The Kabbalah and its Tree of Life Schematic is the most prolifically used Method for the Practice of Western Occultism and Magical or Spiritual development. It is often the methodology used by the Yoga of the West. The Tree of Life is comprised of ten spheres called Sephiroth, singular Sephirah, that collectively are a diagrammatic symbol array that lay out how the Unmanifest descends into motion and manifestation beginning in Kether and traversing all the way down into Malkuth the Tenth. Each Sepherah is a symbolic representation of the degrees and depths of densification and crystallization of the Infinite Unmanifest into descending levels of manifestation. The Cosmos is the conscious product of the mental activity of the Logos, and thus the Kabbalah is the emblematic illustration of the raw material essence of Divine Consciousness and process through which it forces reality to come into Being. The Sephiroth unfold into four distinct worlds in Kabbalah which are Atzliuth, Briah, Yetziroth, and Assiah. These four planes of existence each have a Tree of ten Spheres.
Kabbalistic studies are comprised of numerous multifaceted programs for holistic understanding, psychic involution & evolution, visualization techniques, meditative arts, correlative methodologies, multidisciplinary correspondence, and concentration exercises. Ascertaining a total conceptualization of the Kabbalistic Tree Of Life requires all of these studious activities to be harmonized into a single whole otherwise the aspiring student will be deficient in an area of necessity needed for the proper use of this diagrammatic glyph. Psychic ascent requires the initiate to at first evolve (evolution) his consciousness down either the Lightning Path upon the Tree or down the Path Of the Arrow: the Lightning Path corresponds to traversing down each Sephirothic Sphere starting with Kether and moving to CHokmah and on down until reaching Malkuth at the bottom and then to progressively involve (involution) all the way back up to Kether completing the cycle of consciousness; the Path of The Arrow is the evolution down the Middle Pillar (Kether, Tiphareth, Yesod, Malkuth) beginning with Kether and traversing straight down through Tiphareth to Yesod to Malkuth and then involve (involution back up through pillar eventually reaching Kether again. This exhibits two different paths for raising consciousness along the planes of existence to garner divine understanding and higher levels of conscious awareness.
The Kabbalah begins above the Tree of Life with the three levels of the Unmanifest: AIN, AIN SOPH, and AIN SOPH AUR. AIN is Negativity or the Unmanifest the eternal quintessence. AIN SOPH is the Limitless . AIN SOPH AUR is the Limitless Light. These are the negative veils of Existence and the three spheres of Non-Manifestation. They reside in different dimension than the rest of the manifested universe out of which it is emanated. Nothing can truly be known about their intrinsic nature except that they are the basis for existence and from which all proceeding manifestations flow from.
This is the Supernal Triangle and first level of the Tree. Here we see the Sephiroth Kether, Chokmah, and Binah which are the initial trinity of densification from the Unmanifest Limitless Light AIN SOPH AUR. The Light crystallizes into Kether descending into the first stage of Involution. Kether overflows its manifestation into Chokmah and then overflows itself into Binah. This trinity of force and form completes the first equilibrium of emanations and is the source of all successive Sephirothic emanations. These Supernal Sephiroth are above the Abyss, the part of existence that separates the ACTUAL from the ARCHETYPAL, with the rest of the Sephiroth residing below the ABYSS in the realm of the tangible.
Kether is the First Sephirah In Kabbalah and is called the Crown. It is the initial crystallization of the condensed Unmanifest, Limitless Light, and the root of all substance. It is the basis of polarity and the duality of Chokmah and Binah issues from its manifestation into more complex substances. It also represents microcosmically the divine consciousness of man and macrocosmically the divine consciousness of Deity. Kether is also purportedly not a manifestation and is undifferentiated until it bursts into Chokmah. It is also synonymous with the LOGOS, the dynamic imaginative and creative essence of the DIVINE MIND of the Originator.
The second Sephiroth is Chokmah and it means Wisdom. It is the Male potency or positive principle of the densification of Kether into duality. This Sphere expresses this principle we see in the Involution of Kether into energies of force and complexity. The Sphere of the Zodiac is assigned to Chokmah. It is referred to as Aman, the Supernal Father, and is the first expression of the Pillar of Mercy. Chokmah is also the first true manifestation of the Cosmos and is essentially a bursting forth of dynamic creative energy free-flowing until bound up in form by Binah.
