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

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Situation on the Tree:
Between Netzach and Malkuth.

Key: The Hebrew Letter Qoph. Back of the Head.

Titles: Ruler of Flux and Reflux. Child of the Sons of the Mighty.

Spiritual Significance: Pisces. The Fishes.

Tarot Card: XVIII - The Moon.

Colours in the Four Worlds:
In Atziluth: Crimson.
In Briah: Buff flecked silver-white.
In Yetzirah: Light translucent pinkish-brown.
In Assiah: Stone.




The papers below describe the Twenty-ninth Path of Qoph that symbolises the infleunce between Netzach and Malkuth. (More to follow)...

(Updated 15 January 2021)


The Path of The Moon - The 29th Path

By Doreen Sturzaker

The Path of the Moon lies between Netzach and Malkuth and is influenced by the sign of Pisces. It is the Corporeal Intelligence because it forms every body formed beneath the set of Worlds. We could say I think that it is the Empress in manifestation. Narrow as a razor's edge it is the Path that all must traverse sooner or later.

On the Path of Outgoing the Spark has arrived here full of high ideals and expectations about the onward trip to Malkuth. Perhaps if he knew how very likely he is to become immersed in illusion he would not be so keen to continue but he has but recently turned his back on the sun of Tiphareth at the upper end of the Path and illusion has not yet stretched up its sticky fingers to claim him and drag him into the mud. The Moon illuminates the Path with the reflected light of the sun shining through from Tiphareth along the Path of Death with its transforming quality through Netzach where the power is stepped down and the Moon takes up and reflects that light.

It is the Corporeal Intelligence or the combined total Intelligence of the cells comprising each of the physical bodies that are treading the Path. So here there is a link with the Empress for she it is who separates and divides into the myriads of forms in physical life. She is division into species and type and all the many and varying life forms must traverse this way, for having passed through the Doorway of the Empress they have no alternative but to proceed until they can return once more through the doorway and on to the home of the Supernal Parents.

In Assiah the Spark obeys the law of Cycles, he sweeps into manifestation on one or other of the Rays. From then on the Lunar powers take over and he is ruled by the Moon. When Man first took on a coat of skin in the Lemurian Age, it was a coarse, gross body and his emotions and urges were entirely in accord with that body. His one aim in life was sexual experimentation and satisfaction in his new dense overcoat. All kinds of perversions took place while he was in the experimental stages and learning how to handle it, the animal kingdom was very near and he was closely akin to it. The cyclic motion of the moon worked on the tides and on the fluids of his brain.

This period could well have seen the commencement of Moon worship and the cult of the Mother Goddesses for the fertility of the earth to provide the crops and food they relied upon. It was necessary to revere and adore the Mother Moon and her worship spread throughout the ancient world and still exists today in the guise of Wicca or paganism. The Moon or Mother Goddess was worshipped as Ishtar in Mesopotamia, as Ashtorah by the Phoenicians and Canaanites and to the Greeks she was known as Astarte and equated with the Goddess of love, Aphrodite.

As time passes and Man becomes more used to physical life he finds the Netzach end of the Path calling him and the struggle begins, for he has first to extricate himself from the sticky mud of materialism and break the power of the Lunar forces which keep him in subjection so that he floats like flotsam on the surface of illusion, wafting this way and that with the cyclic ebb and flow.

Using the Stone colour of the Path he can begin to draw in wisdom which is the other side of the Moon. The first stirrings of a desire to leave the muddy sea of materialism appear but there is a great deal of conflict to resolve for the lure of the physical world is very strong. The glamour that the Moon can bestow may hold him captive because of the glimpses he has of the astral/emotional levels towards which he is moving and he could remain enmeshed in the coils of clairvoyance when he should be seeking to develop the higher powers of the intuition.

In Yesod the Path changes to a Mushroom colour, light Pinkish Brown. Again, more conflict for the poor old Spark for now he must learn to leave behind his physical body and work entirely in the fluidic astral etheric and cope with its tidal ebb and flow without the anchor of a dense body to aid him. Emotions come and go on the tides of the Moon and he has to use them positively and learn to adapt to their fluidic nature without a physical body to express them through. The Pinkish-Brown inclines to a rather selfish form of affection and the Indigo of Yesod attracts to an emotional form of Ritual, all heart and no head, but gradually as he gains in knowledge he manages to get a grip on his fluidic nature and he becomes stable enough to move on to Hod.

