Of the Twenty-Two Paths With Their Yetziratic Attributions and Colour Correspondences



Having learned the Names and Shapes of the Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet it is now necessary to study their positions as representing the Twenty-two Paths connecting the Ten Sephiroth on the Tree of Life.

Here it may be well to state that “The Sepher Yetzirah” or “Book of Formations” allots to each of these “Paths” as well as to the “Ten Sephiroth” which it describes as “The First Ten Paths” (Making in all the Thirty-two Paths of Wisdom), a certain type of INTELLIGENCE, and though I do not consider this is of very great importance so far as the present work is concerned, we might just as well learn these titles as we proceed so as to develop our system of correspondences.

We must then deal with the Sephiroth first:

1. Kether is called “The Admirable or Hidden Intelligence.”

2. Chokmah is called “ The Illuminating Intelligence.”

3. Binah is called “ The Sanctifying Intelligence.”

4. Chesed is called “The Measuring, Cohesive or Receptacular Intelligence.”

5. Geburah is called “The Radical Intelligence.”

6. Tiphereth is called “The Intelligence of the Mediating Influence.”

7. Netzach is called “The Occult Intelligence.”

8. Hod is called “The Absolute or Perfect Intelligence.”

9. Yesod is called “ The Pure or Clear Intelligence.”

10. Malkuth is called “ The Resplendent Intelligence.”

So far we have disposed of the Ten Sephiroth and we shall now deal with the “Paths” which connect them.

These paths are numbered from ELEVEN to THIRTY-TWO each corresponding to a LETTER of the Hebrew alphabet shown by the leading authorities as in order from KETHER to MALKUTH.

From KETHER proceed three Paths the first of which is numbered 11 and attributed to Aleph; it joins Ketber and Chokmah and is called the SCINTILLATING Intelligence.

12 is the Path of Beth, it unites Kether and Binah and is called the Intelligence of TRANSPARENCY.

13 is the Path of Gimel it connects Kether with Tiphereth and is called the UNITING Intelligence.

Three Paths proceed from CHOKMAH. The 14th is the reciprocal path uniting Chokmah with Binah. It is the path of Daleth and is called The ILLUMINATING Intelligence. The 15th, or Path of Heh joins Chokmah and Tiphereth and is called the CONSTITUTING Intelligence, and the 16th path of Vau unites Chokmah with Chesed. It is called The TRIUMPHAL or ETERNAL ONE.

Only Two Paths proceed from BINAH, the 17th uniting it with Tiphereth and attributed to Zain. It is called the DISPOSING ONE or Intelligence. The 18th Path or Cheth connects Binah with Geburah and is called The Intelligence of THE HOUSE OF INFLUENCE.

Three paths proceed from Chesed. The 19th which is the reciprocal path of Teth is called the Intelligence of all the ACTIVITIES OF THE SPIRITUAL BEING. The 20th or Path of Yod joins Chesed with Tiphereth and is known as the Intelligence of WILL. The 21st or Path of Kaph unites Chesed and Netzach and is called the Intelligence of CONCILIATION.

Two Paths proceed from GEBURAH. The 22nd or Path of Lamed joins Geburah and Tiphereth. It is called the FAITHFUL Intelligence. The 23rd or Path of Mem joins Geburah and Netzach, it is known as The STABLE Intelligence.

Three Paths issue from Tiphereth. The 24th, which unites Tiphereth and Netzach is attributed to Nun and is called The IMAGINATIVE Intelligence. The 25th or Path of Samech joins Tiphereth and Yesod, it is called The Intelligence of PROBATION or TENTATIVE ONE. The 26th Path of Ayin connects Tiphereth with Netzach and is known as THE RENOVATING ONE.

Three Paths proceed out of Netzach. The 27th or Path of Peh is the lowest of the reciprocal paths, it unites Netzach and Hod. It is called the EXCITING Intelligence. The 28th which is called Tzaddi joins Netzach and Yesod and is known as the NATURAL Intelligence, while the 29th or Path of Qoph joining Netzach and Malkuth is called The CORPOREAL Intelligence.

The Two Paths issuing from Hod are the 30th which is that of Resh joining Hod and Yesod and called The COLLECTING Intelligence, and the 31st Path of Shin leading from Hod to Malkuth which is called The PERPETUAL INTELLIGENCE.

The 32nd or last Path is attributed to Tau it is the connecting link between Yesod and Malkuth and is called The ADMINISTRATIVE Intelligence.