The third Sephiroth is Binah and it translates into Understanding. This is the negative and female aspect or principle through which the Condensed Kether in Chokmah converts over to the energy of Form. The Planet of Saturn is assigned to Binah and it is called the Great Mother and first expression of the Pillar of Severity. It is also called Ama the Supernal Mother. It is also the first emanation of form and thus the initial bringer of the end of duration or death, though this is a necessity for existence.
The hidden Sephiroth is Daath and it means Knowledge. This Sphere is the one which forms through the conjunction of Chokmah, Wisdom, and Binah, Understanding you gain synthesized Knowledge and a harmony of opposites. Daath is the veiled level of consciousness on the Pillar of Mildness right between Kether and Tiphareth. This Sephiroth is not existent in the dimension in which reside the other Sephirothic Spheres and more akin in Nature to the three veils of negative existence. It is the root of primordial knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of the divine.
The fourth Sephiroth is Chesed, or Gedulah, and it means Mercy or Greatness. It is the Sphere of expansion, construction, and solidification. Its ascribed to the planet Jupiter and the positive force of manifestation. Chesed begins the Formative Triangle which is the Second Trinity of Sephiroth. It is the first manifestation of the ACTUAL and the tangible with a certain solidity to it, though more of a mental solidity than one concretized by form. Chesed is the stimulater of the Archetypal spiritual ideas which design the Cosmic superstructure and provide the basis for the astral formulations and forces which become ensouled into apprehendable images upon the planes of existence of the four lowest Sephiroth.
The Fifth Sephiroth in Kabbalah is Geburah and it means power, might, or greatness. It is the fiery destructive force which dissolves all forms, ideas, and manifestations which have lost their usefulness and their healthy life being expired. The Planet of Mars is assigned to Geburah. Symbolizes not so much a fixed-state of things but an act, a further passage, or transition of potentiality into actuality. Geburah is the destroyer of mentally and formative stagnation's which arise during evolutionary manifestation and is inherently necessary to retain vibrant manifestations after older ones have ceased to exhibit proper vitality and must be eliminated if further progress is to be generated. It is a necessary destruction, so new creation can be initiated.
The Sixth Sephiroth is Tiphareth and it translates to mean Beauty or Harmony. It is the Sphere of Reconciliation between Gedulah and Geburah representing the principle that creates the basis of equilibrium between the Creative force and Destructive Form. It is also assigned to the Sun and connects in direct pathways to all other Sephiroth save Malkuth. It has been called the SON of the Supernal Father and Mother, being Kether on a less sublime plane and state of existence. Microcosmically it corresponds to our spiritual or higher consciousness and can be attained through subsequent involution or ascent up the lesser forms of consciousness such as Astral or Psychic mind and the more physical mind states.
The Seventh Sephiroth is Netzach and it means Victory. It is the Sphere of Venus and of Fire. It is the realm where the Elements of Nature begin to hold sway and beginning of the Astral Triangle and Plane. It is a classification of man's principles and the representation of his emotional world microcosmically. This Sephirah is associated with nature mysticism and Elemental forces. It is also the region in Human Sphere typically associated with the Unconscious Mind. It is also the plane or mode of existence whereby the One Force becomes differentiated into many forces, the One becoming the Many. Netzach is the mode of existence where the totality of the forces, elements, and energies reside in the Astral Plane as gods which represent the force or energy it is associated with, thus it is the plane of Mysticism, Druidism, and Paganism after a fashion.
The Eighth Sephiroth is Hod which translates to Glory or Majesty. It is the Sephirah of the Planet Mercury and the Aspect of Water. Hod is symbolic of the logical capacity of man, his reason and intellect, and it is also the repository of man's magical or nervous force which is akin to Prana in Tantra. It is considered by Occultists to be the Sephirah of Books being associated with Thoth, Lord of Magic. This is Sphere of the Intellectual, psychic, and occult magical path as opposed to the Dionysian Mystical one in Netzach or devotional one in Tiphareth. Hod is the plane of existence and aspect of cosmic involution whereby the myriad of energetic forces residing within Netzach undergo their concretized ensoulment into a permanent form which becomes a representation or symbolic image of the force or power which resides within the image. This allows it to become comprehensible to human consciousness.
