Using alternate Trees of Life

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Using alternate Trees of Life

Postby Escarabajo » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:33 pm

I've been reading a bit about Tree set-ups and am aware there have been a bunch of alternate Trees over its evolution. I have been reading some of the other threads on Tarot attributions here, and am curious what merits there might be in different set ups for the Tree itself, not simply Tarot path attributions.

What is the true Tree of modern Jewish Kabbalah? Is it the A. Kircher version? I've seen some Jewish Kabbalah Trees where there are criss-cross paths between Chesed and Geburah to Binah and Chokmah. Also, Malkuth may link only to Yesod.

In one book Michael Kraig talks about the Tree as concentric spheres, almost like the Enochian aire system.

I've found one group which uses the Perfected, or Gra, Tree, and an initiation system following Franz Bardon.
http://www.abardoncompanion.com/Gra/index.html

What happens if you use these mapping systems instead? :-|
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Re: Using alternate Trees of Life

Postby Edward Mason » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:07 pm

93.,

Your short answer is: You have to try them and see which works for you. There's no absolute rule that can be laid down for everyone. There's been a recent thread, http://www.heruraha.net/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8172 , that addresses the issue of individual paths to K&C, a similar topic.

That said, the GD system has been tested and re-tested endlessly over more than a century, and Crowley was moved to adopt it, following what he was told in Liber L. So it's a viable method.

From my own past practice, I've found that it's easy to get excited about a new system or new arrangement. But over the long haul, such things don't pan out. There's some initial intellectual excitement, followed by an eventual sense that the river is drying up. Only people of high attainment, which would include persistence and self-discipline, can create a path for themselves and others by going deep into uncharted territory.

93 93/93,
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Re: Using alternate Trees of Life

Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:51 pm

Escarabajo wrote:What is the true Tree of modern Jewish Kabbalah?

Some variant of the Ari-Gra Tree; which is regrettable, because this is the result of committee action of Zohar apologists over several centuries, trying to retrofit a design to the Book of Splendor.

One wonders, though, why this is thought to be a relevant question in the context of a magical tradition or one of Hermetic initiation. Rabbinical kabbalah (especially the latter day reinvention of it from, say, the 16th Century on) has no particular bearing on them.

In one book Michael Kraig talks about the Tree as concentric spheres, almost like the Enochian aire system.

That's a quite worthy way to conceive of them. (It isn't "a different Tree," just a different way of diagramming. At least, unlike some variants floating around, it preserves the sequence of the Sephiroth correctly.)

What happens if you use these mapping systems instead? :-|

What happens if you stand the Tree on its head as Frater Achad more or less did? You get an intellectual exercise - a passingly interesting one, if you're lucky - that lets you wrestle with yourself for a while.
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Re: Using alternate Trees of Life

Postby Escarabajo » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:36 pm

Thanks Edward and Jim.

Jim Eshelman wrote:
Escarabajo wrote:What is the true Tree of modern Jewish Kabbalah?

Some variant of the Ari-Gra Tree; which is regrettable, because this is the result of committee action of Zohar apologists over several centuries, trying to retrofit a design to the Book of Splendor.


Where can I learn more about this history? Do you mind elaborating on the above underlined?

What does the book of Splendor say - as far as I can tell, there is nothing saying "this is what the Tree looks like" from an ancient source.
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Re: Using alternate Trees of Life

Postby Corvinae » Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:59 pm

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... _Stage.jpg

It was extremely helpful to me to understand that while I. Am looking at a two dimensional picture, this is actually supposed to be a representation of a three dimensional object.

There are several ancient Chinese foo dogs who have a foot resting upon a sphere which is the flower manifest as a solid.

The diagram is of an image called the flower of life, Which from what I can tell, for all extensive purposes is a diagram of the dna/ rna double helix pattern.

You may enjoy doing so meditation upon the flower, or the seed, which is the central figures.

There are two versions of the flower, one version has a central eye, and the other has a pai of eyes. This difference, may or may not have something to o with the alternate trees you are speaking of. I personally do not quite know....
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Re: Using alternate Trees of Life

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:46 am

Escarabajo wrote:
Jim Eshelman wrote:
Escarabajo wrote:What is the true Tree of modern Jewish Kabbalah?

Some variant of the Ari-Gra Tree; which is regrettable, because this is the result of committee action of Zohar apologists over several centuries, trying to retrofit a design to the Book of Splendor.

Where can I learn more about this history? Do you mind elaborating on the above underlined?

Off the top of my head - and to pick something readily available - I think Kaplan's work on the Sepher Yetzirah actually summarized it pretty well. - I don't know of a readily available source that goes into deep detail.

What does the book of Splendor say - as far as I can tell, there is nothing saying "this is what the Tree looks like" from an ancient source.

The work that's available is primarily on attributions - that's the key to the window they were using. The exact shape of the Tree isn't described (that I can recall) except inferentially.

One of the things that's quite clear,though, is the sequence of Sephiroth. This may be seem a small thing, but some people, for example, think the Gra designs of the Tree resequence the Sephiroth. For the sequence,though, we have very explicit things such as 13th C. works explicitly listing them (Sha'are Orah is a large and important work that is quite explicit, written in the century preceding the Zohar). In other places, we have indirect references, e.g., Sepher Yetzirah 6:6 which lists divine names in the order of the Sephiroth: "These are the 22 letters with which in-scribed Eheyeh, Yah, Y.H.V.H. Elohiym, Y.H.V.H., Y.H.V.H. Tzabaoth, Elohiym Tzabaoth, El Shaddai , Y.H.V.H. Adonai." (This is the exact sequence if Y.H.V.H., the traditional Divine Name of Tiphereth, stands for the entire middle triangle - the rest are quite exact.)
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Re: Using alternate Trees of Life

Postby Atzilut » Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:22 am

Both the line(tree) and the circle variation are used in traditional kabbalah. They are simply different ways
of stating the same thing from a different perspective. I would suggest Luzzatto's '138 Gates of Wisdom' as a
standard reference text for insights into the complexity and formulation of the tree. The tree as used by traditional
kabbalists and myself, does not acknowledge the tarot and such attributions and there is no path leading from Malchut to either Hod or Netzach( this is the tree used by the Ari, and nearly all modern traditional Jewish kabbalah follows this). It connects only to Yesod, although, in reality the relationship between ZA and Nukva(Malchut) is highly complex.

The tree in itself is of no use without a thorough understanding of its formation, again something that the Hermetic
tradition generally ignores. Essential to this is the understanding and differentiation between the S'firotim and Partzufim. The tree is exceptionally misleading, although its more convenient for writers of magic to avoid the
complexities of the subject.

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