Watchman Willie Martin Archive


    What is Kabbalah? Kabbalah  is an aspect of Jewish

mysticism.  It consists  of a large body of  speculation on the

nature of  divinity, the  creation,  the origin and  fate of the

soul,  and  the  role of human  beings.  It consists also  of

meditative,   devotional,  mystical  and  magical practices

which were taught  only to a select few and for this reason

Kabbalah is regarded as an esoteric offshoot of Judaism.

Some  aspects of Kabbalah  has been studied and used by

non-Jews  for several hundred years.

    What does the word "Kabbalah" mean, and how should I

spell it? The  word "Kabbalah" is derived from the root "to

receive, to accept, and in many cases is used synonymously

with "tradition."  No-one with the slightest interest in

Kabbalah can fail to notice that  there are many alternative

spellings of the word,  the two most common  being

Kabbalah and Qabalah.  Cabala, Qaballah, Qabala, Kaballah

(and  so on) are also seen.

    The reason for this is that some letters in the  Hebrew

alphabet  have more than one representation in  the

English alphabet,  and the same Hebrew letter can be written

either as K or Q  (or sometimes even C). Some authors

choose one  spelling, and  some choose the other. Some will

even mix Q and K in  the same document,  spelling Kabbalah

and Qlippoth (as opposed  to Qabalah and Klippoth!).  A

random selection of modern  Hebrew phrase books and

dictionaries use the K variant to represent the letter  Kuf, so

anyone who claims that the "correct" spelling is "Qabalah"  is

on uncertain ground.

    There has been a tendency for non-Jewish  books on

Kabbalah  published this century to use the spelling

"Qabalah."  Jewish publications are relatively uniform in

preferring the spelling "Kabbalah." We take the view (based

on experience)  that the  spelling "Kabbalah"  is  recognised

by a wider selection of  people than  the "Qabalah"  variant,

and for this purely pragmatic reason it  is  used throughout

this study.

    What is the "Tradition?" According  to Jewish tradition,

the Torah (Torah - "Law" - believed by Christians to be the

first five  books of the Old Testament, but the Jews do not

hold the same belief, although they keep it carefully

concealed from Christians that they hold the Talmud to be

the "Torah" not any books of the Bible) was created prior to

the  world and she (The Queen god) advised God on such

weighty matters as the creation of human kind. When Moses

received the written law from God, tradition has it that he

also  received the oral law,  which was not written down,  but

passed from generation to generation. At times the oral law

has been referred to as "Kabbalah" - the oral tradition.

    Bible Versus Oral Law (Talmud): The Bible under

Talmudic Judaism is considered to be a collection of simple

tales fit only for fools, women and children. The Talmud

'sages' thus must find new meanings in it by letter and

number tricks which reverse the plain meaning and create

out of it the permission to do otherwise forbidden crimes and

misdeeds. The words of the Bible are continually misused

and misquoted for purposes of blasphemy and reversal.

    Stealing for themselves the title of 'Israelites,' the Talmud

'sages' teach that 'God made a covenant with Israel only for

the sake of that which was transmitted orally.'  And the

Biblical 'basis' of this is given as Exodus 34:27. But that verse

states, instead: 'And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou

these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a

covenant with thee and with Israel.' - the very opposite!  The

Talmudic reversal of Moses' written words are said to have

been transmitted 'orally,' and through Moses himself - believe

it or not!

     Bearing in mind that the Scribes were the Pharisee

teachers of the Law of Moses, carefully distorted to comprise

the Talmud, note: 'There is greater stringency in respect to

the teachings of the Scribes than in respect to the

that a Biblical law may be transgressed.'

     The Torah in its narrow sense is the Old Testament, and

in a still narrower meaning the first five books (Pentateuch)

of Moses. it its wider Judaistic use it means the Old

Testament as misinterpreted by the Pharisaic Talmud.

Always with Judaism the Talmud ranks above the Bible in

every way.

     A Talmud passage from the Book of Nedarim (vows) of

the Soncino edition of the Talmud states: 'As will be seen on

37a, Scripture was generally regarded as the study of children

only, adults usually investigating the deeper meaning...From

this we see that it was usual to teach the Bible to girls in

spite of the Talmudic deduction that daughters need not be

educated. The opposition of Rabbi Eliezer to teaching the

Torah to one's daughter  'He who teaches his daughter Torah

is as though he taught her lewdness.' - was probably directed

against the teaching of the Oral Law, and the higher

branches of study ...The context shows that the reference is

to the higher knowledge of Biblical law.'  The Talmud states:

'A heathen who studies the Torah deserves death for it is

written, Moses commanded us a law for an inheritance; it is

our inheritance, not theirs.'

     Reference is also made to the 'Noachian laws' which the

non-Jew may study 'but not laws which do not pertain to

them.' Also: '...(the) objection was to the studying of the Oral

Law...Rabbi Johanan feared the knowledge of Gentiles in

matters of Jurisprudence, as they would use it against the

Jews in their opponents' courts.' Understandably, since all

Talmud laws discriminate against the non-Jew and rank him

a virtual animal, these were apt observations.

     The Jewish Encyclopedia is still more open about what is

in Sanhedrin 59a of the Talmud, above, threatening death for

revelation of 'Torah' laws to Gentiles: 'for such knowledge

might have operated against the Jews in their opponents'

courts.' This observation follows a dissertation on the laws on

cheating and getting the best of Gentiles in trade and in


     The Torah was (and is)  believed, by Jews,  to be fit only

for fools and women, and in the same way as the Torah was

accompanied  by an oral tradition,  so there grew up a secret

oral   tradition  which   claimed  to possess  an  initiated

understanding of the Torah, its hidden  meanings, an d the

divine power concealed  within it.  This is a  principle root

of the  Kabbalistic tradition, a belief in the divinity of the

Torah, and a belief that by studying this text one can unlock

the secrets of the creation.

     Another aspect of Jewish religion which  influenced

Kabbalah was the Biblical phenomenon of prophecy.  The

prophet was an individual chosen by God as a mouthpiece,

and there was the  implication that God, far from  being a

transcedental  abstraction, was a being whom one could

approach (albeit with enormous  difficulty, risk, fear and

trembling). Some Kabbalists believed that they were the

inheritors of practical techniques handed down from the time

of the Biblical prophets, and it is not impossible or

improbable that this was in fact the case.

     These two threads,  one derived from the study of the

Torah, the other derived from practical attempts to approach

God,  form the roots  from which the Kabbalistic tradition


     How old  is  Kabbalah? No-one knows. The  earliest

documents  which are generally  acknowledged  as being

Kabbalistic come from the 1st.  Century C.E., but there is a

suspicion that the Biblical  phenomenon of prophecy may

have been grounded in a much  older  oral tradition  which

was a  precursor to the  earliest recognisable  forms of

Kabbalah.  Some believe the tradition goes back as far as

Melchizedek.  There are moderately  plausible arguments

that Pythagoras  received his  learning  from Hebrew

sources.  There is a substantial  literature of Jewish

mysticism  dating from the period 100AD - 1000AD which is

not strictly  Kabbalistic in the modern sense, but which was

available as source material to medieval Kabbalists.

     On the basis of a detailed  examination of texts,  and a

study of the development of a specialist  vocabulary  and a

distinct body of ideas, Scholem has  concluded  that the

origins of Kabbalah  can be traced to 12th.  century Provence.

The origin of the word "Kabbalah" as  a label for a  tradition

which is  definitely recognisable  as  Kabbalah is attributed

to  Isaac the  Blind  (c. 1160-1236  C.E.),  who is also

credited  with being  the  originator of  the  idea of

sephirothic emanation.

     Prior to this (and after) a wide variety of terms were used

for  those who studied the tradition: "masters of mystery,"

"men  of belief," "masters  of knowledge,"  "those who know,"

"those who  know grace," "children of faith,"  "children of the

king's palace," "those who know wisdom,"  "those  who reap

the field,"  "those who have  entered and left."

     If a chemist from the twentieth century could step into a

time-machine and go back two-hundred years he or she

would probably feel a deep kinship with the chemists of that

time, even though there might be considerable differences in

terminology, underlying theory, equipment and so on.

Despite this kinship, chemists have not been trapped in the

past, and the subject as it is studied today bears little

resemblance to the chemistry of two hundred years ago.

     Kabbalah has existed for nearly two thousand years, and

like any living discipline it has evolved through time, and it

continues to evolve. One aspect of this evolution is that it is

necessary for living Kabbalists to continually "re-present"

what they understand by Kabbalah so that Kabbalah itself

continues to live and continues to retain its usefulness to

each new generation.

     If Kabbalists do not do this then it becomes a dead thing,

an historical curiousity (as was virtually the case within

Judaism by the nineteenth century). These notes were

written with that intention: to present one view of Kabbalah

as it is currently practised, so that people who are interested

in Kabbalah and want to learn more about it are not limited

purely to texts written hundreds or thousands of years ago (or

for that matter, modern texts written about texts written

hundreds or thousands of years ago). For this reason these

notes acknowledge the past, but they do not defer to it.

There are many adequate texts for those who wish to

understand Kabbalah as it was practised in the past.

     These notes have another purpose. The majority of people

who are drawn towards Kabbalah are not historians; they are

people who want to know enough about it to decide whether

they should use it as part of their own personal mystical or

magical adventure.

     There is enough information not only to make that

decision, but also to move from theory into practice. I should

emphasise that this is only one variation of Kabbalah out of

many, and I leave it to others to present their own variants -

I make no apology if the material is biased towards a

particular point of view.

     The word "Kabbalah" means "tradition." There are many

alternative spellings, the two most popular being Kabbalah

and Qabalah, but Cabala, Qaballah, Qabala, Kaballa (and so

on) are also seen. I made my choice as a result of a poll of the

books on my bookcase, not as a result of deep linguistic


     If Kabbalah means "tradition," then the core of the

tradition was the attempt to penetrate the inner meaning of

the Bible, which was taken to be the literal (but heavily

veiled) word of God. Because the Word was veiled, special

techniques were developed to elucidate the true

meaning....Kabbalistic theosophy has been deeply influenced

by these attempts to find a deep meaning in the Bible.

     The earliest documents (100 B.C. - 1000 A.D.) associated

with Kabbalah describe the attempts of "Merkabah" mystics

to penetrate the seven halls (Hekaloth) of creation and reach

the Merkabah (throne-chariot) of God. These mystics used

the familiar methods of shamanism (fasting, repetitious

chanting, prayer, posture) to induce trance states in which

they literally fought their way past terrible seals and guards

to reach an ecstatic state in which they "saw God." An early

and highly influential document (Sepher Yetzirah) appears to

have originated during the earlier part of this period.

     By the early middle ages further, more theosophical

developments had taken place, chiefly a description of

"processes" within God, and a highly esoteric view of creation

as a process in which God manifests in a series of

emanations. This doctrine of the "sephiroth" can be found in

a rudimentary form in the "Yetzirah," but by the time of the

publication of the book "Bahir" (12th. century) it had reached

a form not too different from the form it takes today.

     One of most interesting characters from this period was

Abraham Abulafia, who believed that God cannot be

described or conceptualised using everyday symbols, and

used the Hebrew alphabet in intense meditations lasting

many hours to reach ecstatic states. Because his abstract

letter combinations were used as keys or entry points to

altered states of consciousness, failure to carry through the

manipulations correctly could have a drastic effect on the

Kabbalist. In "Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism" Scholem

includes a long extract of one such experiment made by one

of Abulafia's students - it has a deep ring of truth about it.

     Probably the most influential Kabbalistic document, the

"Sepher ha Zohar." was published by Moses de Leon, a

Spanish Jew, in the latter half of the thirteenth century. The

"Zohar" is a series of separate documents covering a wide

range of subjects, from a verse-by-verse esoteric commentary

on the Pentateuch, to highly theosophical descriptions of

processes within God. The "Zohar" has been widely read and

was highly influential within mainstream Judaism.

     A later development in Kabbalah was the Safed school of

mystics headed by Moses Cordovero and Isaac Luria. Luria

was a highly charismatic leader who exercised almost total

control over the life of the school, and has passed into history

as something of a saint. Emphasis was placed on living in the

world and bringing the consciousness of God through "into"

the world in a practical way. Practices were largely


     Throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

Judaism as a whole was heavily influenced by Kabbalah, but

by the beginning of this century a Jewish writer was able to

dismiss it as an historical curiousity. Jewish Kabbalah has

vast literature which is almost entirely untranslated into


     A development which took place almost synchronously

with Jewish Kabbalah was its adoption by many Christian

mystics, magicians and philosphers. Renaissance

philosophers such as Pico della Mirandola were familiar with

Kabbalah and mixed it with gnosticism, pythagoreanism,

neo-platonism and hermeticism to form a snowball which

continued to pick up traditions as it rolled down the

centuries. It is probably accurate to say that from the

Renaissance on, virtually all European occult philosophers

and magicians of note had a working knowledge of Kabbalah.

     It is not clear how Kabbalah was involved in the

propagation of ritual magical techniques, or whether it "was"

involved, or whether the ritual techniques were preserved in

parallel within Judaism, but it is an undeniable fact that the

most influential documents appear to have a Jewish origin.

     The most important medieval magical text is the "Key of

Solomon," and it contains the elements of classic ritual magic

- names of power, the magic circle, ritual implements,

consecration, evocation of spirits etc. No-one knows how old

it is, but there is a reasonable suspicion that its contents

preserve techniques which might well date back to Solomon.

     The combination of non-Jewish Kabbalah and ritual

magic has been kept alive outside Judaism until the present

day, although it has been heavily adulterated at times by

hermeticism, gnosticism, neo-platonism, pythagoreanism,

rosicrucianism, christianity, tantra and so on. The most

important "modern" influences are the French magician

Eliphas Levi, and the English "Order of the Golden Dawn."

     At least two members of the G.D. (S.L. Mathers and A.E.

Waite) were knowledgable Kabbalists, and three G. D.

members have popularised Kabbalah - Aleister Crowley,

Israel Regardie, and Dion Fortune. Dion Fortune's "Inner

Light" has also produced a number of authors: Gareth Knight,

William Butler, and William Gray.

     An unfortunate side effect of the G.D is that while

Kabbalah was an important part of its "Knowledge Lectures,"

surviving G.D. rituals are a syncretist hodge-podge of

symbolism in which Kabbalah plays a minor or nominal role,

and this has led to Kabbalah being seen by many modern

occultists as more of a theoretical and intellectual discipline,

rather than a potent and self-contained mystical and magical

system in its own right.

     Some of the originators of modern witchcraft drew heavily

on medieval ritual and Kabbalah for inspiration, and it is not

unusual to find witches teaching some form of Kabbalah,

although it is generally even less well integrated into

practical technique than in the case of the G.D.

     The Kabbalistic tradition described in the notes derives

principally from Dion Fortune, but has been substantially

developed over the past 30 years. I would like to thank M.S.

and the T.S.H.U. for all the fun.

                           Chapter One

                         The Tree of Life

     At the root of the

Kabbalistic view of the

world are three

fundamental concepts and

they provide a natural

place to begin. The three

concepts are force, form and consciousness and these words

are used in an abstract way, as the following examples

illustrate: (1) high pressure steam in the cylinder of a steam

engine provides a force. The engine is a form which

constrains the force. (2) a river runs downhill under the force

of gravity. The river channel is a form which constrains the

water to run in a well defined path. (3) someone wants to get

to the centre of a garden maze. The hedges are a form which

constrain that person's ability to walk as they please. (4) a

diesel engine provides the force which drives a boat forwards.

A rudder constrains its course to a given direction. (5) a

polititian wants to change the law. The legislative framework

of the country is a form which he or she must follow if the

change is to be made legally. (6) water sits in a bowl. The

force of gravity pulls the water down. The bowl is a form

which gives its shape to the water. (7) a stone falls to the

ground under the force of gravity. Its acceleration is

constrained to be equal to the force divided by the mass of

the stone. (8) I want to win at chess. The force of my desire

to win is constrained within the rules of chess. (9) I see

something in a shop window and have to have it. I am

constrained by the conditions of sale (do I have enough

money, is it in stock). (10) cordite explodes in a gun barrel

and provides an explosive force on a bullet. The gas and the

bullet are constrained by the form of the gun barrel. (11) I

want to get a passport. The government won't give me one

unless I fill in lots of forms in precisely the right way. (12) I

want a university degree. The university won't give me a

degree unless I attend certain courses and pass various


     In all these examples there is something which is causing

change to take place ("a force") and there is something which

causes change to take place in a defined way ("a form").

Without being too pedantic it is possible to identify two very

different types of example here:

     1). Examples of natural physical processes (e.g. a falling

stone) where the force is one of the natural forces known to

physics (e.g. gravity) and the form is is some combination of

physical laws which constrain the force to act in a well

defined way. 2). Examples of people wanting something,

where the force is some ill-defined concept of "desire," "will,"

or "drives," and the form is one of the forms we impose upon

ourselves (the rules of chess, the Law, polite behaviour etc.).

     Despite the fact that the two different types of example

are "only metaphorically similar," Kabbalists see no

fundamental distiniction between them. To the Kabbalist

there are forces which cause change in the natural world,

and there are corresponding psychological forces which drive

us to change both the world and ourselves, and whether

these forces are natural or psychological they are rooted in

the same place: consciousness.

     Similarly, there are forms which the component parts of

the physical world seem to obey (natural laws) and there are

completely arbitrary forms we create as part of the process of

living (the rules of a game, the shape of a mug, the design of

an engine, the syntax of a language) and these forms are also

rooted in the same place: consciousness. It is a Kabbalistic

axiom that there is a prime cause which underpins all the

manifestations of force and form in both the natural and

psychological world and that prime cause I have called

consciousness for lack of a better word.

     Consciousness is undefinable. We know that we are

conscious in different ways at different times - sometimes we

feel free and happy, at other times trapped and confused,

sometimes angry and passionate, sometimes cold and

restrained - but these words describe manifestations of

consciousness. We can define the manifestations of

consciousness in terms of manifestations of consciousness,

which is about as useful as defining an ocean in terms of

waves and foam.

     Anyone who attempts to define consciousness itself tends

to come out of the same door as they went in. We have lots

of words for the phenomena of consciousness thoughts,

feelings, beliefs, desires, emotions, motives and so on - but

few words for the states of consciousness which give rise to

these phenomena, just as we have many words to describe

the surface of a sea, but few words to describe its depths.

Kabbalah provides a vocabulary for states of consciousness

underlying the phenomena, and one of the purposes of these

notes is to explain this vocabulary, not by definition, but

mostly by metaphor and analogy. The only genuine method

of understanding what the vocabulary means is by attaining

various states of consciousness in a predictable and

reasonably objective way, and Kabbalah provides practical

methods for doing this.

     A fundamental premise of the Kabbalistic model of reality

is that there is a pure, primal, and undefinable state of

consciousness which manifests as an interaction between

force and form. This is virtually the entire guts of the

Kabbalistic view of things, and almost everything I have to

say from now on is based on this trinity of consciousness,

force, and form. Consciousness comes first, but hidden within

it is an inherent duality; there is an energy associated with

consciousness which causes change (force), and there is a

capacity within consciousness to constrain that energy and

cause it to manifest in a well-defined way (form).

                         First Principle


                       /  Consciousness   \

                      /                    \

                     /                      \

                  Capacity                   Raw

                 to take  ________________ Energy


                            Figure 1.

   What do we get out of raw energy and an inbuilt capacity

for form and structure? Is there yet another hidden potential

within this trinity waiting to manifest? There is. If modern

physics is to be believed we get matter and the physical


     The cosmological Big Bang model of raw energy surging

out from an infintesimal point and condensing into basic

forms of matter as it cools, then into stars and galaxies, then

planets, and ultimately living creatures, has many points of

similarity with the Kabbalistic model.

     In the Big Bang model a soup of energy condenses

according to some yet-to-be-formulated Grand-

Universal-Theory into our physical world. What Kabbalah

does suggest (and modern physics most certainly does not!)

is that matter and consciousness are the same stuff, and differ

only in the degree of structure imposed - matter is

consciousness so heavily structured and constrained that its

behaviour becomes describable using the regular and simple

laws of physics. This is shown in Fig. 2. The primal, first

principle of consciousness is synonymous with the idea of


                         First Principle


                       /  Consciousness   \

                     /          |           \

                   Capacity    |          Raw

               to take  _____________ Energy/Force

              Form          |

                       \        |         /


                            The World

                             Figure 2

     The glyph in Fig. 2 is the basis for the Tree of Life. The

first principle of consciousness is called Kether, which means

Crown. The raw energy of consciousness is called

Chockhmah or Wisdom, and the capacity to give form to the

energy of consciousness is called Binah, which is sometimes

translated as Understanding, and sometimes as Intelligence.

     The outcome of the interaction of force and form, the

physical world, called Malkuth or Kingdom. This quaternery

is a Kabbalistic representation of God-theKnowable, in the

sense that it the most primitive representation of God we are

capable of comprehending; paradoxically, Kabbalah also

contains a notion of God-the-Unknowable which transcends

this glyph, and is called En Soph.

     There is not much we can say about En Soph, and what

we can say we will postpone for later.

     God-the-Knowable has four aspects, two male and two

female: Kether and Chokhmah are both represented as male,

and Binah and Malkuth are represented as female. One of the

titles of Chokhmah is Abba, which means Father, and one of

the titles of Binah is Aima, which means Mother, so you can

think of Chokhmah as God the -Father, and Binah as


     Malkuth is the daughter, the female spirit of

God-as-Matter, and it would not be wildly wrong to think of

her as Mother Earth. One of the more pleasant things about

Kabbalah is that its symbolism gives equal place to both male

and female.

     And what of God-the-Son? Is there also a God-the-Son in

Kabbalah? There is, and this is the point where Kabbalah

tackles the interesting problem of thee and me. The glyph in

Fig. 2 is a model of consciousness, but not of

self-consciousness, and selfconsciousness throws an

interesting spanner in the works.

                             The Fall

     Self-consciousness is like a mirror in which consciousness

sees itself reflected. Self-consciousness is modelled in

Kabbalah by making a copy of figure 2.



                       /  Consciousness   \

                     /          |           \

               Consciousness   |     Consciousness

                    of  ________________   of

                 Form        |      Energy/Force

                       \        |         /


                              of the


                             Figure 3

     Figure 3. is Figure 2. reflected through self-consciousness.

The overall effect of self-consciousness is to add an additional

layer to Figure 2. as follows:

                         First Principle


                       /  Consciousness   \

                     /          |           \

                                                                           /            |


                   Capacity     |          Raw

               to take  _____________ Energy/Force

                         Form          |

                     \          |           /

                      \         |          /

                       \        |         /



                       /  Consciousness   \

                      /         |          \

                     /          |           \

               Consciousness   |     Consciousness

                    of  ________________   of

                 Form        |      Energy/Force

                     \          |           /

                      \         |          /

                       \        |         /


                              of the






                            The World

                             Figure 4

     Fig. 2 is sometimes called "the Garden of Eden" because

it represents a primal state of consciousness. The effect of

selfconsciousness as shown in Fig. 4 is to drive a wedge

between the First Principle of Consciousness (Kether) and

that Consciousness realised as matter and the physical world


     This is called "the Fall," after the story of Adam and Eve in

the Garden of Eden. From a Kabbalistic point of view the

story of Eden, with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil,

the serpent and the temptation, and the casting out from the

Garden has a great deal of meaning in terms of

understanding the evolution of consciousness.

     Self-consciousness introduces four new states of

consciousness: the Consciousness of Consciousness is called

Tipheret, which means Beauty; the Consciousness of

Force/Energy is called Netzach, which means Victory or

Firmness; the Consciousness of Form is called Hod, which

means Splendour or Glory, and the Consciousness of Matter

is called Yesod, which means Foundation.

These four states have readily observable manifestations, as

shown below in Fig. 5:

                             The Self



                       /        |         \

                      /         |          \

                     /          |           \

                 Language      |        Emotions


                 Reason       |        Feelings

                     \          |           /

                      \        |          /

                       \        |         /

                        \   Perception  /




                             Figure 5

     Figure 4. is almost the complete Tree of Life, but not quite

- there are still two states missing. The inherent capacity of

consciousness to take on structure and objectify itself (Binah,

God-the-Mother) is reflected through self-consciousness as a

perception of the limitedness and boundedness of things. We

are conscious of space and time, yesterday and today, here

and there, you and me, in and out, life and death, whole and

broken, together and apart.

     We see things as limited and bounded and we have a

perception of form as something "created" and "destroyed."

My car was built a year ago, but it was smashed yesterday. I

wrote an essay, but I lost it when my computer crashed. My

granny is dead. The river changed its course. A law has been

repealed. I broke my coffee mug.

     The world changes, and what was here yesterday is not

here today. This perception acts like an "interface" between

the quaternary of consciousness which represents "God," and

the quaternary which represents a living self-conscious being,

and two new states are introduced to represent this interface.

     The state which represents the creation of new forms is

called Chesed, which means Mercy, and the state which

represents the destruction of forms is called Gevurah, which

means Strength. This is shown in Fig. 6.

     The objectification of forms which takes place in a

self-conscious being, and the consequent tendency to view

the world in terms of limitations and dualities (time and

space, here and there, you and me, in and out, God and Man,

good and evil...) produces a barrier to perception which most

people rarely overcome, and for this reason it has come to be

called the Abyss.

     The Abyss is also marked on Figure 6.

                         First Principle


                       /  Consciousness   \

                     /          |           \

                  Capacity       |           Raw

               to take  _____________ Energy/Force

                   Form          |            |

                    |\          |           /|

                    | \         |          / |


                    |   \      |        /   |

                Destruction      |       Creation

                   of_____\_____|_____ /____of

                  Form     \   |     /    Form

                    |  \    \  |   /   /   |

                    |   \ Consciousness /    |

                    |          of            |

                    |  / Consciousness   \  |

                    | /         |          \ |

                    |/          |           \|

               Consciousness   |     Consciousness

                    of  ________________   of

                \ Form        |      Energy/Force

                    \ \         |          / /

                    \  \       |         /  /

                     \    Consciousness     /

                     \         of           /

                      \     the World      /

                        \       |       /

                         \      |      /

                          \     |     /


                            The World

                             Figure 6

     The diagram in Fig. 6 is called the Tree of Life. The

"constructionist" approach I have used to justify its structure

is a little unusual, but the essence of my presentation can be

found in the "Zohar" under the guise of the Macroprosopus

and Microprosopus, although in this form it is not readily

accessible to the average reader.  Our attempt to show how

the Tree of Life can be derived out of pure consciousness

through the interaction of an abstract notion of force and

form was not intended to be a convincing exercise from an

intellectual point of view - the Tree of Life is primarily a

gnostic rather than a rational or intellectual explanation of

consciousness and its interaction with the physical world.

     The Tree is composed of 10 states or sephiroth (sephiroth

plural, sephira singular) and 22 interconnecting paths. The

age of this diagram is unknown: there is enough information

in the 13th. century "Sepher ha Zohar" to construct this

diagram, and the doctrine of the sephiroth has been

attributed to Isaac the Blind in the 12th. century, but we

have no certain knowledge of its origin.

     It probably originated sometime in the interval between

the 6th. and 13th. centuries AD. The origin of the word

"sephira" is unclear - it is almost certainly derived from the

Hebrew word for "number" (SPhR), but it has also been

attributed to the Greek word for "sphere" and even to the

Hebrew word for a sapphire (SPhIR). With a characteristic

aptitude for discovering hidden meanings everywhere,

Kabbalists find all three derivations useful, so take your pick.

     In the language of earlier Kabbalistic writers the sephiroth

represented ten primeval emanations of God, ten focii

through which the energy of a hidden, absolute and unknown

Godhead (En Soph) propagated throughout the creation, like

white light passing through a prism. The sephiroth can be

interpreted as aspects of God, as states of consciousness, or

as nodes akin to the Chakras in the occult anatomy of a

human being .

     We have left out one important detail from the structure

of the Tree. There is an eleventh "something" which is

definitely "not" a sephira, but is often shown on modern

representations of the Tree. The Kabbalistic "explanation"

runs as follows: when Malkuth "fell" out of the Garden of

Eden (Fig. 2) it left behind a "hole" in the fabric of the Tree,

and this "hole," located in the centre of the Abyss, is called

Daath, or Knowledge. Daath is "not" a sephira; it is a hole.

This may sound like gobbledy-gook, and in the sense that it

is only a metaphor, it is. The completed Tree of Life with the

Hebrew titles of the sephiroth is shown below in Fig. 7.

                             En Soph


                 (            Kether           )

                         /  (Crown)    \

                        /       |       \

                 Binah         |        Chokhmah

               (Understanding)__________  (Wisdom)

                  (Intelligence)   |          |

                    |\          |          /|

                    | \       Daath       / |

                    |  \  (Knowledge)   /  |

                    |   \      |       /   |

                 Gevurah \      |     /  Chesed

                (Strength)\_____|_____/__ (Mercy)

                   |      \   |    /    (Love)

                    |  \    \  |  /    /  |

                    |   \  Tipheret    /   |

                    |   /  (Beauty)    \   |

                    | /         |         \ |

                    |/          |         \|

                  Hod          |        Netzach

                 (Glory) _______________(Victory)

                (Splendour)     |      (Firmness)

                   \ \          |           / /

                     \  \      |        /  /

                     \   \   Yesod     /  /

                      \    (Foundation)   /

                       \                 /

                         \      |     /



                             Figure 7

     From an historical point of view the doctrine of

emanations and the Tree of Life are only one small part of a

huge body of Kabbalistic speculation about the nature of

divinity and our part in creation, but it is the part which has

survived. The Tree continues to be used in the Twentieth

Century because it has proved to be a useful and productive

symbol for practices of a magical, mystical and religious

nature. Modern Kabbalah in the Western Mystery Tradition

is largely concerned with the understanding and practical

application of the Tree of Life, and the following set of notes

will list some of the characteristics of each sephira in more

detail so that you will have a "snapshot" of what each sephira

represents before going on to examine the sephiroth and the

"deep structure" of the Tree in more detail.

                            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  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. 15). The Archangel mediates the energy of the

sephira in the world of creation, Briah. 16). The Angel Order

administers the energy of the sephira in the world of

formation, Yetzirah. 17).

                            Chapter 3

                The Pillars & the Lightning Flash

     In Chapter 1. the Tree of Life was derived from three

concepts, or rather one primary concept and two derivative

concepts which are "contained" within it. The primary

concept was called consciousness, and it was said to

"contain" within it the two complementary concepts of force

and form. This chapter builds on the idea by introducing the

three Pillars of the Tree, and uses the Pillars to clarify a

process called the Lightning Flash.

     The Three Pillars are shown in Figure 8. below.

                 Pillar      Pillar       Pillar

                   of          of           of

                  Form    Consciousness   Force

                (Severity)  (Mildness)   (Mercy)


                         /   (Crown)   \

                        /       |       \

                       /        |         \

                 Binah         |        Chokhmah

               (Understanding)__________  (Wisdom)

                  (Intelligence)   |          |

                   |\           |           /|

                    | \       Daath       / |

                    |  \  (Knowledge)   /  |

                    |   \      |       /   |

                 Gevurah \      |     /  Chesed

                (Strength)\_____|_____/__ (Mercy)

                   |      \   |    /    (Love)

                    | \     \  |   /     / |

                    |  \    \  |  /    /  |

                    |   \  Tipheret    /   |

                    |   /  (Beauty)    \   |

                    |  /       |        \  |

                    | /         |         \ |

                    |/          |          \|

                  Hod          |        Netzach

                 (Glory) _______________(Victory)

                (Splendour)     |      (Firmness)

                   \ \          |           / /

                    \  \       |         / /

                     \  \      |        /  /

                     \   \    Yesod     /  /

                      \    (Foundation)   /

                       \                 /

                        \       |      /

                         \      |     /

                          \     |    /



                             Figure 8

     Not surprisingly the three pillars are referred to as the

pillars of consciousness, force and form. The pillar of

consciousness contains the sephiroth Kether, Tiphereth,

Yesod and Malkuth; the pillar of force contains the sephiroth

Chokhmah, Chesed and Netzach; the pillar of form contains

the sephiroth Binah, Gevurah and Hod.

