copenhagen qabalah

spiritual technology lab

the polarities of the tree

The Tree of life consists of more than simply the Sephiroth and the Paths. There is a lot of polarized interaction on the Tree between the above and the below, between the positive and the negative. This is how we, the people of the West, perceive our world - not united, but in polarities.*

The aim of the qabalist is to develop consciousness so as to heal these inner and outer relationships by opening blocked energy poles, thereby reducing the qliphotic evils of imbalance.*

Polarity is a relationship, not a fixed categorisation: Each Sephiroth is the creator of its successors, and it is bi-polar: Feminine, passive or negative in relation to its predecessor and masculine, active or positve in respect of its successor. The dynamic relationship between each connected pair of Sephiroth is represented by a Path.*


the three pillars

Polarity is most visibly represented by the three vertical pillars on the Tree, corresponding to three significant currents of energy through the body. Imagine yourself with your back towards the Tree.*

The pillar on your right with Binah, Geburah and Hod is called the Pillar of Severity, because when compared with its opposite, its Sephiroth tend to structure and restrain the energy, like the static feminine principles of taoism, Yin, or Ida, Yoga's negative current of energy to the right of the spine.*

On your left the Pillar of Mercy tends to overflow with the dynamic, constructive energy through Chokmah, Chesed and Netzach, like the masculine principle of taoism, Yang, or Pingala, Yoga's positive current of energy to the left of the spine.*

Along your spine the Middle Pillar, Pillar of Mildness or Pillar of Equilibrium with Kether, Tiphareth, Yesod and Malkuth balances the interaction between the two other pillars, like the balancing principle Tao, or Shushuma, Yoga's current of energy in the center of the spine.*

In some mystery lodges, the left and right pillars represent the entrance to King Solomon's Temple, while the magician standing between them represent the Middle Pillar.*


the three triangles

Polarity is also a sexual relationship with a tension, a productive exchange of energy between the poles. Some polarities on the Tree give birth to a third principle, like for instance Chesed and Geburah are giving birth to Tiphareth, or Netzach and Hod are leading to Yesod. Another triangular relationship exist where the polarity manifests from a higher point of unity, for instance where Kether manifests as Chokmah and Binah. Manifestation unfolds in still more differentiated polarities as energy travels down the Tree. The three major triangular relationships on the Tree are the Supernal, Ethical and Astral triangles.*

Kether gives rise to Chokmah and Binah. Together they form the Supernal Triangle: Kether as pure being, Chokmah as pure activity and Binah passivity in its pure form. This is the level of pure and eternal Spirit, where all opposites are reconciled and there is no duality. Therefore "Anything you say about the Supernals is both true and untrue and neither true nor untrue" (Parfitt;172). The Supernals represent the level of Spirit symbolically correspond with the harmonious Garden of Eden, before the human race embarked upon its quest for knowledge and self-realization. Or with "the Old Gods which every pantheon recognises as the predecessors of those forms of godhead worshipped by the current faith" (Fortune;90). They are pure potentiality.*

Out of the divine Supernals emanates contradictory manifestation, the actual: The constructive anabolism of Chesed and the disciplined katabolism of Geburah give birth to equlibrating Tiphareth. Together they form the Ethical or Abstract Triangle. This is the level of the Soul, the part of us that experience a series of physical incarnations, and the conscious level of various higher beings. These are the ruling powers of manifestation, the 'New Gods', inside and in the world. As they are typically seperated from the Supernals, these levels of consciousness and of being, do not represent perfect enlightenment, even though they are superior to our normal personality.*

Personality is next: The Astral or Magical Triangle where the collective enthusiasm and higher feelings of Netzach fertilize the concentrated mind of Hod thereby giving rise to the imaginative dynamics of Yesod. The level of consciousness in the Astral Triangle equals the level of our everyday personality: It's far from perfect. *

Some include the sensory consciousness of Malkuth (and the body) into the Astral Triangle, turning it into a Quarternary of Form.*


the three major barriers

Since the Fall from the Garden of Eden, humans are not living in unity with God. This distance is not only symbolized by the hierarchical structure of the Tree as such, but also by certain barriers that have been experienced by several magicians. The bariers stemming from The Fall must be overwon in order to manifest the true will of God on earth. Only when rooted in Kether will the actions and consciousness of the magician be aligned with the true Will of God. *

The Supernals are seperated from the rest of the Tree by the Abyss, the area between Chokmah-Binah and Chesed-Geburah, which can only be crossed by the magician if he leaves individual existence behind. In biblical terms, the Abyss is a symbol of original sin, our fundamental seperation from divinity. *

