What Are Sephiroths?
Kabbalah Tradition: (cob bull ah / cob bull ist) means doctrines received from tradition. This mystical tradition is of the ancient Hebrews and their entire collection of religious writings. It deals with the nature of EnSoph (God), ten SEPHIROTHS divided into three Pillars (Towers) and connected by twenty-two Paths… the Tree of Life. It also deals with the Hebrew alphabet and numbers and other esoteric studies. Variously spelled: Cabala, Qabala, and numerous similar spellings.
I have seen numerous arguments that Kabbalah and Cabala are not the same, one being practiced before the Jews were in Egypt and one of the esteemed practitioners being Abraham. , However, the mix-up is with Merkabah, as it is the more ancient practice. The ‘K/Q/C’ mix-up seems to be just varied phonetical spellings. Kabbalah detractors say that this system was derived from the older and, as well Egyptian, Assyrian, and Babylonian beliefs. Thus bringing in the Magickal element, which had not existed in Merkabah.
As always, I strive to keep my explanations as basic as possible. There is just so much deeper knowing that that is well beyond me to try and explain. However, because I’ve often been confused by the Adepts of this subject because they would speak ‘over,’ I hope that my manner of description is better understood by you who are just exploring the Tree of Life. That I don’t scare you off, as I was scared off for years from this topic. Anyway, to those who would detract from what I say because of your more profound deeper knowledge… please, go ahead and give your explanations to the public.
Brief descriptions of the Sephiroths…
#1 Kether the Crown is until now the UnManifested, at the precise condition and time where it can become knowable by us. Here is the Divine Spark of Life, which sits over all other Sephiroth, setting motion to Life. The One Above All different things.
#2 Chokmah the Wisdom is also the Crown of Creation, the exciting force of the Higher Plane, that has gained enough thrust to manifest itself, As one writer put it. It is the All Begetter in the put it. The ‘God’ side of the One.
#,3 Binah the Understanding and the Throne who is the negative and the receptive and thus able to receive the positive and projective flow from Chokmah. The ‘Goddess’ side of the One.
#4 Chesed the Mercy and the Majesty. Called the All Begetter, Power Whitmore manifested for rm as a loving father, protector, and preserving the image. The Father of His People in Peace. The ‘God’ of Judeo-Christian belief structures. And Karother’s beliefs. The receiving end of what elf has sent.’
#5 Ge, breach the Strength and the Severity is the Chariot King, off to war. A figure with command of respect, putting the fear of Law and Lord into his subject, anxiety fear is the beginning of Wisdom. Some would call C that which tears down and destroys to make room to rebuild anew.
#6 Tiphareth of Beauty and Harmony is the Sacrificed King and the Wounded Healer who stands balanced between lower Kether and higher Yesod. Below are the 4 Lower Self and Personality Seph, growth while higher are the 4 Higher Self, and Individuality. Here are the precise second Life changes from the Planes of Force above to the Planes of Form below.
Tiphathereth, the child born of #1 Kether but King of #10 Malkuth… sitting here in His Sephiroth, is now sacrificed. Some see this Sephiroth as the Great Wheel around which all else revolves, for what is sent out on it – comes back!
#7 Netzach of Victory and Force is the Artist Sephiroth, where the forces on the lower plane celebrate achievement’s Victory. The ‘fruits’ of our labor.
#8 Hod of Splendor, Form, and Intelligence is the Scientist Sephiroth. Here is the connection between Mercury and the God of Science. Works from here manifest in the Mental Realms in precise, intellectual forms.
#9 Yesod is the Storehouse of Images and is the Foundation. Here is Memory as viewed by some. And here is an excellent read charm of the energies from all the other Sephiroth. Yesod then purifies and corrects these energies before it forwards them to the Mundane World of #10 Malkuth.
#10 Malkuth the Kingdom, the Stable, the Mundane Manifestation represents the Physical World as we know it.
The Four Worlds
Besides laying out card Keys over these Sephiroth and combining their meanings, some people also lay out four other cards separately to cover the FOUR WORLDS…
Atziluth / Fire / Wands… …..1. Atziluth: God works directly through the Archetypes, and all substance begins. …..2. Fire: signs are fiery activity and headstrong, changes, protective and defensive, …………..lusty, willpower and courage, Magick! Masculine, South. …..3. Wands: growth, inspiration, creativity.
Briah / Air / Swords… …..1. Briah: Creatitakesake place through ArchAngels. …..2. Air: signs are more intellectual and into the intellectual, communication, feeling and ……………thinking, mental processes, and also travel. Masculine, East. …..3. Swords: logical thinking and communication.