In Hod knowledge increases with the influence of the Violet/Purple of Hod; he sees clearly the Netzach end of the Path in full view but the knowledge of life and of living it that he is gaining has now to be turned into a channel of spiritual dedication. He is aware that knowledge, whether it be of his environment and of the way in which he has come forth from the slime of the primordial ocean, all through the manifold and varying experiences he has undergone until he has reached his present position, or whether it be the illusory knowledge that the concentration on the lower psychic faculties brings, he realises that it is not enough and he turns his face towards the idealism of Netzach and a wider consciousness and then the Moon reveals to him her hidden face of wisdom beaming down on him alluringly.

In Netzach he comes right up against a double Netzach influence and the Pillars, that narrow way through which each must pass looms much nearer. It symbolises the razor's edge that has to be trodden before the flowers of wisdom and understanding symbolised by the two Pillars in the distance along the Path, may be plucked. Wrongly directed idealism is the trap here, false sentimentality can plunge him back into the waters of illusion. He needs to be firm if he is to be victorious at this point on his life's journey, his free-flowing energies must be balanced. Venus the Mundane Chakra of Netzach with the Blue Ray will aid if he can tune in to its loving wisdom vibration and again the Brown of Pisces gives him the power to acquire knowledge and with the right use of the knowledge gained he is able to blend the wisdom and understanding of the Pillars at this level of being and continue on his way to the sphere of Tiphareth.

In Tiphareth the clear Rose-Pink of the sphere bathes him in gentle affection, healing power flows forth restoring and renewing him after the struggles of Netzach. Here he finds a balance and at-one-ment with himself and nature which gives a brief but needed respite. For in this sphere the waters of illusion mastered now in Yesod still face him ready to overwhelm him, but in a different manner. The Sun, Mundane Chakra of Tiphareth pours upon his forces of self-reliance and self-control but if taken to an extreme he will finish up by being dominantly rigid and prideful, forcing his will upon others. He has to work with the true wisdom of the Moon and the quality of leadership coming from the Sun, this with the Rose-Pink quality of unselfishness teaches him to help and guide others along this treacherous, watery Path.

Geburah brings its own problems for the poor old Spark to cope with. His mental body may become too rigid in its thinking and he is unwilling to yield to the cleansing effects of Geburah, firmly believing that there is nothing to be cleansed, but the Red of Mars takes over and what is not done willingly will have to be accomplished by the shattering effect of the Martian Ray. If he will use the Brown of the Path and of the astrological sign of Pisces he will be able to apply his higher mind to develop a deep clarity of thought and perception which removes any misconceptions and he then consciously works within the sphere to round off any remaining imperfections.

Gedulah teaches that each must travel at his own pace with no forcing. A sensitivity to the needs of others is emphasised as he works to gain a truer understanding of himself and of others. A clear perception and power of penetrating thought cuts clean through the vestiges of illusion still remaining and he sees that his way is not necessarily the same way for other Sparks and he must not exert his powerful will upon them but only guide and lead wherever he can do so. He may suggest but the choice is theirs.

Binah is on the far side of the Abyss and the Path of the Moon is Buff flecked with a Silver-White. A quality of spiritual philosophy predominates but it is still a difficult Path to tread, the last shred of form must now be discarded and as this relates to the higher mental body with all of its so hardly won knowledge, both mundane and abstract, it has to learn how to subdue the Brown and work with the Silver-white in order to gain the expansion of consciousness required to progress. The ripples of thought waves in the mind and the tempests of emotions are finally stilled and there is a deep tranquillity and peace. Then the Crimson of Binah urges him on to complete his task and with the aid of its energy he passes on to Chokmah.

In Chokmah the Buff colour meets the Blue of the sphere and through its pure wisdom and quality of divine selfless love the Spark continues its work to perfect itself and retain the balance of the two Pillars. All illusion has now gone and the Spark proceeds in wisdom to the World of the Archetype.

In Atziluth, the Archetypal World the Path is Scarlet, energising and enabling the one in this world to comprehend the meaning of the two Pillars. All the way along the Path, the Pillars in far distance gradually drawing nearer the farther he progressed held out a challenge and the hope of attaining to the Crown between them at the end of the journey.

