Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. –AL I:40
On Saturday, August 27th, 2009, I posted the following notice on our blog: “Most magickal books love to write about all the glorious spiritual attainments that a magician can achieve by climbing the Qabalistic Tree of Life but most ill-prepare their readers for the flip side, or the dangers. After the last few week’s torturous discussion on the Oath of the Abyss gone tragically wrong by an A.’.A.’. initiate the topic which I’d like my students and readers to focus upon and ponder is something far more down to Earth. In the Preamble to The Epistle on the Oath of the Abyss I discussed fairly in-depth some of the numerous warning signs of magickal issues pending failure on all planes in regards to both the Qabalistic spheres of 8-Hod (Mercury) and 7-Netzach (Venus). You should be able to think upon them, do a little research and tell me what you think the signs are of someone who is obtaining or losing it in the sphere of 9-Yesod (Moon). So, for the first part of the week, or at least until Wednesday morning, I want absolutely nothing Qliphothic in thought regarding this sphere. I want you to just identify all the positives about what this sphere means and what this sphere’s aspirations are for an initiate; for only when the good has been identified can we truly reverse the thought into Qliphothic. To know one, is to know both.”
The thread begins:
Saturday, August 29th, 2009 – 3:20pm Regarding this weeks topic about the Qabalistic sphere of Yesod (Moon), Ricky writes:
Here are some of my thoughts on what may be attained in Yesod.
The Sphere of Yesod, in regards to attainment, seems to be a gradual opening to ‘enlightenment’ from above or the first inklings of Gnosis. Let me endeavor to explain this by my understanding of the ‘Machinery of the Universe.’ On the Otz Chiim Yesod is the Sphere of the Moon, the consort and counter-part of our Sun Tiphareth. Within this particular phase of the MOE grade it would seem that we should slowly start being influenced by our Sun and our inner Sun is gradually illuminating our Nephesh. In this way we sort of see the Nature of Yesod as bringing Light into our Darkness by reflection or “Light in Extension”.
JEC Reply : Malkuth-10 is the vehicle that we’ve chosen for our incarnation. But our Soul is rooted in Yesod-9 and it is the lowest quality of our Spirit that is tethered to our human body. The two are inseparable which is why as a man of Earth these two spheres go hand in hand. … Our soul attaches itself to Malkuth (i.e. our body) in order to gain an experience and our Soul is also our unconsciousness, our dream world and all other areas where the fine line of reality is not so clearly defined. In many respects we can say that our Soul is the ‘point-of-view’ of our Spirit rather than an actual independent quality; it is the tool of ‘perception’ which allows the Spirit to be reflective of its surroundings in order to function. To understand Malkuth is to discover how your Soul perceives the world and how it functions. To be successful in Yesod we must learn to control our Soul in our body … which is an ‘energy’ driven by slave-like animalistic behavior.
Yesod is positioned on the Middle Pillar directly below Tiphareth and is connected to it by the Path of Samech or Art. This card may give us insight into what ‘kind’ of energy is influencing this Sphere. It seems beneficial to remember that Samech spelled in full adds to 120. This is the same number as the name of the Great God ON. Here it would seem that the Full influence of the two Paths of the Devil and Death are concentrated and directed into Yesod through Samech. Or dare I say this may be the lowest place where Babalon and the Beast conjoin?? This is the full Light of our Sun directed downwards. But this Light must Pass through the Veil of the Holy or that which is called Paroketh. I am not fully sure what this implies. It would seem that this Veil is a sort of lower octave of the Abyss but what is the relation to this Veil and the Light which descends through it? How does it affect this Light?
JEC Reply: This is good but I must make one point. I know that many authors attribute ‘Samech’ numerically to 120 but there are others who do not. Samech is spelt with three Hebrew letters – SMK. …. These being Samech-60, Mem-40 and Kaph-20 which logically adds to 120. But in truth; if you look at the actually Hebrew spelling of this letter you’ll notice that the traditional image of Kaph is not used but rather it is a Final-Kaph. Many Qabalists give the value of Kaph ‘final’ as 500. This makes the Qabalistic value of Samech in some books to be 600. As for Crowley and some Golden Dawners, they are notorious for disregarding ‘final’ letter values.
It is also our Muladhara Chakra which corresponds to Yesod and this is the ‘seat’ or more appropriately the door way of our Kundalini or Daimon. The ‘activation’ or attainment of this sphere seems to be where we really start to see the benefits of Liber Resh. Where our door way is built four-fold and equal on all sides to allow the flow of our Daimon through it in balanced proportion. This brings to mind the four-fold doorway which opens in Daleth when Chokmah and Binah unite to bring forth Daath or Knowledge this in the Macrocosm is the Door our Angel descends through for our Knowledge and Conversation. In Yesod we see this on a lower level as our Muladhara is the Doorway of the Daimon. And to open this correctly would enable communication but not conversation with it. Or more clearly, we begin to receive Divine Intuition.
JEC Reply : The same process that ‘creates’ life downward from above the Abyss lays the Foundation stones for our return when climbing the Tree of Life from a Malkuthian point-of-view; and in theory, it is another example of ‘As Above, So Below.’ In other words; to study how the Tree was created you should enable you, in theory, to climb back into its branches from below.
But all of this is in the vein of mystical attainment. What of magick? We know that in magick to truly influence anything we must transcend its plane. Change must come from ‘above’ or ‘within’ or whatever. If we were to endeavor to influence anything on the material plane or Malkuth, could we do it from Yesod? I don’t think so. Yesod is the frame work of Malkuth. To change Malkuth we must ‘re-frame’ it in a sense. To do this one must at least reside in Hod. This strikes me as correct due to the ‘titles’ of the aspirant in the MoE and the Lovers grades respectively. One is not really a Magician until they reach Hod, this is lowest area that one can effect change in Malkuth from. This is also apparent in the thought that one never truly attains full control over a sphere until they move to the next. However; the magickal formulae assigned to Yesod is that of ALIM. This according to Crowley is a formulae of the Moon due to its numeration of 81 and is not so much a ‘magickal’ formulae as it is a formulae of witchcraft. But what does this mean? ALIM is a formulae devoid of the Divine Spirit or H. So it is not a ‘creative’ formulae. What it is, from this low perspective, is a formula of re-arrangement. To shift things about to seemingly cause change, but this is never a lasting effect. Maybe an example of ALIM might be re-arranging the furniture in the Temple prior to a true ritual.
