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fraterphoebus
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13/05/2020 10:51 pm  

Can anyone point me towards where the elemental & associated world correspondences for the letters of Tetragrammaton originate?

That is of course:

Yod = Fire, Atzilut (Emanation)

Heh¹ = Water, Beriah (Creation)

Vav = Air, Yetzirah (Formation)

Heh² = Earth, Assiah (Action)

So far as I can tell, it isn't Jewish (certainly it's not in any traditional sources I've seen), so I am guessing it is an invention of the Renaissance or later to bring Kabbalah together with the Hermetic arts of Alchemy.

If it is in fact of older vintage, I may have found something very interesting in Sefer Yetzirah. Otherwise, I've just found a fun coincidence. 🙃 


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djedi
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14/05/2020 1:49 am  

The earliest association of the tetragrammaton with any cosmogenic system is, I think, in Athanasius Kircher's Oedipus Aegyptiacus. Supposedly it builds on Philippe d'Aquin's conception of the tree of life, but I don't know about that. I believe the elemental attributions were a later development.

Here's M.P. Hall's commentary on the tetragrammaton in the Kircher tree of life:

The Tetragrammaton, or the four-lettered Name of God, written thus יהוה, is pronounced Jehovah. The first letter is י, Yod, the Germ, the Life, the Flame, the Cause, the One, and the most fundamental of the Jewish phallic emblems. Its numerical value is 10, and it is to be considered as the 1 containing the 10. In the Qabbalah it is declared that the a Yod is in reality three Yods, of which the first is the beginning, the second is the center, and the third is the end. Its throne is the Sephira Chochmah (according to Ibn Gebirol, Kether), from which it goes forth to impregnate Binah, which is the first ה, He. The result of this union is Tiphereth, which is the ו Vau, whose power is 6 and which symbolizes the six members of the Lesser Adam. The final ה, He, is Malchuth, the Inferior Mother, partaking in part of the potencies of the Divine Mother, the first He.

 


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Tiger
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14/05/2020 12:46 pm  

“ I am guessing it is an invention of the Renaissance or later to bring Kabbalah together with the Hermetic arts of Alchemy.”

The gist i got from reading Frances A. Yates book - Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition was that people that wanted to become literate joined the church, where they became indoctrinated. Those that studied the Hermetic tradition did so in conformity to the church. Those that strayed away were burnt. So most Hermetic writers wrote with that in mind. However some went and got themselves burnt. In her book she claims Pico Della Mirandola as the one that married the Hermetic Tradition and Qabalism ( though influenced under the Judao Christian Oversee ).

Pico distinguishes between theoretical Cabala and practical Cabala, the latter being Cabalistic magic. pg87

Pimander, who is the Nous or divine mens, appears to Trismegistus when his corporeal senses are bound as in a heavy sleep. Pimander’s aspect changes, and Trismegistus sees a limitless vision which is all light. Then a kind of obscurity or darkness appears, out of which comes a kind of fire in which is heard an indescribable sound, like a fiery groan, while from the light issues a holy word, and a fire without mixture leaps from the moist region up to the sublime, and the air, being light, follows the fiery breath. “ That light “ , says Pimander, “ is I myself, Nous, thy God and the luminous Word issuing from Nous is the Son of God. “ Trismegistus then sees within himself, in his own Nous or mens, the light and an innumerable number of powers, a limitless world and the fire enveloped in an all powerful force. pg23

Hermes Trismegistus, Asclepius, Tat and Hammon meet together in an Egyptian Temple. …the divine love began to speak through the lips of Hermes. All descends from heaven, from the All, by the intermediary of heaven. Attend carefully to this….From the celestial bodies there are spread throughout the world continual effluvia, through the souls of all species and of all individuals from one end to the other of nature. Matter has been prepared to be the receptacle of all forms; and nature, imprinting the forms by the means of the four elements, prolongs up to heaven the series of beings. ….man is near to the gods who, thanks to the spirit which relates him to the gods, has united himself to them with a religion inspired from heaven. And so, O Asclepius , man is a magnum miraculum, a being worthy of reverence and honour pg35 ( not a resultant of Sinning )

we have in the Asclepius an actual description of magical practices in the admiring references the methods by which the Egyptians “ made gods “ pg 44

Every object in the material world was full of occult sympathies poured down upon it from the star on which it depended. The operator who wished to capture, let us say, the power of the sphere of Venus, must know what plants, stones, metals, animals etc belonged to Venus. He must know the images and how to inscribe talismans and amulets made at the right astrological moment. Such was the way to capture, lock in, hold and store the power of the star or spirit. The magician was one who knew how to enter into this system…establishing for himself a chain of links. pg45

Great book ! Frances A. Yates book - Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition


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Tiger
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14/05/2020 2:00 pm  
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Tiger
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14/05/2020 2:23 pm  

Farter Barabas in his book Magical Qabalah for beginners says that the four worlds were introduced by Jean Dubuis pg31


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christibrany
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14/05/2020 6:28 pm  
Posted by: @tiger

Farter Barabas

How much fart, does it take to make

A frater? 

 

My friend is obsessed with Giordano Bruno, and perhaps with good reason.  I must read some. 

Or perhaps I should burn all my books? 