Here in Atziluth be has at last attained to the Crown at this level of the Tree and for a while he remains contentedly at rest after the struggles of this Path which has taken him from the first stirrings of spiritual consciousness up to the point where illusion has dissolved into wisdom and this particular Path has been conquered. But we need to remember that at this point on the Tree it is only a limited wisdom that the Spark has attained to and he has a long way to go.

Qoph is the Hebrew letter of the Path and means the back of the head, illusion. Also it means ear, “ . . he that that ears to hear, let him hear.” The back of the head also denotes leading up to powers of leadership – but not yet there, as in the top of the head.


The 29th Path, Qoph, The Moon

By Jeanne Hayman (1993)

The path of the Moon is the l8th Arcanum and the 29th Path. It begins at Netzach (Victory) going straight to Malkuth (Kingdom) by-passing Yesod. The traveller on this path can be deluded by missing a plane of consciousness - Yesod. Yesod is an emotional, astral sphere as are the characteristics of the Moon. Yesod is the sphere of illusion and the Moon the path of illusion. The path is controlled by the element of Water and the Moon rules the zodiac sign of Cancer, a watery sign, although Pisces is the governing sign of the path, again a watery sign and the two-way pull of the fishes which are a glyph for Pisces.

The “32 paths of Wisdom” calls Qoph, the letter word of the path, "Corporeal Intelligence, because it forms every body which is formed beneath the whole set of worlds and the increment of them.” The path of body consciousness referring literally to the intricate working together of millions of cells that makes up the physical body. Resh, the letter word of the path prior to this one, means "head", or "face". Qoph means specifically the "back of the head", where the medulla oblongata is located.

This is the organ related to the structure, chemistry and function of the human organism. Western and Eastern masters of the esoteric tradition refer to this as perhaps the most single important organ in the body, because it is the connecting link between the higher brain centres and the spinal cord, and the lower centres in the body. It regulates respiration, heart beat, circulation and many kinds of other maintenance necessary for a healthy body, carrying on its function whilst we are awake or asleep. The body activity actively assigned by the Sepher Yetzirah to Qoph is the function of sleep.

We know that activities once considered involuntary or autonomic such as respiration or heartbeat can be brought under voluntary control by masters and adepts who have practised the necessary disciplines. These disciplines are connected to an awareness of how the brain centres at the back of the head function.

In Kabbalah, the sphere of the Moon (Yesod) is the "seat of the vital soul", manifested as this autonomic consciousness.

Corporeal or bodily in Hebrew is Gasami (GShMI) which has a value of 353, also the value of the word for "delight" or "joy", Shimohah (ShMCH), The root of corporeal (GShM) means ‘to rain upon’. In the Tarot key we notice that a stream of "Yods" (the Hebrew letter representing existence, the intelligence of will, and the hand of the divine) are raining on the body of the earth.

Many Kabbalists refer to this rain as actual blood and mythologies connect this theme with the menstruation of the Moon Goddess, Artemis or Diana, who represents the life-giving properties of the child-bearing woman. The words for menstruation and Moon are clearly related; the root mens means simply Moon and it is an ancient archetypal theme which links the two ideas. The root of the word Diana means "divine" or "brilliant", and Artemis is derived from a root meaning "high source of water". In Hebrew the word for Moon is lebanah and in it are contained the words laib (IB) or "heart" and nah (NH) meaning "ornamental" or "beautiful", thus containing the hidden meaning, "Beautiful Heart".

It is perhaps anassociation with our "lower animal" side - which many claim to be the two dogs in the Tarot image - which dominates our negative thinking about the Moon key - the ideas of taboo, fear, uncleanliness associated with the menstruation of women that have dominated the human psyche (mostly men's) for a long stretch of our history. Probably it is more connected with the original seed-thought linking the Moon, ruler of the night, with sleep, the time when we venture into the great unknown.

The image of the Moon on the Tarot key is shown with 16 large and 16 small rays, making 32 in all, to represent the 32 Paths of Wisdom. The esoteric interpretation is that the Moon itself is the radius, which is our first point of contact with psychic and spiritual opening. In its association with the subconscious, the seat of soul, it is our perpetual guardian which never sleeps. Paul Case interprets the two dogs, one more wolf-like than the other, to be the poles of nature and art. All corporeal existence is portrayed unfolding in the Tarot key in sequence. At the bottom near the pool are stones and plants, symbolising the mineral and vegetable kingdoms, the crayfish, symbol of the first stirrings of consciousness, after being bathed in the waters of wisdom, and the animal kingdom represented by the dog and the wolf, wailing their lament to the Moon, calling to Artemis, mistress of wild beasts.

