P. 1
Keys to Kabbalah

Keys to Kabbalah


|Views: 225|Likes:
Published by bgeller4936
qabbala,magick, occult
qabbala,magick, occult

More info:

Published by: bgeller4936 on Aug 02, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less






The four worlds can be related to the sephi-
rothic Tree, and there are many ways of doing
this. There is general agreement that Atzilut cor-
responds to Keter, Briah to Chokhmah and
Binah, Yetzirah to the next six sephiroth, and
Assiah to Malkhut. This is too simple however.
The four worlds represent four distinct
“realms” of consciousness, and there is more in
this idea than a simple attribution to sephiroth.
Out of the many ways of presenting the four
worlds I will present two schemes which I con-
sider to offer more in the way of real, useful
substance than other schemes I am familiar

The Four Worlds


with. There is no question of “rightness” or
“wrongness” - any map, unless it is grossly or
maliciously misleading, is bound to contain
some useful information. It is a question of how
useful the map is, and in my opinion the follow-
ing attributions of the four worlds to the Tree
are outstandingly useful and enrich the basic
sephirothic Tree considerably. The first attribu-
tion relates the four worlds to a single Tree; the
second makes use of four separate Trees and is
called “The Extended Tree”.
The first attribution begins with a small
amount of simple geometry, and if you have not
done this before then it is well worth doing.
Draw a vertical line on piece of paper. At the
top of the line place the needle of a pair of com-
passes and draw a circle with a diameter
approximately half that of the length of the line.

Without altering the compasses, draw a second
circle where the first intersects the line. Repeat
this for the second circle, and then for the third.
You now have a line and four intersecting cir-
cles. Label the centre of the first circle “Keter”,
the second “Daat”, the third “Tipheret”, and the
fourth “Yesod”. It should be obvious where to
place Malkhut, and the rest of the sephiroth can
be placed at the intersection points of the four

The four circles represent the four worlds. The
first circle, Atzilut, is centred on Keter, reaches
up into the Unmanifest, takes in Chokhmah and
Binah, and reaches down to Daat. It is entirely
on the other side of the Abyss. The second cir-
cle, Briah, is centred in Daat, reaches up as far as

Keter and down as far as Tipheret, and takes in
Chokhmah, Binah, Chesed and Gevurah. The
third circle, Yetzirah, is centred in Tipheret and
reaches from Daat to Yesod, and includes Che-
sed, Gevurah, Netzach and Hod, the six sephi-
roth traditionally associated with Zoar Anpin,
the Lesser Countenance or Microprosopus. The
final circle is centred in Yesod and reaches from
Tipheret to Malkhut, taking in the sephiroth
Netzach and Hod. This is shown in Fig X.
Note that most sephira can be found in more
than one world, and this is an important point:
the worlds overlap. There is a subtle but real dis-
tinction between Hod in Assiah and Hod in
Yetzirah. The sephira Tipheret can be experi-
enced in three distinct ways, depending on
whether one’s vantage point is that of Assiah,
Yetzirah or Briah. These are not intellectual dis-
tinctions, and an example would be the ways in
which one can experience Tipheret as the King
of Assiah, as the Sacrificed God of Yetzirah, or
as the Child of Briah (refer to the magical
images for Tipheret).
The worlds overlap, but they are distinct,
almost like social strata which co-mingle but are
nevertheless clearly defined. The upper middle-
class nineteenth century household, with its
“upstairs” and “downstairs”, is a good example
of two completely distinct but co-mingling

There are ways of trying to articulate this, but
they obscure as much as they reveal; I was
taught that in going from one world to the next
there is a “polarity switch”, so that one might
regard Assiah as negative, Yetzirah as positive,
Briah as negative once more, and Atzilut as pos-
itive. This idea can be related to the Tetragram-
maton, where the Yod can correspond to
Atzilut, He to Briah, Vau to Yetzirah, and He
final to Assiah: this points a finger at the deep
relationship between Briah and Assiah1

. Just
what a “polarity switch” might be I leave to the
reader to explore - there is no way I could
attempt to describe this.
The second scheme for representing the four
worlds is based on the tradition that each of the
four worlds contains its own Tree, and these are
sometimes shown strung out with the Keter of
the world below intersecting the Malkhut of the
world above. This is not a very illuminating

igure 15:The Tree and the Four World





1.Yod normally corresponds to Chokhmah, He to Binah, Vau to
Tipheret and He to Malkhut - this gives another way to attribute
the four worlds to the Tree..