     In older Kabbalistic texts the pillars are referred to as the

pillars of mildness, mercy and severity, and it is not

immediately obvious how the older jargon relates to the new.

To the medieval Kabbalist (and this is a recurring metaphor

in the Zohar) the creation as an emanation of God is a

delicate "balance" (metheqela) between two opposing

tendencies: the mercy of God, the outflowing, creative,

life-giving and sustaining tendency in God, and the severity

or strict judgement of God, the limiting, defining, life-taking

and ultimately wrathful or destructive tendency in God. The

creation is "energised" by these two tendencies as if stretched

between the poles of a battery.

     Modern Kabbalah makes a half-hearted attempt to

remove the more obvious anthropomorphisms in the

descriptions of "God;" mercy and severity are misleading

terms, apt to remind one of a man with a white beard, and

even in medieval times the terms had distinctly technical

meanings as the following quotation shows:  "It must be

remembered that to the Kabbalist, judgement [Din -

judgement,  another title of Gevurah] means the imposition

of limits and the correct determination of things. According to

Cordovero  the quality  of  judgement is  inherent  in

everything  insofar as everything wishes to remain  what it is,

to stay within its boundaries."

     I understand the word "form" in precisely this sense - it is

that which defines "what" a thing is, the structure whereby

a given thing is distinct from every other thing. As for

"consciousness," we use the word "consciousness" in a sense

so abstract that it is virtually meaningless, and according to

whim I use the word God instead, where it is understood that

both words are placeholders for something which is

potentially knowable in the gnostic sense only -

consciousness can be "defined" according to the "forms" it

takes, in which case we are defining the forms, "not" the

consciousness. The same qualification applies to the word

"force."  My inability to define two of the three concepts

which underpin the structure of the Tree is a nuisance which

is tackled traditionally by the use of extravagent metaphors,

and by elimination ("not this, not that").

     The classification of sephiroth into three pillars is a way of

saying that each sephira in a pillar partakes of a common

quality which is "inherited" in a progressively more developed

and structured form from of the top of a pillar to the bottom.

Tipheret, Yesod and Malkuth all share with Kether the

quality of "consciousness in balance" or "synthesis of opposing

qualities," or but in each case it is expressed differently

according to the increased degree of structure imposed.

     Likewise, Chokhmah, Chesed and Netzach share the

quality of force or energy or expansiveness, and Binah,

Gevurah and Hod share the quality of form, definition and

limitation. From Kether down to Malkuth, force and form are

combined; the symbolism of the Tree has something in

common with a production line, with molten metal coming

in one end and finished cars coming out the other, and with

that metaphor we are now ready to describe the Lightning

Flash, the process whereby God takes on flesh, the process

which created and sustains the creation.

     In the beginning...was Something. Or Nothing. It doesn't

really matter which term we use, as both are equally

meaningless in this context. Nothing is probably the better of

the two terms, because I can use Something in the next

paragraph. Kabbalists call this Nothing "En Soph" which

literally means "no end" or infinity, and understand by this a

hidden, unmanifest God-inItself.

     Out of this incomprehensible and indescribable Nothing

came Something. Probably more words have been devoted to

this moment than any other in Kabbalah, and it is all too easy

to make fun the effort which has gone into elaborating the

indescribable, so I won't, but in return do not expect me to

provide a justification for why Something came out of

Nothing. It just did. A point crystallised in the En Soph. In

some versions of the story the En Soph "contracted" to "make

room" for the creation (Isaac Luria's theory of Tsimtsum), and

this is probably an important clarification for those who have

rubbed noses with the hidden face of God, but for the

purposes of these notes it is enough that a point crystallised.

This point was the crown of creation, the sephira Kether, and

within Kether was contained all the unrealised potential of

the creation.

     An aspect of Kether is the raw creative force of God

which blasts into the creation like the blast of hot gas which

keeps a hot air ballon in the air. Kabbalists are quite clear

about this; the creation didn't just happen a long time ago -

it is happening all the time, and without the force to sustain

it the creation would crumple like a balloon. The force-like

aspect within Kether is the sephira Chokhmah and it can be

thought of as the will of God, because without it the creation

would cease to "be." The whole of creation is maintained by

this ravening, primeval desire to "be," to become, to exist, to

change, to evolve. The experiential distinction between

Kether, the point of emanation, and Chokhmah, the creative

outpouring, is elusive, but some of the difference is captured

in the phrases "I am" and "I become."

     Force by itself achieves nothing; it needs to be contained,

and the balloon analogy is appropriate again. Chokhmah

contains within it the necessity of Binah, the Mother of Form.

The person who taught me Kabbalah (a woman) told me

Chokhmah (Abba, the Father) was God's prick, and Binah

(Aima, the mother) was God's womb, and left me with the

picture of one half of God continuously ejaculating into the

other half. The author of the Zohar also makes frequent use

of sexual polarity as a metaphor to describe the relationship

between force and form, or mercy and severity (although the

most vivid sexual metaphors are used for the marriage of the

Microprosopus and his bride, the Queen and Inferior Mother,

the sephira Malkuth).

     The sephira Binah is the Mother of Form; form exists

within Binah as a potentiality, not as an actuality, just as a

womb contains the potential of a baby. Without the

possibility of form, no thing would be distinct from any other

thing; it would be impossible to distinguish between things,

impossible to have individuality or identity or change. The

Mother of Form contains the potential of form within her

womb and gives birth to form when a creative impulse

crosses the Abyss to the Pillar of Force and emanates through

the sephira Chesed. Again we have the idea of "becoming,"

of outflowing creative energy, but at a lower level. The

sephira Chesed is the point at which form becomes

perciptible to the mind as an inspiration, an idea, a vision,

that "Eureka!" moment immediately prior to rushing around

shouting "I've got it! I've got it!" Chesed is that quality of

genuine inspiration, a sense of being "plugged in" which

characterises the visionary leaders who drive the human race

onwards into every new kind of endeavour. It can be for good

or evil; a leader who can tap the petty malice and

vindictiveness in any person and channel it into a vision of a

new order and genocide is just as much a visionary as any

other, but the positive side of Chesed is the humanitarian

leader who brings about genuine improvements to our

common life.

     No change comes easy; as Cordova points out "everything

wishes to remain what it is." The creation of form is balanced

in the sephira Gevurah by the preservation and destruction

of form. Any impulse of change is channelled through

Gevurah, and if it is not resisted then something will be

destroyed. If you want to make paper you cut down a tree. If

you want to abolish slavery you have to destroy the culture

which perpetuates it. If you want to change someone's mind

you have to destroy that person's beliefs about the matter in

question. The sephira Gevurah is the quality of strict

judgement which opposes change, destroys the unfamiliar,

and corresponds in many ways to an immune system within

the body of God.

     There has to be a balance between creation and

destruction. Too much change, too many ideas, too many

things happening too quickly can have the quality of chaos

(and can literally become that), whereas too little change, no

new ideas, too much form and structure and protocol can

suffocate and stifle. There has to be a balance which "makes

sense" and this "idea of balance" or "making sense" is

expressed in the sephira Tiphereth.

     It is an instinctive morality, and it isn't present by default

in the human species. It isn't based on cultural norms; it

doesn't have its roots in upbringing (although it is easily

destroyed by it). Some people have it in a large measure, and

some people are (to all intents and purposes) completely

lacking in it. It doesn't necessarily respect conventional

morality: it may laugh in its face. I can't say what it is in any

detail, because it is peculiar and individual, but those who

have it have a natural quality of integrity, soundness of

judgement, an instinctive sense of rightness, justice and

compassion, and a willingness to fight or suffer in defense of

that sense of justice. Tiphereth is a paradoxical sephira

because in many people it is simply not there. It can be

developed, and that is one of the goals of initiation, but for

many people Tiphereth is a room with nothing in it.

     Having passed through Gevurah on the Pillar of Form,

and found its way through the moral filter of Tiphereth, a

creative impulse picks up energy once more on the Pillar of

Force via the Sephira Netzach, where the energy of

"becoming" finds its final expression in the form of "vital

urges." Why do we carry on living? Why bother? What is it

that compels us to do things? An artist may have a vision of

a piece of art, but what actually compels the artist to paint or

sculpt or write? Why do we want to compete and win? Why

do we care what happens to others? The sephira Netzach

expresses the basic vital creative urges in a form we can

recognise as drives, feelings and emotions. Netzach is

pre-verbal; ask a child why he wants a toy and the answer

will be

"I just do." "But why," you ask,  wondering why he doesn't

want the  much more "sensible" toy you had in mind. "Why

don't you want this one here." "I just don't. I want this one."

"But what's so good about that one." "I don't know what to

say...I just like it."

     This conversation is not fictitious and is quintessentially

Netzach. The structure of the Tree of Life posits that the

basic driving forces which characterise our behaviour are

pre-verbal and non-rational; anyone who has tried to change

another person's basic nature or beliefs through force of

rational argument will know this.

     After Netzach we go to the sephira Hod to pick up our

last cargo of Form. Ask a child why they want something and

they say "I just do." Press an adult and you will get an earful

of "reasons." We live in a culture where it is important (often

essential) to give reasons for the things we do, and Hod is the

sephira of form where it is possible to give shape to our wants

in terms of reasons and explanations. Hod is the sephira of

abstraction, reason, logic, language and communication, and

a reflection of the Mother of Form in the human mind. We

have a innate capacity to abstract, to go immediately from

the particular to the general, and we have an innate capacity

to communicate these abstractions using language, and it

should be clear why the alternative translation of Binah is

"intelligence;" Binah is the "intelligence of God," and Hod

underpins what we generally recognise as intelligence in

people - the ability to grasp complex abstractions, reason

about them, and articulate this understanding using some

means of communication.

     The synthesis of Hod and Netzach on the Pillar of

Consciousness is the sephira Yesod. Yesod is the sephira of

interface, and the comparison with computer peripheral

interfaces is an excellent one. Yesod is sometimes called "the

Receptacle of the Emanations," and it interfaces the

emanations of all three pillars to the sephira Malkuth, and it

is through Yesod that the final abstract form of something is

realised in matter. Form in Yesod is no longer abstract; it is

explicit, but not yet individual - that last quality is reserved

for Malkuth alone. Yesod is like the mold in a bottle factory

- the mold is a realisation of the abstract idea "bottle" in so far

as it expresses the shape of a particular bottle design in every

detail, but it is not itself an individual bottle.

     The final step in the process is the sephira Malkuth,

where God becomes flesh, and every abstract form is realised

in actuality, in the "real world." There is much to say about

this, but I will keep it for later.

     The process I have described is called the Lightning Flash.

The Lightning Flash runs as follows: Kether, Chokhmah,

Binah, Chesed, Gevurah, Tiphereth, Netzach, Hod, Yesod,

Malkuth, and if you trace the Lighning Flash on a diagram of

the Tree you will see that it has the zig-zag shape of a

lightning flash. The sephiroth are numbered according to

their order on the lightning flash: Kether is 1, Chokhmah is 2,

and so on. The "Sepher Yetzirah"  has this to say about the

sephiroth: "When  you think of the ten sephiroth cover your

heart  and

seal  the desire of your lips to announce their  divinity.

     Yoke your mind. Should it escape your grasp,  reach out

and bring it back under your control. As it was said,  'And the

living  creatures ran and returned as the appearance of  a

flash  of lightning,'  in such a manner  was the  Covenant


     The quotation within the quotation comes from Ezekiel

1.14, a text which inspired a large amount of early Kabbalistic

speculation, and it is probable that the Lightning Flash as

described is one of the earliest components of the idea of

sephirothic emanation.

     The Lightning Flash describes the creative process,

beginning with the unknown, unmanifest hidden God, and

follows it through ten distinct stages to a change in the

material world. It can be used to describe "any" change -

lighting a match, picking your nose, walking the dog - and

novices are usually set the exercise of analysing any

arbitrarily chosen event in terms of the Lightning Flash.

Because the Lightning Flash can be used to understand the

inner process whereby the material world of the senses

changes and evolves, it is a key to practical magical work,

and because it is intended to account for "all" change it

follows that all change is equally magical, and the word

"magic" is essentially meaningless (but nevertheless useful for

distinguishing between "normal" and "abnormal" states of

consciousness, and the modes of causality which pertain to


     It also follows that the key to understanding our "spiritual

nature" does not belong in the spiritual empyrean, where it

remains inaccessible, but in "all" the routine and unexciting

little things in life. Everything is is equally "spiritual," equally

"divine," and there is more to be learned from picking one's

nose than there is in a spiritual discipline which puts you

"here" and God "over there." The Lightning Flash ends in

Malkuth, and it can be followed like a thread through the

hidden pathways of creation until one arrives back at the

source. The next chapter will retrace the Lightning Flash by

examining the qualities of each sephira in more detail.

                            Chapter 4

                          The Sephiroth

   Malkuth: Malkuth is the Cinderella of the sephiroth. It is

the sephira most often ignored by beginners, the sephira

most often glossed over in Kabbalistic texts, and it is not only

the most immediate of the sephira but it is also the most

complex, and for sheer inscrutability it rivals Kether - indeed,

there is a Kabbalistic aphorism that "Kether is Malkuth, and

Malkuth is in Kether, but after another manner."

     The word Malkuth means "Kingdom," and the sephira is

the culmination of a process of emanation whereby the

creative power of the Godhead is progressively structured

and defined as it moves down the Tree and arrives in a

completed form in Malkuth. Malkuth is the sphere of matter,

substance, the real, physical world. In the least

compromising versions of materialist philosophy (e.g.

Hobbes) there is nothing beyond physical matter, and from

that viewpoint the Tree of Life beyond Malkuth does not

exist: our feelings of identity and self-consciousness are

nothing more than a by-product of chemical reactions in the

brain, and the mind is a complex automata which suffers

from the disease of metaphysical delusions.

     Kabbalah is "not" a materialist model of reality, but when

we examine Malkuth by itself we find ourselves immersed in

matter, and it is natural to think in terms of physics,

chemistry and molecular biology. The natural sciences

provide the most accurate models of matter and the physical

world that we have, and it would be foolishness of the first

order to imagine that Kabbalah can provide better

explanations of the nature of matter on the basis of a study of

the text of the Old Testament. Not that we under-rate the

intuition which has gone into the making of Kabbalah over

the centuries, but for practical purposes the average

university science graduate knows (much) more about the

material stuff of the world than medieval Kabbalists, and a

grounding in modern physics is as good a way to approach

Malkuth as any other.

     For those who are not comfortable with physics there are

alternative, more traditional ways of approaching Malkuth.

The magical image of Malkuth is that of a young woman

crowned and throned. The woman is Malkah, the Queen,

Kallah, the Bride. She is the inferior mother, a reflection and

realisation of the superior mother Binah. She is the Queen

who inhabits the Kingdom, and the Bride of the

Microprosopus. She is Gaia, Mother Earth, but of course she

is not only the substance of this world; she is the body of the

entire physical universe.

     Some care is required when assigning Mother/Earth

goddesses to Malkuth, because some of them correspond

more closely to the superior mother Binah. There is a close

and deep connection between Malkuth and Binah which

results in the two sephiroth sharing similar correspondences,

and one of the oldest Kabbalistic texts  has this to say about

Malkuth: "The  title of the tenth path [Malkuth] is  the

Resplendent Intelligence.  It is called this because it is

exalted above every head from where it sits upon the throne

of  Binah. It illuminates  the numinosity  of all lights  and

causes  to emanate the  Power  of the archetype  of

countenances  or forms."

     One of the titles of Binah is Khorsia, or Throne, and the

image which this text provides is that Binah provides the

framework upon which Malkuth sits. We will return to this

later. Binah contains the potential of form in the abstract,

while Malkuth is is the fullest realisation of form, and both

sephiroth share the correspondences of heaviness, limitation,

finiteness, inertia, avarice, silence, and death.

     The female quality of Malkuth is often identified with the

Shekhinah, the female spirit of God in the creation, and

Kabbalistic literature makes much of the (carnal) relationship

of God and the Shekhinah. Waite  mentions that the

relationship between God and Shekhinah is mirrored in the

relationship between man and woman, and provides a great

deal of information on both the Shekhinah and what he

quaintly calls "The Mystery of Sex."

     After the exile of the Jews from Spain in 1492, Kabbalists

identified their own plight with the fate of the Shekhinah,

and she is pictured as being cast out into matter in much the

same way as the Gnostics pictured Sophia, the outcast divine

wisdom. The doctrine of the Shekhinah within Kabbalah and

within Judaism as a whole is complex and it is something I

don't feel competent to comment further on; more

information can be found in  &.

     Malkuth is the sphere of the physical elements and

Kabbalists still use the four-fold scheme which dates back at

least as far as Empedocles and probably the Ark. The four

elements correspond to four readily-observable states of





        plasma-fire/electric arc (lightning)

     In addition it is not uncommon to include a fifth element

so rarified and arcane that most people (self included) are

pushed to say what it is; the fifth element is aethyr (or ether)

and is sometimes called spirit.

     The amount of material written about the elements is

enormous, and rather than reproduce in bulk what is

relatively well-known I will provide a rough outline so that

those readers who aren't familiar with Kabbalah will realise

I am talking about approximately the same thing as they have

seen before.

     A detailed description of the traditional medieval view of

the four elements can be found in "The Magus."  The

hierarchy of elemental powers can be found in "777"  and in

Golden Dawn material.

     We have summarised a few useful items below:



        God NameElohimJehovah








     It is amusing to notice that the section on the elemental

kingdoms in Farrar's "What Witches Do"  had been taken by

Alex Saunders lock, stock and barrel from traditional

Kabbalistic and CM sources.

     The elements in Malkuth are arranged as follows:

     South          +


     East             +

   Zenith Aethyr

     West          Air

   Nadir Aethyr




     We have rotated the cardinal points through 180 degrees

from their customary directions so that it is easier to see how

the elements fit on the lower face of the Tree of Life:



     Hod                     Yesod


                 Air                       Aethyr




     It is important to distinguish between the elements in

Malkuth, where we are talking about real substance (the

water in your body, the breath in your lungs), and the

elements on the Tree, where we are using traditional

correspondences "associated" with the elements, e.g.:

      Earth: solid, stable, practical, down-to-earth

      Water: sensitive, intuitive, emotional, caring, fertile

      Air: vocal, communicative, intellectual

      Fire: energetic, daring, impetuous

      Positive Aethyr: glue, binding, plastic

      Negative Aethyr: unbinding, dissolution, disintegration

     Aethyr or Spirit is enigmatic, and I tend to think of it in

terms of the forces which bind matter together. It is almost

certainly a coincidence (but nevertheless interesting) that

there are four fundamental forces - gravitational,

electromagnetic, weak nuclear & strong nuclear - known to

date, and current belief is that they can be unified into one

fundamental force.

     On a slightly more arcane tack, Barret  has this to say

about Aethyr: "Now seeing that the soul is the essential form,

intelligible and uncorruptible, and is the first mover of the

body, and is moved itself; but that the body, or matter, is of

itself unable and unfit for motion, and does very much

degenerate from the soul, it appears that there is a need of a

more excellent medium:- now such a medium is conceived

to be the spirit of the world, or that which some call a

quintessence; because it is not from the four elements, but a

certain first thing, having its being above and beside them.

     There is, therefore, such a kind of medium required to be,

by which celestial souls [e.g. forms] may be joined to gross

bodies, and bestow upon them wonderful gifts. This spirit is

in the same manner, in the body of the world, as our spirit is

in our bodies; for as the powers of our soul are

communicated to the members of the body by the medium

of the spirit, so also the virtue of the soul of the world is

diffused, throughout all things, by the medium of the

universal spirit; for there is nothing to be found in the whole

world that hath not a spark of the virtue thereof."

     Aethyr underpins the elements like a foundation and its

attribution to Yesod should be obvious, particularly as it

forms the linking role between the ideoplastic world of "the

Astral Light"  and the material world. Aethyr is often thought

to come in two flavours - positive Aethyr, which binds, and

negative Aethyr, which unbinds. Negative Aethyr is a bit like

the Universal Solvent, and requires as much care in handling

;-} Working with the physical elements in Malkuth is one of

the most important areas of applied magic, dealing as it does

with the basic constituents of the real world.

     The physical elements are tangible and can be experience

in a very direct way through recreations such as caving,

diving, parachuting or firewalking; they bite back in a suitably

humbling way, and they provide CMs with an opportunity to

join the neo-pagans in the great outdoors. Our bodies

themselves are made from physical stuff, and there are many

Raja Yoga-like exercises which can be carried out using the

elements as a basis for work on the body. If you can stand his

manic intensity (Exercise 1: boil an egg by force of will) then

Bardon  is full of good ideas.

     Malkuth is often associated with various kinds of intrinsic

evil, and to understand this attitude (which I do not share) it

is necessary to confront the same question as thirteenth

century Kabbalists: can God be evil? The answer to this

question was (broadly speaking) "yes," but Kabbalists have

gone through many strange gyrations in an attempt to avoid

what was for many an unacceptable conclusion. It was

difficult to accept that famine, war, disease, prejudice, hate,

death could be a part of a perfect being, and there had to be

some way to account for evil which did not contaminate

divine perfection. One approach was to sweep evil under the

carpet, and in this case the carpet was Malkuth. Malkuth

became the habitation for evil spirits.

     If one examines the structure of the Tree without

prejudice then it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that evil

is quite adequately accounted for, and there is no need to

shuffle evil to the periphery of the Tree like a cleaner without

a dustpan. The emanation of any sephirah from Chokhmah

downwards can manifest as good or evil depending on

circumstances and the point of view of those affected by the

energy involved. This appears to have been understood even

at the time of the writing of the "Zohar," where the mercy of

God is constantly contrasted with the severity of God, and

the author makes it clear that one has to balance the other -

you cannot have the mercy without the severity.

     On the other hand, the severity of God is persistently

identified with the rigours of existence (form, finiteness,

limitation), and while it is true that many of the things which

have been identified with evil are a consequence of the

finiteness of things, of being finite beings in a world of finite

resources governed by natural laws with inflexible causality,

it not correct to infer (as some have) that form itself is

"intrinsically" evil.

     The notion that form and matter are "intrinsically" evil,

or in some way imperfect or not a part of God, may have

reached Kabbalah from a number of sources. Scholem

comments: "The  Kabbalah of  the early  thirteenth century

was  the offspring of  a  union between an  older  and

essentially Gnostic tradition represented by the book "Bahir,"

and  the comparatively modern element of Jewish


     There is the possibility that the Kabbalists of Provence

(who wrote or edited the "Sepher Bahir") were influenced by

the Cathars, a late form of Manicheanism. Whether the

source was Gnosticism, Neo-Platonism, Manicheanism or

some combination of all three, Kabbalah has imported a view

of matter and form which distorts the view of things

portrayed by the Tree of Life, and so Malkuth ends up as a

kind of cosmic outer darkness, a bin for all the dirt, detritus,

broken sephira and dirty hankies of the creation. Form is evil,

the Mother of Form is female, women are definitely and

indubitably evil, and Malkuth is the most female of the

sephira, therefore Malkuth is most definitely evil...quod erat


     By the time we reach the time of S.L. Mathers and the

Golden Dawn there is a complete Tree of evil demonic

Qlippoth "underneath" Malkuth as a relection of the "good"

Tree above it. I believe this may have something to do with

the fact that meditations on Malkuth can easily become

meditations on Binah, and meditations on Binah have a habit

of slipping into the Abyss, and once in the Abyss it is easy to

trawl up enough junk to "discover" an averse Tree

"underneath" Malkuth.

     This view of the Qlippoth, or Shells, as active, demonic

evil has become pervasive, and the more energy people put

into the demonic Tree, the less there is for the original.

Abolish the Qlippoth as demonic forces, and the Tree of Life

comes alive with its full power of good "and" evil. The

following quotation from Bischoff  (speaking of the

Sephiroth) provides a more rational view of the Qlippoth:

"Since  their energy [of the sephiroth] shows three  degrees

of  strength (highest,  middle and  lowest  degree), their

emanations group accordingly in sequence.

     We usually imagine the   image of  a  descending

staircase.  The Kabbalist prefers to  see this fact as a

decreasing alienation of  the central primeval  energy.

Consequently  any less  perfect emanation  is  to him the

cover or shell  (Qlippah) of  the preceeding,  and so the last

(furthest) emanations being the so-called material things are

the shell of the total and are therefore called (in the actual

sense) Qlippoth."

     This is my own view; the shell of something is the

accretion of form which it accumulates as energy comes

down the Lightning Flash. If the shell can be considered by

itself then it is a dead husk of something which could be alive

- it preserves all the structure but there is no energy in it to

bring it alive. With this interpretation the Qlippoth are to be

found everywhere: in relationships, at work, at play, in ritual,

in society. Whenever something dies and people refuse to

recognise that it is dead, and cling to the lifeless husk of

whatever it was, then you get a Qlippah.

     For this reason one of the vices of Malkuth is Avarice, not

only in the sense of trying to acquire material things, but also

in the sense of being unwilling to let go of anything, even

when it has become dead and worthless. The Qlippah of

Malkuth is what you would get if the Sun went out: Stasis, life

frozen into immobility.

     The other vice of Malkuth is Inertia, in the sense of "active

resistance to motion; sluggish; disinclined to move or act." It

is visible in most people at one time or another, and tends to

manifest when a task is new, necessary, but not particularly

exciting, there is no excitement or "natural energy" to keep

one fired up, and one has to keep on pushing right to the

finish. For this reason the obligation of Malkuth is (has to be)


     The virtue of Malkuth is Discrimination, the ability to

perceive differences. The ability to perceive differences is a

necessity for any living organism, whether a bacteria able to

sense the gradient of a nutrient or a kid working out how

much money to wheedle out of his parents. As Malkuth is the

final realisation of form, it is the sphere where our ability to

distinguish between differences is most pronounced.

     The capacity to discriminate is so fundamental to survival

that it works overtime and finds boundaries and distinctions

everywhere - "you" and "me," "yours" and "mine," distinctions

of "property" and "value" and "territory" which are intellectual

abstractions on one level (i.e. not real) and fiercely defended

realities on another (i.e. very real indeed).

     We are not going to attempt a definition of real and

unreal, but it is the case that much of what we think of as

real is unreal, and much of what we think of as unreal is real,

and we need the same discrimination which leads us into the

mire to lead us out again. Some people think skin colour is a

real measure of intelligence; some don't.

     Some people think gender is a real measure of ability;

some don't. Some people judge on appearances; some don't.

There is clearly a difference between a bottle of beer and a

bottle of piss, but is the colour of the "bottle" important?

What "is" important? What differences are real, what

matters? How much energy do we devote to things which are

"not real."

     Am I able to perceive how much I am being manipulated

by a fixation on unreality? Are my goals in life "real," or will

they look increasingly silly and immature as I grow older? For

that matter, is Kabbalah "real"? Does it provide a useful

model of reality, or is it the remnant of a world-view which

should have been put to rest centuries ago? One of the

primary exercises of an initiate into Malkuth is a thorough

examination of the question "What is real?"

     The Spiritual Experience of Malkuth is variously the

Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel

(HGA), or the Vision of the HGA (depending on who you

believe). I vote for the Vision of the HGA in Malkuth, and the

Knowledge and Conversation in Tiphereth. What is the HGA?

According to the Gnosticism of Valentinus each person has

a guardian angel who accompanies that individual throught

their life and reveals the gnosis; the angel is in a sense the

divine Self.

     This belief is identical to what we was taught by the

person who taught us Kabbalah, so some part of Gnosticism

lives on. The current tradition concerning the HGA almost

certainly entered the Western Esoteric Tradition as a

consequence of S.L. Mather's translation  of "The Book of the

Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage," which contains full

details of a lengthy ritual to attain the Knowledge and

Conversation of the HGA. This ritual has had an important

influence on twentieth century magicians and it is often

attempted and occasionally completed.

     The powers of Malkuth are invoked by means of the

names Adonai ha Aretz and Adonai Melekh, which mean

"Lord of the World" and "The Lord who is King" respectively.

The power is transmitted through the world of Creation by

the archangel Sandalphon, who is sometimes referred to as

"the Long Angel," because his feet are in Malkuth and his

head in Kether, which gives him an opportunity to chat to

Metatron, the Angel of the Presence. The angel order is the

Ashim, or Ishim, sometimes translated as the "souls of fire,"

supposedly the souls of righteous men and women.

     In concluding this section on Malkuth, it worth

emphasising that I have chosen deliberately not to explore

some major topics because there are sufficient threads for

anyone with an interest to pick up and follow for themselves.

The image of Malkuth as Mother Earth provides a link

between Kabbalah and a numinous archetype with a deep

significance for some.

     The image of Malkuth as physical substance provides a

link into the sciences, and it is the case that at the limits of

theoretical physics one's intuitions seem to be slipping and

sliding on the same reality as in Kabbalah. The image of

Malkuth as the sphere of the elements is the key to a large

body of practical magical technique which varies from

yoga-like concentration on the bodily elements, to

nature-oriented work in the great outdoors. Lastly, just as the

design of a building reveals much about its builders, so

Malkuth can reveal a great deal about Kether - the bottom of

the Tree and the top have much in common.

     Yesod: Yesod means "foundation," and that is what Yesod

is: it is the hidden infrastructure whereby the emanations

from the remainder of the Tree are transmitted to the sephira

Malkuth. Just as a large building has its air-conditioning

ducts, service tunnels, conduits, electrical wiring, hot and

cold water pipes, attic spaces, lift shafts, winding rooms,

storage tanks, a telephone exchange etc, so does the

Creation, and the external, visible world of phenomenal

reality rests (metaphorically speaking) upon a hidden

foundation of occult machinery. Meditations on the nature of

Yesod tend to be full of secret tunnels and concealed

mechanisms, as if the Creation was a Gothic mansion with a

secret door behind every mirror, a passage in every wall, a

pair of hidden eyes behind every portrait, and a subterranean

world of forgotten tunnels leading who knows where. For this

reason the Spiritual Experience of Yesod is aptly named "The

Vision of the Machinery of the Universe."

     Many Yesod correspondences reinforce this notion of a

foundation, of something which lies behind, supports and

gives shape to phenomenal reality. The magical image of

Yesod is of "a beautiful naked man, very strong." The image

which springs to mind is that of a man with the world resting

on his shoulders, like one of the misrepresentations of the

Titan Atlas (who actually held up the heavens, not the

world). The angel order of Yesod is the Cherubim, the Strong

Ones, the archangel is Gabriel, the Strong or Mighty One of

God, and the God-name is Shaddai el Chai, the Almighty

Living God.

     The idea of a foundation suggests that there is a

substance which lies behind physical matter and "in-forms it"

or "holds it together," something less structured, more

plastic, more refined and rarified, and this "fifth element" is

often called aethyr.

