Qabalah 103: The Ten Sephiroth
Welcome back to our continued exploration of the Tree of Life! If you haven’t read the first two parts first, we highly recommend starting with Qabalah 101 here! We have also been making this information into Spirit Science episodes, and if you have not seen the latest yet, it goes over a basic understanding of the Sephiroth of which we will be going even further into with this article.
We are going to focus specifically on understanding the core concepts of each of the 10 Sephiroth and how they relate to each other. Beyond that, you will be provided with key information regarding the symbolism for each sphere for you to use in your meditative practices.
Once again, please know that this article is intended to serve as a primer of information; we will only be covering the basics to establish a foundation by which we’ll work off of in our continued studies. The depth and scope of the information contained within the tree of life is infinitely large, and so for continued reading, we have included several sources at the end which can support you in your further studies.
Let us begin!
The 10 Sacred Sephira
In the teachings of Qabalah, there are 10 spheres or “planes” of creation which are individually called Sephira, or collectively called the Sephiroth (pronounced Sefirot or Spherot). Each of these Sephira represent a divine emanation – an outpouring of energy, and each one contains all the ones below it collectively within it. It’s important to note that these are not “things”, but “states” by which consciousness moves through as it manifests reality. So Kether (the highest Sephiroth) contains all of the Sephira within it, much like how those little wooden Russian “nesting dolls” each contain the collective inside of them.
In its natural state, energy continually flows through the Sephira as they manifest from the lightest state to the densest, however if energy becomes imbalanced while moving through any state, it will result in the energy shifting polarities from its natural state and becoming negative, which results in what we would describe as “stress”, “anxiety”, “fear”, “pain” etc. By learning more about these individual states of energy, you might come to see how each one is relative to our human experience, and not something solely “outside of you”, but internal and external; each Sephiroth represents an aspect of you, and together they are the totality of your being through all the dimensions!
As you meditate upon these symbols, imagine your back to the tree, so that the pillar of severity is on your right, and the pillar of mercy is on your left – opposite to how it normally appears.
One final note before we get into each Sephiroth, the fundamental union must be understood between these opposites as they manifest down the tree. The Sephira which come in opposites on the pillars of Severity and Mercy always come in a pair, and thus can only truly be understood when observed together. For example, Geburah and Chesed are a pair, much like Chokmah and Binah are a pair. Each pairing is a perfect mirror and equal opposite to each other, a yin and yang, and each deserves its exaltation accordingly, even if some are more destructive than others. Therefore, if one Sephirah doesn’t quite make sense, you are encouraged to observe it in relationship to its opposite, as well as its corresponding equilibrium in the center of the tree.
Yetziratic Text: The First Path is called the Admirable or power of comprehension of the First Principle, which has no beginning. It is the Primal Glory, because no created being can attain to its essence.
Titles: Existence of Existences. Ancient of Ancients. Concealed of the Concealed. The Most High. The Primordial Point. The Point within the Circle. The Vast Countenance. Macroprosopos. Amen.
Spiritual Experience: Union with God
Virtues: Attainment; Completion of the Great Work.
Tarot Cards: The Four Aces (The Root of the Powers of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth)
At the very top of the Qabalah is the singularity; the gateway between the unmanifested primordial ALL, and that which the human consciousness can actually comprehend. This gateway is called Kether (pronounced Ket-er), and marks a divine starting point in the unfolding sequence of manifestation.
Kether is said to describe the most supreme source of energy, and richest potential for anything to come into being. Anything could happen, and yet at this stage in the creative process nothing has actually happened yet; rather, Kether marks the indication of the possibilities itself, and that they are truly endless. In the ancient Hebrew Yetziratic texts, it says that “Kether is the Light giving the power of comprehension of the First Principle, which hath no beginning. It is the Primal Glory, because no created being can attain its essence.”
Another way to describe this Sephiroth is that Kether is nothing but pure being, what many might know as “I Am that I Am”. The human mind generally has a hard time grasping no other mode of existence than of form and activity, so when describing formless passivity it’s okay if this concept draws question mark in your mind. Ultimately, we cannot define Kether; we can only indicate it.
In an experiential aspect, it has been said that human consciousness may never truly connect with the light of Kether in its most purest of sense, at least not as long as retain our current physical bodies and egos. However, we may occasionally get a taste or glimpse of this magnificent state of energy – and this experience is often described as a union with God; what the Sepher Yetzirah meant when it said “giving the power of comprehension of the First Principle”.