Notes on Kabbalah


arrangement, and there is an alternative
arrangement called “the Extended Tree” which
requires some draughtmanship to appreciate.

Use the “four circles” method for drawing a
Tree described earlier, and draw four identical
Trees on clear acetate film; an even better
method is to draw the Tree once and photocopy
it four times onto acetate - any copy bureau
should be able to do this. Now observe that the
Tree contains two diamond shapes which I will
call (incorrectly, as it happens, but it is a useful
convention) “the upper face” and “the lower
face”. The upper face is bounded by the sephi-
roth Keter, Chokhmah, Binah and Tipheret; the
lower by the sephiroth Tipheret, Netzach, Hod
and Malkhut. Now take your four identical
transparencies, label them from Atzilut to
Assiah, and lay the lower face of Atzilut over
the upper face of Briah, the lower face of Briah
over the upper face of Yetzirah, and the lower
face of Yetzirah over the upper face of Assiah.
You should now have a single, large Tree, some-
times called “Jacob’s Ladder” for reasons which
should be obvious when you look at it
The Extended Tree makes clear the dynamics
of the four worlds, and is probably the most

useful Kabbalistic map you are likely to find. It
provides a map of the four worlds, and a
method for representing the sephirothic corre-
spondences for each world, and it shows how
the worlds overlap and interpenetrate. The rep-
resentation of the four worlds on a single Tree
(given previously) is consistent with the
Extended Tree, but the Extended Tree is consid-
erably more useful in that it provides the Kab-
balist with a powerful new map - it is like going
from a large-scale map of a whole country to a
series of detailed, overlapping small-scale maps.
The worlds of overlap are Yetzirah and Briah,
and in these worlds the sephira Hod overlaps
the sephira Binah, the sephira Netzach overlaps
the sephira Chokhmah, and the sephira Yesod
overlaps Daat. When one makes the polarity
switch from one world to the next, then one
sephira becomes another; for example, Binah in
Assiah, the “Intelligence” of the body, becomes
the Hod of Yetzirah, the capacity for abstrac-
tion. The mystery of Daat can be fathomed by
flipping to the world above, where it becomes
its Yesod. The king who wears the crown
(Keter) of Assiah becomes the Sacrificed God of
Yetzirah in Tipheret, and is reborn in the Mal-
khut of Briah as the Child. It is essential to draw
the diagram for yourself, study the overlaps,
and think about the significance. There is too
much material for a series of introductory notes
such as these.
The four worlds should not be viewed as an
arbitrary four-fold “graduation” of the Tree,
with little additional content. There is a great
deal of experiential worth in this scheme, and it
reflects real and important changes in con-
sciousness which can be observed in practice.
This is one of several holistic views of the Tree
that concentrates less on the sephiroth and
paths, and more on its deep structure.
I must emphasise that the Extended Tree is
not another piece of pretty Kabbalah for the
armchair Kabbalist to indulge in, and I say this
because there is tendency for many who study
Kabbalah to become lost in the pretty patterns.
The Vision of Splendour is the curse of those
who like pretty patterns. To use the Extended
Tree effectively it is necessary to have inte-
grated the model of the sephiroth into one’s
internal awareness, and be capable of observing
(relatively) subtle changes in consciousness - it
is pointless having an exceedingly detailed map
of a region if one is too short-sighted to observe

Figure 16:The Extended Tree

The Four Worlds


the countryside as it passes! For this reason I
will say no more about the extended Tree.

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->