Through the Ethical Triangle, above Tiphareth, the Tree is divided by the so called Veil of Paroketh. It represents the highest point to which our normal consciousness can rise. This is the same Veil of the Temple, which was rent asunder at the crucifixion of Christ, because the normal barrier between God and humanity was broken. *

Bethween the Ethical and Astral Triangles is another significant barrier: The Gulf. It represents the test of unreserved dedication needed to pass on to Tiphareth from the lower levels of consciousness. One must leave behind Hod's schemes of mental perception, Yesod's sensual pleasures and Netzach's desire for life itself. *


the cosmic family

The above and the below is of course the most important polarity of any spiritual technology. The qabalistic interpretation emphasizes that heaven and earth are part of the one big family.

Another name for the Supernal Triangle is Macroprosopos, The Man Above. Here, Kether is named Arik Anpin, the Vast Countenance, and is considered the central Sephiroth of the Triangle. Kether is manifested as Chokmah, Abba, The Supernal Father, and Binah, Ama, The Supernal Mother. The Supernal Triangle is also named Neschamah, representing the divine aspirations of the Soul.*

Another name for the combined Ethical and Astral Triangles is Microprosopos, The Man Below. It consists of the six Sephiroth. They are placed around Tiphareth, the heart of Microprosopos. Tiphareth considered as the centre of Microprosopos is called Melekh, the King, but also The Son or Child of Abba (Chokmah) and Ama (Binah). Microprosopos is also called Zaur Anpin, The Lesser Countenance, and Ruach, representing the Soul's mind and reasoning powers.*

From this perspective, Malkuth is sometimes called Kallah, The Bride of Microprosopos, Malkah, the Queen of Tiphareth, the King. Malkuth corresponds to Nephesch, representing the animal instincts of the Soul.*

The application of the court cards of tarot on the Tree follow the structure of this family tree: The Kings or Knights are the Abbas drawing their power from Chokmah. Queens are the Amas of Binah. Princes are, of course the Sons of the King and Queen, belonging in Tiphareth, and the Princesses are the Brides residing in Malkuth. This application is called the four specific elements.*


unmanifest to manifestation

One of the major dilemmas of the Western mind is that of Truth. We like our descriptions of the universe and of the cosmic order to reveal 'what there is', but we never will. Our language and symbolism is conventional, and culture only sees what it wants to see. Furthermore, our senses are limited in their scope. What exists outside the reach of our senses the Qabalah terms the Unmanifest. The Tree of Life, on the other hand, is supposed to encompass the ultimate range of human consciousness. *

For philosophical reasons the qabalists define three degrees of Unmanifest, three Negative Veils of Existence which will remain unknown to us: 'Ain', Negativity, nothing; 'Ain Soph', The Limitless, a nothing that becomes, and finally 'Ain Soph Aur', Negative Limitless Light, a nothing that is. Our senses will never grasp "God as he is, in His entirety, being hidden behind the Negative Veils of Existence, incomprehensible to unenlightened human consciousness" (Fortune;25).*

It is Ain Soph Aur that is closest to manifestation and finally gives birth to Kether "The Malkuth of the Unmanifest", into which cosmic energy is continuously creating our universe. Creative magic utilizes this productive polarity between manifest and unmanifest. Through the act of symbolizing, it directs the flow of energy from the Unmanifest through Kether into the desired, specific forms of manifestation.*


seven planes in ten

Most Eastern systems are built around a seven-tiered structure, The Seven Planes. The Qabalah works with the same seven planes but highlights the basic polarity at three levels of existence: Chokmah-Binah, Chesed-Geburah and Netzach-Hod. There is significant disagreement about their names and their relationship with the Tree of Life. The following is only one among many available suggestions:*

The Nirvanic Plane at the level of the Sahasrara chakra is obviously rooted in Kether. Chokmah and Binah are a western interpretation of the Cosmic Plane and Body and the Anja chakra. The conditions of the Spiritual Plane or Body and the Visuddhi chakra in the Eastern systems can be described by the qabalah as Chesed and Geburah. Beautiful Tiphareth is clearly related to the chakra of the heart: Anahata, and the Mental Plane and Body. Solar Plexus and the Astral Plane can be qabalistically interpreted as dimensions of formative Hod and fiery Netzach. Yesod's productive emotions and imagination is represented in the East by the Swadhistana chakra and the Etheric Plane or Body, in fact anything Chi related. The sensuous and physical kingdom of Malkuth relates to the Physical Plane or Body and the Muladhara (root) chakra.*


on to * "the creative process of four elements"

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