Star Lodge traditionally decides on several Magickal WORKings to be
done as a series, to better understand the interrelations between The Paths and Spheres of The Tree of Life. A Knowledge Lecture is prepared and disseminated in advance, so participants come to each WORKing with some background and a common vocabulary. These Knowledge Lectures are NOT original research alone, but influenced by books, web pages and conversations with knowledgeable peers. As they were not created as public documents, they are not footnoted by source. Many thanks to the many authors whose work was consulted in preparing this paper for private use.
The Second Triad
Chesed, Geburah and Tiphareth
March 11, 2005ev
After completing our exploration of the Supernal Triad (Kether, Chockmah and Binah) we ride the LIGHT of Creation and descend further into the Higher Aspects of the Human Plane. This triad consists of :
Chesed (ChSD) (or Gedulah, the Establishment of Order and Mercy), is the collection and categorizing of similar things. Its balancing partner, Geburah (GBVRH) (Discipline or Severity), is the focusing if that order through the elimination of dissimilar things. And Tiphareth (TPARYTh) (Beauty) is the resulting symmetry. It is a center point, the balance both vertically and horizontally of forces.
Thus this Triad not only includes the abilities of the G-dhead, but our own abilities as well.
One of the sacred Magickal tools of the Bible is an excellent allegory:
“Moses placed the breastplate on him (Aaron); and in the breastplate he put the Urim and the Tummim. (Leviticus 8:7-8)
This Magickal Tool consisted of two scrolls, each marked with separate Names of G-D, inside a leather vest on which 12 gems were embedded. Letters (and therefore numbers) and the 12 Tribes were encrypted into this design for meditation and prophesy.
“Thus the Urim and the Tummim were the holy Names of God, and it was by virtue of the power residing in these Names that the letters inscribed on the stones of the breastplate would light up before the eyes of the priest who inquired of the judgment. (Numbers 27:21)”
For example, (Judges 1:1) the priest asked a question of prophesy and fixed his thoughts on those Divine Names which were in the Urim and the letters of G-d’s (ADNI) answer lit up but he did not yet know their arrangement. His personal connection to ADNI was receptive and open to Divine Knowledge (D’aath) and the answer descended from the Supernal Triad.
But then the priest needed the other sacred Divine Names on the parchment called Tummim, whose power helped the priest's heart understand the meaning of the letters which lit up before his eyes. Thus, when he fixed his thoughts on the Divine Names in the Urim, and the letters lit up, he would then immediately turn and fix his thoughts on the Divine Names in the Tummim, while the letters were still lit up before him; and then it came to his mind that they combine to form the message from G-D.
Similarly, the Supernal Triad is the Urim, and our current Triad is the Tummim.
While I’m not necessarily convinced by the similarities between the Four Worlds approach and the 3 Triad and Malkuth schema, I will add this information on the Four Worlds for completeness.
Atziluth: the archetypal world, pure Divinity, and Yod of the most sacred Hebrew Name of God: corresponds to the Suit of Wands in the Tarot. This might correspond to our first Triad WORKing.
Briah: the creative world, the Archangelic, and the Heh in the Hebrew Name of God; corresponds to the Suit of Cups. This might correspond to our current endeavor.
In the previous WORK we witnessed and partook of the Creation of the LIGHT (Kether) out of Darkness (AIN SOPH), its Rushing Forth without Limit (Chockmah) and it’s birthing into an unlimited number of Forms (Binah). We touched that Union of Force and Form (in D’aath) which is its Middle Path to our World and perceptions. It was the world of the Divine which we can only extrapolate from our Knowledge of D’aath, the Star (or gateway) in the Abyss. From it pours forth the LIGHT.
In this WORKing we enhance our Higher perceptions of that LIGHT, so we can apply it to the world in which we live. And it finds its perfection it Tiphareth, the Center of The Tree, the dwelling of the Holy Guardian Angel. In it, balanced by Discipline and Mercy, we receive the Light, and therefore perceive it.
