object:1.04 - The Paths
book class:A Garden of Pomegranates - An Outline of the Qabalah
O NE of the several difficulties encountered in pre- senting a new scheme or a new interpretation of philosophy is the popular prejudice against new terminology. It is conceivable that objections will be raised against the Hebrew Alphabet and the terms utilized by the Qabalah by people who may overlook the fact that in the study of Astronomy, Physics, or Chemistry, for example, a completely new nomenclature must be mastered.
Even commerce uses a whole system of words and terms meaningless without a knowledge of commercial methods and procedure. The terminology used by the Qabalah is so employed for several reasons.
In Hebrew there are no numerals (which derive from the
Moors), but each letter of the alphabet is used for a number.
This fact provides the basis whereon the Qabalah rests in deviating from ordinary ideas of numbers and letters.
Each Hebrew letter has a multiple value. First, it has its individual position in the alphabet ; second, it has a numerical value ; third, it is attributed to some one of the thirty -two Paths on the Tree of Life ; fourth, it has a Tarot card attribution ; and fifth, it has a definite symbol or allegorical meaning when spelled in full.
Blavatsky writes : " Every Cosmogony from the earliest to the latest is based upon, interlinked with, and most closely related to, numerals and geometrical figures. . . .
Hence we find numbers and figures used as an expression and a record of thought in every archaic scripture." Ginsburg, referring to the Hebrew Alphabet, states : " Since the letters have no absolute value - nor can they be used as mere forms, but serve as the medium between essence and forms, and like words, assume the relation of form to the real essence, and of essence to the embryo and unexpressed
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thought - great value is attached to these letters, and to the combinations and analogies of which they are capable."
The Tarot trumps furnish a complete set of symbols, but the great difficulty hitherto experienced in their attribution to the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew Alphabet is that these trump cards are numbered from I to XXI, accom- panied by another card marked O, which has always been the stumbling-block, being attributed by various people to various letters of the alphabet, depending - apparently - on their whim at any particular moment. It should be quite obvious that the only logical place for this Zero card is antecedent to I, and when so placed the cards assume a definite sequential meaning, profoundly explanatory of the letters.
It is essential here to make a remark regarding the nature of the symbols revealed by the Tarot and utilized by the
Zohar and Sepher Yetsirah. The symbolism which is so often definitely and decidedly phallic is merely utilized in order to make cosmic and metaphysical conceptions and processes more readily comprehensible to the human mind.
Blavatsky was repeatedly offended by the use of sexual symbolism and on this account attacked the Qabalistic modes of expression in heated vituperations. Her indigna- tion was quite unnecessary, for in the Qabalah no lascivious method of interpretation has ever been used. I cannot undertake satisfactorily to account for her dislike of the
Qabalah. The only explanation which seems even remotely possible is that issuing, as she did, from a noble family in
Russia, where anti-Semitism was rife in her day, any and everything that smacked of Jewish savour was thoroughly objectionable. Her repeated attacks on the Zoharists, plus her real ignorance of the books of the Qabalah - corro- borated by the fact that she quotes mainly from Levi (who knew but little of it) and Knorr von Rosenroth, both of whom were Roman Catholics - may perhaps be explained in this manner.
Phallic symbolism was used very largely because it was conceived that the creative process in the Macrocosm is parallel, in a marked degree, to that in the little world of man. Nicholas Roerich's excellent travel book entitled
Altai-Himalaya gives a fine appreciation of this viewpoint :
" Observe how remarkable are the physiological com- parisons traced by the Hindus between cosmic manifesta- tions and the human organism. The womb, the navel, the phallus, and the heart, all these long since have been included in the fine system of development of the universal cell."
And while on this subject of phallicism, one is obliged to refer to C. J. Jung's Psychology of the Unconscious, accord- ing to which there is a gross misunderstanding of the term sexuality. By the latter, Freud understands " love " and includes therein all those tender feelings and emotions which have had their origin in a primitive erotic source, even if now their primary aim is entirely lost and another substituted for it. And it must also be borne in mind that the psycho-analysts themselves strictly emphasize the psychic side of sexuality and its importance besides its somatic expression.
The Sepher Yetsirah states :
" Twenty-two basal letters. He drew them, hewed them, weighed them, interchanged them, and formed by their means the whole creation, and everything that should be subsequently created."
This quotation is fundamental in the number philosophy of the Qabalah, indicating that the existence of these letters and the impress which they leave in every particle of creation, constitutes the harmony of the cosmos. The idealistic position that thoughts are things is analogous, and in the Sepher Yetsirah, the twenty-two letters or sets of ideas are observed to be the underlying forms and essences which go to make up the whole manifested universe in all its variety.
The Tree of Life consists of the thirty-two Paths of
Wisdom, of which the ten Sephiros are considered to be the main Paths or branches whose correspondences are by far the most important, and the twenty-two letters the lesser
Paths connecting the Sephiros, harmonizing and equili- brizing the concepts attached to the various numbers. In dealing with these remaining twenty-two Paths, the same procedure will be followed as with the Sephiros, going over each item, giving several correspondences, paying particular attention to the shape and meaning of the letters, together
Cher* I U\ ) Mem
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with relevant matter concerning their pronunciation which seems never to have been systematically presented before in treatises on the Number Philosophy of the Qabalah.
First letter of the Hebrew Alphabet.
Path No. Eleven on Tree of Life, joining Keser to Chokmah.
Numerical value, 1.
Some claim to find a satisfactory explanation of the origin of this letter in that it represents an ox-yoke, or the head of an Ox, the horns forming the top part of the letter.