     We will not attempt to justify aethyr in terms of current

physics (the closest concept we have found is the

hypothesised Higgs field); it is a convenient handle on a

concept which has enormous intuitive appeal to many

magicians, who, when asked how magic works, tend to think

in terms of a medium which is directly receptive to the will,

something which is plastic and can be shaped through

concentration and imagination, and which transmits their

artificially created forms into reality. Eliphas Levi called this

medium the "Astral Light."

     It is also natural to imagine that mind, consciousness, and

the soul have their habitation in this substance, and there are

volumes detailing the properties of the "Etheric Body," the

"Astral Body," the "Causal Body" [1,2] and so on. I don't take

this stuff too seriously, but I do like to work with the kind of

natural intuitions which occur spontaneously and

independently in a large number of people - there is power in

these intuitions - and it is a mistake to invalidate them

because they sound cranky. When I talk about aethyr or the

Astral Light, I mean there is an ideoplastic substance which

is subjectively real to many magicians, and explanations of

magic at the level of Yesod revolve around manipulating this

substance using desire, imagination and will.

     The fundamental nature of Yesod is that of "interface;" it

interfaces the rest of the Tree of Life to Malkuth. The

interface is bi-directional; there are impulses coming down

from Kether, and echoes bouncing back from Malkuth. The

idea of interface is illustrated in the design of a computer

system: a computer with a multitude of worlds hidden within

it is a source of heat and repair bills unless it has peripheral

interfaces and device drivers to interface the world outside

the computer to the world "inside" it; add a keyboard and a

mouse and a monitor and a printer and you have opened the

door into another reality.

     Our own senses have the same characteristic of being a

bi-directional interface through which we experience the

world, and for this reason the senses correspond to Yesod,

and not only the five traditional senses - the "sixth sense" and

the "second sight" are given equal status, and so Yesod is also

the sphere of instinctive psychism, of clairvoyance,

precognition, divination and prophecy.

     It is also clear from accounts of lucid dreaming (and

personal experience) that we possess the ability to perceive

an inner world as vividly as the outer, and so to Yesod

belongs the inner world of dreams, daydreams and vivid

imagination, and one of the titles of Yesod is "The Treasure

House of Images."

     To Yesod is attributed Levanah, the Moon, and the lunar

associations of tides, flux and change, occult influence, and

deeply instinctive and sometimes atavistic behaviour -

possession, mediumship, lycanthropy and the like. Although

Yesod is the foundation and it has associations with strength,

it is by no means a rigid scaffold supporting a world in stasis.

     Yesod supports the world just as the sea supports all the

life which lives in it and sails upon it, and just as the sea has

its irresistable currents and tides, so does Yesod. Yesod is the

most "occult" of the sephiroth, and next to Malkuth it is the

most magical, but compared with Malkuth its magic is of a

more subtle, seductive, glamorous and ensnaring kind.

Magicians are drawn to Yesod by the idea that if reality rests

on a hidden foundation, then by changing the foundation it

is possible to change the reality. The magic of Yesod is the

magic of form and appearance, not substance; it is the magic

of illusion, glamour, transformation, and shape-changing. The

most sophisticated examples of this are to be found in

modern marketing, advertising and image consultancies.

     Although the changes look cosmetic,  those responsible

for creating  corporate image  argue  that  a  redesign of   a

company's uniform or name is just the visible sign of a much

larger transformation. "The majority of people continue to

misunderstand and  think that  it is just a logo,  rather than

understanding  that a corporate identity programme is

actually concerned with the very commercial objective of

having a strong personality and single-minded, focussed

direction for the whole organisation, " said Fiona Gilmore,

managing director of the design company Lewis Moberly.

"It's like planting an  acorn and then a tree grows.  If you

create the right "foundation" (my  itals)  then you are

building a whole culture for the future of an organisation."

     We don't know what Ms. Gilmore studies in her spare

time, but the idea that it is possible to manipulate reality by

manipulating symbols and appearances is entirely magical.

The same article on corporate identity continues as follows:

"The scale of the BT relaunch is colossal. The new logo will

be  painted on more than 72,000 vehicles  and trailers,  as

well as 9,000 properties. The  company's 92,000 public

payphones will get new decals, and  its 90 shops will have to

changed,  right down to  the yellow door handles.  More than

50,000 employees are  likely to need new uniforms or "image


     Note the emphasis on "image."  The company in question

(British Telecom) is an ex-public monopoly with an appalling

customer relations problem, so it is changing the colour of its

door handles! This is Yesodic magic on a gigantic scale.

     The image manipulators gain most of their power from

the mass-media. The mass-media correspond to two

sephiroth: as a medium of communication they belong in

Hod, but as a foundation for our perception of reality they

belong in Yesod. Nowadays most people form their model of

what the world (in the large) is like via the media. There are

a few individuals who travel the world sufficiently to have a

model based on personal experience, but for most people

their model of what most of the world is like is formed by

newspapers, radio and television; that is, the media have

become an extended (if inaccurate) instrument of perception.

Like our "normal" means of perception the media are highly

selective in the variety and content of information provided,

and they can be used by advertising agencies and other

manipulative individuals to create foundations for new

collective realities.

     While on the subject of changing perception to assemble

new realities, the following quote by "Don Juan"  has a

definite Kabbalistic flavour: "The next truth is that perception

takes place," he went on, "because  there is in each of us an

agent called the assemblage point that selects internal and

external emanations for alignment. The particular alignment

that we perceive as the world is the product of a specific spot

where our assemblage point is located on our cocoon."

     One of the titles of Yesod is "The Receptacle of the

Emanations," and its function is precisely as described above

- Yesod is the assemblage point which assembles the

emanations of the internal and the external.

     In addition to the deliberate, magical manipulation of

foundations, there are other important areas of magic

relevant to Yesod. Raw, innate psychism is an ability which

tends to improve as more attention is devoted to creative

visualisation, focussed meditation (on Tarot cards for

example), dreams (e.g. keeping a dream diary), and

divination. Divination is an important technique to practice

even if you feel you are terrible at it (and especially if you

think it is nonsense), because it reinforces the idea that it is

permissible to "let go" and intuite meanings into any pattern.

Many people have difficulty doing this, feeling perhaps that

they will be swamped with unreason (recalling Freud's fear,

expressed to Jung, of needing a bulwark against the "black

mud of occultism"), when in reality their minds are swamped

with reason and could use a holiday. Any divination system

can be used, but systems which emphasise pure intuition are

best (e.g. Tarot, runes, tea-leaves, flights of birds, patterns on

the wallpaper, smoke.

     We heard of a Kabbalist who threw a cushion into the air

and carried out divination on the basis of the number of

pieces of foam stuffing which fell out). Because Yesod is a

kind of aethyric reflection of the physical world, the image of

and precursor to reality, mirrors are an important tool for

Yesod magic. Quartz crystals are also used, probably because

of the use of crystal balls for divination, but also because

quartz crystal and amethyst have a peculiarly Yesodic quality

in their own right. The average New Age shop filled with

crystals, Tarot cards, silver jewelry (lunar association),

perfumes, dreamy music, and all the glitz, glamour and glitter

of a daemonic magpie's nest, is like a temple to Yesod.

Mirrors and crystals are used passively as focii for receptivity,

but they can also be used actively for certain kinds of aethyric

magic - there is an interesting book on making and using

magic mirrors which builds on the kind of elemental magical

work carried out in Malkuth.

     Yesod has an important correspondence with the sexual

organs. The correspondence occurs in three ways. The first

way is that when the Tree of Life is placed over the human

body, Yesod is positioned over the genitals. The author of the

Zohar is quite explicit about "the remaining members of the

Microprosopus," to the extent that the relevant paragraphs

in Mather's translation of "The Lesser Holy Assembly" remain

in Latin to avoid offending Victorian sensibilities.

     The second association of Yesod with the genitals arises

from the union of the Microprosopus and his Bride. This is

another recurring theme in Kabbalah, and the symbolism is

complex and refers to several distinct ideas, from the

relationship between man and wife to an internal process

within the body of God: e.g. "When  the  Male is  joined

with  the Female,  they  both constitute one complete body,

and all the Universe is in  a

state of happiness, because all things receive blessing from

their perfect body. And this is an Arcanum." or, referring to

the Bride: "And she is mitigated,  and receiveth blessing in

that place which is called the Holy of Holies below." or,

referring to the "member:" "And  that  which floweth down

into that place where it is congregated, and which is emitted

through that most  holy Yesod, Foundation,  is entirely

white,  and therefore is it called Chesed. Thence  Chesed

entereth into the Holy of Holies; as it is written Psalm cxxxiii.

3 'For there Tetragrammaton commanded the blessing, even

life for evermore.'"

     It is not difficult to read a great deal into paragraphs like

this, and there are many more in a similar vein. Suffice to say

that the Microprosopus is often identified with the sephira

Tiphereth, the Bride is the sephira Malkuth, and the point of

union between them is obviously Yesod.

     The third and more abstract association between Yesod

and the sexual organs arises because the sexual organs are a

mechanism for perpetuating the "form" of a living organism.

In order to get close to what is happening in sexual

reproduction it is worth asking the question "What is a

computer program?." Well, a computer program indisputably

begins as an idea; it is not a material thing. It can be written

down in various ways; as an abstract specification in set

theoretic notation akin to pure mathematics, or as a set of

recursive functions in lambda calculus; it could be written in

several different high level languages - Pascal, C, Prolog, LISP,

ADA, ML etc. Are they all they same program? Computer

scientists wrestle with this problem: can we show that two

different programs written in two different languages are in

some sense functionally identical?

     It isn't trivial to do this because it asks fundamental

questions about language (any language) and meaning, but

it is possible in limited cases to produce two apparently

different programs written in different languages and assert

that they are identical. Whatever the program is, it seems to

exist independently of any particular language, so what is the

program and where is it?

     Let us ignore that chestnut and go on to the next level.

Suppose we write the program down. We could do it with a

pencil. We could punch holes in paper. We could plant trees

in a pattern in a field. We can line up magnetic domains. We

can burn holes in metal foil. I could have it tattooed on my

back. We can transform it into radically different forms (that

is what compilers and assemblers do). It obviously isn't tied

to any physical representation either.

     What about the computer it runs on? Well, it could be a

conventional one made with CMOS chips etc.....but aren't

there a lot of different kinds and makes of computer, and

they can all run the same program. It is also quite practical

to build computers which "don't" use electrons - you could

use mechanics or fluids or ball bearings - all you need to do

is produce something with the functionality of a Turing

machine, and that isn't hard.

     So not only is the program not tied to any particular

physical representation, but the same goes for the computer

itself, and what we are left with is two puffs of smoke. On

another level this is crazy; computers are real, they do real

things in the real world, and the programs which make them

work are obviously real too....aren't they?

     Now apply the same kind of scrutiny to living organisms,

and the mechanism of reproduction. Take a good look at

nucleic acids, enzymes, proteins etc., and ask the same kind

of questions. I am not implying that life is a sort of program,

but what I am suggesting is that if you try to get close to what

constitutes a living organism you end up with another puff of

smoke and a handful of atoms which could just as well be

ball-bearings or fluids or....The thing that is being

perpetuated through sexual reproduction is something quite

abstract and immaterial; it is an abstract form preserved and

encoded in a particular pattern of chemicals, and if I was

asked which was more real, the transient collection of

chemicals used, or the abstract form itself, I would answer

"the form." But then, I am a programmer, and I would say


     We find it astonishing that there are any hard-core

materialists left in the world. All the important stuff seems to

exist at the level of puffs of smoke, what Kabbalists call form.

Roger Penrose, one of the most eminent mathematicians

living has this to say: "I  have made no secret of the fact that

my sympathies lie strongly  with the Platonic view that

mathematical truth is absolute,  external and eternal,  and

not based on  man-made

criteria; and that mathematical objects have a timeless

existence of their own, not dependent on human society  nor

on particular physical objects."

     "Ah Ha!" cry the materialists, "At least the atoms are real."

Well, they are until you start pulling them apart with

tweezers and end up with a heap of equations which turn out

to be the linguistic expression of an idea. As Einstein said,

"The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it

is comprehensible," that is, capable of being described in

some linguistic form.

     We am not trying to convince anyone of the "rightness" of

the Kabbalistic viewpoint. What I am trying to do is show

that the process whereby form is impressed on matter (the

relationship between Yesod and Malkuth) is not arcane,

theosophical mumbojumbo; it is an issue which is alive and

kicking, and the closer we get to "real things" (and that

certainly includes living organisms), the better the

Kabbalistic model (that form precedes manifestation, that

there is a well-defined process of form-ation with the "real

world" as an outcome) looks.

     The illusion of Yesod is security, the kind of security

which forms the foundation of our personal existence in the

world. On a superficial level our security is built out of

relationships, a source of income, a place to live, a vocation,

personal power and influence etc, but at a deeper level the

foundation of personal identity is built on a series of

accidents, encounters and influences which create the

illusion of who we are, what we believe in, and what we

stand for.

     There is a warm, secure feeling of knowing what is right

and wrong, of doing the right thing, of living a worthwhile life

in the service of worthwhile causes, of having a uniquely

privileged vantage point from which to survey the problems

of life (with all the intolerance and incomprehension of other

people which accompanies this insight), and conversely there

are feelings of despair, depression, loss of identity, and

existential terror when a crack forms in the illusion, and

reality shows through - Castaneda calls it "the crack in the


     The smug, self-perpetuating illusion which masquerades

as personal identity at the level of Yesod is the most

astoundingly difficult thing to shift or destroy. It fights back

with all the resources of the personality, it will

enthusiastically embrace any ally which will help to shore up

its defenses - religious, political or scientific ideology;

psychological, sociological, metaphysical and theosophical

claptrap (e.g. Kabbalah); the law and popular morality; in

fact, any beliefs which give it the power to retain its identity,

uniqueness and integrity. Because this parasite of the soul

uses religion (and its esoteric offshoots) to sustain itself they

have little or no power over it and become a major part of the


     There are various ways of overcoming this personal

demon (Carroll, in an essay on the subject, calls it

Choronzon), and the two I know best are the cataclysmic and

the abrasive. The first method involves a shock so extreme

that it is impossible to be the same person again, and if

enough preparation has gone before then it is possible to use

the shock to rebuild oneself. In some cases this doesn't

happen; we have noticed that many people with very rigid

religious beliefs talk readily about having suffered traumatic

experiences, and the phenomenon of hysterical conversion

among soldiers suffering from war neuroses is well known.

     The other method, the abrasive, is to wear away the

demon of self-importance, to grind it into nothing by doing

(for example) something for someone else for which one

receives no thanks, praise, reward, or recognition. The task

has to be big enough and awful enough to become a demon

in its own right and induce all the correct feelings of

compulsion (I have to do this), helplessness (I'll never make

it), indignation (what's the point, it's not my problem

anyway), rebellion (I won't, I won't, not anymore), more

compulsion (I can't give up), self-pity (how did I get into

this?), exhaustion (Oh No! Not again!), despair (I can't go on),

and finally a kind of submission when one's demon hasn't the

energy to put up a struggle any more and simply gives up.

The woman who taught me Kabbalah used both the

cataclysmic and the abrasive methods on her students with

malicious glee - I will discuss this in more detail in the

section on Tiphereth.

     The virtue of Yesod is independence, the ability to make

our own foundations, to continually rebuild ourselves, to

reject the security of comfortable illusions and confront

reality without blinking.

     The vice of Yesod is idleness. This can be contrasted with

the inertia of Malkuth. A stone is inert because it lacks the

capacity to change, but in most circumstances people can

change and can't be bothered. At least, not today. Yesod has

a dreamy, illusory, comfortable, "seductive" quality, as in the

Isle of the Lotus Eaters - how else could we live as if death

and personal annihilation only happened to other people?

     The Qlippothic aspect of Yesod occurs when foundations

are rotten and disintegrating and only the superficial

appearance remains unchanged - Dorian Gray springs to

mind, or cases where the brain is damaged and the body

remains and carries out basic instinctive functions, but the

person is dead as far as other people are concerned.

Organisations are just as prone to this as people.

                            Chapter 5

                     The Cabala or Kabbalah,

                 The Secret Doctrine of The Jews

             Christians Were Never Supposed To Learn

     The Christian world has been deceived by their leaders;

the Judeo-Christian Clergy of Organized Religion. This book

will show beyond a shadow of a doubt to anyone who will

accept a truth that is presented to them, even though it may

go against everything they have been taught and believed all

their lives. For no man or woman likes to learn they have

been deceived, therefore, many will reject the truth of this

presentation out of hand; but the truth is the truth and it will

never change no matter how many deny it.

     God has told us in the Scriptures that His people are

destroyed for lack of knowledge, and that they actually reject

it when presented to them. The following is found in The

Jewish Encyclopedia: "Chazars: A people of Turkish origin

whose life and history are interwoven with the very

beginnings of the history of the Jews of Russia. The kingdom

of the Chazars was firmly established in most of South Russia

long before the foundation of the Russian monarchy by the

Varangians (855). Jews have lived on the shores of the black

and Caspian seas since the first centuries of the common era.

Historical evidence points to the region of the Ural as the

home of the Chazars. Among the classical writers of the

Middle Ages they were known as the 'Chozars,' 'Khazirs,'

'Akatzirs,' and 'Akatirs,' and in the Russian chronicles as

'Khwalisses' and 'Ugry Byelyye.'

     The Armenian writers of the fifth and following centuries

furnish ample information concerning this people. Moses of

Chorene refers to the invasion by the 'Hkazirs' of Armenia and

Iberia (another name for Edom or Edomites) at the beginning

of the third century: 'The chaghan was the king of the North,

the ruler of the Khazirs, and the queen was the chatoun.'  The

Chazars first came to Armenia with the Basileans in 198.

Though at first repulsed, they subsequently became important

factors in Armenian history for a period of 800 years. Driven

onward by the nomadic tribes of the steppes and by their own

desire for plunder and revenge, they made frequent invasions

into Armenia. The latter country was made the battle-ground

in the long struggle between the Romans and the Persians.

This struggle, which finally resulted in the loss by Armenia of

her independence, paved the way for the political importance

of the Chazars. The conquest of eastern Armenia by the

Persians in the fourth century rendered the latter dangerous

to the Chazars, who, for their own protection, formed an

alliance with the Byzantines. This alliance was renewed form

time to time until the final conquest of the Chazars by the

Russians. Their first aid was rendered to the Byzantine

emperor Julian, in 363. About 434 they were for a time

tributary to Attila - Sidonius Apollitatis relates that the

Chazars followed the banners of Attila - and in 452 fought on

the Catalanian fields in company with the Black Huns and

Alans. The Persian king Kobad (488-531) undertook the

concentration of a line of forts through the pass between

Derbent and the Caucasus. In order to guard against the

invasion of the Chazars, Turks, and other warlike tribes. His

son Chosroes Anoshirvan (531-579) built the wall of Derbent,

repeatedly mentioned by the Oriental geographers and

historians as Bab al-Abwab

     In the second half of the sixth century the Chazars moved

westward. They established themselves in the territory

bounded by the Sea of Azov, the don and the lower Volga, the

Caspian Sea, and the northern Caucasus. The Caucasian

Goths (Tetraxites) were subjugated by the Chazars, probably

about the seventh century.  Early in that century the kingdom

of the Chazars had become powerful enough to enable the

chaghan to send to the Byzantine emperor Heraclius an army

of 40,000 men, by whose aid he conquered the Persians (626-

627). The Chazars had already occupied the northeastern part

of the Black Sea region. According to the historian Moses

Kalonkataci, the Chazars, under their leader Jebu Chaghan

(called 'Siebel Chaghan' by the Greek writers), penetrated

into Persian territory as early as the second campaign of

Heraclius, on which occasion they devastated Albania.

Nicephorus testifies that Heraclius repeatedly shoed marks of

esteem to his ally, the chaghan of the Chazars, to whom he

even promised his daughter in marriage. In the great battle

between the Chazars and the Arabs near Kizliar 4,000

Mohammedan soldiers and their leader were slain.

     In the year 669 the Ugrians or Zabirs freed themselves

from the rule of the Obrians, settled between the Don and the

Caucasus, and came under the dominion of the Chazars. For

this reason the Ugrians, who had hitherto been called the

'White' or 'Independent' Ugrians, are described in the

chronicles ascribed to Nestor as the 'Black,' or 'Dependent,'

Ugrians. They were no longer governed by their own princes,

but were ruled by the kings of the Chazars. In 735, when the

Arab leader Mervan moved from Georgia against the Chazars,

he attacked the Ugrians also. In 679 the Chazars subjugated

the bulgars and extended their sway farther west between the

Don and the Dnieper, as far as the head-waters of the Donetz

in the province of Lebedia. It was probably about that time

that the chaghan of the Chazars and his grandees, together

with a large number of his heathen people, embraced the

Jewish religion. According to A. Harkavy, the conversion took

place in 620; according to others, in 740. King Joseph, in his

letter to Hasdai ibn Shaprut (about 960), gives the following

account of the conversion:

     'Some centuries ago King Bulan reigned over the Chazars.

To him God appeared in a dream and promised him might

and glory. Encouraged by this dream, Bulan went by the road

of Darian to the country of Ardebil, where he gained great

victories (over the Arabs). The Byzantine emperor and the

calif of the Ishmaelites sent to him envoys with presents, and

sages to convert him to their respective religions. Bulan

invited also wise men of Israel, and proceeded to examine

them all. As each of the champions believed his religion to be

the best, Bulan separately questioned the Mohammedans and

the Christians as to which of the other two religions they

considered the better. When both gave preference to that of

the Jews, that king perceived that it must be the true religion.

He therefore adopted it.'

   This account of the conversion was considered to be of a

legendary nature. Harkavy, however , proved from Arabic

and Slavonian sources that the religious disputation at the

Chazarian court is a historical fact. Even the name of Sangari

has been found in a liturgy of Constantine the Philosopher

(Cyrill). It was one of the successors of Bulan, named

Obadiah, who regenerated the kingdom and strengthened the

Jewish religion. He invited Jewish scholars to settle in his

dominions, and founded synagogues and schools. The people

were instructed in the Bible, Mishnah, and Talmud, and in the

'divine service of the hazzanim.' In their writings the Chazars

used the Hebrew letters.

     Obadiah was succeeded by his son Hezekiah; the latter by

his son Manasseh; Manasseh by Hanukkah, a brother of

Obadiah; Hanukkah by his son Isaac; Isaac by his son Moses

(or Manasseh II); the latter by his son Nisi; and Nisi by his son

Aaron II. King Joseph himself was a son of Aaron, and

ascended the throne in accordance with the law of the

Chazars relating to succession. On the whole, King Joseph's

account agrees generally with the evidence given by the

Arabic writers of the tenth century, but in detail it contains a

few discrepancies. According to Ibn Fadlan, Ibn Dastah, and

others, only the king and the grandees were followers of

Judaism. The rest of the Chazars were Christians,

Mohammedans, and heathens; and the Jews were in a great

minority . According to Mas'udi , the king and the Chazars

proper were Jews; but the army consisted of Mohammedans,

while the other inhabitants, especially  the Slavonians and

Russians, were heathen. From the work 'Kitab al-Buldan.'

written about the ninth century , it appears as if all the

Chazars were Jews and that they had been converted to

Judaism only a short time before that book was written. But

this work was probably inspired by Jaihani; and it may be

assumed that the ninth century many Chazar heathens

became Jews, owing to the religious zeal of King Obadiah.

'Such a conversion in great masses,' says Chwolson, 'may

have been the reason for the Chazars tot he Byzantine

emperor Michael. The report of the embassy reads as follows:

'Quomodo nunc Jud‘i, nunc Saraceni ad suam fidem eos

mollrentur convertere' .

     The history of the kingdom of the Chazars undoubtedly

presents one of the most remarkable features of the Middle

Ages. surrounded by wild, nomadic peoples, and themselves

leading partly a nomadic life, the Chazars enjoyed all the

privileges of civilized nations, a well-constituted and tolerant

government, a flourishing trade, and a well-disciplined

standing army. In a time when fanaticism, ignorance, and

anarchy reigned in western Europe, the kingdom of the

chazars could boast of its just and broad-minded

administration; and all who were persecuted on the score of

their religion found refuge there. There was a supreme court

of justice, composed of seven judges, of whom two were Jews,

two Mohammedans, and two Christians, in charge of the

interests of their respective faiths, with one heathen was

appointed for the Slavonians, Russians, and other pagans.

     The Jewish population in the entire domain of the

Chazars, in the period between the seventh and tenth

centuries, must have been considerable. There is no doubt

that the Caucasian and other Oriental Jews had lived and

carried on business with the Chazars long before the arrival

of the Jewish fugitives from Greece, who escaped (723) from

the mania for conversion which possessed the Byzantine

emperor Leo the Isaurian. From the correspondence between

King Joseph and Hasdai it is apparent that two Spanish Jews,

Judah ben Me‹r ben Nathan and Joseph Gagris, had

succeeded in settling in the land of the Chazars, and that it

was a German Jew, Isaac ben Eliezer 'from the land of

Nyemetz' (Germany), who carried Hasdai's letter to the king.

Saadia, who had a fair knowledge of the kingdom of the

Chazars, mentions a certain Isaac ben Abraham who had

removed form Sura to Chazaria. Among the various routes

enumerated by the Arabic geographer Ibn Khurdadhbah (860-

880) as being used by the Rahdanite Jewish merchants, there

is one leading from Spain or France, via Allemania, through

the land of the Slavonians, close by Atel, the capital of the

Chazars, whence they crossed the Sea of the Chazars

(Caspian Sea) and continued their voyage, via Raikh,

Transoxania, and the land of the Tagasga, to India and China.

These merchants, who spoke Arabic, Persian, Greek, Spanish,

French, and Slavonic, 'traveled continuously from west to east

from east to west by sea and by land.' They carried eunuchs,

serving-maids, boys, silks, furs swords, imported musk, aloes,

camphor, cinnamon, and other products of the Far East.

     Hasdai ibn Shaprut, who was foreign minister to Abd al-

Rahman, Sultan of Cordova, in his letter to King Joseph of the

Chazars (about 960), relates that the first information about

that kingdom was communicated to him by envoys from

Khorassan, and that their statements were corroborated by

the ambassadors form Byzantium. The latter told him that the

powerful Chazars were maintaining amicable relations with

the Byzantine empire, with which they carried on by sea a

trade in fish, skins, and other wares, the voyage from

Constantinople occupying fifteen days. Hasdai determined to

avail himself of the services of the Byzantine embassy to

transmit his letter to the king of the Chazars, and with that

view he despatched Isaac ben Nathan with valuable gifts to

the emperor, requesting him to aid Isaac in his journey to

Chazaria. But the Greeks interposed delays and finally sent

Isaac back to Cordova. Hasdai then decided to send his

message by way of Jerusalem, Nisibis, Armenia, and Bardaa,

but the envoys of the king of the Gebalim (Boleslav I. of

Bohemia), who had then just arrived in Cordova, and among

them were two Jews, Saul and Joseph, suggested a different

plan. They offered to send the letter to Jews living in

'Hungarin' (Hungary), who, in their turn, would transmit it to

'Russ' (Russia), and thence through 'Bulgar' (probably the

country of the Bulgarians on the Kuban) to its destination

(Atel, the capital of Chazaria). As the envoys guaranteed the

safe delivery of the message, Hasdai accepted the proposal.

He further expressed his thankfulness that God in His mercy

had not deprived the Jews of a deliverer, but had preserved

the remnant of the Jewish race.

     Taking a keen interest in everything relating to the

kingdom of the Chazars, Hasdai begs the king to

communicate to him a detailed account of the geography of

his country, of its internal constitution, of the customs and

occupations of its inhabitants, and especially of the history of

his ancestry and of the state. In this letter Hasdai speaks of

the tradition according to which the Chazars once dwelt

near the Seir (Serir ) Mountains; he refers to the narrative of

Eldad ha-Dani, who thought he had discovered the Lost Ten

Tribes; and inquires whether the Chazars know anything

concerning 'the end of the miracles' (the coming of the

Messiah). As to Eldad ha-Dani's unauthenticated account of

the Lost Ten Tribes on the River Sambation, it may be

interesting to note that, according to Idrisi, the city of Sarmel

(Sarkel-on-the-Don) was situated on the River Al-Sabt

(Sambat), which is the River Don. The name for Kiev, as given

by Constantine Porphyrogenitus, is also Sambatas. These

appellations of the River Don and of the city of Kiev point

evidently to Jewish-Chazar influences.

     A complete account of the correspondence between

Hasdai and King Joseph has been written by A. Harkavy, one

of the leading authorities on the history of the Chazars, from

which the following is, in substance, an extract:

     The Chazarian correspondence was first published in the

work 'Kol-Mebasser' of Isaac 'Akrish (Constantinople, 1577),

into whose hands these documents came while on a voyage

from Egypt to Constantinople. He published them with the

view of proving that even after the destruction of Jerusalem

the Jews still had their own country, in accordance with the

well-known passage in Genesis (xlix.10), 'the septer shall not

depart from Judah.'

     Among European scholars Johann Buxtorf, the son, was

the first to become interested in the Chazarian letters, which

he printed together with the text of 'Akrish in his Latin

translation of 'Cuzari' (Basel, 11660).

     Buxtorf believed that the letters themselves and the entire

history of the Chazarian kingdom were but fable, for the

reason that no seafarers, merchants, or other travelers had

brought any information concerning such a flourishing

kingdom as that of the Chazars was repted to be. The learned

Orientalist D'Herbelot , misled by a wrong conception of the

'Cuzari' and its relation to the conversion of the Chazars to

Judaism, leaves the authenticity of the correspondence an

open question. One of the greatest scholars of the 17th

century, Samuel Bochart, in his derivation of the name of the

Chazars, introduces the account of Joseph ben Gorion

(Yosippon), and in his notes to the 'Yubasin' of Zacuto gives

information about the Chazarian kingdom and the Sea of the

Chazars obtained from the 'Geographia Nubiensis' of the

Arabian writer Idrisi.  Bochart's views, however, are not

important because he had no knowledge of the 'Cuzari' or of

the Chazarian letters. All the skeptics of that time and those

mentioned below had no knowledge of the facts concerning

the Chazars and Chazazrian Judaism as contained in

Slavonic Russian sources, or of the 'Acta Sanctorum,' which

discusses those sources. It is therefore not surprising that the

first author of a comprehensive history of the Jews, Basnage,

who in his 'Histoire des Juifs,' v. 336, Rotterdam, 1707, prints

the Chazarian letters, has the boldness to declare as idle

fancy, not only the kingdom of the Chazars, but even the

existence of the Chazarian people, which was invented, he

considers, by Jewish boastfulness.

     About the same time Dom Augustine Calmet issued his

Biblical researches, part of which treats of 'the country

whither the Ten Tribes were led away and where the said

tribes now live.' Calmet considers Media near the Caspian Sea

to be 'the country,' and that it is also identical with 'the

country of the Chazars,' which was glorified so much in the

rabbinical writings. According to them the czar of the Chazars

adopted the Jewish religion in the eighth century. Calmet,

however, considers the whole story a fiction.

     Baratier, 'the remarkable child,' also considered the story

of the Chazars to be only a pleasing novel; but it may serve as

an excuse for his opinion that when he wrote his work he was

only eleven years of age . The Danish historiographer

Frederick Suhm, who in 1779 wrote a remarkable work, for

that time, on the Chazars, and who could not free himself

from the view of the Hebraists of the time with regard to the

letter of King Joseph, was the first to give a decided opinion

in favor of the genuineness of the letter of Hasdai.  The

ignorance of these writers is accounted for by the fact that

only at the end of the eighteenth century were translations of

the old Arabic writers, Mas'udi, Istakhri, Ibn Haukal, etc., on

the Chazars, issued. The first to make use of the testimony of

the Arabic writers to corroborate the accounts of the Jewish

writers on the Chazars, was the Lithuanian historian Tadeusz

Czacki, who had the advantage of using copies of the Arabic

manuscripts relating to the subject in the Library of Paris.

