells us that the Nordic Mysteries were given in nine caverns or chambers, with the candidate "advancing through them in sequential order, and suggests that there is undoubtably a relationship between the nine worlds of the Scandinavians and the nine planes or spheres of the Eleusian Mysteries. There appears to be a parallel, as well, with the Masonic legend of the nine apartments of chamber excavated by Enoch and Methusala, in which Enoch secreted (hid) a white cube which bore a golden triangle containing the true name of God.
Past Scottish Rites Grand Commander Clausen elabotates by saying that, in ancient mythology a square is the symbol of matter, the cube is the symbol for material man (understood crudely), and the triangle is the symbol for Deity and all things divine and spiritual; so that a triangle within a square, or upon a face of a cube symbolizes the divine spark within the material. ("Clausen's Commentaries" p 72)
While the other versions of this figure appear to be flat and two dimensional, the Norse version is explicitly three dimensional, with the cardinal directions being labeled on it. The three crossing axiis indicate the six directions in space, and the hexagon/hexagram is preserved, so we can see the cube at the center of that. This is the Cartesian coordiante grid and a three-dimensional figure of the cross.
Above we see the Templar Cross (left), the six directions image (middle) and the Chi Rho symbol of Constantine (right); 2 and 3D versions of the same thing.
Substituting spheres for the directional markers in the nine world's image produces a figure known as Metatron's Cube, composed of 13 spheres and the lines that connect the centers of each of those. Note the hexagons, the hexagrams (star of david), the equilateral triangles, and the rectangles. Note also the expanding figures, how one hexagon is nested in the other, symbolizing an ongoing series, and "polygonal propogation", mentioned earlier.
[Compare the cube of thirteen spheres to the description in Exodus 24, where Moses is told to build an altar (presumeably an upright stones like Jacob) and twelve pillars; after which he takes the blood offering and sprinkled half of it on the altar (Jacob used oil to consecrate his; Indians use butter on theirs) and the other half on the people.
In the story of the death of Hercules, another solar figure, who is accompanied by 12 archers, he is hacked to pieces on an altar in front of a circles of twelves stones, and his blood is sprinkled on the whole tribe to make them vigorous and fruitful.]
Metatron, according to legend, is the name given to Enoch after he served his time on earth, and was taken to sit beside the Throne of God. Enoch's cube engraved with the golden triangle and the name of God, is, then, Metatron's Cube.
The "cube" is easier to see when we fill in the rest of the circles. What we are seeing depicted is the notion "three cubed", a cube consisting of 27 spheres, of which only 19 are visible, while 8 (two cubed) are hidden. [Note that in the 2 cube of eight, one is hidden, while in the 4 cube of 64, 27 are hidden; another expression of nestedness, reminding us of the notion of emanation.]
Overlapping the circles and making them transparent results in the image known as the flower of life (below right)., which is composed of multiple vesicas.
The Tree on the Cube
As you can see (below), neither the H-shaped tree (left), nor the A-shaped one (right) fits the original thirteen-sphere version of the Cube. The simplicity of the planet/hex and nine worlds image has been destroyed by forcing ten spheres onto the tree.
The respective advantages of each of these is that the H shape preserves the notion of three pillars that supposedly "support the temple", while the A tree preserves the equilateral triangle shape. (Note the zig-zagging red line on the A tree. This follows the succesive spheres, and is described as looking like a lightning bolt.)
As I pointed out earlier, the Tree of Life legend is based on, and analogous to, the model of Jacob's Ladder; but as you well know a tree is not a ladder. A E Waite addresses this issue in his "A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry" (p 409):
"Symbolists have the logic of their own images, therefore if their selected type is a tree, then they are not likely to alternatively call it a ladder.
Although the Zohar does depict the "just man" as being a Ladder leading from earth to heaven, with his feet on the earth and his head in heaven, nowhere in the Zohar or the Sepher Yetzirah, the oldest text on kabbalism, are the ten Sephiroth which constitute the Tree of Life compared to the Ladder of Jacob's story.
The conventional diagram now called the Tree of Life, is a device of post-Zoharic Kabalism. The Sephiroth have always represented the scale of ten; we do not know how they were laid out in the Minds of early kabalists, but it certainly was not a ladder."
Note that the H-shaped tree looks like a ladder, while the A-shaped tree looks like a tree; a Christmas Tree, as a matter of fact.