Normally the argument runs something like this:
Blogos: Hey the Kircher Tree breaks the rule of 3, 7 and 12 i.e. 3 horizontal paths = 3 mothers, 7 vertical paths = 7 doubles, 12 diagonal paths = 12 simples - have you noticed?
WMT 101 Drone: Errr...
Blogos: Did you at least notice that there are 3 horizontal paths and 3 mother letters?
WMT 101 Drone: What? To be honest - no, I dogmatically obeyed the Kircher Tree as *the Tree* as it is described that way in virtually all WMT books relating to the QBL ( we are talking about a lot of text here! Mathers, Crowley, Regardie, Fortune...)
Blogos: Did you build the Kircher Tree into your aura and astral body through continuous work on it?
WMT 101 Drone: No I don't have the will required to build up an astral body or even to memorise the associations but I do refer to them occassionally in the ''Tarot for Dummies''* guide to the mysteries that has been so useful in developing my full potential as a learner.
Blogos: Well thank Christ for that, you would have completely mangled your aura if you had!
The more sophisicated users of the Kircher Tree, who have hardwired it into their systems, are all crazy so the arguments are normally a little more ''frothing at the mouth''. If the Kircher Tree was *purposely* adopted by the Western Orders in genuine awareness of and therefore breaching the rule of 3, 7 and 12 cite a source otherwise I have to come to the conclusion that it is a terrible error. d'Aquin to Kircher seems to be the source-line and the error was inserted here and not corrected.
Sometimes amongst the more educated elite who have squandered their years in QBL studying the Kircher Tree, failed to encounter texts like those of Aryeh Kaplan early enough and now having rejected the QBL practise another form of magic - the argument runs somewhat differently. They normally argue for a more pluralist approach defending the Kircher Tree's *obvious* flaws by suggesting that ''whatever works'' - to simplify this means it doesn't matter what arrangement you use if it works it works. My problems with this argument are as follows.
1. It shows great cultural ignorance - check Jewish sources, the Ari and the Gra Tree show the rule of 3, 7 and 12. The onus is on the WMT practitioners and texts which very often present the Kircher Tree as *the Tree* to show that it is but one variant. Sometimes this argument feels like the crippling inertia in the WMT made flesh. I also feel that these more intellectual practitioners would not have rejected the QBL *if* they had been informed about 3, 7 and 12 from the beginning since I am sure they would not champion such cultural ignorance.
2. The argument suggests there are 22!** possibly variations of the Tree - do they each work better at a particular task? Pray tell me oh post-modern master who hath done the experiments necessary to assess this potential plasticity?
3. A great many of those variants, like the Kircher Tree, will break the rather *obvious* rule of 3, 7 and 12 which is so *obvious* that, for example, the commentary on the doubles and the verticals in Kaplan's SY is ''The 7 double letters are associated with the 7 vertical paths.''
4. Pragmatism bias - ''if it ain't broke don't fix it'' a) Many don't know its broke because they never get far enough to *use* it beyond a clumsy tarot reading and this is part of the general trend of the WMT in decline b) Different types of cars ''work'' differently, the Kircher may ''work'' but far less *effectively* than other arrangements, i.e. those that follow 3, 7 and 12 - but again who really out of the WMT as it stands has explored these different arrays and subjected them to that kind of test?
|ETZ HA SHAARIM - TREE OF GATES|
Anyway there is a pluralist solution to the Tree of Life problem that I call the Etz Ha Shaarim or Tree of Gates. This is actually a very powerful piece of ''psychic machinery'' which I will continue to explore under the auspices of the 231 Gates project. This Tree, shown above, reimagines each Sefira as a wheel of the 231 Gates showing that 22! potential manifestation. If we truly believe in the pluralist approach to the Tree the above diagram should be adopted by the Western Orders and the students should be encouraged to study all *available material* and come to the conclusion that they are comfortable with through experimentation.
*I wrote this and then just discovered its an actual book. FML.