Then we see the cultivated fields representing the development of patterns controlled through human evolution. Finally there are the two towers marking the boundaries of the known, and beyond them mountains representing heights of consciousness. The towers as boundary markers are those hidden, secret places to which the aspirant on this Path retreats to dream his or her own dreams, to take refuge from the world in meditation. They represent secrets which cannot be penetrated until we have risen above ground level, at least Moon-high or beyond. This beyond is only available to most of us when we are asleep but can be attained by path-working.

The important lesson of this Path, which is stressed many times in the Kabbalah, is that we should not attempt to separate "higher mind states" from the "lower" forms of the physical body. If we resent carrying around our physical vehicle whilst we search for spirituality, we are neglecting to find that spirituality in the flesh, where the Christ principle declared it could be found. We also treat the body as an enemy, denying it to be part of divine creation; whereas the true aspirant goes on to attempt to perfect "the work of evolution", as the alchemist strived to produce gold from base metals.

The 29th Path from Netzach to Malkuth joins the physical and emotional natures of man. Since this Path has the tendency to carry with it powerful emotional complexes, the aim here is to achieve balance and use one's reasoning powers. The "shadow" crops up frequently on this Path, as we deal with the projections we see to be humanity's "lower instincts". Path 29 needs to be balanced with intellect and reason. In the aspect of Netzach as Divine Love and Victory, we realise at the end of this Path that it is our birthright to reclaim the "Divine Mother" who formed "every body which is formed beneath the whole set of worlds".


The Path Of the Moon

By Patrick D. Fullick (1978)

It was while listening to a description of someone's favourite pastime of beachcombing that the card's analogy struck me.

The beach is that no-mans land that captures, albeit briefly, material which the earth can do without and the sea finds hard to break down quickly. Generally the accumulating rubbish is the dead and broken of both these worlds, which harbours a complete ecological life of its own nature.

The parallels with human mind are interesting. We know that the psychological world or inner sea, can be in conflict with the outer world of the earth, indeed these worlds are within themselves tensioned. The resulting debris from our personal battles within and without are permanently washed up on the beach of the conscious mind. Perhaps they are brought to our notice when we are impelled into conscious action through semi-conscious stimuli; foolish action of course arouses criticism, which in turn really awakens us. This last statement is surely suggesting that the conscious mind is, at this level, more under the sway of the earth and or sea, thus is more dark than light.

The resulting moon arises because of this phenomenon of believing we are awake when we are in fact not. The belief supports a whole ecosystem of life which revolves around itself almost to the point of egocentricity. It is the world of crustaceans par-excellence, ideas haphazard and unpointed, difficult to crack because we think we believe in them, and that means they are us and we them, so God help those who attack either. My idea and its father are one.

The path's difficulties are accentuated by another of its facets expressed in the Yetziratic Text, i.e. Corporeal Intelligence. Corporeal means materials generally taken as Malkuthian influence. However, show me a philosophy which is not under examination, earthly based to a very great degree. Even more so with so-called esoteric schools.

The Theosophical Society for example places great emphasis upon personalities, astrology, planetary history, evolution of physical life, and so on. Even then, schools do not agree even between themselves and the inner plane lights that we find so necessary to call Masters are conspicuous by their absence. The inner longing to awake which is now manifesting itself in a truly vast degree, a veritable firework display of words and unsubstantiated evidence has brought shelves bursting with pyramid power, black magic versus white, ufology, weird beasties of land, sea and air, great throats in space that even afflict science and bits of muslin for those who find space too deep for them, visions of appeal to all - and so on, the list is endless.

But let us not believe that Malkuth is alone responsible for the soul's seduction away from Spirit. Is it not interesting that the planet Earth is missing from the list of chakras on the Tree. Malkuth is the realm of the Chaioth ha Quadesh corporialised, which means they just are - neither good nor bad - I AM. How and when this particular astronomical representative went wrong I don't pretend to understand - it is not wholly the fault of our senses by any means.
We have the advantage as physical creatures of observing spirit in repose; we have time to stand and stare and marvel.

It is an advantage we on the whole ignore.