The Ninth Sephiroth is Yesod and it translates to The Foundation. This is the Sephiroth which is assigned to Luna, the Moon, and to the Alchemical Element of Air. It is representative of the fourth Dimension by Occultists and the Astral Plane. It is associated also with Astral Psychism. Here we find the subtle electromagnetic substance, the Aether, into which all higher forces become focused and concentrated for their constitution into their final form from which physical Universe Arises. In all its fleeting forms and motions of Yesod, and all its implications, we find the assurety and permanence of the Physical World. Yesod is further called the plane of Maya, the plane of Illusion, due to the fact that within this mode of existence the astral phenomena and phantasmagoria encountered and perceived are simply the symbolic imagery or representations of archetypal spiritual forces and ideas which have become ensouled into a form, and are not real in and of themselves.
The Tenth Sephiroth is Malkuth and is The Kingdom. This is the realm of Earth and its material force of physicality. It is the bottom of the Middle Pillar of Mildness and Consciousness analogous with man's everyday conscious state of awareness and specifically of physical existence. Malkuth is the Pendant of the three sephirothic trinities or triangles being the final coalescing of all higher forces into the material plane of existence and densification. It is often called the Lesser Mother, or the Bride of Microprospus, The Bride of Saturn, Realm of Gaia. It is comprised of the coalescence of the four elements of fire, air, water, and earth but also infused with the yesodic fifth element of Aether.
The Four Worlds of Kabbalah Are Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiah. The World of Atziluth is the primary realm of the Sephiroth being the Divine realm where the Unmanifest Force is present itself in emanation in the highest authority with a Divine name; the Realm of Briah is the primal realm of Creation ruled by Archangels and of the Union through Chokmah and Binah, the realm of Yetzirah is the one of Formation comprised of the central Sephiroth ruled by the Divines Angelic hosts. Lastly, in Assiah you find the realm of Malkuth with man, matter, demons, and physical manifestation in the Zodiac, Planets, and Elements.
The Twenty two Paths of the Kaballah for the various intersecting lines of reconciliation and subjective manifestation connecting all the Spheres of the Sephiroth into a single composite glyph or symbol. The Paths are the subjective side of the Tree of Life Diagram and are the way and path for initiation. In a sort of double-blind there are actually thirty-two paths due to the representation of the Sephirothic Nodes being the initial ten paths followed by the twenty-two typical paths. Also assigned to the Paths are the twenty-two trumps of the Tarot Deck, the twenty-two Hebrew Letters, and the twenty-two parts of the physical realm relating to the Seven Planets, the Twelve Zodiac Signs, and the four Elements with Malkuth assigned Earth alone.
The Three Pillars of the Tree in Kabbalah are a particular way of representing correlations and dimensions running through the Sephiroth vertically and aid in understanding certain affinities between Sephiroth from these connections. They are The Pillar of Mildness, Pillar of Mercy, and Pillar of Severity. Each of these Sephirothic alignments reflect a particular degree of consciousness from the divine Mind down to super-consciousness, the subconscious, and then base consciousness in Malkuth.
The Pillar of Mildness is the Pillar of Consciousness with it running vertically from Kether down over Daath and into Tiphareth, Yesod, and finally Malkuth.The Pillar of Mercy are the sequential aspects of the involutionary forces and energies emanating from Kether and becoming formulated in Chokmah, Chesed, and Netzach, but are also the human aspects of emotionality, instinct, and intuition. The Pillar of Severity is the sequential aspects of cosmic unfoldment of force becoming encased in Forms and are represented by Binah, Geburah, and Hod. It is also the rationale, intellectual, and philosophical aspect of the Tree.
