Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Tree of Life - The Saadia Tree, the Seven Planets and Cellular Consciousness

Twenty-two letters: He carved them, hewed them, refined them, weighed them, and combined them, and He made of them the entire creation and everything to be created in the future. How did He test them? Alef with all and all with AlefBet with all and all with Bet... and they all return again and again, and they emanate through two hundred and thirty-one gates. All the words and all the creatures emanate from One Name 
Sefer Yetzirah, Saadia Version 4:4

The six trillion biological cells that you are made from have various language systems in order to communicate with one another. Communication can occur through protein messages, which are interpreted with the genetic dictionary in the nucleus of the cell or through calcium signaling, a kind of cellular ''Morse code'' based on calcium ions (Ca2+).  Its worth keeping this in mind as from our QBListic perspective we see these systems as the cellular basis for such ideas as ''letters of foundation'' or the way in which ''all the letters form one Name''.

In terms of Cellular Consciousness the seven planets which are placed on the seven vertical paths are all under the kingship of the element of Water and are related to the organelles in the cytoplasm.  The cytoplasm is a membrane bound bubble of an aqueous solution containing various structures necessary for the function of the cell.

We can see how the cell's structure echoes the structure of the solar system and the atom, providing us with a unique bridge in scale following the As Above, So Below principle.  But we must be careful to not make a few critical mistakes at this point:
  • Although it seems like the nucleus, as the ''core'' of the cell would be like the Sun in the solar system it is in fact related to the Moon and ultimately to the Earth - these are Geocentric biological cells.
  • People often make the mistake that since it contains all the information the nucleus must be like the ''brain'' of the cell - again, as it relates to the Moon and Earth, if we are going to provide a physiological correlate then it would be the genitals of the cell - where information is stored in order to reproduce.
Moving on then we can observe in our cellular solar system various objects that speak to us of planets, satellites and other celestial bodies such as asteroids.  If we imagine a descent* into the cell from the membrane to the nucleus we can use our Chaldean order of the planets - Saturn, Jupiter, Nars, Sol, Venus, Mercury, Luna - in understanding the roles of the various organelles.
  • Saturn - Cell Membrane (gates, receptors, transporters)
The cell membrane is a structure composed of lipids that encloses the cell and maintains its integrity. Like Saturn, this structure can give a sense of restraint and confinement - the cell is not permitted to expand beyond this membrane.  The membrane contains gates, receptors and transporters that allow various chemical messengers to access the membrane from the blood.**  At the end of a cellular lifespan the membrane will pop - apoptosis - and in this death of the cell, we see the final action of Saturn, its internal constituents released back into the blood.

  • Jupiter - Endosomes
The cargo convoy of the cell - various little structures (vesicles) that would be like the containers you see on the back of transport ships.  Once a chemical messenger or protein has accessed the cell via the membrane (Saturn) it is conveyed (Jupiter) by endosomes to other structures, the lysosomes, for processing.

  • Mars - Lysosomes
The lysosomes contain hydrolytic enzymes that literally hack into other biomolecules (brought to them by the endosomes) and break them down into smaller structures.  This process can be turned against bacteria or other pathogens that are invading the cell - as such the lysosomes form both part of the analytic and defence systems of the cell.

  • Sol - Mitochondria
The mitochondria are the energy system of the cell - it is in the mitochondria that respiration, the biological process necessary for life, is completed.  As described in another post respiration can be considered an elemental process where fire (sugar/energy) and air (oxygen) are combined to produce water (H2O) and ''earth'' (CO2). Occultists will also note the hexagonal structure of the glucose molecule.


At a deeper level the fuel molecules (sugar!) are being stripped of charge in the form of electrons which are subsequently used to ''recharge'' a battery molecule called ATP/ADP - which contains phosphorus.  In all of this we see the hallmark of the Sun.  The equation for power*** is work done over time - for most of us this work does take place with the rise of the Sun in the Depth of the East and its setting in the Depth of the West.

  • Venus - Golgi Apparatus
  • Mercury - Endoplasmic Reticuluum
It is probably best to think of the Golgi and the ER as both important parts of the process involving the way in which the nucleus packages and secretes proteins back out into the cytoplasm and finally the body at large.  What must be understood to really grok what is happening esoterically is that the cell is listening to the larger cellular community and then responding to its needs - the proteins, hormones or chemical messengers are the words.  In order to respond to the conversation the information contained inside the nucleus, the physiological dictionary, is read and the correct response/protein is formulated.  This word however must be inflected and spoken - in the language of proteins we would talk about folding the protein and then secreting it - Abrakadabra!

  • Luna - Nucleus
The nucleus is probably the organelle of the cell that we are most familiar with - it contains the storehouse of all information needed to build any cell in the body although in any given cell only part of that information is expressed - this expression is what defines that cell as a nerve cell, or liver cell, or skin cell.  Of the many reasons to associate it with the Moon (and ultimately the Earth) one of the main ones it that it is the nucleus where cellular reproduction begins - the process known as mitosis whereby the cell divides must begin by the DNA inside the nucleus copying itself.

