What follows are my personal notes concerning my recent meditations and journeys into both the Sepiroth and the Qlippoth. Things don’t flow very well, some of the information is redundant without reason. I think I wanted links to past articles I wrote, I’ll add them later (for now, check out the articles on reading the tarot pips if you must know). The truth is, I’m not in a place right now where I want to sort through this information and present it better. At some future point, maybe. Hopefully at that point I’ll also have more to add and more corrections. For now though I present to everyone the notes, which I do believe contain a lot of information about working with the Sepiroth and the Qlippoth and concerning magickal practices in general. Do what you wish with it.
The Tree of Life
In putting together a map of the universe, one of my goals was to codify several of the different terminologies that are going around. Some of these ideas are easy enough to figure out. For instance, we can pretty much assume that what some refer to as the Realm of the Dead is the same as what the Greeks called Hades, or at the very least that Hades exists within the Realm of the Dead. However other ideas are harder to put together, for instance how exactly the Qlippoth relates to Hell.
In doing this though I’ve used the Tree of Life model as my base, and tried to codify things into this common ideal. This isn’t meant to validate Kabbalism or Judaism, on the contrary I believe the tree to be something that is easily removed from these dogmatic beliefs. The tree of life is an attempt to explain a map of the universe and the process of creation (these things are one in the same, the make-up of the universe is directly tied to the method of its creation. When time and space and matter and even energy all cease to exist, stuff like this happens. Eventually only ideas remain, and these ideas become the fabric of reality), and the explanation is biased because of the Judaic and Kabbalistic beliefs of its early originators, however the experience it attempts to explain is an objective and true one which is unconcerned with the spiritual beliefs of its catalogers.
That being said, the Tree of Life is one of the most complete maps available. This is due entirely to the fact that more capable people have worked on and expanded on the Tree of Life than any other currently available model. Although some other designs attempt to explain things in a different manner, there was never anything wrong with the Tree of Life design, never anything so broken it couldn’t be fixed and necessitated scraping the whole thing, and in the process centuries of work.
Concerning the Qlippoth
“If the Sepiroth form a tree of life, then the Qlippoth would be its roots, without the Qlippoth to nourish and support them, the Sepiroth would wither and die.”
Much is said, negatively, about the Qlippoth. Some theorists have labeled it a mistake, an abomination, or a necessary byproduct of the creation of the universe. Others have sought a more neutral view, believing not to be an actual place, but rather a state of being when the Sepiroth are unbalanced.
In truth the Qlippoth is a secondary aspect of the universe, a separate, albeit connected, place from the Sepiroth. It is also an absolutely vital component in the creation and continued existence of the universe. It’s incorrect to view the Qlippoth as evil or an abomination, it is simply a different road to a different place.
The general kabbalistic map of the Qlippoth is misleading. Generally the Qlippoth is seen as an inverted tree that begins with Lilith beneath Malkuth. This jives with the perfectly correct idea that the Qlippoth exists beneath the Sepiroth. However each Qlippoth exists beneath its corresponding Sepiroth. Although it’s true that both Kether and Thaumiel are equally far away from Malkuth, it is not true that the distance between Kether and Thaumiel is twice the distance from Kether to Malkuth. Thamuiel exists just beneath Kether, as Lilith exists beneath Malkuth.
Many magicians find themselves limited by their inability to utilize aspects from both the Sepiroth and the Qlippoth. Things like prosperity spells, seances, and shooting fireballs from ones hands (as Goku does) all fall into the realm of Qlippothic magick. Even a magician of immense power will achieve nothing but failure in these regards until he has connected into the lower realms.
Meanwhile a magician who is unable to connect into the Sepiroth will find himself removed from both truth and independent power. Although his power may be great, it is fleeting, and it is not his to own. What lies in the Qlippoth will use him, manipulate him, and destroy him.
The Golden Dawn system, along with many of its proponents such as Mathers and Fortune, emphasized that a magician must master both the higher and the lower in order to be effective, to only utilize one aspect is to castrate the magickal power of the practitioner. Mastery of only the Sepiroth is however seen by many as preferable to mastery of only the Qlippoth. A master of the Sepiroth is a wise and spiritual guru full of wisdom but lacking in physical power. A master of the Qlippoth meanwhile is a dark consumed soul lost because of his lusts and desires. But as Fortune mentions, this danger is not present so long as one masters both the higher and the lower together.
