Sephirothic Correspondences

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:

  1. The Meaning is a translation of the Hebrew name of the sephira.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Magical Image. Useful in meditiations; some are astute.
  6. The Briatic Correspondence is an abstract quality which says something about the essence of the way the sephira expresses itself.
  7. 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.
  8. The Obligation is a personal quality which is demanded of an initiate at this level.
  9. The Virtue and Vice are the energy of the sephiroth as it manifests in a positive and negative sense in the personality.
  10. 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.
  11. The Command refers to the Four Powers of the Sphinx, with an extra one added for good measure.
  12. The Spiritual Experience is just that.
  13. The Titles are a collection of alternative names for the sephira; most are very old.
  14. The God Name is a key to invoking the power of the sephira in the world of emanation, Atziluth.
  15. The Archangel mediates the energy of the sephira in the world of creation, Briah.
  16. The Angel Order administers the energy of the sephira in the world of formation, Yetzirah.
  17. 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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