Category Archives for "qabalah"

Qabalah – the ancient mysticism of Judaism and the foundation stone of western mysticism. Whether you are  Jew or  a Christian, a Hindu or a Wiccan – the Holy Qabalah has something for you.  The Qabalah has informed the development of the tarot, of magical ceremony and has also provided a scientific basis for magic and psychology. It contains everything – the whole universe and beyond. We have a range of jewelry for those who love the Qabalah in our Jewish Selection.

The Power of the Ancient Hebrew Letter Beth On the Tree of Life – Learn Powerful Esoteric Concepts in the Kabbalah and the Tarot

2nd Hebrew letter Beth

The Hebrew Alphabet and its Mystical Meanings - Beth

The Hebrew Alphabet
2nd Hebrew letter Beth

  This is the second in our 22 part series on the Hebrew Alphabet, The Tarot and the Kabbalah. Click here to to see part 1

The 2nd Letter: Beth

Tradition in the Kabbalah

In the Kabbalah and the Hebrew alphabet, Beth is said to represent a house. This is because in antiquity, the Hebrews were nomads who wandered the plains of the Middle east and lived in three sided tents, internally divided between male and female people. Beth may also mean 'family'.

As with all letters of the Hebrew alphabet, Beth has a numerical value, which is 2

Beth on the Kabbalah Tree of Life (See diagram )

The tree of Life is the chief glyph of the holy Kabbalah. On the Tree of Life, Beth sits on the path between the source of all creation, Keter, and Binah, the 'female' force. Binah is that which constrains and shapes 'male' energy and thus gives shape and substance to the universe at all levels.

Binah is sometimes known as 'the dark mother' and 'the bitter sea', as she is cognate with both absorption of the male force and with time. It is in Binah that space and time are created from the formless energy of Chockmah. We also see the power of Binah in the way it receives the male seed and generates new life from it.

Beth and the Tarot and the Kabbalah

The Magus and the Kabbalah

In our intertwined systems of the  Tarot and the Kabbalah, the 'Atu' cards appear on the 22 paths between the Sephirah. This is The Magus from the Thoth tarot deck by Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris (the artist).

The first thing to notice in our discussion is that the letter Beth appears at the bottom left of the card, indicating its place on the Tree of Life (above).

The androgynous figure represent the expressive force of the Magus (which in older packs was called the Juggler). He has the winged sandals of the god Mercury and atop his head we see a serpent wound into the shape of infinity. above this is a dove which represents the descent of spirit into the universe. We will now determine the meaning of the items around him.

The Ape of Thoth

The Ape is the Ape of Thoth which falsifies his words. The meaning of this is that all expression of reality is distorted. As soon as we write or speak, we are conveying only a distorted vision of what is real. This is a critical lesson for the mystic and magician who studies the kabbalah as it teaches us that reality may only be comprehended by the silenced mind. Thus the second lesson of  the yoga of the west is to silence the mind. the first lesson of course is to discipline the body into silence.

The Stylus and Papyrus

The Style and Papyrus  are the tools by which god's word is brought into the universe by Thoth

The Wand, the ​​​​​Coin, the Cup and the Sword 

The Wand, the Coin, the Cup and the Sword represent the four alchemical elements - Fire, Earth, Water and Air respectively.  In the Tarot, they are represented by the four suits - the Wands for Fire, the Cups for Water, the Swords for Air and the Coins for Earth. These are the foundation of the world and determine the properties of every object, particle and force. they are not to be taken literally, but metaphorically. The meaning of Beth as a house is apparent here, because the four elements form a home for all things. You will find these have an equivalent in the Kabbalah - four levels of existence: Atziluth, Beriyah, Yetzirah and Assiya,

The Winged Egg

The Winged Egg - this is the Kneph. In Ancient Egyptian religious art, Kneph refers to a motif, variously a winged egg, a globe surrounded by one or more serpents, or Amun in the form of a serpent called Kematef. It symbolizes the breath of life, and it was the breath of Knef that brought life to gods and man. In Crowley's Kabbalistic system, it represents the ascendant spirit, the "fire in the heart of matter".In Alchemy, the kneph represented the holy spirit, the state of volatility (mercury), or the creative force.


Conclusions on the Kabbalah and it components

Beth has the number 2 whereas its Tarot Atu the Magus has number 1 and the 12th path it sits on leads to the 3rd Sephirah, Binah. This symbolizes the first cause being extended through the projection of godly force and wisdom into the building of a universe or 'house'. But all words are an illusion and thus we live constrained not only by physical law and time, but by the illusions our minds spin from the words of god. This is the key to Beth and one of the keys of the Kabbalah.

A Learned Insight into the History of the Letter Beth

The video below is the property of the Ancient Hebrew Research Center. It's brief and quite fascinating. They have many educational resources for learning Hebrew and its history so please do visit them sometime - it's well worth it! (We are not affiliated in any way).

Other interesting posts

Learn the Secrets of Ancient Hebrew, the Kabbalah and the Tarot – The Great Keys of Power

The Ten Commandments Hebrew Script

The Hebrew Alphabet - Aleph

The Hebrew Alphabet
Hebrew letter Aleph


  This most ancient and beautifully scripted  alphabet is said to originate around 1000 years BC (Wikipedia). Since that time, every letter of this beautiful script has been woven into and become a part of Hebrew myth and culture including of course, the Holy Kabbalah and the Tarot, of which we shall have much to say throughout this series of essays. 