This is highly significant, for the letter when pronounced as
Aleph and spelt in full rjbs Anph, means an Ox or Bull, an admirable symbol to denote the generative power of
Nature. To Aleph is attributed the Swastika !fi> almost N in shape, or the Thunderbolt of Thor - an excellent glyph to express the concept of the primeval motion of the Great
Breath, whirling Chaos into a creative centre.
Aleph partakes of the nature of Keser, and is called " The
Scintillating Intelligence Hoor-paar-Kraat, the Egyp- tian Lord of Silence, depicted as holding his finger to his lips, is attributed here ; as are Zeus and Jupiter, with par- ticular reference to that aspect of these two gods as elemental portions of Nature. The Hindu attribution is the Maruts (Vayu) having reference to the airy aspect of
Aleph, as also do the Valkyries of the Scandinavian
The animal appropriate to Aleph is the Eagle, the king of the birds, since we learn from classical mythology that the Eagle was sacred to Jupiter ; whose sacrifices, I may add, generally consisted of bulls and cows. Its element is
Air A, rushing aimlessly hither and thither, always pressing or tending in a downward direction.
Its Tarot trump is O - The Fool, implying just this airy aimlessness of existence. The card depicts a person dressed like a jester bearing over his shoulder a stick, on which hangs a bundle. Before him yawns a gaping precipice, while a little dog yaps at his feet from behind. On his tunic is the
A GARDEN OF POMEGRANATES design of which is Spirit. Spirilus is the Latin word meaning Air or breath.
The fan as a magical weapon is attributed to Aleph, having an obvious reference to Air. Its colour is Sky
Blue, its jewels Topaz and Chalcedony, and its perfume
Second letter of tlie Alphabet.
Path No. Twelve on Tree, joining Keser to Binah.
Numerical value, 2.
" B " is a sound of internal activity, developing within a space closed by the lips and mouth - hence, a symbolic house. Its pronunciation is Bes, translated by a " House ".
The Sepher Yetsirah states that the letter B reigns in
Wisdom. Wisdom is naturally the god Hermes, and its planetary attribution follows as a consequence - ^ , Mer- cury. Thoth, and his Cynocephalus, and Hanuman are included as correspondences. This Path, denominated
" The Transparent Intelligence ", partakes of both the nature of Chokmah and Hod, both of which are Mercurial.
The alchemical conception of the universal Mercury was that of a flowing, shifting, and unstable principle, ever changing. This may account for the baboon or monkey ever in attendance upon Thoth, for the monkey is restless, ever moving, and never still, typifying the human Ruach, which must be quieted. The Norwegian Odin - the infinite wanderer, would possibly be attributed here for precisely this reason. He is the spirit of life who, according to the legends, does not create the world himself, but only plans and arranges it. All knowledge issues from him, and he too is the inventor of poetry and the Norse runes.
Its magical weapon is the Caduceus wand, which has particular reference to the phenomenon of Kundalini arising in the course of Yoga practices, particularly
Dharana and Pranayama.
Its Tarot card is I - The Magician, who stands by a table on which are various magical implements, his Sword,
Cup, Pantacle, and Sceptre, while in his right hand he holds
an upraised wand. He points to the ground with his left hand, thus affirming the magical formula that " that which is above is like unto that which is below ". Above his head, as an aureole or nimbus, is , the mathematical sign of infinity. Since Mercury and Thoth are the Gods of Wisdom and Magick, it is plain that this card is a harmonious attribution.
Mastic, Mace, and Storax are the perfumes of this twelfth Path ; the Agate is its jewel ; Vervain its sacred plant. The Ibis is its sacred bird, which ages ago was observed to have the curious habit of standing on one leg for long periods of time, and to the fertile imagination of the ancients this suggested the absorption in profound meditation. In Yoga practice there is a posture called the
Ibis wherein the practitioner balances himself on one leg.
The rituals, moreover, address Thoth as " O thou of the
Ibis Head "
I must now refer to an important point of Hebrew grammar. The sounds of certain of the letters in the
Hebrew Alphabet become changed when a dot, called the dogish, is placed within those letters. The letter B becomes changed to V, when the dot in the middle is omitted, thus
2. It is imperative that this little detail be remembered as it assumes great importance in later research work, it being within the experience of the writer that the researches of a certain highly learned Qabalist have been hampered in a most extraordinary manner by this and similar facts having been omitted from his elementary Qabalistic training.
Third letter of Alphabet.
Path No. Thirteen on Tree, joining Keser to Tipharas.
Numerical value, 3.
By reference to the chart, it will be found that this Path joins the first to the sixth Sephiros, crossing the Abyss which, in Qabalistic symbology, is conceived to be a barren desert of sand wherein die the thoughts and empirical egos of men, " birth-strangled babes ", as the expression goes.
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Now a Gimel is the letter given to this Path, and when pronounced boa Gimel, means a Camel. The Camel is the conventional " ship of the desert
The title of this Path is " The Uniting Intelligence ", and its Yetsiratic attribution is the moon <=>. Its Tarot card is
II. - The High Priestess of the Silver Star, picturing a throned woman, crowned with a tiara, the Sun above her head, a stole on her breast, and the sign of the Moon at her feet. She is seated between two pillars, one white (male) and the other black (female), comparable to the right and left-hand pillars of the Tree of Life, and the Masonic
Yachin and Boaz. In her hand is the scroll of the
Law. She is, in one sense, the Shechinah, and our Lady
Babalon according to another system.
