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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 I have given are as follows:
- The Meaning is a translation of the Hebrew name of the sephira.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Magical Image. Useful in meditiations; some are astute.
- The Briatic Correspondence is an abstract quality which says something about the essence of the way the sephira expresses itself.
- 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.
- The Obligation is a personal quality which is demanded of an initiate at this level.
- The Virtue and Vice are the energy of the sephiroth as it manifests in a positive and negative sense in the personality.
- 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.
- The Command refers to the Four Powers of the Sphinx, with an extra one added for good measure.
- The Spiritual Experience is just that.
- The Titles are a collection of alternative names for the sephira; most are very old.
- The God Name is a key to invoking the power of the sephira in the world of emanation, Atziluth.
- The Archangel mediates the energy of the sephira in the world of creation, Briah.
- The Angel Order administers the energy of the sephira in the world of formation, Yetzirah.
- The Keywords are a collection of phrases which summarise key aspects of the sephira.
Sephira: Malkuth Meaning: Kingdom Planet: Cholem Yesodeth (the Breaker of the Foundations, sphere of the elements, the Earth) Element: earth Briatic Colour: brown (citrine, russet-red, olive green, black) Number: 10 Magical Image: a young woman crowned and throned Briatic Correspondence: stability Illusion: materialism Obligation: discipline Virtue: discrimination Vice: avarice & inertia Qlippoth: stasis Command: keep silent Spiritual Experience: Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel Titles: The Gate; Gate of Death; Gate of Tears; Gate of Justice; The Inferior Mother; Malkah, the Queen; Kallah, the Bride; the Virgin. God Name: Adonai ha Aretz, Adonai Malekh Archangel: Sandalphon Angel Order: Ishim Keywords: the real world, physical matter, the Earth, Mother Earth, the physical elements, the natural world, sticks & stones, possessions, faeces, practicality, solidity, stability, inertia, heaviness, bodily death, incarnation.
Sephira: Yesod Meaning: Foundation Planet: Levanah (the Moon) Element: Aethyr Briatic Colour: purple Number: 9 Magical Image: a beautiful man, very strong (e.g. Atlas) Briatic Correspondence: receptivity, perception Illusion: security Obligation: trust Virtue: independence Vice: idleness Qlippoth: zombieism, robotism Command: go! Spiritual Experience: Vision of the Machinery of the Universe Titles: The Treasure House of Images God Name: Shaddai el Chai Archangel: Gabriel Angel Order: Cherubim Keywords: perception, interface, imagination, image, appearance, glamour, the Moon, the unconscious, instinct, tides, illusion, hidden infrastructure, dreams, divination, anything as it seems to be and not as it is, mirrors and crystals, the “Astral Plane”, Aethyr, glue, tunnels, sex & reproduction, the genitals, cosmetics, instinctive magic (psychism), secret doors, shamanic tunnel.
Sephira: Hod Meaning: Glory, Splendour Planet: Kokab (Mercury) Element: air Briatic Colour: orange Number: 8 Magical Image: an hermaphrodite Briatic Correspondence: abstraction Illusion: order Obligation: learn Virtue: honesty, truthfulness Vice: dishonesty Qlippoth: rigidity Command: will Spiritual Experience: Vision of Splendour Titles: - God Name: Elohim Tzabaoth Archangel: Raphael Angel Order: Beni Elohim Keywords: reason, abstraction, communication, conceptualisation, logic, the sciences, language, speech, money (as a concept), mathematics, medicine & healing, trickery, writing, media (as communication), pedantry, philosophy, Kabbalah (as an abstract system), protocol, the Law, ownership, territory, theft, “Rights”, ritual magic.
Sephira: Netzach Meaning: Victory, Firmness Planet: Nogah (Venus) Element: water Briatic Colour: green Number: 7 Magical Image: a beautiful naked woman Briatic Correspondence: nurture Illusion: projection Obligation: responsibility Virtue: unselfishness Vice: selfishness Qlippoth: habit, routine Command: know Spiritual Experience: Vision of Beauty Triumphant Titles: - God Name: Jehovah Tzabaoth Archangel: Haniel Angel Order: Elohim Keywords: passion, pleasure, luxury, sensual beauty, feelings, drives, emotions - love, hate, anger, joy, depression, misery, excitement, desire, lust; nurture, libido, empathy, sympathy, ecstatic magic.
