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The Basic Qabalah

An Address Presented to Felkin College

By V.W. Fra. Merv Gollan Vº

On Friday 24th August 2007.

Greetings Fratres,

          Tonight I am going to try to give a short lecture on the basic Qabalah and the Glyph called the Tree of Life.

          This is a huge subject and its symbol system is an attempt to reduce to diagrammatic form every force and factor in the manifested universe and the soul of man, to correlate them one to another and reveal them spread out as on a map, so that the relative positions of each unit can be seen and the relations between them traced.

          Dion Fortune states that the tree of life is a compendium of Science, Psychology, Philosophy, Theology, Numerology and Astrology.

          There are many types of symbols used as objects for meditation but the composite symbol of the tree of life is the best because of the definite relations between its parts.

          Of the 32 paths on the tree of life we are only going to deal with two, one Sephiroth and one path and to try and explain what is involved. The paths 1-10 make up the circles or Sephiroth on the tree of life-the Hebrew alphabet make up the paths numbered 11-32 and connect the Sephiroth to make the tree of life complete.

          Four good books that are essential to the understanding of the Kabbalah are The Zohar or the “Book Splendour”, the Sepher Yetzirah or “Book of Formation”, Dion Fortune’s “Mystical Qabalah” and the Tarot by Paul Foster Case.

          The paths numbered 11-32 are sometimes called Keys this is because through meditation some wisdom is unlocked from subconscious and brought out or reflected in personal consciousness – as an answer to a question or an action – knowing what to do.

          If we take the word “Kabalah” itself it is a Hebrew verb meaning “to receive” the word Kabalah can be spelt two main ways which are Qabalah and Kabalah there are others that have two “Bs” or two “Ls” some others  drop the “H”  at the end

          Now Kabalah means “to receive” but receive what. The traditional wisdom of Israel that’s what we are to receive. It is the central concept of Life – the outpouring of Spirit into expression – the inner livingness of forms that the esoteric Reflects. Now that we know what the word means and what we are supposed to receive – how do we receive its wisdom? Through meditation on the symbols and Hebrew letters concerning the attributes of the different Paths.  Without meditation you cannot hope to extract or unlock the deeper meanings hidden within them.

          What is the Tree of Life? It is a glyph of 10 circles or Sephiroth and the 22 Paths that connect them.  Now before I start explaining the Sephiroth it must