The Placement of the Tarot Deck with the various suits and numerical cards is required to adequately apprehend the Kabbalah Schematic. The Cards must be properly attributed to both the path and the Sphere its assigned and associated with. Perticular suits are assigned to the four worlds of the Tree with the Wands and Fire to Atziluth, the Cups and Water to Briah, the Swords and Air to Yetzirah, and lastly the Pentacles or Coines to the physical and Earthen Assiatic world. Furthermore, the numeric base cards are assigned to the sephiroth in descending order of both card and Sphere such that Aces are given to Kether, two's to Chokmah, threes to Binah, and on down to Malkuth with ten's given to The Kingdom. And thus the Ace of Wands is assigned to Atzliuthic Kether but the Ten of Pentacles would be given to the Malkuth of Assiah.
The attributions associated with aligning the Sephiroth with the Tarot Cards is to delineate and formulate additional conceptualized imagery, associations, and aspects to the Sephiroth they are placed upon for the purpose of expanding the Occultist's repertoire of symbolic images upon which to meditate upon and attain understanding of the Sephiroth through the mental associations he can then correlate through the depictions on the cards to the related aspects of the corresponding Sephiroth.
The Twenty-Two Sacred Hebrew Letters is the traditional language used in Kabbalah, just as the Sacred Letters of Sanskrit are used by the Yoga and Occultist of the East. The Letters in Hebrew are also used as numerical digits to form mathematically arranged words, ideas, divinities, and encodings of Forces. Every Letter is given a number, power, name, and meaning. They are quite multfacited in their application. The are three Mother Letters which are Shin, Aleph, and Mem. Then there are the seven double letters Gimel, Koph, Peth, Beth, Dhaleth, Tau, Resh and then the twelve basic letters. The power is the Letters alphabetical association for forming names of archangels and angels, etc. The name is such the A is Aleph, V is Vau, and T is Tau, etc. The meanings assigned are such that Aleph, A, is given to mean Ox, Lamed, or L, is given to mean Ox Goad, SHin, or Sh, is given to mean tooth, and Tau, or Th, is given to mean Cross, etc. Furthermore, the Hebraic alphabet is utilized in placement upon the 22 paths of initiation connecting the Sephiroth on the tree and are also considered the subjective aspect of the Tree, with the Sephiroth being the objective aspect. There is also the Hebraic aspect of converting the letters in to their numerical values for the use of creating additional associations between correlating values and is called Gematria.
The First Sephirah of the Ten Sephiroth is Kether. When one is attempting to comprehend or ascertain understanding of this initial Emanation from the Veils of Negative Existence, it must go without saying that true knowledge of it is exceedingly difficult to attain and only particular symbolic ideations of its primal nature can be postulated as well as denoting certain symbolism which generates the capacity for eventual understanding once meditated upon and visualized by the aspiring Qabbalist. The totality of our understanding of Kether must intrinsically be referred to in metaphysical delineations and extrapolations due to the fact of its existence being so completely removed from the nature of humanity's limited abilities in consciousness since it can only grasp concepts corresponding to ones encapsulated into a form or concretized formulation of a static idea, thus greatly truncating our capacity for comprehension of limitless conceptualizations. However, when it comes to Kether there do exist certain methodologies for postulating its nature, albeit metaphysical ones, and extrapolating upon its causation and subsequent expansion into Chokmah. Lastly, before beginning any type of delineation upon the various Sephiroth and their modes of existence, which is essentially what they are, it must be explicitly stated that for one to comprehend a Sephirah it must be juxtaposed against the successive Sephirah which are connected to it.
Kether is the first crystallization of the Unmanifested Principle out of Negative Existence and is a in essence a concentrated point of Pure Being emanated out of non-existence, thus it is symbolized by the center-point within the Circle with the Circe itself representing, albeit inadequately though its the best, the limitless, eternal, timeless, boundless, and primordial Source of the Unmanifested Principle. Kether is a paradoxical state of existence of Pure-Being without form or activity which resides in stasis until the influx of further Unmanifested force causes it to overflow its state and burst into the activity that corresponds to the Sephirah Chokmah. Therefore, it is apt that Kether it called the First Swirlings and the Primordial Point because it is the initial crystallization of the Unmanifested Force residing behind the three Veils of Negative existence which are called Ain, Ain Soph, and Ain Soph Aur.