The connection between Malkuth and Kether
In the idea of creation, when we get to Malkuth the process doesn’t end, instead Malkuth becomes Kether, and the process is renewed from the beginning (for a more in depth explanation, see this article).
Looking at the tarot, the fool card is not actually a trump. In the old games it was considered neither a pip card, a court card, or a trump card, at least in the most popular rules variants. It was something separate all together, and it had its own special rules for use. This is partially true of the Esoteric tarot too, where the true natural order is Fool, K of Pentacles, Q of Pentacles…A of Pentacles, King of Swords… so on and so forth ending with the trumps and particularly the universe card (alternatively the beginning and ending of the deck are interchangeable and it can start with either card). However the Fool card is the exact same card as the Universe card, what the two express is exactly the same, just given in two different perspectives, masking the similarities. In this way, if we say the deck begins with the fool, when we get to the Universe we are not at the end, but at the beginning, and the deck itself becomes and infinite thing, and meanwhile all things within it are connected, by virtue of its beginning and ending being the same.
This model is taken directly from the Sepiroth and the nature of the universe. Kether is Malkuth, just Malkuth seen from a different perspective. The two Sepiroth are actually a single Sepiroth, and by virtue of these two Sepiroth being the same, all other Sepiroth are connected, and thus movement can be made between them.
The finer paths of the Sepiroth
The Sepiroth, as they’re positioned on the Tree of Life, are misleading. In truth, they’re stacked one on top of the other, with Kether on the Top and Malkuth on the Bottom. Movements between the Sepiroth can be made by vibrational shifts, although certain other considerations have to be taken into account when moving past certain barriers. This method of vibrational shifting is known as the finer path, it is the preferred method of movement between Sepiroth, and although the more difficult to master, the easier to utilize. As one would expect, vibrational shifts upward lead up the number scale, and vibrational shifts downward lead down the number scale.
The same is true for the Qlippoth, vibrational shifts upward lead one towards Thaumiel, not towards Lilith. The idea that the vibrational shifts need to move downward from Malkuth to reach the Qlippoth, with Thaumiel being at the bottom, is an intentional blind created to keep magicians from reaching the higher aspects of the Qlippoth by those who fear its influences.
The vulgar paths of the Sepiroth, being the Atu
Crowley once asked the question why there were only 22 paths on the Tree of Life. Why didn’t each Sepiroth connect to every other one, creating 45 paths. Crowley couldn’t come up with a reasonable answer, and instead said that the Sepiroth simply don’t connect like that, which is akin to explaining everything with ‘God works in mysterious ways’.
The Sepiroth have no objective means through which to define themselves. They are an axiom, and they are only defined by their relationship to each other. Each atu is a flow of influence from one Sepiroth to another. The nature of each Sepiroth is defined by the flow of influence from each Sepiroth it is connected to. There for, were each Sepiroth to connect to every other one, then each Sepiroth would be exactly the same, because it would have the exact same definition as every other. This also disproves the Binah-Chesed and Chokmah-Geburah atu some have claimed, since if these were to exist, Binah would be the same as Chokmah.
These flows of influence can be ridden from one Sepiroth to the next, and these are known as the vulgar paths. They require much less effort to move across than a vibrational shift, but they come with their own issues. They do however create a method through which a physical being can move from one Sepiroth to the next.
The flow of influence goes both ways, so each atu is defined as a combination of the two Sepiroth it connects.
The imaginary Atu
There also exist the imaginary atu. These are the 22 connections that don’t exist (there is no imaginary atu between Kether and Malkuth since these two Sepiroth are the same). These 22 paths are not real connection points, they only exist in the sense that they don’t exist. These atu are defined by the two Sepiroth they would connect if they did exist. These paths would probably be found somewhere within the middle triad.