It is also said that we scatter the energies of the Tree, wasting what otherwise would obviously be used as strength without check (or occasionally with the reverse - a straightjacket of dogma equally destructive to evolution).
Jung: "Such social functioning through the gods is killed by any kind of red tape or totalitarianism. One can bear very little organisation of society, for that kills the spontaneous spirit and destroys the secret working of the unifying function.

The mystery cult was, and still is, of those unified through Spirit. They are 'of the Gods’ acting through and on behalf of the gods. Utilitarians are too reasonable. Too much organisation rejects the possibility of the irrational thing happening which can change everything".

The moon is a unifying body and is generally accepted as representing the ego. However, it is possible for this single source of unity to be anything but static. Where mainstream energies cross each other's paths there also is ego; therefore "it" is transitory and not all the solid foundation generally propounded. Put another way, it is the only luminary that is not a luminary in itself, borrowing its function from another source, and that for a time only.

Creation for us is not a rational fact, nor yet is evolution, not even civilization. If we are to be conscious of unity then we must leave a channel for the irrational gods to speak through us. This is the very state that church and society is seeking to block.

The planet is in a slate of self-chosen isolation in many ways. As individuals we can do no more than prepare for the irrational to act, not to believe everything but to think with the senses, to look with our hearts and believe that which is obvious to our souls. We are of a universe immeasurably great as the Sea wherein is the spring of life.


The Moon

By Peter Oddey (2001)

The Twenty-Ninth Path connects the World of Netzach with Malkuth and in the Path, to which is assigned the Tarot Card of The Moon and the astrological sign of Pisces, we move from the concept of polarity as found throughout the Tree, to its full realisation and experience in incarnation.

Duality, opposites, polarity, paradox, the seen and the unseen, the spiritual and the corporeal; indeed, the full experience of life in incarnation is to be found in the Path of The Moon. No wonder that Pisceans are often interested in spiritual matters and often appear at variance with the more down-to-earth, practical signs of the Zodiac, but perhaps there is a more strange reason for this. The Path of The Moon is a Path that enters the highly personal areas of life. It is a Path of sex, pregnancy, birth, as well as love and, in the view of Netzach, the higher aspirations in life, death and rebirth. On the psychological level, those of us born under the sign have many difficult matters in life with which we must try to come to terms. For those not born under the sign, there are many things with which the sign will force confrontation. The matters with which the Path deals are not always pleasant, easy or entirely tasteful.

The first and primary duality in the Path is that up to now we have dealt mostly with spiritual laws. In the Twenty-Ninth, the spiritual enters the corporeal and eternal crucifixion of spirit in matter commences. The Path deals with much that is largely dark and hidden from sight such as conception and gestation. Indeed Netzach, at the head of the Path is “The Seventh Path of the Occult Intelligence . . . The Refulgent Splendour” i.e. that which shines back upon itself and the text goes on to tell us that understanding the mystery of the Path will require both intellect and faith. The text itself alluded to ideas expressed on the Seventeenth Path of the Disposing Intelligence, the Path of The Lovers, leading us back to Binah and The Sanctifying Intelligence, which is “the parent of Faith”.

The connection between the Path of The Lovers and The Moon is indeed mysterious. The Seventeenth Path of The Lovers is the point at which the Unity of the Supernals manifests in duality as it pours across the Abyss; a spiritual version of the Corporeal Moon.

The alignment of the Path of The Lovers and Binah speaks to us of faith, the Holy Spirit and the Great Sea of Contemplation in Binah and these in their turn speak of The High Priestess, the twin Pillars between which she is seated and the crystal clear waters of the Moon at her feet. Back in the Path of The Moon, the twin Pillars have been replaced by the twin towers and the waters out of which the crayfish is emerging are no longer crystal clear.

The Key to the Path can be found in the Hebrew letter Quoph, meaning the back of the head. It is a simple letter to which the Sepher Yetzirah assigns “sleep”. This is a Path of the night, where the light of the Moon calls forth our deepest senses. The Psalmist of the great acrostic Psalm 119 declared as such, when in the letter Zain for Netzach he writes:

“In the night I remember Your Name, O Lord”

And in the Path of Quoph again affirms:

“My eyes stay open through the watches of the night that I may meditate on your promises.”