In the old Rosicrucian grade system, the Supernal Triad constitutes the Inner College of Masters, and is called the
Order of the Silver Star. Since the Path of Gimel or the
Moon links the Supernal Triad with Tipharas, serving as the means of entry to the Inner College, it will be observed that the Tarot symbols are consistent. Yet some students have allocated this card to Bes.
Artemis, Hecate, Chomse, and Chandra are the deities attributed, all of them being lunar goddesses. Its colour is Silver, the glistening colour of the Moon ; Camphor and
Aloes are its perfumes ; the Moonstone and Pearl being its jewels. The Dog is sacred to Gimel, probably because the huntress Artemis always had hounds in attendance. The
Bow and Arrow, for the same reason, is its symbolic magical instrument.
When the dogish is omitted, the Gimel has a soft sound, similar to the English J.
Fourth letter of Alphabet.
Path No. Fourteen, joining Cholcmali to Binah.
Numerical value, 4.
Since this Path joins, in the region of the Supernals, the
Father to the Mother, we would logically anticipate corres-
pondences expressing the attraction of the positive for the negative, and the love of the male for the female whereby the Yod and the Heh primal unite. Its astrological attribu- tion is $, Venus, the Lady of Love. The pronunciation of this letter as Dallas means a " Door ", which even in
Freudian symbolism possesses the significance of the womb.
The colours are Green and Emerald Green. The jewels are the Emerald and Turquoise ; the flowers Myrtle and
Rose ; the birds being the Sparrow and Dove. The magical appurtenance is the Girdle, in view of the legend that whosoever wore Aphrodite's girdle became an object of universal love and desire.
The title of this fourteenth Path is " The Luminous
Intelligence ", and its gods are Aphrodite, Lalita - the sexual aspect of Sakti, the wife of Shiva- and the sweet low-browed Hathor, who is a cow-goddess.
To attempt to illustrate once more the implication of the idea of a God, I quote an apt remark, which should be borne in mind and applied throughout, from the Notes on the Hippolytus of Euripides, by Gilbert
"The Aphrodite of Euripides' actual belief, if one may venture to dogmatize on such a subject, was almost cer- tainly not what we should call a goddess, but rather a force of Nature, or a Spirit working in the world. To deny her existence you would have to say not merely : ' There is no such person ', but ' there is no such thing ' ; and such a denial would be a defiance of obvious facts."
The Goddess of Love in the Norse myths was Freyja, the daughter of Njord - a Jupiterian tutelary deity.
The Tarot card is III. - The Empress, who bears in her right hand a sceptre, being a globe surmounting a cross, the astrological sigil of Venus, $. Her robe repeats this symbol, and at the side of her throne is a heart-shaped shield bearing also the sign of Venus. Facing her, is a field of corn, emphasizing the fact that she is a Goddess not only of Love but of Agriculture. She wears a green garland upon her head, and a necklace of pearls.
For some slight explanation as to how agriculture could be associated with the Goddess of Love, I must refer my
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readers to The Problems of Mysticism , by Dr. Silberer, in which book will be found valuable material. At the same time I am not to be understood as endorsing the entirety of
Silberer's conclusions. As I have indicated. Problems of
Mysticism may intimate to the careful reader how the association might have ensued.
Dallas is a " double letter ", and consequently is pro- nounced a heavy th as in " the " and " lather ", when with a dogish.
Fifth letter of Alphabet.
Path No. Fifteen, joining Chokmah to Tipharas.
Numerical value, 5.
Its pronunciation is Heh, which word means a Window.
Its Yetsiratic title is " The Constituting Intelligence ", and its astrological attribution is
Its Gods are Athena, insofar as she protected the State from its enemies ; and Shiva and Mars. Minerva is also an attribution, for she was believed to have guided men in war, where victory was to be gained by prudence, courage, and perseverance. The Egyptian Mentu is also a god of War, depicted with the head of a Hawk. The Scandinavian Tyr is an attribution to this Path, for he is the most daring and intrepid of the Gods, and it is he who dispenses valour, courage, and honour in the Wars.
The Spear is the weapon appropriate ; the flower Ger- anium, and the jewel Ruby because of its colour.
The Tarot card is IV. - entitled The Emperor, who has a red robe, and seated on a throne (in his crown are rubies), his legs forming a cross. His arms and head form a triangle.
We have, therefore, , the alchemical symbol of Sulphur, a fiery energetic principle, the Hindu Gunam of Rajas, the quality of energy and volition. On the arms of his throne are carved two ram's heads, showing that this attribution is harmonious.
Sixth letter of Alphabet.
Path No. Sixteen on Tree, joining Chokmah to Cheaed.
Numerical value, 6.
Vav is its pronunciation, and means a " Nail ". It is used as a symbol of the phallus. This usage is confirmed by the Zodiacal sign of The Bull, which, as already pointed out, is a glyph of the universal reproductive force. The phallus, in the mysticism of the Qabalah, is a creative symbol of a creative reality, the magical will. As an aid to the comprehension of this idea I quote from Jung's Psych- ology of the Unconscious for a definition :
" The phallus is a being which moves without limbs, which sees without eyes, which knows the future ; and as symbolic representative of the universal creative power existent everywhere immortality is vindicated in it. . . .
It is a seer, an artist, and a worker of miracles."
This definition is particularly appropriate to the Chiah, of which the lingam is the terrestrial symbol as well as vehicle.
The attributions follow the astrological one very closely, for we find here the Egyptian Asar Ameshet Apis, the fighting bull of Memphis, who trampled on his enemies.
