As mention earlier this week, qabalah (kabbalah) is the mysticism of Judiaism. It was first used by a Spanish philosopher, Ibn Gabirol in the 11th century. It was founded on the Torah but is not an intellectual or ascetic discipline. Qabalh is the science of letters, the universal language from which all things were created. It creates words and sounds in ritual. According to a Qabalist, Franz Bardon, the kabbalist uses the science of letters and their spoken word becomes reality.
There are four overlapping branches of qabalah:
Classical or Dogmatic Qabalah: The study of the Torah and the central texts of the kabbalah.
The Practical Qabalah: Concerns magic, such as how to make talismans.
Literal Qabalah: Concerns the relationship between the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and numbers.
The Unwritten Qabalah: Concerns the study of the tree of life.
Of the four branches, the Practical, Literal, and Unwritten Qabalah have shaped the practice of Western magical ceremony along with Hermetic principles. The Tree of life is a ladder map that depicts the descent of the divine into the material world. Therefore, it shows the path a person can ascend to the divine while still in a mortal body. Each sephirah (step) is a state on consciousness and level of attainment of knowledge. The 10 different steps are arranged in groups for better understanding of their meanings. The Tree is split into three pillars, Mercy on right, Severity (also called the Tree of Knowledge) in the center, and Mildness on the left. All together, the Tree of Life comprises unity and creates the five dimensions: the three of the physical world, time, plus the spiritual world.
|Tree of Life (US Public Domain)|
In the magical part, each sephirah has associations an occultist must learn, such as magical tools, planets, chakras, sounds, perfumes, and tarot cards. The Tree of Life represents and alphabet of symbols that is the basis for a spiritual language that can be understood by humans, god, and angels. The symbols are used to invoke images subconsciously and to construct specific visions.
Has anyone ever used the qabalah, either alone or with other traditions?