Updated: Dec 8, 2020
The Qabalah is an ancient body of esoteric and magical wisdom from the Hebrew tradition that offers a profound personal path whereby the individual can explore the connections between humanity and the Ultimate Creative Source. Through its study and application through meditation and divination, the individual can move through stages of enlightenment to strive for spiritual unity with the supreme force behind the universe. The word `Qabalah’ (also spelled Cabala or Qabalah) is derived from the Hebrew word meaning `to receive’ and symbolizes the acceptance of wisdom. Central to this wisdom is the Tree of Life , a blueprint for the universe, an attempt to demonstrate the interconnectedness of all life and experience and a chart through life. The Tree of Life in its spheres and pathways shows how the pure undifferentiated source of light and the life flows down into the material world. Each of its sephiroth or spheres represents one facet of experience. The lowest, Malkuth, the Kingdom, represents the material world. The highest, Kether, the Crown, is the source of quintessence. Between these are sephiroth representing other powers and qualities, intelligence, beauty, justice and harmony.
The tree represents not only the process of creation, but also the workings of the human mind. Its paths run in two directions: the pathways from God to man and those which man must travel to reach the Godhead. This is the path travelled by the unborn soul as he or she is incarnated and travelled in reverse order in dying. However, by magic and divination it can be possible to connect with the higher realms during life.
It is said that Moses was given not only the Torah, the sacred written tradition by God, but also a secret oral law, which passed from generation and it is this oral law that, it is believed, is associated with the Qabalah.
Qabalistic lore relates that the diagram of the Tree of Life was also handed down to Moses by God.
Reading from the top of the Tree downwards the spheres are arranged in three triangles, with the tenth Malkuth separate at the bottom to form the four worlds. Each triangle contains two opposing forces and a third factor, the common centre which holds them together and transcends the separate spheres.
In Qabalah, the world is not created by a maker, but by a light or ray emanating or flowing from the Godhead which divides and becomes the sephiroth, the splendid lights or shining sapphires that are the aspect of the divine contained in all life forms.
The sephiroth are connected by twenty-two lines or paths, each of which takes the name of one of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Each path can also carry its association with one of the Major Arcana cards.