Copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. This article is is licenced
for free non-commercial distribution only.
** MAGICK 10 -- CABALA **
Western magick is based upon the Cabala, a Jewish mystical
traditon first written down in 12th and 13th century southern
France and Spain. It was oral before that; and it contains the
"lost" knowledge of the ancients, possibly going back to Egypt and
before. The most important Cabalistic books are SEPHIR YETZIRAH
(The Book of Creation), and the ZOHAR (Book of Splendor). Through
Cabalistic philosophy we are able to classify and "pigeon-hole"
all of existence.
The four worlds are recognized in the Cabala, but they are given
Hebrew names. Thus -- Assiah, physical; Yetzirah, astral; Briah,
mental; and Atziluth, spiritual; as shown in the chart.
WORLD NAME MEANING ATTRIBUTE
===== ==== ======= =========
spiritual Atziluth Archetypal World pure deity
mental Briah Creative World archangels
astral Yetzirah Formative World angels
physical Assiah Material World action
The divine name of God is TETRAGRAMMATON (or name of four
letters) made from the Hebrew letters YOD HE VAU HE (English
YHVH). Of the four letters, YOD corresponds with Atziluth and the
element of fire; the first HE corresponds with Briah and water.
These first two letters make up a yang-yin pair (respectively).
The other two letters also form a yang-yin pair (respectively),
with the VAU corresponding with Yetzirah and air; while the second
HE corresponds with Assiah and the element of earth.
The Cabalistic parts of the soul use new names for the three
highest vehicles of consciousness. NESHAMAH (Divine Soul) is the
Spiritual body; RUAH (Moral Soul) is the Mental body; and NEFESH
(Animal Soul) is the Astral body.
An important attribute of the Cabala is the SEFIROTIC TREE (or
"Tree of Life", Otz Chieem). The Sefirotic Tree is a diagram of
the universe made up of the ten SEFIROTH (primal numbers or orders
of creation) drawn as circles upon the Tree in a decending pattern
from the highest aspect of God at the top to the most physical
aspect of our world at the bottom. As can be seen in the
accompanying diagram, the sefiroth are connected together with
numbered lines, called paths.
/ | \
/ | \
(3) /----------|---------\ (2)
| | |
| | |
| | |
| \ | / |
| \ | / |
| \ (6)/ |
| / | \ |
| / | \ |
| / | \ |
\ | /
\ | /
\ | /
This is my attempt to draw a Sefirotic Tree using ASCII
characters. Several paths are omitted (15, 17, 29, 31). Please
refer to a printed diagram (in most any book on Cabala) for a
Above the Tree is the infinite void -- the unknowable,
unmanifest God as Divine Light -- the three veils of negative
existence: Ain, Ain Sof, and Ain Sof Aur. The Divine Light (Ain
Sof Aur) is made manifest by the first sefira where it is
transformed into positive existence. Emanations of energy
(magical current) flow from the first sefira (Source) along the
paths into other sefiroth which transform and emanate to lower and
lower sefiroth. In Adam Kadman (primal or ideal man) the sefiroth
fit upon the physical body; note the similarity to the chakras.
The process of creation is one of emanation from the spiritual at
the top of the Tree to the physical world (Sink) at the bottom.
All current which is Sourced into the Tree must also be Sinked
(earthed). That is, magical energy set in motion by ritual shoud
be used up in the physical world whether or not the ritual was a
Sefiroth 1, 2, and 3 on the Tree form the Supernal Triangle
which is beyond normal human experience in the world of Atziluth.
The first sefira, KETHER, is the supreme *crown* of God; it
signifies pure Being, and is the Source. Kether is androgynous.
Immediately arising from Kether are two further emanations. The
second sefira is HOKMAH, the *wisdom* of God and the masculine
force of the universe. Third is BINAH, the *understanding* or
intelligence of God; this is the supernal mother.
Between the Supernals and the other seven sefiroth is the Abyss
-- a great gulf which forever separates ideal from actual. Within
the Abyss an 11th sefira, DAATH, the *knowledge* of God is
The second triangle, comprised of the 4th, 5th, and 6th sefiroth
in the world of Briah, is sometimes called the Mental Triangle.
Sefira 4, HESED, the *love* or mercy of God, is male and positive.
The 5th sefira, GEVURAH, the power or *strength* of God
complements Hesed as justice. Sixth is TIFARETH, as the compassion
or *beauty* of God; the heart of the universe.
The third or Astral Triangle contains sefiroth 7, 8, and 9 in
Yetzirah. Sefira 7, NETSAH, is the lasting endurance or *victory*
of God. Complementing Netsah is 8, HOD, the majesty or *splendor*
of God. The 9th sefira, YESOD, the *foundation* of the world, is
linked with the moon, hence the tides and the libido. Yesod is
experienced as dream consciousness, and is very important in
magick and astral projection.
Finally, at the physical world of Assiah is the 10th sefira,
MALKUTH, the *kindgom* of God, and the basis of all material
creation. We experience Malkuth as sense consciousness.
The Sefirotic Tree has three vertical columns or *pillars*. As
you face the tree, the pillar on the right, headed by Hokmah and
ending with Netsah, is called the Pillar of Mercy and has
light/masculine (yang) qualities. The pillar on the left, headed
by Binah and ending with Hod, is the Pillar of Severity with
dark/feminine (yin) qualities. The Middle Pillar between them
equilibriates the two opposites, and is the *Shekhinah*, or
feminine counterpart of God. The *klippoth*, or evil demons,
generally in Assiah, represent unbalanced forces or excesses.