Sephira: Tipheret Meaning: Beauty Planet: Shemesh (the Sun) Element: fire Briatic Colour: yellow Number: 6 Magical Image: a king, a child, a sacrificed god Briatic Correspondence: centrality, wholeness Illusion: identification Obligation: integrity Virtue: devotion to the Great Work Vice: pride, self-importance Qlippoth: hollowness Command: dare Spiritual Experience: Vision of Harmony Titles: Melekh, the King; Zoar Anpin, the lesser countenance, the Microprosopus; the Son; Rachamin, charity. God Name: Aloah va Daath Archangel: Michael Angel Order: Malachim Keywords: harmony, integrity, balance, wholeness, the Self, self-importance, self-sacrifice, the Son of God, centrality, the Philospher's Stone, identity, the solar plexus, a King, the Great Work.
Sephira: Gevurah Meaning: Strength Planet: Madim (Mars) Briatic Colour: red Number: 5 Magical Image: a mighty warrior Briatic Correspondence: power Illusion: invincibility Obligation: courage & loyalty Virtue: courage & energy Vice: cruelty Qlippoth: bureaucracy Spiritual Experience: Vision of Power Titles: Pachad, fear; Din, justice. God Name: Elohim Gevor Archangel: Kamael Angel Order: Seraphim Keywords: power, justice, retribution (eaten cold), the Law (in execution), cruelty, oppression, domination & the Power Myth, severity, necessary destruction, catabolism, martial arts.
Sephira: Chesed Meaning: Mercy Planet: Tzadekh (Jupiter) Briatic Colour: blue Number: 4 Magical Image: a mighty king Briatic Correspondence: authority Illusion: being right (self-righteousness) Obligation: humility Virtue: humility & obedience Vice: tyranny, hypocrisy, bigotry, gluttony Qlippoth: ideology Spiritual Experience: Vision of Love Titles: Gedulah, magnificence, love, majesty God Name: El Archangel: Tzadkiel Angel Order: Chasmalim Keywords: authority, creativity, inspiration, vision, leadership, excess, waste, secular and spiritual power, submission and the Annihilation Myth, the atom bomb, obliteration, birth, service.
Non-Sephira: Daath Meaning: Knowledge Daath has no manifest qualities and cannot be invoked directly. Keywords: hole, tunnel, gateway, doorway, black hole, vortex.
Sephira: Binah Meaning: Understanding Planet: Shabbathai (Saturn) Briatic Colour: black Number: 3 Magical Image: an old woman on a throne Briatic Correspondence: comprehension Illusion: death Virtue: silence Vice: inertia Qlippoth: fatalism Spiritual Experience: Vision of Sorrow Titles: Aima, the Mother; Ama, the Crone; Marah, the bitter sea; Khorsia, the Throne; the Fifty Gates of Understanding; Intelligence; the Mother of Form; the Superior Mother. God Name: Elohim Archangel: Cassiel Angel Order: Aralim Keywords: limitation, form, constraint, heaviness, slowness, old-age, infertility, incarnation, karma, fate, time, space, natural law, the womb and gestation, darkness, boundedness, enclosure, containment, fertility, mother, weaving and spinning, death (annihilation).
Sephira: Chokhmah Meaning: Wisdom Planet: Mazlot (the Zodiac, the fixed stars) Briatic Colour: silver/white, grey Number: 2 Magical Image: a bearded man Briatic Correspondence: revolution Illusion: independence Virtue: good Vice: evil Qlippoth: arbitrariness Spiritual Experience: Vision of God face-to-face Titles: Abba, the Father. The Supernal Father. God Name: Jah Archangel: Ratziel Angel Order: Auphanim Keywords: pure creative energy, lifeforce, the wellspring.
Sephira: Kether Meaning: Crown Planet: Rashith ha Gilgalim (first swirlings, the Big Bang) Briatic Colour: pure white Number: 1 Magical Image: a bearded man seen in profile Briatic Correspondence: unity Illusion: attainment Virtue: attainment Vice: - Qlippoth: futility Spiritual Experience: Union with God Titles: Ancient of Days, the Greater Countenance (Macroprosopus), the White Head, Concealed of the Concealed, Existence of Existences, the Smooth Point, Rum Maalah, the Highest Point. God Name: Eheieh Archangel: Metatron Angel Order: Chaioth ha Qadesh Keywords: unity, union, all, pure consciousness, God, the Godhead, manifestation, beginning, source, emanation.
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