The Russian historian Karamsin also made use of Mas'udi's

information, given in the 'Chrestomathy' of Silvestre de Sacy,

and of Abulfeda's researches published in the fifth volume of

Busching's 'Historical Magazine.'

     The Russian academician Ch. Fr„hn and the Swedish

scholar D'Ohsson collected and published, in the first quarter

of the nineteenth century, all the Arabic testimony on the

subject of the Chazars known at that time. The authenticity of

the letter of King Joseph has, however, since been fully

established by the very material which those scholars had at

their disposal. Fr„hn acknowledges the genuineness of

Hasdai's letter, but not that of Kink Joseph. In the same way

D'Ohsson, although he found the information of the Arabic

and Byzantine writers in conformity with the contents of the

Chazar letters, could not help doubting its genuineness . This

may be explained by the fact that as they did not understand

Hebrew they did not care to commit themselves on a question

which lay outside of their field of investigation.

     But the Jewish scholars had no doubts whatever as to the

genuineness of the critical school of Rapoport and Zunz. They

were made use of by many writers in Spain in the twelfth

century; as, for instance, by Judah ha-Levi (1140), who

displayed a close acquaintance with the contents of King

Joseph's epistle , and by the historian Abraham ibn Daud of

Toledo (1160), who distinctly refers to the same letter.

     Later on, with the persecutions which ended with the

expulsion of the Jews from Spain, the Chazarian documents,

together with many other treasures of medieval Jewish

literature, were lost to the learned, and were not recovered

until the end of the sixteenth century, when they were found

in Egypt by Isaac 'Akrish. The Jews of that time took little

interest, however, in the history of the past, being absorbed by

the cheerless events of their own epoch. The first reference,

therefore, to the Chazar letters is by Rabbi Bacharach of

Worms, in 1679, who discovered proofs of the genuineness of

Hasdai's letter in an acrostic in the poem which served as a

preface, and which reads as follows: 'I, Hasdai, son of Isaac,

son of Ezra ben Shaprut.'

     This acrostic, however, again remained unnoticed until it

was rediscovered by Frensdorf, independently of Bacharach,

in 1836 . Four years later (1840) the genuineness of Hasdai's

letter was absolutely proved by Joseph Zedner. He also

acknowledged the authenticity of the chaghan's letter, but did

not submit proofs.  At the same time Solomon Munk gave his

opinion in favor of the genuineness of both letters.  Since then

most of the Jewish scholars have adopted his view, including

Lebrecht, 1841; Michael Sachs, 1845; S.D. Luzzatto, 1846-50;

Z. Frankei, 1852; D. Cassel and H. Jolovicz, 1853, 1959, 1872;

Leop. L”w, 1855-74; Hartog, 1857; Jost, 1858; Steinschneider,

1860; Gr„tz, 1860 and 1871; Harkavy, beginning with 1864;

Geiger, 1865; Kraushar, 1866; D. Kaufmann, 1877; and many

others. A comparison of Jewish with other sources, especially

with Arabic, as far as they were then known, must be credited

to E. Carmoly. He began his work with the comparison of the

various sources in his 'Revue Orientale' (1840-44). He

completed it in 1847  Some useful supplements to Carmoly's

works were presented by Paulus Cassel in 1848 and 1877.

     The results of these investigations were accepted by the

following Christian scholars; Grigoryev, 1834; Schafarik,

1848; Lelevel, 1851-60; Vivien de San Martin, 1851; S.

Solovyov, 1851-1874; Byelevski, 1864; Brun, 1866-77;

Bilbasov, 1868-71; Kunik, 1874 and 1878; and many others.

Still there were some writers who were misled by the earlier

opinions, and on the strength of them spoke skeptically of the

documents; as Jacob Goldenthal (1848) Dobryakov (1865);

and even the historna Ilovahki (1876).

     In 960 Atel (or Itil), at that time the capital of the kingdom

of the Chazars, was situated about eight miles from the

modern astrakhan, on the right bank of the lower Volga,

which river was also called 'Atel' or 'Itil.' The meaning of 'Atel'

in the Gothic language is 'father' or 'little father,' that of 'Itil' in

the Turanian language is 'river;' it is difficult to decide which

of these two words gave the river its name. The western part

of the city was surrounded by a wall pierced by four gates, of

which one led to the river, and by the others to the steppes.

Here was situated the king's palace, which was the only brick

building in the city. According to Mas'udi, the city was divided

into three parts, the palace of the chaghan standing on an

island. The king had twenty-five wives, all of royal blood, and

sixty concubines, all famous beauties. Each one dwelt in a

separate tent and was watched by a eunuch. The authority of

the chaghan was so absolute that during his absence from the

capital, even his viceroy, or corrigent (called "isha," or "bek,"

or "pech"), was powerless. The viceroy had to enter the

chaghan's apartments barefooted and with the greatest

reverence. He held in his right hand a chip of wood, which he

lit when he saluted the chaghan, whereupon he took his seat

to the right of the latter, on the throne, which was of gold. The

walls of the palace were also gilded, and a golden gate

ornamented the palace.

     All the other dwellings of the then populous city were

insignificant mud huts or felt tents. The position of the

chaghan of the Chazars was evidently similar to that of the

former mikados of Japan, while the bek, his military

corrigent, corresponded to the shoguns of the latter. Emperor

Heraclius in 626 concluded a treaty with the chaghan of the

Chazars, and Constantine Copronymus, in his description of

the embassy of the Chazars (834), states that it was sent by

the 'chaghan and the pech.' Ibn Fadlan relates that the king of

the Chazars was called the 'great chaghan,' and his deputy

'chaghan-bhoa' ("bey," "beg," or "bek"). The bek led the army,

administered the affairs of the country, and appeared among

the people; and to him the neighboring kings paid allegiance.

It will thus be seen that the extent of the powers of the bek

varied with the times. When the chaghan wanted to punish

any one, he said, 'God and commit suicide' - a method

resembling the Japanese custom of hara-kiri.

     The mother of the chaghan resided in the western part of

the city, whose eastern part, called 'Chazaran,' was inhabited

by merchants of various nationalities. The city and its

environs were heavily shaded by trees. The Turkish and the

Chazars languages predominated. The entourage of the

chaghan, numbering 4,000 men, consisted of representatives

of different nationalities. The White Chazars were renowned

for their beauty; and according to Demidov, the mountaineers

of the Crimea contrasted very favorably with the Nogay

Tatars, because they were considerably intermixed with the

Chazars and with the equally fine race of the Kumans. Besides

the White Chazars, there were also Black Chazars (who were

almost as dark as the Hindus), Turkish immigrants,

Slavonians, Hunno-Bulgars, Jews, who lived mostly in the

cities, and various Caucasian tribes, such as the Abghases,

Kabardines, Ossetes, Avares, Lesghians, etc.

     The Chazars cultivated rice, millet, fruit, grains, and the

vine. They had important fisheries on the Caspian Sea, and

the sturgeon constituted the main article of food. The Arabic

writer Al-Makdisi remarks: 'In Chazaria there are many sheep,

and Jews, and much honey . From the upper Volga they

brought down from the Mordvines and Russians honey and

valuable furs, which they exported to Africa, Spain, and

France. They supplied the market of Constantinople with

hides, furs, fish, Indian goods, and articles of luxury. The

chaghan and his suite resided in the capital only during the

winter months. From the month of Nisan (April) they led a

nomadic life in the steppes, returning to the city about the

Feast of Hanukkah (December). The estates and vineyards of

the chaghan were on the island on which his palace was

situated. Another city of the Chazars, Semender, between Atel

and Bab al-Abwah, was surrounded by 40,000 vines. It was

identical with the modern Tarku, near Petrovsk, which is now

inhabited by Jews and Kumyks. The latter are supposed to be

descended from the Chazars.

     At the Byzantine court the chaghan was held in high

esteem. In diplomatic correspondence with him the seal of

three solidi was used, which marked him as a potentate of the

first rank, above even the pope and the Carlovingian

monarchs. Emperor Justinian II., after his flight from Kherson

to Doros, took refuge during his exile with the chaghan, and

married the chaghan's daughter Irene, who was famous for

her beauty (702). Emperor Leo IV., 'the Chazar' (775-780), the

son of Constantine, was thus a grandson of the king of the

Chazars. From his mother he inherited his mild amiable

disposition. Justinian's rival, Bardanes, likewise sought an

asylum in Chazaria. Chazarian troops were among the body-

guard of the Byzantine imperial court; and they fought for Leo

VI against Simeon of Bulgaria in 888.

     King Joseph in his letter to Hasdai gives the following

account of his kingdom: 'The country up the river is within a

four months' journey to the Orient, settled by the following

nations who pay tribute to the Chazars: Burtas, Bulgar,

Suvar, Arissu, Tzarmius, Ventit, Syever, and Slaviyun. Thence

the boundry-line runs to Buarasm as far as the Jordjan. All

the inhabitants of the seacoast that live within a month's

distance pay tribute to the Chazars. To the south Semender,

Bak-Tadlu, and the gates of the Bab al-Abwab are situated on

the seashore. Thence the boundary-line extends to the

mountains of Azur, Bak-Bagda, Sridi, Kiton, Zunikh, which

are very high peaks, and to the Alans as far as the boundary

of the Kassa, Kalkial, Takat, Gebul, and the Constantinian

Sea. To the west, Sarkel, Samkrtz, Kertz, Sugdai, Aluss,

Lambat, Bartnit, Alubika, Kut, Mankup, Budik, Alma, and

Grusin - all these western localities are situated on the banks

of the Constantinian (Black) Sea. Thence the boundary-line

extends to the north, traversing the land of Basa, which is on

the River Vaghez. Here on the plains live nomadic tribes,

which extend to the frontier of the Gagries, as innumerable as

the sands of the sea; and they all pay tribute to the Chazars.

The king of the Chazars himself has established his residence

at the mouth of the river, in order to guard its entrance and to

prevent the Russians from reaching the Caspian Sea, and thus

penetrating to the land of the Ishmaelites. In the same way the

Chazars bar enemies from the gates of Bab al-Abwab.'

     Even the Russian Slavonians of Kiev had, in the ninth

century, to pay as yearly tax to the Chazars a sword and the

skin of a squirrel for each house. At the end of the eighth

century, when the Crimean Goths rebelled against the

sovereignty of the Chazars, the latter occupied the Gothic

capital, Doros. The Chazars were at first repulsed by the

Gothic bishop Joannes; but when he had surrendered, the

Goths submitted to the rule of the Chazars.

     In the second quarter of the ninth century, when the

Chazars were often annoyed by the irruptions of the

Petchenegs, Emperoro Theophilus, fearing for the safety of the

Byzantine trade with the neighboring nations, despatched his

brother-in-law, Petron Kamateros, with materials and

workmen to build for the Chazars the fortress Sarkel on the

Don (834). Sarkel  served as a military post and as a

commercial depot for the north.

     In the second half of the ninth century the apostle of the

Slavonians, Constantine (Cyril), went to the Crimea to spread

Christianity among the Chazars. At this time the kingdom of

the Chazars stood at the height of its power, and was

constantly at war with the Arabian califs and their leaders in

Persia and the Caucasus. The Persian Jews hoped that the

Chazars might succeed in destroying the califs' country . The

high esteem in which the Chazars were held among the Jews

of the Orient may be seen in the application to them - in an

Arabic commentary on Isaiah ascribed by some to Saadia,

and by others to Benjamin Nahawandi - of Isaiah xlviii.14:

'The Lord hath loved him.' 'This,' says the commentary, 'refers

to the chazars, who will go and destroy Babel' - i.e., Babylonia

- a name used to designate the country of the Arabs.

     The chaghans of the Chazars, in their turn, took great

interest in and protected their coreligionists, the Jews. When

one of the chaghans received information (c. 921) that the

Mohammedans had destroyed a synagogue in the land of

Babung,  he gave orders that the minaret of the mosque in

his capital should be broken off, and the muezzin executed. He

declared that he would have destroyed all the mosques in the

country had he not been afraid that the Mohammedans would

in turn destroy all the synagogues in their lands.  In the

conquest of Hungary by the Magyars (889) the Chazars

rendered considerable assistance. They had, however, settled

in Pannonia before the arrival of the Magyars. This is evident

from the names of such places as Kozar and Kis-Kozard in the

N¢grad, and Great-Kozar and R czkozar in the Baranya


     Mas'udi relates the following particulars concerning the

Chazars in connection with Russian invasions of Tabaristan

and neighboring countries:

     'After the 300 of the Hegira (913-914), five hundred

Russian [Northmen's] ships, every one of which had a

hundred men on board, came to the estuary of the don, which

opens into the Pontus, and is in communication with the river

of the Chazars, the Volga. The king of the Chazars keeps a

garrison on this side of the estuary with efficient, warlike

equipment to exclude any other power from its passage. The

king of the Chazars himself frequently takes the field against

them if this garrison is too weak.

     When the Russian vessels reached the fort they sent to the

king of the Chazars to ask his permission to pass through his

dominions, promising him half the plunder which they might

take from the nations who lived on the coast of this sea. He

gave them leave. They entered the country, and continuing

their voyage up the River Don as far as the river of the

Chazars, they went down this river past the town of Atel and

entered through its mouth into the sea of the Chazars. They

spread over the coast of Jordjan, the Naphtha country, and

toward Aderbijan, the town of Ardobil, which is in Aderbijan,

and about three days' journey from the sea. The nations on the

coast had no means of repelling the Russians, although they

put themselves in a state of defense; for the inhabitants of the

coast of this sea are well civilized. When the Russians had

secured their booty and captives, they sailed to the mouth of

the river of the Chazars and sent messengers with money and

spoils to the king, in conformity with the stipulations they had

made. The Larissians and other Moslems in the country of the

Chazars heard of the attack of the Russians, and they said to

their king: 'The Russians have invaded the country of our

Moslem brothers; they have shed their blood and made their

wives and children captives, as they are unable to resist;

permit us to oppose them.' The Moslem army, which

numbered about 15,000, took the field and fought for three

days. The Russians were put to the sword, many being

drowned, and only 5,000 escaping. These were slain by the

Burtas and by the Moslems of Targhiz. The Russians did not

make a similar attempt after that year.' ...

     Five years after the correspondence between the king of

the Chazars and Hasdai ibn Sharprut (965) the Russian prince

Swyatoslaw made war upon the Chazars, apparently for the

possession of Taurida and Taman. The Russians had already

freed from the rule of the Chazars a part of the Black Bulgars,

and had established a separate Russian duchy under the

name of 'Tmutrakan;' but in the Crimean peninsula the

Chazars still had possessions, and from the Caucasian side

the Russian Tmutrakan suffered from the irruption of the

Kossogian and Karbardine princes, who were tributary to the

chaghan of the Chazars. The fortress of Sarkel and the city of

Atel were the chief obstacles to Russian predatory expeditions

on the Caspian Sea. After a hard fight the Russians conquered

the Chazars. Swyatoslaw destroyed Sarkel (Alans), and so

strengthened the position of the Russian Tmutrakan. They

destroyed the city of Bulgar, devastated the country of the

Burtas, and took possession of Atel and Semender.

     Four years later the Russian conquered all the Chazarian

territory east of the Sea of Azov. Only the Crimean territory of

the Chazars remained in their possession until 1016, when

they were dispossessed by a joint expedition of Russians and

Byzantines. The last of the chaghans, George Tzula, was taken

prisoner; some of the Chazars took refuge in an island of the

Caspian, Slahcouye; others returned to the Caucasus; while

many were sent as prisoners of war to Kiev, where a Chazar

community had long existed. Many intermingled in the Crimea

with the local Jews; the Krimtschaki are probably their

descendants - perhaps some of the Subbotniki also.

     Some went to Hungary, but the great mass of the people

remained in their native country. Many members of the

Chazarian royal family emigrated to Spain. Until the

thirteenth century the Crimea was known to European

travelers as 'Gazaria,' the Italian form of 'Chazaria.'"

                            Chapter 6


     Albert Pike, quoting from Transcendental Magic, sums up

the importance of Kabbalism as a key to Masonic esotericism:

"One is filled with admiration, on penetrating into the

Sanctuary of the Kabbalah, at seeing a doctrine so logical, so

simple, and at the same time so absolute. The necessary union

of ideas and signs, the consecration of the most fundamental

realities by the primitive characters; the Trinity of Words,

Letters, and Numbers; a philosophy simple as the alphabet,

profound and infinite as the Word; theorems more complete

and luminous than those of Pythagoras; theology summed up

by counting on one's fingers; an Infinite which can be held in

the hollow of an infant's hand; ten ciphers and twenty- two

letters, a triangle, a square, and a circle, these are the

elements of the Kabbalah. These are the elementary principles

of the written Word, reflection of that spoken Word that

created the world!"

     Hebrew theology was divided into three distinct parts.

The first was the law, the second was the soul of the law, and

the third was to soul of the soul of the law. The law was

taught to all the children of the Jews; the Mishnah, or the

soul of the law, was revealed to the rabbins and teachers; but

the Kabbalah, the soul of the soul of the law, was cunningly

concealed, and only the highest initiates among the Jews

were instructed in its secret principles.

     According to certain Jewish mystics, Moses ascended

Mount Sinai three times, remaining the presence of God forty

days each time. During the first forty days the tables of the

written law were delivered to the prophet; during the second

forty days he received the soul of the law; and during the last

forty days God instructed him in the mysteries of the

Kabbalah, the soul of the soul of the law. Moses concealed in

the first four books of the Pentateuch the secret instructions

that God had given him, and for centuries students therein

the secret doctrine of Israel.

     As the spiritual nature of man is concealed in his physical

body, so the unwritten law, the Mishnah and the Kabbalah,

is concealed within the written teachings of the Mosaic code.

Kabbalah means the secret or hidden tradition, the unwritten

law, and according to an early Rabbi, it was delivered to man

in order that through the aid of its abstruse principles he

might learn to understand the mystery of both the universe

about him and the universe within him.

     The origin of Kabbalism is a legitimate subject for

controversy. Early initiates of the Kabbalistic Mysteries

believed that its principles were first taught by God to a

school of His angels before the fall of man. The angels later

communicated the secrets to Adam, so that through the

knowledge gained from an understanding of its principles

fallen humanity might regain its lost estate. The Angel

Razielk was dispatched from heaven to instruct Adam in the

mysteries of the Kabbalah. Different angels were employed to

initiate the succeeding patriarches in this difficult science.

Tophiel was the teacher of Shem, Raphale of Isaac, Metatron

of Moses, and Michael of David.

     Christian D. Ginsburg has written:  "From Adam it passed

over to Noah, and then to Abraham, the friend of God, who

emigrated with it to Egypt, where the patriarch allowed a

portion of this mysterious doctrine to ooze out. It was in this

way that the Egyptians obtained some knowledge of it, and

the other Eastern nations could introduce it into their

philosophical systems. Moses, who was learned in all the

wisdom of Egypt, was first initiated into it in the land of his

birth, but became most proficient in it during his wanderings

in the wilderness, when he not only devoted to it the leisure

hours of the whole forty years, but received lessons in it from

one of the angels...Moses also initiated the seventy Elders into

the secrets of this doctrine and they again transmitted them

from hand to hand. Of all who formed the unbroken line of

tradition, David and Solomon were most initiated into the


     According to Eliphas Levi, the three greatest books of

Kabbalism are the Sepher Yetzirah, The Book of Formation;

the Sepher ha Zohar, The Book of Splendor; and the

Apocalypse, The Book of Revelation. The dates of the writing

of these books are by no means thoroughly established.

Kabbalists declare that the Sepher Yetzirah was written by

Abraham. Although it is by far the oldest of the Kabbalist

books, it was probably from the pen of the Rabbi Akiba, A.D.


     The Sepher ha Zohar presumably was written by Simeon

ben Jochai, a disciple of Akiba. Rabbi Simeon was sentenced

to death about A.D. 161 by Lucius Verus, co-regent of the

Emperor Marc Aurelius Antoninus. He escaped with his son

and, hiding in a cave, transcribed the manuscript of the

Zohar with the assistance of Elias, who appeared to them at

intervals. Simeon was twelve years in the cave, during which

time he evolved the complicated symbolism of the "Greater

Face" and the "Lesser Face."

     While discoursing with disciples Rabbi Simeon expired,

and the "Lamp of Israel" was extinguished. His death and

burial were accompanied by many supernatural phenomena.

The legend goes on to relate that the secret doctrines of

Kabbalism had been in existence since the beginning of the

world, but that Rabbi Simeon was the first man permitted to

reduce them to writing. Twelve hundred years later the

books which he had compiled were discovered and published

for the benefit of humanity by Moses de Leon. The probability

is that Moses de Leon himself compiled the Zohar about A.D.

1305, drawing his material from the unwritten secrets of

earlier Jewish mystics. The Apocalypse, accredited to St.

John the Divine, is also of uncertain date, and the identity of

its author has never been satisfactorily proved.

     Because of its brevity and because it is the key to

Kabbalistic thought, the Sepher Yetzirah is reproduced in full

in this chapter. So far as is among many nations it was

customary to spread the arms in prayer has influenced the

symbolism of the cross, which, because of its shape, has

come to be regarded as emblematic of the human body.

     The four major divisions of the human structure, bones,

muscles, nerves, and arteries, are considered to have

contributed to the symbolism of the cross. This is especially

due to the fact that the spinal nerves cross at the base of the

spine, and is a reminder that "Our Lord was crucified also in

Egypt."  Man has four vehicles (or mediums) of expression by

means of which the spiritual Ego contacts the external

universe: the physical nature, the vital nature, the emotional

nature, and the mental nature. Each of these partakes in

principle of one of the primary elements, and the four

creatures assigned to them by the Kabbalists caused the cross

to be symbolic of the compound nature of man.

          The Kabbalah The Blood And Bond of Judaism

              The Jews' False Teachings About God

     A system of religious philosophy, or more properly of

theosophy, which has not only exercised for hundreds of

years an extraordinary influence on the mental development

of the Jews, but has captivated the minds of some of the

greatest thinkers of Christendom in the sixteenth and

seventeenth centuries, claims the greatest attention of both

the philosopher and the theologian. As taken from the

Talmudic Book Sepher ha Zohar.

     When it is added that among its captives were Raymond

Lully, the celebrated scholastic, metaphysician and chemist

(died 1315); John Reuchlin, the renowned scholar and

reviver of oriental literature in Europe (born 1455, died 1522);

John Picus di Mirandola, the famous philosopher and

classical scholar (1463-149); Cornelius Henry Agrippa, the

distinguished philosopher, divine and physician (1486-1535);

John Baptist von Helmont, a remarkable chemist and

physician (1577-1644); as well as our own countrymen Robet

Fludd, the famous physician and philosopher (1574-1637),

and Dr. Henry More (1614-1687); and that these men, after

restlessly searching for a scientific system which should

disclose to them "the deepest depths" of the Divine nature,

and show them the real tie which binds all things together,

found the cravings of their minds satisfied by this theosophy,

the claims of the Kabbalah (Cabala) on the attention of

students in literature and philosophy will readily be admitted.

The claims of the Kabbalah, however, are not restricted to

the literary man and the philosopher: the poet too will find in

it ample materials for the exercise of his lofty genius.

     How can it be otherwise with a theosophy which, we are

assured, was born of God in Paradise, was nursed and reared

by the choicest of the angelic hosts in heaven, and only held

converse with the holiest of man's children upon earth. Listen

to the story of its birth, growth and maturity, as told by its


              The Kaballah Was First Taught By God

     The Jews say, the Kabbalah was first taught by God

Himself to a select company of angels, who formed a

theosophic school in Paradise. After the fall the angels most

graciously communicated this heavenly doctrine to the

disobedient children of earth, to furnish the protoplasts with

the means of returning to their pristine nobility and felicity.

From Adam it passed over to Noah, and then to Abraham,

the friend of God, who emigrated with it to Egypt, where the

patriarch allowed a portion of this mysterious doctrine to

ooze out. It was in this way that the Egyptians obtained some

knowledge of it, and the other Eastern nations could

introduce it into their philosophical systems. Moses, who was

learned in all the wisdom of Egypt, was first initiated into it

in the land of his birth, but become most proficient in it

during his wanderings in the wilderness, when he not only

devoted to it the leisure hours of the whole forty years, but

received lessons in it from the one of the angels.

     We will pause here and relate what the Scriptures relates

about the life of Moses.

               Moses First Wife Was A Negro Woman

           But He Never Had Sexual Relations With Her

     As you begin to study God's Word and He begins to open

your eyes to His wonderful truths, deceivers will come in and

try to tell you that integration is all right because Moses was

married to a Negro Woman. Well he was. His first wife was

a Negro, but he did not marry her of his own accord, she was

appointed by the people of Cush to be his wife.

     Moses never went into her, nor did he ever have zexual

relations with her. He obeyed God and kept himself pure of

the sin of Miscegenation (Race Mixing). The entire story is

related in the Book of Jasher. One of the books, purposely left

out of the Bible because the Jews did not wish for Christians

to learn many truths, which are contained therein. "And

when Moses was eighteen years old, he desired to see his

father and mother and he went to them to Goshen, and when

Moses had come near Goshen, he came to the place where the

Children of Israel were engaged in work, and he observed

their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian smiting one of his

Hebrew brethren. And when the man who was beaten saw

Moses he ran to him for help, for the man Moses was greatly

respected in the house of Pharaoh, and he said to him, My

lord attend to me, this Egyptian came to my house in the

night, bound me, and came to my wife in my presence, and

now he seeks to take my life away. And when Moses heard

this wicked thing, his anger was kindled against the Egyptian,

and he turned this way and the other, and when he saw there

was no man there he smote the Egyptian and hid him in the

sand, and delivered the Hebrew from the hand of him that

smote him. And the Hebrew went to his house, and Moses

returned to his home, and went forth and came back to the

king's house. And when the man had returned home, he

thought of repudiating his wife, for it was not right in the

house of Jacob, for any man to come to his wife after she had

been defiled (had sex with another race). And the woman

went and told her brothers, and the woman's brothers sought

to slay him, and he fled to his house and escaped. And on the

second day Moses went forth to his brethren, and saw, and

behold two men were quarreling, and he said to the wicked

one, Why dost thou smite thy neighbor? And he answered him

and said to him. Who has set thee for a prince and judge over

us? dist thou think to slay me as thou didst slay the Egyptian?

and Moses was afraid and he said, Surely the thing is known?

And Pharaoh heard of this affair, and he ordered Moses to be

slain, so God sent his angel, and he appeared unto Pharaoh

in the likeness of a captain of the guard. An angel of the Lord

took the sword from the hand of the captain of the guard, and

took his head off with it, for the likeness of the captain of the

guard was turned into the likeness of Moses. And the angel of

the Lord took hold of the right hand of Moses, and brought

him forth from Egypt, and placed him from without the

borders of Egypt, a distance of forty days' journey."

     Our King James version of the Bible relates the story this

way: "And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was

grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their

burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of

his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when

he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid

him in the sand. And when he went out the second day,

behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said

to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?

And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us?

intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And

Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. Now when

Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses

fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian

and he sat down by a well."

     There was a lot happened between the time Moses left

Egypt and when he came to the well at Midian. Following is

what transpired in the intervening forty nine years: "And

Moses was eighteen years old when he fled from Egypt from

the presence of Pharaoh, and he fled and escaped to the camp

of Kikianus, which at that time was besieging Cush. And

Moses was nine years in the camp of Kikianus king of Cush,

all the time that they were besieging Cush, and Moses went

out and came in with them. And the king and princes and all

the fighting men loved Moses, for he was great and worthy,

his stature was like a noble lion, his face was like the sun, and

his strength was like that of a lion, and he was counsellor to

the king. And at the end of nine years, Kikianus was seized

with a mortal disease, and his illness prevailed over him, and

he died on the seventh day. So his servants embalmed him

and carried him and buried him opposite the city gate to the

north of the land of Egypt...And they wished to choose on that

day a man for king from the army of Kikianus, and they found

no object of their choice like Moses to reign over them. And

they hastened and stripped off each man his garments and

cast them upon the ground, and they made a great heap and

placed Moses thereon. And they rose up and blew with

trumpets and called out before him, and said, May the king

live, may the king live! And all the people and nobles swore

unto him to give him for a wife Adoniah the Queen, the

Cushite, wife of Kikianus, and they made Moses king over

them on that day...Moses reigned over the children of Cush on

that day, in the place of Kikianus king of Cush...Moses was

twenty- seven years old when he began to reign over Cush,

and forty years did he reign...And they placed the royal crown

upon his head, and they gave him for a wife Adoniah the

Cushite queen, and wife of Kikianus. And Moses feared the

Lord God of his fathers, so that he came not to her, nor did he

turn his eyes to her. For Moses remembered how Abraham

had made his servant Eliezer swear, saying unto him, Thou

shalt not take a woman from the daughters of Canaan for my

son Isaac. Also what Isaac did when Jacob had fled from his

brother, when he commanded him, saying, thou shalt not take

a wife from the daughters of Canaan, nor make alliance with

any of the chidlren of Ham. For the Lord our God gave Ham

the son of Noah, and his children and all his seed, as slaves to

the children of Shem and to the children of Japheth, and unto

their seed after them for slaves, forever. Therefore Moses

turned not his heart nor his eyes to the wife of Kikianus all the

days that he reigned over Cush. And Moses feared the Lord his

God all his life, and Moses walked before the Lord in truth

(did not mix his seed with that of the Negro Woman), and

with all his heart and soul, He turned not from the right way

(did not mix with another race) all the days of his life; he

declined not from the way either to the right or to the left, in

which Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had walked...And in the

fortieth year of the reign of Moses over Cush, Moses was

sitting on the royal throne whilst Adoniah the queen was

before him, and all the nobles were sitting around him. And

Adoniah the queen said before the king and the princes. What

is this thing which you, the children of Cush, have done for

this long time? Surely you know that for forty years that this

man has reigned over Cush he has not approached me, nor

has he served the gods of the children of Cush. Now therefore

hear, O ye children of Cush, and let this man no more reign

over you as he is not of our flesh (Moses was an Israelite, a

White Man. The cries of the preachers of todays Organized

Religion to the contrary notwithstanding). Behold Menacrus

my son is grown up, let him reign over you, for it is better for

you to serve the son of your lord, than to serve a stranger, a

slave of the king of Egypt. And all the people and nobles of the

children of Cush heard the words which Adoniah the queen

had spoken in their ears. And all the people were preparing

until the evening, and in the morning they rose up early and

made Menacrus, son of Kikianus, king over them. And all the

children of Cush were afraid to stretch forth their hand

against Moses, for the Lord was with Moses, and the children

of Cush remembered the oath which they swore unto Moses,

therefore they did no harm to him. But the children of Cush

gave many presents to Moses, and sent him from them with

great honor. So Moses went forth from the land of Cush, and

went home and ceased to reign over Cush, and Moses was

sixty-six years old when he went out of the land of Cush, for

the thing was from the Lord, for the period had arrived which

he had appointed in the day of old, to bring forth Israel from

the affliction of the children of Ham. So Moses went to


     Then we find how Moses happened to be at the well: "So

Moses went forth from the land of Cush, and went home and

ceased to reign over Cush, and Moses was sixty-six years old

when he went out of the land of Cush, for the thing was from

the Lord, for the period had arrived which he had appointed

in the days of old, to bring forth Israel from the affliction of

the children of Ham. So Moses went to Midian, for he was

afraid to return to Egypt on account of Pharaoh, and he went

and sat at a well of water in Midian. And the seven daughters

of Reuel the Midianite went out to feed their father's flock.