Therefore, in order to grasp the concept of Kether, we must begin to train our mind to conceive of a power/space/energy which is pure being without any attributes or activities. You might consider this as blinding white light, which has yet to be diffused into the myriad of forms that it breaks into when cast through a prism. Simultaneously, we could imagine a dark and infinite space, the primordial ocean from which all life emerges from. It is both of these states simultaneously, and more, and less. Pure light, pure darkness, the pre-existence, the nothing, the All.
Yetziratic Text: The Second Path is called the illuminating intelligence. It is the Crown of Creation, the Splendour of Unity, equalling it. It is exalted above every head, and is named by Qabalists the Second Glory.
Titles: Power of Yetzirah. The Supernal Father. Tetragrammaton. Yod of Tetragrammaton.
Spiritual Experience: The Vision of God face to face.
Tarot Cards: The Four Two’s (Genesis, Love, Peace, and Change), the Four Kings
Chokmah (pronounced hok-mah) is the second stage in the process of manifestation, and the first actual “manifestation” of energy itself. It is a divine masculine emanation, a tremendous outpouring of energy from the possibility of Kether, and contains all of the power behind it to create the entire universe.
In terms of geometry, Chokmah would be represented by a line – the movement of energy from Kether to a new location, yet it still does not have a “plane” or “dimension” yet, which is why it is so simple and singular in its emanation.
Chokmah translates to Wisdom, and describes that Wisdom itself is the first and purest thing that the human mind can grasp as it raises its consciousness to meet its maker. This is an uncompensated boundless energy, and to many spiritual traditions is often described as “The All Father” and even named “Jehovah”. This is where the energy of the entire universe comes into manifestation, and is the purest manifestation of energy possible.
In this we also see reference to the beginning lines of the Book of Genesis, where God says “Let there be Light!”, and so it becomes, out from the void of nonexistence.
Being that Kether was unmanifested potential of creation, Chokmah is the first creation itself. It is the pure force of free-flowing energy – primary dynamism. To experience Chokmah’s raw power is to feel the rush of dynamic cosmic energy in its pure form. This experience is sometimes called “The Trance of Annihilation”, because those who experience it drop all semblance of an ego and become One with all things.
As far as the creation of reality goes, Chokmah’s emanation is still a formless energy coming into being; it has no physical organization whatsoever. Chokmah is polarized on the pillar of mercy, and therefore nothing can come of the energy of Chokmah until it finds its opposite on the pillar of severity with Binah.
Yetziratic Text: The Third Intelligence is called the Wisdom; it is also called the Creator of Faith, and its roots are in Amen. It is the parent of faith, whence faith emanates.
Titles: Ama, the dark sterile Mother. Aima, the bright fertile Mother. Khorsia, the Throne. Marah, the Great Sea.
Spiritual Experience: Vision of Sorrow (the deep Melancholy of the cosmos)
Tarot Cards: The Four Threes (Purpose, Abundance, Sorrow, and Works), the Four Queens
Binah (pronounced Bee-nah) follows Chokmah as the third emanation; the divine mother in polarity with Chokmah, the divine father. She is the archetypal “Womb of Creation”, who receives the created powers and forces of Chokmah and adds shape and structure to it. In a sense, this state is the emanation of stability, giving form to the infinite formless power of Chokmah.
Binah translates to Understanding, because it is here which we find a true understanding of what the purpose of this created energy shall become. Her form giving properties are a very sacred and necessary power, because without Binah there would literally be nothing in existence, nothing could come to have form.
By comprehending both Binah and Chokmah together we can begin to see the influence that the divine masculine and feminine play in the creation of all things, and how necessary that it is that both of them are always present. You might liken this analogy to say; burning coal. A coal which burns releases a great energy, and yet if there is nothing to receive this energy (like that of an engine), it will simply dissipate into the atmosphere and become absorbed back into Kether. Binah however might be likened to the engine of the universe, who takes that raw power from Chokmah and curves it back onto itself, shaping it, and using the energy to continue the creative process.
