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Notes on Kabbalah


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Introduction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Chapter 2.: Sephirothic Correspondences

The correspondences are a set of symbols, associations and qualities which provide a handle on the elusive something a sephira represents. Some of the correspondences are hundreds of years old, many were concocted this century, and some are my own; some fit very well, and some are obscure - oddly enough it is often the most obscure and ill-fitting correspondence which is most productive; like a Zen riddle it perplexes and annoys the mind until it arrives at the right place more in spite of the correspondence than because of it. There are few canonical correspondences; some of the sephiroth have alternative names, some of the names have alternative translations, the mapping from Hebrew spellings to the English alphabet varies from one author to the next, and inaccuracies and accretions are handed down like the family silver. I keep my Hebrew dictionary to hand but guarantee none of the English spellings.

The correspondences I have given are as follows:

1. The Meaning is a translation of the Hebrew name of the sephira.

2. The Planet in most cases is the planet associated with the sephira. In some cases it is not a planet at all (e.g. the fixed stars). The planets are ordered by decreasing apparent motion - this is one correspondence which appears to pre-date Copernicus!

3. The Element is the physical element (earth, water, air, fire, aethyr) which has most in common with the nature of the Sephira. The Golden Dawn applied an excess of logic to these attributions and made a mess of them, to the confusion of many. Only the five Lower Face sephiroth have been attributed an element.

4. Briatic colour. This is the colour of the sephira as seen in the world of Creation, Briah. There are colour scales for the other three worlds but I haven't found them to be useful in practical work.

5. Magical Image. Useful in meditiations; some are astute.

6. The Briatic Correspondence is an abstract quality which says something about the essence of the way the sephira expresses itself.

7. The Illusion characterises the way in which the energy of the sephira clouds one's judgement; it is something which is *obviously* true. Most people suffer from one or more of these according to their temperament.

8. The Obligation is a personal quality which is demanded of an initiate at this level.

9. The Virtue and Vice are the energy of the sephiroth as it manifests in a positive and negative sense in the personality.

10. Qlippoth is a word which means "shell". In medieval Kabbalah each sephira was "seen" to be adding form to the sephira which preceded it in the Lightning Flash (see Chapter 3.). Form was seen to an accretion, a shell around the pure divine energy of the Godhead, and each layer or shell hid the divine radiance a little bit more, until God was buried in form and exiled in matter, the end-point of the process. At the time attitudes to matter were tainted with the Manichean notion that matter was evil, a snare for the spirit, and consequently the Qlippoth or shells were "demonised" and actually turned into demons. The correspondence I have given here restores the original notion of a shell of form *without* the corresponding force to activate it; it is the lifeless, empty husk of a sephira devoid of force, and while it isn't a literal demon, it is hardly a bundle of laughs when you come across it.

11. The Command refers to the Four Powers of the Sphinx, with an extra one added for good measure.

12. The Spiritual Experience is just that.

13. The Titles are a collection of alternative names for the sephira; most are very old.

14. The God Name is a key to invoking the power of the sephira in the world of emanation, Atziluth.

13. The Archangel mediates the energy of the sephira in the world of creation, Briah.

14. The Angel Order administers the energy of the sephira in the world of formation, Yetzirah.

15. The Keywords are a collection of phrases which summarise key aspects of the sephira.


Sephira: Malkuth                               Meaning: Kingdom
-------                                              -------
Planet: Cholem Yesodeth                  Element: earth
--------(the Breaker of                     -------
             the Foundations, sphere of the elements, the Earth)

Briatic Colour: brown                       Number: 10
------------- (citrine, russet-red,       ------
                     olive green, black)

Magical Image: a young woman crowned and throned
Briatic Correspondence: stability
Illusion: materialism                          Obligation: discipline
--------                                           ----------
Virtue: discrimination                        Vice: avarice & inertia
--------                                           ----------
Qlippoth: stasis                                Command: keep silent
--------                                           ----------
Spiritual Experience: Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel
Titles: The Gate; Gate of Death; Gate of Tears; Gate of Justice;
------ The Inferior Mother; Malkah, the Queen; Kallah, the Bride; the Virgin.
God Name: Adonai ha Aretz           Archangel: Sandalphon
--------       Adonai Malekh            ---------
Angel Order: Ishim
Keywords: the real world, physical matter, the Earth, Mother Earth, the physical elements, the natural world, sticks & stones, possessions, faeces, practicality, solidity, stability, inertia, heaviness, bodily death, incarnation.


