International Order of Kabbalists - Tree of Life (Western Hermetic Tradition)

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Situation on the Tree: On the Pillar of Equibrium, in the Midst of the Abyss.

Magical Image: A head with two faces.

Titles given to Daath: Knowledge.

Mundane Chakra: Vishuddha. The Throat Chakra.

Spiritual Experience: Vision across the Abyss.

Correspondence in Microcosm: The neck.

Symbols: The Empty Room. The Absence of All Symbolism. The Pyramid.

Colours in the Four Worlds:
In Atziluth: Lavender.
In Briah: Pale silver-grey.
In Yetzirah: Pure violet.
In Assiah: Grey, flecked gold.

Description: by Sue Bashford

Daath is the occult Sephirah of the Tree. At limbo in the Great Abyss, situated between Kether and Tiphareth, its coalescent property unites knowledge with experience. Daath facilitates all mysteries concerning the buoyancy inherent in the "Waters of the Deep". This truth is the "good news brought to us by the Comforter".

In the ascent of the Tree it is the absolute test of faith and the mystical point of complete surrender. Ultimately it is the door to Timelessness and escape route from the Wheel of Existence. It veils the Supernal Triad from the gaze of mortals and acts as a prismatic lens through which the Brilliance of Kether is projected. The spectrum so created gives light and life to the seven lower Sephiroth.

Positioned on the central column of Equilibrium, it fosters action in inactivity and marries force with form. It fecundates the stillness of space and links the worlds of Briah and Yetzirah, giving tenuous form to creativity. Thus the pneuma or breath becomes the Word.

Depending on which direction a soul is travelling, it is the collective and not the personal womb or grave of the created universe. Therefore it can be likened to Yesod operating at a higher octave. Placed below the Crown, it symbolises in man the point where he not only "knows”, but “is". At a certain level it is Nirvana or the mystical experience of at-one-ment. The separated personal ego is dispersed into the Great Abyss. The veil of Maya has been torn aside and Reality has been embraced. Daath’s objective is articulated by the adage, "Man know Thyself". It is a necessary station on the Serpent Path of the Master.

In terms of the Heavenly Man, Adam Kadmon, Daath is the throat chakra and in a human being it is connected with the will-power. Viewed clairvoyantly this centre radiates a lilac hue, and a person with it under active control can surely say, "Iron bars do not a prison make", because at a psychic level he has attained freedom. He has conquered the emotional astral plane and travels with authority through this lower realm.

This gives a clue to the Daath applied symbol of the condemned cell or Empty Room. The correct use of free-will is not possible until the ego has become subservient to the Higher Self and the Higher Self totally responsive to the Divine Will. Free from personality considerations, the Daath virtue of detachment has a warmth and meaning beyond the wisdom of man to comprehend. It endows the same with the divine quality to forgive and forget, and the ability to love its enemies. Thus at Daath the pride of Tiphareth has been surmounted.

The analogy of a high mountain peak with its summit engulfed in mist is very appropriate. Only the really brave, or as far as man is concerned, the very foolish, scale the bare rock face and straddle the enormous chasms to reach the top. But none save the few know the sublime reality of this conquest.

The magical image of Daath is a head with two faces looking in opposite directions. A Janus figure who gave his name to the first month of the year. In ancient times this was the beginning of the agricultural year when the presence of Sirius in the sky signalled the annual flooding of the Nile. The geographical fact which gave the title "The Fertile Crescent" to this area of the Middle East. A grain of corn (another symbol of Daath, signifying potential abundance) was buried in the dark earth, only to spring forth later and complete a dramatic resurrection.

It comes as no surprise to see the Archangels of the Cardinal Points here pre¬siding over the Elementary Powers, bringing this whole physical endeavour to a harmonious conclusion. This is Daath operating in Malkuth at the Assiatic level.

Janus was also named the "Stout guardian of the door". This was the door to the Underworld, and the mythical dog Cerberus was the animal appointed to help with this task.

The identification of Daath with Malkuth was due to a theory postulated by the medieval European Kabbalists. Malkuth, it was suggested, was the fallen Sephirah of Daath which after its committal of original sin was expelled from Paradise. This teaching was an attempt to synthesise Christian dogma with the earlier Jewish Tradition, made by Christian Kabbalists. The fear of heresy inhibited the development of understanding where Daath was concerned, and we can only hope that the Aquarian Age will bring enlightenment in this respect.