Tree of Life – kabbalah

In this article you can find the main concepts related to the Tree of Life in Kabbalah. Many of the hebrew terms are translated into english and synonyms from different traditions are also listed. (Press for Norwegian / Norsk versjon)

The Tree of Life as a concept is used in 3 ways.

Skjermbilde 2016-02-21 kl. 17.54.25

1. It is an archaic symbol to show the relation between heaven and earth. Where the roots take a good hold on the earth and the crown is stretching into the subtle realms of light and flight. You find illustrations of this in many cultures carved in stone and wood, on carpets and pictures.

2. It is also used as a concept in science, where the whole evolution is mapped. Today genetics is used to map the degree of similarity and relation between all the living species we have found.

3. The third is the symbol in the kabbalah tradition. Spiritual experience of the higher worlds was passed on and described as a ladder, a tree, a row of pearls or concentric circles. The most prevalent of these is the Tree of Life (see illustration) with three columns, stretching through four worlds. These Trees all have 10 spheres but the amount of lines between them can be different. You can learn more about this in my lectures on kabbalah.

The Tree of Life can be viewed as Gods drawing of the universe. The drawing of God as an architect.

Here are the main concepts or different parts of that drawing. Each of the 10 sephiroth or spheres have 5 levels of expression; Gods name, Spheres name, Archangel, Hierarchy and Mundane manifestation.

We will start from the top down.

Sephira 1: Kether – The Crown

Kaph, Tau, Resh  20 400 200

Gods name:
Eheieh
I am that I am
The ability to be

Aleph He Iod He  (Click on the letter to read more about its meaning)
Living Aleph / breathing Aleph 
+ Living Iod / breathing Iod

Archangel:
Metatron
Above the throne
The Prince of Countenances
The lesser IHVH

Hierarchy:
Hebrew Kabbalah: Hayot Ha Kodesh
  (The holy living beings / Holy Living Ones)
Biblical greek: Seraphime
Latin: Serafini
Christian: Seraphim
R. Steiner: Spirits of Love  (Duchovia lasky)
Slovensky: Serafini

Mundane manifestation:
Reshit Ha Galgalim
Primum mobile
The first turning / swirlings
Neptune

Titles:
Existence of Existences. Concealed of the Concealed. Ancient of Ancients. Ancient of Days. The Primordial Point. The Point within the Circle. The Most High. The Vast Countenance. The White Head.
The Head which is not. Macroprosopos. Amen. Lux Occulta. Lux Interna. He.

Image:
An ancient bearded king seen in profile.

Experience:
Re-union with God. Instant combustion. Ain

Virtue:
Attainment. Completion of the Great Work.

Microcosmic analogy:
The Cranium. The Sah. Yechidah. The Divine Spark. The Thousand-petalled Lotus.

Symbol:
The point. The crown. The swastika.

Sepher Yetzirah:
The First Path is called the Admirable or Hidden Intelligence because it is the Light giving the power of comprehension of the First Principle, which hath no beginning. And it is the Primal Glory, because no created
being can attain to its essence.

Sephira 2: Chokmah – Wisdom

Cheth, Kaph, Mem, He – 8 20 40 5  –   חָכְמָה     חכמה

Gods name:
Yah
The word  (or rather the verb)
Logos
The ability to do

Iod He – living Iod – living individuality/individuation

Archangel:
Raziel
Secret of God
Gods Herold
Author of the Sepher Raziel

Hierarchy:
Hebrew Kabbalah: Ophanim (Wheels), Auphanim
Biblical greek: Cherubime
Latin: Cherubini
Christian: Cherubim
R. Steiners: Spirits of Harmony (Duchovia Harmonie)
Slovensky: Cherubini
Other names: 
The Wheels, The Universal Wheels

Mundane manifestation:
Mazaloth
  (Read more about the Mazaloth, Mazaroth and Zodiac here)
The zodiac
Uranus

Titles: Power of Yetzirah. Ah. Abba. The Supernal Father. Tetragrammaton. Yod of Tetragrammaton.