The Orphic congregations at certain of their holiest secret convocations solemnly partook of the blood of a bull, according to Murray, which bull was, by some mystery, the blood of Dionysius-Zagreus himself, the " Bull of God " slain in sacrifice for the purification of man. And the
Msenads of poetry and mythology, among more beautiful proofs of their superhuman character, have always to tear bulls in pieces and taste of the blood. The reader will also recall to mind the fair promise of Lord Dunsany's most interesting story, The Blessing of Pan.
In India we see the sacred bull revered as typifying Shiva in his creative aspect ; also as glyphed in their temples by an erect Lingam. Here, the Goddess of Marriage, and
Hymen, the god carrying the nuptial veil, are also corres- pondences.
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V. - The Hierophant is the Tarot attribution. He is represented as raising his right hand in the sign of benedic- tion over the heads of two ministers, and in his left hand he bears a w r and or sacerdotal staff surmounted by a triple cross. At his feet are two keys, those of Life and Death, which solve the mysteries of existence.
Vav is also the " Son " of Tetragrammaton - Bacchus or
Christ in Olympus (Heaven) saving the world. It also represents Parsival as the King-Priest in Montsalvat celebrating the miracle of redemption. The name Bacchus is a derivative from a Greek root meaning a " wand To- gether with his many names of Bromios, Zagreus, and
Sabazios, he has many shapes, especially - so says Prof.
Gilbert Murray - appearing as a Bull and a Serpent. Many of the correspondences of Tipharas, the sixth Sephirah, have a close connection with this sixteenth Path. Adonis,
Tammuz, Mithras, and Attis are further allocations.
Storax is the perfume, Mallow the plant, and Topaz its jewel. Indigo is the colour of this Path.
Depending entirely upon where the d6gish is placed, this letter can be either U .% or O i, or V 1.
Seventh letter of Alphabet.
Path No. Seventeen, joining Binah and Tipharaa.
Numerical value, 7.
Zayin means a Sword, and in examining the shape of the letter one could imagine that the top part of the letter was the hilt, and the lower part the blade.
In astrology it is the sign of n Gemini, the Twins. All twin gods are therefore attributed to this Path. Rekht and Merti of the Hindus, and Castor and Pollux of the
Greeks. Apollo also is a correspondence, but only in that aspect of him as the Diviner, having the power to communi- cate the gift of prophecy to both gods and men. Nietzsche, in his Birth of Tragedy, says of Apollo that not only is he a god of all shaping energies, but also the soothsaying god.
" He who (as the etymology of the name indicates) is the
' shining one ', the deity of light, also rules over the fair appearance of the inner world of fantasies. The higher truth, the perfection of these states in contrast to the only partially intelligible everyday world, ay, the deep con- sciousness of nature, healing and helping in sleep and dream, is at the same time the symbolical analogue of the faculty of soothsaying and, in general of all the arts, through which life is made possible and worth living."
Janus is an attribution, since he is represented with two faces, each looking in a different direction. Hoo-paar-
Kraat is an attribution again, principally because he sums up the two twin Gods of Ilorus, the Lord of Strength, and Harpocrates, the Lord of Silence, in one deific personality.
Zayin is called in the Sepher Yetsirah " The Disposing
Intelligence ". All hybrids are attributed here ; its bird is the Magpie, and Alexandrite and Tourmaline its precious stones. Its colour is Mauve, and its plants are all forms and species of Orchids.
The Tarot card is VI. - The Lovers. Ancient packs describe this as representing a man between two women, who arc Vice and Virtue, Lilith, the wife of the evil Samael, and Eve. Modern cards, however, show a nude male and female figure, with an angel or a Cupid with outspread wings hovering above them.
Eighth letter of Alphabet.
Path No. Eighteen, joining Binah and Geburah.
Numerical value, 8.
Ches (guttural Ch as in " loch ")- a Fence. In Astrology it is the sign of the Crab, s Cancer. It is Khephra, the beetle-headed God, representing the midnight Sun. In the ancient Egyptian astrological philosophy, <& Cancer was considered to be the Celestial House of the Soul. Mercury in his aspect of the messenger of the Gods, and Apollo in his role of the Charioteer, are other attributions. The Norse
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correspondence is Hermod, the envoy of the Gods, the son of Odin, who gave him a helmet and corselet which Hermod wore when despatched on his dangerous missions. Un- fortunately, the Hindu gods are not sufficiently determinate to enable one to make an attribution from their number with any degree of satisfaction, unless we decide upon
Krishna in his r6Ie of driving the chariot of Arjuna to the battle of Kurukshetra, as described in the
The Tarot card is a most interesting one, VII. - The
Chariot. It denotes a chariot, the canopy of which is blue and decked with stars (representing Nuit, the night sky- blue, Space, and our Lady of the Stars). In the chariot is a crowned and armoured figure, on whose forehead glitters a
Silver Star - the symbol of spiritual rebirth. On his shoulders are mounted two crescents, the waxing and wan- ing Moon. Drawing the chariot are two sphinxes, one white, the other black, representing the conflicting forces in his being which he has mastered. On the front of the chariot is a glyph of the lingam, his regenerated or sub- limated " Id " or libido, surmounted by the winged globe, his transcendental Ego with whom he has become united.
The whole card adequately symbolizes the Great Work, that process by which a man comes to know the unknown
Crown, and attains to the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel, perfect self-integration and con- sciousness.
A word apropos the libido. In this term Jung saw a concept of an unknown nature, comparable to Henri
Bergson's elan vital, a hypothetical energy of life, which occupies itself not alone in sexuality but in various other physiological spiritual manifestations. Bergson speaks of this elan vital as a movement of self-creation, a becoming, and as the very stuff and reality of our being.