And they came to the well and drew water to water their

father's flock. So the shepherds of Midian came and drove

them away, and Moses rose up and helped them and watered

the flock. And they came home to their father Reuel, and told

him what Moses did for them. And they said, An Egyptian

man has delivered us from the hands of the shepherds, he

drew up water for us and watered the flock. And Reuel said to

his daughters, And where is he? wherefore have you left the

man? And Reuel sent for him and fetched him an brought him

home, and he ate bread with him...and he gave him his

daughter Ziporah for a wife."

     So we can clearly see that the Kabbalah (Cabala) is a lie

from the very beginning. However, continuing on: By the aid

of this mysterious science the lawgiver was enabled to solve

the difficulties which arose during his management of the

Israelites, in spite of the pilgrimages, wars and the frequent

miseries of the nation.

     He covertly laid down the principles of this secret

doctrine in the first four books of the Pentateuch, but

withheld them from Deuteronomy. This constitutes the

former the man, and the latter the woman. Moses also

initiated the seventy elders into the secrets of this doctrine,

and they again transmitted them from hand to hand.

     Of all who formed the unbroken line of tradition, David

and Solomon were most initiated into the Kabbalah. No one,

however, dared to write it down, till Simon ben Jochai, who

lived at the time of the destruction of the second Temple.

     Having been condemned to death by Titus, Rabbi Simon

managed to escape with his son and concealed himself in a

cavern where he remained for twelve years. Here, in this

subterranean abode, he occupied himself entirely with the

contemplation of the sublime Kabbalah, and was constantly

visited by the Prophet Elasis, who disclosed to him some of

its secrets which were still concealed from the theosophical

Rabbi. "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in

whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to

his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish."

     Here, too, his disciples resorted to be initiated by their

master into these divine mysteries; and here, Simon ben

Jochai expired with this heavenly doctrine in his mouth,

whilst discoursing on it to his disciples. Scarcely had his spirit

departed, when a dazzling light filled the cavern, so that no

one could look at the Rabbi; whilst a burning fire appeared

outside, forming as it were a sentinel at the entrance of the

cave, and denying admittance to the neighbors.

     It was not till the light inside, and the fire outside, had

disappeared, that the disciples perceived that the lamp of

Israel was extinguished. As they were preparing for his

obsequious, a voice was heard from heaven, saying, "Come ye

to the marriage of Simon b. Jochai, he is entering into peace,

and shall rest in his chamber!" "And Jesus answering

said...For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither

marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which

are in heaven."

     For a second witness: "And Jesus answering said unto

them, The children of this world marry, and are given in

marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain

that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry,

nor are given in marriage."

     A flame preceded the coffin, which seemed enveloped by,

and burning like fire.  And when the remains were deposited

in the tomb, another voice was heard from heaven, saying,

"This is he who caused the earth to quake, and the kingdoms

to shake!"

     Here the Jews claim the rabbi has the power of God by

distorting the following verses from the Bible:  "God is

jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is

furious...The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and

the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all

that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? and

who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is

poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him."

     But God tells us, that the Jews are Lucifer, the Devil and

Satan's children, when He tells us: "Hell from beneath is

moved for thee to meet thee at they coming: it stirreth up the

dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath

raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations...How

art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!

how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the

nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into

heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God [Israel-

ites]: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the

sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the

clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought

down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall

narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, is this the

man that made the earth to tremble [Quake], that did shake


     His son, R. Eliezer, and his secretary, R. Abba, as well as

his disciples, then collated R. Simon b. Jochai's treatises, and

out of these composed the celebrated work called Sohar

[Splendour], which is the grand storehouse of Kabbalism.

From what has been said, it will be seen that the followers of

this secret doctrine claim for it a pre-Adamite existence, and

maintain that, ever since the creation of the first man, it has

been received uninterruptedly from the hands of the

patriarchs, the prophets, etc. It is for this reason that it is

called Kabbalah (Cabala) [from to receive] which primarily

denotes reception, and then a doctrine received by oral


     The Kabbalah is also called by some Secret Wisdom,

because it was only handed down by tradition through the

initiated, and is indicated in the Hebrew Scriptures by signs

which are hidden and unintelligible to those who have not

been instructed in its mysteries. From the initial letters of this

name, this theosophic system is also denominated Grace.

Vague and indefinite as this name may seem to the

uninitiated, inasmuch as it conveys no idea whatever of the

peculiar doctrines of the system, but simply indicates the

manner in which they have been transmitted, it is

nevertheless the classical and acknowledged appellation of

this theosophy.

     The difference between the word Kabbalah (reception)

and the cognate term Massorah (tradition, from to transmit)

which denotes the traditionally transmitted various readings

of the Hebrew Scriptures, is, that the former expresses the act

of receiving, which in this technical sense could only be on

the part of one who has reached a certain period of life, as

well as a certain state of sanctity, implying also a degree of

secrecy; whilst the latter signifies the act of giving over,

surrendering, without premising any peculiar age, stage of

holiness, or degree of secrecy. The name, therefore, tells us

no more than that this theosophy has been received

traditionally. To ascertain its tenets we must analyze the

system itself or the books which propound it; and to this task

we now betake ourselves.

                           Chapter 7

             The Cardinal Doctrines of The Kabbalah


     The cardinal doctrines of the Kabbalah are mainly

designed to solve the grand problems about (1) the nature of

the Supreme Being, (2) The cosmogony, (3) The creation of

angels and man, (4) The destiny of man and the universe,

and (5) To point out the import of the Revealed Law.

Assenting and consenting to the declarations of the Hebrew

Scriptures about the unit of God,  his incorporation,

eternity,  immutability, perfection, infinite goodness, the

creation of the world in time according to God's free will, the

moral government of the universe and special providence,

and to the creation of man in the image of God, the

Kabbalah seeks to explain the transition from the infinite to

the finite; the procedure of multifariousness from an absolute

unity, and of matter from a pure intelligence; the operation

of pure intelligence upon matter, in spite of the infinite gulf

between them; the relationship of the Creator to the

creature, so as to be able to exercise supervision and


     It, moreover, endeavors to show how it is that the Bible

gives names and assigns attributes and a form to so spiritual

a Being; how the existence of evil is compatible with the

infinite goodness of God, and what is the Divine intention

about this creation. In our analysis of the Kabbalistic

doctrines on these grand problems, we shall follow the order

in which they have been enumerated, and accordingly begin

with the lucubrations on the Supreme Being and the


                          The Sephiroth

     1). The Supreme Being and the doctrine and classification

of the Emanations, or Sephiroth.

     Being boundless in his nature, which necessarily implies

that hie is an absolute unity and inscrutable, and that there

is nothing without him, or that the r•ãƒv is in him, God is

called En Soph == „ãeipo‡ Endless, Boundless.

     In this boundlessness, or as the En Soph, he cannot be

comprehended by the intellect, nor described in words, for

there is nothing which can grasp and depict him to us, and

as such he is, in a certain sense, not existence, because, as far

as our minds are concerned, that which is perfectly

incomprehensible does not exit.

     To make his existence perceptible, and to render himself

comprehensible, the En Soph, or the Boundless, had to

become active and creative. But the En Soph cannot be the

direct creator, for he has neither will, intention, desire,

thought, language, nor action, as these properties imply limit

and belong to finite beings, whereas the En Soph is


     Besides, the imperfect and circumscribed nature of the

creation precludes the idea that the world was created or

even designed by him, who can have no will nor produce

anything but what is like himself, boundless and perfect.

     On the other hand, again, the beautiful design displayed

in the mechanism, the regular order manifested in the

preservation, destruction, and renewal of things, forbid us to

regard this world as the offspring of chance, and constrain us

to recognize therein an intelligent design.

     [Yet] We are, therefore, compelled to view the En Soph

as the creator of the world in an indirect manner. Now, the

medium by which the En Soph made his existence known in

the creation of the world are ten Sephiroth or intelligences,

which emanated from the Boundless One in the following

manner: At first the En Soph, or the Aged of the Aged or the

Holy Aged, as he is alternately called, sent forth from his

infinite light one spiritual substance or intelligence. This first

Sephira, which existed in the En Soph from all eternity, and

became a reality by a mere act, has no less than seven

appellations. It is called:

     (1) The Crown, because it occupies the highest position;

     (2) The Aged, because it is the oldest or the first

emanation, and this name must not be confounded with the

Aged of the Aged, which as we have seen, is the appellation

of the En Soph;

     (3) The Primordial Point, or the Smooth Point, because,

as the Sohar tells us, "When the Concealed of the Concealed

wished to reveal himself, he first made a single point: the

Infinite was entirely unknown, and diffused no light before this

luminous point violently broke through into vision;"

     (4) The White Head;

     (5) The Long Face, Macroprosopon, because the whole

ten Sephiroth represent the Primordial or the Heavenly Man,

of which the first Sephira is the head;

     (6) The Inscrutable Height, because it is the highest of all

the Sephiroth proceeding immediately from the En Soph.

Hence, on the passage, "Go forth, O ye daughters of  Zion,

and behold the King of Peace with the Crown!"

     The Sohar remarks, "But who can behold the King of

Peace, seeing that He is incomprehensible, even to the

heavenly hosts? But he who sees the Crown sees the glory of

the King of Peace."


     (7) It is expressed in the Bible by the Divine name Ehejeh,

or I Am,  because it is absolute being, representing the

Infinite as distinguished from the finite, and in the angelic

order, by the celestial beasts of Ezekiel, called Chajoth.

     The first Sephira contained the other nine Sephiroth, and

gave rise to them in the following order: At first a masculine

or active potency, designated Wisdom, proceeded from it.

This Sephira, which among the divine names is represented

by Jah,  and among the angelic hosts by Ophanim (Wheels),

sent forth an opposite, feminine or passive, potency,

denominated Intelligence, which is represented by the divine

name Jehovah, and angelic name Arelim, and it is from a

union of those two Sephiroth, which are also called Father

and Mother, that the remaining seven Sephiroth proceeded.

     Or, as the Sohar  expresses it, "When the Holy Aged, the

Concealed of all Concealed, assumed a form, he produced

everything in the form of male and female, as the things

could not continue in any other form. Hence Wisdom, which

is the beginning of development, when it proceeded from the

Holy Aged, emanated in male and female, for Wisdom

expanded, and Intelligence proceeded from it, and thus

obtained male and female vis., Wisdom, the father, and

Intelligence, the mother, from whose union the other pairs of

Sephiroth successively emanated. These two opposite

potencies vis., Wisdom and Intelligence are joined together

by the first potency, the Crown; thus yielding the first triad of

the Sephiroth. From the junction of the foregoing opposites

emanated again the masculine or active potency,

denominated Mercy or Love, also called Greatness, the fourth

Sephira, which among the divine names is represented by El,

and among the angelic hosts by Chashmalin.

     From this again emanated the feminine or passive

potency, Justice, also called Judicial Power, the fifth Sephira,

which is represented by the divine name Eloha, and among

the angels by Seraphim;  and from this again the uniting

potency, Beauty or Mildness, the sixth Sephira, represented

by the divine name Elohim, and among the angels by


     Since without this union the existence of things would not

be possible, inasmuch as mercy not tempered with justice,

and justice not tempered with mercy would be unendurable:

and thus the second trinity of the Sephiroth is obtained.The

medium of union of the second trinity, Beauty, the sixth

Sephira, beamed forth the masculine or active potency, Firm-

ness, the seventh Sephira, corresponding to the divine name

Jehovah Sabaoth, and among the angels to Tarshishim; this

again gave rise to the feminine or passive potency,

Splendour, the eighth Sephira, to which answer the divine

name Elohim Sabaoth, and among the angels Benei Elohim;

and from it again, emanated Foundation or the Basis, the

ninth Sephira, represented by the divine name El Chai, and

among the angelic hosts by Ishim, which is the uniting point

between these two opposites, thus yielding the third trinity

of Sephiroth.

     From the ninth Sephira, the Basis of all, emanated the

tenth, called Kingdom, and Shechinah, which is represented

by the divine name Adonai, and among the angelic hosts by

Cherubim. The table on the opposite page exhibits the

different names of the Sephiroth, together with the several

names of God and the angels, which correspond to them.

     From this representation of each triad, as consisting of a

threefold principle, viz., the two opposites, masculine and

feminine, and the uniting principle, the development of the

Sephiroth, and of life generally, is symbolically called the

Balance, because the two opposite sexes, are compared with

the two opposite scales, and the uniting Sephira is compared

with the beam which joins the scales, and indicates its


     Before we enter into further particulars about the nature,

operation, and classification of these Sephiroth, we shall give

the Sohar's speculations about the Supreme Being, and its

account of the origin of the Sephiroth, and their relationship

to the Deity. The prophet Elias having learned in the

heavenly college the profound mystery and true import of the

words in Isa. 40:25-26, "'To whom will ye like me, and shall

I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and

behold who hath created these things,' revealed to R. Simon

b. Jochai that God in his absolute nature is unknown and

incomprehensible, and hence, in a certain sense,

non-existent; that this Who (unknown subject) had to

become active and creative, to demonstrate his existence,

and that it is only by these works of creation that he made

himself known to us. It is therefore the combination of the

unknown Who with these visible works that showed him to

be God (which is produced by transposed, and united with).

     Or, as it is in the language of the Kabbalah; 'Before he

gave any shape to this world, before he produced any form,

he was alone, without a form and resemblance to anything

else. Who then can comprehend him how he was before the

creation, since he was formless? Hence it is forbidden to

represent him by any form, similitude, or even by his sacred

name, by a single letter or a single point; and to this the

words 'Ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the

Lord spake unto you  ye have not seen anything which you

could represent by any form or likeness refer. But after he

created the form of the Heavenly Man, he used it as a chariot

wherein to descend, and wishes to be called by this form,

which is the sacred name Jehovah.

     He wishes to be known by his attributes, and each

attribute separately; and therefore had himself called the God

of Mercy, the God of Justice, Almighty, God of Sabaoth, and

the Being. He wishes thereby to make known his nature, and

that we should see how his mercy and compassion extend

both to the world and to all operations. For if he had not

poured out his light upon all his creatures, how could we

ever have known him? How could the words be fulfilled, 'The

whole earth is full of his glory'?

     Woe be to him who compares him with his own

attributes! or still worse with the son of man whose

foundation is in the dust, who vanishes and is no more!

Hence, the form in which we delineate him simply describes

each time his dominion over a certain attribute, or over the

creatures generally. We cannot understand more of his

nature than the attribute expresses.

     Hence, when he is divested of all these things, he has

neither any attribute nor any similitude or form. The form in

which he is generally depicted is to be compared to a very

expansive sea; for the waters of the sea are in themselves

without a limit or form, and it is only when they spread

themselves upon the earth that they assume a form. We can

now make the following calculation: the sources of the sea's

water and the water stream proceeding there from to spread

itself are two.

     A great reservoir is then formed, just as if a huge hollow

had been dug; this reservoir is called sea, and is the third.

The unfathomable deep divides itself into seven streams,

resembling seven long vessels. The source, the water stream,

the sea and the seven streams make together ten. And when

the master breaks the vessels which he has made, the waters

return to the source, and then only remain the pieces of these

vessels, dried up and without any water. It is in this way that

the Cause of Causes gave rise to the ten Sephiroth.

     The Crown is the source from which streams forth an

infinite light: hence the name En Soph == infinite, by which

the highest cause is designated: for it then had neither form

nor shape, and there is neither any means whereby to

comprehend it, nor a way by which to know it. Hence it is

written, 'Seek not out the things that are too hard for thee,

neither search the things that are above they strength." '

     He then made a vessel, as small as a point, like the latter,

which is filled from this source (the En Soph). This is the

source of wisdom, wisdom itself, after which the Supreme

Cause is called 'wise God.' Upon this he made a large vessel

like a sea, which is called Intelligence: hence the name

'intelligent God.'

     It must, however, be remarked that God is wise, and

through himself, for wisdom does not derive its name through

itself, but through the wise one who fills it with the light

which flows from him, just as intelligence is not

comprehended through itself, but through him who is

intelligent and fills it with his own substance. God needs only

to withdraw himself and it would be dried up. This is also the

meaning of the words, 'the waters have disappeared from the

sea, and the bed is dry and parched up.'

     The sea is finally divided into seven streams, and the

seven costly vessels are produced, which are called

Greatness, Judicial Strength, Beauty, Firmness, Splendour,

Foundation, and Kingdom.

     Therefore is he called the Great or the Merciful, the

Mighty, the Glorious, the God of victory, the Creator, to

whom all praise is due, and the Foundation of all things.

Upon the last attribute all the others are based a well as the


     Finally, he is also the King of the universe, for everything

is in his power; he can diminish the number of the vessels,

and increase in them the light which streams from them, or

reduce it, just as it pleases him."

     In another place again the same authority gives the

following description of the Deity and the emanation of the

Sephiroth. The Aged of the Aged, the Unknown of the

Unknown, has a form and yet has no form. He has a form

whereby the universe is preserved, and yet has no form,

because he [God] cannot be comprehended. When he first

assumed the form [of the first Sephira], he caused nine

splendid lights to emanate from it, which, shining through it,

diffused a bright light in all directions.

     Imagine an elevated light sending forth its rays in all

directions. Now if we approach it to examine the rays, we

understand no more than that they emanate from the said

light. So is the Holy Aged an absolute light, but in himself

concealed and incomprehensible.

     We can only comprehend him through those luminous

emanations which again are partly visible and partly

concealed. These constitute the sacred name of God.

     Four things must be born in mind with regard to the


     (1). That they were not created by, but emanated (from,

the En Soph; the difference between creation and emanation

being, that in the former a diminution of strength takes place,

whilst in the latter this is not the case.

     (2). That they form among themselves, and with the En

Soph, a strict unity, and simply represent different aspects of

one and the same being, just as the different rays which

proceed from the light, and which appear different things to

the eye, form only different manifestations of one and the

same light.

     (3). That since they simply differ from each other as the

different colors of the same light, all the ten emanations alike

partake of the perfections of the En Soph; and,

     (4). That, as emanations from the Infinite, the Sephiroth

are infinite and perfect like  the En Soph, and yet constitute

the first finite things. They are infinite and perfect when the

En Soph imparts his fullness to them, so that in this respect

these ten Sephiroth exactly correspond to the double nature

of Christ, his finite and imperfect human nature and his

infinite and perfect divine nature.

     In their totality and unity These ten Sephiroth are not

only denominated the world of Sephiroth and the world of

Emanations, but represent and are called the Primordial or

Archetypal Man, and the Heavenly Man. In the future, the

Crown is the head; Wisdom, the brains; and Intelligence,

which united the two and produces the first triad, is the heart

or the understanding, thus forming the head.

     The fourth and fifth Sephiroth, Mercy and Justice, are the

two arms of the Lord, the former the right arm and the latter

the left, one distributing life and the other death. And the

sixth Sephira, Beauty, which united these two opposites and

produces the second triad, is the chest; whilst the seventh

and eighth Sephiroth, Firmness and Splendour, of the third

triad, are the two legs; and Foundation, the ninth Sephira,

represents the genital organs, since it denotes the basis and

source of all things.

     Thus it is said, "Every thing will return to its origin just as

it proceeded from it. All marrow, all sap, and all power are

congregated in this spot. Hence all powers which exist

originate through the genital organs." Kingdom, the tenth

Sephira, represents the harmony of the whole Archetypal

Man. The following is the archetypal figure of the ten


         The Sephiroth The Heavenly Man of The World of


     It is this form which the prophet Ezekiel saw in the

mysterious chariot, and of which the earthly man is a faint

copy. Moreover, these Sephiroth, as we have already

remarked, created the world and all things therein according

to their own archetype or in the likeness and similitude of the

Heavenly Man or the World of Emanations.

     But, before we propound the Kabbalistic doctrine of the

creation of the world, it is necessary to describe a second

mode in which the trinity of triads in the Sephiroth is

represented, and to mention the appellations and offices of

the respective triads.

     The Triads -- Intellectual World -- Sensuous World --

                         Material World

     Now in looking at the Sephiroth which constitute the first

triad, it will be seen that they represent the intellect; hence

this triad is called the Intellectual World. The second triad,

again, represents moral qualities; hence it is designated the

moral or Sensuous World: whilst the third Triad represents

power and stability, and hence is designated the Material

World. These three aspects in which the En Soph manifested

himself are called the Faces (and the two words are identical,

the former being pure Aramaic, and the latter from the


     In the arrangement of this trinity of triads, so as to

produce what is called the Kabbalistic tree, denominated the

Tree of Life, or simply the Tree, the first triad is placed above,

the second and third are placed below, in such a manner that

the three masculine Sephiroth are on the right, the three

feminine on the left, whilst the four uniting Sephiroth occupy

the center.

     The three Sephiroth on the right, representing the

principle of mercy, are called the Pillar of Mercy; the three on

the left, representing the principle of rigor, are denominated

the Pillar of Judgment; whilst the four Sephiroth in the

center, representing mildness, are called the Middle Pillar.

Each Sephira composing this trinity of triads is, as it were, a

trinity in itself.

     (1). It has it own absolute character;

     (2) It receives from above; and

     (3). It communicates to what is below it.

     Hence the remark, "Just as the Sacred Aged is

represented by the number three, so are all the other light

(Sephiroth) of a three fold nature."  Within this trinity in

each unit and trinity of triads there is a trinity of units, which

must be explained before we can propound the Kabbalistic

view of the cosmogony.

     We have seen that three of the Sephiroth constitute

uniting links between three pairs of opposites, and by this

means produce three triads, respectively denominated the

Intellectual World, the Sensuous or Moral World, and the

Material World, and that these three uniting Sephiroth,

together with the one which unites the whole into a common

unity, form what is called the Middle Pillar of the Kabbalistic

tree. Now from the important position they thus occupy,

these Sephiroth are synecdochically used to represent the

worlds which by their uniting potency they respectively yield.

     Hence the Sephira, Crown, from which the Sephiroth,

Wisdom and Intelligence, emanated, and by which they are

also united, thus yielding the Intellectual World, is by itself

used to designate the Intellectual World. Its own names,

however, are not changed in this capacity, and it still

continues to be designated by the several appellations

mentioned in the description of the first Sephira.

     The sixth Sephira, called Beauty, which unites Sephiroth

IV (Love) and V (Justice), thus yielding the Sensuous World,

is by itself used to denote the Sensuous World, and in this

capacity is called the Sacred King, or simply the King; whilst

the Sephira called Kingdom, which unites the whole

Sephiroth, is here used to represent the Material World,

instead of the ninth Sephira, called Foundation, and is in this

capacity denominated the Queen or the Matron. Thus we

obtain within the trinity of triads a higher trinity of units, viz.,

the Crown, Beauty, and Kingdom, which represents the

potencies of all the Sephiroth.

     2). The Creation or the Kabbalistic Cosmogony.

     Having arrived at the highest trinity which comprises all

the Sephiroth, and which consists of the Crown, the King,

and the Queen, we shall be able to enter into the cosmogony

of the Kabbalah. Now, it is not the En Soph who created the

world, but this trinity, as represented in the combination of

the Sephiroth; or rather the creation has arisen from the

conjunction of the emanations.

     The world was born from the union of the Crowned King

and Queen; or, accordint to the language of the Kabbalah,

these opposite sexes of Royalty, who emanated from the En

Soph, produced the Universe in their own image. Worlds, we

are told, were indeed created before ever the king and queen

or the Sephiroth gave birth to the present state of things, but

they could not continue, and necessarily perished, because

the En Soph had not yet assumed this human form in its

completeness, which not only implies a moral and

intellectual nature, but, as conditions of development,

procreation, and continuance, also comprises sexual

opposites. This creation, which aborted and which has been

succeeded by the present order of things, is indicated in

Genesis 36:41-40.

     The Kings of Edom, or the old kings as they are also

denominated, who are here said to have reigned before the

monarchs of Israel, and are mentioned as having died one

after the other, are those primordial worlds which were

successevely convulsed and destroyed; whilst the sovereigns

of Israel denote the King and Queen who emanated from the

En Soph, and who have give birth to and perpetuate the

present world.

     Thus we are told: "Before the Aged of the Aged, the

Concealed of the Concealed, expanded into the form of King,

the Crown of Crowns [the first Sephira], there was neither

beginning nor end. He hewed and incised forms and figures

into it [the crown] in the following manner: He spread before

him a cover, and carved therein kings [worlds], and marked

out their limits and forms, but they could not preserve them-

selves. Therefore it is written, these are the kings that reigned

in the land of Edom before there reigned any king over the

Children of Israel.'  This refers to the primordial kings and

primordial Israel. All these were imperfect: he therefore

removed them and let them vanish, till he finally descended

himself to this cover and assumed a form."

     The notion, however, that worlds were created and

destroyed prior to the present creation, was propounded in

the Midrash long before the existence of the Kabbalah. Thus

on the verse, "And God saw everything that he had made,

and behold it was very good.", R. Abahu submits from this

we see that the Holy One, blessed be he, had successively

created and destroyed sundry worlds before he created the

present world, and when he created the present world he

said, this pleases me, the previous ones did not please me.

This important fact that worlds were created and destroyed

prior to the present creation is again and again reiterated in

the Sohar. These worlds are compared with sparks which fly

out from a red hot iron beaten by a hammer, and which are

extinguished according to the distance they are removed

from the burning mass.

     "There were old worlds," the Sohar tells us, "which

perished as soon as they came into existence: were formless,

and they were called sparks. Thus the smith when

hammering the iron, lets the sparks fly in all directions. These

sparks are the primordial worlds, which could not continue,

because the Sacred Aged had not as yet assumed his form [of

opposite sexes -- the King and Queen], and the master was

not yet at his work."

     But since nothing can be annihilated: "Nothing perisheth

in this world, not even the breath which issues from the

mouth, for this, like everything else, has its place and

destination, and the Holy One, blessed be his name! turns it

into his service;"  these worlds could not be absolutely

destroyed. Hence when the question is asked: 'Why were

these primordial worlds destroyed?' the reply is given:

'Because the Man, represented by the ten Sephiroth, was not

as yet. The human form contains everything, and as it did not

as yet exist, the worlds were destroyed.'" It is added, "Still

when it is said that they perished, it is only meant thereby

that they lacked the true form, till the human form came into

being, in which all things are comprised, and which also

contains all those forms. Hence, though the Scripture

ascribes death to the kings of Edom, it only denotes a sinking

down from their dignity, the worlds up to that time did not

answer to the Divine idea, since they had not as yet the

perfect form of which they were capable."

                           Chapter 8

          The Jews Believe God is Both King and Queen!

     It was therefore after the destruction of previous worlds,

and after the En Soph or the Boundless assumed the Sephiric

form, that the present world was created. "The Holy One,

blessed be he, created and destroyed several worlds before

the present one was made, and when this last work was nigh

completion, all the things of this world, all the creatures of

the universe, in whatever age they were to exist, before ever

they entered into this world, were present before God in their

true form. Thus are the words of Ecclesiastes to be

understood 'What was, shall be, and what has been done,

shall be done.'" ; "The lower world is made after the pattern

of the upper world; every thing which exists in the upper

world is to be found as it were in a copy upon earth; still the

whole is one."

     This world, however, is not a creation ex nihilo, but is

simply an immanent offspring and the image of the King and

Queen, or, in other words, a farther expansion or evolution of

the Sephiroth which are the emanations of the En Soph.

     This is expressed in the Sohar in the following passage:

"The indivisible point [the Absolute], who has no limit, and

who cannot be comprehended because of his purity and

brightness, expanded from without, and formed a brightness

which served as a covering to the indivisible point, yet it too

could not be viewed in consequence of its immeasurable

light. It too expanded from without, and this expansion was

its garment. Thus everything originated through a constant

upheaving agitation, and thus finally the world originated."

     The universe therefore is an immanent emanation from

the Sephiroth, and reveals and makes visible the Boundless

and the concealed of the concealed. And though it exhibits

the Deity in less splendor than its parents the Sephiroth,

because it is further removed from the primordial source of

light, yet, as it is God manifested, all the multifarious forms

in the world point out the unity which they represent; and

nothing in it can be destroyed, but everything must return to

the source whence it emanated. Hence it is said that, "all

things of which this world consists, spirit as well as body, will

return to their principal, and the root from which they

proceeded." ; "He is the beginning and end of all the degrees

in the creation. All these degrees are stamped with his seal,

and he cannot be otherwise described than by the unity. He

is one, notwithstanding, the innumerable forms which are in


           The Jews Believe in More than Thirty Gods!

     Now these Sephiroth, or the world of emanations, or the

atzilatic world, gave birth to three worlds in the following

order: From the conjunction [copulation] of the king and

queen, or the Briatic world, also called the throne, which is

the abode of pure spirits, and which, like its parents, consists

of Ten Sephiroth, or Emanations.

     The Briatic World, again, gave rise to, (2). The Word of

Formation, or the Jetziratic World, which is the habitation of

the angels, and also consists of ten Sephiroth; whilst the

Jetziratic World, again, sent forth. (3). The World of Action,

or the Assiatic World, also called the World of Keliphoth,

which contains the Spheres and matter, and is the residence

of the Prince of Darkness and his legions.

     Or, as the Sohar describes it: "After the Sephiroth, and for

their use, God made the Throne (the world of Creation), with

four legs and six steps, thus making ten (the decade of

Sephiroth which each world has)...For this Throne and its

service he formed the ten Angelic hosts (the World of

Formation), Malachim, Arelim, Chajoth, Ophanim,

Chashmalim, Elim, Elohim, Benei Elohim, Ishim, and

Seraphim, and for their service, again, he made Sama‰l and

his legions (the World of Action), who are, as it were, the

clouds upon which the angels ride in their descent on the

earth, and serve, as it were, for their horses. Hence it is

written: 'Behold the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall

come into Egypt.'"  There are, therefore, four worlds, each of

which has a separate Sephiric system, consisting of a decade

of emanations.

     (1). The Atzilatic World, called alternately the World of

Emanations, the Image (== with  prefixed), and the

Heavenly Man, which, by virtue of its being a direct

emanation from God and most intimately allied with the

Deity, is perfect and immutable.

     (2). The Briatic World, called the World of Creation and

the Throne which is the immediate emanation of the former,

and whose ten Sephiroth, being further removed from the En

Soph, are of a more limited and circumscribed potency,

through the substances they comprise are of the purest

nature and without any admixture of matter.

     (3). The Jetziratic World, called the World of Formation

and the World of Angels, which proceeded from the former

world, and whose ten Sephiroth, though of a still less refined

substance than the former, because further removed from the

primordial source, are still without matter. It is in this angelic

world where those intelligent and incorporeal beings reside,

who are wrapped in a luminous garment, and who assume a

sensuous form when they appear to man. And;

     (4). The Assiatic World, called the World of Action and

the World of Matter which emanated from the preceding

world, the ten Sephiroth of which are made up of the grosser

elements of all the former three worlds, and which has sunk

down in consequence of its materiality and heaviness. It

substances consist of matter limited by space and perceptible

to the senses in a multiplicity of forms. It is subject to

constant changes, generations, and corruptions, and is the

abode of the Evil Spirit.