Binah also is described by the Yetziratic texts as the place where Faith is born. This is because here we experience faith as the result in the mind of a super-conscious experience, beyond normal human “brain consciousness”. Meaning, if we were to tap into Binah within, feeling and connecting with this great cosmic ‘plan’ that is emanating from the forces that make up the universe itself, the only logical result would be that we find ourselves having faith in such a profound inner experience, which by its nature is replete with inner knowing.
In many ancient texts, God is often described as “The Father”, or characterized simply as “He”. By the comprehension of the principles of this Supernal Triangle, we begin to see the role that the principles of gender play more intimately in the creation of life as we know it. Binah and Chokmah are necessities together, for it is only in their divine union that we see the creation of everything else. If we are to reference God as the supreme Godhead, we must acknowledge that Kether contains Male and Female energies in perfect union within. If we are going to acknowledge the Divine Father as the source, then we must also acknowledge the Divine Mother equally so.
To understand these two In a simpler sense, we might observe that this is the state where the energetic outpouring from Chokmah finds nurturing support, allowing for growth and evolution to take place once the initial energy has exploded into being. Another simple analogy (and one more rooted in nature) could look like Chokmah represented by a seed which falls to the ground, and the soil which nurtures it and brings it a new form is Binah.
Translation: Mercy, Majesty, or Loving-Kindness
Yetziratic Text: The Fourth Path is called the Cohesive or Receptive Intelligence because it contains all the Holy Powers, and from it emanate all the spiritual virtues with the most exalted essences. They emanate one from another by virtue of the Primordial Emanation, the HIghest Crown, Kether.
Titles: Love. Majesty. Gedulah.
Spiritual Experience: Vision of Love
Vices: Bigotry, Gluttony. Tyranny.
Tarot Cards: The Four Fours (Completion, Reserve, Respite, and Stability)
Returning to the right side of the Tree of Life, Chesed (pronounced Hesed) continues the development of energy by embodying the traits and forms that Binah and Chokmah stood for and created together previously. Chesed represents the archetypes upon which the manifested universe is based upon. These are ideas which our human minds might comprehend as “truth, love, goodness”.
Falling directly under Chokmah, Chesed is once again a predominantly masculine energy, but contains new levels of structure applied now that it has moved through the state of Binah. These structures could be seen as the formation of cosmic law; a spiritual foundation of peace, order, and fairness by which the universe naturally shall operate through. However, it’s important to realize that this does not mean that these cosmic laws have been set in stone, but that the idea of “Archetype” itself is what has become concrete. It is within these archetypes that more complex ideas can be arranged and come to being.
Now having passed the Abyss on the Tree of Life, Chesed represents the highest regions of the soul, the evolution of the soul itself. It, along with Geburah sits in-between the Soul of Tiphareth and the All of the Supernal Triangle, and so marks the cosmic learnings and growth of a soul throughout lifetimes. Chesed is also the Anabolic traits of the soul, the “building up”, where Geburah represents the “breaking apart” and “karma” of the soul.
Comprehending Chesed in a meditation may relate to the leadership qualities by which we live our lives. What we stand for, and the way that we treat and act towards others.
Translation: Severity, Strength
Yetziratic Text: The Fifth Path is called the Radical Intelligence because it resembles Unity, uniting itself to Binah, Understanding, which emanates from the Primordial depths of Chokmah, Wisdom.
Titles: Din (Justice), Pachad (Fear), Strength.
Spiritual Experience: Vision of Power.
Virtues: Energy, Courage, Discipline
Vices: Cruelty, Destruction
Tarot Cards: The Four Fives (Struggle, Disappointment, Conflict, and Worry)
Following Chesed, Geburah (pronounced Gevurah) is the fifth sephira and mirrors its predecessor on the pillar of severity. Geburah translates to strength, and in many ways represents the power required to carry out the cosmic law which was beset by Chesed before it. In this, we have the birth of cosmic justice.
Now, many who are uninitiated may observe the Qabalah and rule that Geburah would be the sphere where “evil” resides. This would be because of the way in which Geburah behaves – speaking towards reduction, sacrifice, discipline, elimination, fight, and the principles of severity. However, when understood, the holy Qabalah actually describes that each and every Sephiroth is pure and holy; there is no evil in any pathway or emanation (rather, evil is the energy flowing counter to its natural current, and we will discuss that later on). Therefore, it is up to us to comprehend Geburah without compartmentalizing it into a box of “good or evil”, rather seeing it for what it is; a necessity of creation. Geburah is a force which fights without malice, spares the weak and wounded, and does not seek to destroy the law – only seeking to see that it is properly fulfilled.