Its sacred animal is the Sphinx, whose expression of enigma combining male, female, and animal qualities is an apt symbol of the Great Work brought to perfection. The
Sepher Yetsirah names Ches " The House of Influence " ; the Lotus is its flower, Onycha its perfume, Maroon its colour, and Amber its jewel.
Ninth letter of Alphabet.
Path No. Nineteen, joining Chesed and Geburah.
Numerical value, 9.
Those Paths on the Tree which are horizontal and join together a male and female Sephirah are termed Reciprocal
Paths. The fourteenth Path was the first of these ; this nineteenth Path is the second, linking Might with Mercy,
Justice with Love.
This letter means a " Serpent ". Its zodiacal sign is a
Leo, the Lion. Pasht, Sekket, and Mau, are attributed because they are eat goddesses. Ra-Hoor-Khuit is another correspondence, representing the Sun which rules Leo.
Demeter and Venus as Agricultural Goddesses, are also attributed to Tes.
Its animal is, of course, the Lion ; its flower the Sun- flower ; its jewel the Cat's Eye ; and its perfume Olibanum.
Purple is its colour.
Its Tarot card is VIII. - Strength, showing a woman crowned and girdled with flowers, calmly and without apparent effort, closing the jaws of a lion.
In view of the " Serpent " and " Lion " correspondences, some authorities assume a phallic connotation for Tes. The
Serpent and the Lion are of particular importance in the study of alchemical literature. In modern psycho-analytic theory, the Serpent is lucidly recognized as a symbol both of the phallus and the abstract concept of Wisdom.
Path No. Twenty, joining Chesed to Tipharas.
Numerical value, 10.
Yod - a Hand ; or rather the pointed index finger on the
!iand, with all the other fingers closed. It, too, is a phallic symbol, representing the spermatozoon or the unconscious secret will-essence (libido) and, in the various legends, the
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youth setting forth upon his adventures after receiving the
Wand - or attaining puberty. The magical weapons are the Wand, in which the Freudian significance is clearly perceptible, the Lamp, and the Eucharistic Host. The significance of the Hand of God or the Dhyan-Chohanic consciousness, setting the world-forces in motion, may also be read into this letter Yod.
The Tarot card, IX. - The Hermit, gives the conception of an aged Adept, cowled and robed in black, holding a lamp in his right hand, bearing a wand or staff in his left.
The conception of this Path as a whole is that of vir- ginity, its astrological sign being tie. Virgo. We therefore attribute to it the unmarried Isis and Nephthys, both vir- gins. The Hindu equivalent is that of the Gopi cow-girls, or the shepherdesses of Brindaban, who became enamoured with love of Shri Krishna. Narcissus, the beautiful youth inaccessible to the emotion of love ; and Adonis, who was the youthful beloved of Aphrodite, are other correspon- dences. Balder, as the beautiful virgin God residing in the heavenly mansion called Breidablik into which naught unclean could enter, is undoubtedly the Norse attribution.
Its jewel is the Peridot ; its flowers the Snowdrop and
Narcissus, both implying purity and innocence ; and its colour Grey.
Path No. Twenty-one, joining Cheaed to Netaaoh.
Numerical value, 20.
This letter is pronounced Caph- meaning a spoon or the hollow of one's hand - receptive symbols, and therefore feminine. It is attributed to 2). Jupiter, and as it connects
Chesed (the sphere of 2f) to Netsach, which latter is the sphere of 2 Venus, the Path of Caph partakes both of the magnanimous and generous expansive character of 2J. and the love nature of $ . It repeats on a considerably lower plane the attributions of Jupiter, Zeus, Brahma, and Indra, already commented upon. Pluto is also attributed, since he is the blind giver of wealth, symbolical of the infinite and abundant prodigality of Nature. In the Northern Sagas we
THE PATHS 81
find that it is Njord who rules over the winds and storms, and checks the fury of the sea and fire ; he is, moreover, the guardian of wealth and gives possessions to those who call upon him.
Caph is entitled " The Conciliatory Intelligence " ; its jewels are Lapiz Lazuli and Amethyst ; plants Hyssop and
Oak ; perfume Saffron and all other generous odours, and its colour Blue.
The Tarot card is X.-The Wheel of Fortune which, in some packs, is a wheel of seven spokes, with a figure of
Anubis on one side bearing a caduceus, and on the other a demon with a trident. On the top of the circumference is a
Sphinx bearing a sword. The wheel represents the ever- whirling Karmic cycle of Samsara, of existence after existence, at one moment elevating us above princes and the kings of the land, and at others throwing us below the level of slaves and the dust of the earth. On the wheel, at each of the cardinal points, are inscribed the letters taro, and in between them the four Hebrew letters of Tetragram- maton. At each of the four corners of the card, seated on a cloud, is one of the creatures seen in vision by the prophet
When the dfigish is omitted, this letter has a guttural sound, Ch, similar to that of Ches. It has a final form, viz. : tj for use at the end of words, and its numerical value as such is 500.
Path No. Twenty-two, joining Geburah to Tipharas.
Numerical value, 30.
This letter Lamed means an Ox-goad or a Whip, and would suggest such a translation by its shape alone. Its astrological sign Libra, the Scales, is its most important attribution and sums up the characteristics of the Path.
The Tarot attribution is XI. - Justice, depicting a woman, very sombre, seated between two pillars, holding a
Sword in one hand, a pair of Scales in the other. Its sub- sidiary Tarot title is " The Daughter of the Lords of Truth.
