Note: I am relatively new to Kabbalah. I also know very little of Pagan faiths. Though the two don't often mix, I read a book that tries to find common ground and these are my thoughts on the subject.
Please bear with me =)
Please bear with me =)
A couple weeks ago I started reading a book about Kabbalah and the Tree of Life. It is called Magical Qabalah for Beginners. It is written by a pagan author who identifies himself as a ritual magician. I was not sure what to expect but the book actually very good (though I would caution against some of techniques he suggests in the 2nd half. A spiritual safety check is definitely needed). What I liked is how the author refers to the Tree of Life as a spiritual roadmap that can connect us with a Higher Power through meditation. He also refers to Kabbalah as a meta-knowledge that can bring unity to a wide variety of spiritual belief systems. So true!
So what is the Tree of Life?
It is a glyph that tells story of creation from a Kabbalistic perspective, which I find to be fascinating. If I understand correctly, the Big Bang is said to the moment when it all started. Before the universe was created all we had was nothingness and light. To the Kabbalist, that emptiness is the source of everything, including the universe, the solar system and also other dimensions where our ancestors, loved ones, angels, guides and even pagan gods and goddesses exist. When the Big Bang happened, that nothingness and light exploded into an abstract sphere of light (Keter) that reproduced until we were left with 10 spheres of light. The 1st sphere is that highest point of solid light that could be mistaken for the Creator though it also has its origin in nothingness. It might be the 1st form of God that we can see, sense or feel. The 10th sphere represents the physical universe. In between we have 8 spheres that are dimensions of the spiritual world.
The 10 spheres are also meant to be aspects of that Higher Power some people call God. Is God wise, all knowing, compassionate or judgement. It all depends on the sphere that we are individually aware of. These spheres represent the Crown of God, Wisdom of God, Understanding of God, Compassion of God, Judgement of God, Beauty of God (which is said to be reflected in Nature), Splendor of God, the Victory of God, the Foundation of God and the Physical Manifestation of God which is the Universe. This includes the Earth and Mother Nature which is also the Divine Feminine. Because the author is pagan and Kabbalah is often associated with a monotheistic religion (Judaism) he goes one step further and links each of the spheres to specific pagan gods with whom they share attributes. He even jokes that some Wiccan beliefs are almost monotheistic because they see individual gods and goddesses who unite to become a Super God.
The nine lower spheres of light are full-fledged copies of the original (Keter). If you zoom in you might see one sphere and its attributes reflected in a particular pagan god, if you zoom out you'll see the whole and one Super God. For example, Isis's qualities are reflected in the 9th sphere which is the foundation for the physical earth. That is probably why she is associated with healing and magic, if you move a lever on that sphere it will eventually be reflected down here. Its like we are all see pieces of the same puzzle and that accounts for our differences. Even atheists, who often look to Science as their god, are looking at just one of the spheres. It is as if that Super God has ten fingers and each of those fingers can choose to pull strings in our physical world. Most of us see one or two of those fingers and our mind equates it to God, to Science or to the gods and goddesses of the pagan traditions. The Tree of Life can help us bring a sense of unity to the different spiritual traditions that are out there. It reminds me of this Tarot Card:
Note: Funny enough, each of the ten spheres are also linked to one of the Archangels. The physical universe has Archangel Sandalfon and according to this lovely Angel Tarot card by Doreen Virtue, he is encouraging us to make peace. Its hard to deny that opposing religious views have created lots of havoc on the earth. Maybe this little post can help some of us realise that we are all correct (to some degree, on of my next posts will be on "Righteousness" and how it needs to be balanced by Compassion and Love to keep the peace on Earth)