It is the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year (strictly speaking it is 2011, not 11 but still). At the 11th hour i will perform a Hermetic / Theurgic ritual inoking Air and Daath.
It is the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year (strictly speaking it is 2011, not 11 but still). At the 11th hour i will perform a Hermetic / Theurgic ritual inoking Air and Daath.
As much as i might have at times accused certain members of the G.:D.: of having a phobic relationship with the material (wich is not true btw. Compared to Gnostics in general they are practically BFF´s with Paris Hilton), i myself has harbored a fear of the higher Nephesh.
Affraid of illusion, memories and emotions beyond “control” and determined that my way was “up” (funny enough since many an operation of mine has been aimed at the lower Ruach).
Scared of getting the “wrong” things. Invoking a deluge.
“Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.” Liber Al I: 22
Affraid of sacrificing my life to Babalon and offering my blood only in gesture to be mingeled in that blessed cup.
How could life be bliss if one banishes life, keeping it at bay?
Every time i traced a Hexagram was a lie, a blasphemy, accepting only one Triangle, wondering why i couldnt feel my feet?
Refusing the kiss of Nuit.
Asking for, but fearing possabilities beyond what my narrow plans can incorporate.
Expecting to “do” but refusing any material to do it to.
“O man! refuse not thy wife, if she will! O lover, if thou wilt, depart! There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse” Liber Al I:41
Using “The word of sin is restriction” as a mantra, failing to see it goes both ways.
[Adapted from Appendix A of The Road to the Sun: A Record of Self Initiation to Tipheret, an unpublished MS, Copyright © by Bill Heidrick]
The numbers one through thirty-two in this presentation represent the same things in the tables published earlier in this series and Crowley’s Liber 777. These numbers are placed differently in this and later examples to facilitate explanation of the diagrams. No absolute rectitude in these associations is claimed. Anyone may make any assignments to these paths that occur to mind. The specific associations are intended as hypotheses only, not dogma.
Last month we examined The Tree of Two Pentagrams. That pattern represents a stage of development in which attained consciousness in the lower seven Sephiroth links with partly attained consciousness in the highest three Sephiroth to concentrate attention on the Yesod Link to the physical world. The next example demonstrates strengthened consciousness in the upper six Sephiroth to provide a stepping stone to ultimate symmetrical unification of the entire Tree of Life. Here is the third example of the Tree of life to be presented. It is called:
The Tree of the Hexagram and Pentagram.
This Tree derives from the Tree of Two Pentagrams by a simple change. The paths numbered 18 and 16 on the Tree of Two Pentagrams are moved until their lower ends terminate in Tipheret instead of in Chesed and Geburah. The upper pentagram of the Tree of the Two Pentagrams then becomes the Hexagram of the Tree of the Hexagram and Pentagram. The numerations of this newly developed Hexagram are changed to reflect some new functions. Paths 32 through 20 have the same significance on both these Trees. Paths 12, 17, 19 and 11 are also the same on the two Trees. The effect of changing the remaining paths will be discussed below.
Tipheret ………. Tipheret receives two new paths by this conversion of a pentagram into a hexagram. New path 18 unites the rational principles of Binah with consciousness of life at Tipheret. New path 16 unites the energies of Chokmah with the life consciousness of Tipheret. These changes reestablish two paths that are found on the traditional Tree of Life, but these reestablished paths have a heightened function on the Tree of the Hexagram and Pentagram. By their means the coordinative function of Tipheret is augmented by a greater insight into the spiritual regions of the highest Sephiroth. This increases greatly the power of Tipheret to administrate the surrounding Sephiroth and all but elevates the consciousness at Tipheret above that of Geburah and Chesed. That elevation takes place in the Tree of Two Hexagrams, but it is potentially present in the Tree of the Hexagram and Pentagram.
Binah & Chokmah ………. These two Sephiroth are now linked by new path 13. The mysterious link between energy and the means to use energy is being reforged to enable a return to the traditional relationship between these two Sephiroth in the Tree of Two Hexagrams.
Keter ………. The new path 15 communicates the unity of Keter, as a master of all patterns, to the purpose designing consciousness of Geburah. New path 14 communicates the unity of Keter as a vitalizing basis for the emotional motivating consciousness of Chesed.
The Hexagram ……….The change of the upper pentagram of the Tree of the Two Pentagrams into a hexagram in this Tree is especially significant. Pentagrams may be considered to represent the spiritual and physical worlds separately. Hexagrams are considered to represent the union of the physical and spiritual worlds. It is an aphorism of the Order of the Golden Dawn that: “The Great Work is accomplished by uniting the Hexagram with the Pentagram.” The meaning of this can be made clear symbolically.