Before proceeding further it is well that the Student should trace out for himself these Paths on the Diagram which follows taking notice of the Manner in which the letters are arranged, as clearly shown thereon.


We have now what might serve as a very complete basis for our “Filing Cabinet,” a Plan whereby we may express every idea in the Universe in terms of thirty-two. It will be noticed how perfectly all the parts are Balanced and Equilibrated, though we shall refer to this matter more fully when it comes to the question of making a practical attempt to deal with our own minds in this way.

Our next consideration will be to extend our series of correspondences so as to take in the Universal Ideas underlying all Systems.

Our basis, the Hebrew Alphabet, is admirably suited to this since its 22 letters are naturally divided into three divisions which correspond with three most important Universal sets of Ideas, viz.: The Elements, The Planets, and the Signs of the Zodiac.

These divisions of the Alphabet are known as the THREE Mother Letters, the SEVEN Double Letters and the TWELVE single Letters.

The Three Mother Letters are Aleph, Mem and Shin. Aleph is attributed to Air, Mem to Water and Shin to Fire. The letter Tau is usually attributed to Earth although it is not a Mother letter as Earth is not a true element.

The Seven Double Letters (having a double sound in Hebrew) are Beth, Gimel, Daleth, Kaph, Peh, Resh, Tau. They are attributed to the PLANETS as follows:

Beth = Mercury
Gimel = Luna
Daleth = Venus
Kaph = Jupiter
Pe = Mars
Resh = Sol
Tau = Saturn & Earth

These should be memorized in connection with the Letters corresponding and they must not be confused with the SPHERES of the Planets. These planetary influences are operative in the Paths and often suggest a difference in quality from the Sephirothic Attributions. For instance Netzach, the Sphere of Venus represents rather the Sexual Love Nature, while the Path of Venus, Daleth, is the Higher Love of the Father-Mother of the Universe since the Path joins Chokmah and Binah or Wisdom and Understanding. This instance will suffice for the moment as we shall deal with the matter again later on.

The Twelve Single Letters are Heh, Vav, Zain, Cheth, Teth, Yod, Lamed, Nun, Samech, Ayin, Tzaddi, Qoph. They are attributed to the SIGNS of the ZODIAC as follows:

Heh = Aries the Ram
Vau = Taurus the Bull
Zain = Gemini the Twins
Cheth = Cancer the Crab
Teth = Leo the Lion
Yod = Virgo the Virgin
Lamed = Libra the Scales
Nun = Scorpio the Scorpion
Samech = Saggitarius the Archer
Ayin = Capricorn the Goat
Tzaddi = Aquarius the Waterbearer
Qoph = Pisces the Fishes

These symbols should of course be placed on their respective Paths of the Tree of Life, and it will help the Student if he does this for himself, noticing the different Sephiroth they connect and their general relation to one another, which may at first appear somewhat puzzling on account of the Elementary and Planetary Letters and Signs coming between.

Before bringing this section to a close it will be well to explain the COLOUR SCHEME connected with the Paths, since we have already dealt with it in regard to the Ten Sephiroth.

In the simple colour scheme of the Tree of Life here used, the Colours of the Ten Sephiroth were drawn from what is called the QUEEN SCALE of Colour, while that of the Paths is derived from what is known as the KING SCALE.1) To explain this more fully would involve a discussion of what are known as “The Four Worlds,” but this we must leave till the proper place in a future chapter. Suffice it to say that a much more elaborate scheme is possible, but that this one is most convenient for our present purpose. The only thing to note is that since all is derived from the Positive and Negative aspects of the One Substance of Light, so it is fitting that the two aspects of the Tree should be represented by the interblending of the Colour Scales of the King and Queen, the Father and Mother of all things.

The Colour Scale of the Paths is obtained in a very simple and scientific manner, but this derivation is not so apparent when the colours are seen distributed over the Tree. It is therefore advisable that we trace the matter to its first principles – as our Ancient Brothers did of old – thus realizing the true significance of the Minutum Mundum or “Little Universe of Colour.”

All the Colours of the Spectrum vibrate between the extremes of White and Black. What more natural then than that the Light should break up first into the Three Primary Colours (Attributed to the Elements and Mother Letters), then into the Seven Colours of the Rainbow (The Planetary Colours and Double Letters) and finally that these colours should blend into each other in a Twelvefold manner. (The Signs of the Zodiac or Single letters.) Our Three, Seven and Twelve-fold division of the Letters is then the NATURAL ONE in this instance.

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See Book 777, London 1909.