The Ruler of the Balances
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The Greek God is Themis, who, in the Homeric poems, is the personification of abstract law, custom, and equity, whence she is described as reigning in the assemblies of men, and convening the assembly of the Gods on Mount
Olympus. Its Egyptian God bears out the idea of Justice for she is Maat, the Goddess of Truth, who in the Book of the Dead appears in the judgment scene of the weighing of the heart of the deceased. Nemesis, too, is a correspon- dence, as she measured out to mortals happiness and misery ; and here, too, is the Hindu concept of Yama, the personification of death and Hell where men had to expiate their evil deeds.
The plant of Lamed is Aloe ; its animals the Spider and
Elephant ; its perfume is Galbanum, and its colour Blue.
Its Yetsiratic title is " The Faithful Intelligence ".
Path No. Twenty -three, joining Geburah to Hod.
Numerical value, 40.
Mem is the pronunciation, meaning Water, and it is given also the element of V Water. In its shape, some authorities perceive the waves of the sea. Its gods are Turn Ptah
Auromoth, combining the idea of the God of the Setting
Sun, the King of the Gods, and a purely elemental divinity.
Poseidon and Neptune are again attributed as representing water and the seas.
Mem is called " The Stable Intelligence ", and its colour is Sea Green. The Cup and Sacramental Wine (Soma, the elixir of immortality) is the magical equipment for cere- monial. The so-called Kerubs of Water are the Eagle,
Snake, and Scorpion, representing the unredeemed man, his magical force, and his final " salvation ". All water plants and the Lotus are proper correspondences. Aqua- marine or Beryl is its precious stone, and Onycha and
Myrrh its perfumes.
The Tarot attribution is XII. - The Hanged Man, a most curious card, representing a man, in a blue tunic, hung head downwards (surrounded by a golden halo) from a
T-shaped gibbet by one foot, the other being bent behind the knee suggesting a cross. His arms are tied behind his back forming a triangle, base downwards. It is the formula of the " Saviour ", bringing light to the men of earth.
Mem has a final form c, value 600.
Path No. Twenty-four, joining Tipharas to Netsach.
Numerical value, 60.
Pronounced Noon, and means a " Fish ".
The correspondences again appear to follow the astrolo- gical interpretation, which is n\ Scorpio, the reptile fabled to sting itself to death. $ Mars rules Scorpio, and its Greek
God is, therefore, Mars ; its Roman God Ares. Apep, the
Egyptian God, an immense serpent, is attributed here.
Kundalini is the Hindu Goddess representing the creative force (libido), coiled up as a serpent at the base of the spine, in the so-called lotus of the Muladhara Chakra.
Its magical formula is Regeneration through Putrefac- tion. The alchemists of old used this formula mainly. The first common matter of their operations was base, and had to pass through several stages of corruptions or putrefac- tion (or chemical change, as it would be styled to-day), when it was called the black dragon - but from this putrid stage, the pure gold was derived.
Another application of the same formula applies to that psychological state of which all mystics speak, viz. : the
Spiritual Dryness or " The Dark Night of the Soul ", wherein all one's powers are held temporarily in abeyance gathering, in reality, strength to shoot up and blossom forth in the light of the Spiritual Sun. Its sacred animal is, therefore, the Beetle, representing the Egyptian God
Khephra, the Beetle-God of the Midnight Sun symbolizing
Light in Darkness. During the mystical state referred to, the whole of one's inner life appears, in the most heart- breaking manner conceivable, to be torn asunder.
The Tarot attribution, XIII. - Death , continues this conception, picturing a black skeleton mounted on a white
84 A GARDEN OF POMEGRANATES
horse (reminding us of one of the Four Horsemen of the
Apocalypse) armed with a scythe mowing down all and everything with which he comes into contact.
Its Yetsiratic title is " The Imaginative Intelligence ", and its jewel Snakestone ; colour Beetle-Brown ; perfume
Opoponax ; its plant Cactus and all poisonous growths.
This letter, too, has a final form 7, the numerical value of which is 700.
Path No. Twenty-five, joining Tipharaa and Yesod.
Numerical value, 60.
This letter means a " Prop ". The Path is attributed to the zodiacal sign of Sagittarius t the Arrow, and is called
" The Tentative Intelligence ". Sagittarius is essentially a hunting sign and Diana, as the celestial Archer and the
Goddess of the Chase, finds her place in this category.
Apollo and Artemis as Hunters with the bow and arrow are also included.
The symbol of Sagittarius is the Centaur, half-man and half-beast, who is traditionally connected with Archery ; and the Horse, too, is a correspondence of Samech. The plant appropriate is the Rush, used for making arrows; perfume Lignaloes, and Green is the colour. The Rainbow is also a correspondence of Samech, and in this connection the God Ares is attributed.
The Tarot attribution is XIV. -Temperance, showing an angel crowned with the golden sigil of the Sun, clothed in beautiful white robes, and on his breast are written the letters of the Tetragrammaton over a white square, wherein is a gold triangle. He pours a blue liquid from a gilt chalice into another.
This Path leads from Yesod to Tipharas, the sphere of 0 the Sun. The Angel of the Tarot, would typify the Holy
Guardian Angel to whom man aspires. The keynote of the astrological sign, the arrow pointing heavenwards, is
Aspiration, and the sigil of the Sun and the gilt triangle over the heart of the Angel, all point to the object of aspiration, representing Asar-Un-Nefer, man made perfect.
THE PATHS 85
Hardly any doubt can be entertained as to the correctness of these Tarot allocations.
Its stone is Jacinth, which in reality refers to the beautiful boy Hyacinth who was killed accidentally by Apollo with a quoit.
Path No. Twenty-six, joining Tipharas to Hod.
Numerical value, 70.