JEC Reply : Never forget that Malkuth is our body and magickally when we refer to Building a Pyramid we are referring to creating our body as a Temple of God. The entire process is a ‘spiritual’ journey. When you write how Hod is “lowest area that one can effect change in Malkuth from” you forget that we can, and must start taking control of Yesod almost immediately once upon Malkuth. If we do not control our libido we’ll end up in the same pickle that the Practicus found himself in whom we’ve been discussing for the last few weeks. You can’t wait until approaching the sphere of Netzach (Venus) to control your animalistic behavior toward sex and especially Love. By then its too late. … If you treat Love on this plane like it’s your toy don’t be upset, when approaching the sphere of Netzach, if you find yourself on the receiving end of what you’ve been dishing out.
With this in mind, what is the task of the Zelator phase of the man of Earth and what are the ‘Powers and Privileges’ conferred ON those who reach this height? Among other things I think it must be to reflect on the subtle reflection of their Sun through their Moon (astral light? or unconscious?) to begin to receive direction from their Angel.
93 93/93 Ricky
JEC Reply: Over all, very good. In truth, you’ve been receiving Angelic guidance since childhood; its now up to you to study Self and to determine the methods of how your Angel has been communicating. We mortals tend to think that when our Angel descends it’ll communicate in our ‘language’ rather than archetypal symbols or ‘triggers’.
7:00pm We’ve gotten a few good thought provoking pieces so far on the sphere of Yesod. If we keep this up for a few more days we should have quite a good foundation for study in regards to the Qliphothic side of this Sephiroth. Anyway, in regards to this sphere, Joe writes:
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law
Hello Jerry !-I hope this Email finds you well – Healthy and in good spirits! I love these prompts on thinking about the Tree of Life- and someone to share them with…
Netzach- To be Unselfish – To be “self-less” – To not lust for result.
HOD, or “Splendor,” is the next sphere up from YESOD;
(number wise- eight to nine) it is where repressed energies are channeled
up from the subconscious, coming from MALKUTH
HOD “is”’ cool, and rational – I find – or I perceive that there are many around me who are stuck in HOD – and I suspect you as a Mentor to many- must see this as well- especially in this so called age of communication – with emails, texts, and lots of words being worshiped as truth- Language becomes an addiction- of a God in itself which is worshipped- so many words so much bla bla bla. People who don’t know when to stop talking- making noises from the body
just to assert ego- or a sense of identity.
HOD receives the raw material received from YESOD, “digesting” it, and then sends it over to NETZACH. (FEELINGS)
Here, if we are respectful of our feelings- but at the same time- from our lessons learned- we should by now “know” how to be objective about our emotions in a very orange way- sure they can inform us of reality- but should not rule.
It is often said that if one wants to understand the messages from our DREAMS then we should remember our emotions, not necessarily the content- in one way- and if we are “disturbed” by the feelings in our dreams then the content itself, the pictures can inform us.
Netzach and Hod “are” a means for some thing else.
Hod may be awe
In the face of hidden spirituality or power
“Awe” could be said to be an Emotion which has inside of it Reverence, Respect, Wonder, and Dread which is inspired by Great Beauty or Genius ( Genitalia) Genesis- The Beginning ( and also the end) –
Beauty “ is” a code word for Netzach
“Balance” manifests itself as a synthesis of our thinking,
feeling and sensing functions.
Balance always, for me seems the key to keep in mind to see if one is either losing or gaining IT in YESOD – But how to communicate THIS thought so that I can get the point across, because it sounds so simple- One can easily see it in others more readily than in one self – folks who are “ unbalanced “ that is, are not so aware of what they are doing within their personae, or mask they choose to wear at any given moment- Maybe, if one has “mastered” Yesod- then one is actually aware that they have many personas/masks/selves to present and can choose to wear whatever mask is appropiate for any moment in which one has to deal with anything “ outside” of themselves. “All the worlds a stage” and “ Life is but a dream” . OK back to eating my cheese.
Agape- JOE from Beverly
Love is the law, love under will.
Sunday, August 30th, 2009 – 6:30am Chapter 0! of The Book of Lies is called ΚΕΦΑΛΗ Η ΟΥΚ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΕΦΑΛΗ. It is a perfect breakdown of the Tree of Life. Although you might want to review the entire page, under the listing for ‘The Third Triad’ is the following thoughts, in particular about Yesod.:
Wavering: flowing: flashing. Hod
6:40am Ah, Yesod. What an interesting sphere. Let us reflect for a moment about the Sacred ‘OTO’ Well which represents the mundane vehicle of ‘beginnings’ or ‘womb’ through which a candidate is brought to birth into the world, or Malkuth. In the OTO First Degree initiation rite the candidate is prepared by circling the Sacred Well three times; symbolic of the coils of the serpent Kundalini centered in the Muladhara chakra of Yesod. Each time around the Well is called a Pathway; the first being that of Knowledge, then Perfection and finally Truth. One is reminded of the primeval Goddess Ananke who is said to be serpentine, twisting her snake-like body around the whole of creation as her three daughters or Fates; Lachesis, Klotho and Atropos sit upon Thrones and oversee each ‘Thread of Life’ which their mother spins in preparation for a new incarnation. Lachesis rules our Sun Sign. In Qabalah the Sun is ruled by the sphere known as Tiphereth which means Beauty. One must learn to seek the Laws of their Star for in Beauty is eternal Truth reveals. Klotho rules our Moon sign, Qalalistically ruled by Yesod or the Foundation. She rules the pathway of Perfection where we must learn to conquer or put under control our outer personality, our libido and Self. The third fate Atropos rules the Rising Sign, bringing us Knowledge if only we have ears to listen in order to ‘be true to ourselves’ (True Will) as to why we are incarnating. … I hope this helps our weekly discussion.
9:00am A gentlemen name Paul from North Carolina wants to know – “I am greatly enjoying your blog. I’d like to get your opinion on how important you think Yesod is as a Sefirath? Most books paint it as a sphere needed as a foundation into our unconsciousness and as a funnel for all that is descending. Care to clarify your thoughts on this?”