The hexagram can represent the whole man, not just the man without sexual organs (upright pentagram) or the headless man (inverted pentagram). This means that both spirit and matter are equally involved in consciousness. Pentagrams represent one-sidedness toward the spiritual or the material. A hexagram represents of perfect union of spiritual and material in a single consciousness. The Tree of the Hexagram and Pentagram has a hexagram above to represent total, Divine consciousness and a pentagram below to represent mortal consciousness. When these two figures are united, human consciousness has developed to its highest state. To go far beyond is to exceed human consciousness. It is desirable to do this near the end of life, before physical death of the body. It is also desirable to be able to do this at any time to obtain thereby all the benefits of unity with the mind of the Deity. This further step involves Tipheret in a special way. The process identifies the lower pentagram with the upper hexagram of the Tree of the Hexagram and Pentagram so that: “That which is above is like to that which is below, and that which is below is like to that which is above, to accomplish the wonders of the one thing.” The pentagram is a star of five points and the hexagram is a star of six points. This process of uniting these two stars is symbolized by the formula 5 = 6. The Sephira Tipheret embodies this formula. Tipheret is the fifth Sephira from the bottom of the Tree and the sixth from the top. Tipheret is the Sephira of 5 = 6. The union of the pentagram and hexagram is also symbolized by the formula 5 + 6 = 11. The Sephira Da’at is not fully a part of the Traditional Tree of Life; but tradition states that its place is between Keter and the present place of Tipheret on the middle column of the Tree, and that it will again exist in the Tree when the Knowledge (Da’at means “Knowledge” in Hebrew) that was lost in the fall of mankind from paradise is regained. The number assigned to Da’at is 11 (not the same as path 11 for Aleph). It is the contention of this Author that the accomplishment of the Great Work may be attained by raising the middle pillar of the Tree of Life from Tipheret through Malkut until Tipheret occupies the position traditionally given to Da’at. This involves an elevation of Yesod to the place formerly occupied by Tipheret and an infusion of spiritual consciousness into the physical world so that the whole of the created universe is raised from the former position of Malkut to the former position of Yesod. The Great Work cannot truly be accomplished for anyone until it is accomplished for everyone. This is true in one sense. In another sense any one person may be said to have accomplished the Great Work when that person is able to see pure spirit (Keter) in created matter (Malkut), a traditional Qabalist would say “raise the sparks”, perform Tiquon. This involves identity of the inner fantasy world (Yesod) with the outer sense world (Malkut) and identity of the consciousness of one’s life (Tipheret) with the consciousness of dreams and fantasies (Yesod) in that life. Accomplishment of the Great Work is creation of harmony within all that constitutes the being of the accomplisher of that Work. This does not mean elimination of all discord; but each discord must be balanced by a corresponding concord, and conversely. The Tree of the Two Hexagrams represents the mind of a person who has completed the Great Work. There are other stages beyond that point. One of them will be illustrated, and others suggested.
The Tree of Two Hexagrams.Malkut ………. The Sephira Malkut is connected to the rest of the Tree by five paths. It has risen to the place formerly occupied by the Sephira Yesod. This ascension took place through influx of self-aware consciousness into the physical world. Malkut is linked to the Sephiroth Hod and Netzach by the paths 32 — full understanding of the material world, and 31 — full feeling of the rightness of events of the physical world. Path 30 connects Hod and Netzach; this is the established link of perfected thought that joins rational conception of the physical to emotional feeling of the physical. From Malkut to the elevated Yesod goes the 29th path. This 29th path is a passage from enlightened experience in Malkut to enlightened perception of the implicit meanings of the physical in Yesod. Path 27 leads from Malkut to Geburah and conveys the ruling power of Geburah into the Earth. Path 25 balances the Earth with the celestial mercy of Chesed.
Hod ………. The lower rationality is joined to the middle rationality by path 28 — perfected vision and meditation. Hod is further enlightened along path 24 by the transforming qualities of the elevated Tipheret.
Netzach ………. Path 26 parts the veil of illusion between the lower emotions of Netzach and the middle emotions of Chesed. The 23rd path projects the purified life conception of Tipheret into the lower emotions of Netzach.
Yesod ………. Yesod receives perfect order along path 19 from Binah. Perfect vitality communicates from Chokmah to Yesod along path 17. Path 21 unites the center of the lower universe with the center of the upper universe.
Geburah ………. This Sephira receives order along path 20 from Binah. Geburah is unified by path 16 from Keter.
Chesed ………. Chesed receives vital moving force from Chokmah along path 18. Path 15 communicates the ruling power of unity in Keter into Chesed.
Tipheret ………. Tipheret is unified as before by the 13th path from Keter.
Binah ………. Binah derives creative potency from Chokmah by path 14.
Chokmah ………. This Sephira is made one by the path of unmodified existence, path 11.
