What is Kabbalah? Well, the term is interpretive and with every book we read, a new denomination we find. Henri Sérouya in his book “The Kabbalah” tells us that it means “tradition”. In the book “The Practical Kabbalah”, by Charles Fielding, we read that it is “what has been received”. In the “Almanac of the Kabala”, by Sigalith H. Koren we read that Kabbalah is “to receive, to receive the light”. In Francisco Valdomiro Lorenz’s book, “Kabbalah, the Esoteric Tradition of the West”, we read that the meaning is “to transmit”, and that it comes from the Hebrew verb Kabôl, which is also written: Qabbalah. Alan Richardson, in his “Mystic Kabbalah”, informs us that the word Kabbalah derives from the Hebrew “QBL”, which simply translates to “mouth to ear”, that is, oral tradition.
As we can see, the designations are the most varied, but they all converge to a single designation: Kabbalah is an oral tradition, which today is already rooted in the diverse writings and concepts of Judaism. It describes reality far beyond everyday perception.
According to François-Xavier Chaboche, this tradition would have been bequeathed to the first men by the “Elohim”, or “creative gods” that some identified with the angels of Judeo-Christianity (from the Greek angelos, messenger), as well as our modern extraterrestrial beings.
In 1876 the abbot A. Gratry wrote: “If indeed the mathematical characters are eternal absolute truths, they live in God, they are law of the things. Our understanding begin with the inanimate nature but, what are numbers in living order? What are they in their soul? What are they in God? And what is the philosophy of these forms? Strange questions for pure mathematicians as well as for pure philosophers, but questions that are asked and that may be answered one day, when mathematics extends to the whole of comparative science”.
The Tree of Life
We cannot talk about Kabbalah without talking about the “Tree of Life”, which is a diagram that represents the operative forces of the Universe. Alan Richardson tells us that just as Astrology classifies human character into twelve distinct types, the “Tree of Life” has ten essential categories into which the qualities of life can be divided.
It is not my intention to study or even lecture often about the complex “Tree of Life”, but it is important for the student of Kabbalistic Numerology to know at least the Hebrew names and their respective translations and traits of the spheres or circles, called sephiroth, which means “ emanation”. The singular of sephiroth is sephirah.
Otz Chiim (Hebrew name for the Tree of Life), is actually, as Charles Fielding tells us, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It is composed of ten circles (numbered from one to ten) and, still according to Fielding , they represent stages in the development of things – especially the evolution of the Universe and the soul. They are linked together by twenty-two lines or “paths”, as shown in the images below.
The sephiroth are arranged in three triangles, with the tenth isolated circle at the bottom (Malkuth), as shown in figure 2.
The first triangle, formed by Kether, Chokmah and Binah, the highest, according to Fielding, represents the roots of existence, if the Tree is seen as a symbol of manifestation; or the roots of life, if seen as representing the soul.
The second triangle, formed by Chesed, Geburah and Tipharet, according to the same author, is often called the “ethical” triangle because it portrays the development of “law and order”.
Netzach, Hod and Yesod form the third triangle and represent further development towards manifestation as we understand it.
In figure 3 we find the zigzag line called “lightning”, which demonstrates how energy runs through the “Tree”.
The 10 Sephiroth
The names of the ten sephiroth and their respective interpretations are:
1 – KETHER (Ké-ther) – the Crown, is the top of the Tree and suggests the real qualities of Power, Wisdom and Justice, and everything else related to the archetype of royalty. It is also interpreted as omnipotence, omniscience and the absolute perfection of God.
2 – CHOKMAH (Hok-ma, with aspirated h), means Wisdom. It’s at the top of the positive, or male, column.
3 – BINAH (Binah), means Understanding and is located in opposition to Hocmah, at the top of the negative column, or feminine.
4 – CHESED (Hess-ed), means Mercy or Compassion and is related to constructive forces.
5 – GEBURAH (gebb-u-rá), is associated with Severity, Strength and Justice. It breaks, destroys and tempers with Justice the vices of Chesed’s overindulgence. It is the corrective force, in the highest sense.
6 – TIPHARET (Tif-a-ret), counterbalances the forces of Chesed and Geburah. It is the central sphere of the Tree and is associated with Beauty, Harmony and Perfect Balance.
7 – NETZACH (Nett-zac), means Victory.
8 – HOD (Hod, the splendour), has an analogy with Glory. Hod is the sphere of Intellect and Netzach the sphere of Emotion. As such, Hod governs ceremonial and ritual magic, while Netzach deals with contacts with Nature and Elementals.
9 – YESOD (Yess-od, the closed), means the Base, the Foundation, and it relates to the subconscious mind, which is the bedrock, or foundation, of our personality, and also refers to the etheric substance from which the basis, or the foundation of life is made of.
10 – MALKUTH (Mal-kut), the Kingdom, the physical world. It is the final sphere, absorbing the qualities of the others, and giving physical form to the less material forces. Malkuth does not relate to any particular Element, but contains them all, because all four elements together are essential to its existence.
The Hidden Sephiroh – DAATH, is the dotted sphere between Kether and Tipharet. It constitutes a sphere of its own, and there is much controversy about its purpose and symbolism.
Essentially, Daath is the bridge across the Abyss that separates Divinity from what is not quite divine. Daath means Knowledge – the knowledge that only experience brings.
As I said earlier, I have no interest (nor competence) to write a book on Kabbalah or even lecture on the Tree of Life. There are already hundreds of good books on these subjects that can be purchased in specialized bookstores.
But, before entering our subject itself (Kabbalah Numerology), it is still necessary, by way of clarification, to address something I consider very important: “DO NOT BELIEVE A SINGLE WORD OF WHAT YOU READ!”, from the book “ The Power of Kabbalah” by Rabbi Yehuda Berg.
It has been said that Kabbalah can address and answer all the old questions, including these:
– Does God exist?
– Why is life so full of chaos and pain?
– Why are we here?
– How can I achieve uninterrupted fullness in my life?
Some say that Kabbalah is not just the light at the end of the tunnel, but that it is the Light that burns out of the tunnel itself, opening up completely new dimensions of meaning and perception.
Kabbalah can tell us many things: how and why the world began; why we always return to our old negative habits; why we always avoid activities that we know are good and beneficial to our lives; how to inject meaning and spiritual power into every waking moment.
These statements can be impressive – but don’t believe them. Not even a single word. Not for a second. In fact, it is a principle of Kabbalah not to believe anything you read or hear. Because the very idea of belief implies a residue of doubt. Knowing, however, leaves no trace of skepticism left. It means certainty. Complete conviction. Deep down. In your heart. In your soul.
Sensational for our purpose. What you, friend will read from now on, has to be tested, put into practice and not “accepted” or “rejected” after a simple reading.
In principle, don’t believe ANYTHING you’re going to read. Take tests, put into practice what you read and, only later, that is, when you are absolutely sure, then you will be able to say whether Kabbalistic Numerology is or isn’t infallible.