Our sources are diverse, both ancient (for instance the Sefer Yetzirah) and modern (for instance 777 and The Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley). On the left (or above) we see the first letter of the alphabet - Aleph

For centuries, every letter has been exhaustively studied and documented as a fundamental part of creation in a literature of vast scope. This essay cannot cover all of that ground, but we will tell you the meaning of each letter traditionally, within the Kabbalah, and the tarot. We hope you enjoy it - now let's begin!

Tree of Life - the Key Glyph of the Holy Kabbalah

On the Tree of Life, Aleph sits on the path between the source of all creation, Keter, and Chockmah, the 'male' force released. 

This force is unconstrained, innocent and unknowing, but all-powerful and quite reckless! It is unconstrained power without direction, phallic and altogether joyous, bursting upon the world.

We will provide you with an in-depth article on the Tree of Life in a later article, but for now we'll stick to each element as the Hebrew alphabet unfolds on its paths.

In this case we see Keter, the static point source of the universe unleashing it's potential energy into a physical universe in an astounding release of energy represented by Chockmah, the male force. The links between the 'Sephiroth' (Keter and the other nine circles) or 'emanations' on the tree are known as paths, and there are 22 of them - one of each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Aleph sits on the first path.


Please note that the path attributions shown in some of the sources we have linked to here are the modern ones assigned by Aleister Crowley. the older attributions were often meant to deceive inquirers and obscure sacred truths, restricting them to an authorized priesthood. 

The First Letter: Aleph

Tradition

In Hebrew and Kabbalistic tradition, Aleph is said to represent an Ox.  When we inspect the early Hebrew version of the letter we see the image below, which indeed resembles the head of an ox. 

The significance of this is that the ox represents fertility, the plowing of the ground to generate new growth in the spring. It has the numerical value of one, and as such represents the beginning of all things. It is the explosion of new growth and life. 

Aleph and the Tarot

The Fool from the Thoth Tarot Deck

This is The Fool from the Thoth tarot deck by Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris (the artist).

The first thing to notice in our discussion is that the letter Aleph appears at the bottom left of the card, indicating its place om the Tree of Life (above).

The spirals represent the spiral, whirling force of the universe and and prefigure our discovery of curved space-time. they also represent the 'three veils of the negative' above the Tree of Life from which the universe is distilled.

The crocodile is ready to attack and devour the fool, whose innocence renders him unaware. In devouring the fool, the tiger would in fact be returning the fool to his origins of infinite potential. This is the symbol that shows that in every beginning the end is also foreshadowed. 

The grapes in the left hand of the fool indicate the fertility we referred to earlier, as does the strong presence of green.

The Tiger represents fear, but the Fool ignores it as he springs forth to create his destiny. 

The dove represents the penetration of the physical universe by spirit. this is an important doctrine recognized in Christianity by the descent of the Holy Spirit into men. 

The flaming pine cone above the grapes indicates a powerful gushing of creativity.

The Fool's Horns are equivalent to the horns of Dionysus ( the god of the grape harvest, wine-making and wine, of ritual madness, fertility, theater and religious ecstasy in ancient Greek religion and myth.) Again, we see fertility in this symbolism.

Alchemical Air - At the bottom right hand side of the card we see a vertical triangle, which represents one of the four keystones of alchemy - Air, (the others being Fire, Water and Earth). There is also of course a fifth element, 'Spirit'. i wonder if this is what the writers had in mind when they wrote the story that became an excellent movie with Bruce Willis (called the 5th element!).  Air is the katabolic energy of intellect that penetrates everything; it is the silent breath that maintains life.


The sack of coins - Each of the coins is inscribed with the symbol of a planet, indicating further the descent of the potential of Keter into a swirling universe based on matter as an aspect of energy. This also foreshadows the development and differentiation of the forces of nature as matter unfolds. For instance, Mars foreshadows the severity of the catabolism innate in the severity of  judgement that results in war, whilst Jupiter signifies the opposite - tolerance and the anabolism of nature.

The Number Zero - At the top of the card we see the number zero. This is hugely significant in both mystical philosophy and science.  

The Controversy of Zero

 "Zero conflicted with the fundamental philosophical beliefs of the west, for contained within zero are two ideas that were poisonous to western doctrine. Indeed, these concepts would eventually destroy Aristotelian philosophy after its long reign. These dangerous ideas were the void and the infinite.". - Charles Seife - Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

Zero is indeed a non-intuitive and strange idea. After all, how many of us (engineers aside!) begin counting at zero? Zero is the potential for all things, the state from which everything emerges. This card is attributed to the letter Aleph, whose number is 1, because it connects to Keter, the projection of one from the veils of negativity above, which are zero.

So here we have the beginning of everything, projected into one dimensional space. As soon as we arrive at the first projection of zero, 1, we are confronted by dimensional expansion. This is the basis of Aleister Crowley's equation for explaining existence, 0=2.

Musician Todd Rundgren expressed this quite beautifully:

"A handful of nothing is all that I need
It contains plus and minus everything
The odd combinations are what make up
The world that you see before you"

Conclusion

This is a deep doctrine that applies to every spiritual and physical aspect of our universe, but it is complex. For now, you may simply consider again that the letter Aleph represents the beginning of all things and all things to follow are foreshadowed in it - it contains all the other letters. This is the true meaning of the card called 'The Fool'.

A Learned Insight into the History of the Letter Aleph

The video below is the property of the Ancient Hebrew Research Center. It's brief and quite fascinating.


Other interesting articles