The lower and upper hexagrams do not directly contact their centers. They depend instead on consciousness derived from other Sephiroth and from the middle pillar. In this way there is a yearning for knowledge from all the Tree instead of a centering on the nearest point of balance. In time this knowledge increases to the point that another stage is reached. Yet another Tree of Life is produced:
The Tree of Two Cubes
This new Tree is a three dimensional conception. When viewed schematically on a flat, two-dimensional surface, it seems to display less than twenty-two paths. When viewed in three dimensions, it displays thirty- two parts of which ten (or twelve) are Sephiroth, twenty are simple paths and two are penetrating influences. Very little will be said about this Tree, beyond a few geometrical details. The other versions of the Tree of Life that have been presented in this series have been described in such a manner that the first is most easily understood and the last is most difficult. Those who wish to study such things can do so only as they learn the techniques of interpretation. The Traditional Tree of Life can be learned with little more than simple persistence. The Tree of Two Pentagrams requires more mental effort. The Tree of the Hexagram and Pentagram is more difficult still. That of Two Hexagrams is quite difficult. The Tree of Two Cubes is easy to visualize but complex to understand. Some notes follow:There are twenty separate edges on the two joined cubes. These edges are assigned path numbers from twelve to thirty-one. The eleventh path, represented by a dot in the center of the upper cube, may be visualized as an influence wholly permeating the upper cube. In like manner, path thirty-two fully permeates the lower cube. The corners of the cubes are twelve in number and represent the Sephiroth. In these corners, Tipheret and Yesod are repeated along major axes to illustrate the way in which they bind together the upper and lower cubes. The upper cube represents the upper Sephiroth and the spiritual. The lower cube represents the lower Sephiroth and the material. Both are joined in a double cube which may, by multiplication, fill all of space.
Two further modifications will be suggested.
In the traditions that come to us from the Golden Dawn and the magical methods of Aleister Crowley, there is a ritual object known as the Double Cubic Altar. This Altar of two cubes is identical in physical appearance with the Tree of Two Cubes. In the tradition that accompanies the Altar, the Sephiroth are not associated with the corners of the cubes, but with the squares that make up the surface of the Altar. There are ten such squares on the surface of the Altar: one at top, two on each of the four sides, and one on the bottom. The top square is assigned to Keter (1). The bottom square is assigned to Malkut (10). The remaining eight Sephiroth are assigned to the four sides in pairs. The exact manner in which the middle eight Sephiroth are assigned may be standardized or it may vary with the nature of the ritual in which the double Cubic Altar is used. The assignment shown in the illustration is merely an example of how such Sephiroth may be balanced on the sides of the Altar. The particular assignment made here is suitable in invocation ritual. The influences of the sides of the Altar are more or less consistent on each side. The interplay of the influences between different sides varies considerably. Other assignments of the Sephiroth would produce different advantages and disadvantages in ritual. Perhaps a good standard assignment to the sides would be one in which the Sephiroth are placed in order clockwise (invoking — counterclockwise signifies banishing) about the top and counterclockwise about the bottom. When this is done in such a manner that Chokmah and Tipheret are on the same side of the Altar, the influences of the Sephiroth are nicely balanced. In this second arrangement: Binah and Yesod share the same side of the Altar, Geburah and Netzach share the same side, Chesed and Hod share the same side. For a different approach, see Crowley’s Book 4, Part II. As far as the remaining 22 paths are concerned, they may be assigned as in the Tree of Two Cubes or in some related pattern.
The last modified Tree to be noted is a familiar one to BOTA members: The Cube of Space of the Sepher Yetzirah. This figure represents the twenty-two paths (corresponding to the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet and the Tarot Major Cards) by the parts of a single cube. The Three Mother Letters: Aleph, Men and Shin (paths 11, 23 and 31) are assigned to three coordinate axes in the body of the Cube. The seven Double Letters are assigned to the six faces and the central point: Bet, Gimel, Dalet, Koph, Peh, Resh and Taw (paths 12, 13, 14, 21, 27, 30 and 32). The remaining twelve Simple Letters: Heh, Vau, Zain, Chet, Tet, Yod, Lamed, Nun, Samekh, Ayin, Tzaddi and Qof (paths 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28 and 29) are assigned to the twelve edges of the cube. The ten Sephiroth may be assigned to the eight corners, the entire interior and the entire exterior of the Cube, much as they can be assigned to the squares of the Double Cubic Altar. See also Paul Foster Case in his book The Tarot.
There have also been versions of the Tree of Life in the form of Circles and Spheres, to say nothing of that most common representation in the children’s game “Hop-Scotch”. The sixteenth century Qabalist, Isaac Luria, taught of a Tree in which the Sephiroth were concentric spheres. The Golden Dawn writings published by Regardie describe a Tree on the surface of a single sphere. There are a number of variations on the traditional Tree of life diagram in the writings of Qabalists of the early Renaissance, and the Irish Book of Kells includes a stylized Tree of Life on a page illuminating the Latin word “Quoniam” at the start of one of the Gospels.All conceptions of the Tree of Life as a geometrical form are valid. The various designs may be understood separately to great advantage, but they are best understood as developments of one another; as branches, leaves, flowers and fruit of a single invisible Tree. The presentation made here offers clues to link the Traditional Tree used by most modern occultists to the Cube of Space. Similar links can be made between the Traditional Tree and the spherical types. Frater Achad’s book, The Anatomy of the Body of God, describes a part of such a link. All this is good exercise for the mind and spirit.
Souce: Thelema Lodge
[Adapted from Appendix A of The Road to the Sun: A Record of Self Initiation to Tipheret, an unpublished MS, Copyright © by Bill Heidrick]
Here, the numbers one through thirty-two represent the same things in the tables published earlier in this series and Crowley’s Liber 777. These numbers are placed differently in this and later examples to facilitate explanation of the diagrams. No absolute rectitude in these associations is claimed. Anyone may make any assignments to these paths that occur to mind. The specific associations are intended as hypotheses only, not dogma.