Reply: All spheres ‘funnel’ downward and so Yesod is both the gate to Above and a door by which the Light from Above descends. It is very important to understand and research this sphere; the reason being is that the majority of all magickal failures can be traced to this Sephiroth. Even those who fall from a greater height from up in the Tree have shown to have built a faulty ‘Foundation’ which is the meaning behind the word Yesod. This is why I thought it important to discuss this sphere; both from a positive point-of-view and its averse qualities. Remember, there is no race to see who achieves first and this sphere is often neglected simply because in some magician’s minds it is a ‘lowly’ sphere and assumed to easily have been achieved. Although true in some cases, it others it’ll be their downfall. In fact, some magicians point out that all our climbing into the branches are simply metaphorical states trying to understand that which descends downward and then utilized through Yesod … and for those who are in the man of Earth grade you must ask yourself these questions:
1. If the Tatwas create our known Universe and are the elemental tides that
descend downward through Tiphereth (The Sun) onto Malkuth (Earth),
what role does Yesod (Moon) play being between the two?
2. If we perform Liber RESH vel Helios which allows us to directly tap into
these four Solar Currents or Tatwas, again what role does Yesod play
being between the two in relationship to this ritual?
3. If Malkuth is simply our body or mundane shell, then what role does
Yesod play in regards to our five senses which helps our spirit experience
The bottom line to this week’s enquiry is to make our students aware that when Yesod is fully achieved we gain the Spiritual Experience which is “The Vision of the Machinery of the Universe”, although seemingly simplistic … it is your Foundation … screw it up and inevitably the machine breaks down!
Monday August 31st 2009 – 6:15am Regarding this weeks topic on Yesod, Ricky writes – “Jerry 93, An interesting thought struck me today. I was pondering your recent posts along with your reply to me and came to a minor epiphany. Yesod as our unconscious is the determining factor of our outward actions. It is our Libido and it shapes our personality. Its Nature is ‘animistic’ and raw. If we endeavor to do anything in the MoE grade it is to get a hold on our Malkuth and to learn to live as a Thelemite. The MoE is the adherent and to do this successfully is to be able to control the animistic nature of our Soul. In this way the spheres of 10 and 9 must be tackled at the same time.
It would seem that one who is progressing in the accomplishment of this sphere, or Yesod, would show signs of ‘release’ from their ‘animistic’ nature. In other words they begin to control their ‘Wants’ in favor of the Path to their Will.
If this is the case, and it may not be, but if it is, then it would seem that Yesod as the “sphere of illusion” is what we must over come. Since our Daimon is neutral and can be ‘persuaded’ to either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ deeds the goal for the Zelator seems to be to take the Serpent that enters through the Door in the Muladhara and direct it UPWARDS rather than letting it ‘droop down’ to Malkuth. This reminds me of Liber AL II:26 “I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in my coiling there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one. If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one.”
Could this be the choice between the Dove and the Serpent?
As with everything at this point in the game. These thoughts and I myself are a work in progress…
93 93/93 Ricky
Reply: Very good; its a good work in progress … you’re beginning to understand the distinction between ‘Will’ and ‘Want’, which often takes magicians years to fully comphrehend.
6:30am In regards to this weeks question, Jay writes – “93 Jerry, At the moment I keep thinking of Yesod as imagination. It’s often said that the brain is the most erogenous organ of the body; I might modify this a bit and say that Eros resides in imagination. I feel like this is partially what you mean when you say that Yesod is the animal nature, it’s the part of self that first formulates the thought, ‘hey, I could fuck that.’ Having said that, though, if Malkuth is simply matter, the body in the tangible sense, then Yesod, our soul or perspective, must be everything else, everything we identify as our thoughts and feelings and impressions in general. When we were discussing the circle and the square we touched on the fact that we never really reside in the higher spheres; this funneling effect you’re talking about indicates that everything we identify as Hod, Netzach, Tipareth etc. we actually experience in Malkuth and Yesod. As magicians this is where our mentality is very important. How we direct and control our imagination is so fundamental. Every spiritual system has certain axioms that it builds from and those axioms determine the outcome of that particular path. Buddhism starts with suffering, Christianity with original sin etc. As Thelemites we see the universe as the eternal play between Nuit and Hadit, an existence of pure joy for all the sorrows are but as shadows. We hold at the forefront of our minds the supreme beauty of Will and Love, unnasuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result. This is the foundation, the model of the universe that we build from. I think it’s easy to see how a magician looking to appear smart and mysterious, looking to impress someone or achieve a crazy affect can completely look over the importance of a firm foundation in thought and theory. Perhaps Frater Petros can lend us a stone to build upon… Love, Jay 93 93/93.”
Reply: Very good. Always remember, all Angels (i.e. your Spirit) are neutral entities. We divide up into either sex upon entering the world of the flesh (i.e. Malkuth/Yesod) and we spend a lifetime questing for our ‘missing’ opposite which is a quest necessary because this is how Nature unconsciously procreates our species in regards to ‘animalistic nature.’ Just like animals, of which we are no better, we have urges and thus the slaves shall serve their master, i.e. on Malkuth.
Although magick clearly teaches us that this world is our playground, we incarnated into it, so enjoy the sexual experience and all other things, but it also teaches us that we must learn how to redirect the quest for our ‘opposite’ – inward and away from Malkuth. However, the greatest Sorrow is the shadow that we create upon entering Life regarding this pain of division from our other half which is a folly; in truth, we are not divided. The Angel that is being sought above the Abyss in the City of the Pyramids is, in fact, yourself. This is one of the hardest lesson to be taught in Yesod; that this pain of division is all in your mind. Your imagination (i.e. the tool of the Moon) keeps you focused upon Earth in order for you to experience the world but if used properly it can also free you at the same time in almost daily mind jaunts. But the greater lesson to be learned from ‘imagination’ is to be found by studying The High Priestess card which rules The Moon. It holds the keys to Yesod. This card’s key phrase in Qabalah is called The Uniting Intelligence. It is the path that if properly understood can unite you with the farthest Stars.