Image:
A bearded male figure.

Experience:
The Vision of God face to face.

Virtue:
Devotion.

Microcosmic analog:
The left side of the face.

Symbols:
The Lingam. The Phallus. The Yod of Tetragrammaton. The Inner Robe of Glory. The Standing-stone. The Tower. The Uplifted Rod of Power. The Straight Line.

Sepher Yetzirah:
The Second Path is called the Illuminating Intelligence. It is the Crown of Creation, the Splendour of Unity, equalling it. It is exalted above every head, and is named by Qabalists the Second Glory.

Sephira 3: Binah – Understanding
Beth, Yod, Nun, He 2 10 50 5   בינה

Gods name:
Jehova (Jehova Elohim)
Severe God
God og Gods
The ability to relate

Iod He Vav He
Iod living and living

Archangel:
Tsaphkiel


Observing God
Contemplating God

Hierarchy:
Hebrew Kabbalah: Aralim
 /Erelim   (Brave Ones)
Biblical greek: Thronos
Latin: Troni
Christian: Thrones
R. Steiners: Spirits of Will (Duchovia vole)
Slovensky: Trony
Other names: The 24 elders. Lions of God, Lords of Karma, The Mighty.

Mundane manifestation:
Chabtai
Saturn

Titles:
Ama, the dark sterile Mother. Aima, the bright fertile Mother. Khorsia, the Throne. Marab, the Great Sea.

Image:
A mature woman. A matron.

Experience:
Vision of Sorrow.

Virtue:
Silence.

Vice:
Avarice.

Microcosmic analog:
The right side of the face.

Symbols: The Yoni. The Kteis. The Vesica Piscis. The cup or chalice. The Outer Robe of Concealment.

Sepher Yetzirah:
The Third Intelligence is called the Sanctifying Intelligence, the Foundation of Primordial Wisdom; it is also called the Creator of Faith, and its roots are in Amen. It is the parent of faith, whence faith emanates.

Sephira 4: Chesed – Mercy

Cheth, Samech, Daleth –  8 60 4 –    חסד

Other names: Gedulah Love, Majesty.

Gods name:
El
God of Mercy
God the creator
The ability to take a point of view, perspective, overview
Aleph Lammed 
- The light of Aleph

• All angel names end with  “el” meaning God

Archangel:
Tsadkiel
God of Justice

Hierarchy:
Hebrew Kabbalah: Hachmalim / Hashmallim (Glowing Ones/ Amber Ones)
Biblical greek: Kyriotetes
Latin: Dominationes
Christian: Dominions
R. Steiners: Spirits of Wisdom (Duchovia Mudrosti)
Slovensky: Panstva
Other names: 
The Lords, The Leaders, De electric sparks, Brothers of Joy, The Brilliant

Mundane manifestation:
Tsedek
Jupiter

Titles:
Gedulah. Love. Majesty.

Image:
A mighty crowned and throned king.

Experience:
Vision of Love.

Virtue:
Obedience

Vice:
Bigotry. Hypocrisy. Gluttony. Tyranny.

Microcosmic analog:
The left arm.

Symbols:
The solid figure – Tetrahedron. Pyramid. Equal armed Cross. Orb. Wand. Sceptre. Crook.

Sepher Yetzirah:
The Fourth Path is called the Cohesive or Receptive Intelligence because it contains all the Holy Powers, and from it emanate all the spiritual virtues with the most exalted essences. They emanate one from another by virtue of the Primordial Emanation, the Highest Crown, Kether.

Sephira 5: Gebourah – Strenght, Severity

Gimel, Beth, Vau, Resh, Heh 3 2 6 200 5  גבורה

Other names:
Din  Justice
Pachad Fear

Gods name:
Elohim Gibor
Almighty  God
Powerful, potent God
Ability to respond

Archangel:
Kamael
Like God
Powerful as God
He who sees God
Standing in front of his countenance

Hierarchy:
Hebrew Kabbalah: Seraphim  (Burning Ones)
Biblical greek: Dynamis
Latin: Virtutes
Christian: Mights
R. Steiner: Spirits of Motion (Duchovia Pohybu)
Slovensky: Sily
Other names: 
Mights, The Mighty, Fiery serpents, Angels of  
execution. (Some use virtues – I prefer to reserve that for the next hierarchy)

Mundane manifestation:
Maadim
Mars

Image:
A mighty warrior in his chariot.

