Wisdom of Kabbalah, part III
Tree of LifeEtz Khaim, the Tree of Life, is a pretty famous thing when it comes public knowledge of Kabbalah. Depiction containing the whole universe, the map of the life, Etz Khaim that contains everything and explains everything. Well, it depends on what you consider everything, language of branches is pretty wise choice here. I am now going to explain to you what is Etz Khaim, how to understand it (in general, abstract matter), how to draw it (many people find it hard to draw Etz Khaim) and how to use it (in terms of understanding).
KetherKether (the crown), is the very first sephirot (fruit) on the top of Etz Khaim. It's called the crown for where it stands and also for what it means). Kether is singularity, kether is non-duality, kether is the beginning, kether is the source, kether is the big bang. I will explain the rest when the whole EK (Etz Khaim) is formed.
Chochmah and BinahTwo sephirots below Kether. Chochmah (wisdom) and Binah (understanding), this is where singularity splits and duality is manifested, creative and creating, intellectual and practical, here is where wiccan god and goddess reside. Here is where light is split from darkness and black from white.
Kether, Binah and Chochmah are considered as higher sephirots of EK. In the depiction above we can see relationship between Binah, Chochmah and Kether.
Zeir AnpinZeir Anpin(ZA) is a set of six sephirots, sometimes they are also collectively called Tipheret (Glory), which is the central sephirot of ZA. It is also said that Tiferet contains all qualities of 5 remaining sefirots of ZA.
The relationship might look a bit harsh, but let's take it this way. Tipheret, as the center of ZA, communicates with Kether, Binah and Chochmah. And, for the same reason, Tipheret communicates with the rest of ZA.
The rest of the ZA are also communicating with each other and Gevurah and Chesed are communicating with Binah and Chochmah. I will do a favor to you and I won't mention the rest of ZA here as it is not important yet. Now it is only important to remember Zeir Anpin and Tipheret.
MalkuthMalkuth (Kingdom) is the lowest sephirot of the world (we will talk about Kabbalistic worlds in next chapter), it is our kingdom (in this world, of course).
On the finished depiction you can see Malkuth is linked with Zeir Anpin and it allows a soul to choose three basic paths on the Tree of Life. In hermeticism, right hand path and left hand path (left and right side of the tree of life) are usually considered, but beware, there is path in the middle, leading through ZA directly to Kether :).
What it means?Going from above, we can see the story of creation. Kether, The All, chose to start the process of creation so The All limited itself, it split black from white and existent from non-existent, that's Binah and Chochmah. Through duality The All then went to the process of actual creation (ZA) to create Malkuth, our plane.
From the bottom EK shows the process of ascension from Malkuth up to Kether with a list of possibilities.
We can also see that Kether never communicates with Malkuth directly. The Reason is that Malkuth is not clean enough to obtain the Light directly from Kether. Chochmah, Binah and ZA are a form of filters to filter the Light, so Malkuth gets only what it is ready for (limited perception of reality).
Higher you get, more unfiltered the Light is and wider the perception of reality is. But for such ascension to be possible, every lower sephirot must contain a fragment of the higher sephirot, so Malkuth already has to contain a fragment of the Light from Yesod (between Malkuth and Tipheret) for Malkuth to be able to ascend on the level of ZA.
It's even more complex because higher sephirots of one world are lower sephirots of the next world. To simplify it a bit more: Kether of Asiyah is Malkuth of Yetzirah.
And because it isn't possible for Malkuth to even perceive Kether, Binah or Chochmah, there is Tiphereth. Tiphereth contains angels, demons, deities, demiurges, etc, whatever higher we can imagine. Tiphereth is what we usually consider gods or miracles, simply because we cannot comprehend or even imagine Kether.
DaathDaath (Discovery) is sometimes depicted as the 11th hidden sephirot between Kether, Binah and Chochmah.
Zohar says there are not 8 or 9, but 10 sephirots, no more and no less. Daath isn't sephirot, it's a process of discovery, process of obtaining light (Aur) directly from Kether to Malkuth, this process is possible only through honest belief and solid introspection.
ConclusionEK still isn't enough explained in this series. Reason is I have to describe Worlds and Lights first. The point is that I couldn't explain Worlds without sephirots and I will need to explain Lights to explain sephirots well enough :). But when I explain Worlds, process of ascension and interconnection of sephirots will become more clear and when I explain the Lights, the whole process of ascension will be explained.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please use the comments section :).