Movement between the Sepiroth and the Qlippoth
Any Qlippoth can be reached at any time through its corresponding Sepiroth. Movement from the Sepiroth to the Qlippoth is simply a matter of finding a shadow and moving through it. Likewise any Sepiroth can be reached from its corresponding Qlippoth, it’s just a matter of finding a light and moving through it. With some practice this method of movement can be done with minimal effort in an astral form, moving the astral body from the Sepiroth to the Qlippoth and vice-versa. However it’s much more difficult to move one’s physical body from the Sepiroth (mainly Malkuth) into the Qlippoth (into Lilith), but very much possible. It should be noted that the connection between Sepiroth and Qlippoth is both necessary and absolute, and it cannot be blocked, which is the key reason why a physical person may move out of Malkuth and into Lilith.
Malkuth, Yesod, and the Veil
In actuality, there are nine Sepiroths, not ten. The confusion arises over the matter of Malkuth and Yesod. From our perspective they seem to be two separate Sepiroth, but this perspective is biased due to the fact that we view this Sepiroth from the inside. Malkuth-Yesod is split by the veil, the thing that keeps the spiritual and physical worlds separate, for the most part. This creates an illusion of two Sepiroth, one which consists of the physical world and one which consists of the immediate spiritual world, or at least the gateway into the spiritual world. When Malkuth and Yesod are looked at as a single Sepiroth, we’re left with three perfect triads.
The veil itself, with some small exceptions, prevents anything spiritual from achieving a physicality, and meanwhile prevents anything physical from getting up and walking off to other parts of the tree of life. However there is one very big cheat. The veil that splits Lilith from Gameliel is very weak and easy to pass through. Meanwhile the connection between Malkuth and Lilith cannot be blocked, even by the veil. Ergo, one can bring things into a physicality simply by first moving them into Lilith and then into Malkuth via that route, and in the same way one can physically move to any other point on the tree by first moving into Lilith and making ones journey from there.
The nature of things
“Kether is like a mother who nourishes her young with her breasts. Thaumiel is a mother who nourishes herself by eating her young.”
In Kether exists the spark, the beginning of all creation, and it’s a huge source which outpours an infinite amount of energy. This energy is spilled out into the Sepiroth, feeding and energizing each of them, all the way down to Malkuth.
Thaumiel meanwhile lacks this spark. In order to support itself it must feed on the Qlippoth below it, and so it draws all of the energy it can up into it. The Qlippoth beneath Thaumiel, meanwhile, draw up energy from the Qlippoth beneath them, and in this way the higher Qlippoth have larger reserves of energy, with Thaumiel the strongest. Lilith meanwhile is drained almost completely of energy, and with nothing beneath her to feed on, is largely dependent on her connection to Malkuth for energy, the source of energy for the entirety of the Qlippoth (thus the Qlippoth is an extension of the physical world). This is the reason why the lower realms (which exist as the lower Qlippoth) are generally dark and bleak. All of the light is being drawn upward into the higher Qlippoth.
A look at the tree-
The first Triad
Malkuth – Malkuth is the physical world, the home of our physical bodies, and where our physical selfs exist, at least for the moment.
Yesod – Yesod is the second half of Malkuth, it is the immediate spiritual realm. For the most part, those things that spiritually effect the physical realm of Malkuth exist within Yesod. It is the area sometimes referred to as Real Time Projection or the Etheric Plane in the astral projection community. When you astrally project into this world, where you are able to see the happenings of this world, you’ve projected into Yesod. It should be noted that Yesod, Hod, and Netzach each bleed into each other.
Hod – Hod is the realm of limitations and boundaries. Within Hod lies the powers to bind and to seal. It also sets the framework of reality, and power can be achieved via proper manipulation of thr rules within that framework. Hod is a place of solidity, rules, and laws.
Between Hod and Netzach lies the gate of horns, the place from which prophetic dreams spring forth, which is fed from the second Triad.
Netzach – Netzach is the realm of excess. It is a place of gluttony and debauchery. A place of infinities without limitations. It is a pleasuredome. The more crude may view Netzach as a heavenly realm, but it is not. Netzach is unconcerned with spiritual harmony or advancement, it is a place of sins of the flesh.
The first Triad of the Qlippoth
The first Triad makes up what are often times referred to as the lower realms. These are places that are generally defined by darkness and bleakness.
Lilith – Lilith is a corruption of an earlier term given to the first Qlippoth which meant night (from which Lilith is derived, which means lady of the night). It is a place referred to by some as the shadowlands. It is a physical realm physically accessible from Malkuth.