Experience:
Vision of Power.

Virtue:
Energy. Courage.

Vice:
Cruelty. Destruction.

Microcosmic analog:
The right arm.

Symbols:
The Pentagon. The Five-petalled Tudor Rose. The Sword. The Spur. The Scourge. The Chain.

Sepher Yetzirah:
The Fifth Path is called the Radical Intelligence because it resembles Unity, uniting itself to Binah, Understanding, which emanates from the primordial depths of Chokmah, Wisdom.

Sephira 6: Tipheret – Beauty
Tau, Pe, Aleph, Resh, Tau – 400 80 1 200 400 –  תפארת

Other names:
Rachamim Mercy, tender love, and pity

Gods name:
Eloha va Daath
God Lord of Knowledge
Mighty God
Ability to govern

Archangel:
Michael
Like God, similar to God
Representative of God
”Identical” to God
God´s simillimum

Hierarchy:
Hebrew Kabbalah: Malahim
 / Malakim (Messengers, angels, ambassadors, kings)
Biblical greek: Exusiai (Elohim)
Latin: Potestates
Christian: Powers (Authorities)
R. Steiner: Spirits of Form (Duchovia Formi)
Slovensky: Mocnosti
Other names: The Virtues, Lords of the Sun, The Authorities, The Kings.

Mundane manifestation:
Shemesh
Sun

Titles:
Zoar Anpin, the Lesser Countenance.
Melekh, the King. Adam. The Son. The Man.

Image:
A majestic king. A child. A sacrificed god.

Experience:
Vision of the harmony of things. Mysteries of the Crucifixion.

Virtue:
Devotion to the Great Work.

Vice:
Pride.

Microcosmic analog:
The breast.

Symbols:
The Lamen. The Rosy Cross. The Calvary Cross.The truncated pyramid. The cube.

Sepher Yetzirah:
The Sixth Path is called the Mediating Intelligence, because in it are multiplied the influxes of the Emanations; for it causes that influence to flow into all the reservoirs of the blessings with which they themselves are united.

Sephira 7: Netzach – Victory, eternity, stability
Nun, Tzaddi, Cheth – 50 90 8 –    נצח


Gods name:
Jehova Tsebaoth
God of Hosts
Ability to feel, ability to relate

Archangel:
Haniel
Grace of God

Hierarchy:
Hebrew Kabbalah: Elohim
 (Godly beings)
Biblical greek: Archai
Latin: Principatus
Christian: Principalities (Primal beginnings)
R. Steiners: Spirits of Personality (Duchovia Narodov)
Slovensky: Kniežatstvá
Other names: 
Powers, The lords that create and form, primal forces.

Mundane manifestation:
Noga
Venus

Title:
Firmness.

Image:
A beautiful naked woman.

Experience:
Vision of beauty triumphant.

Virtue:
Unselfishness.

Vice:
Unchastity. Lust.

Microcosmic analog:
Loins, hips, and legs.

Symbols:
Lamp and girdle. The rose.

Sepher Yetzirah:
The Seventh Path is called the Occult Intelligence because it is the refulgent splendour of the intellectual virtues which are perceived by the eyes of the intellect and the contemplations of faith.

Sephira 8. Hod – Glory, reverberation

He, Vau, Daleth  – 5 6 4 –   הוד


Gods name:
Elohim Tsebaoth
Lord of hosts
Ability to compute, conceptualize

Archangel:
Raphael
Healing God

Hierarchy:
Hebrew Kabbalah: Bnei Elohim / Bene Elohim (Sons of Eleohim)
Biblical greek: Archangeloi
Latin: Archangeli
Christian: Archangels
R. Steiner: Spirits of Fire, National spirits, Folk spirits, Spirits of Races (Duchovia Casu)
Slovensky: Archanjeli
Other names: Sons of God, The enlightened with basic powers, Messengers of the Beginnings, Sons and Daughter of Fire, Fire spirits.

