Friday, September 27, 2013

The Tree of Life I - Qabalah is the New Black

'As early as the 10th century, Saadia Gaon, remarked
about the many variants of Sefer Yetzirah, saying, "It
is not a common book and many people have been
careless in changing or transposing the text." A
century later, Rabbi Yehudah Barceloni likewise notes
that, "there are many, some very confused." In 1562,
the printers of the first Mantua edition remarked how
they had to sift through many manuscripts to find a

dependable text.'
- Inroduction to Sefer Yetzirah in Theory and Practice, Aryeh Kaplan

  • The Tree of Life is a diagram that consists of 10 Sefirot and 22 paths which divide into 3 horizontal paths, 7 vertical paths and 12 diagonal paths.  These are collectively referred to as the 32 paths of wisdom.

  • The Hebrew Alefbeit contains 22 letters which represent elements, planets and zodiac signs and which also divides into 3 mothers, 7 doubles and 12 simples.

  • The letters are associated according to those groups, the 3 mother letters of Alef, Mem and Shin with the 3 horizontal paths, the 7 doubles with the 7 verticals, the 12 simples with the 12 diagonals.

  • The association of letter to astrological symbol is not controversial for the 3 mothers and the 12 simples.  The order of creation in the SY is Air, Water, Fire* and the association runs parallel to their appearance in the Alefbeit, i.e. Alef is first therefore Air, Mem is second therefore Water, Shin is third therefore Fire.  In exactly the same way the order of the simples in the Alefbeit, Heh to Qoph, is directly associated with the order of the zodiac Aries to Pisces.

  • The double letter to planet association is more controversial varying between rabbinical sources but the oldest commentary (Saadia Gaon) goes with the most logical order following the Chaldean order of the planets i.e. Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Venus, Mercury, Moon with Beit, Gimel, Dalet, Kaph, Pe, Resh, Tav.  This would agree with the way the other letters have been ordered i.e. the simplest and most logical way.

  • The Kircher Tree is a corruption of these basic fundamentals the planets are misaligned and the path system is completely off - this is not a malicious error, its an accident (possibly of translation or of conversation) but one which has been unresolved because of poor research and dogma within the institutions responsible.  Many people who encounter the esoteric sciences via the G.D. et al are inducted into the Kircher without even realising that there are other sources which are more accurate. Indeed the materials of the Western esoteric sciences present the Kircher Tree as *the* Tree as opposed to *a* Tree which ignores (or remains ignorant of) the rather obvious structure implied above.  I think this is actually rather embarrassing.

  • The Tree shown below is an array structured to show the principles outlined above.  This Tree of Life is known as the Saadia Tree.  Both the Ari Tree (Isaac Luria) and the Gra Tree have slightly different arrangements of exactly where the paths go (although the division remains 3, 7 and 12) and slightly different planetary associations (which are perhaps associated with planetary hour as opposed to Chaldean order) but they both adhere to the logical breakdown of 3, 7 and 12.




The Tree of Life is a diagram which represents a 5 dimensional hypercontinuum of space, time and observer.  In the Saadia Tree the attributions of the ''Depths'' (or axial endpoints) of these dimensions are as follows.

Kether - Depth of Future
Malkuth - Depth of Past

Chokmah - Depth of Good
Binah - Depth of Evil
Chesed - Depth of South (warmth/expand)
Gevurah - Depth of North (cold/contract)

Tifereth - Depth of East
Yesod - Depth of West
Netzach - Depth of Up (rise/out)
Hod - Depth of Down (fall/in)

The elemental attributions are the same Alef - Air, Mem - Water, Shin - Fire (the order of creation in the SY informs the placements on the Saadia Tree of Life as opposed to the Ari where the verse ''create the head with fire, etc determines them) and the zodiac attributions are also the same Heh - Qoph in their order in the Alefbeit leads to Aries - Pisces in zodiac this set of placements on the ToL creates the zodiacal man in the aura:

The planetary attributions as mentioned earlier are more controversial but I follow the Chaldean order.  When this is placed in the most logical way on the Saadia diagram highly interesting patterns emerge.

First we have the middle pillar as follows - Kether (Depth of Future/Death), Beit (Saturn), Tifereth (Depth of East), Kaph (Sol), Yesod (Depth of West), Tav (Luna), Malkuth (Depth of Past/Birth).  As you can see this largely temporal axis shows the passage of the individual from ''birth'' (ruled by Luna) to ''death''** (ruled by Saturn) in the grand axis of Kether and Malkuth, but contains within it the daily temporal axis of East and West, Tifereth and Yesod with the passage of the Sun (its ''birth'' and ''death'').