For this is the Path of reflected light; it is but a reflection of the reality which is to be found in the Supernal World. What we call the real world is but a dream and a sleep prior to waking to the real world of the higher Sephiroth.

For those born under the sign of Pisces, the Path is a training ground where we learn to overcome the illusion and fantasy with which we are presented in life. It is not an easy mission; after all, the two fish of Pisces are swimming in opposite directions, but we do have Netzach ahead of us and beyond Netzach we can keep our sights fixed on Chesed and Chokmah, the Worlds of Love and Wisdom. So all is never lost.

Yes. The irony is this, that the one thing about which the Path of The Moon is not mysterious, is just that; the Path is exactly like the Moon as we see it: half light, half seen, half unseen, half known, half unknown, obvious and mysterious. Like the Moon itself, which can only shine, and be seen with the reflected light of the Supernals, and if it was not for their light, surely we would fail to see anything at all.


Two Sides of The Moon

By James Sturzaker (1976)

Astrologically the Moon has rule over all the instincts in the animal kingdom, but in the human family the Moon influences the brain cells, which are responsible for imagination and illusions; it is concerned with collecting and reflecting opinions also changes in the human mind.

The Moon represents the personality of each individual expressed through the brain cells in the various faculties of the head. It is the representative of the one life on Earth in each incarnation, known as the personal, during which time the individual Ray shines through the persona or mask for the purpose of gleaning and gathering objective experiences.
The sign of the Zodiac occupied by the Moon at birth will represent the type and quality of brain through which the individual will gather their experiences during that particular incarnation and through which the individual character is being developed.

It is said that there are secrets connected with the Moon that none save an adept may fully understand. In Esoteric Astrology we are taught that the Zodiacal sign of Cancer is the doorway into manifestation for the human kingdom. Occult research informs us that present humanity was evolved on the Moon and the Moon is the ruling planet of Cancer.

Can we accept this occult teaching that present humanity was evolved on the Moon? I think we can, even to accepting that all humanity in this scheme of manifestation was evolved on the Moon because the Moon is the Mundane Chakra of Yesod and this Sephirah is the last stage of evolvement or creation on our Kabbalistic Tree before manifestation in the physical.

Accepting the old occult maxim “As above, so below” – the Moon is the planetary influence on the Path of the High Priestess, leading from Kether, the Archetypal World, to Tiphareth, the Formative World.

Just as the Moon in our Solar System brought us into a state of evolvement fit to incarnate on our physical planet, there to be sustained by the Sun of our system, so the Moon on the Path of The High Priestess brings us into a subjective state of evolvement fit to incarnate on the higher plane and be sustained by the Spiritual sun at Tiphareth.

The Cross is a symbol expressing Spirit and Matter ascending and descending. The perpendicular beam represents Spirit and the cross beam or horizontal bar the Matter.  Examining the Tree, the perpendicular beam is The High Priestess with the Moon (Spirit descending) and  the horizontal beam The Empress (Matter or Earth) expressed with Venus.

In Cosmic Astrology the three symbols Q, R and +, represent: -  Q = Will, R = Wisdom and + = activity. These three represent the Trinity in all its various aspects. Religions that use these symbols express them as Father, Mother, Child. It is interesting to note that the Moon symbolises Wisdom and Mother. The High Priestess – Mother, Goddess, the Tora on her lap Wisdom. Do we place Wisdom higher than Will? If so this would point to the Moon at an esoteric level as being higher than the Sun.

In Numerology the numbers three and seven relate to the Moon and the High Priestess is the third Path on the Tree in the subjective states. Three is the Child of God, ever-renewing, gifted with the magic power of the Word, turning the impossible into the possible, bringing into being that which has never been before. Touched by the Heavenly Fire, three is a “chosen one” and commands the gifts of the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth.

Seven is the mystical and occult number, having the blessings of The Most High; it may reach for greater vistas of learning and discover that which has not been perceived before and becomes the possessor of the Wisdom of the Ages.


The Moon And The Sun

By Alan Goffin (1976)

Why is the Moon higher, figuratively speaking, than the Sun?

Looking at the ten Sephiroth which comprise the Tree of Life, we see that the heavenly twins, Sol and Lunar, hold their influence throughout as polar opposites. However, lunar symbolism continues from Kether to its absorption by the Ain into that long and mysterious sleep in the infinite realms beyond existence. The circle then represents that which is unknown; a point at its centre is the spark of consciousness in the midst of an ocean of uncharted vastness; the unconscious. This may be shown more clearly as Tiphareth, with unconsciousness encircling it, for, as yet, the super-consciousness remains inaccessible and therefore unconscious.