Sephira: Yesod                               Meaning: Foundation
------- -------
Planet: Levanah (the Moon)            Element: Aethyr
-------------- -------
Briatic Colour: purple                      Number: 9
------------- ------
Magical Image: a beautiful man, very strong (e.g. Atlas)
Briatic Correspondence: receptivity, perception
Illusion: security                              Obligation: trust
--------                                          ----------
Virtue: independence                      Vice: idleness
------                                             ----------
Qlippoth: zombieism, robotism        Command: go!
--------                                          ----------
Spiritual Experience: Vision of the Machinery of the Universe
Titles: The Treasure House of Images
God Name: Shaddai el Chai           Archangel: Gabriel
--------                                          -----------
Angel Order: Cherubim
Keywords: perception, interface, imagination, image, appearance, glamour, the Moon, the unconscious, instinct, tides, illusion, hidden infrastructure, dreams, divination, anything as it seems to be and not as it is, mirrors and crystals, the "Astral Plane", Aethyr, glue, tunnels, sex & reproduction, the genitals, cosmetics, instinctive magic (psychism), secret doors, shamanic tunnel.


Sephira: Hod                                  Meaning: Glory, Splendour
-------                                           -------
Planet: Kokab (Mercury)                Element: air
------                                             -------
Briatic Colour: orange                     Number: 8
-------------                                  ------
Magical Image: an hermaphrodite
Briatic Correspondence: abstraction
Illusion: order                                  Obligation: learn
--------                                          ----------
Virtue: honesty, truthfulness             Vice: dishonesty
------                                             ----------
Qlippoth: rigidity                             Command: will
Spiritual Experience: Vision of Splendour
Titles: -
God Name: Elohim Tzabaoth          Archangel: Raphael
--------                                          ---------
Angel Order: Beni Elohim

Keywords: reason, abstraction, communication, conceptualisation, logic, the sciences, language, speech, money (as a concept), mathematics, medicine & healing, trickery, writing, media (as communication), pedantry, philosophy, Kabbalah (as an abstract system), protocol, the Law, ownership, territory, theft, "Rights", ritual magic.


Sephira: Netzach                            Meaning: Victory, Firmness
-------                                           -------
Planet: Nogah (Venus)                   Element: water
--------------                                -------
Briatic Colour: green                      Number: 7
-------------                                  ------
Magical Image: a beautiful naked woman
Briatic Correspondence: nurture
Illusion: projection                         Obligation: responsibility
--------                                         ----------
Virtue: unselfishness                       Vice: selfishness
------                                             ----
Qlippoth: habit, routine                  Command: know
Spiritual Experience: Vision of Beauty Triumphant
Titles: -
God Name: Jehovah Tzabaoth       Archangel: Haniel
--------                                         ---------
Angel Order: Elohim
Keywords: passion, pleasure, luxury, sensual beauty, feelings, drives, emotions - love, hate, anger, joy, depression, misery, excitement, desire, lust; nurture, libido, empathy, sympathy, ecstatic magic.


Sephira: Tipheret                           Meaning: Beauty
-------                                           -------
Planet: Shemesh (the Sun)             Element: fire
--------------                                -------
Briatic Colour: yellow                    Number: 6
-------------                                 ------
Magical Image: a king, a child, a sacrificed god
Briatic Correspondence: centrality, wholeness
Illusion: identification                     Obligation: integrity
--------                                         ----------
Virtue: devotion to the Great Work    Vice: pride, self-importance
------                                            ----
Qlippoth: hollowness                     Command: dare
Spiritual Experience: Vision of Harmony
Titles: Melekh, the King; Zoar Anpin, the lesser countenance, the Microprosopus; the Son; Rachamin, charity.
God Name: Aloah va Daath          Archangel: Michael
--------                                        ---------
Angel Order: Malachim
Keywords: harmony, integrity, balance, wholeness, the Self, self-importance, self-sacrifice, the Son of God, centrality, the Philospher's Stone, identity, the solar plexus, a King, the Great Work.