The human faculty attributed to The High Priestess is ‘memory.’ This is why magickal diaries are so important. We naturally have ‘faulty’ memories. Knowing this, how can we ever be reflective of the incarnation that we’ve chosen if we are sailing without charts and records of our daily activities? Crowley has stated in Magick Without Tears that although the “development of the Magical record is by far the most important of one’s weapons. How to use the Record is not easy to explain; but there is a sort of knack which comes to one suddenly.” (p.382) You might wonder how you will develop this ‘knack’ but don’t worry in the beginning. When you are reaching toward taking the Oath of the Abyss you’ll know the secrets. After hearing Grady talk abut this years ago I wrote an article on the Magical Diary and therein I wrote – “Do not take [this task] lightly. Furthermore, nothing will lead to the destruction of a magician quicker, when reaching the threshold of the Abyss, than if he or she laid a Foundation based on deceit and lies. Such magician can not, I repeat, can not cross Abyss. They are destined either for madness or the Black Brotherhood and their actions shall reveal which path they have taken.” … If ‘memory’ is a tool of the Moon, learn to use it!
And finally, yes, your teacher Frater Petros can surely lend us a stone to build upon and being a plumber by trade, he’ll even put in running water!
7:25am Ok, in regards to my 6:30am posting I ended it by writing – “And finally, yes, your teacher Frater Petros can surely lend us a stone to build upon and being a plumber by trade, he’ll even put in running water!” … and now thinking about it, I don’t know if my readers will get it. So, let me explain: the dress of The High Priestess (Moon) is blue and flowing. It not only represents ‘imagination’ but water as well and in fact, all water flowing throughout the Tarot cards has its origins in her gown.
2:40pm Mick sent his thoughts on Yesod. He included a great picture of the Tatwas (Five Elemental Tides) and their shapes and sacred colors but I couldn’t reproduced it well enough on this website without it being ‘fuzzy’ … anyway, he writes:
A look at Yesod’s Kabalistic attributes is a good place to start when contemplating the meaning and aspirations of the ninth sphere. The first good clues are in its title: “Foundation” and the spiritual experience of the sphere which is the “Vision of the Machinery of the Universe.” Yesod is where the foundations of Malkuthian matter and energy are constructed out of the five confluent tatwas of the solar current.
In this sense Yesod is the strata of elemental machinery out of which the physical universe is structured – the lattice on which it is suspended in eternity. In the Vision of the Machinery of the Universe, the magician begins to understand the elemental realm. She gets to experience the processes by which the elements combine to generate the dream of objective reality. Shaman’s and magicians using certain types of hallucinogenic mushrooms have reported experiences of these elemental machines and holding conversations with the surprising automatic intelligences that operate in them.
Maybe the tradition of building one’s own magical instruments allows the magician access to Yesod by getting hands-on knowledge of the elements – their qualities, potentials, amplitudes and possible permutations within herself.
Yesod is where the magician’s imagination is organized, strengthened and focused into sharp relief. Here as well, is where the practice of Resh and the Banishing rituals come in handy. Resh opens and balances the four gateways of the Muladhara allowing the magician access to a greater flow of the Kundalini while sensitizing him to the rhythms and cycles of the energies that flow in and through the world. Banishings and evocations of various kinds allow the magician to experiment with mixing or removing the elements and moving them around.
The Yetziratic text for Yesod says that it also serves to purify emanations by correcting the “design” of their representations. This corrective function is a clue to the power of Yesod. It is the impulse of equilibration that is set into play for every event that occurs in the dualistic realms. Crowley encourages a student to practice an intense form of self-equilibration in which she calls up and cultivates the opposite of any particular personal tendency she may ordinarily express. In a sense such a magickal practice allows the magician to utilize the power of Yesod to further her development by working with opposites between the conscious and subconscious mind. As a side note, this might also shed light on the antinomian nature of many magickal personalities. An awareness of the self-correcting nature of the universe toward equilibration is certainly a key to any worthwhile vision of the machinery of the universe. It can be a powerful tool for an aspiring magician too.
Mick 93 93/93
Reply, very, very good … if we keep all this thought up on definning the postive creative side of Yesod I can’t wait until Wednesday when we focus on this sphere’s Qliphothic nature.
Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 – 6:10am To add in her thoughts on the Qabalistic sphere of Yesod, or the Moon, Jerri writes:
Mick, whose thoughts I really enjoyed reading, touches upon the “impulse of equilibration that is set into play for every event that occurs in the dualistic realms” on the Tree. In Yesod lies the seat of our Libido. The Libido itself can be described as our Soul’s individual experience of the Life Force or Kundalini. We, as individual Stars experience this as our sexual drive, quest for our opposite, creative energy etc, etc. It is the underlying force that perpetuates our species and it can also drive us toward union with God (from a divided below the Abyss standpoint). It is a greater quest for our opposite. But this Life Force, experienced from a Spiritual (Spirit being the United above the Abyss) perspective is what the fabric of the Universe is made from. We ARE this energy, we are not separate from it…everything in the Universe is comprised of this energy. It is us…we are it…and there is nothing more–this is the Foundation of all.
Yesod has been called the receptacle of the emanations. It is the place that all the emanations or Sephira from above coalesce. Malkuth is the final manifestation of that energy, as emanated by Yesod. Dion Fortune, in The Mystical Qabalah, pg. 238 states “Let us once and for all disabuse our minds of the idea that spirit can work directly upon matter; it never does so. Spirit works through mind, and mind works through the Aether; and the Aether, which is the framework of matter and the vehicle of the life forces, can be manipulated within the limits of its nature, which are by no means inconsiderable.”