Gameliel – Because Yesod is separated from Malkuth, to even things out Gameliel is split from Lilith. However, the true nature of Lilith and Gameliel can be seen clearly from one residing within Malkuth, and at the same time the Veil is much weaker between the two, creating less of a split. Because of this Lilith and Gameliel are often times confused in writings, so much so that sometimes Lilith is referred to as Nehemoth because Lilith has associations within Gameliel. Gameliel is simply the spiritual aspect to the physical aspect that is Lilith in the Sepiroth.
Samael – Like Hod, Samael is a place of limitations. It is a place of judgments, and judges, and where punishments are meeted out to the guilty. It is also where Hades, the realm of the dead, resides, and it is here where many dead spirits reside in the afterlife, it is from Samael through which the dead may be seanced or otherwise contacted, and it is in Samael that the stream of life exists.
Between Samael and A’arab Tzereq lies the gate of ivory, the place from which non-prophetic dreams come from. It is to this place that we typically wander to when we dream.
A’arab Tzereq – Like Netzach, A’arab Tzereq is a place of pleasures and desires without limitations, the main difference being that Netzach is ultimately balanced by Hod, meaning that those things which exist or are created within Netzach can never leave Netzach intact, since they cannot reach Yesod/Malkuth without first being limited through Hod. However on the Qlippoth no such balance exists, and so those things belonging to A’arab Tzereq can be taken out into Lilith and even Malkuth, and in this way A’arab Tzereq becomes the realm of creation and manifestation magick. Also the Qlippoth moves down, where as the Sepiroth moves upward. So Netzach moves into Hod, those things belonging to Netzach being given limitation there. In the Qlippoth Samael moves into A’arab Tzereq, granting the things there the power of a physical presence.
Moving from the first to the second Triad – In Malkuth and Lilith we move in a physical body. To move through the rest of the Triad we need to move out of our physical body and into an astral body, a sort of go-between that is half physical and half non-corporeal. The first triad concerns itself with physical reality and the creation of that reality, so that is what is needed. The second triad however is concerned with only the mental reality, things are as they are thought, and physical reality is absent. So to enter this realm we need a completely non-physical body to inhabit.
There are two methods to gain a mental body. The first is to first contact our Holy Guardian Angel and then to merge with it. Our Holy Guardian Angel is a piece of ourself. It is our mental body, we always had it, we just aren’t born with access to it. Our mental bodies also have access to the mental planes, which contain large storehouses of information and power, of which we gain access to when we merge with our HGA. Our HGA will be of the opposite gender that we are, and the merging will be a sort of sexual process, where the two come together and more or less form a single entity from the two. We then not only gain access to the vast knowledge that is attainable by the HGA, but also the ability to utilize the body to move through the second triad.
Alternatively we can forgo merging with our HGA and instead find a willing being that exists within the second triad to merge with, using its power to transcend to the second triad.
The nature of the second triad – The second triad is sometimes referred to as the mental realms or the heavenly planes. It is a place without any true physicality. Things there are made up as energy, and thought forms the only reality. Where the three planes merge together they create the Askahic Record, which is a catalog containing all information, histories, thoughts, happenings, ect. This record exists as a series of interconnected sentient realms, and it may be accessed supposing a person knows how to find what they want within it.
Tipereth – Tipereth is perfect harmony, balance, and beauty, removed from the more base physicalities. In many ways it is what most would consider heaven to be. It is a place embodied of joy and bliss, and it can only be reached by one who can bring themselves to a state of complete harmony and balance. Some measure adepthood as reaching Tipereth (the Golden Dawn for instance), and in order to reach Tipereth balance of self has to be achieved.
Geburah – Geburah is the realm of conflict, albeit conflict without physicality. It is the realm where Val Halla and other similar places reside. It is a place of war, and battle, and destruction for no other reason but the purity and nobility of these pursuits. That which is fortified in Chesod is attacked and destroyed in Geburah, and that which survives passes on to Tipereth, being a perfection. Geburah is the place from which the noble warriors draw their strength and power.
