THE TREE OF LIFE
The final sphere on the Tree of life is called Malkut or Malkuth in Hebrew. This is translated as "Kingdom" or "Manifestation." The three spheres in the World of Fire, Desire, Intellect and Foundation, all send energy to Manifestation.
Manifestation receives energy from the higher spheres only through the three spheres in the World of Fire. Thus it is completely isolated from the higher worlds.
Manifestation is the Earth Element and it stands alone as the only sphere in the World of Earth. It receives energy directly from the Elements of Air (Intellect), Fire (Desire) and Water (Foundation). Harmony, which represents the Element of Spirit in the physical world, sends energy to Manifestation through the other three Elements.
The World of Air which is also the World of Archetypes is composed of Awareness (1 = Air), Intention (2 = Fire) and Focus (3 = Water). The World of Air is the home for our Spirit. Just as the World of Air is the first creation of the Unmanifest Creator, so is our Spirit our first body and it resides in the World of Air. Our Spirit resides in the World of Archetypes, thoughts and ideas. Our Spirit is our original Archetype and the ultimate source of all our thoughts and ideas.
The World of Water, which is the Reflection of the First World, is composed of Love (4 = Water), Power (5 = Fire) and Harmony (6 = Air). Notice two things. One, the Elements of Fire and Water have switched places as we move from the World of Air to the World of Water. Two, the Element of Air remains in the middle. The World of Water is the home for our Soul. Just as the World of Water is a reflection of the World of Air across the Abyss, so is our Soul a reflection of our Spirit reflected across the Abyss. Our Spirit resides above the Abyss and does not cross over it to our Soul. Our Soul resides below the Abyss and does not cross over the Abyss.
The World of Fire, the second reflection of the First World over the Abyss and through the Veil of Fire, is composed of Desire (7 = Fire), Intellect (8 = Air) and Foundation (9 = Water). The World of Fire is the home of our Ego which is the reflection of our Soul. Just as our Soul doesn't cross the Abyss, our Ego doesn't cross the Veil of Water. Remember, the Veil of Ignorance seen from above is the Veil of Fire and seen from below is the Veil of Water. The Veil of Ignorance separates the Worlds of Water and Fire just as the Abyss separates the Worlds of Water and Air.
The World of Earth, the third and final reflection of the First World, is composed of only the tenth sphere Manifestation (10 = Earth) and is the sole representative of that Element. Our body resides in the World of Earth and within it is our three Elemental Bodies: Astral (Foundation = Water), Mental (Intellect = Air) and Intuitive (Desire = Fire). It also contains our Etheric, the energy field created by our physical body. Our body is home to our Ego, Soul and Spirit. It's also home to our higher subtle bodies, which various traditions name in various ways. Let it suffice that we have one subtle body for each sphere from six on up to number one.
Notice that as we move down into the World of Fire, the Element of Fire switches from the left side to the right side of the Tree. This switching back and forth is the result of a change in polarity as we cross the Abyss and again as we cross the Veil of Paroketh. Thus the Right Pillar (as we're looking at the Tree) has Fire (Intention = 2) at the top, Water (Love = 4) in the middle and Fire (Desire = 7) at the bottom.
The Right Pillar has several names. Among them are the Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Wisdom, Pillar of Knowledge, Pillar of Intention, Pillar of Desire, Pillar of Light, Joachin (which some call Joachim), the White Pillar, and the Left-hand of God. The Left Hand of God alludes to the fact that we turn around and step backwards into the Tree of Life. The Right Pillar is the left side of our body.
Taken to another level, our left brain is associated with Intention; our left shoulder, arm and hand is associated with Love = Compassion; and our left hip and thigh with Desire. The left side of our body is the Right Pillar.
The Left Pillar has Water (Belief) at the top, Fire (Power) in the middle and Air (Mind or Intellect) at the bottom. Notice that Air is at the bottom of the Tree instead of Water as would be expected. This is one indication we have that the second reflection of the Archetypal World is more corrupt than the first reflection.
The Left Pillar has several names. Among them are Pillar of Water, Pillar of Cloud, Pillar of Understanding, Pillar of Faith, Pillar of Power, Pillar of Darkness, Pillar of Fear and Anger, Pillar of Anxiety, Boaz, the Black Pillar and the Right Hand of God. The Pillar of Cloud is the pillar the Jews followed during the day on their forty-year journey through the desert on their way to the promised land. During the evening they followed the Pillar of Fire.
Taken to another level, our right brain, right shoulder and arm and right hip and thigh are the Left Pillar of our body and they're associated with Belief, Power and Mind in that order. In the Jewish Kabbalah the Left Pillar is the Right Hand of God, the Hand of Power.
Between these two pillars is the Middle Pillar which includes the spheres of Awareness, Harmony, Foundation and Manifestation. Some Qabalists hold the middle pillar also includes the sphere that is not a sphere, the Sepheroth that is not a Sepheroth, the hole in the middle of the Abyss. This sphere that is not a sphere is called by many names. Among them is the Hebrew word Da'ath which means Knowledge or Learning. Other names for this Sphere are Emptiness, The Void, Enlightenment and Consciousness.
The Middle Pillar has many names but it is most commonly referred to as the Middle Pillar. Other names include the Pillar of Harmony, the Pillar of Balance, the Pillar of Awareness, the Pillar of Consciousness, and the Pillar of Equilibrium. The Middle Pillar by any name becomes more important as you advance in rank in Magical Golden Dawn
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