The Tatwas, or 5 elemental tides are Akasha, Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. This manifestation on Malkuth sensationally are our 5 senses–sight, sound, touch, taste, smell. Here we find these Solar Tides crystallization in flesh and our experience of this flesh through the Ruach (or our mind). In Yesod lies the “invisible” 5th element. Israel Regardie describes the astral light (or the Aether, termed by Fortune) as “an omnipresent and all-permeating fluid or medium of extremely subtle matter; substance in a highly tenuous state, electric and magnetic in constitution, which is the model upon which the physical world is built.” Garden of Pomegranates-pg 53. This suggests that Yesod is the hidden infrastructure of all matter. (Wow Jerry, starting to further grasp those Dewdrops indeed…)
As a Magician, why is this important? A Foundation implies a beginning, but therein is the implication of an ending; a destination or conclusion. In simplistic terms, one way of expressing this concept is in the idea that your thoughts create your reality. The Akashic records contain everything…Yesod contains all but it exists below the Abyss so in this sphere also lies illusion, and tricky ones at that…
To give an example, and a negative one might be the best to serve my purposes here, let’s say you are pissed off at someone for an hour. You feel like hurting them. You want to hit them. The impression of this becomes “real” and formulates in Yesod as everything does, however the power or focus of this thought form and/or visualization will do nothing on Malkuth as it doesn’t have the proper amount of power to manifest. However, if you put enough constant focus and energy on specific thoughts and visualizations…well…this brings them to indeed manifest and that’s how Magick in practicality works. The reverse implication here is as equally true- if we focus upon unifying with God utilizing those same methods, prayer, visualization, fantasy, thinking…those impressions will build upon each other and we will rise upon the planes…
Given this slippery, watery nature of Yesod, It is not hard to grasp here why true and accurate memory would become so vital and to see why the Magickal Diary is one of the most important weapons in a Magicians arsenal. We’ve established that our thoughts, fantasies and feelings create our reality. And we all know that our thoughts, fantasies and feelings LIE!!! They can build one upon the other in a pile of utter bullshit to create monsters. Well, I fear I am beginning to touch upon where we might go South in Yesod so for now, I will stop my rambling…
Take care of yourself! Miss you…
93 93/93 Jerri
Reply: Nice. Not much to add nor inconstancies to correct or guide you. You laid a very good ‘Foundation.’ With this kinda of thinking it’ll be easy for you to understand the next portion of our discussion on the Qliphoth of this sphere.
7:10am OK All, we’ve had a few individuals write some pretty interesting thoughts of the Sphere of Yesod. Now it’s time to think about its Qliphothic and how it is affecting us when we, as magicians, are attempting to climb the Tree of Life.
However, no concept has had more garbage written about it than the Qliphoth as if by its very nature it spawns confusion. In truth, to understand the Qliphoth is not that difficult. Whatever is found on the front side of a Sephiroth then its backside must contain its opposite because everything below the Abyss must contain this duality to exist; God willed it so. If there is light, there must be darkness. Both flip sides of a single coin, both storehouses of power related to the Sephiroth but as different as night and day. Yet both having a purpose to the Divine Plan. But what is the purpose in regards to the Qliphoth?
Many authors will tell you that the Qliphoth contain ‘astral shells’ which might have been at one time humans but now they are ghosts, emptied of any Divine spark, or consciousness but this is too broad and misleading. In truth, during the course of our Life no thought is ever dissipated; everything we say or do is recording in the Akasha, or Astral Light within our personal microcosmic Tree of Life. This Akasha is like the main frame of a computer. It is simply a stored file that we can tap into and use to our benefit or detriment.
Since childhood we have been ‘imagining’ evil or vile things and we have done numerous egotistical acts which have deliberately hurt others in order for us to benefit or gain pleasure. These specific thoughts which have been generated by our ‘imagination’ at the time of our actions cannot stay on the front side of our Tree. They automatically flip to the backside, into our Qliphoth, where they are stored in the Akasha that is related to the Sephiroth to which they rule. In a magician’s case, if they have walked their ‘thinking’ into the Qliphoth and do not quickly return to the front side of their Tree, then while in the Pit of Because they will begin weaving a tale to convince themselves that while in this darkness they’re actually in the light. This is a clue how a teacher can determine if a student, like the Practicus whom we’ve been discussing over these last few weeks, has dangerously thrown himself into a their Qliphoth. This inspid little creature after over a week in Qliphotic thought convinces himself that the solution to his troubles with his Superior is to take the Oath of the Abyss! And he thinks he’s going to be sucessful. What kind of ‘Foundation’ has he built?
To do ‘anything’ for ‘Wants’ (i.e. Self) creates Darkness and the Laws of the ‘Square’ will teach us how to control this Demonic side. And to do ‘anything’ for ‘Will’ (i.e. God/Goddess) creates Light and the Laws of the ‘Circle’ teach us how to be controlled by our Angelic side. One forces us downward, the other pulls us up. … So, what is the Qliphoth of Yesod and what are its danger signs that magicians must be aware of? How does a magician in the Qliphoth of Yesod get out? Think about all these and send me your ‘thoughts.’
10:45am I received this email in regards to my comment made Monday in the 2:40pm posting about a chart not reproducing well. Mick writes – “Jerry 93 Since there’s been some talk about the 5 tatwas here’s, another copy of that little chart I made. It’s a little denser dpi in case you still feel like using it. Hope it works. Mick 93 93/93” …….. Reply : Thanks!
Thursday, September 3rd, 2008 – 8:40am Regarding the Qliphoth of Yesod, Joe writes – “93 Jerry- I often see Peer Magicians who think that they are always ‘right’ no matter what – and are first to pick out and point our people whom they think are ‘wrong’ – These are the same people whom also stated that “This IS the ways things ARE” Very black and white – and also become obsessed with things, be it a video game- or a movie series- even food or certain types of people- and act more like someone who is possessed by things which enter their realm. Responding to others takes time for them as other peoples changes, deliberate changes threaten their own “ lifestyle”- Perhaps these stars are stuck on the other side of YESOD. I do not know whatever to suggest how one can pull one self from this – for me it would be to get back to Malkuth and do one’s Pranayama and get back to regular Liber Resh Vel Helios – and at this moment the sun is just about down and I need to leave work and do just that – Aumgn ( I hope all is well !) Agape JOE from Beverly 93 93/93.”
Reply: I think we’ve all had to deal with these kinds sooner or later. They forget that everything below the Abyss is perfectly Balance. This means, to use myself as an example – for every Truth that I see in my own repertoire of Knowledge, an equal number of ‘Aughhhhhhh’ will inevitably surface to prove me wrong! Maybe I’m just a sick bastard but I teach all my students to lighten up when certain things are pointed out in their writings to be wrong, just laugh and repeat the old Mantra – “Ah, ya got me!” … To fight this implies EGO. This is something magicians must constantly be on their guard against in all spheres; especially those below Tiphereth and no amount of ritual can help these individuals … because, as I’ve seen it over the years, when an egotists does a ritual it only reinforces how ‘great’ they are! Something will have to make them change and realize what ‘Controlling the Ego’ means and this ‘something’ can only come from within … until then, they babble in the Sunlight and torture us all.
