Understanding Paths and Spheres on the Tree of Life is crucial to getting good results. When learning how to do Tarot Readings on the Tree, you will stumble upon traps set there by the occultists. Good news is, there are ways to avoid those.
Understanding Paths and Spheres
Understanding Paths and Spheres set by the esotericism requires you to pay attention to what you think you learn from them. Learn from their teachings, but do your own thinking. Strive to prove out what they teach. Personally, I like Dion Fortune’s book on the Mystical Qabalah; so much so that I have extrapolated some of the information found in her book, and have transposed it to this article of mine.
I only say this because they tend to set traps for us Tarot Readers. Esoterics or Occultists, wish to share their knowledge with us all. However, they are sworn to secrecy.
Esoterics or Occultists are divided up into many Secret Societies. Their membership is sworn to keep what they learn there, within the confines of their respective Societies. They share info, but it is info containing intellectual stumbling blocks.
However, some Occultists have written excellent books about the Tree of Life, the Spheres, and the Paths. And even about the Tarot Correspondences therein. Their books are filled with a wealth of high-quality information.
The Tree of Life of the Qabalah
The Tree of Life of the Qabalah can be used to do Tarot Readings. If you want to do Readings using the Spheres and the Paths of the Tree of Life, be mindful of what they actually are. The Tree of Life itself is a glyph of “the soul of man and of the universe. It evokes images in the mind”, Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah.
When you do Tarot Readings, you can use this form of meditation. While meditating upon the glyph, your consciousness can be raised from the element of Earth up and into the astral planes. Once your consciousness is thus lifted, you are astral travelling onto the Spheres and the Paths of the Tree.(1) Amongst other things to do while in the Tree, is divination.
The Ten Spheres upon the Tree of Life
The Ten Spheres upon the Tree of Life are called ‘Sephiroth’. Sephiroth is plural, Sephirah is singular. The Sephiroth represent the macrocosm, “the successive phases of evolution of the Cosmos and of the soul of man”, Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah. Ms Fortune is considered the classic Tarot Reader, and the traditional teacher of the Tarot. She goes on to say that you should be looking at each Sephirah from the perspective of a “psychic principal”.
The Ten Spheres or Ten Sephiroth are (as above, as below):
- Kether, the Crown (the entering into the Light, and come not forth again).
- Chokmah, Wisdom
- Binah, Understanding
- Chesed, Mercy
- Geburah, Strength
- Thiphareth, Beauty
- Netzach, Victory
- Hod, Glory
- Yesod, the Foundation
- Malkuth, the Sphere of Earth (brain consciousness); the Kingdom
The twenty-two Paths
The twenty-two Paths, are the lines between the Sephiroth. In a nutshell, these lines represent ‘the equilibrium’ between one Sephirah and its connecting Sephirah.(3)
The Paths are (as above, as below):
At the level of the microcosm, the Paths represent the soul of man. Not his body”, Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah.(2) Also, instead of facing the two columns of Mercy and Severity when studying and working on the Tree of Life, turn your back to it. Doing so will let you better follow along.
When attributing Tarot Cards to the Tree of Life
When attributing Tarot Cards to the Tree of Life, avoid getting confused. Aleister Crowley’s “777” book gives the correct way of doing that. The reason the Tarot Cards attribution as given in “777” is deemed to be correct, is because “the correspondences work out without discrepancies”, Dion Fortune. Attributed this way, the Cards do not contradict each other. This said, however, be mindful of Crowley’s human understanding. Some slight mistakes have been found within it.
The Four Suits found within Crowley’s “777” system, are deemed the best to follow. Because they are assigned to the Four elements of the Alchemist:
The suits on the Tree:
Wands: Atziluth = Fire
Cups: Briah = Water
Swords: Yetzirah = Air
Pentacles (Coins) = Earth
The Four Court Cards:
- Kings, Queens, Knights, and Knaves
N.B. Differ in traditional pack:
– Kings, Queens, Princes, and Princesses
The Pip Cards: (represent ‘action’ of the Divine Forces in each Sphere and on each Line)
The Four Aces: Kether (1st Sephirah)
The Four Twos: Chokmah
The Four Threes: Binah
The Four Fours: Chesed
The Four Fives: Geburah
The Four Sixes: Thiphareth
The Four Sevens: Netzach
The Four Eights: Hod
The Four Nines: Yesod
The Four Tens: Malkuth
The twenty-two Trumps:
Follow Crowley’s table in his “777”
Exact origines of the twenty-two Keys of the Tarot and of the Tree
Exact origines of the twenty-two Keys of the Tarot and of the Tree are a matter of controversy in the Tarot Community. Sadly, concrete proof of their origins have been lost to humanity. However, considered as ‘symbols’, it would seem safe enough to assume that they can be associated with the twenty-two letters of the Jewish alphabet. (Click on Jewish alphabet to read more about that). To astrology; to planets; to the principles of the Yin and Yang; to the Tao; and to the three channels of Prana. To the positive and negative factors of ‘manifestation’.
Understanding Paths and Spheres on the Tree of Life is crucial to your getting good results. This said, do beware of the ‘traps’ set by the esoteric or occultist lol… And do try to follow Crowley’s tables in his “777.
(1) When successfully astral travelling upon the Tree of life, don’t forget to ‘close’ when returning back to your own reality.
(2) The Paths represent the soul of man; not his physical body. But rather, they represent his Chakras situated at the level of his astral body.
(3) “Be aware of the confusion created when calling both the Spheres and Lines, Paths. Both the Spheres and the Lines are called “Paths”, and justifiably so. However, they must be taken separately and with knowledge so to make the difference between them both when doing Tarot Readings. Or else, your divining will become a mishmash… Yes, the Spheres and the Lines are Paths, in the sense that they equally ‘channel’ Divine influences (Core influences). But in practical workings, only the lines between the Sephiroth are considered “the Paths”, Dion Fortune.