Yetzira / Water / Cups… …..1. Yetzira: Formation occurs through Angels. …..2. Water: signs are de-stressing and soothing, dreams, emotions, compassion, purifying, ……………love and other feelings, friendships, healing, peaceful, psychism in all the ……………diversity of the subject, sensitive. Feminine, West. …..3. Cups: emotions, the subconscious, and relationships.
Assiah / Earth / Pentacles… …..1. Assiah: The Material World works (exists) through the Elements ……………and Signs of the Zodiac. …..2. Earth: signs are earthy, our base and foundation, materialistic subjects and feelings, ……………practical, Ground and Center, fertility and stability. Feminine, North. …..3. Pentacles: are the fruits of our labors.
However, something is left out which *I* must have a reckoning with, and that is…
…..Akasha: is the One, the great Spiritual Being, Life itself. One Above All. And for me, it’s………………..influences must always be considered.
This is the basis for what is to follow in a little more detail. I understood my methods and got on to a more enjoyable study of great subject material.
Variations in The Tree of Life Spreads
The following thoughts were inspired a couple of years ago when my friend Bella on CompuServe was asking about variations on the Tree of Life Spreads, so having hunted a few of my files on the subject, I pieced them together for there on the forum, I now share them here as well.
The Tree of Life Spread follows the Qabalah line of Life, which is ancient Judaic in the background. It is the symbolic portrayal of Heavethreeree, its Limbs, and its Roots. And although often thought of as a ‘flat’ symbol, in the reality of the mental processes, it should be viewed as 3-dimensional instead. But more on that aspect later.
Sephiroth portals or gates
There are 10 Sephiroth portals or gates, which are particular ‘p..’ They are connected by ‘Paths’ of connection; each Path has a Major Key associated with and connected to it. But put… there are rows called Towers or Pillars… Severity, Mildness, and Mercy. Again up and down these Tower align, moments we have: 3, 5, 8, then 1, 6, 9, 10, then 2, 4, 7. Some people will vary the number and order, but this is only the dealing order… not the meanings changed. Please note that I use the whole deck, but others use Majors. Thus see:
3…….2…. upward triangle
…..6…….. downward triangle
…..9…….. downward triangle
…and the above is called The Lightning Path; it zig-zags back&forth so that as you’ work’ through three,’ you are balanced out in your energies… neutral – positive – negative – etc.
The Keys on #3 and #2 will impact #1.
The Keys of #5 and #4 ICT on #6.
And #8 and #7 impact on #9, then all three of them, onto #10 Key.
The first Tower of Severity is sometimes viewed as the Neinfluence, licenses, while the third, Tower of Mercy, is the Positive influences. The Middle Tower is neutral, then. You will have to decide this for yourself.
Many of the lay will, in order of #1– #10, lay out their Keys (cards) upon these Sephiroth in order 1-10. So, next, I’ll look at various meanings of those. These depend on whose work you are reading and why some of the following seem contradictory… as always, you will have to study and find out what works for you and who is the best Teacher/Writer formally; I have found the writings of Amber Jayanti and Fosterostor Case to be the easiest for me to learn from and understand.
#1 KETHER… The Crown; the potent, the source; what will happen next; future events; and most view this as Spiritual Aspects. The things we are seeking—our Spiritual side.
#2 CHOKMAH… Wisdom; active forces; learning experiences; masculine; Projective Energy. The things we are driven toward from inner prompting—our responsibilities.
#3 BINAH… Understanding; substance and form; feminine; Receptive Energy. Some see this position as seconded/or secretive know landed/or events. But what we learned now, “what do we do with that learning?” The things we use are mental and stress our difficulties.
(see below: DAATH) (Death)
#4 CHESED… Mercy; those things which test us; Will Power; creative forces; Legalities. The fruits of our positive or negative! ‘Helping’ subjects.
#5 GEBURAH…; Judgment; and CHAOS. One’s life experiences. The results appear here of what occurred through the #4 position. The things and people who become our enemies and adversaries are opposing subjects.
#6 TIPARETH… Beauty; Truth; the Spirit or Soul of a person; things at the level of the Life Force (God). Our achievements.
#7 NETZACH… Victory; visionary plans; intuitive talents, and emotions. Some link emotion to feminine energies. This is an ‘Ego’ position as well. The things which make us proud of ourselves. The things and people we love.
#8 HOD… Glory; is the Intellect and thinking mind, the ability to reason. Some even call this one particularly Gate the Lightning Path others call this the masculine energies. The things we are involved with, business-wise. Communications and careers.