Here is the second example of the Tree of life to be presented. It is called:
The Tree of the Two Pentagrams.
The principal change from tradition in this Tree is a redrawing of the inner paths to represent two pentagrams and a deletion of the two outer paths from Malkut. The Sephiroth have been left in their usual positions and the path numerations have been changed to reflect the new organization. Before turning attention to the meanings of the paths, a few remarks should be made concerning the symbolism of the pentagram.
A pentagram is a star of five points. It is a symbol of man, an emblem of the power of Mars (not stressed as such here), a representation of the four material elements and the ruling subtle element called spirit, an emblem of “good” when in normal orientation with a point on top and an emblem of “evil” when inverted with a point on the bottom. There is a more considerable bit of symbolism behind the “good” and “evil” orientations of the pentagram. As might be suspected, the vague generalizations “good” and evil” are underlain by more specific meanings. The “good” pentagram with point on top is a symbol of a human being in upright posture. The uppermost point is the head; the two lowest points are the legs and feet; the two middle points are the arms and hands. The head rules the limbs; therefore, the conscious mind is said to rule the powers of the body. In terms of elements, the element spirit (the head) rules fire and earth (the legs) and water and air (the arms). This pentagram is said to be “good” only because rulership by mind (or spirit) is usually considered to be a “good” state of affairs. The “evil” pentagram with point down represents a distortion of the human form. There is no uppermost point and therefore no head. The lowest point represents the sexual organs. The inverted pentagram is a symbol of a mindless (headless) human who has enormous physical drives (sexual organs). This inverted pentagram therefore represents the powers of the human body (arms and legs) responding to physical desires (sexual organs) without rule or guidance from the mind (headless). Elemental associations to the pentagram give a similar sort of conception. The elements are symbolized by the two upper and two middle points of this inverted star. The physical universe is represented by the lowest point. No spiritual force is symbolized in the inverted pentagram; the elements are in a state of chaos.The inverted pentagram would be differently described if it was treated as an “adverse” pentagram, according to Crowley’s usage. In the “adverse” form, the pentagram is rotated so that spirit is to the bottom. This treatment is therefore different in that sense from Crowley’s usage. According to the Order of the Golden Dawn, the inverted pentagram is a symbol of a human form turned upside-down. The lowest point is considered to be the head. Such an inverted pentagram is held to symbolize mind (spirit) buried beneath function (the elements). There is nothing fundamentally in contradiction between these two interpretations of the inverted pentagram, beyond assignment of elements and body parts to the points.Crowley’s approach to inverted pentagrams can be seen on the Minor Arcana of the Thoth Tarot for the fives. In addition, O.T.O. Newsletter, # 4 has an article on all 24 of the pentagrams used in Crowley’s approaches to ritual and symbolism, see also Thelema Lodge Calendar, May 1988 e.v.. This method of interpretation of the pentagram is only superficially derived from the Golden Dawn inversion. It carries into depths not necessary for this presentation.
The Tree of the Two Pentagrams has two pentagrams and no middle pillar paths. These properties will be briefly analyzed in the following study. The numeration of the paths is changed to reflect the changed situation. Various correspondences to Hebrew Letters, Tarot Trumps and the like follow these numbers to the new locations. Other assignments are always possible. The symbols employed are flexible enough to provide some insights wherever they are placed. Here is the analysis of the Tree of Two Pentagrams:
Malkut ………. This Sephira represents the physical world as before, but now only the path of Taw leads upward toward Yesod. The paths between Malkut and Hod and between Malkut and Netzach have vanished. This Tree represents a state of development in which consciousness of the physical world is not obtained directly from Malkut in regard to reason and emotion (Hod and Netzach). The physical world communicates through visions and dreams (Yesod) with the higher faculties of the mind. This state is attained when a person is able to perceive “Auras” or receive other complex impressions of the state of the physical world. This change is like that experienced in learning to read. At the beginning, the words have to be spelled out letter-by-letter. Later, words and sentences are taken in at a glance. Beyond this point, the meaning of a page leaps out to the reader without any dwelling on unnecessary individual words. Effectively, the perceptions of the senses are no longer treated separately but directly assembled in Yesod as a cohesive impression of the physical world.
Yesod ……….. Yesod receives the sense impressions of Malkut consciousness and transmits them by four paths to higher Sephiroth. The path from Yesod to Tipheret is deliberately broken to isolate Tipheret from direct contact with Yesod. Consciousness of living in Tipheret is no longer directly concerned with the dreams of Yesod, but derives its understanding of the Yesod consciousness from lower reason (Hod) and lower emotion (Netzach). More will be said about this later.
Hod …………. The first path from Yesod leads to Hod. This is the new path of Shin, number 31. Hod makes a rational examination along this path to discover logical meaning in the consciousness at Yesod. The three paths leading upward from Hod are in the same positions we find on the traditional Tree of Life. They have been given new numerations to reflect their changed functions.
