At advertised dates TBA for 2020 (see Home page) firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rainbow Tree and the Chakras
There is more than one version of the Tree of Life
Nine years ago with a group of friends I began exploring the ancient Jewish mystism of the Kabbalah Tree of Life as a meditation and chanting practice. We explored the Tree for about a year, testing different paths and symbols. Often the paths did not feel right, being the wrong colour, letters in the wrong body part, wrong tarot cards.
Eventually we settled on the Golden Dawn (GD) version of the Tree with the King and Queen sets of colours. These were as described by Aleister Crowley (1) and Dion Fortune (2). This version of the tree is the one most commonly studied.
This is a valuable meditation tool and great for learning the Hebrew letters and Tarot cards as there is a clear sequence to the paths.
This is the Tree that we explored, in ever increasing depth, until 2017.
The Gra Version
In 2018-19 I explored John Bonner’s book (3) and Sefer Yerzirah (SF, 4) and realized that there are many (probably hundreds) of versions of the Tree. Ted Andrews (5) said the same thing, while giving details of the GD paths. In other versions of the Tree, although the characteristics of the Sephirot were fairly constant, the paths between them varied greatly. There are many ways to get to the same destination. Each study group seemed to develop their own path work.
SF discussed different glyphs for the Tree, including the Ari and Gra glyphs, with different numbering of the Sephirot and levels of being within the sephirot.
Most of the Trees that predate the Golden Dawn version followed a different pattern for horizontal and vertical paths. The Mother letters ( shin, fire: aleph, air: mem, water) were usually on the horizontal paths and the double letters (gimel/ghimel, resh/rhesh, tuv/thuv. peh/pheh, bet/beth, kuf/khuf, dalet/dhaleth) representing the planets and were on the vertical paths. Chanting these paths, we used the hard sound for ascending and for descenting, the soft sound. The diagonal paths then vibrate with the single letters, rainbow colours and the signs of the zodiac.
The signs of the Zodiac in this version begin with Pisces at the vernal equinox, reflecting the precession of the equinoxes used in fixed star systems such as Ayurvedic and Vedic astrology, reflecting our time of transition (over the next 700 years!) from the age of Pisces to Aquarius.
In contrast, the Golden dawn tree uses the Hebrew alphabet and the tarot cards in order running down the tree from top to bottom, and the Zodiac signs begin with Aires at the vernal equinox, as it was 2000 years ago.
My 2020 version of The Tree fits the body with Malkuth (Mooladhara) at the feet and base of the spine, the Hod-Netzach connection through the hips, and Tiferet fits at the Hara/Solar plexus site, more balanced in the lower centre of the body. The Air horizontal runs across the lungs and heart to the shoulders (Gevorah and Chesed), with the communication centre, Yesod at the throat. The fire/light horizontal runs between the ears, between Binah and Chokmah, with Da'at as knowledge between wisdonm and understanding. Kether is above the crown of the head.
This gives a compact, balanced structure with its power centre and heart in the right place! The seven key chakras than fit into this structure, as shown above with Mooladara at Malkuth (earth) Svadisthana (water) on the Hod/Netzach horizontal, Manupura at Tiferet (fire/sun) at the solar plexus. Anahata on the air horizontal between Gevorah and Chesed, Vishuddhi at Yesod at the throat (sound), Da'at at Ajna at the third eye, on the horizontal between Binah and Chokmah, representiing light, and Kether at Sahsrara, as consciousness.
To me this Gra tree represents a glyph of our present age with an emphasis on environmental change and I would like to explore this in meditation and chanting.
1. Aleister Crowley, 777 (1912).
2.Fortune, D., The Mystical Qabalah.
3. John Bonner, Qabalah. A magical primer
4.Kaplan, A., Sefer Yetzirah the Book of Creation.
5. Ted Andrews, Pathworking, A Qabala guide to empowerment and Initiation