     Before leaving this doctrine about the creation of the

relationship of the Supreme Being to the universe, we must

reiterate two things.

     (1). Though the trinity of the Sephiroth gave birth to the

universe, or, in other words, is an evolution of the

emanations, and is thus a further expansion of the Deity

itself, it must not be supposed that the Kabbalists believe in

a Trinity in our sense of the word. Their view on this subject

will best be understood from the following remark in the

Sohar: "Whoso wishes to have an insight into the sacred

unity, let him consider a flame rising from a burning coal or

a burning lamp. He will see first a twofold light, a bright

white and a black or blue light; the white light is above, and

ascends in a direct light, whilst the blue or dark light is

below, and seems as the chair of the former, yet both are so

intimately connected together that they constitute only one

flame. The seat, however, formed by the blue or dark light, is

again connected with the burning matter which is under it

again. The white light never changes its color, it always

remains white; but various shades are observed in the lower

light, whilst the lowest light, moreover, takes two directions,

above it is connected with the white light, and below with

the burning matter. Now this is constantly consuming itself,

and perpetually ascends to the upper light, and thus

everything merges into a single unity.

     (2). The creation, or the universe, is simply the garment

of God woven from the deity's own  substance; or, as Spinoza

expresses it, God is the immanent basis of the universe. For

although, to reveal himself to us, the Concealed of all the

Concealed sent forth the Ten Emanations called The Form of

God, Form of the Heavenly man, yet since even this luminous

form was too dazzling for our vision, it had to assume another

form, or had to put on another garment which consists of the

universe. The universe, therefore, or The Visible World, is a

further expansion of The Divine Substance, and is called The

Kabbalah "The Garment of God."

     Thus we are told, "when the Concealed of all the

Concealed wanted to reveal himself, he first made a point

[the first Sephira], shaped it into a sacred form [the totality

of the Sephiroth], and covered it with a rich and splendid

garment that is the world."

     (3). The Creation of Angels and Men.

     The different worlds which successively emanated from

the En Soph and from each other, and which sustain the

relationship to the Deity of first, second, third, and fourth

generations, are, with the exception of the first (the World of

Emanations), inhabited by spiritual beings of various grades.

"God animated every part of the firmament with a separate

spirit, and forthwith all the heavenly hosts were before him.

This is meant by the Psalmist, when he says, 'By the breath

of his mouth were made all their hosts.'"

     These angels consist of two kinds, good and bad; they

have their respective princes, and occupy the three habitable

worlds in the following order. As has already been remarked,

the first world, or the Archetypal Man, in whose image

everything is formed, is occupied by no one else. The angel

Metatron occupies the second or the Briatic World, which is

the first habitable world; he alone constitutes the world of

pure spirits. He is the garment of the visible manifestation of

the Deity; his name is numerically equivalent to that of the


     He governs the visible world, preserves the unity,

harmony, and the revolutions of all the spheres, planets and

heavenly bodies, and is the Captain of the myriads of the

angelic hosts who people the second habitable or the

Jetziratic World, and who are divided into ten ranks,

answering to the ten Sephiroth. Each of these angels is set

over a different part of the universe. One has the control of

one sphere, another of another heavenly body; one angel has

charge of the sun, another of the moon, another of the earth,

another of the sea, another of the fire, another of the wind,

another of the light, another of the seasons, etc.,; and the

question, however, about the doctrine of the Trinity in other

passages of the Sohar will be discussed more amply in the

sequel, where we shall point out the relation of the Kabbalah

to Christianity.

     The Kabbalistic description of Metatron is taken from the

Jewish angelogy of a much older date than this theosophy.

Thus Ben Asai and Ben Soma already regard the divine voice,

as Metatron. He is called the Great Teacher, the Teacher of

Teachers, and it is for this reason that Enoch, who walked in

close communion with God, and taught mankind by his holy

example, is said by the Chaldee paraphrase of Jonathan b.

Uzziel, to 'have received the name Metatron, the Great

Teacher' after he was transplanted.  Metatron, moreover, is

the Presence Angel, the Angel of the Lord that was sent to go

before Israel;  he is the visible manifestation of the Deity, for

in him is the name of the Lord, his name and that of the

Deity are identical, inasmuch as they are of the same

numerical value (viz.: and are the same according to the

exegetical rule called Gematria, 10 + 4 + 300 = 314; 50 + 6

+ 200 + 9 + 9 + 40 = 314.

     So exalted is Metatron's position in the ancient Jewish

angelology, that we are told that when Elisha b. Abnja, also

called Acher, saw this angel who occupies the first position

after the Deity, he exclaimed, 'Peradventure, but far be it,

there are two supreme powers.' The etymology is greatly

disputed; but there is no doubt that it is to be derived from

metator, messenger, outrider, way maker, as has been shown

by Elias Levita, and is maintained by Cassel.

     Sachs rightly remarks that this etymology is fixed by the

passage from siphra,  the finger of God was the messenger

or guide to Moses, and showed him all the land of Israel. The

termination has been appended to obtain the same

numerical value.

     The derivation of it from the angel is immediately under

the divine throne, which is maintained by Frank,  Graetz

and others, has been shown by Frankel  and Cassel,  to be

both contrary to the form of the word and to the description

of Metatron. These angels derive their names from the

heavenly bodies they respectively guard. Hence one is called

Venus, one Mars, one the substance of Heaven, one the angel

of light, and another the angel of fire.  The demons,

constituting the second class of angels, which are the grossest

and most deficient of all forms, and are the shells of being,

inhabit the third habitable or Assiatic World.

     They, too, form ten degrees, answering to the decade of

Sephiroth, in which darkness and impurity increase with the

descent of each degree. Thus the two first degrees are

nothing more than the absence of all visible form and

organization, which the Mosaic cosmology describes in the

words before the hexahemeron, and which the Septuagint


     The third degree is the abode of the darkness which the

book of Genesis describes as having in the beginning covered

the face of the earth. Whereupon follow seven infernal halls

== Hells, occupied by the demons, which are the

incarnation of all human vices, and which torture those poor

deluded beings who suffered themselves to be led astray in

this world. These seven infernal halls are subdivided into

endless compartments, as to afford a separate chamber of

torture for every species of sin. The prince of this region of

darkness, who is called Satan in the Bible, is denominated by

the Kabbalah, Sama‰l == angel of poison or of death. He is

the same evil spirit, Satan, the Serpent, who seduced Eve. He

has a wife, called the Harlot or the Woman of Whoredom,

but they are both generally represented as united in the one

name of the Beast.

     The whole universe, however, was incomplete, and did

not receive its finishing stroke till man was formed, who is

the acme of the creation, and the microcosm uniting in

himself the totality of beings. "The heavenly Adam (the ten

Sephiroth), who emanated from the highest primordial

obscurity (the En Soph), created the earthly Adam."  "Man

is both the import and the highest degree of creation, for

which reason he was formed on the sixth day. As soon as

man was created, everything was complete, including the

upper and nether worlds, for everything is comprised in man.

He unites in himself all forms."

     Man was created with faculties and features far

transcending those of the angels. The bodies of the

protoplasts were not of that gross matter which constitutes

our bodies. Adam and Eve, before the fall, were wrapped in

that luminous ethereal, substance in which the celestial

spirits are clad, and which is neither subject to want nor to

sensual desires. They were envied by the angels of the

highest rank. The fall, however, changed it all, as we are told

in the following passage: "When Adam dwelled in the garden

of Eden, he was dressed in the celestial garment, which is a

garment of heavenly light. But when he was expelled from

the garden of Eden, and became subject to the wants of this

world, what is written? 'The Lord God made coats of skins

unto Adam and to his wife, and clothed them';  for prior to

this they had garments of light, light of that light which was

used in the garden of Eden."

     The garments of skin, therefore, mean our present body,

which was given to our first parents in order to adapt them

to the changes which the fall introduced. But even in the

present form, the righteous are above the angels, and every

man is still the microcosm, and every member of his body

corresponds to a constituent part of the visible universe.

      What is man? Is he simply skin, flesh, bones, and veins?

No! That which constitutes the real man is the soul, and

those things which are called the skin, the flesh, the bones,

and the veins, all these are merely a garment, they are simply

the clothes of the man, but not the man himself. When man

departs, he puts off these garments wherewith the son of

man is clothed. Yet are all these bones and sinews formed in

the secret of the highest wisdom, after the heavenly image.

     The skin represents the firmament, which extends

everywhere, and covers everything like a garment, as it is

written, 'Who strethest out the heavens like a curtain.'  The

flesh represents the deteriorated part of the world ...the

bones and the veins represent the heavenly chariot, the inner

powers, the servants of God...But these are the outer

garments, for in the inward part is the deep mystery of the

heavenly man. Everything here below, as above, is


     Therefore it is written: 'God created man in his own

image, in the image of God created he him';  repeating the

word God twice, one for the man and the other for the

woman. The mystery of the earthly man is after the mystery

of the Heavenly man.

     And just as we see in the firmament above, covering all

things, different signs which are formed of the stars and

planets, and which contain secret things and profound

mysteries, studied by those who are wise and expert in these

signs; so there are in the skin, which is the cover of the body

of the son of man, and which is like the sky that covers all

things, signs and features which are the stars and planets of

the skin, indicating secret things and profound mysteries,

whereby the wise are attracted, who understand to read the

mysteries in the human face."

     He is still the presence of god upon earth [this is where

the humanist religion was born. That man is god!], and the

very form of the body depicts the Tetragrammation, the most

sacred name Jehovah.

     Thus the head is the form of the arms and the shoulders

are like the breast represents the Sephiroth from which it

emanates, every soul has ten potencies, which are subdivided

into a trinity of triads, and respectively represented by:

     (1) The Spirit, which is the highest degree of being, and

which both corresponds to and is operated upon by The

Crown, representing the highest triad, in the Sephiroth,

called the Intellectual World;

     (2) The Soul, which is the seat of good and evil, as well as

the moral qualities, and which both corresponds to and is

operated upon by Beauty, representing the second triad in

the Sephiroth, called the Moral World; and

     (3) The Cruder Spirit, which is immediately connected

with the body, is the direct cause of its lower functions,

instincts, and animal life, and which both corresponds to and

is operated upon by Foundation, representing the third triad

in the Sephiroth, called the Material World.

     In its original state each soul is androgynous, and is

separated into male and female when it descends on earth to

be borne in a human body. We have seen that the souls of

the righteous, in the world of spirits, are superior in dignity to

the heavenly powers and the ministering angels. It might,

therefore, be asked why do these souls leave such as abode

of bliss, and come into this vale of tears to dwell in

tabernacles of clay?

     The only reply to be given is that these happy souls have

no choice in the matter. Indeed we are told that the soul,

before assuming a human body, addresses God: "Lord of the

Universe! I am happy in this world, and do not wish to go into

another world, where I shall be a bond-maid, and be exposed

to all kinds of pollutions."

     And can you wonder at this pitiful ejaculation? Should

your philanthropic feelings and your convictions that our

heavenly Father ordains all things for the good of his children,

impel you to ask that an explanation of this mystery might

graciously be vouchsafed to you in order to temper your

compassion and calm your faith, then take this parable: "A

son was born to a king; he sends him to the country, there to

be nursed and brought up till he is grown up, and instructed

in the ceremonies and usages of the royal palace. When the

king hears that the education of his son is finished, what does

his fatherly love impel him to do? For his son's sake he sends

for the Queen his mother, conducts him into the palace and

makes merry with him all day.

     Thus the Holy One, blessed be he, has a son with the

Queen [Here the Jews are saying it is alright for a man to

make love with his own mother!]: this is the heavenly and

sacred soul. He sends him into the country, that is into this

world, therein to grow up and to learn the customs of the

court. When the King hears that this his son has grown up in

the country, and that it is time to bring him into the palace,

what does his love for his son impel him to do? He sends, for

his sake, for the Queen and conducts him to the palace."

     As has already been remarked, the human soul, before it

descends into the world, is androgynous, or in other words,

consists of two component parts, each of which comprises all

the elements of our spiritual nature. Thus the Sohar tells us:

"Each soul and spirit, prior to its entering into this world,

consists of a male and female united into one being. When it

descends on this earth the two parts separate and animate

two different bodies.

     At the time of marriage, the Holy One, blessed be he, who

knows all souls and spirits, unites them again as they were

before, and they again constitute one body and one soul,

forming as it were the right and left of one individual;

therefore 'There is nothing new under the sun.'  This union,

however, is influenced by the deeds of the man and by the

ways in which he walks. The soul carries her knowledge with

her to the earth, so that 'everything which she learns here

below she knew already, before she entered into this world.'"

     Since the form of the body as well as the soul, is made

after the image of the Heavenly Man, a figure of the

forth-coming body which is to clothe the newly descending

soul, is sent down from the celestial regions, to hover over

the couch of the husband and wife when they copulate, in

order that the conception may be formed according to this

model. "At connubial intercourse on earth, the Holy One,

blessed be he, sends a human form which bears the impress

of the divine stamp. This form is present at intercourse, and

if we were permitted to see it we should perceive over our

heads an image resembling a human face; and it is in this

image that we are formed. As long as this image is not sent

by God and does not descend and hover over our heads,

there can be no conception, for it is written: 'And God

created man in his own image.'

     This image receives us when we enter the world, it

develops itself with us when we grow, and accompanies us

when we depart this life; as it is written: 'Surely, man walked

in an image':  and this image is from heaven. When the souls

are to leave their heavenly abode, each soul separately

appears before the Holy King, dressed in a sublime form, with

the features in which it is to appear in this world. It is from

this sublime form that the image proceeds. It is the third after

the soul, and precedes it on the earth; it is present at the

conception, and there is no conception in the world where

this image is not present."

     All human countenances are divisible into the four

primordial types of faces, which appeared at the mysterious

chariot throne in the vision of the prophet Ezekiel, viz., the

face of man, of the lion, the ox and the eagle. Our faces

resemble these more or less according to the rank which our

souls occupy in the intellectual or moral dominion; "And

physiognomy does not consist in the external lineaments, but

in the features which are mysteriously drawn in us. The

features in the face change according to the form which is

peculiar to the inward face of the spirit. It is the spirit which

produces all those physiognomical peculiarities known to the

wise; and it is only through the spirit that the features have

any meaning. All those spirits and souls which proceed from

Eden (the highest wisdom) have a peculiar form, which is

reflected in the face."

     The face thus lighted up by the peculiar spirit inhabiting

the body, in the mirror of the soul; and the formation of the

head indicates the character and temper of the man. An

arched forehead is a sign of a cheerful and profound spirit, as

well as of a distinguished intellect; a broad but flat forehead

indicates foolishness and silliness; whilst a forehead which is

flat, compressed on the sides and spiral, betokens narrowness

of mind and vanity. As a necessary condition of free

existence and of moral being, the souls are endowed by the

Deity, from the very beginning, with the power of adhering in

close proximity to the primordial source of infinite light from

the very beginning, with the power of adhering in close

proximity to the primordial source of infinite light from which

they emanated, and of alienating themselves from that

source and pursuing an independent and opposite course.

     Hence, Simon ben Jochai said, "If the Holy One, blessed

be he, had not put within us both the good and the evil

desire, which are denominated light and darkness, the

created man would have neither virtue nor vice. For this

reason it is written: 'Behold, I have set before thee this day

life and good, and death and evil.'  To this the disciples

replied, Wherefore is all this? Would it not be better if reward

and punishment had not existed at all, since in that case man

would have been incapable of sinning and of doing evil. He

rejoined, It was meet and right that he should be created as

he was created, because the Law was created for him,

wherein are written punishments for the wicked and rewards

for the righteous; and there would not have been any reward

for the righteous and punishment for the wicked but for

created man."

     So complete is their independence, that souls, even in

their pre-existent state, can and do choose which way they

intend to pursue. "All souls which are not guiltless in this

world, have already alienated themselves in heaven from the

Holy One, blessed be he; they have thrown themselves into

an abyss at their very existence, and have anticipated the

time when they are to descend on earth...Thus were the souls

before they came into this world."

     (4). The Destiny of Man and the Universe.

     As the En Soph constituted man the microcosm, and as

the Deity is reflected in this epitome of the universe more

than in any component part of the creation, all things visible

and invisible are designed to aid him in passing through his

probationary state here below, in gathering that experience

for which his soul has been sent down, and in returning in a

pure state to that source of light from which his soul


     This destiny of man, the reunion with the Deity from

which he emanated, is the constant desire both of God and

man, and is an essential principle of the soul, underlying its

very essence. Discarding that blind power from our nature,

which governs our animal life [This is where Darwin got the

idea for the origin of the species], which never quits this

earth, and which therefore plays no part in our spiritual

being, the soul possesses two kinds of powers and two sorts

of feelings.

     It has the faculty for that extraordinary prophetical

knowledge, which was vouchsafed to Moses in an exceptional

manner, called the Luminous Mirror (speculator), and the

ordinary knowledge termed the Non-Luminous Mirror,

respectively represented in the earthly Paradise by the Tree

of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil; and it

possesses the higher feeling of love and the lower feeling of

fear. Now the full fruition of that higher knowledge and of

that loftier feeling of love can only be reaped when the soul

returns to the Infinite Source of Light, and is wrapped in that

luminous garment which the protoplasts forfeited throughout

the fall.

     Thus we are told, "Come and see when the soul reaches

that place which is called the Treasury of Life, she enjoys a

bright and luminous mirror, which receives its light from the

highest heaven. The soul could not bear this light but for the

luminous mantle which she put on. For just as the soul, when

sent to this earth, puts on an earthly garment to preserve

herself here, so she receives above a shining garment, in

order to be able to look without injury into the mirror whose

light proceeds from the Lord of Light. Moses too could not

approach to look into that higher light which he saw, without

putting on such an ethereal garment: as it is written: 'And

Moses went into the midst of the cloud.',  which is to be

translated by means of the cloud wherewith he wrapped

himself as if dressed in a garment. At that time Moses almost

discarded the whole of his earthly nature; as it is written,

'And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights'

(ibid); and he thus approached that dark cloud where God is

enthroned. In this wise the departed spirits of the righteous

dress themselves in the upper regions in luminous garments,

to be able to endure that light which streams from the Lord

of Light."

     The two feelings of love and fear are designed to aid the

soul in achieving her high destiny, when she shall no more

look through the dark glass, but see face to face in the

presence of the Luminous Mirror, by permeating all acts of

obedience and divine worship. And though perfect love,

which is serving God purely out of love, like that higher

knowledge, is to be man's destiny in heaven, yet the soul may

attain some of it on earth, and endeavor to serve God out of

love and not from fear, as thereby she will have an antepast

on earth of its union with the Deity, which is to be so

rapturous and indissoluble in heaven.

     "Yet is the service which arises from fear not to be

depreciated, for fear leads to love. it is true that he who obeys

God out of love has attained to the highest degree, and

already belongs to the saints of the world to come, but it

must not be supposed that to worship God out of fear is no

worship. Such a service has also its merit, though in this case

the union of the soul with the Deity is slight.

      There is only one degree which is higher than fear: it is

love. In love is the mystery of the divine unity. It is love which

unites the higher and lower degrees together; it elevates

everything to that position where everything must be one.

This is also the mystery of the words, 'Hear O Israel, the Lord

our God is one God.'"

               The Kabbalists and The Ten Sephira

     Hence it is that these two principles play so important a

part in the devotions and contemplations of the Kabbalists.

Love is made to correspond to Mercy, the fourth Sephira,

whilst Fear is made to answer to Rigor, the fifth Sephira; and

it is asserted that when these two principles are thoroughly

combined by the righteous in their divine worship and acts of

obedience, the name Jehovah, which comprises these two

principles, and which is now rent in twain by the

preponderance of sin and disobedience, will be re- united.

     Then, and then only will all the souls return to the bosom

of the Father of our spirits; then will the restitution of all

things take place, and the earth shall be covered with the

knowledge of God even as the waters cover the sea. This is

the reason why the Kabbalists utter the following prayer prior

to the performance of any of the commandments: "For the

re-union of the Holy One, blessed be his name, and his

Shechinah, I do this in love and fear and love, for the union

of the name into a perfect harmony! I pronounce this in the

name of all Israel!"

     In order to represent this union to the senses the words

Fear and Love, are divided, and so placed above each other

that they may be read either across or down. When thus

fulfilling the commandments the pious not only enjoy a

prelibation of that sublime light which shines in heaven, and

which will serve them as a garment when they enter into the

other world and appear before the Holy One (Sohar, ii, 299b),

but become on earth already the habitation of the Sephiroth,

and each saint has that Sephira incarnate in him which

corresponds to the virtue he most cultivates, or to the feature

most predominant in his character.

     Among the patriarchs, therefore, who were the most

exalted in piety, we find that Love, the fourth Sephira, was

incarnate in Abraham; Rigor, the fifth Sephira, in Isaac;

Mildness, the sixth Sephira, in Jacob; Firmness, the seventh

Sephira, in Moses; Splendour, the eighty Sephira, in Aaron;

Foundation, the ninth Sephira, in Joseph; and Kingdom, the

tenth Sephira, was incarnate in David.

     Hence all the righteous who constitute the emanations,

of the ten Sephiroth are divided into three classes

corresponding to the three principles or Pillars exhibited in

the Kabbalistic Tree, viz.:

     (1). The Pillar of Mercy, represented by the Patriarch


     (2). The Pillar of Justice, represented by Isaac;  and,

     (3). The Middle Pillar, represented by Jacob, which is the

connecting or uniting principle.

     It is for this reason that the patriarchs are denominated

the Chariot-throne of the Lord. Thus it is said: "All the

prophets looked into the Non-Luminous Mirror, whilst our

teacher, Moses, looked into the Luminous Mirror."

     And again: "Also the divine service which is engendered

by fear and not by love, has its merit."  But since nothing can

be annihilated:  "Nothing perisheth in this world, not even

the breath which issues from the mouth, for this, like

everything else, has its place and destination, and the Holy

One, blessed be his name! turns it into his service;'  -- these

worlds could not be absolutely destroyed. Hence when the

question is asked -- 'Why were these primordial worlds

destroyed?' the reply is given: 'Because the Man, represented

by the ten Sephiroth, was not as yet. The human form

contains everything, and as it did not as yet exist, the worlds

were destroyed.'

     It is added, "Still when it is said that they perished, it is

only meant thereby that they lacked the true form, till the

human form came into being, in which all things are

comprised, and which also contains all those forms. Hence,

though the Scripture ascribes death to the kings of Edom, it

only denotes a sinking down from their dignity, the worlds up

to that time did not answer to the Divine idea, since they had

not as yet the perfect form of which they were capable."

                           Chapter 9

              The Heavens and The Earth Created by


     Hence the admonition: "He who has to start on a journey

very early, should rise at daybreak, look carefully towards the

east, and he will perceive certain signs resembling letters

which pierce through the sky and appear above the horizon.

These shining forms are those of the Letters Wherewith God

Created Heaven and Earth..."

     Now since it is an absolute condition of the soul to return

to the infinite source from which it emanated, after

developing all those perfections, the germs of which are

eternally implanted in it; and since some souls do not at once

develop these fruits of righteousness, which precludes their

immediate reunion with their primordial source, another

term of life is vouchsafed to them [This is where the idea of

reincarnation came from. It's just another Jewish subterfuge

to destroy some unsuspecting persons' faith], so that they

may be able to cultivate those virtues which they stifled in

their former bodily life, and without which it is impossible for

them to return to their heavenly home. Hence, if the soul, in

its first assuming a human body and sojourn on earth, fails to

acquire that experience for which it descends from heaven,

and becomes contaminated by that which is polluting, it

must re-inhabit a body again and again till it is able to ascend

in a purified state through repeated trials.  (This is

Buddahism, who belive and worhip reincarnation) Thus we

are told that, "All souls are subject to transmigration, and

men do not know the ways of the Holy One, blessed be he;

they do not know that they are brought before the tribunal,

both before they enter into this world and after they quit it,

they are ignorant of the many transmigrations and secret

probations which they have to undergo, and of the number

of souls and spirits which enter into this world, and do not

return to the palace of the heavenly king. Men do not know

how the souls revolve like a stone which is their own from

sling; as it is written:-- 'And the souls of thine enemies them

shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.'  But the

time is at hand when these mysteries will be disclosed."

     Here we can see how the Jews, again and again distort

the Word of God and teach men lies and falsehoods:  "And as

it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the


     The transmigration of the soul into another body,

however, is restricted to three times; and if two souls in their

third residence in human bodies are still too weak to resist all

earthly trammels and to acquire the necessary experience,

they are both united and sent into one body, so that they may

be able conjointly to learn that which they were too feeble to

do separately.

     It sometimes, however, happens that it is the singleness

and isolation of the soul which is the source of her weakness,

and she requires help to pass through her probation. In that

case she chooses for a companion a soul which has more

strength and better fortune. The stronger of the two then

becomes as it were the mother; she carries the sickly one in

her bosom, and nurses her from her own substance, just as a

woman nurses her child.

     Such an association is therefore called pregnancy,

because the stronger soul gives as it were life and substance

to the weaker companion. According to Josephus, the

doctrine of the transmigration of souls into other bodies, was

also held by the Pharisees, restricting, however, the

metempsychosis to the righteous.

     And though the Midrashim and the Talmud are silent

about it, yet from Saada's vituperations against it  there is no

doubt that this doctrine was held among some Jews in the

ninth century of the present era.

     At all events it is perfectly certain that the karaite Jews

firmly believed in it ever since the seventh century. St.

Jerome assures us that it was also propounded among the

early Christians as an esoteric and traditional doctrine which

was entrusted to the select few; and Origen was convinced

that it was only by means of this doctrine that certain

Scriptural narratives, such as the struggle of Jacob with Esau

before their birth, the reference about Jeremiah when still in

his mother's womb, and many others, can possibly be

explained. With which the history of the creation begins, and

which is also the first letter in the word blessing.

     Even the archangel of wickedness, or the venomous

beast, or Sam„el, as he is called, will be restored to his

angelic nature and name, inasmuch as he too, like all other

beings, proceeded from the same infinite source of all things.

The first part of his name, which signifies venom, will then be

dropped, and he will retain the second part, which is the

common name of all the angels. This, however, will only take

place at the advent of Messiah. But his coming is retarded by

the very few new souls which enter into the world; as many

of the old souls which have already inhabited bodies have to

re- enter those bodies which are now born, in consequence

of having polluted themselves in their previous bodily

existence, and the soul of the Messiah, which, like other

souls, has its pre-existence in the world of the Sephiroth,

cannot be born till all human souls have passed through their

period of probation on this earth, because it is to be the last

born one at the end of days.

     Reincarnation, or Transmigration of souls, is a doctrine of

the Cabala (Kabbala) Generally. Failing to wash off the

demons of the hands may turn one into a river, says the

Jewish Encyclopedia under "Transmigration of Souls."

     The theory is the cause of much degradation in Hinduism.

In the Cabala, each soul corresponds to a part of the body of

the Adam Kadmon universe, some being "lower" organs,

some "higher."

     The "dibbuk" or possessing spirit who can only be

expelled by a "Baal Shem" wonder-worker came into the

Jewish press in 1955 when the dibbuk was alleged to have

been seen leaving the body of its unwilling host. The Jewish

press all carried the report. "Zoharic elements...crept into the

liturgy of the 16th and 17th centuries ...the characteristic

features of which were the representation of the highest

thoughts by human emblems and human passions, and the

use of Erotic terminology to illustrate the relations between

man and God, religion being identical with love...sensuous

pleasures, and especially intoxication, typify the highest

degree of divine love as ecstatic contemplation, while the

wine- room represents merely the state through which the

human qualities merge or are exalted into those of the Deity."

     There is nothing now there that the pagans who

consulted the oracles, and indulged in booze and sex

degeneracies, to worship the old sex-gods who were the

deities of all pagan civilizations, did not have centuries and

centuries ago. No wonder the unsparing denunciations of the

Prophets have to be "allegorized" away into nothing!

     But the Word of God states that Christ: "For whom he did

foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the

image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many

brethren."  Thus, again and again the Jews are shown to be


     Making the words of Christ ever more true when He said:

"Ye [Jews] are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your

father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and

abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.

When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a

liar, and the father of it."

     Returning to the Kabbalah. Then the great Jubilee year

will commence, when the whole pleroma of souls, cleaned

and purified shall return into the bosom of the Infinite

Source; and they shall be in "the Palace which is situate in

the secret and most elevated part of heaven, and which is

called the Palace of Love."

     There the profoundest mysteries are; there dwells the

Heavenly King, blessed be he, with the holy souls, and is

united with them by a loving kiss.  "this kiss is the union of

the soul with the substance from which it emanated."  Then

hell shall disappear; there shall be no more punishment, nor

temptation, nor sin: life will be an everlasting feast, a Sabbath

without end. Then all souls will be united with the Highest

Soul, and supplement each other in the Holy of Holies of the

Seven Halls.

     Everything will then return to unity and perfection, every

thing will be united into one idea, which shall be over, and fill

the whole universe. The basis of this idea, however (the light

which is concealed in it), will never be fathomed or

comprehended; only the idea itself which emanates from it

shall be comprehended. In that state the creature will not be

distinguished from the Creator, the same idea will illuminate

both. Then the soul will rule the universe like God, and what

she shall command he will execute.  (5). The Kabbalistic

view of the Old Testament, and its relation to Christianity.

We have already seen that the Kabbalah claims a

pre-Adamite existence, and asserts that its mysteries are

covertly conveyed in the first four books of the Pentateuch.

     Those of us who read the Books of Moses, and cannot

discover in them any of the above-mentioned doctrines, will

naturally ask for the principles of exegesis whereby these

secrets are deduced from or rather introduced into the text.

     These principles are laid down in the following

declaration: "If the Law simply consisted of ordinary

expressions and narratives, e.g., the words of Esau, Hagar,

Laban, the ass of Balaam, or of Balaam himself, why should

it be called the Law of truth, the perfect Law, the true

witness of God? Each word contains a sublime source, each

narrative points not only to the single instance in question,

but also to generals."

     The notion that the creation is a blessing, and that this is

indicated in the first letter, is already propounded in the

Midrash, as may be seen from the following remark. The

reason why the Law begins with Beth, the second letter of

the Alphabet, and not with Aleph, the first letter, is that the

former is the first letter in the word blessing, while the latter

is the first letter in the word accursed.  "Woe be to the son

of man who says that the Tora (Pentateuch - to the Jew it

means Talmud) contains common sayings and ordinary

narratives. For, if this were the case, we might in the present

day compose a code of doctrines from profane writings which

should excite greater respect. If the Law contains ordinary

matter, then there are nobler sentiments in profane codes.

Let us go and make a selection from them, and we shall be

able to compile a far superior code. But every word of the

Law has a sublime sense and a heavenly mystery...

     Now the spiritual angels had to put on an earthly garment

when they descended to this earth; and if they had not put

on such a garment, they could neither have remained nor be

understood on the earth. And just as it was with the angels

so it is with the Law. When it descended on earth, the Law

had to put on an earthly garment to be understood by us, and

the narratives are its garment. There are some who think that

this garment is the real Law, and not the spirit which it

clothed, but these have no portion in the world to come; and

it is for this reason that David prayed, 'Open thou mine eyes

that I may behold the wondrous things out of the Law.'