Netzach ……… Two paths lead upward into Netzach and two lead upward from Netzach. All four are in the same positions that are found on the traditional Tree; but, like those from Hod, they have new numerations and new functions. The new path of Resh, path 30, connects Yesod and Netzach. This signifies that the relationship between lower emotion at Netzach and dreaming consciousness at Yesod has become more inquisitive and less reactive. This is not quite the same as a rational function, but it is more like intuition or the taking of omens and signs. This activity of new path 30 may be compared with the artistry of a Chef in checking the quality of his sauces. The smell, taste, appearance and consistency of a sauce are more important than precise measurement of the ingredients. Such work must be done as much by feel as by science. That is the manner of the new path of Resh. The path from Hod to Netzach has undergone a similar change. This path is now that of Qof, number 29. New path 29 is not violent. This Tree represents an advance over the state depicted in the traditional Tree of Life. Hod and Netzach have ceased to battle. Reason and emotion have joined hands. Hod and Netzach are connected by a transitory state of consciousness that resembles evolution and growth from a primitive but exact structure in Hod to a complex and living structure in Netzach. Hod provides the skeleton and Netzach grows the flesh by the path of Qof, new path 29.
Tipheret …….. Tipheret receives influence from below by two paths and transmits it above by two paths. All four of these are found on the traditional Tree of Life, but here again the numerations reflect new functions. The path that traditionally connects Tipheret with Yesod has vanished. Tipheret is no longer directly concerned with interpretation and direct elevation of the Yesod level. This activity has been delegated to the four Sephiroth just above and just below Tipheret. Tipheret has become a nerve center to coordinate the functions of Chesed, Geburah, Netzach and Hod in the lower part of the Tree. This represents a state of development in which the Tipheret life overview has become strongly established, and the influences from above and below on the middle pillar of the Tree of Life have been temporarily cut off. Receiving these influences directly would inhibit working out a world view in Tipheret. Such higher and lower influences are only permitted to reach Tipheret after they have been interpreted and filtered by other Sephiroth. Tipheret reassembles rational and emotional content in accord with the prevailing view of life, a process akin to the Spagyric technique in Alchemy (See The Alchemist’s Handbook by Frater Albertus, Weiser, 1974). New path 28 from Hod transmits insights into the rational content of the physical. New path 27 from Netzach transmits emotional energy derived from the physical. New path 24 transmits powerful directives from the higher reason of Geburah. New path 21 transmits higher emotional power from Chesed. All these energies and structures are coordinated in Tipheret and sent back along the same four paths to direct activity in the physical and celestial levels of thought.
Geburah ……… Geburah connects to the other Sephiroth by seven paths in this new conception. Three of these paths connect to the lower Sephiroth, and four connect to the higher. New path 24 has been discussed in connection with Tipheret. New path 25 connects Geburah with Yesod. By this path the moral influence of Geburah is exerted to bring Yesod consciousness into harmony with higher consciousness. Yesod in its turn conveys information concerning the physical world to the Geburah level. New path 26 connects Geburah and Hod. This path exerts control over lower reason to maintain its alliance with the purpose of higher reason.
Chesed ………. Chesed has now seven paths connecting it with other Sephiroth. Four lead to lower Sephiroth and three to higher. New path 21 has been described under Tipheret. New path 23 connects Netzach with Chesed. This path sustains the lower emotional complex by keeping it in contact with higher emotional motivation. New path 22 connects Yesod and Netzach to maintain emotional balance in the conceptions taken from the physical world and to communicate these conceptions more directly into the level of Chesed. New path 20 connects Geburah and Chesed so that higher reason may be invigorated by higher emotion.
Binah ……….. Four paths connect to Binah, two from below and two from above. New path 19 feeds the power of absolute rationality from Binah to Geburah. New path 18 links the emotional motivation of Chesed with the perfected order of Binah.
Chokmah ……… Four paths connect to Chokmah, three from below and one from above. New path 17 transmits the absolute energy of Chokmah to intensify the emotional directing force of Chesed. New path 16 keeps Geburah aware of the underlying energy that permeates all purpose and all creation. New path 15 asserts the rule of the energies of Chokmah over the rational abstractions of Binah.
Keter ……….. Four paths communicate downward from Keter to the nearest four Sephiroth. New path 14 unifies the purposeful consciousness of Geburah. New path 13 unifies the motivating force of Chesed. Paths 12 and 11 function as they do on the traditional Tree of Life.
The Lower Pentagram:
This pentagram is inverted and shows a major concentration in Yesod. The lower pentagram is devoted to utilization and control of physical experiences as communicated through Yesod. All the semi-physical mental states; sexual excitement, hunger, anger, pleasure, etc. are examined and developed in accord with influences derived indirectly from the upper part of the Tree. Tipheret acts to coordinate and monitor the process without direct contact with its principal seat in Yesod. This inverted pentagram is not in any sense “evil.” It is a special focusing of developed consciousness on the immediate connection to the physical world. Through this focusing, a powerful link between the physical and the spiritual is forged. In time this link will reappear as a path on the Tree of Two Hexagrams linking Yesod and Tipheret. At that time the lower pentagram will open into a hexagram with stabilizing effect. This double pentagram is used to build up a link between the developed states and the physical. The link that is found on the traditional Tree is primarily used to develop awareness of higher states.