All the attributes of the universe fit like pieces of a puzzle
upon the Sefirotic Tree. Each numbered part is a numeric key to
the various correspondence tables, such as Crowley's '777'. The
sefirotic tree has its parts variously colored and each sefira has
a color; in fact the paths which run between the sefiroth have
their own colors too. There are four major color scales for the
sefirotic tree and each color scale corresponds with one of the
four worlds. That means we are dealing with not just one sefirotic
tree, but actually with a separate tree for each of the four
worlds; although it is easier to think of it as the same tree with
a different color scale. The Queen (Briah) and King (Atziluth)
scales are the most important. There is also the Empress scale
(Assiah), and the Emperor scale (Yetzirah).
The Queen and King scales for the sefiroth are shown below.
(Note that when 4 colors are listed toghether, the sefira is
divided into quarters and the first color is assigned to the upper
quarter, the 2nd color to the right quarter, the 3rd color to the
left quarter, and the last color to the lower quarter.)
KEY QUEEN SCALE KING SCALE
=== =========== ==========
1 pure white brilliance brilliance
2 gray pure soft blue
3 black crimson
4 blue deep violet
5 scarlet red orange
6 yellow (gold) clear pink rose
7 emerald green amber
8 orange violet purple
9 violet indigo
10 citrine, olive, russet, black yellow
The 22 paths connect the sefiroth together. These paths
correspond with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, as based
upon the SEFIR YETZIRAH. Due to the nature of the Hebrew alphabet
(some letters can take two forms) SEFIR YETZIRAH divides each of
two of the letters into two (dual) parts. For this reason, it is
necessary to divide each of the two related paths into two (dual)
parts. These are numbered 31, 31b (bisected); 32, 32b. Yet when
these paths are drawn on the sefirotic tree they are usually shown
undivided (and numbered simply 31, and 32). The following table
shows the colors and location of the paths in relation to the
sefiroth. You will want to add the path numbers to the
illustration of the sefirotic tree, or draw a new tree. Some
writers may refer to "32 paths", by calling the sefiroth "paths"
KEY JOINS SEFIROTH QUEEN SCALE KING SCALE
=== ============== =========== ==========
11 1 - 2 sky blue brt. pale yellow
12 1 - 3 purple yellow
13 1 - 6 silver blue
14 2 - 3 sky blue emerald green
15 2 - 6 red scarlet
16 2 - 4 deep indigo red orange
17 3 - 6 pale mauve orange
18 3 - 5 maroon amber
19 4 - 5 deep purple greenish yellow
20 4 - 6 slate gray yellowish green
21 4 - 7 blue violet
22 5 - 6 blue emerald green
23 5 - 8 sea green deep blue
24 6 - 7 dull brown green blue
25 6 - 9 yellow blue
26 6 - 8 black indigo
27 7 - 8 red scarlet
28 7 - 9 sky blue violet
29 7 - 10 buff, silver-white crimson (ultraviolet)
30 8 - 9 gold yellow orange
31 8 - 10 vermilion glowing orange-scarlet
32 9 - 10 black indigo
31b deep purple white merging into gray
32b amber citrine, olive, russet,
The queen and king scales are complementary. Also complementary
are the paths and the sefiroth. Traditional use of the queen scale
sefiroth will find the king scale as paths and vice versa. The use
of complementary scales is based upon the idea of balance. A tree
composed of sefiroth in the queen scale and paths in the king
scale is all you need for most magick. Although correspondences
are what work for you, there is said to be an ancient tradition
surrounding the conventional color scales and it may be helpful to
lock into the energy associated with them.
From the magical point of view, the Tree of Life is a map of
consciousness which is useful for understanding and attaining
various states of consciousness. In cabalistic magick we are
concerned with the linking of higher energy to lower levels on the
tree. That very thing takes place naturally as well, in nature and
in life. A subject in itself is cabalistic meditation (pathwork,
or the way of return), in which we attempt to climb up the tree
(ladder of lights) to attain union with divinity.
1) What is the sefirotic tree?
2) How is the queen scale used in magick?
3) What is a path? How many are there?
J. Abelson, Jewish Mysticism
Edward Albertson, Understanding the Kabbalah
Bernard J. Babmerger, Fallen Angels
Richard Cavendish, The Black Arts
______, editorial comments to "Cabala", Man Myth and Magic
Aleister Crowley, The Book of Thoth
______, 777 Revised
Denning and Phillips, The Magical Philosophy
______, Magical States of Consciousness (on pathworking)
A.D. Duncan, The Christ, Psychotherapy and Magic
Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah
Adolphe Frank, The Kabbalah: The Religious Philosophy of the
Perle Epstein, Kabbalah, the Way of the Jewish Mystic
William Gray, The Talking Tree
Stephan A. Hoeller, The Royal Road
Isidor Kalish, Sepher Yezirah: A Book on Creation
Alta J. LaDage, Occult Psychology
Bernhard Pick, The Cabala: Its Influence on Judaism and
Charles Ponce, Kabbalah: An Introduction and Illumination for the
Henry B. Pullen-Burry, Qabalism
Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegranets
______, The Golden Dawn
______, The Middle Pillar
Leo Schaya, The Universal Meaning of the Kabbalah
Gershom Scholem, Kabbalah
______, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
______, On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism
______, Zohar: The Book of Splendor
Arthur Edward Waite, The Holy Kabbalah
R.J. Zwi Werblowsky, "Cabala", Man, Myth and Magic
William Wynn Wescott, An Introduction to the Study of the Kabalah
______, Sepher Yetzirah
Phil Hansford, 4/88 Mysteria (818) 353-8891 (modem)
P.O. Box 83 Tujunga, CA 91042
maintained by Jeff Morton / Ioldanach@yahoo.com / Ioldanach@yahoo.com