As described previously, Geburah is the Catabolism to the Anabolism of Chesed. Where Chesed builds up, Geburah breaks down the forms by setting force to the principles of Chesed. You might think of it as “weeding out that which is unnecessary“, as we are dealing in the realm of archetypes, it is all too plausible that a myriad of ideas may come into being in the formation of reality, but not all of which are the most aligned with the inherent values of that which Spirit (from Kether) wished to manifest, and so the impulse of Geburah is to align itself with the form and structure from its Mother directly above, and destroy any energies or formations which would not be ideal as reality comes into being.
In our personal meditations and experiences of Geburah, we might experience this Sephira as the ability to set force behind that which we stand for. If the experience of Chesed was “what do I stand for?”, now Geburah takes that motion and says “how can I bring this to being?”. You might experience the inner calling of standing for health, and thus Geburah might look like removing the unhealthier activities in your personality from your life. Further, Geburah represents the self-control that comes from this practice.
Yetziratic Text: The Sixth Path is called the Mediating Intelligence, because in it are multiplied the influxes of the Emanations; for it causes that influence to flow into all the reservoirs of the blessings with which they themselves are united.
Titles: Zoar Anpin (the Lesser Countenance), Melekh, the King, Adam, the Son, the Man.
Spiritual Experience: Vision of the Harmony of things, Mysteries of the Crucifixion
Virtues: Devotion to the Great Work
Tarot Cards: The Four Sixes (Victory, Pleasure, Ascension, and Success), the Four Princes
Tiphareth (pronounced Tif-eret) is the sixth Sephiroth and is the great harmonizer on the Tree of Life. It is the center where all of the other spheres flow into in all directions, blessing it with their unique gifts and uniting themselves through it. In this we see that Tiphareth ultimately stands for Christ Consciousness – the unity consciousness between the individual self, and the supreme all.
This state of being may appear differently from each angle of where it is perceived from, because Tiphareth is the sacrifice of energy from force into form. It is the sphere where raw energy may translate and pass through in order to become an actual tangible substance capable of affecting (and even manifesting in) the physical realm. Therefore, if observed from above Tiphareth may be seen as a child – the archetype of the perfect human newly born and descending towards the earth.
Observed from below however, and Tiphareth appears counter to this as a great king. This is most often associated with the idea of Jesus, who spoke of a kingdom far greater than anyone could comprehend. Each of these visualizations may be understood by placing yourself in each position. From the perspective of a mortal, Tiphareth represents the perfect and divine human being, something we may all strive for. From the perspective of the forces of Spirit from above, if they descend towards earth they will find themselves born into a little baby body.
When observed from the center of the Tree, Tiphareth appears as the sacrificed God. The state of being which actively gives itself up in order to become a vessel of cosmic energy for the translation of force into form, and form into force. This is likened to the mysteries of the crucifixion. The movement from earth to heaven, and heaven to earth. Tiphareth here describes the unique position of humanity – we are the healing mediator between the realms above and below.
If you are familiar with the Chakra system, Tiphareth would be likened with a fusion of the Heart and the Solar Plexus. It is the divine light and raw life-giving emanation of the Sun, and the fusion with all of the love and beauty of the heart. If you were to meditate upon Tiphareth, it may look like you connecting to your heart, and the light within.
Tiphareth may also be considered the continued manifestation of Kether on a denser plane, or even Yesod on a higher plane. From here it synthesizes all of the Sephira around it, which are quite literally – all of them. The only one which it does not directly touch is Malkuth, which goes to describe the challenge we all face in raising our consciousness to higher realms – we must surpass the density of Malkuth in order to realize our consciousness in a higher dimension.
Yetziratic Text: The Seventh Path is called the Occult Intelligence because it is the refulgent splendour of the intellectual virtues which are perceived by the eyes of the intellect and the contemplations of faith.
Titles: Jehovah Tzabaoth (The Lord of Hosts), Firmness
Spiritual Experience: Vision of beauty triumphant
Vices: Unchastity, Lust
Tarot Cards: The Four Sevens (Courage, Illusions, Futility, and Investment)
Netzach (pronounced net-zac or net-zagh) comes out of Tiphareth, and is described most commonly as the place where the light of Tiphareth is broken up as if by a prism, into a “many-rayed manifestation”, however these “many rays” are not individualized, and so describes a striving for balance between the concept of “individual” and “collective”.