As mentioned in the previous post we can see the Depths as systems of expansion and contraction - Good, South/Warm, and Up being expansive Depths and Evil, North/Cold and Down being contractive Depths; they signal the journey within and the journey without.  Visit the Interior of the Earth and you will Discover the Hidden Stone - this hidden stone, the Philosopher's Stone exists in the core of everyone of your cells.  Once we have completed our descent we must enter the ''Depth of the Past'' via the path of Luna**** - this Depth of the Past, our genetic/epigenetic memory which even materialists must admit is an unbroken ancestry to the ancient forms of life, and still deeper into the mysteries of our metaphysical past.  Although the Nuclear membrane is associated with Luna what it contains is ''the interior of the Earth''

*Yordei Merkabah, "descenders of the chariot"
**Remember in the larger metaphor of Cellular Consciousness the bloodstream is likened to the time-stream so it is again appropriate for Saturn to mediate over the transfer of undifferentiated time into the experience of linear time in our cells of consciousness.
****Thoth and Seshat are appropriate Lunar deities to rule over this internal library.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Tree of Life - The Saadia Tree and the Seven Planetary Paths

In the Saadia Tree the seven planets are associated with the seven vertical paths.  These paths lead between the Depths (or Sefirot) on the Tree of Life.  By looking at the supporting diagram we can see that these planetary attributions make sense.

For instance Jupiter is placed on the path between the Depth of Good and the Depth of South, and Mars is placed on the path between the Depth of Evil and the Depth of North.  We can understand South to also mean warmth/expansion and North to mean cold/contraction (this is a European/Mesopotamian system after all) therefore Jupiter is seen to be in an extremely fortuitous position and Mars an extremely malign position.

But fortuitous and malign may seem like strong descriptions - in Mars we see the contraction of muscles and the disadvantage (Evil) of the individual that must be addressed by work - whether it is hunger that is addressed by fishing or hunting or lack of money or resources addressed by mining, carpentry or another skill - this can equally be applied to DIY or soldiering.  It is at work that the individual is most likely to suffer the kind of harm associated with Mars, a mortal injury in war, an industrial accident at the chemical plant, a bruised thumb putting up a shelf.  Similarly - although Jupiter is beneficent, jovial and implies successful expansion, it is possible to inflate too much - whether it be through overindulgence of alcohol, sex, sleep, sugar or play.  This shows how any individual must* maintain a balance between work (''evil/contraction'') and play (''good/expansion'').

The paths of the middle pillar are also worth looking at more closely: the Moon running between the Depth of the Past (your birth) and the Depth of the West (the sunset and passing of the day therefore the Moon); the Sun running between the Depths of East and West highlighting its role in the day; Saturn running between the Depth of the East (sunrise) and the Depth of the Future (your death); all of these planets unite in the central axis of both local time (east and west) and ''grand'' time (birth and death).

We know that the Moon is associated with menstruation and motherhood and it makes sense that we associate this with birth, but in its association with memory and the subconscious we also connect it with the West (the setting of the sun, the rise of the night and the fall into the dreamworld) and Past (our memories of this life and others - by reincarnation or genetic/epigenetic memory).

That the path of the Sun should connect the Depth of East with the Depth of West seems fairly straightforward.  We know the Sun is associated with the light of consciousness and this contrasts with the path of the moon after the depth of the West and the subconscious.  Note also how in this ''Saadia'' arrangement the path of the Sun crosses the path of Fire.

That Saturn is the highest path and the Depth of the Future is clear in that it is the outermost planet, traditionally associated with time (Chronos) and Death.  Time emerges from the Depth of the Future and runs down the central path until it reaches its end in Depth of Past.   If we look at the alternate traditional names for Kether - our Depth of the Future - we find such titles as absence, annhiliation and darkness titles that surely resonate with where Saturn would lead. Saturn is the great malefic in astrology, but also the wise but strict teacher and the ''godfather'' - as mediating the path between the East and the Future it also represents our Death.  I disagree with the linking of this to the Depth of Evil**, it is more to do with the Depth of the Unknown (which some people fear and therefore mistake for evil, conversely some people however love the thought of Death).

Our lower paths of Mercury and Venus are also paths of contraction and expansion.  Mercury connecting the Depth of the North (cold/contraction) with the Depth of Down (in/fall) is our contractive path and Venus linking the Depth of the South (warmth/expansion) with the Depth of Up (out/rise) is our expansive.  Since our planet is a globe any ''up'' is taken from the centre of the Earth and ''down'' vice versa*** - we can then see the ''pillar of severity'' or left-hand path as one that is fundamentally about the journey within and the right-hand path the journey without - Mercury as Lord of Science, is about analysis, details and breaking things down, Venus as Lady of Love, is about bliss and the ecstatic rise of the spirit (i.e. seeing the parts vs seeing the whole).

In following the Saadia arrangement, inspired by the Saadia Version of the Sefer Yetzirah and facilitated by Aryeh Kaplan's SY in Theory and Practice we have created a fairly self-explanatory system that is not dependent on the unnecessary conflations and logical contradictions inherent in the Kircher Tree.

*''Must'' is a strong word too - character seems to be derived from suffering - so ''too much'' work results in officiousness, workaholism, etc and too much play results in indolence, loafing, etc.  Its up to you if you want to be lazy or busy.
**In the Kircher Tree Saturn is conflated with Binah whilst also having a path on the Tree of Life running between Malkuth and Yesod.
***The paths of the Pillar of Mercy increases the radius of the imaginary sphere around the centre of the Earth, the paths of the Pillar of Severity decreases it.