     What is under the garment of the Law? There is the

garment which everyone can see; and there are foolish

people who, when they see a well-dressed man, think of

nothing more worthy that this beautiful garment, and take it

for the body, whilst the worth of the body itself consists in the

soul. The Law too has a body: this is the commandments,

which are called the body of the Law. This body is clothed in

garments, which are the ordinary narratives. The fools of this

world look at nothing else by this garment, which consists of

the narratives in the Law; they do not know any more, and

do not understand what is beneath this garment. But those

who have more understanding do not look at the garment

but at the body beneath it (the moral); whilst the wisest, the

servants of the Heavenly King, those who dwelt at Mount

Sinai, look at nothing else but the soul (the secret doctrine),

which is the root of all the real Law, and these are destined

in the world to come to behold the Soul of this Soul (the

Deity), which breathes in the Law."

     The opinion that the mysteries of the Kabbalah are to be

found in the garment of the Pentateuch is still more

systematically propounded in the following parable. "Like a

beautiful woman, concealed in the interior of her palace, who

when her friend and beloved passes by, opens for a moment

a secret window and is seen by him alone, and then

withdraws herself immediately and disappears for a long

time, so the doctrine only shows herself to the chosen (to him

who is devoted to her with body and soul); and even to him

not always in the same manner.

     At first she simply beckons at the passer-by with her

hand, and it generally depends upon his understanding this

gentle hint. This is the interpretation known by the name.

Afterwards she approaches him a little closer, lisps him a few

words, but her form is still covered with a thick veil, which

his looks cannot penetrate.

     She then converses with him with her face covered by a

thin veil; this is the enigmatic language. After having thus

become accustomed to her society, she at last shews herself

face to face and entrusts him with the innermost secrets of

her heart. This is the secret of the Law. He who is thus far

initiated in the mysteries of the Tora will understand that all

those profound secrets are based upon the simply literal

sense, and are in harmony with it; and from this literal sense

not a single iota is to be taken and nothing to be added to it."

     This fourfold sense is gradually disclosed to the initiated

in the mysteries of the Kabbalah by the application of definite

hermeneutical rules, which chiefly affect the letters

composing the words. The most prominent of these canons


     1). Every letter of a word is reduced to its numerical value

and the word is explained by another of the same quantity.

Thus from the words "Lo! three men stood by him,"  it is

deduced that these three angels were Michael, Gabriel, and

Raphael, because and lo! three men, and these are Michael,

Gabriel, and Raphael, are of the same numerical value, as

will be seen from the following reduction to their numerical

value of both these phrases. 5 + 300 + 300 + 5 + 50 + 5 +

6 == 701 30 + 1 + 20 + 10 + 40 + 6 + 30 + 1 + 30 + 1 +

10 + 200 + 2 + 3 + 30 + 1 + 80 + 200 + 6 == 701 This rule

is a metathesis of a Greek word, in the sense of numbers as

represented by letters.

     2). Every letter of a word is taken as an initial or

abbreviation of a word. Thus every letter of the first word in

Genesis, is made the initial of a word, and we obtain, in the

beginning God saw that Israel would accept the Law. This

rule is denominated, from notarius, a shorthand writer, one

who among the Romans belonged to that class of writers who

abbreviated and used single letters to signify whole words.

     3). The initial and final letters of several words are

respectively formed into separate words. Thus from the

beginnings and ends of the words who shall go up for us to

heaven?  are obtained circumcision and Jehovah, and

inferred that God ordained circumcision as the way to


     4). Two words occurring in the same verse are joined

together and made into one. Thus who and these are made

into God by transposing.

     The words of those verses which are regarded as

containing a peculiar recondite meaning are ranged in

squares in such a manner as to be read either vertically or

boustrophedonally, beginning at the right or left hand. Again

the words of several verses are placed over each other, and

the letters which stand under each other are formed into new

words. As to the relation of the Kabbalah to Christianity, it is

maintained that this theosophy propounds the doctrine of the

trinity and the sufferings of Messiah. How far this is true may

be ascertained from the following passages.

     We have already remarked in several places that the daily

liturgical declaration about the divine unity is that which is

indicated in the Bible, where Jehovah occurs first, then

Elohenu, and then again Jehovah, which three together

constitute a unity, and for this reason he [Jehovah] is in the

said place. But there are three names, and how can they be

one? And although we read one, are they really one? Now

this revealed by the vision of the Holy Ghost, and when the

eyes are closed we get to know that the three are only one.

This is also the mystery of the voice.

     The voice is only one, and yet it consists of three

elements, fire [warmth], air [breath], and water [humidity],

yet are all these one in the mystery of the voice, and can only

be one, three forms which are one. And this is indicated by

the voice which man raises [at prayer], thereby to

comprehend spiritually the most perfect unity of the En Soph

for the finite, since all the three [Jehovah, Elohenu, Jehovah]

are read with the same loud voice, which comprises in itself

a trinity. And this is the daily confession of the divine unity

which, as a mystery, is revealed by the Holy ghost. This unity

has been explained in different ways, yet he who understands

it in this way is right, and he who understands it in another

way is also right. The idea of unity, however formed by us

here below, from the mystery of the audible voice which is

one, explains the thing.

     On another occasion we are informed that R. Eleazar,

whilst sitting with his father R. Simeon, was anxious to know

how the two names, Jehovah and Elohim, can be inter-

changed, seeing that the one denotes mercy and the other

judgment. Before giving the discussion between the father

and the son, it is necessary to remark that whenever the two

divine names, Adonai and Jehovah, immediately follow each

other, Jehovah is pointed and read Elohim. The reason of

this, as it is generally supposed, is to avoid the repetition of

Adonai, Adonai, since the Tetragrammation is otherwise

always pointed and read.

     The Kabbalah, however, as we shall see, discovers in it a

recondite meaning: "R. Eleazar, when sitting before his father

R. Simeon, said to him, we have been taught that whenever

Elohim sometimes be put for Jehovah, as is the case in those

passages wherein Adonai and Jehovah stand together,

seeing that the latter denotes mercy in all the passages in

which it occurs? To which he replied, Thus it is said in the

Scripture, 'Know therefore this day and consider it in thine

heart, that Jehovah is Elohim';  and again it is written

'Jehovah is Elohim.'

     Whereupon he [the son] said, I know this forsooth, that

justice is sometimes tempered with mercy and mercy with

justice. Quoth he [the father], Come and see that it is so;

Jehovah indeed does signify mercy whenever it occurs, but

when through sin mercy is changed into justice, then it is

written Jehovah, but read Elohim. Now come and see the

mystery of the word [Jehovah]. There are three degrees, and

each degree exists by itself [in the Deity], although the three

together constitute one, they are closely united into one and

are inseparable from each other."

     We shall only give one more passage bearing on the

subject of the Trinity.  "He who reads the word One [in the

declaration of the divine unity] must pronounce the Aleph

quickly, shorten its sound a little, and not pause at all by this

letter, and he who obeys this, his life will be lengthened.

     Whereupon they [the disciples] said to him [to R. Ilai], he

[R. Simeon] has said, There are two, and one is connected

with them, and they are three; but in being three they are

one. He said to them, those two names, Jehovah Jehovah,

are in the declaration 'Hear O Israel',  and Elohenu, between

them, is united with them as the third, and this is the

conclusion which is sealed with the impression of Truth. But

when these three combined into a unity, they are one in a

single unity."

     Indeed one Codex of the Sohar had the following remark

on the words "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts";  the first

holy refers to the Holy Father; the second to the Holy Son;

and the third to the Holy Ghost. This passage, however, is

omitted from the present recessions of the Sohar. Some

Jewish writers have felt these passages to be so favorable to

the doctrine of the Trinity, that they insist upon their being

interpolations into the Sohar, whilst other have tried to

explain them as referring to the Sephiroth.

     As to the atonement of the Messiah for the sins of the

people, this is not only propounded in the Sohar, but is given

as the explanation of the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah. "When

the righteous are visited with sufferings and afflictions to

atone for the sins of the world, it is that they might atone for

all the sins of this generation. How is this proved? By all the

members of the body. 'When all members suffer, one member

is afflicted in order that all may recover. And which of them?

The arm. The arm is beaten, the blood is taken from it, and

then the recovery of all the members of the body is secured.

So it is with the children of the world: they are members of

another. When the Holy One, blessed be he, wishes the

recovery of the world, he afflicts one righteous from their

midst, and for his sake all are healed. How is this shown? it

is written: -- 'He was wounded for our transgressions, he was

bruised for our iniquities... and with his stripes we are

healed.'  'With his stripes,' healed, as by the wound of

bleeding an arm, and with this wound we are healed, it was

a healing to each one of us as members of the body."

                 Spirits Hover About The World

     To the same effect is the following passage: "Those souls

which tarry in the nether garden of Eden hover about the

world, and when they see suffering or patient martyrs and

those who suffer for the unity of God, they return and

mention it to the Messiah. When they tell the Messiah of the

afflictions of Israel in exile, and that the sinners among them

do not reflect in order to know their Lord, he raises his voice

and weeps because of those sinners, as it is written, 'he is

wounded for our transgressions.'  Whereupon those souls

return and take their place.

     In the garden of Eden there is one place which is called

the palace of the sick. The Messiah goes into this palace and

invokes all the sufferings, pain, and afflictions of Israel to

come upon him, and they all come upon him. Now if he did

not remove them thus and take them upon himself, no man

could endure the sufferings of Israel, due as punishment for

transgressing the Law; as it is written: 'Surely he hath borne

our griefs and carried our sorrows, etc.  When the children

of Israel were in the Holy Land they removed all those

sufferings and afflictions from the world by their prayers and

sacrifices, but now the Messiah removes them from the


     That these opinions favor, to a certain extent, the

doctrines of the Trinity and the Atonement, though not in the

orthodox sense, is not only admitted by many of the Jewish

literati who are adverse to the Kabbalah, but by some of its

friends. Indeed, the very fact that so large a number of

Kabbalists have from time to time embraced the Christian

faith would of itself show that there must be some sort of

affinity between the tenets of the respective systems. Some

of these converts occupied the highest position in the

Synagogue, both as pious Jews and literary men. We need

only specify Paul Ricci, physician to the Emperor Maximilian

I; Julius Conrad Otto, author of The Unveiled Secrets,

consisting of extracts from the Talmud and the Sohar, to

prove the validity of the Christian doctrine (Nšrenberg,

1805); John Stephen Rittengal, grandson of the celebrated

Don Isaac Abravanel, and translator of The Book Jetzira, or

of Creation, into Latin (Amsterdam, 1642); and Jacob Frank,

the great apostle of the Kabbalah in the eighteenth century,

whose example in professing Christianity was followed by

several thousands of his disciples.

     The testimony of these distinguished Kabbalists, which

they give in their elaborate works, about the affinity of some

of the doctrines of this theosophy with those of Christianity,

is by no means to be slighted; and this is fully corroborated by

the celebrated Leo di Modena, who, as an orthodox Jew,

went so far as to question whether God will ever forgive those

who printed the Kabbalistic works.

     The use made by some well-meaning Christians of the

above-named Kabbalistic canons of interpretation, in

controversies with Jews, to prove that the doctrines of

Christianity are concealed under the letter of the Old

Testament, will now be deprecated by every one who has any

regard for the laws of language.

     As a literary curiosity, however, we shall give one or two

specimens. No less a person than the celebrated Reuchlin

would have it that the doctrine of the Trinity is to be found in

the first verse of Genesis. He submits, if the Hebrew word,

which is translated created, be examined, and if each of the

three letters composing this word be taken as the initial of a

separate word, we obtain the expressions Son, Spirit, Father,

according to Rule 2 (p. 229). Upon the same principle this

crudite scholar deduces the first two persons in the Trinity

from the words: "the stone which the builders refused is

become the head stone of the corner",  by dividing the three

letters composing the word stone, into Father, Son.

     In more recent times we find it maintained that the

'righteousness' spoken of in Daniel ix, 24, means the Anointed

of Jehovah, because the original phrase is by Gematria, ==

numerical value, (which is Rule 1, given above, p. 229). So

pleased is the author with this discovery, that he takes great

care to remark: "It is a proof which I believe has hitherto

escaped the notice of interpreters." Such proofs, however, of

the Messiaship of Christ bring no honor to our religion; and in

the present day argue badly both against him who adduces

them and against him who is convinced by them.

                           Chapter 10

                     Origin of The Kabbalah

     We now proceed to trace the date and origin of the

Kabbalah. Taking the ex parte statement for what it is worth,

viz., that this secret doctrine is of a pre-Adamite date, and

that God himself propounded it to the angels in Paradise, we

shall have to examine the age of the oldest documents which

embody its tenets, and compare these doctrines with other

systems, in order to ascertain the real date and origin of this

theosophy. But before this is done, it will be necessary to

summarize, as briefly as possible, those doctrines which are

peculiar to the Kabbalah, or which it expounds and

elaborates in an especial manner, and which constitute it a

separate system within the precincts of Judaism. The

doctrines, the beliefs of the Jews are as follows:

     1). God is boundless in his nature. He [God] has neither

will, intention, desire, thought, language, nor action. He

cannot be grasped and depicted; and, for this  reason, is

called En Soph, and as such He is in a certain sense not


     2). He [God] is not the direct Creator of the universe,

since He could not will the creation; and since a creation

proceeding directly from him would have to be as boundless

and as perfect as he is himself.

     3). He at first sent forth ten emanations, or Sephiroth,

which are begotten, not made, and which are both infinite

and finite.

     4). From these Sephiroth, which are the Archetypal Man,

the different worlds gradually and successively evolved.

These evolutionary worlds are the brightness and the express

image of their progenitors, the Sephiroth, which uphold all


     5). These emanations, or Sephiroth, gave rise to or

created in their own image all human souls. These souls are

pre-existent, they occupy a special hall in the upper world of

spirits, and there already decide whether they will pursue a

good or bad course in their temporary sojourn in the human

body, which is also fashioned according to the Archetypal


     6). No one has seen the En Soph at any time. It is the

Sephiroth, in whom the En Soph is incarnate, who have

revealed themselves to us, and to whom the

anthropomorphisms of Scripture and the Hagada refer. Thus

when it is said, "God spake, descended upon earth, ascended

into heaven, smelled the sweet smell of sacrifices, repented

in his heart, was angry," etc., or when the Hagadic works

describe the body and the mansions of the Deity, etc., all this

does not refer to the En Soph, but to these intermediate


     7). It is an absolute condition of the soul to return to the

Infinite Source whence it emanated, after developing all

those perfections the germs of which are indelibly inherent in

it. If it fails to develop these germs, it must migrate into

another body, and in case it is still too weak to acquire the

virtues for which it is sent to this earth, it is united to another

and a stronger soul, which, occupying the same human body

with it, aids its weaker companion in obtaining the object for

which it came down from the world of spirits.

     8). When all the pre-existent souls shall have passed their

probationary period here below, the restitution of all things

will take place; Satan will be restored to an angel of light, hell

will disappear, and all souls will return into the bosom of the

Deity whence they emanated. The creature shall not then be

distinguished from the Creator. Like God, the soul will rule

the universe: she shall command, and God [Will] obey.

     With these cardinal doctrines before us we shall now be

able to examine the validity of the Kabbalists' claims to the

books which, according to them, propound their doctrines

and determine the origin of this theosophy. Their works are

(1). The Book of Creation; (2) The Sohar; and (3). The

Commentary of the Ten Sephiroth. As the Book of Creation

is acknowledged by all parties to be the oldest, we shall

examine it first.

     1). The Book of Creation of Jetzira.

     This famous document pretends to be a monologue of the

patriarch Abraham, and premises that the contemplations it

contains are those which led the father of the Hebrews [Here

the Jews inadvertently admit that they are not the children

of Abraham!] to abandon the worship of the stars and to

embrace the faith of the true God. Hence the remark of the

celebrated philosopher, R. Jehudah Ha-levi (born about

1086): "The Book of the Creation, which belongs to our father

Abraham...demonstrates the existence of the Deity and the

Divine Unity, by things which are on the one hand manifold

and multifarious, whilst on the other hand they converge and

harmonize; and this harmony can only proceed from One

who originated it."

     The whole Treatise consists of six Perakim or chapters,

subdivided into thirty-three very brief Mishnas or sections, as

follows. The first chapter has twelve sections, the second has

five, the third five, the fourth four, the fifth three, and the

sixth four sections. The doctrines which it propounds are

delivered in the style of aphorisms or theorems, and,

pretending to be the dictates of Abraham, are laid down very

dogmatically, in a manner becoming the authority of this


     As has already been intimated, the design of this treatise

is to exhibit a system whereby the universe may be viewed

methodically in connection with the truths given in the Bible,

thus showing, from the gradual and systematic development

of the creation, and from the harmony which prevails in all its

multitudinous component parts, that One God produced it

all, and that He is over all.

     The order in which God gave rise to this creation out of

nothing, and the harmony which pervades all the constituent

parts of the universe are shown by the analogy which subsists

between the visible things and the signs of thought, or the

means whereby wisdom is expressed and perpetuated among

men. Since the letters have no absolute value, nor can they

be used as mere forms, but serve as the medium between

essence and form, and like words, assume the relation of

form to the real essence, and of essence to the embryo and

unexpressed thought, great value is attached to these letters,

and to the combinations and analogies of which they are


     The patriarch Abraham, therefore, employs the double

value of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet [It is

for this reason that the Book of Jetzira is also called the

Letters or alphabet of the Patriarch Abraham]; he uses them,

both in their phonetic nature and in their sacred character,

as expressing the divine truths of the Scriptures.

     But, since the Hebrew alphabet is also used as numerals,

which are represented by the fundamental number ten, and

since the vowels of the language are also ten in number, this

decade is added to the twenty-two letters, and these two

kinds of signs, the twenty- two letters of the alphabet and the

ten fundamental numbers, are designated the thirty- two

ways of secret wisdom; and the treatise opens with the

declaration: "By thirty-two paths of secret wisdom, the

Eternal, the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, the living God,

the King of the Universe, the Merciful and Gracious, the High

and Exalted God, he who inhabiteth eternity, Glorious and

Holy is His name, hath created the world by means of

numbers, phonetic language, and writing."

     First of all comes the fundamental number ten. This

decade is divided into a tetrade and hexade, and thereby is

shown the gradual development of the world out of nothing.

At first there existed nothing except the Divine Substance,

with the creative idea and the articulate creative word as the

Spirit or the Holy Spirit, which is one with the Divine

Substance and indivisible. Hence, the Spirit of the living God

stands at the head of all things and is represented by the

number one. "One is the spirit of the living God, blessed be

His name, who liveth for ever! voice, spirit, and word, this is

the Holy ghost."

     From this spirit the whole universe proceeded in gradual

and successive emanations, in the following order. The

creative air, represented by number two, emanated from the

Spirit. "In it He engraved the twenty-two letters." The water

again, represented by the number three, proceeded from the

air. "In it He engraved darkness and emptiness, slime and

dung." While the ether or fire, represented by the number

four, emanated from the water. "In it He engraved the throne

of His glory, the Ophanim, the Seraphim, the sacred animals,

and the ministering angels, and from these three he formed

His habitation; as it is written:  'He maketh the wind his

messengers, flaming fire his servants."

     These intermediate members between the Creator and

the created world sustain a passive and created relationship

to God, and an acting and creating relationship to the world;

so that God is neither in immediate connection with the

created and material universe, nor is His creative fiat

hindered by matter.  Then comes the hexade, each unit of

which represents space in the six directions, or the four

corners of the world, east, west, north, and south, as well as

height and depth which emanated from the ether, and in the

center of which is the Holy Temple supporting the whole.

The position of the decade is therefore as follows:

       (1) Spirit;

     (6) North;

       (2) Air;

     (7) West; Holy Temple.

       (3) Water;

     (8) East;

      (4) Ether or Fire;

     (9) South; and

       (5) Height;

     (10) Depth.

These constitute the primordial ten, from which the whole

universe proceeded. And lastly follow, "The twenty-two

letters, by means of which God, having, drawn, hewn, and

weighed them, and having variously changed and put them

together, formed the souls of everthing that has been made,

and that shall be made."

     These twenty-two letters of the alphabet and are then

divided into three groups, consisting respectively of, (1). The

three mothers, or fundamental letters, (2) Seven double and

(3) Twelve simple consonants, to deduce there from a triad

of elements, a heptade of opposites, and a duodecimo of

simple things, in the following manner.

     1). Three Mothers, Aleph, Mem, Shin.

     The above-named three primordial elements, viz., ether,

water and air, which were as yet partially ideal and ethereal,

became more concrete and palpable in the course of

emanation. Thus the fire developed itself into the earth,

embracing sea and land, whilst the elementary air became

the atmospheric air.

     These constitute the three fundamental types of the

universe. The three primordial elements also thickened still

more in another direction, and gave birth to a new order of

creatures, which constitute the course of the year and the


     From the ether developed itself heat, from the water

emanated cold, and from the air proceeded the mild

temperature which shows itself in the rain or wet. These

constitute the fundamental points of the year. Whereupon

the three primordial elements developed themselves in

another direction again, and gave rise to the human


     The ether sent forth the human head, which is the seat of

intelligence; the water gave rise to the body, or the

abdominal system; whilst the air, which is the central

element, developed itself into the genital organ. These three

domains, viz., the macrocosm, the revolution of time, and the

microcosm, which proceeded from the three primordial

elements, are exhibited by the three letters Aleph, Mem and


     Hence it is said that by means of these three letters,

which, both in their phonetic and sacred character, represent

the elements, inasmuch as a gentle aspirate, and as the initial

of air, symbolizes the Air; as a labial or mute, and as the

initial of water, represents the Water: whilst, as a sibilant,

and as the last letter of fire, typifies the Fire:   God created,

     In the World -- The Fire,

Water, Air.

     In Man -- the Head, Body,


     In the Year -- Heat, Cold,


     2). Seven double consonants -- Beth, Gimel, Daleth,

Caph, Pe, Resh, Tau.

     The three dominions proceeding from the triad of the

primordial elements which emanated from the unity

continued to develop themselves still further. In the

macrocosm were developed the seven planets, in time the

seven days, and in the microcosm the seven sensuous


     These are represented by the seven double consonants of

the alphabet. Hence it is said that by means of these seven

letters, which are called double because they have a double

pronunciation, being sometimes aspirated and sometimes

not, according to their being with or without the Dagesh,

God created:

     In the World -- Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun,

Venus, Mercury, Moon.

     In Man -- Wisdom, Riches, Dominion, Life,

Favour, Progeny, Peace.

     In the Year -- Sabbath, Thursday, Tuesday,

Sunday, Friday, Wednesday, Monday.

     Owing to the opposite == double pronunciation of these

seven letters, being hard and soft, they are also the symbols

of the seven opposites in which human life moves, viz.,

wisdom and ignorance, riches and poverty, fruitfulness and

barrenness, life and death, liberty and bondage, peace and

war, beauty and deformity. Moreover, they correspond to the

seven ends, above and below, east and west, north and

south, and the Holy Place in the center, which supports

them; and with them God formed the seven heavens, the

seven earths or countries, the seven weeks from the feast of

Passover to Pentecost.

     3). Twelve simple consonants.

     The three dominions then respectively developed

themselves into twelve parts, the macrocosm into the twelve

signs of the Zodiac, time into twelve months, and the

microcosm into twelve active organs. This is shown by the

twelve simple consonants of the alphabet. Thus it is declared,

that by means of the twelve letters, God created the twelve

signs of the Zodiac, viz.: --

     In the World: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo,

Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces.

     In Man: The organs of Sight, Hearing, Smelling, Talking,

Taste, Copulating, Dealing, Walking, Thinking, Anger,

laughter, Sleeping.

     In the Year: The twelve months, viz., Nisan, Jiar, Sivan,

Tamus, Ab, Elul, Tishri, Cheshvan, Kislev, Tebet, Shebat,


     The three dominions continued gradually to develop into

that infinite variety of objects which is perceptible in each.

This infinite variety, proceeding from the combination of a

few, is propounded by means of the great diversity of

combinations and permutations of which the whole alphabet

is capable. These letters small in number, being only

twenty-two, by their power of combination and transposition,

field and endless number of words and figures, and thus

become the types of all the varied phenomena in the

creation. "Just as the twenty-two letters yield two hundred

and thirty-one types by combining Aleph with all the letters,

and all the letters with Alph; Beth, with all the letters, and all

the letters with Beth, so all the formations and all that is

spoken proceed from one name."  Accordingly, the material

form of the spirit, represented by the twenty-two letters of

the alphabet, is the form of all existing beings. Apart from the

three dominions, the macrocosm, time, and microcosm, it is

only the Infinite who can be perceived, and of whom this

triad testifies; for which reason it is denominated "the three

true witnesses."

     Each of this triad, notwithstanding its multifariousness,

constitutes a system, having its own center and dominion.

Just as God is the center of the universe, the heavenly dragon

is the center of the macrocosm; the foundation of the year is

the revolution of the Zodiac; whilst the center of the

microcosm is the heart. The first is like a king on his throne,

the second is like a king living among his subjects, and the

third is like a king in war.

     The reason why the heart of man is like a monarch in the

midst of war is, that the twelve principal organs of the human

body, "are arrayed against each other in battle array; three

serve love, three hatred, three engender life, and three death.

The three engendering love are the heart, the ears and the

mouth; the three for enmity are the liver, the gall and the

tongue; but God, the faithful King, rules over all the three

systems. One [god] is over the three, the three are over the

seven, the seven over the twelve, and all are internally

connected with each other."

     Thus the whole creation is one connected whole; it is like

a pyramid pointed at the top, which was its beginning, and

exceedingly broad in its basis, which is its fullest

development in all its multitudinous component parts.

Throughout the whole are perceptible two opposites, with a

reconciling medium. In the macrocosm, "the ethereal fire is

above, the water below, and the air is between these hostile

elements to reconcile them."  The same is the case in the

heaven, earth and the atmosphere, as well as in the

microcosm. But all the opposites in the cosmic, telluric and

organic spheres, as well as in the moral world, are designed

to balance each other. "God has placed in all things one to

oppose the other; good to oppose evil, good proceeding from

good, and evil from evil; good purifies evil, and evil purifies

good; good is in store for the good, and evil is reserved for the


     From this analysis of its contents it will be seen that the

Book Jetzira, which the Kabbalists claim as their oldest

document, has really nothing in common with the cardinal

doctrines of the Kabbalah. There is not a single word in it

bearing on the En Soph, the Archetypal Man, the

speculations about the being and nature of the Deity, and the

Sephiroth, which constitute the essence of the Kabbalah.

     Even its treatment of the ten digits, as part of the thirty-

two ways of wisdom whereby God created the universe,

which has undoubtedly suggested to the authors of the

Kabbalah the idea of the ten Sephiroth, is quite different from

the mode in which the Kabbalistic Sephiroth are depicted, as

may be seen from a most cursory comparison of the

respective diagrams which we have given to illustrate the

plans of the two systems.

     Besides the language of the Book Jetzira and the train of

ideas therein enunciated, as the erudite Zunz rightly remarks,

shew that this treatise belongs to the Geonim period, about

the ninth century of the Christian era, when it first became


     The fabrication of this pseudograph was evidently

suggested by the fact that the Talmud mentions some

treatises on the Creation, denominated and  which R.

Chanina and R. Oshaja studied every Friday, whereby they

produced a calf three years old and ate it; and whereby R.

Joshua ben Chananja declared he could take fruit and

instantly produce the trees which belong to them.

     Indeed Dr. Chwolson of Petersburg has shown in his

treatise "on the Remnants of the ancient Babylonian

Literature in Arabic translations," that the ancient

Babylonians laid it down as a maxim that if a man were

minutely and carefully to observe the process of nature, he

would be able to imitate nature and produce sundry

creatures. He would not only be able to create plants and

metals, but even living beings. These artificial productions

the Babylonians call productions or formations. Gutami, the

author of the Agricultura Nabat, who lived about 1400 B.C.

devoted a long chapter to the doctrine of artificial

productions. The ancient sorcerer Ankebuta declares, in his

work on artificial productions, that he created a man, and

shows how he did it; but he confesses that the human being

was without language and reason, that he could not eat, but

simply opened and closed his eyes.

     This and many other fragments adds R, from whose

communication we quote, show that there were many works

in Babylon which treated on the artificial productions of

plants, metals, and living beings, and that the Book Jetzira,

mentioned in the Talmud, was most probably such a

Babylonian document.

     As the document on creation, mentioned in the Talmud,

was lost in the course of time, the author of the Treatise

which we have analyzed tried to supply the loss, and hence

not only called his production by the ancient name the Book

of Creation, but ascribed it to the patriarch Abraham.

     The perusal, however, of a single page of this book will

convince any impartial reader that it has as little in common

with the magic work mentioned in the Talmud or with the

ancient Babylonian works which treat of human creations, as

with the speculations about the being and nature of the

Deity, the En Soph and the Sephiroth, which are the essence

of the Kabbalah.

     For those who would like to prosecute the study of the

metaphysical Book Jetzira, we must mention that this

Treatise was first published in a Latin translation by Postellus,

Paris, 1552. It was then published in the original with five

commentaries, viz., the spurious one of Saadia Gaon, one by

Moses Nachmanides, one by Eleazer Worms, one by

Abraham b. David, and one by Moses Botarel. Mantua, 1565.

     Another Latin version is given in Jo. Pistorii artis

cabalistical semptorum, 1587, Tom. 1, p. 869 seq., which is

ascribed to Reuchlin and Paul Ricci; and a third Latin

translation, with notes and the Hebrew text, was published

by Rittangel, Amsterdam, 1662. The Book is also published

with a German translation and notes, by John Freidrich v.

Meyer, Leipzig, 1830.

     As useful helps to the understanding of this difficult Book

we may mention The Kusari of R. Jehudah ha-levi, with

Cassel's German version and learned annotations, part iv.

chap 25, p. 344, etc. Having shown that the Book Jetzira,

claimed by the Kabbalists as their first and oldest code of

doctrines, has no affinity with the real tenets of the Kabbalah,

we have now to examine:

                           The Sohar

     2). The Book Sohar.

     Before we enter into an examination concerning the date

and authorship of this renowned code of the Kabbalistic

doctrines, it will be necessary to describe the component

parts of the Sohar. It seems that the proper Sohar, which is

a commentary on the five Books of Moses, according to the

division into Sabbatic sections, was originally called the

Midrash or Exposition.

     Let there be Light, from the words in Gen. i, 4; because

the real Midrash begins with the exposition of this verse. The

name Sohar, Light Splendour, was given to it afterwards,

either because this document begins with the theme light, or

because the word Sohar frequently occurs on the first page.

It is referred to by the name of the Book Sohar in the

component parts of the treatise itself. The Sohar is also

called Midrash of R. Simon b. Jochai, because this Rabbi is its

reputed author.

     The Sohar was first published by the Padova and Jacob b.

Naphtali, 3 vols.  Mautna, 1558-1560, with an Introduction by

Is. de Lattes. Interspersed throughout the Sohar, either as

parts of the text with special titles, or in separate columns

with distinct superscriptions, are the following dissertations,

which we detail according to the order of the pages on which

they respectively commence.

     1). Tosephta and Mathanithan and, or Small Additional

Pieces which are given in vol. i, 31b; 32b; 37a; 51b; 59a; 60b;

62; 98b; 121a; 122, 123b; 147; 151a; 152a; 232; 233b; 234a;

vol. ii, 4, 27b; 28a; 68b; 135b; vol. iii, 29b; 30a; 54b; 55.

     They briefly discuss, by way of supplement, the various

topics of the Kabbalah, such as the Sephiroth, the emanation

of the primordial light, etc., and address themselves in

apostrophes to the initiated in these mysteries, calling their

attention to some doctrine or explanation.