#9 YESOD… the Foundation; the Portal Gate; inner promptings; your Conscious that helps you know right from wrong; the Subconscious Self. Some see this as the situation or environment in the quest. They involve our physical and mental health. Our ‘code of,’ his,’ our Honor… or lack thereof!
#10 MALKUTH… the communion with ‘God’; the Mundane World. Here we see an overall opinion from being ‘one with God to the earthly world about us! Often this position is viewed as the PRESENT time as, well; or the ‘sum’ of the above Keys and their positional meanings. The things which for us, our.’ Home’—our family.
Now, between the positive levels #2 and #3 and positions #4 and #5, is an optional spot or ‘line’ named… Death, often spelled…
DAATH or Knowledge. They correspond with the ‘line’ level called THE VEIL OF THE ABYSS, at which things are ‘unknowable’ by mere humans.
And an odd note: here we see a connection to the Biblical admonishment about not eating of the fruit, but Adam and Eve did eat the apple, then we’re doomed to bodily death and all that. It makes me think of the Major Arcana key ‘Death’ though, as that which is readying the situation for change or even change and transformations themselves.
Laying of Keys
Thus we can lay out our Keys (cards) in these positions and gain meanings of the Key with that position’s importance… look at the upper three Sephiroth in poposts1, #3, and #2… this forms a triangle pointing upwards… Spirituality. You can think of this as a collective meaning or pull another card to lay across these three as a Clarification.
Next… look at the middle three Sephiroth in positions #5, #and 4, #6… this forms a triangle pointing downwards… Individuality. You can think of this as a collective meaning or pull another card to lay across these trees as a Clarification.
Next… look at the bottom three Sephiroth in positions #8 and, #7, #9 with their link to #10… this is Personality and how people ‘see’ us, whether an excellent proper view and opinion or not of how we are. You can think of this as a collective meaning or pull another card to lay across these thee as a Clarification.
We can also look at these as Future, Present, and Past influx well.
But… let’s take this a bit first!
It is beneficial and valuable if you have an extra deck or this, and furthermore… I’m going to reduce your work. Take some paper and place ten place mats for the above Sephiroth position Label as many as you and place them correctly.
Now we are going to look at the Paths between these. And for this, we lay out cords or colored strings to give our little diagram so me.’ depth.’ I’ll abbreviate the Keys by just their numbers… 0 Fool, for example… then the Key’s Path… linking the Sephiroth by number. There are 22 Paths corresponding to 22 Hebrew Letters, which I’ve already discussed in past articles in detail l, so I won’t add them again here. You can find them off these yourself off the main Tarot page.
Using that ‘extra’ deck, lay the correct Major Key upon its proper Path. Now you can connect that specific Key’s influences to a clear specific Pathway. Thus adding even further consequences for consideration to the card you laid upon the Sephiroth positions! So, now go ahead as before, laying out Keys from your ‘use’ deck over the Sephiroth positions then.
The Tree and Court Key
Another interesting note concerning the Tree and Court Key relationships… going down the Central Tower…
#01 Kether is……. Knights #06 Tiphareth is… Queens #09 Yesod is……… Kings #10 Malkuth is….. Pages
The Knight is bold action; the Queen is the nurturing force; the King is the maturity but two places down in importance. The Page is the growing child force. Thus we can associate these actions… the action is started, then it’s nurtured along, then it is mature, then it returns to rebirth.
Next, I’m returning to the subject of the Tree in a three-dimensional form. It will be hard to explain unless you have a diagram, so please bear with me. We will have placement of the Sephiroth and a Major Key association with a position in this discussion… to become even more involved, now we add in Zodiacal associations!
As before, lay out the keys from the extra deck to the following positions…
Kether/Fool/Nebulae is at the top… picture it suspended like a mobile hanging on a string.
Straight down from it hangs… Tiphareth/Hanged Man/Sun.
A circle forms from Kether, and the bottom of the loop… hangs below Tiphareth but just above Malkuth/Wheel of Fortune/Four Elements.
On this Circle, we will be positioned in opposing positions…
Binah/Death/Saturn and Chokmah/Universe/Zodiac… then Geburach/Tower/Mars and Chesed/Emperor/Jupiter… with Tiphareth hanging between them… then Hod/Magician/Mercury and Netzach/Empress/ Venus… with Yesod/High Priestess/Moon at the bottom of this Circle.
From Kether comes another, a larger circle, and we position more cards from 11:00 and 1:oo, positioning downward to positions of 7:00 and 5: o0… this time, I work down just the left-hand side…
Justice/Libra Hierophant/Taurus Devil/Capricorn Chariot/Cancer Hermit/Virgo Temperance/Sagittarius.
Tree of Life