Netzach combines the Beauty of Tiphareth with the Mercy of Chesed to create the basis of emotional attraction itself. It also mirrors the severity of Geburah too, making up the basis of the intensified emotional feelings in relationship to our denser earthly experiences.
The basic spirit of Netzach is about the attraction, repulsion, or other forms of connection between the self and the rest of everything in existence. Being that this is described as an “inner-experience”, one of the truest virtues of Netzach is the ability to “experience life through the eyes of another”, or “putting yourself into someone else’s shoes”.
The movement of energy here in Netzach is still relatively free-moving, it exists on the Pillar of Mercy and thus maintains some of the free-flowing capabilities of its higher brethren, however is more compartmentalized than those that came before it. It’s manifestations are more specific, whether they are a collective of “beings” each with their own unique essence moving through the formless spaces outside of the reaches of the physical realm, or a single stereotyped idea which represents a specific aspect of the universe as it continues to manifest.
This relates to us specifically when we observe that ultimately the Sephiroth of Netzach is designed by nature to be the space that gives rise to our intuition, emotions, and feelings. Netzach is akin to the realm of free-moving thought-forms; the flux of energy within us which causes such experiences to be had, which are then comprehended by its sister on the opposite side of the Tree: Hod.
Translation: Glory / Splendor
Yetziratic Text: The Eight Path is called the Absolute or Perfect Intelligence because it is the mean of the Primordial, which has no root by which it can cleave or rest, save in the hidden places of Chesed, from which emanates its proper essence.
Titles: Elohim Tzabaoth (The God of Hosts)
Spiritual Experience: Vision of Splendour
Vices: Falsehood. Dishonesty.
Tarot Cards: The Four Eights (Shift, Renounce, Confusion, and Prudence)
The Eighth Sephira, Hod (rhymes with Goad) – is a state of concentration. Similar to Geburah and Binah above it, Hod takes the free-flowing energy from its brother Netzach and applies a focus and concentration to these experiences and energies in order to temporarily control them and mold it into a form comprehensible to the human mind.
The relationship between Hod in the Microcosm and Macrocosm are both relatively similar, because they both relate to the way in which we are able to comprehend them. To us personally, Hod speaks of the powers of word: Philosophy, literature, thought, science, mantras, reason, systems, and even ceremonial magic in order to facilitate movement and change on the astral or physical planes.
We also can learn a great deal about our personalities and egos from Hod, which will allow us to transcend our earthly limitations better by applying these lessons to our lives. For example, Hod is at its best when it behaves watery and reflective, like the Queen of Cups in the Tarot. What this means is that our ability to change our minds and mould our personalities must mirror the experiences that we have in a receptive sort of way; if we remain too rigid and firm then we are subject to splinter, ultimately causing us to build-up karma or inflict cosmic justice on ourselves by the power of Geburah from directly above.
Ultimately though, it’s important to realize that the nature of Hod is only useful when observed in relationship to Netzach. For example, when the comprehensible words used to describe something are described with feeling and passion – the words are impactful and the meaning is carried across the words. If there is no passion or energy behind the words, the words are empty of feeling – and the meaning is all but lost.
Yetziratic Text: The Ninth Path is called the Pure Intelligence because it purifies the emanations. It proves and corrects the designing of their representations, and disposes the unity with which they are designed without diminution or division.
Titles: Shaddai el Chai (the Almighty Living God)
Spiritual Experience: Vision of the Machinery of the Universe
Tarot Cards: The Four Nines (Strength, Happiness, Torment, and Flourish)
Yesod (pronounced yes-owed) is one of the most interesting Sephira because of where it lies on the Tree of Life, and its relationship to the rest of the Sephira. Yesod translates to Foundation, because it is the foundation upon which all of the other Sephira get to interact and engage with the physically manifested realm. In effect, Yesod IS the bridge between everything in the cosmos and the earthly plane. You might also think of it as the link between Mind and Matter.
One of the ways this is commonly all described is that Yesod is the Sephira which accumulates all of the emanations of the tree above it, and employs these vibrations as “essential life energy”. This energy could be observed as heavy-but-still-formless vibrations which directly engage and interact with the physical world. It is the astral realm, built from the same electromagnetic currents which move through and guide every living thing. The dynamo that causes the physical world to be filled with vibrant motion, life, color, sound, and what not! You might even observe Yesod as the strings which make the puppet of Malkuth dance.