Sephira: Gevurah                          Meaning: Strength
-------                                         -------
Planet: Madim (Mars)
Briatic Colour: red                        Number: 5
-------------                                ------
Magical Image: a mighty warrior
Briatic Correspondence: power
Illusion: invincibility                      Obligation: courage & loyalty
--------                                       ----------
Virtue: courage & energy             Vice: cruelty
------                                          ----
Qlippoth: bureaucracy
Spiritual Experience: Vision of Power
Titles: Pachad, fear; Din, justice.
God Name: Elohim Gevor            Archangel: Kamael
--------                                       ---------
Angel Order: Seraphim
Keywords: power, justice, retribution (eaten cold), the Law (in execution), cruelty, oppression, domination & the Power Myth, severity, necessary destruction, catabolism, martial arts.


Sephira: Chesed                          Meaning: Mercy
-------                                        -------
Planet: Tzadekh (Jupiter)
Briatic Colour: blue                     Number: 4
-------------                               ------
Magical Image: a mighty king
Briatic Correspondence: authority
Illusion: being right                     Obligation: humility
------- (self-righteousness)         ----------
Virtue: humility & obedience      Vice: tyranny, hypocrisy,
------                                         ---- bigotry, gluttony
Qlippoth: ideology
Spiritual Experience: Vision of Love
Titles: Gedulah, magnificence, love, majesty
God Name: El                           Archangel: Tzadkiel
--------                                     ---------
Angel Order: Chasmalim
Keywords: authority, creativity, inspiration, vision, leadership, excess, waste, secular and spiritual power, submission and the Annihilation Myth, the atom bomb, obliteration, birth, service.


Non-Sephira: Daath                   Meaning: Knowledge
-----------                                 -------
Daath has no manifest qualities and cannot be invoked directly.Keywords: hole, tunnel, gateway, doorway, black hole, vortex.


Sephira: Binah                            Meaning: Understanding,
-------                                       -------
Planet: Shabbathai (Saturn)
Briatic Colour: black                   Number: 3
-------------                               ------
Magical Image: an old woman on a throne
Briatic Correspondence: comprehension
Illusion: death
Virtue: silence                             Vice: inertia
------                                         ----
Qlippoth: fatalism
Spiritual Experience: Vision of Sorrow
Titles: Aima, the Mother; Ama, the Crone; Marah, the bitter sea; Khorsia, the Throne; the Fifty Gates of Understanding; Intelligence; the Mother of Form; the Superior Mother.

God Name: Elohim                    Archangel: Cassiel
--------                                     ---------
Angel Order: Aralim
Keywords: limitation, form, constraint, heaviness, slowness, old-age, infertility, incarnation, karma, fate, time, space, natural law, the womb and gestation, darkness, boundedness, enclosure, containment, fertility, mother, weaving and spinning, death (annihilation).


Sephira: Chokhmah                  Meaning: Wisdom
-------                                     -------
Planet: Mazlot (the Zodiac, the fixed stars)
Briatic Colour: silver/white        Number: 2
-------------   grey                   ------
Magical Image: a bearded man
Briatic Correspondence: revolution
Illusion: independence
Virtue: good                              Vice: evil
------                                         ----
Qlippoth: arbitrariness
Spiritual Experience: Vision of God face-to-face
Titles: Abba, the Father. The Supernal Father.
God Name: Jah                         Archangel: Ratziel
-------- ---------
Angel Order: Auphanim
Keywords: pure creative energy, lifeforce, the wellspring.


Sephira: Kether                         Meaning: Crown
-------                                      -------
Planet: Rashith ha Gilgalim (first swirlings, the Big Bang)
Briatic Colour: pure white          Number: 1
-------------                             ------
Magical Image: a bearded man seen in profile
Briatic Correspondence: unity
Illusion: attainment
Virtue: attainment                       Vice: ---
------                                         ----
Qlippoth: futility
Spiritual Experience: Union with God
Titles: Ancient of Days, the Greater Countenance (Macroprosopus), the White Head, Concealed of the Concealed, Existence of Existences, the Smooth Point, Rum Maalah, the Highest Point.

God Name: Eheieh                    Archangel: Metatron
--------                                     ---------
Angel Order: Chaioth ha Qadesh
Keywords: unity, union, all, pure consciousness, God, the Godhead, manifestation, beginning, source, emanation.


The author grants the right to copy and distribute these Notes provided they remain unmodified and original authorship and copyright is retained. The author retains both the right and intention to modify and extend these Notes.

Release 2.0
Copy date: 9th. January 1992
Copyright Colin Low 1992 (cal@hplb.hpl.hp.com)

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