Reborn daily from the night-womb of unconsciousness, the Sun represent that which is manifest and conscious in relation to the external world as viewed from the egoic centre. The Sun, then, expresses a limited view, whilst the Moon knows the limitless or boundless quality of Ain Soph.

From Sanskrit and Arabic sources it has been deduced that the division of the Zodiac into twenty-eight mansions of the Moon, was earlier than the solar division into twelve parts. As Thoth, ‘the Measurer’ is allocated to Chokmah, sphere of the Zodiac, this lunar influence would seem highly significant.

It is written that ‘on the Day of Atonement the Moon shall receive its illumination, not the Sun, but direct from the Light of Kether’. At this point the perfected Tree comes about, having Yesod as the base sphere or Foundation and Malkuth reinstated at Daath. This arrangement displaces some of the Paths and we are left with a total of twenty-nine Paths, equivalent to the synodic cycle, that is from New Moon to New Moon – a complete revolution.


The Moon And The Sun

By B. Croucher (1976)

How can the Moon be superior to the Sun? We can often go for many days without seeing the former but what would happen if we did not see the Sun for an equal length of time?

Thinking of the Sun, we are immediately reminded of the element of fire - the purifier and destroyer of evil. Water is also cleansing, but not so thoroughly. When divine inspiration and guidance are given to the prophets, it is with Sheen, the flames. Think of Moses and the Burning Bush, the Pillar of Fire by night and the feast of Pentecost - Times of wisdom, guidance and inspiration respectively. The Sun is also responsible for the growth of plant and animal life. Without its rays, no chlorophyll or haemoglobin.

True, the Moon has a function, the regulation of conception and gestation, but the Sun, as we have seen, is necessary for growth as well. Even the moonlight that helps the nocturnal traveller upon his way, is merely reflected from the Sun.
It seems quite absurd, therefore, to continue with the argument. We are surely quite satisfied by now that the Queen of the Night is inferior to the Day Star. But wait a minute: Is not this only at a purely physical level? Let us examine these facts again from another point of view and not that of ours upon the earth.

In the beginning, as Genesis says, the first element mentioned is water - the Spirit of God breathed upon the waters in order to start life off on the ever­lasting cycle. It was after this that God said "Let there be Light" - not necessarily the Sun's light. The Sun is only a reflection of part of the Ain Soph Aur. This said, Sun, then, is perhaps a kind of Moon which merely reflects. Taking it to an abstract level, the Brightest Light only reflects Universal Truth.

To us, the Moon appears to be a satellite, but really we are a satellite of the circling Moon which walks round us like a mother watching over the affairs of birth, death, sickness, movement of the tides and bloodstreams in her charge. The Moon is very important in the formation and direction of the earth's people and what esoteric path they will tread.
Also, the Moon has influence over water - not merely as H20, but also as the waters of wisdom which ebb and flow in the earth and in the individual. The real Sun and real Moon are invisible to us and some say that there are six other Moons we shall never see at all.

Of course, we accept that the light of the Sun is stronger, but having recognised its superiority at a physical level, what about the REAL quality of that light or fire? Fire dies and cannot continue to burn by itself. It is not autonomous, whereas water, the Moon's element can flow without being dependent on anything else and can also manifest itself in two other ways - ice and steam.

Thus it would seem that the nature of water is triple and complex, whereas that of fire is only simple.
The Waters produce the Fire and consume it again. This seems a strange statement but think about the sunrise and sunset. Loki, the Fire God, hid in the Waters. Phoebus Apollo rises every morning from the Waters and disappears again into them at night. Thus, in a sense Water is the mother of Fire.

In the same way, in the Christian Church Mare or Mary, Water by Virgin birth produces Yesus the Sun or Jesus. Jehovah makes the barren woman a mother - so the Ain uses the Moon to impregnate Sri or Sarah.
Water is the primordial fluid required to make a living Soul - so Maia or Mary brings forth new life from the Waters.
Mount Sinai, the Mountain of the Moon, reminds us of this important connection with Jehovah, whereas the Sun is only in Tiphareth the sphere of the lesser gods.