The secondary Sephirah within the diagrammatic glyph of the Tree of Life schematic is Chokmah. The emanation of Chokmah sequentially proceeds from Kether and is essentially a state of existence which corresponds to a channel by which the Divine dynamism of force that is Kether flows through once the bursting of spiritually stimulating energy is initiated into activity once the influx of Unmanifested force overflows the Primordial point that is Kether, thus resulting in the outburst of the dynamic stimulating energetic emanation that is Chokmah. The various symbols associated and representative of Chokmah are the straight line, the Tower, and the Lingam to name just a few. Each one of these symbolic concepts are conceived to be representative of this forth-flowing dynamic energy or stimulating force of creative spiritual power which is Chokmah's state of existence. Chokmah is Kether once the influx of the ever-flowing force from the Unmanifest transcends its limitations and necessitates that new modes of developments must be initiated to create fresh correspondences and stresses for further progression to be actuated. Consequently, Chokmah is the bursting forth of Kether into an out-pouring of unformulated power and uncompensated force, an out-pouring of limitless, boundless dynamic energy. Chokmah is essentially Kether, Pure Being, becoming active and stimulative to the point of a concentrated outflow of this force which is formless, undirected, and dynamic. Chokmah is also considered the initial Masculine and Positive aspect of polarity within the Tree of Life Schematic and is thus attributed symbols associated with such stimulative imagery as the Phallus which corresponds to the notion of dynamic outflowing life force or energy for growth and progress. However, it must be mentioned that to connote Chokmah's masculinity with the positive polarity does not constitute the concept of good as opposed to evil, but simply denotes its nature as a stimulative, dynamic, energetic, and formulating force in involution.
The third Sephirah emanated within the Glyph of the Tree of Life is Binah which is the primal and primordial instigator of capturing dynamic forces within forms though at this state of existence these forms would be exceedingly subtle in nature and should not in any way be imagined as physical or even ethereal but instead as archetypal and spiritual forming the initial, fundamental basis for the proceeding emanatory states of subsequent polarity and dualistic manifestations of the Cosmic superstructure which occurs in the 4th Sephirah Chesed. Comprehension of Binah must intrinsically be extrapolated upon by correlation of it to the dynamic, stimulating, and flowing force of Chokmah. Chokmah, being dynamic power and force, is a life stimulating energy that exhibits itself by moving or flowing in a pattern more akin to a spiraling arch than a straight line with it inevitably circling back around to arrive on a higher arch than which it originated due to the nature of the evolving Cosmos; yet inherent to this cyclical progression of dynamic activity, which is Chokmah, there results the eventual burgeoning of stresses that interlock and subsequently begin to stabilize in some manner due to there intrinsic nature.
These interlocking forces of stress which result in an stabilization or equilibrium among them is referred to as Binah. Thus, Binah is that balancing act and fundamental stasis achieved by interactionary forces which have attained a sort of harmonious inter-relational standstill and represent the primal initiation of inducing dynamic forces into a static form of counterpoise. Whenever there is manifested a balancing and maintenance of cosmic forces into a static equilibrium there is displayed the conceptualization of the Binah aspect of existence. Additionally, when any force or energetic principle of the Universe becomes encased into a limiting and constricting formation invariably the result is the beginning of degeneration of that form proceeding until its final dissolution or death. This is why Binah is posited as being the Bringer of Death, by means of constricting energies in forms that must degrade and expire by the very nature of being in a finite state of existence.
The fourth Sephiroth upon the glyph of the Tree of Life schematic is titled Chesed, also sometimes referred to as Gedulah, and it means Mercy or Majesty. The emanation of Chesed proceeds from Binah, bringer of form, and is essentially the reflection of Chokmah, the dynamic stimulating force, on a lower level of existence and manifestation. Chesed is the coalescence and cohesion of the Supernal Trinity of Sephirothic aspects of force and form into a less subtle and more dense emanation that represents the first true manifestation in the cosmos, though subtle, in the sense that it becomes actual and real, as juxtaposed to the entirely different states or modes of existence within the Three Supernal Sephiroth that are in essence potentials and divine first principles that formulate the primal model for subsequent involution of the Unmanifested force in Kether to become eventually actualized within the states corresponding to the denser Sephirothic spheres lower upon the Tree.