The Higher Pentagram:
This pentagram is in the “normal” or upright orientation. It acts to communicate influences between the five highest Sephiroth, but its functions are not coordinated (Da’at has not yet manifested). It effectively abolishes the Abyss but does not completely link the lower Tree to the Sephira Keter. Parts of the middle pillar have been lost in establishing this star-bridge across the Abyss. Had Keter remained in direct communication with Tipheret, the Abyss would have remained. This stabilizing of the Abyss by elimination of the traditional path of Gimel is implied in the spelling and gematria of a Hebrew word meaning “abyss”, . It is the direct link between Tipheret and Keter that destroys consciousness of the physical world. This link will be remade when the Tree has been strengthened and when Tipheret has ascended to the traditional position of Da’at.
To be continued next time with The Tree of the Pentagram and Hexagram.
[Adapted from Appendix A of The Road to the Sun: A Record of Self Initiation to Tipheret, an unpublished MS, Copyright © by Bill Heidrick]
In this installment, we will conclude a brief trek over the traditional Tree of Life. The next installment in this series will take up dynamic variation of the paths.
23 …….. The path of (The Hanged Man in Tarot) elevates the lower reason
of Hod to the higher rationality of Geburah. Hod reasons with the things of the Earth, of Malkut. Hod is an examining consciousness, a mentality that sets things into order only through observation of their manifestations. Geburah is a state of mind that plans without concern for details. Hod knows the detailed workings of the physical world. Geburah knows the purpose of the World. The path of Mem connects the precise but fundamentally purposeless organizing activities of Hod with the purposeful but indefinite organizing will of Geburah. The Tarot card shows a man hung upside down by one foot. This is the symbolic state of one who has possessed all but understood nothing. Such a person, gifted with the powers of Hod, soon comes to boredom. His worldly consciousness gives no purpose to his world. To control is not to understand. Such a person comes finally to be hung upon the gibbet of his worldly power. Nothing has meaning. All things obey, but to no purpose. Perfect skill without a purpose is maddening. In that inversion of consciousness an openness occurs. The mind yearns for another mind, an inward guidance. When this yearning is crowned with success, Geburah has been touched along the path of Men. Down this path floods inspiration and purpose in life. Tipheret can view all of life and know its course, but Geburah directs life. Tipheret responds to Geburah’s plan. Hod is the working out of that plan in detail.
22 …….. The path of (Justice in Tarot) elevates the life view of Tipheret to the life purpose of Geburah. The card of Justice depicts a woman with scales and sword. This is the mediatrix of mind, weighing out the proper measure of all things and fending off excess. The mentality of Tipheret is examined along the path of Lamed to produce the guiding will of Geburah. This is a rational process much like that which occurred between Yesod and Hod and between Malkut and Hod. The difference is found in the object. To build Hod, the chief concern is in how and why things work mechanically. In the reaching of Geburah, the concern is in how and why things work morally. Hod seeks and develops skill in the doing of things. Geburah seeks and develops skill in discerning and directing the purpose of life. Along the path of Lamed, the mind rises by examination of its motives until such motives are justified with each other. This justification gives a personal morality to the soul. All older, fragmentary moralities are forgotten in the one, consuming morality of Geburah. This is not necessarily a good thing. The morality so evolved may be a hateful and repressive one. In that case, mind will not progress beyond Geburah. Only when mind is ready to love and to bestow all good things on all who need, will evolution continue. Once Geburah is reached in this way, the path of Lamed becomes a channel for change in all aspects of life. Before reaching Geburah, life is locked in by many vague restrictions. Once Geburah has been fully attained, all the shackles are dropped away; and life is free to follow its willed course. The attainment of Geburah is marked by a freedom from all sense of guilt and unhappy restraint, but not abandonment of duty. When this state is reached before the mind is ready for such responsibility and freedom, great physical danger results.
5 ……… Geburah (Severity). This is the place of consciousness of the proper course of life. This is the guiding will that sets all limits and releases all restrictions. When Geburah is fully attained, conscience ceases to plague, for the dictates of the conscience become consistent and welcome. Geburah is the master of the house of life that is situated in Tipheret. Geburah is obedience to the Will of God in all ways understood. Geburah, once attained, means an end to hesitations. When this Sephira is fully active, the mind is rendered capable of immediate response and proper action in any situation no matter how complex. The working of the body depends on the lower Sephiroth. When all the Sephiroth up to and including Geburah are perfectly developed in a person, that person is capable of anything in mental and in physical action. Nothing can oppose such an one. Such a major adept is perfectly a demigod to rule the world of his life. In practice, the Sephiroth are fully developed for some things and lacking where others are concerned. Repeated passage over the Tree of Life increases the development of the Sephiroth and bestows more power on each attainment of Geburah. At some times, great development is accomplished in the Sephiroth and great freedom to change is obtained. Such a time may be considered a mark of initiation, but not mastery of Geburah. Total attainment and mastery of the Sephiroth is never found in a mortal man. It is man’s purpose to increase his attainments toward an ever advancing ideal. To reach perfection is to become one with God and therefore to become useless to one’s brothers and sisters in the world. Touch union with God, but return quickly to the place of the crying children. Union with God is not the sole purpose of Being, it is a pleasantness that gives strength in time of need. The purpose of Being is found in being in all ways. Geburah is the master who selects the ways. Tipheret is the place of the mustering of the ways. Netzach is the place of the brightening of the ways. Hod is the place of the ordering of the ways. Yesod is the staging place from which the ways reach the physical. Malkut is the place of the action of the ways.