You may consider this from a number of angles. It may be observed simply as the neural energy which triggers in your consciousness, passes through your body and causes you to take action, whether it’s as simple as commanding your body to walk or do things. You may also see this as a realm which you can use to make your dreams come true, and make things happen physically. There is a bit of a trick to this, so read the next part very carefully.
Firstly, Yesod can be “activated” to cause events to come to pass on the physical plane through the powers of meditation, prayer, other forms of spiritual rituals or even sexual stimulation. With this in mind, we must be very mindful of two things: The first is that much like a shovel, the power of Yesod can be used for doing incredible things in the world, but it can also be used to cause harm. This is the first warning of Yesod, we must be incredibly careful about our interaction with this realm, because each and every vibration we create will be accounted for in the eyes of God, including the intent by which we took action by.
Second, and following the first thought, we can avoid this problem entirely by always connecting with our higher centers before performing any energetic movement in Yesod, whether it’s through prayer, meditation, or otherwise. When we are not drawing our intention and strength from Sephira higher than Yesod, we have the capacity to do a great deal of damage to ourselves by our own lack of understanding. We can only make our dreams come true when we live from the heart, and so we MUST draw our energy principally from Kether and through Tiphareth if we wish to stay in alignment and not inflict negative Karma upon ourselves.
It is ultimately through Yesod that we find a balance between the experienced feelings from Netzach and our comprehension of them in Hod, and further – Yesod is the place where those feelings and ideas become fused together and directly dictate the physical actions that we take. We must be mindful then that the Astral plane is filled with images. It is a house of mirrors, constantly reflecting not only our own thoughts but the thoughtforms and ideas which move throughout everyone all around us. This is not a realm to be taken lightly, however by the power of meditation and awareness of our connection to the higher realms, we can transcend the apparent limitations of Yesod and use its emanation as a powerful tool to create great change in the physical world, and inspire and uplift the minds and hearts of those around us for the better.
Once again, Yesod can be understood even better when relating it to other Sephirah, and the last one we are to look at is Malkuth. It is in Malkuth that the principles of the Four Elements actually come into being, meaning the literal earth, air, water, and fire. Observing Yesod in relationship to these four elements would delineate Yesod to be the Ether; the Fifth Element.
Yetziratic Text: The Tenth Path is called the Resplendent Intelligence because it is exalted above every head and sits upon the Throne of Binah. It illuminates the splendors of all the Lights, and causes an influence to emanate from the Prince of Countenances, the Angel of Kether.
Titles: The Gate (The Gate of Death, Gate of Justice, Gate of the Daughter of the Mighty Ones, the Gate of the Garden of Eden), the Inferior Mother. Malkah, the Queen. Kallah, the Bride. The Virgin.
Spiritual Experience: Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel
Virtues: Discrimination (Identification of isolate things)
Vices: Avarice, Inertia
Tarot Cards: The Four Tens (Responsibility, Satiety, Ruin, Legacy), the Four Princesses
Malkuth (pronounced mal-huut) is the 10th and final Sephiroth – the furthest point on the Qabalah and the place that all of Spirit must traverse through on its journey away in emanating away from Kether – its source. Malkuth is described and represented by the physical realm – literally all things physically created as well as the formless aspects of the physical plane, like oxygen, sounds, and smells.
Like the other sephiroth, Malkuth can only be understood when considered in relation to its neighbours, and with Malkuth this is principally Yesod. Although Malkuth is the sphere of physical form, all coherence of parts, save for simple magnetic attractions and repulsions, depend on the functions of this higher sephira, which ensouls this matter and gives it life.
One of the general characteristics of the physical plane is its inertia. It generally does not like to move, and with the exception of simple magnetic attractions and the orbits conducted by gravity, it would not move at all if it was not ensouled by spirit. In this we can see a great realization – Malkuth is a vehicle for Spirit to drive, as it traverses the 10 Sephiroth on the journey through the evolution of consciousness.
This dense physical plane – Malkuth – is the final resting point and ultimately – the results of all of the work which had been done by spirit on the higher planes. As Above, So Below – all of the energies that swirled around find their fixity in Malkuth, and whatever comes to be in this dimension is a result and direct mirror of that which is taking place on higher realms.