5:40pm Mercury goes Retrograde on Sunday in the sign of Virgo; which is a sign naturally ruled by the planet representing our essential communication skills. Maybe this why you all have been so quiet when it comes to discussing our weekly topic – the Qliphoth of Yesod? You’re all afraid of putting your foot in your mouth. Then again, maybe its because you just don’t have a clue about this topic in which case I’m giving you all a D+ … [Luckily, I’m grading on a curve]
Friday, September 4th, 2009 – 8:30am Finally, a worthy piece about the Qliphoth of Yesod. Yesterday Ricky wrote: “Jerry 93, I had never truly understood the Qliphoth but I think I may be starting to understand. Yesod is the realm of the astral and imagination is the power whereby we penetrate it. It is the formative world and any defined ‘thought’ that comes into our mind is stored here. so the Qliphothic side of this sphere would seem to be, partly at least, made up of the fabrications we have made throughout our lives for any type of ‘gain’ on the material plane or for that matter any fabrication at all. Fabrications of things we wanted to happen or the replacement of a bad memory with a good one. In other words any time we twist the truth or tell a little white lie this is stored here. What is so dangerous about this is that, stored in Yesod is also our ‘First Gift’, our Foundation for this incarnation. Any time that one fabricates ‘stories’ to make themselves seem ‘cooler’ or ‘better’ or whatever, than they actually are they build a false foundation out of the Qliphoth of this Sphere. This is probably the most disturbing thing that I have run across in my studies. It is down right scary because it is so true and in more than a few instances I am guilty of it myself.
JEC Reply : There is more crap written about the Qliphoth than the entire Tree of Life combined. It is generally considered to be an evil realm by both Qabalists and Ceremonial Magicians alike. Although more and more individuals in this New Aeon are beginning to realize that this stigma is simply a dogma fostered by religious fear mongers of the past Aeon and carried through into modern times. Yes, for every positive current there is a negative current below the Abyss but the Qliphoth is generally not evil in relationship to the Tree of Life as much as a negative relationship to our reality. It is said to be the realm filled with the lingering Shells of our thoughts, either good and bad. We now know that working in this realm and with our Demon (Square) in each Qabalistic Sphere is mandatory but only after the Angel (circle) is 100% in place.
Remember, it is ‘Circle Squared’ … not ‘Squared Circle.’ Never confuse which comes first or a fall is eminent.
Also, if we do not lean to control our Demonic side but simply bury it in the deepest recesses of our mind, it will resurface, continually, over and over again. So much of our activities in adulthood can be traced to learned behavior in childhood whether unconsciously forgotten or simply continually fostered. We are all guilty of this. Since childhood we have stored thousands of thoughts both good and evil … but either can easily be changed by how we think ‘now’ … use your Imagination to your benefit. Create wisely … “People who avoid facing facts are bounded by phantoms.” (Crowley diaries October 25th, 1939) … You wrote – “Any time that one fabricates ‘stories’ to make themselves seem ‘cooler’ or ‘better’ or whatever, than they actually are they build a false foundation out of the Qliphoth of this Sphere.” Yes, and remember this lesson of magick – “… to will a thing is at once to admit that you have not that thing.” [Israel Regardie, The Tree of Life pg.55] … You cannot give up your EGO, its the driving factor of Self in reality in order for you to gain an experience but like everything below the Abyss, it’s bathed in duality. There is a False Ego and a Justifiable Ego … chose ye well.
Ricky – This can always be identified by the ‘reasons’ that this person will give as to why they are right. There is a need to convince others of the fabrication because they dont believe it themselves. If they can make it ‘real’ for others they feel it is real for them. And so they create a Pit of Because to defend themselves. This is ludicrous, for nobody but yourself can Truly know you anyway. And to try and define yourself by what others think you are is the worst sign of Demonic infestation. It is an insatiable EGO that must be the fueled with recognition from ‘without’. This all goes hand-in-hand with and is fueled by the ‘Wants’ of this plane.
JEC Reply : Very good. … Faith needs to convert in order to prove itself worthy to itself but faith is always inferior to Certainty. … Liber AL vel Legis I:58 – “I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice.” … The Gnostics derived their name from the Greek word for ‘knowledge,’ or Gnosis. This was not ‘knowledge’ in the sense of being mundane information passed from one person to another but was a belief that anyone could achieve salvation by obtaining personal ‘knowledge’ from God. The importance of certainty, not faith, was an essential theme in Gnosticsm. Faith was referred to as Pistis and although important in its own right, it was always considered secondary to that of Gnosis.
Ricky – But how can we fix this? Israel Regardie suggests that one embrace the practices of Analytic Psychology. In fact in his book The Middle Pillar he stats that “Analysis is the logical precursor of spiritual attainment and magical experiment. It should comprise definitely the first stage of spiritual training.” (pg 20) Through this sort of exercise one is able to correct the wrongs one has accumulated throughout there young life. By just recognizing these faults and remembering what actually happened, becoming OK with the outcome we, in effect, re-program our Akashic record to portray our true foundation.
JEC Reply : I suggest all students research and review psychology in one form or another. Regardie was an Analytic Psychologist, he recommended what he knew best. In truth, psychology in general is part of the ‘new’ magick of our Aeon; embrace it – learn to Know Thyself. This is why one of the four immediate books on our reading list is James Hillman’s The Soul’s Code.
Ricky – So how can we tell if one has entered the Qliphoth? Maybe a drive for some one to believe what they say? Maybe excessive excuses for why they are right? Or maybe the inability to admit a fault. I think we should try to remember that there is always ‘something’ greater than me (me=ego). This means that we should not discount that yonder beggar might be a King, and he also might have a message we were meant to hear from on high!
93 93/93 Ricky
JEC Reply : Good question. It takes years to fully see the opposite in everything and then to identify its positive and the negative, the good and the bad, that which is the spiritual oart related to our True Will and that which is Earthly of our Wants. Everything is bathed in this duality. Nothing is simply one or the other. When you can do this daily, almost instantly, then you’ve conquered the sphere in which you are attempting to position yourself on the Tree of Life. Then, and only then, will you understand and have accomplished the circle/squared.
8:55am Ricky sent a second email last night where he asked a quick question – “I imagine many people, from their youthful folly, have these phantoms or illusions through their early life. How do we fortify ourselves against this Demon Choronzon so we may at least not be torn asunder by him?”