21 …….. The path of (The Wheel of Fortune in Tarot) elevates the emotional complex of Netzach to the emotional idealism of Chesed. The card depicts a wheel surrounded by symbolic creatures. This is a representation of the many cycles of the emotions that are experienced in Netzach. When one emotion is found to underlay all others and to pass without change through all the cycles that change all other emotions, the Sephira of Chesed is touched. The one underlying emotion serves to build a basis for the emotional perfection of Chesed.
20 …….. The path of (The Hermit in Tarot) elevates the emotional part
of the life summation of Tipheret to the emotional union of Chesed. The card shows an old man with staff and lantern on the summit of a snow capped mountain. This is an image of the purified mind searching for vitality and love in the life experience. The emotional aspects of Tipheret are received along the path of Yod to build the emotional perfection of Chesed. When Chesed is reached, the path of Yod becomes a channel for a vitalizing flow of purified feeling from Chesed into Tipheret.
19 …….. The path of (Strength in Tarot) elevates the purposeful will of Geburah to the motivating emotional state of Chesed. The Tarot card shows a Woman opening the jaws of a Lion. This is a representation of purified emotion (Chesed and the Woman) uniting with forceful will (Geburah and the Lion) to invigorate the World. Geburah is filled with purpose, but lacks consistent desire. Without powerful motivation, the highest purpose may go unrealized. The mentality of Geburah knows what to do in life, has the power to do it, but lacks the desire to consistently labor. The path of Tet draws forth from Geburah its systematic, purposeful action and compares it with the desire that supports existence, through Chesed. If the Geburah purpose is unworthy of the Chesed desire, attainment of Chesed is not complete. Only when Geburah’s purpose is a perfect match to Chesed’s desire will the path of Tet be fully opened. When that happens, the life of the person experiencing this consciousness of Chesed will become totally active. Geburah supplies the direction of life, but Chesed supplies the motivation to live. Geburah is the master and Chesed is the mistress of the house of life in Tipheret.
4 ……… Chesed (Mercy). This is the place of consciousness of motivation in life. Chesed is the consciousness of all-encompassing desire for being. All the Sephiroth below Chesed lack the vigor to fulfill their promise until they are joined to Chesed. When Chesed is fully developed and the lower seven Sephiroth are functioning with force and power, the time has come to face the Great Abyss that divides the lower seven from the higher three. Chesed reverses its vitalizing force and the whole lower Tree is filled with yearning to pass up toward the infinite. This is only desirable in that it compliments the attachment to the physical world. Above Chesed are levels of thought too distant to easily effect the physical world. They must be explored and drawn toward the union of consciousness that occurs in Tipheret. It is pointless to climb the Tree of Life just to attain union with pure spirit in Keter. That results in rebirth back into the same course. It is best to develop the whole Tree in such a manner that the tendency to fall down into the darkness of matter is exactly balanced by the tendency to ascend into the light of spirit. As was said before, the middle place is the best place for human consciousness. Neither the physical nor the spiritual should be ignored. Both must be dynamically united.
18 …….. The path of (The Chariot in Tarot) elevates the rationality of purpose in Geburah to the level of pure abstraction in Binah. The Tarot card depicts a crowned figure in a Chariot (the Merkabah of Qabalah and the Royal Arch of Freemasonry) drawn by two sphinxes. This image represents contained force, in the sense of thought contained in the body. The rational elements of Geburah are themselves subjected to reason and the methods of thinking are discovered. These methods of rational thought are preserved as laws of reason in the consciousness level called Binah. After they have been isolated from particular applications by passage along the path of Chet, these archetypal patterns of thought descend at need to furnish tools for individual reasonings in Geburah and Hod. Binah is the crown of the left hand pillar of the Tree. This left hand pillar is called the pillar of severity, owing to the purgative nature of reason.
17 …….. The path of (The Lovers in Tarot) elevates the rational part of
Tipheret to the level of pure reason in Binah. All the passage and complexity of life is examined by the mind to abstract from it the application of reason in the course of living. This set of perfected techniques is added to Binah to round out the tools of the mind. The card corresponding to this path shows two lovers under two trees being united by an angel. The meaning is that the mind (the angel) differentiates between aspects of creation (man and woman) to learn the means of uniting and dividing them. When this path is complete, Binah is attained.
3 ……… Binah (Understanding). This is the place of consciousness of the methods and laws of thought. Binah is a state of mind that has little direct touch with the physical. In Binah only abstract thought exists. That thought is solely devoted to the rational techniques. Mathematics in its purest sense belongs to Binah, also logic and mathematical physics. Things like mathematical physics are not organized experiences of sensation (proper to Hod), but they are idealized abstractions of the physical. They are attempt to produce patterns that could be followed in the creation of a physical universe, but not necessarily this particular Physical Universe. Binah is the storehouse of archetypal patterns for the lower Sephiroth. Binah is a library for Geburah and a pantry for Chesed.