Mundane manifestation:
Kohav
Mercury

Image:
An hermaphrodite.

Experience:
Vision of Splendour.

Virtue:
Truthfulness.

Vice:
Falsehood. Dishonesty.

Microcosmic analog:
Loins and legs.

Symbols:
Names and Versicles and Apron.

Sepher Yetzirah:
The Eighth Path is called the Absolute or Perfect Intelligence because it is the mean of the Primordial, which has no root by which it can cleave or rest, save in the hidden places of Gedulah, from which emanates its proper essence.

Sephira 9: Yesod – Foundation

Yod, Samech, Vau, Daleth – 10  60  6  4  –  יסוד

Gods name:
Shadai El Hai
The Most Holy Living God
Ability to use energy
Shadai – highest  Hai – being  
Pl. Haioth

Archangel:
Gabriel
Power of God
Strength of God

Hierarchy:
Hebrew Kabbalah: Kerubim
 /Cherubim -The great / mighty / propitious / blessed
Biblical greek: Angeloi
Latin: Angeli
Christian: Angels (Messengers)
R. Steiners: Spirits of Twillight, Sons of Life (Strazni Duchovia Ludi)
Slovensky: Anjeli
Other names: Messengers, Life carriers, Life guides, Guiding spirits, Seats of the sons, Sons and Daughters of Life, Lunar Pitris.

Mundane manifestation:
Levanah
Moon

Image:
A beautiful naked man, very strong.

Experience:
Vision of the Machinery of the Universe.

Virtue:
Independence.

Vice:
Idleness.

Microcosmic analog:
Reproductive organs.

Symbols:
The Perfumes and sandals.

Sepher Yetzirah:
The Ninth Path is called the Pure Intelligence because it purifies the Emanations. It proves and corrects the designing of their representations, and disposes the unity with which they are designed without diminution or division.

Sephira 10: Malkuth – Kingdom

Mem, Lamed, Kaph, Vau, Tau – 40 30 20 6 400 –  מלכות

Other names:
Shekinah – Shelter, Abode

Gods name:
Adonai Melek
, Adonai ha Aretz
Lord the King
Gods ability to utilize matter

Archangel:
Sandalfon
Sandolphon = Prins of Prayers, The Brother (of Metatron)
Nephesh ha Messiah = The Soul of the Saviour
Messiah
Uriel / Auriel
Angel of light
Light of God

Hierarchy:
Hebrew Kabbalah: Ischim / Eshim (Men/Man-like beings, Fires)
Other names:
 Flames of fire, The Just, The Righteous
Prophets, Masters, Saints, Martyrs
The real humans

Mundane manifestation:
Olam Iesodoth
The elemental world
The four elements
Earth

Other names:
Cholem Yesodoth
The destroyer of the foundation

Titles:
The Gate. The Gate of Death. The Gate of the Shadow of Death. The Gate of Tears.The Gate of Justice. The Gate of Prayer. The Gate of the Daughter of the Mighty Ones. The Gate of the Garden of Eden. The Inferior Mother. Malkah, the Queen. Kallab, the Bride. The Virgin.

Image:
A young woman, crowned and throned.

Experience:
Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel.

Virtue:
Discrimination.

Vice:
Avarice. Inertia.

Microcosmic analog:
The feet. The anus.

Symbols:
Altar of the double cube. The Equal-armed cross. The magic circle. The triangle of art.

Sepher Yetzirah:
The Tenth Path is called the Resplendent Intelligence because it is exalted above every head and sits upon the Throne of Binah. It illuminates the splendours of all the Lights, and causes an influence to emanate from the Prince of Countenances, the Angel of Kether.

Holon, unity and wholeness, holonistic knowledge, self-development, spirituality, nature and mysticism as the search for truth

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