The right and left pillars now have planets associated with them that are in keeping with the notion of the right pillar being a pillar of ''mercy'' and the left a pillar of ''severity''. 

On the right we have - Chokmah (Depth of Good), Gimel (Jupiter), Chesed (Depth of South/Warm/Expand), Pe (Venus), Netzach (Depth of Up/Rise/Out) - which captures the essence of the fortuitous and expansive effects of Jupiter and the blissful, holistic, lovely, ''uplifting'' effects of Venus.

On the left we have - Binah (Depth of Evil), Dalet (Mars), Gevurah (Depth of North***/Cold/Contract), Resh (Mercury) and Hod (Depth of Down/In/Fall).  This describes both the malefic and contractive nature of Mars with the detail focused, description in parts, scientific nature of Mercury.

The Saadia attributions set up the following in the aura: the elements in their natural creation order from the SY, the planets in the Chaldean order, the zodiac attributions in the positions of the zodiac man.  This leads to an aura which is harmonious with the natural and traditional arrays that have operated for thousands of years, i.e. an aura where the microcosm mirrors the macrocosm.
*Clouds, rain, lightning.
**See Last Days of Socrates.
***''Evil comes out of the North.''

Friday, September 6, 2013

Metabolism VIII - Physiomancy, Endocrinomancy

In response to Patrick Dunn's competition for most interesting kind of divination I decided to post details of how to use the system of physiognomy I have been exploring on this blog as a system of divination.

One message that I constantly keep reiterating is that the world we experience is our own consciousness of the world and not the world directly.  I know this seems obvious but it is very easy to slip back into the idea that the world that you experience is 'physical' rather than 'mental', that you look through your eyes rather than ''at them'' (or rather the 'visual cortex') from somewhere else inside your mind.  With this idea of your consciousness saturating your experience, your perceptual 'sphere' can effectively become a crystal ball and the events and people you encounter within that crystal ball can be read as omens and portents.

Normally I use this concept as the basis for my pathwalking which occurs in the 'physical world' rather than in astral meditation.  I call the symbol(s) ''down'' and then walk a 'real path' in the 'physical world' and read the symbols off the path.  Perhaps I am looking to explore the path of Gimel (the rich man who runs to the poor and correctly attributed to Jupiter) I will open a 'gate' in the shape of the letter, step through it and then walk the path that opens.  Two things then happen - one, my consciousness applies a kind of Gimel filter over my experiences of that path so that events, people, symbols on the path that pertain to Gimel stand out for my contemplation and two, people or events are 'summoned' to the path and my interaction with them allows me to practice using the letter, in the case of Gimel this may appear as ways in which I can use my wealth and power charitably and philanthropically (random giving of charity achieves little to nothing, charity is a skill and must be learned to be used strategically - this was a lesson of the Gimel path).

Instead of the more focused approach of pathwalking one can effectively use the same basic idea to open up the 'perceptual sphere' to any symbols in the same way that one would read tarot cards, one reads the symbols that occur in the perceptual as they randomly walk a path.

There are all kinds of natural symbols that one can experience from the mythical black cat crossing your path, to some genuine dispersing ravens as opposed to those seen in meditation/visualisation and any occultist worth his salt has a large library of symbolism to interpret messages from the anima mundi.  Since physiognomy is my own area of relative expertise I want to focus on the interpretation of the people one encounters, in the act of divination, in the percpetual sphere.

As stated earlier in this blog the people you meet in your life have two aspects to them, one that they are an individual experiencing the world from the centre of their own 'sphere of sensation' and two that they are a messenger present in your sphere.  You could look at it like this - an Arien is a spirt of Aries, a Martial spirit by default but also composed of various spiritual forces as assigned to that person in their horoscope - if they showed up randomly in a 'reading' drawn from the natural world, one could interpret them like one would interpret 'The Emperor'.  Or for instance, if one suddenly encounters a Taurean along the path, then this individual could be 'read' in the same way one would read the Heirophant card.  Many advanced astrologers can tell simply by looking at a person the underlying mixture of their horoscopes.

My own system of physiognomy is based on a rather advanced understanding of endocrinology but is very similar to the alchemical system of humours.  Looking at an individual I can tell from the quality and type of their skin, the way fat is distributed around the body, their bone structure, etc what the 'dominant' hormonal genetic influences are or the genetic 'pathways' that are particularly pronounced.  This reading effectively turns that individual into a symbol/representative of one (or two) of the physiognomical characters I have outlined earlier on this blog and as such is read in much the same way as a ''card would be read'''.  At a deeper level one can then ''commune with these spirits'' and interpret what they say at the sod (kabbalistic ''secrecy'') level as opposed to the literal meaning of what they say.