     2). Hechaloth or The Mansions and Abodes forming part

of the text vol. i, 38a-45b; vol. ii, 245a-269a.

     This portion of the Sohar describes the topographical

structure of Paradise and Hell. The mansions or palaces,

which are seven in number, were at first the habitation of the

earthly Adam, but, after the fall of the protoplasts, were

rearranged to be the abode of the beautified saints, who for

this reason have the enjoyment both of this world and the

world to come.

     The seven words in Genesis 1:2  are explained to describe

these seven mansions. Sohar, i, 45a, describes the seven

Hells. In some Codices, however, this description of the

Infernal Regions is given vol. ii, 202b.

     3). Sithre Tora, or The Mysteries of the Pentateuch, given

in separate columns, and at the bottom of pages as follows.

Vol. i, 74b; 75a; 76b-77a; 78a-81b; 97a-102a; 107b-111a;

146b-149b; 151a; 152b; 154b-157b; 161b-162b; 165; vol. ii,


     It discusses the divers topics of the Kabbalah, such as the

evolution of the Sephiroth, the emanation of the primordial

light, etc.

     4). Midrash Ha-Neelam, or The Hidden Midrash, occupies

parallel columns with the text in vol. i, 97a-140a, and

endeavors more to explain passages of Scripture mystically,

by way of Remasim and Gematrias, and allegorically, than to

propound the doctrines of the Kabbalah.

     Thus Abraham's prayer for Sodom and Gomorrah is

explained as an intercession by the congregated souls of the

saints in behalf of the sinners about to be punished. Lot's two

daughters are the two proclivities in man, good and evil.

Besides this mystical interpretation wherein the Kabbalistic

rules of exegesis are largely applied, the distinguishing

feature of this portion of the Sohar is its discussion on the

properties and destiny of the soul, which constitute an

essential doctrine of the Kabbalah.

     5). Raja Mehemna, or the Faithful Shepherd. This portion

of the Sohar is given in the second and third volumes, in

parallel columns with the text; and when it is too

disproportioned for columns, is given at the bottom or in

separate pages, as follows. Vol. ii, 25; 40; 59b; 91b-93a; 134b;

157b-159a; 187b-188a; vol. iii, 3a-4b; 20a; 24b; 27; 28a-29a;

33a-34a; 42a; 44a; 63; 67b-68a; 81b-83b; 85b-86a; 88b-90a;

92b-93a; 97a-101a; 103b-104a; 108b-111b; 121b-126a;

145a-146b; 152b-153b; 174a-175a; 178b-179b; 180a;

215a-239a; 242a-258a; 263a-264a; 270b-283a.

     It derives its name from the fact that it records the

discussions which Moses the Faithful Shepherd held in

conference with the prophet Elias, and with R. Simon b.

Jochai, the celebrated master of the Kabbalistic school, who

is called the Sacred Light. The chief object of this portion is

to show the profound and allegorical import of the Mosaic

commandments and prohibitions, as well as of the Rabbinic

injunctions and religious practices which obtained in the

course of time. At the dialogue which Moses the lawgiver

holds with R. Simon b. Jochai the Kabbalistic lawgiver, not

only is the prophet Elias present, but Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,

Aaron, David, Solomon, and God himself make their

appearance; the disciples of R. Simon are frequently in

ecstasies when they hold converse with these illustrious

patriarchs and kings of bygone days.

     6). Raze Derazin, or the Secret of Secrets, Original

Secrets, is given in vol. ii, 70a-75a.

     And is especially devoted to the physiognomy of the

Kabbalah, and the connection of the soul with the body,

based upon the advice of Jethro to his son-in-law Moses "and

thou shalt look into the face."

     7). Saba Demishpatim, or the Discourse of the Aged in

Mishpatim, given in vol. ii, 94a-114a

     The Aged is the prophet Elias, who holds converse with

R. Simon b. Jochai about the doctrine of metempsychosis,

and the discussion is attached to the Sabbatic section called,

Exod. xxi, 1 - xxiv, 18, because the Kabbalah takes this word

to signify punishments of souls, and finds its psychology in

this section. So enraptured were the disciples when their

master, the Sacred Light, discoursed with Moses on this

subject, that they knew not whether it was day or night, or

whether they were in the body or out of the body.  "For such

are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves

into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself

is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great

thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of

righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."

     8). Siphra Detzniutha, or the Book of Secrets or Mysteries,

given in vol. ii, 176b-178b.

     It is divided into five sections, and is chiefly occupied with

the discussing the questions involved in the creation, the

transition from the infinite to the finite, from absolute unity

to multifariousness, from pure intelligence to matter, the

double principle of masculine and feminine, expressed in the

Tetragrammaton, the andrgynous protoplast, the

Demonology concealed in the letters of Scripture, as seen in

Gen. vi, 2; Josh. ii, 1; 1 Kings viii, 3-16; the mysteries

contained in Isa. i, 4, and the doctrine of the Sephiroth

concealed in Gen. i; etc., as well as with showing the import

of the letters composing the Tetragrammation which were

the principal agents in the creation. This portion of the Sohar

has been translated into Latin by Rosenroth in the second

volume of his Kabbala Denudata, Frankfort-on-the-Maine,


     9). Idra Rabba, or the Great Assembly is given in vol. iii,


     And derives its name from the fact that it purports to give

the discourses which R. Simon b. Jochai delivered to his

disciples who congregated around him in large numbers.

Upon the summons of the Sacred Light, his disciples

assembled to listen to the secrets and enigmas contained in

the Book of Mysteries.

     Hence it is chiefly occupied with a description of the form

and various members of the deity, a disquisition on the

relation of the deity, in his two aspects of the aged and the

young, to the creation and the universe, as well as on the

diverse gigantic members of the Deity, such as the head, the

beard, the eyes, the nose, etc.; a dissertation on

pneumatology, demonology, etc. it concludes with telling us

that three of the disciples died during these discussions. This

portion too is given in a Latin translation in the second

volume of Rosenroth's Kabbala Denudata.

     10). Januka, or the Discourse of the Young Man, is given

in vol. iii, 186a-19a, and forms part of the text of the Sohar on

the Sabbatic section called Balak, Numb. xxii, 2-xxv, 9.

     It derives its name from the fact that the discourses

therein recorded were delivered by a young man, under the

following circumstances: R. Isaac and R. Jehudah, two of R.

Simon b. Jochai's disciples, when on a journey, and passing

through the village where the widow of R. Hamnuna Saba

resided, visited this venerable woman. She asked her son, the

young hero of this discourse, who had just returned from

school, to go to these two Rabbins to receive their

benediction; but the youth would not approach them

because he recognized, from the smell of their garments, that

they had omitted reciting on that day the prescribed

declaration about the unity of the Deity.

     When at meals this wonderful Januka gave them sundry

discourses on the mysterious import of the washing of hands,

based on Exod. xxx, 20, on the grace recited at meals, on the

Shechinah, on the angel who redeemed Jacob, etc., which

elicited the declaration from the Rabbins that "this youth is

not the child of human parents"; and when hearing all this, R.

Simon b. Jochai coincided in the opinion, that "this youth is

of superhuman origin."

     11). Idra Suta or the Small Assembly, is given in vol. iii,


     And derives its name from the fact that many of the

disciples of R. Simon b. Jochai had died during the course of

these Kabbalistic revelations, and that this portion of the

Sohar contains the discourses which the Sacred Light

delivered before his death to the small assembly of six pupils,

who still survived and congregated to listen to the profound


     It is to a great extent a recapitulation of the Idra Rabba,

occupying itself with speculations about the Sephiroth, the

deity in his three aspects, or principles which successively

developed themselves from each other, viz., the en Soph, or

the boundless in his absolute nature, the Macroprosopon, or

the Boundless as manifested in the first emanation, and the

Microprosopon, the other nine emanations; the abortive

creations, etc., and concludes with recording the death of

Simon b. Jochai, the Sacred Light and the medium through

whom God revealed the contents of the Sohar.

     From this brief analysis of its component parts and

contents, it will be seen that the Sohar does not propound a

regular kabbalistic system, but promiscuously and

reiteratedly dilates upon the diverse doctrines of this

theosophy, as indicated in the forms and ornaments of the

Hebrew alphabet, in the vowel points and accents, in the

Divine names and the letters of which they are composed.

     Hence the Sohar is more a collection of homilies or

rhapsodies on Kabbalistic subjects than treatises on the

Kabbalah. It is for this very reason that it became the treasury

of the Kabbalah to the followers of this theosophy. Its

diversity became its charm.

     The long conversations between its reputed author, R.

Simon b. Jochai, and Moses, the great lawgiver and true

shepherd, which it records; the short and pathetic prayers

inserted therein; the religious anecdotes; the attractive

spiritual explanations of scripture passages, appealing to the

hearts and wants of men.

     The description of the Deity and of the Sephiroth under

tender forms of human relationships, comprehensible to the

finite mind, such as father, mother, primeval man, matron,

bride, white head, the great and small face, the luminous

mirror, the higher heaven, the higher earth, etc., which it

gives on every page, made the sohar a welcome text-book for

the students of the Kabbalah, who, by its vivid descriptions of

divine love, could lose themselves in rapturous embraces

with the Deity.

     The Sohar pretends to be a revelation from God,

communicated through R. Simon b. Jochai, who flourished

about A.D. 70-110, to his select disciples. We are told that

"when they assembled to compose the Sohar, permission was

granted to the prophet Elias, to all the members of the

celestial college, to all angels, spirits, and superior souls, to

assist them; and the ten spiritual substances were charged to

disclose to them their profound mysteries, which were

reserved for the days of the Messiah."

     On the approach of death, R. Simon b. Jochai assembled

the small number of his disciples and friends, amongst whom

was his son, R. Eleazar, to communicate to them his last

doctrines, "when he ordered as follows R. Aba writes, R.

Eleazar, my son propound, and let my other associates

quietly think about it."

     It is upon the strength of these declarations, as well as

upon the repeated representation of R. Simon b. Jochai as

speaking and teaching throughout this production, that the

Sohar is ascribed to this Rabbi on its very title-page, and that

not only Jews, for centuries, but such distinguished Christian

scholars as Lightfoot, Gill, Bartolocci, Pfeifer, Knorr von

Rosenroth, Molitor, etc., have maintained this opinion. A

careful examination, however, of the following internal and

external evidence will show that this Thesaurus of the

Kabbalah is the production of the thirteenth century.

     1). The Sohar most fulsomely praises its own author, calls

him the Sacred Light, and exalt him above Moses, "the true

Shepherd. "I testify by the sacred heavens and the sacred

earth that I now see what no son of man has seen since

Moses ascended the second time on Mount Sinai, for I see my

face shining as brilliantly as the light of the sun when it

descends as a healing for the world; as it is written, 'to you

who fear my name shall shine the Sun of Righteousness with

a healing in his wings.'  Yea, more, I know that my face is

shining, but Moses did not know it nor understand it; for it is

written,  'Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone.'"

The disciples deify R. Simon in the Sohar, declaring that the

verse, "all thy males shall appear before the Lord God" refers

to R. Simon b. Jochai, who is the Lord, and before whom all

men must appear.

     2). The sohar quotes and mystically explains the Hebrew

vowel points , which were introduced for the first time by R.

Mocha of Palestine, A.D. 570, to facilitate the reading of the

Scriptures for his students.

     3). The sohar Faithful Shepherd, (on section iii, 82b), has

literally borrowed two verses from the celebrated Hymn of

Ibn Gebiro, who was born about A.D. 1021 and died in 1070.

This Hymn which is entitled The Royal Diadem, is a beautiful

and pathetic composition, embodying the cosmic views of

Aristotle, and forms part of the Jewish service for the evening

preceding the Great Day of Atonement to the present day.

     4). The Sohar  quotes and explains the interchange, on

the outside of the Mezuza, of the words Jehovah our God is

Jehovah for Kuzu Bemuchzaz Kuzu, by substituting for each

letter its immediate predecessor in the alphabet, which was

transplanted from France into Spain in the thirteenth


     5). The Sohar  uses the expression Esnoga, which is a

Portuguese corruption of  synagogue, and explains it in a

Kabbalistic manner as a compound of two Hebrew words, Es

== and Noga == brilliant light.

     6). The Sohar ii, 32a. mentions the Crusades, the

momentary taking of Jerusalem by the  Crusaders from the

Infidels, and the retaking of it by the Saracens.

     "Woe to the time wherein Ishmael [see how the Jews lie

again and again - it was Abraham who received the

commandment to circumcise his male children - not

Ishmael!] saw the world, and received the sign of

circumcision! "What did the Holy One, blessed be his name?

He excluded the descendants of Ishmael, the Mohommedans,

from the congregation in heaven, but gave them a portion on

earth in the Holy Land, because of the sign of the covenant

which they possess. The Mahommedans are, therefore,

destined to rule for a time over the Holy Land; and they will

prevent the Israelites from returning to it, till the merit of the

Mahommedans is accomplished. At that time the

descendants of Ishmael will be the occasion of terrible wars

in the world, and the children of Edom, the Christians [Here

again they lie and say Christians are Edomites, when the

Scriptures along with the Jews own writings show it is the

Jews who are the Edomites not the Christians], will gather

together against them and do battle with them, some at sea

and some on land, and some in the neighborhood of

Jerusalem, and the victory will now be on the one side and

then on the other, but the Holy Land will not remain in the

hands of the Christians."

     7). The Sohar records events which transpired A.D. 1264.

     Thus on Num. xxiv, 17, which the Sohar explains as

referring to the time preceding the advent of Messiah, it

remarks, "the Holy One, blessed be he, is prepared to rebuild

Jerusalem. Previous to the rebuilding thereof he will cause to

appear, a wonderful and splendid star, which will shine

seventy days. It will first be seen on Friday, Elul == July

25th, and disappear on Saturday or Friday evening at the end

of seventy days. On the day preceding [its disappearance,

October 2nd] when it will still be seen in the city of Rome, on

that self-same day three high walls of that city of Rome and

the great palace will fall, and the pontiff ruler of the city will


     The comet here spoken of appeared over Rome, July

25th, 1264, and was visible till October 2nd, which are

literally the seventy days mentioned in the Sohar. Moreover,

July 25th, when the comment first appeared actually

happened on a Friday; on the day of its disappearance,

October 2nd, the sovereign pontiff of Rome, Urban IV, died

at Perugia, when it was believed the appearance of the

comment was the omen of his death, and the great and

strong palace Vincimento, fell on the self-same day, October

2nd, into the hand of the insurrectionists.

     8). The Sohar, in assigning a reason why its contents were

not revealed before, says that the "time in which R. Simon

ben Jochai lived was peculiarly worthy and glorious, and that

it is near the advent of the Messiah," for which cause this

revelation was reserved till the days of R. Simon, to be

communicated through him.

     Yet, speaking elsewhere of the advent of the Messiah, the

Sohar, instead of placing it in the second century when this

Rabbi lived, forgets itself and says: "When the sixtieth or the

sixty-sixth year shall have passed over the threshold of the

sixth millennium [A.M. 5060-66 == A.D. 1300-1306] the

Messiah will appear";  thus showing that the author lived in

the thirteenth century of the Christian era. In perfect

harmony with this is the fact that:

     9). The doctrine of the En Soph, and the Sephiroth, as

well as the metempsychosisian retribution were not known

before the thirteenth century..."With the assistance of this

mysterious science a man could master all the spirits that flit

like shadows through the universe: could obtain the services

of the angels, perform the most astounding deeds. Such was

the meaning attached to this science and the awe which the

Kabbalist inspired was far superior to that which the wizard

or magician inspired. For the Kabbalist owed his power to the

knowledge which was vouchsafed to him through the study

of sacred writings, whilst the wizard or magician was

suspected of some unholy compact with the Master of

Darkness. This at once shows that even in the darkest ages

of superstition and blind belief, Kabbala was never associated

with evil purposes, nor the Kabbalist with some mysterious

dark power. He was credited with having penetrated the

mysteries of this world by almost a special grace of God;

through some holy agency the veil that covers everything had

been lifted for him."

     The line drawn here between the white Kabbalist and the

black magician is as arbitrary as all attempted classifications

of magic under rubrics are doomed to be; white and black are

continually mingling and fertilizing each other; and the

ineffable names of the Kabbala were used and misused by the

magical confraternity quite as profusely as those of the

divinities of Egypt, Greece and Christendom.

     The holier the names, the more powerful they were

supposed to be; and even the divine appellations of the

Kabbalistic Sephiroth did not escape magical pollution. This

fundamental doctrine of the emanations of God from Ain (En)

Soph (the Illimitable One) through Kether, the Crown; Binah,

Understanding; Chokmah, Wisdom; Geburah, Strength;

Chesed, Pity; Hod, Greatness; Netzach, Victory; Jesod,

Foundation; Malkuth, Kingdom, supplied Jewish mystics

with food for enraptured contemplation and their

philosophers with matter for abstruse speculations. But it

also ministered to the insatiable demand for names of power

inherent in the very nature of magic.

     By connecting a particular name for God with each of His

emanations (Jah, Jehovah, El, Elohim, Jehod, Eloha,

Sabaoth, Shadai, Adonai), it delivered these sacred symbols

into the hands of sorcerers; and most eagerly of course was

grasped the one about which there seemed to be the most


     A great and almost impenetrable mystery had indeed

gradually grown up round the name which there seemed to

be the most mystery. A great and almost impenetrable

mystery had indeed gradually grown up round the name

which to us seems the most familiar of all, even though its

pronunciation has shifted in our own day: Jehovah or

Jahweh. Represented by the letters JHVH (Yod He Vau He),

it seems at first to have been openly spoken.

     But a time came when, possibly owing to the

mystery-mongering about divine names in Egypt and

Babylonia, the Hebrew priests refrained from pronouncing it,

and substituted Adonai (Lord) when they read the sacred

texts out loud.

     The Jewish people followed their lead; and, because of

the absence of vowels from the Hebrew alphabet, the original

pronunciation was finally forgotten and not rediscovered until

A.D. 300 or there abouts.

     It was the Kabbalists who emphasized the mystery

surrounding the letters JHVH by referring to the name they

represented as the 'word of four letters,' Tetragrammation,

and this caught on like wild-fire in the magical texts. Few

indeed and far between are those modern rituals in which

that awe-inspiring name does not occupy the place of honor.

It is not one of the many bizarre appellations to be found in

the Sword of Moses, which may have been pre-Kabbalistic in

origin; but this text nevertheless illustrates particularly vividly

the strange hold which cipher-language has always had over

the Jewish mind, and which has rendered the obscurity and

complexity of magical names still more hopeless to


     There are well over a hundred and forty divine or angelic

ineffable names in this treatise; but the majority, according

to Gaster, defy transliteration. The following passages,

however, throw some light on the mental gymnastics

involved in composing them: "... and these are the Ineffable

names and their surnames: Spirit Piskonnit, kunya, X;

Atimon, kunya, X; Piskon (?), Hugron, kunya, X; Sanigron,

kunya, X; Msi, Kunya, X; Mokon, kunya, X; Astm, kunya, X;

Sktm, kunya, X; Ihoaiel, kunya, X; Iofiel, kunya, X; Ssnialiah,

kunya, X; Kngiela, kunya, X; Zabdiel, kunya, X. I conjure thee

with these fourteen names, by which all the secrets and

mysteries and signs are sealed and accomplished, and which

are the foundations of heaven and earth. (Kunya is the

surname; X stands for names which have not been


     I further call thee with the greatest of thy Names, the

pleasant and beloved one, which is the same as that of thy

Master, save one letter, with which He created and formed

everything, and which He placed as a seal upon all the work

of His hand; and this is its equivalent -- X, and the other in

the language of purity (permutations of the letters Yod, He)

is read so -- X. I conjure thee with the right hand of sanctity

and with His beloved Name, in whose honor everything has

been created, and all are terror-struck by His mighty arm,

and all the sons of the internal heavenly cohort tremble and

shake of His fear, which is X, and its equivalent by means of

JHVH is the name X, Lord, most high and holy, in the

name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel's battalions; in

the name of the holy living Creatures, and in the name of the

Wheels of the Chariot, and in the name of the river of fire, Ih,

Ziin, and all His ministers, and in the name of IH, Ziin,

Sabaoth, Z, El Z, Shaddai Z, X revealed Himself on Mount

Sinai in the glory of His majesty."

     These names were held to be omnipotent over both good

spirits and evil ones; and to be exceedingly terrible: "And if

you should refuse me, I will hand you over to the Lord God

and to his Ineffable name, whose wrath and anger and fire

are kindled, who honors his creatures with one letter of his

name, and is called X; so that if you refuse he will destroy

you, and you will not be found when searched after."  "With

these Names, terrible and mighty, which darken the sun, and

obscure the moon, and turn the sea, and break the rocks, and

extinguished the light I conjure you, spirits, and...Shiddim,

and Satanism, that you depart and disappear from N, son of


     The affiliations between Kabbalism and Gnosticism are

notoriously very close, for indeed the Gnosis not only derived

from but also entered into every contemporary doctrine and

religious or mystical system. As regards the Ineffable Name,

it out-clamored (as was its custom) even the Kabbala: "If

anyone knows that Name when he goes out of the material

body, neither smoke nor darkness, neither Archon, angel, or

archangel, would be able to hurt the soul which knows that

Name. And if it be spoken by anyone going out from the

world and said to the fire, it will be extinguished; and to the

darkness, it will disappear; and if it be said to the demons

and to the satellites of the external darkness, to its Archons,

and to its lords and powers, they will all perish, and their

flame will burn them so that they exclaim: 'Thou are holy,

Thou art holy, the Holy of all the Holy.' And if that Name is

said to the judges of the wicked, and to their lords and all

their powers, and to Barbelo and the invisible God, and to

the three Gods of triple power, as soon as that Name is

uttered in those regions they will fall one upon the other, so

that being destroyed they perish and exclaim: 'Light of all the

Lights, who art in the infinite lights, have mercy upon us and

purify us."

     Magicians did rather more than borrow ineffable names

from the Kabbala. The Zohar first became known in Europe

in the thirteenth century, when a poor Jew, Moses Leon,

brought it to Spain.

     From then onwards Kabbalism has never ceased to exert

an incalculable influence upon occultists of every description.

The Kabbalistic tree, which give the Sephiroth in a tabular

form, and the doctrine that the invisible can be known by

analogy from the visible ('as below, so above') have led to

abysmally abstruse speculations, to the most extravagant

flights of fancy and to the most fine-spun theories; for the

obscurity of the language of Zohar as well as the pantheism

underlying the doctrine of the emanations have had an

almost intoxicating effect on the minds of mystics,

mystagogues and magicians, as the language of Eliphas LŠvi,

who was a combination of all three, amply testifies: 'On

penetrating into the sanctuary of the Kabbalah one is seized

with admiration in the presence of a doctrine so logical, so

simple and at the same time so absolute.

     The essential union of ideas and signs; the consecration

of the most fundamental realities by primitive characters; the

trinity of words, letters and numbers; a philosophy simple as

the alphabet, profound and infinite as the Word; theorems

more complete and luminous than those of Pythagoras; a

theology which may be summed up on the fingers; an infinite

which can be held in the hollow of an infant's hand; ten

figures and twenty-two letters, a triangle, a square and a

circle: such are the elements of the Kabbalah. Such also are

the component principles of the written Word, reflection of

that spoken Word which created the world! All truly

dogmatic religions have issued from the Kabbalah and return


     Whatsoever is grand or scientific in the religious dreams

of the illuminated, of Jacob B”hme, Swedenborg,

Saint-Martin and the rest, is borrowed from the Kabbalah; all

Masonic associations owe to it [Kabbala or Cabbala] their

secrets and their symbols.

     The Kabbalah alone consecrates the alliance of universal

reason and the Divine Word; it establishes, by the

counterpoise of two forces in apparent opposition, the eternal

balance of being; it alone reconciles reason with faith, power

with liberty, science with mystery: it has the keys of the

present, past and future!"

     The hoary (though mythical) antiquity of the Kabbala,

fathered on the fallen angels and also on Moses, was another

reason which recommended it to magicians; for magic,

always conscious of a remote and glorious golden age, seeks

in the distant past and its memorials for the secrets of

knowledge, wisdom and power. This is why magical rituals

have been ascribed, from time immemorial, to sages as far

removed in time as was compatible with the survival of their


     In the fifteenth century books of magical secrets and ritual

processes were attributed to Adam, Abel, Noah, Joseph,

Moses, Solomon, Reuben, Enoch, Zoroaster, Hermes

Trismegistus, Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Virgil and

Mahomet, to mention only the most outstanding and

popular. This custom has persisted until today, and moved

Waite to scholarly but uncritical wrath: "Back-dating and

imputed authorship are the two crying sins of magical hand-

books...There never was a literature so founded on forgery as

Magic... Knavish methods...have ruled the manufacture of

most magical books...A literature which has done nothing but

ascribe falsely..."

     These false assumptions and antedatings, if they are

symptoms of the fundamental delusiveness of magic, also

witness to its reverence for age, authority and tradition. The

individual claims are invalid; but the antiquity of magic and

its supremacy in ancient times are matters of historical fact.

     Venerable indeed as well as many and diverse were the

strands woven into the rope with which medieval and

modern magicians hoped to draw into their sphere the

unknown powers around them; deities and demons from

Babylon, Egypt, Persia, Palestine and Greece; magic names

spoken in the dawn of time in languages now dead and gone;

others taken from a ghost-speech which had never exited in

reality; ritual processes enacted through countless ages and

fixed in high perfection before the birth of Christ; pagan

practices; Eastern mysticism; Hebrew folk-lore; Christian

theology; apocalyptic angelology and demonology;

Kabbalistic symbolism; neo-Platonic philosophy. All this (not

to mention the considerable part played by astrology in the

rituals of magic nor the presence of ritual elements in the

experiments of alchemy) was assimilated well or ill, partially

or totally misunderstood, mangled, mutilated, corrupted, but

still there in the quasi-modern rituals which have found their

way into print.

     Superficially considered, these appear to be a mass of

unintelligible nonsense which it would be a waste of time to

examine closely. But a patient scrutiny reveals much of great

interest buried underneath the rubbish on the top. A

philosophy underlies the rituals; and beneath these mounds

of folly are remnants of ancient civilizations.

                           Chapter 11


     In the records of antiquity the result and not the origin

meets the gaze; but the relationship of cause and effect

seems undeniable. The necromantic scene in the Epic of

Gilgamish undoubtedly gives the impression of being based

on ritual ceremonies (notably burial rites) witnessed by the

poet, and so does the raising of Darius in The Persians;

whereas Homer's description deems rather to have been in-

spired by legend or hearsay. The love-charms in Virgil's

Pharmaceutria were deliberately chosen for their poetical

quality, and Lucan's hair-raising account of the rites of

Erichtho illustrates the propensity of ritual to produce fiction,

consummated in Apuleius' Golden Ass.

     A less conscious and more organic development can be

traced in the influence of the katabasis on the descent of

Aeneas into the Underworld in the wake of many an

actor-hero in kingship and fertility-rites; and Dante's Divine

Comedy is a poet's vision and interpretation of the journey

through the nether and upper regions constantly undertaken

by magicians in legend because they had done so in the rites.

These two examples show the creative energy in ceremonial

magic transformed into peerless poetry; but the question still

remains as to whether any comparable process has occurred

in more recent times.

     Shakespeare's Ariel and Milton's Azael derive from

magical texts and it is just possible that the demonologies

which were such a marked feature of these manuals from

The Testament of Solomon downwards contributed the

notion of a pandemonium to Milton, who crystallized the

floating conceptions generated by the rituals into a superb

pageantry of evil.

     But this is speculation and does not admit of proof. One

is on firmer ground with the Greek magical papyri which

show spontaneous development into poetry in many of the

texts, a process also visible in some of Anti-Scot's rituals, in

which magic for magic's sake lords it over practical

considerations, and poetry is achieved.

     This however is in the framework of the ceremony itself,

as are also the epic elements discernible in The Testament of

Solomon, which elaborated the legend of the demons

building of the Temple and contributed some items to it,

verging on the territory of folk-lore. The introductions to the

Key of Solomon also used and added something to the

mythical matter about the wise king, and the first part of the

Lemegeton could be described as an amplification and

elaboration of the legend of the brazen vessel.

     'Fosts's Magi has epic streaks in it also; the planetary

spirits as well as the presumed author and Mephisto give

autogiographical details, which are also present in the Black

Raven; while the pygmies in Magia and Luridan in Anti-Scot

show affiliations with folk-lore. In all these case the rituals

owe far more to legend than they add to it, and are hardly

more than signs and tokens of a persistent magical tradition

associated with certain well-known names.

     Rather less hidebound is The Book of the Sacred Magic of

Abramelin the Mage as delivered by Abraham the Jew unto

his son Lamech A.D. 1458. This mid-fifteenth-century text,

originally written in Hebrew and translated from French into

English by Mathers, has a long autobiographical introduction

describing how the writer became possessed of the secrets

communicated in the manuscript.

     Having received instruction in the Kabbala from his father

Simon, Abraham set out at the age of twenty when Simon

died upon a voyage of discovery into the mysteries of the

Lord. He went first to Mayence, where for ten years he sat at

the feet of a Jew called Moses, only to come to the

conclusion that his arts were infidel and idolatrous, whether

deriving from Egyptian, Median, Persian, or Arabian sources.

     On February 13, 1397 he therefore embarked for Egypt

and spent two years in Constantinople, learning the sacred

wisdom of Abramelin and copying out his secret books. On

the way home he visited the magicians in all the cities he

passed through and was disillusioned or disgusted with

nearly all, notably with the wizard whom he found in Prague;

"...a wicked man named Antony, who in truth showed me

wonderful and supernatural things, but the infamous wretch

avowed to me, that he had made a pact with the demon, and

had given himself over to him in body and in soul, while the

deceitful Leviathan had promised him forty years of life to do

his pleasure. To this day they sing in the streets of the terrible

end which befell him, for his body was found dragged

through the streets and his head without any tongue therein

lying in a drain."

     "They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were

never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be

made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto

you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the

servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth

ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free

indeed. I know that ye [Jews] are Abraham's seed; but ye

[Jews] seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in

you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye

do that which ye [Jews] have seen with your father. They

answered and said unto, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith

unto them, if ye [Jews] were Abraham's children, ye would

do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man

that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this

did not Abraham. Ye [Jews] do the deeds of your father.

Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication [This is

making reference to Judah and Tamar and their twin sons

Pharez and Zarah, whom the Jews believe to have been born

of fornication. This does not make reference to Christ Himself

as the Jews knew nothing about Mary, His mother being with

child of the Holy Spirit until centuries later]; we have one

Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, if God were your

father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came

from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do

ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear

my word. Ye [Jews] are of your father the devil, and the lusts

of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the

beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no

truth in him [Here Christ is saying there is no truth in the

Jews]. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he

is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth,

ye believe me not."

      We are warned by Christ. But most of America's so-called

Christians will not, because of lying pastors, ministers, etc.,

listen to His Words: "For many shall come in my name,

saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many."  For a second

witness: "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am

Christ; and shall deceive many."

     But God will send us ministers, priests, pastors and etc.,

who will: "Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a

solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the

congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and

those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom [Christ] go

forth of his chamber, and the bride [Israel] out of her closet.

Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the

porch and the altar, and let them say, spare thy people, O

Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the

heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say

among the people, where is their God? Then will the Lord be

jealous for his land, and pity is people."

Reference Materials