Pronounced Ayin (with a slight nasal twang) and means an " Eye " - referring to the Eye of Shiva, said to be atrophied into the pineal gland. Astrologically, it is H
Capricornus, the mountain goat leaping forwards and up- wards, boldly without fear, yet remaining close to the hill- tops.
Its symbols, again, are both the Yoni and the Lingam, and its gods are emblematic of the creative forces of Nature.
Khem is the Egyptian creative principle, almost always shown with the head of a lustful goat. Priapus is the Greek
God, insofar as he was the God of sexual fecundity and fruitfulness. Pan, when represented as the goat of the flock " raving and raping, ripping and rending everlast- ing ", is attributed here, too.
Bacchus, the jovial representative of the reproductive and intoxicating power of Nature, is another correspondence.
Hemp, from which Hashish is a derivative, is attributed because of its intoxicating and ecstasy-producing qualities.
Ayin represents the spiritual creative force of God- head, which, should it become openly manifest in a man, makes of him iEgipan, the All. This Path is symbolical of the Man-god, eager and exalted, consciously aware of his
True Will and ready to set out on his long and wearisome journey of redeeming the world.
The Tarot card is XV. - The Devil, showing a winged goat-headed satyr, with a pentagram on his brow, pointing upwards with his right hand, and his left hand clutching a flaming firebrand pointing downwards. To his throne are chained a nude male and female figure, both having the horns of a goat.
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The jewel appropriate to the twenty-sixth Path is the black Diamond ; the animals the Goat and Ass. It will be remembered that Jesus is pictured in the Gospel as riding into Jerusalem astride an ass, and if my memory serves me correctly there is reference somewhere of Dionysius, too, riding an ass. Its title is " The Renovating Intelligence " ; its perfume Musk, and its colour Black.
Path No. Twenty-seven, joining Netsach to Hod.
Numerical value, 80.
The reader will note that it is by shape similar to Caph meaning the hollow of the hand, with the addition of a little tongue or Yod. The meaning of Peh is a " Mouth ". It is the third of the Reciprocal Paths.
Its Yetsiratic title is " The Natural Intelligence ". Its astrological attribution is Mars, and therefore this Path repeats to a large extent the attributions of the sphere of
Geburah, although on a less spiritual plane. Horus, the hawk-headed Lord of Strength, Mentu, the God of War of the Egyptians ; Ares and Mars of the Greeks and Romans, and all other warrior gods, are the deity attributions.
Krishna, as the charioteer to the Kurukshetra battle, is the
Hindu correspondence. Odin, too, was portrayed in the
Norse myths as a War god, and sent the Valkyries to welcome the fallen heroes to the festive boards of Valhalla.
Anderson in his Norse Mythology says that the Valkyries
" are the handmaidens of Odin, and the God of War sends his thoughts and his will to the carnage of the battlefield in the form of mighty armed women, in the same manner as he sends his ravens all over the earth ".
Its metal is Iron, its animals the Bear and Wolf, its jewels the Ruby and any other red stone ; its plants Rue, Pepper, and Absinthe ; its perfumes Pepper and all pungent odours, and its colour Red.
The Tarot card appropriate is XVI. - The Tower, the upper part of which is shaped like a crown. It is alternately
THE PATHS 87
called The House of God, and its subsidiary title is " The
Lord of the Hosts of the Mighty ". The card illustrates the
Tower being struck by a vivid zig-zag flash of lightning which has demolished the top, and red tongues of flame lick the three windows from which two figures have jumped.
This letter has, with the letter Caph, particular reference to a magical formula which is admirably suited to the grade of
When the dogish is omitted from this letter, it is pro- nounced as PH or F. Its final form is q - 800.
Path No. Twenty-eight, joining Netsach to Yesod.
Numerical value, 90.
Tsaddi - a Fish Hook. Its astrological attribution is sss Aquarius, the sign of the Water-bearer. This idea con- tinues in the Tarot card, which is X VII. - The Star, depict- ing a nude female kneeling by a body of water, pouring water from two jugs, held one in each hand. Above her are seven eight-pointed stars surrounding a larger Star.
The subsidiary title is " The Daughter of the Firmament.
The Dweller between the Waters ".
This Path is distinctly feminine, joining $ Venus to <=*
Moon, both feminine influences; and Juno, the Greek goddess who watches over the female sex and was regarded as the Genius of womanhood, is its main attribution.
Athena as the patroness of both useful and elegant arts (the arts are the astrological characteristics of the native of
Aquarius) is a correspondence; as is Ganymede, also, because of his almost feminine beauty and because he was the Cup-bearer. Ahepi and Aroueris are the Egyptian equivalents.
The plant of Tsaddi is the Olive, which Athena is believed to have created for mankind ; its animal the
Eagle, which is said to have carried Ganymede away to
Olympus ; its perfume Galbanum, and its colour Sky Blue.
Its Yetsiratic title is " The Natural Intelligence The
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jewel is Chalcedony, suggesting as it were the soft watery clouds and the stars by appearance.
Tsaddi has a final form Y, 900.
Path No. Twenty -nine, joining Netsach to Malkus.
Numerical value, 100.
Pronunciation is Qoph, meaning the Back of the Head.
Its Yetsiratic title is " The Corporeal Intelligence " ; and its attribution is X Pisces, the Sign of the Fishes.
This Path is a very difficult one to describe, as it un- doubtedly refers to some aspect of the Astral Plane ; and it is, also, a phallic symbol, the fish referring to the spermatozoa swimming in the foundations of one's being. Its Hindu attribution is Vishnu as the Matsu or Fish Avatara.
