Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tree of Life ~ Traditional Views

Traditional Views on
the Tree of Life & the Qliphoth

On Earth, the Tree of Life1 is a common symbol used amongst mystics to represent the way in which God created the world, and how this knowledge can be used as a pathway to work one’s way back up to God2.  The Tree of Life is composed of ten Sephiroth (singular Sephirah) that represent emanations, or outflow, of God’s energy, with nine of these Sephiroth symbolizing a different characteristic of God’s will.  These emanations all unite and come together in the tenth, materialization.
In short, existence begins in a location off the tree, known as the Veils of Negative Existence.  The furthest veil is called Ain, “Nothing,” represented by 000.  The nearest veil is called Ain Soph Aur, “borderless light of non-creation,” represented by 0.3  
The story goes that God had to first conceptualize a contained space of nothing, Ain Soph Aur, into which It could put Its creation, so that creation would be different from the Ain.  This continuous procession of God containing Its psyche within Its psyche to establish a location for manifestation is called Zimzum.”4 (“contraction” or “constriction”)5  The Paradox here is that God makes Itself a womb into which to come into. (There is no coincidence that this resembles the story of how the Egyptian god Atum masturbated creation into existence6.)
Out of this void Ain Soph Aur came primordial creation energy, known on the Tree of Life as 1. Kether (Crown), which is located at the top of the Tree of Life.  Kether represents the purest, least dense form of energy, pure potential energy, the closest thing to God that man can fathom.  Kether is then split into two forms: 2. Chokmah, (Wisdom), the Masculine force; and 3. Binah, (Understanding), the feminine force.  As this energy is split, it is also becoming denser, moving from ethereal to the corporeal.  It moves on through 4. Chesed, (Mercy), 5. Geburah, (Strength), 6. Tiphareth, (Beauty), 7. Netzach, (Victory), 8 Hod, (Splendour), 9. Yesod, (The Foundation) and finally ends in 10. Malkuth, (The Kingdom), which represents the physical world in which we live. 7,8,9  (This path in numerical order through the Sephiroth is known as The Lightning Path.  I explore The Lightning Path and how it is taken by The First Rays of creation in more detail in a forthcoming section.)
Once energy has reached its densest point, then it redintegrates back towards the etheric.10  Redintegration is defined as “the restoration of the whole of something from a part of it.”11  (This, of course, sounds a lot like a holograph.  “Every small fragment of a piece of holographic film contains all the information recorded in the whole.”12)
In addition to the Tree of Life, there is the Tree of Death, also called the Qliphoth (this is NOT the Tree of Knowledge in Suturian mythos - we’ll get back to that).
Traditionally, the Qliphoth (singular Qliphah) is thought to be the opposite of the Tree of Life.  It corresponds to chaos, and represents all the forces of destruction.13  It is also considered to be “empty shells, form without force.”14  “The shells conceal holiness.”15  Additionally, the Qliphoth are thought to be hells.16

The Qliphoth





Meaning Name






Queen of the Night




(“Obscene One”)

The Obscene Ones

Zombieism, robotism



Shadow of Death

(“Poison of God”)


Rigid order



Gate of Death

Oreb Zaraq

Ravens of Dispersion

Routine, repetition, habit



Mire of Mud

Thagirion (“Litigation”)

The Hagglers




Pit of Corruption

(“Flaming Ones”)

The Arsonists




Place of Destruction


The Smiters




The Grave,
The Deepest Hell 
Satariel (“Hiding”)

The Concealers




Ghagiel (“Hinder”)

The Hinderers




Thaumiel (“Twins”)

Contending Heads


~ Table compiled from: 13,14,16 ~

20th century Western occultists established the aforementioned concepts of the Tree of Death, which differs from the vague concepts expressed in Jewish Kabbalah.  According to the Kabbalah, the Qliphoth occurred when, during creation, as the first ray of the God light emanated downward into each of the Sephirah, when it hit number 5, Geburah, the Sephirah’s shell broke and fragmented.  (This is called Schebirath ha-Kelim.)  These fragments of the Sephirah’s shell, which contained trace amounts of the light of God, fell into the lowest part of the Zimzum. This caused the creation of evil forces. 17

Color Analogy

On the Golden Dawn’s Tree of Life, colors are used symbolically to represent the nature of each Sephirah and their alchemical interplay, to be utilized as a tool for meditation.
In summation, they use four color scales to represent the four worlds of Kabbalah: King, Queen, Emperor (or Prince), and Empress (or Princess).  Each world represents a suit of the tarot: King = fire, Queen = water, Prince = air, Princess = earth.  The King scale is composed of the colors of the rainbow and, when applied to the paths, works like an artist’s color wheel.  The King scale represents the essence of color in its true state.  Each subsequent scale is made from the previous scale, thus the Queen scale is derived from the King scale. The Queen scale is described as perceived colors of reflective light.  The colors of the Queen scale descend from white, gray, and black into the primary colors of the artist’s wheel: blue, red, and yellow; and then on into the secondary and tertiary colors of said wheel.  The Prince scale is a mixture of the King and Queen scale. The Princess scale is a deterioration of the Prince scale.” 18 (Page 3) 

The Kabbalah of Aleister Crowley list Crowley’s interpretations of these colors.
Or you can see them here:

I’m not going to spend any more time writing about traditional views of the Tree of Life and the Qliphoth.  Although it’s a fascinating illustration of mystical thinking, information on this subject matter is plentiful.  I’m going to move forward with the assumption that the reader is already familiar with the subject.  The reader should utilize this familiarity as a reference point for understanding Suturian philosophy.   However, if you are a student of the Golden Dawn’s color theory, in regards to interpreting Suturian color theory, my advice to you is forget it. The Golden Dawn’s color theory is too different from Suturian color theory, because the Golden Dawn’s definition of true color is nothing like my own.

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