Chesod – Chesod is a land of fortification and of unchallenged power. Things here exist as absolute truths. Ideas formed here become truth, and they are never allowed to be anything else. In Geburah ideas are constantly challenged, and in Tipereth ideas are balanced and strong, in Chesod they simply are. It is a place of unparalleled peace and tranquility and meditation. It is a sanctuary and an escape. It is also the last realm prior to the abyss, and so it is also the realm of the false masters and the false gods. Those things that were able to advance themselves and enlighten themselves enough to reach Chesod, and yet were not strong enough or enlightened enough to cross the abyss. Some claim to be masters, some even claim to be gods. In truth they were proven too weak to ascend to the higher realms. Many hold great power (things of this realm tend to), but they should not be trusted, and definitely not worshipped.
The second triad of the Qlippoth – This is, quite literally, hell. What exists here are the most horrific and monstrous things imaginable. This is the stuff of nightmares. Unlike the heavenly triad, this triad has a very distinct physicality to it. That which is thought or imagined can become real, can take form.
Tagarion – There is no balance within the Qlippoth, and so Tagarion becomes the perfect imbalance. It is a place of absolutes and extremes. It is a realm associated with those magicians who cannot or will not balance themselves and find their inner peace. It is a place of raging and destructive emotions. Things here are in a constant state of conflict. Every emotion is felt at its most extreme, and the pain cannot be dulled. There is no atonement or redemption here, or even forgetfulness, only pain and regret.
Gohlohab – Much like Geburah is a realm of conflict, of war, of battle, and mostly a realm of violence, however there is no nobility or idealism in what is done. There is no purity of the acts. The acts are performed for enjoyment and amusement, for whatever pleasure may be pulled from such things. It is a place to harm and be harmed, to destroy and be destroyed, to murder and be murdered, and derive all the pleasure that can be had of such things. It is a realm of sociopathic thought and the height of pleasure that can be achieved from killing and maiming and raping and being hurt and killed and raped.
Ga’ashekelah – Ga’ashekelah, like Chesod, is a fortification. This fortification though is an obstacle. Where as Chesod is absent the conflict of Geburah, Ga’ashekelah has the conflict of Gohlohab brought into it. There is no tranquility here. This is a place that must be fought and defeated, and only the strongest can pass it, and move on to the lower abyss. That which resides here, that can not attain passage across the abyss, is much like the false masters and gods of Chesod, except here they attempt to destroy those that would wish to pass into the abyss, to prove their power over them, and to prevent any from achieving a greater power than they possess. Many who have failed to acquire true achievements in life end up like these dismal entities in Ga’ashekelah.
The two abysses – There are actually two abysses, that which exists on the higher side, which must be passed to move from Chesod to Binah, and that which exists on the lower side, separating Ga’ashekelah from Sathariel (and this duality is responsible for some of the confusion concerning the abyss). One of these two abysses must be crossed in order to reach the third triad. There is no work around to getting past the abyss. The abyss is necessary for one to ascend from their mental body and merge with a third body, their emotional body, to access the final triad.
The higher abyss – This is the abyss of the Sepiroth. It is not a physical place. It is a state of being. A person ‘in the abyss’ will undergo a series of trials. They will be tested. A good portion of themselves will most likely be destroyed, it’s a necessity. They will also learn and be taught by the experience, and if they manage to survive and make it to the other side, they will be stronger and more enlightened for it. It is however not a pleasant state of being, and it is a state which can last a lifetime if a person never manages to defeat it, and refuses to give up (one can always give up, there are ways, and a person able to make it into the abyss will know how to get themselves out of it).
The lower abyss – The lower abyss is a physical place. It’s a big black dark hole. A place of emptiness. It is a physical trial, one that requires strength, and power, and wit, and perseverance. A person must make it to the bottom, and then destroy the abyss to come out the other side.
The third triads – The highest triads, on either side, represent a place of great enlightenment and power. These places exist beyond the ideals of heaven and hell. They represent something greater and more powerful.
Binah – Binah is the perfection of being, although impure. It’s tainted by its connection to the mental realm beneath it, and so one in Binah is perfect, and yet tainted and not completely detached from what is beneath it. It is here that we exist as beings of pure emotion, where thought no longer creates reality. It is what we feel, what we desire, that becomes. It is the first realm of true will.