Neptune and Poseidon, insofar as their realm of govern- ment includes the dominion wherein fish dwell ; and
Khephra, as the beetle or crab, are other correspondences.
All these symbols conceal, or relate to, a species of Magick which is allied to the application of the formula of Tetra- grammaton.
Jesus of Nazareth is sometimes termed the Piscean, and readers will recall early Christian amulets upon which were inscribed the Greek word " Ichthus," meaning Fish, and having reference to the personality recognized as the Son of
God by the Christian Churches. The Babylonian teacher of
Wisdom, Oannes, likewise was represented in phallic fish form.
Its sacred creature is the Dolphin, its colour Buff, and its jewel the Pearl. The Pearl is referred to Pisces be- cause of its cloudy brilliance as contrasted with the trans- parency of other jewels, thus reminding one somewhat of the astral plane with its cloudy forms and semi-opaque visions as opposed to the flashes of formless light apper- taining to purely spiritual planes.
XVIII. - The Moon, is its Tarot card, describing a mid- night landscape on which the moon is shining. Standing between two towers a jackal and a wolf, with muzzles
pointed in the air, howl at the moon, and a crayfish or crab crawls out of the water on to dry land.
Path No. Thirty, joining Hod to Yesod.
Numerical value, 200.
Resh is its pronunciation and means a Head. The Sun is attributed to this Path, and all the symbols are clearly solar.
Ra, Helios, Apollo, and Surya are all gods of the solar disk. Yellow is the colour given to Resh ; Cinnamon and
Olibanum are its perfumes - obviously solar ; the Lion and the Sparrowhawk are its animals. Gold is the appropriate metal ; the Sunflower, Heliotrope, and Laurel being its plants. Crysoleth is its jewel, suggesting the golden colour of the Sun. Its title is " The Collecting Intelligence
The Tarot card XIX. - The Sun, corresponds beautifully.
It seems extraordinarily difficult to believe that some writers on the Qabalah attribute this card to the letter
Qoph. The card depicts a blazing sun above the Crowned and Conquering Child Horns, who rides triumphantly on a
White Horse - the symbol of the Kalki Avatara. In the background of the card are several sunflowers, which again point to the solar nature of the allocation.
The Sepher Yetsirah denominates " Resh," a " double letter ", but I have been unable to discover any sound other than " R " for this letter ; nor is any other so recognized by modern Hebrew grammarians. Perhaps the French form of " R " - pronounced with a decided roll - is the sound in question.
Twenty -first letter.
Path No. Thirty-one, joining Hod to Malkus.
Numerical value, 300.
Shin means a Tooth, probably with reference to a three- pronged molar. This letter takes a dogish, and when the
90 A GARDEN OF POMEGRANATES
latter is on the left side, viz., b (Sin), it is pronounced as an " S
Fire A is its Yetsiratic element (in Hebrew Esh is fire, the " sh " being most prominent in pronunciation), and is symbolized by this sibilant letter ts, because one char- acteristic of fire is its hissing sound ; and the equivalent in
Hebrew for " sibilant " is a word which also means " hiss- ing "
The implication of this Path is that of the Holy Spirit descending in tongues of fire - reminding one of the
Apostles of Christ at Pentecost - and all its attributions are fiery. Agni is the Hindu God of Tejas, the tattva or element of fire. Hades is the Greek god of the fiery nether regions, as also are Vulcan and Pluto. Its Egyptian gods denote fiery elemental divinities, Thoum-sesh-neith, Kabeshunt, and Tarpesheth.
Its plants are the Red Poppy and Hibiscus. Knowing the above attributions one well understands and feels the plaintive cry of the poet : " Crown me with poppy and hibiscus ". The jewel of this Path is the fire Opal, and its perfumes Olibanum and all fiery odours. The Sepher
Yetsirah title is " The Perpetual Intelligence ".
The Tarot correspondence is XX. - The Last Judgment, showing the Angel Gabriel blowing a trumpet, bearing a banner on which is a red cross. The dead break open their tombs, and stand erect, looking upwards, directing their arms in prayer to the Angel.
personification of the earth. There is also the Norse Vidar, whose name indicates that he is the imperishable nature of the world, likened to the immensity of the indestructible forests, and like the Greek Pan he is the representative of the silent, secret, and peaceful groves. Anderson, again, implies that Vidar is the eternal, wild, original nature, the god of imperishable matter. Saturn, an early Italian god, is an earth deity too, he having taught the people agri- culture, suppressed their savagery, and introduced them to civilization.
In connection with (a), however, we have Sebek, the crocodile god, signifying the grossest form of matter, and such correspondences as Assafcetida and all evil odours, and the Hindu Tamo-gunam, the quality of slothfulness and inertia.
Its colour is Black, its plants the Ash and Nightshade, and its Yetsiratic title " The Administrative Intelligence ".
The Tarot card is XXI. - The World, showing within a flowery wreath a female figure, who has come to be known as the Virgin of the World, giving this Path added significance since it descends upon Malleus, to which the Zohar allocates the final Hdh, the Daughter, who is the reflection below of the Shechinah on high. At the four comers of the cards are the four cherubic animals of the Apocalypse ; the man, the eagle, the bull, and the lion.
Path No. Thirty-two, joining Yesod to Malkus.
Numerical value, 400.
This letter means a T-shaped Cross. When without a dogish is pronounced as an " S ".
This Path represents both (a) the lowest dregs of the
Astral Plane, to which is attributed ft Saturn as the great astrological malefic, and ( b ) the universe in toto, represented by Brahma and Pan as the sum total of all existent in- telligences. In the latter category is Gaea or Gd, the
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