16 …….. The path of (The Hierophant in Tarot) elevates the unified emotional consciousness of Chesed to the level of pure emotional force. All the consciousness of Chesed is involved in a single drive toward some particular fulfillment. This drive is separated from its particular goal in the rise from Chesed to Chokmah along the path of Vau. In Chokmah there is only force: drive and desire without object. This is like a vague but intense unrest that animates a person who knows that something is needed, but who does not know what that thing is. Chokmah is pure force, the source of all energies. The Tarot card of the Hierophant shows a teacher of wisdom ministering to two priests. The meaning of this image is found in the nature of the force that binds and creates. All things must be desired and willed. Before anything can be, there must be the blessing that is the desire force, the energy toward manifestation. The real essence behind all things is desire for existence.
15 …….. The path of (The Emperor in Tarot. var. Star — see July Issue on # 28) elevates the life consciousness of Tipheret, in its emotional part, to the level of pure energy in Chokmah. The Tarot card depicts an Emperor in marital armor sitting upon a stone cube by a river. This is the absolute master of mind sitting on a symbol of the universe and ruling over the flow of consciousness. The path of Vau draws up desire elements from the living consciousness of Tipheret to bring them into union with the absolute and undirected force that resides in Chokmah. This desire force is the true master of all that exists; for, without it, nothing has meaning.
14 …….. The path of (The Empress in Tarot) elevates the absolute reason of Binah to the absolute desire of Chokmah. Binah contains all the tools that go into the making of the universe. These tools are worthless without an energy to make them work. All the power to make plans and carry them out is implicit in Binah. This power is separated from such abstract works and drawn up to complete the formation of Chokmah. Chokmah is the vitality that underlies all else. After Chokmah is reached, the paths from it supply force to all that is below. The Tarot card of the Empress shows an Empress on a bench in a garden. This is a depiction of the process whereby the desire force in Chokmah is joined with the capacity to multiply and embody that force in Binah. The Empress is the mother (Binah) who receives the seed of passion from the father (Chokmah) and who gives birth to all that exists (the things in the garden).
2 ……… Chokmah (Wisdom). This is the place of consciousness of absolute desire. Chokmah is desire without object, desire strong enough to create a world. Chokmah is the summit of emotion, a vast whirling of energy. This Sephira is the crown of the right hand pillar of the Tree of Life. The right hand pillar is called that of mercy, owing to the clement nature of uncomplicated emotion.
13 …….. The path of (The High Priestess in Tarot) elevates the totality of living consciousness at Tipheret to ultimate dissolution in the Absolute consciousness of Being that is found in Keter. The card depicts a pythoness between two pillars and before a veil. This veil is the last concealment of the Absolute. The pythoness is the last voice before the silence that is the ultimate voice of God. This path is the connection between pure Existence without modification in Keter and living existence with all its various forms in Tipheret.
Da’at ….. Midway on the path of Gimel it is the fashion of Qabalists to depict an eleventh Sephiroth called Da’at (Knowledge). This is a symbolic filling of the Great Abyss with the lost knowledge that makes one thing of all creation. It is said that when Da’at is restored, all of the Tree of Life will be one thing and that the Tree will bloom and bear fruit. This means that there is a way to join the abstract Sephiroth above the Great Abyss with the seven Sephiroth below it. When this joining is complete, the Tree is made symmetrical and perfect. Until this joining is made there can be no true mastery of the Tree of Life, or full living in all ways of the mind. The examples which follow this traditional exposition suggest a general way in which this joining may be represented. From the representation, the experience may in time be found. A few more details remain in the traditional example.
12 …….. The path of (The Magician in Tarot) elevates pure, abstract reasoning processes to dissolution in the Absolute unity of Keter. The card depicts a Magician in a garden with his ritual tools upon a table. The meaning of this image is found in the relationship that exists between pure Being (The force that passes through the Magician to work wonders) and the tools whereby that state of Being is incorporated into particular forms (the tools and actions of the Magician).
11 …….. The path of (The Fool in Tarot) elevates desire force in Chokmah to dissolution in the Absolute Being of Keter. The card depicts a carefree person walking toward the edge of a cliff. This image represents total absence of anything to limit or condition. This is the path of Aleph. To the Fool, there is no restriction. The Fool is free.
1 ……… Keter (Crown). This is the place of unconditional existence which may be identified with the highest state of consciousness. In Keter, all is one. Keter is the highest of the four Sephiroth that form the middle pillar of the Tree of Life. This middle pillar is a series of graduated levels of balanced consciousness reaching from the purely physical to the purely spiritual. The two pillars to the right and left contain unbalanced states of consciousness which display either too much emotion or too much rationality. Only the middle pillar is a comfortable place to reside.
This concludes the first of the examples. Those which follow in later installments represent unconventional reorganizations of the paths of the Tree of Life. In each of the next three examples exactly twenty-two paths will be retained to link the Sephiroth of the Tree. These paths are rearranged to form traditional patterns of five and six pointed stars (pentagrams and hexagrams). Through such speculation, new insights into the interrelationships between the Sephiroth may be obtained.