Thus, Chesed is attributed the symbolism of the three-dimensional pyramid and the triangle, which are the first shapes in manifestation.
Chesed is the first concretion of the abstract principles manifest within the Supernal Sephiroth and is therefore the initiator of solidity within emanative manifestation, though this apparent solidity remains one of an exceedingly subtle nature and should not be imagined as corresponding to the types of solidity we are accustomed to thinking of with our limited level of consciousness in the densest physical sephirothic plane of existence. Chesed is an anabolic force, an up-building of archetypal forces and ideas which preserve the foundational sephirothic aspects represented within the Supernals extending and stimulating further the basic cosmic schematics of the Logoidal Consciousness of Kether, the primordial conduit of the Unmanifested force of Pure Being. Chesed is the anabolic aspect of existence which sustains, preserves, and stimulates novel cosmic archetypal ideas or aspects for manifestation into the lower planes, thus it is the designer and architect of new manifestations that are dynamic and progressive. This is why the symbol attributed to Chesed is the wise and contemplative King sitting upon his throne presiding peacefully over his kingdom guiding them and organizing them into productivity and abundance.
The Fifth Sephirah within the Tree of Life schematic is Geburah, or Gevurah, and this is the secondary Sephiroth placed upon the Pillar of severity or left-sided pillar of negatively charged polarity in creative aspects. This Sephirah is attributed many symbols and representations which signify or epitomize its emanatory principle and operation within the framework of the unfolding schema being designed through the Tree of Life into manifested reality further on down the tree. One such image is the Fiery, Mighty warrior king riding out into battle upon his chariot. Another symbol is Mars, representing the Destroyer and God of War. Both of these symbolic associations provide a key for ascertaining the nature of this Sephirah. Geburah is the opposing polarity to Chesed's preservative, stimulative, and anabolic archetypal emanation which sustains and progresses the Cosmos. Thus, Geburah represents the katabolic aspect of creative processes whereby necessary destruction of stagnant forms are effectuated and undertaken. This destructive Geburah process is an essential aspect of existence for efficacious emanations and manifestations to proceed without which would result in degraded, stale, and inhibitive forms remaining unchecked and therefore halting the vibrant progression of novel and vital forms of existence to manifest.
Thus, this katabolic sephirah is absolutely essential and necessary for novelty to arise out of the ashes of decrepit degenerative forms which have outlived their cosmic usefulness and must be disintegrated for their to the manifest the revitalized , reconstituted, and vibrationally re-energised emanations of forms that progress the cosmic un-foldment of evolutionary processes further down the planes. Geburah breaks up the subtle forms and archetypal ideas emanated in Binah and Chesed so that then in Tiphareth the remaining cosmic aspects can become equilibrated into interacting wholes which work in tandem with each other as opposed to each other. Consequently, Geburah is considered the Cosmic Destroyer of Form and is thus associated with the Fiery Mars symbol and a King riding into Battle against his adversaries. Geburah is the Celestial Surgeon that obliterates precisely and deliberately cosmic forms ensouled with latent spiritual forces which once extricated and released from a degenerative form can once again become dynamic, anabolic, and stimulative for additional utilization within the up-building creative processes in the overall framework of involution, the descent of Unmanifested force in Kether down to ensoulment into form in the lower states and modes of existence.
The sixth Sephirah in the glyph of the Tree of Life is the Central Sphere in the totality of the Tree schematic and the pivotal Sephirothic aspect which is the intrinsic linking principle between the higher and lower portions of the Tree macrocosmically in terms of Cosmic structuring, but it also the pivotal link in the microcosmic aspects of consciousness and the fundamental function of attuning and raising consciousness up the planes into higher levels of spiritual awareness or perception of holistic unities and archetypal mental structures in super-consciousness. The Tipharethic nature in consciousness is the aspect of Christ-consciousness which constitutes an equilibrium of mentalism between the material consciousness, the subconsciousness or unconscious, and the spiritual super-consciousness states becoming unified into harmonious rapport. To Tipharaeth is attributed the symbolic image of the Sun astrologically and is also further considered to be a reflection of Kether upon a lower plane being titled the "Son of the Father", the Father being Kether.