No one is certain where the myth of the Seven Heavens comes from. Two of the most popular theories are described below.
1) Seven inhabited worlds of the Preapoc era
Although little is known about the Preapoc era, we do know that human colonisation had spread beyond the confines of Old Earth. There is evidence of substantial colonies on neighbouring planets and moons, including Mars, Jupiter’s moons of Europa and Ganymede, and, of course, Earth’s own orbiting moon.
It has been extrapolated, therefore, that the phrase Seven Heavens refers to seven inhabited worlds. These are thought to be: two of the eight planets – Venus and Mars, Jupiter’s moons – Europa and Ganymede, Saturn’s moons – Titan and Phoebe, and the Earth’s own moon.
Other astrohistorians believe that Venus was too hot for human habitation, and the seventh ‘heaven’ in fact refers to Old Earth itself.
2) Seven Heavens of human existence
Other mythologists believe the ‘Seven Heavens’ are not physical entities, but the seven dimensions of human happiness.
- Physical security (a sense of personal safety)
- Bodily comfort (access to breathable air, good food, and clean water)
- Aesthetic comfort (appealing and pleasant surroundings)
- Social relationships (interactions with others)
- Love (including both familial and sexual affection)
- Purposefulness (a sense of having a role in life, or a purpose for existence)
- General internal satisfaction (a sense of a life being well lived).
There are numerous other theories, including the simple numerology theory that seven is considered to be a lucky number.