Reply: You face the demonic side of the daimon daily, as you do with its angelic side. However, the concept of Choronzon is actually found only in the Abyss and it represents solely that of the ‘demonic’ devoid of any and all angelic influence. Remember, burn it into your mind, Crowley has clearly stated – “… when the Exempt Adept reaches the Frontier of the Abyss, his Holy Guardian Angel leaves him, and this is the one supreme terror of that passage.” [The ‘Blue’ Equinox III:1, Liber LXXI, The Voice of The Silence, Section III:24] … If there is any residue left uncontrolled below the Abyss, it is here where you must confront it, wrestle with it and scream get thee behind me Satan. … How can I identify what your demonic side represents? I can’t, no more than telling you what your True Will is. However, by the time you’ve climbed the Tree and understood the circle/squared sphere by sphere you will know your demon when you see him and hopefully, well trained and with an arsenal of angelic lessons, you will not be fooled by his ‘whispers’ which are but temptations offering you greatness on Earth.
9:50am Here is a bit of Angelic lore : the Qliphoth of Yesod is ruled by the great demon Gamaliel who is often called the ‘Polluted of God’ or the ‘Obscene One’ and the demons under him (in our personal Qliphoth) are described as corrupting and loathsome who take the Foundation of Yesod in each one of us, which normally represents the place where archetypal ideas in the unconscious inevitably become reality on Malkuth and they then pollute these images in order to produce vile results. Once these images manifest on Malkuth (i.e. our reality) they become part of the order known as Ogiel, or “Those Who Flee from God.” … However, and most important, on the lowest level Yesod is ruled by the Muladhara chakra, our libido or unconscious sexual desires and on our bodies Yesod represents our sexual organs as the ‘manifestors’ of reality (i.e. children) as well as our ‘thoughts.’ … To ignore the ‘sexual’ aspect of Yesod is a grave danger. … So, ask yourself this. What childhood lessons have you seen and learned, repressed and fulfilled, regarding an unhealthy sexuality; your own and that towards the opposite sex? It is said that a person who has not learned to face the phantoms of his sexual hang-ups, and to truly Love and to understand what Love is, will never transcend beyond Netzach, the sphere of Venus.
10:00am Regarding the Qliphoth of Yesod, Mick writes – “It’s useful for me to think of Qlipoth as the unfulfilled forms and evolutionary dead-ends of a particular sphere. That’s a broad enough frame to include every possible existing object or idea. I also like this definition because it side-steps the old binary Good/Bad thing – that whole distracting moral trap.
Yesod, the sphere of the Moon is by nature reflective, magnetic and fluid. This might suggest the Qlipoth in Yesod tends toward opacity, inertia and crystallization. Yesod contains the electromagnetic repository of all images and animations of thoughts, things and events that have occurred since the foundation of the world. It’s the Akasha; sometimes called the Whore of Babalon because she (it) takes all things into [her]self.
Opacity might show up as an insistence on a surface reading of things. Or it could be the use of Yesod’s reflectivity as a magickal tool unconnected to exacting measure from the Hod of Magick. One might fall into a kind of sloppy “mojo” spiced with personal superstition. The New Age movement has its share of examples. I don’t know much about Thelemic magicians but I’ll guess opacity shows up just as much there.
Also, in an ocean of reflective images the experience in Yesod is fractal. (We remind ourselves of each other all the time, don’t we?) If we forget this we might lose ourselves and wander as if in a hall of mirrors.
Inertia to me would be the opposite of magnetic and electric. It might show up as starts and stops, indecision, lethargy, apathy, neglect or even depression. Here is where creative sexual energy becomes morbid and dangerous unless given a suitable outlet. The aspect of “starts and stops” is daunting in itself but it also tends to bring the law of equilibration into play. Between stopping and starting one might begin equilibrating first to one end of the pendulum swing then to the other. Real equilibration can only occur when taking the view from a still point. What’s missing here is the third perspective – that of Hadit, (Chokma) which serves as the silent axis point of the moving pendulum, and circle to this particular square.
Crystallization might appear as a tendency to concretize what occurs to us in the magical realms. When we do that, we bring Yesod down to Malkuth and begin crossing the planes. A person exploring the Qlipoth of Yesod might open psychically to the repository of animations and images out of the Spiritus Mundi and tend to literalize them by mistaking them for messages from the gods.
Once “getting messages,” it’s easy to lose the sense of calm receptivity that comes with communication from our higher Daemon. That is to say, the circle part of the equation. Again, this is Chokmah, the Illuminating Intelligence that has no form in itself, but seems to imbue form the moment we stop to acknowledge it. I think this is one key to flipping the switch back over from the Qlipoth to the Illuminated part of the sphere. Most people probably do this everyday on a small scale but I think it’s reasonable to say it holds true on larger scales too.
Reply : I like it. Deep but to the point. You’ve been paying attention.
11:45am Wow, did I open up a can of worms with this discussion about the Qliphoth of Yesod. I have received a few emails which are dangerously unThelemic. The idea that “the Qliphoth to me represents perverse sexuality” or as another writes, “sex outside the norm” … implies too broad a definition. What is norm? What is perverse? Have we not incarnated to gain experience and is not the only Law do what thou wilt? The act itself; whether straight forward sex, masturbation, peeing or whips, chains and bondage & etc are not automatically Qliphothic nor are they the “manifestation of the sexuality gone wrong.” In truth, the exploration of our libido is a healthy thing but on the other hand the ‘restrictions’ or repression of such dangerously creates phantoms or shells buried deep in our psyche. When these ‘negative qualities’ unconsciously manifest they can take any number of the acts just mentioned into areas where others are then hurt. … Have you learned nothing about duality below the Abyss? Everything has the opposite polarity in its constitution. You should stop trying to put ‘morals’ on others as defined by your childhood psychosis; instead, explore Self and ask yourself why you think specific sexual acts are Qliphothic in nature. … As an example: virtually everyone masturbates and while many accept it as a pleasurable experience, others argue that it is a contemptible act, against God’s Will. But those who speak loudest against masturbation are most likely doing it too, just behind closed doors … and so who is creating the negative phantoms? And do not such phantoms make the Priest molest a child or the Preacher cheat on his wife with a prostitute? Who is more sexually honest; Crowley or the Pope?