The four quarters of the Moon each represent a letter of the Tetragrammaton and an element. That is why seven is such a sacred number obtained by dividing the Moon's cycle by the Holy four. No connection with the Sun and this apart from the dimensions of Solomon's Temple.

Finally, we can certainly argue that though we could see all sides of the Sun but are prevented from doing so because of our weak physical sight, we shall never be able to see more than one side of the Moon reminding us of the Vast Countenance in profile and showing the great intimacy in every sense between Jehovah and the Moon, who is then the Mighty Womb of Virgin Birth for the Ain Soph Aur, passively carrying out all the blueprints for our earth and causing all the Waters on this planet to mirror the Divine.


Why the Moon is Higher, in One Aspect, than the Sun

By Lars H. Bratt (1976)

The Moon. That mystical sphere of light in the sky which rules the Tides of Flux and Reflux. The most important aspect of the Moon is that it represents the Principle of Reflection, telling us that the Sun exists, even if we never see it. We cannot gaze directly upon the Sun without being blinded. But we can appreciate the significance of the Sun through the softer, silvery rays of reflection which is much more gentle to our human nature.

But the Moon also tells us that it is not the Sun, but is only seen in reflection. And so we have the true understanding of the purpose of fairy tales, myths and symbolism. The Moon also tells us that we must seek the reality behind the symbol and not gaze upon the symbol itself or we are going to wonder without end in the realms of phantasy. Without the realms of phantasy to shape a child’s mind, however, Mankind would never have achieved the heights of evolution and technology we enjoy today, for is it not through the Heroic Sagas of ancient myths and modern science-fiction, which makes Man want to progress to the stars?

We can see now, by the qualities which the Moon expresses, why it is attributed to Yesod, the Sphere of the Sub-conscious, reflecting through symbols, the Greater Reality which lies beyond. The sub-conscious mind behaves very much like the Moon. It has its tides of flux and reflux and is controlled by the tides of the Moon to a greater extent than we realise. The twenty-eight days of a woman’s menstrual cycle is regulated by the Moon and in ancient times, time-keeping was based upon the Lunar month. Primitive tribes carried out their rituals upon the various phases of the Moon, especially the waxing phase.

So far we have noted that the Moon is positioned lower down from the Sun of Tiphareth, showing that the sub-conscious transmits the brilliance of the Higher Self through reflection in the symbols which rise into consciousness during meditation. But the Moon has many secrets as yet unrevealed and psychology has only just scratched the surface of the sub-conscious mind. What other mysteries are concealed deep within the depths of the Inner Self, which we do not uncover lest the potential released should overthrow our puny lower personalities into utter chaos and imbalance.

When gazing upon the Tarot cards, we find that The Moon appears in the Eighteenth Key connecting Malkuth and Netzach. But The Moon also appears on the Second Key connecting Tiphareth with Kether, a very exalted Key indeed, for it is The High Priestess who carries us to the Union with God across the Abyss.

When studying the Second Mystery, The High Priestess, we find the card filled with the symbolism of the workings of the sub-conscious mind. The High Priestess wears a silver Crescent Crown, symbolic of the three phases of the Moon. Silver is also the metal attributed to this planet. She sits between the two Pillars of Hermes and Salomon, at the entrance to the Temple, for she is the equilibrium between the two opposite poles of manifestation and is concerned with consciousness. Her robes are blue and this is the colour of the element of Water, which is ruled by the Moon.

The Waters which are pictured behind the Veil are the Waters of the Collective Unconscious, the Cosmic Mind-stuff, which flows and ebbs and which re-appears in different forms in other cards. But in the lap of The High Priestess is the most important single item to the whole card. Here, partly concealed, for it is not for the eyes of the profane, is the secret scroll of all Wisdom; the knowledge and Understanding of Cosmic Law, which gives us the Key across the Abyss through Daath. The High Priestess represents the Door which the aspiring soul must cross to reach God-consciousness.

It is said that if you cannot find what you are seeking inside of yourself, you certainly won’t find it outside. The Lunar sub-conscious mind holds the memory of all our past history, from the Fall across the Abyss to the present moment in evolution. So although the sub-conscious is the reflector of the Higher Self of Tiphareth, permitting us to grasp Cosmic Reality without being blinded by it, it also allows us to ascend beyond the Sun, to cross the Abyss once again and attain completion of the Great Work.


To be continued...