The Divine name El (AL), associated with Chesed is the most generic Middle Eastern word for G-D. It is appended to most of the Angelic names, and even shows up in Islam. Like its Mother Sepherah Binah, it accepts all and rejects none. Its reverse (LA) means “no” or as G-D might say it “Thou Shalt NOT” and begins most of the 10 Commandments. The archangel TzadqiEL is its messenger. The angelic choir called Chashmalim is associated with it, but as an active force it is sometimes called the Tzedek or Divine Justice /Balance .It is associated as well with Blue and the Sphere of Jupiter.
The G-D name associated with Geburah is Elohim Gibor, which I would translate as the G-D (Elohim as in Genesis I) who creates Fear. This “face” of G-D is first seen in the story of Isaac, who saw it as his father was about to sacrifice him and is also called Pachad, the Holy Terror. Sometimes in the long list of G-d names invoked in the Bible HE is called The Shield of Abraham, the Terror of Isaac. This is the dual nature of Creation itself, the Mercy and Discipline, the Protecting and the Destroying, which leads to a balance.
Geburah’s Archangel is KamaEL, the Prince of Strength and Courage, and The Seraphim are attributed to its sphere. Mars rules it, and Red is its color.
The Divine name YHVH Eloah va-Daath is vibrated in the Heart during our WORK, and rules this sphere. I would translate it as YHVH (the NAME, Ha Shem) which has created (like Elohim plus final Heh) Knowledge (D’aath) which humans may comprehend. It is the meeting place between the Divine and the Material. The archangel RaphaEL guards it. RaphaEL rules the Kingdom of the East and cuts back the Darkness to bring the Dawn with a flaming Sword (the same Sword used to guard Eden). The angelic creatures of the Melekim (Kings of the Earth) are it’s messengers, but they are also called the Shemesh (Messengers from The Name of YHVH). Its color is gold like the Sun.
Before enumerating the attributes of the Paths that connect them, let me contrast its protection (the Veil) to the Abyss the LIGHT crossed through D’aath to reach it.
As the Supernals are surrounded by an Abyss, so Tipareth is surrounded by a Veil. While the Abyss is a fearsome challenge to be confronted in order to enter into the Divine, the Veil is a protection from its reflected and yet still dazzling glory in Tipareth. G-d warned Moses to avert his eyes when they met so he would not be blinded. It is still the custom to cover the eyes with a prayer shawl (the Tallis) before reading the Shema, the most fundamental prayer of the Hebrew faith. Women likewise cover their eyes when they say the blessing over the Sabbath candles and wear a veil.
The Shema begins with a phrase usually translated as “Hear o’ Israel”
(though I might interpret it as Listen to ME as I Name You MY People).
G-D spoke to Moses so humans could receive Divine guidance. And HE commanded Moses remove his sandals so he could feel the sacredness of the Earth upon which he walked. But to see the Glory, even reflected, we must part its Veil.
Here I suspect we should all look at the diagram. But, as a list;
Path joining Kether and Tiphareth - | The High Priestess 13
Gimel - Uniting Intelligence | Moon | Water | Silver
Path joining Chokmah and Chesed - The Hierophant 16
Vav - Triumphal Intelligence | Venus | Earth | Indigo
Path joining Chokmah and Tiphareth - | The Emperor 15
Heh - Natural Intelligence | Mars | Fire | Light blue
Path joining Binah and Geburah | The Chariot - 18
Cheth - Influencing Intelligence | Moon | Water | Maroon
Path joining Binah and Tiphareth - | The Lovers - 17
Zayin - Disposing Intelligence | Mercury | Air | Mauve
Path joining Chesed and Geburah | Strength - 19
Teth - Spiritual Intelligence | Sun | Air | Deep purple
Path joining Chesed and Tiphareth | The Hermit - 20
Yod - Willful Intelligence | Mercury | Air | Slate gray
Path joining Geburah and Tiphareth - | Justice 22
Lamed - Faithful Intelligence | Venus | Air | Blue
As always, all opinions expressed are my own and/or based on my research, training and experience. Please feel free to add your own insights, cross out my mistakes, and inform me so I can make corrections. You may find it of use to consult Al Shem Shaddai on the G-d Names, Wang’s Qabalistic Tarot on the Paths, and all the other resources your library and experience may hold on the Sepheroth.