12:10pm In regards to yesterday’s 5:40pm posting where I mentioned how quiet its been with our weekly topic on the Qliphoth of Yesod and how, due to lack of people posting their thoughts, I’m giving everyone a D+ … and so Ben now writes:
I hope this finds you well. I’m feeling better than earlier this week, so I thought I’d throw my hat in the door (ala Houdini), or maybe my foot in my mouth. Hopefully this isn’t too much blah, blah, blah from Qabalah-land. First I’d like to touch on Yesod and the Klipoth, and then the Klipoth of Yesod. Hopefully this gets my G.P.A.’.A.’. above that D+. (I didn’t know we had gone back to letter grades.)
I don’t think much needs to be said about Yesod proper that Mick and Jerri haven’t already said eloquently enough. Therefore, I’m going to skate through this part rather than recite a bunch of correspondences. Might I point out that Yesod is the lowest point of the three unmanifest triads, or Kabbalistic Worlds? Yesod becomes the repository of all of the ideas from Above that seek manifestation within our world of Yetzirah (Malkuth). Therefore Yesod would be both the Moon and the Astral Plane (or, Olam Briah); the Formative World of the Kabbalists, and the individual Nephesch. As the Moon reflects the light of our Sun, our unconscious reflects the higher aspirations of our personal Angel (and I mean this in its dualistic sense). In short Yesod (“the Foundation”) is our personal “…endless, changeless, ebb and flow of the world’s forces that…guarantee the stability of the world and provides its foundation… Some writers [Jung and his “Collective Unconscious”-B.H.] have referred to the Astral Light which is the sphere of Yesod as the Anima Mundi, the Soul of the World.” (Regardie, Garden of Pomegranates). . One might think of this as the idea that precedes the actual deed, or a “pregnant” potential. Because of this Yesod also has a pseudo-sexual component that is reflected in its correspondence to the Muladhara Chakra. Thus it is written “Everything shall return to its foundation. All marrow, seed, and energy are gathered in this place. Hence all the potentialities which exist go out through this.” (Zohar).
Now, the Qlipphoth. Personally I find this subject to be quite illuminating, if approached from a dualistic framework. The word “Klipoth” is best translated (in my mind) as “husks” and is related to the verb “Klipah” or “to shed.” The idea is first alluded to in The Bahir, 48, 49 and subsequently elaborated in The Zohar and later. I don’t want to be redundant, but there was an original tree that was shattered as the spirit of God descended, those vessels (Sefiroth) then became home to the demonic elements of the Universe. These vessels were repaired or reconstructed to become the Tree of Life (or, Universe) as we understand it now, properly imbued with the spirit of God. Thus, there is a Holy and Unholy Sefiroth for the entire decad of the Tree of Life. The nineteenth century scholars refer to these Unholy Sefiroth as “Averse,” or “backwards.” They are the reverse of the Holy Sefiroth (or, a mirror image); and this presents a number of interesting possibilities. The myth is fairly complicated and well worth exploring in my mind. Kaplan’s commentary to The Bahir states ‘For initiates, this also contains a lesson for those who would enter the mystical realm. The Husks (Klipot), derived from Tohu-Chaos, are the forces that “confound people,” and cause them to have misleading visions. A complete vessel is a vision that contains a complete, understandable idea, whereas a broken vessel is one that is confounding and confusing. The state toward which one must strive is therefore Bohu, for it is what contains the true vision – “it is in it.”’ (The Bahir).
I don’t want to digress too much into the concepts of “Tohu” and “Bohu” because I’ll end writing forever. They basically translate as “chaos” and “desolation” respectively, but essentially are together the key components of creation. Or, they are analogous to our talks on the Circle and the Square. Thus, without the tension that is inherent within one’s imperfection there is no will to move towards wholeness. For any further distinctions I direct the reader to the source texts.
The Klipoth of Yesod. The name for the Demon (or, Klipoth) of Yesod is Gamaliel. (gamliy’el) is from the root (gml, meaning camel, to pay, repay, or does; and esoterically “The High Priestess-lunar”) resulting in the translating of Gamaliel as “the recompense of God.” Kabbalah describes this sphere as a “distortion” of the generative quality of Yesod and prone to sexual indulgences (Mathers, Knorr von Rosenroth) and misuse of the Astral (Regardie). This is probably why Waite (from Levi) translates Gamaliel as “the obscene.” While the Demon is emblematic of a chaotic element of the sphere, Crowley (and the Greeks) tell us that Chaos is the driving creative force behind the Universe. Without that fire (Demon) harnessed by the force of the vessel (Angel) Leviathan is unable to move up the Tree (“…force and fire, are of us.” ALII,xx.).
Anyway, that is enough already! Hope you’re feeling well.
93 93/93 Ben
Reply: You’re lucky, you’ve done good and with all the incoming emails, those posted and those not, my grading curve brings your G.P.A.’.A.’. up to at least an A-
2:50pm Since it relates, in a way, with our talk on the Qliphoth of Yesod, I’d like to re-post part of a blog entry from Feb 17th, 2009 which I wrote to a female A.’.A.’. student. I wrote – “… Anyway, as magicians, we clearly recognize that the Kundalini exists in Yesod. We know that the ‘serpent’ becomes aroused within this sphere but it is not at a spiritual stage because Yesod, being ruled by the Moon, is the sphere of dreams; of our animalistic nature and sexual drives. It is our libido in its sexual phase. White light schools like the Golden Dawn which are rooted in Christian thought simply tell us to avoid our sexual urges as a means of putting our animalist soul under control. This is typical Christian avoidance and bullshit … as a Thelemites Crowley tells us to explore it. … There is no sin. … But how you ‘explore’ your sexuality is different than Crowley, than me or anyone else. If we shun something, or deny its existence from a psychological point-of-view it’ll only rear its ugly little head as phobias and psychosis. But don’t take that wrong; I’m not saying go out and sleep with everyone and become a slut, like so many guys in the OTO so often claim [or want you to be] … in truth, exploring your sexuality is a personal, private thing beginning with the mind and simply trying to come to terms with your Zodiac sign, its sexual proclivities and its relationship with the body that you picked to incarnate into. Understanding your incarnation on Malkuth (body) and Yesod (libido) is just like driving a car … first you slide in behind the steering wheel, you then adjusted the seat, find the right station on the radio, you look in the mirror, you then began playing with all the knobs and buttons, and when you felt comfortable, you turn on the motor. Vroom vroom and off you went.”
Love is the law, love under will. – AL I:57