Malkuth only has one neighbor, Yesod – although in Hermetic Qabalah there are two more adjoining pathways, which connect Hod and Netzach with Malkuth as well; however they are more removed, not a direct sibling, and are similar to the connections which bridge Binah and Chokmah with Tiphareth across the Abyss. Understanding the connection between Malkuth and Yesod is paramount to truly comprehending how Malkuth operates. Yesod ensouls Malkuth with life, it is because of the higher planes that Malkuth has life at all – however, especially as it relates with our physically manifested world – understanding that Malkuth is more than just a resting point is pivotal in making change and facilitating shifts in this dimension.
The simplest way to describe this is that grounding our meditations and prayers in the physical world is very important to making them be what we consider “real”. For example, if you were to sit and meditate for 10 minutes on a subject (let’s say healing), but you just wore whatever clothes, you were in a noisy environment, or just sort of sitting there thinking about it: that might be a great start, but only have a minimal amount of impact on the physical dimension.
However, if you were to do the same meditation but turn the experience into a more sacred event – put on your most sacred meditative clothes, go into a private space with some specific colors, light a candle or burn some incense, and open your heart to Spirit and really connect with the Love in your heart as you do so, this act of setting the physical space will allow all of the energy you are pulling in from above to channel through Yesod and create tangible effects in the physical realm.
Ultimately – Malkuth is a symbol of the outward visibility of the invisible etheric activity.
Daath is sometimes considered a “secret Sephiroth”, or not a Sephiroth at all but an experience of crossing the void between Kether and Tiphareth. For this reason it is rarely ever drawn on the tree. Daath is located in the chasm between Chokmah, Binah, Kether and Tiphareth, and is the conduit for pure energy transfer, and only available to the most adept of students. This is the sphere of creation, from which the tidal forces of the Holy Trinity come together along with the All from Kether; it is here that positive and negative come together to be used for the benefit of spiritual and physical development, and is a very powerful and ominous place.
It is the deep infinite abyss, which all of us have access to, but only few dare to look. This might even be described by the words of Muad’Dib from Dune “Try looking into that place where you dare not look! You’ll find me there, staring out at you!”
Daath is very interesting because ultimately it represents the knowledge of good and evil which we are striving to comprehend in our human consciousness. During the fall of consciousness, we were separated from our higher selves – this created the Abyss on the Qabalah, and losing Daath – the bridge to our highest selves. In this, Malkuth was created in the bottom of the tree, as we descended into a lower vibration than we normally should exist at. As we raise our consciousness and re-establish our connection to God, the Abyss will disappear, we will sit upon Daath once more, and Malkuth shall become absorbed into Yesod.
This is why Daath is not the “11th Sephira” even though it IS principally a sephira, or at least, the placeholder for one. The Sepher Yetzirah is very specific regarding “10 spheres, not 9, not 11”, and so to this we must stand firm.
With that said, we will continue to allow Daath to remain in secret for now, and reference the Qabalah without paying this section much mind, until a time comes when we have covered enough information for this section to make more sense.
Together, these 10 spheres describe the flows by which creation and our physical selves come into being. By understanding this, we can begin to comprehend how to tap into the deeper meanings behind the experiences that we are having, and start to see where we are in and out of balance. These 10 Sephira also correlate with each of the 10 cards in each Minor Arcana suit in the Tarot, which you can learn more about in the Patch Tarot section of our website. This will also be written about extensively in The Book of Patch, which you can sign up for notifications regarding on our subscription form here.
Once you are familiar with the ten sephiroth, it becomes time to learn about the next big aspect of the Qabalah – the 22 pathways, each of which describe another aspect of reality and how we are constantly moving from different states of being and planes of awareness in our lives.
Once again, for those who wish to use this material to evolve your consciousness, we highly recommend meditating upon the progression of the Sephiroth on a daily basis, as outlined in our article Qabalah 102, which you can read here.
For those who are interested in learning more about the Sephiroth, our principle book we recommend about this topic is called “The Mystical Qabalah” by Dion Fortune. You can also find several links below with other websites which have provided a great deal of supportive information to this discussion.
Thanks for reading!
The Mystical Qabalah – Dion Fortune
The Golden Dawn – Israel Regardie