Sathariel – Sathariel is not absent the physical and mental realms as Binah is, but it is the first to combine them with emotion. Sathariel is a pleasuredome. It is a place of all imaginable pleasures, where all desires become reality for as long as one wishes. There is not need nor want in Sathariel, all is provided, and desires as met to their fullest expectation. It is a place of happiness and joy, of pleasure. It can be, for you, whatever you most want it to be, whatever will make you most happy.
Chockmah – Chockmah is the realm of purity. Things that enter into Chockmah become a purity, they are purified, and anything not belonging to them are separated. The power of Chockmah is that it makes us into our true selves, the truth of our essence, and not what has tainted us, what has scarred us.
Augiel – Augiel is the opposite of Chockmah. Where as Chockmah is the purity of self, Augiel is being one with everything. To enter Augiel is to become one with the universe, to merge into it, to become it to an extent, and to have its power at your disposal. It is what is sought by those, particularly new agers, who wish to become one with the world or universe, who wish us all to come together as one.
Kether – Kether is the final Sepiroth, and it houses the fourth body, the true self. Kether is about singularity, and those entering Kether become their true self, and nothing exists in Kether, at least for them, except their true self. They are the all and the everything of being.
Thaumiel – Thaumiel is the duality of self. It is here that things are split and divided. To come into Thaumiel is to have yourself split and fractured, to be thrown into pieces, and have these pieces spawn off and evolve. To become legion.
Kether, Thaumiel, and the origins – Kether houses the divine spark, it is through that spark that all creation begins, and all things spring forth. Thaumiel meanwhile is the first division, it is duality. Where as Kether is necessary for creation to begin, Thaumiel is necessary for it to be split, for their to be more than just the divine spark. The singularity of Kether and the duality of Thaumiel create the triplicity of the universe and of being(explained in this post). Thaumiel is an important and necessary aspect of creation, not an abomination as claimed by some.
Ain and beyond – Ain exists beyond both Kether and Thaumiel, although in different forms, again a higher and a lower. The Sepher Yetzirah specifically states that Kether is not the beginning, simply a point from which we’re starting, because we need to start somewhere. There is more beyond these two spheres. It is another veil, another HGA to merge with, another abyss to cross. It is yet another trial which must be passed in order to see what lies beyond. And what lies beyond this trial is something which cannot be seen or imagined from Malkuth. It is very possible that the physical body, and possibly other bodies, must be completely shed in order to reach the other side. It is clear that the singularity of Kether and the fractioning of Thaumiel are key to passing their respective trials.
The nature of movement – Some time ago I wrote an article regarding the tarot explaining how an idea moves from Kether to Malkuth, goes from one to ten. In the Qlippoth though, things moves from Lilith to Thaumiel. It’s a backwards process. And so things move down the Sepiroth, starting in Kether as a singularity, becoming a purity of self in Chockmah, and eventually reaching physical being in Malkuth. Because of this things bleed downward, for the most part anyways. There is no impurity before Binah, no fortification before Chesod, no Conflict before Geburah, no perfect balance before Tipereth, no physicality before Malkuth. The purity of Chockmah is tainted in Binah. The Fortification of Chesod is attacked in Geburah. Ect.
In the Qlippoth, things move on the opposite. The physicality of Lilith moves through each of the spheres. The conflict of Gohlohab bleeds into Ga’ashekelah. The boundaries of Sameal create reality within A’arab Tzereq. Ect.
Notes on diagrams and names – Any person wishing to study the tree of life should make diagrams of the tree, for themselves, for both the Sepiroth and the Qlippoth. It helps a lot in both memorizing these things and their relations to each other, and in understanding them and their relations. The names of both the Sepiroth and the Qlippoth hold some power, and they should be written out, spoken, and thought of frequently. All things should be meditated on.
Final conclusions – I am not well. Journeying into and meditating on the Qlippoth has not come without some cost. What is contained here are only my personal notes. Some of it is fact, some ideas I have had. Maybe at some point I will go through them and make them into something that flows better, is more coherent. For the time though, I need a break from working with this material. I’ve posted this material, some of which I’m sure is incorrect, but is to the best of my belief at this moment correct, and in doing so I’ve completed a task that was given to me and fulfilled my end of a bargain. Although not in the best of formats, and largely incomplete, I do believe it provides a good framework to work from.