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Shiva
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14/05/2020 7:48 pm  
Posted by: @christibrany

How much fart, does it take to make A frater? 

The QBL answer is simple, regardless of which olden or newly-developed system makes up the numeration of the letters. This is because they both contain the same letters!

Thus, they are equivalent.

Farter Shiav

 


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fraterphoebus
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14/05/2020 11:01 pm  
Posted by: @djedi

The earliest association of the tetragrammaton with any cosmogenic system is, I think, in Athanasius Kircher's Oedipus Aegyptiacus. Supposedly it builds on Philippe d'Aquin's conception of the tree of life, but I don't know about that. I believe the elemental attributions were a later development.

Here's M.P. Hall's commentary on the tetragrammaton in the Kircher tree of life:

The Tetragrammaton, or the four-lettered Name of God, written thus יהוה, is pronounced Jehovah. The first letter is י, Yod, the Germ, the Life, the Flame, the Cause, the One, and the most fundamental of the Jewish phallic emblems. Its numerical value is 10, and it is to be considered as the 1 containing the 10. In the Qabbalah it is declared that the a Yod is in reality three Yods, of which the first is the beginning, the second is the center, and the third is the end. Its throne is the Sephira Chochmah (according to Ibn Gebirol, Kether), from which it goes forth to impregnate Binah, which is the first ה, He. The result of this union is Tiphereth, which is the ו Vau, whose power is 6 and which symbolizes the six members of the Lesser Adam. The final ה, He, is Malchuth, the Inferior Mother, partaking in part of the potencies of the Divine Mother, the first He.

 

I see! I must find a copy of Oedipus Aegypticus at some point; I understand it was both a) very influential on later thought and b) almost entirely spurious, being pre-Rosetta stone, so it would be interesting to see how much of his speculation has survived through to modern traditions.

It's tempting to read the elemental attributions as being natural implications of Hall's commentary above, but I suspect I'm projecting sephirotic associations onto it which are also later developments.


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fraterphoebus
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14/05/2020 11:21 pm  

Well, Eliphas Levi comes pretty close to spelling it out in Dogma & Ritual:

The symbolical tetrad, represented in the Mysteries of Memphis and Thebes by the four forms of the sphinx – man, eagle, lion and bull – corresponded with the four elements of the old world, water being signified by the cup held by the man or aquarius; air by the circle or nimbus surrounding the head of the celestial eagle; fire by the wood which nourishes it, by the tree fructifying in the heat of earth and sun, finally, by the sceptre of royalty, which the lion typifies; earth by the sword of Mithras, who each year immolates the sacred bull, and, together with its blood, pours forth that sap which gives increase to all fruits of earth. Now, these four signs, with all their analogies, explain the one word hidden in all sanc- tuaries, that word which the bacchantes seemed to divine in their intoxication when they worked themselves into frenzy for IO EVOHE. What then was the mean- ing of this mysterious term? It was the name of four primitive letters of the mother-tongue: JOD, symbol of the vine-stock, or paternal sceptre of Noah; HE, type of the cup of libations and also of maternity; VAU, which joins the two, and was depicted in India by the great and mysterious lingam. Such was the triple sign of the triad in the Divine Word; but the mother-letter appeared a second time, to express the fecundity of Nature and woman and to formulate the doctrine of universal and progressive analogies, descending from causes to effects and ascending from effects to causes. Moreover, the sacred word was not pronounced: it was spelt, and expressed in four words, which are the four sacred words – JOD HE VAU HE.

In Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy he also talks about Tetragrammaton a bunch in the same breath as he talks about the four elements, but he doesn't go so far as to specifically assign elements to each letter.


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Tiger
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15/05/2020 12:22 am  

That was Frater Barrabbas


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threefold31
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15/05/2020 12:25 am  

Dwtw

 

Frater Phoebus, I see we have the same taste in avatars 😮  

Kircher was certainly influential but not a real qabalist, in the Jewish tradition anyway;

an early member of a long line of cultural appropriators, bending their system to fit his own agenda.

The saddest thing that resulted, IMO, was the atrocious Tree of Life that the Golden Dawn foisted on a few generations of would-be qabalists and magicians. The Tree of the ARI, or even the GRA, makes a lot more sense.

 

Litlluw

RLG


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Shiva
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15/05/2020 3:18 am  
Posted by: @tiger

That was Frater Barrabbas

No it wasn't. We heard and olfacted the flatulence.

Flater Shriva

Posted by: @threefold31

The saddest thing that resulted, IMO, was the atrocious Tree of Life that the Golden Dawn foisted on a few generations of would-be qabalists and magicians. The Tree of the ARI, or even the GRA, makes a lot more sense.

Why do you say that? (atrocious).
What is ARI?
What is GRA?

Sorry, but I can;t follow your reasoning or your ARI-GRA.


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threefold31
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15/05/2020 3:54 am  

Dwtw

@shiva

Tree of the Life of the ARI, Rabbi Isaac Luria

tree of life ari

 

Tree of the Life of the GRA

Gra Tree

 

These are both covered in Aryeh Kaplan's excellent book on the Sefer Yetzirah

 

Litlluw

RLG 


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fraterphoebus
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15/05/2020 6:35 am  
Posted by: @threefold31

Dwtw

 

Frater Phoebus, I see we have the same taste in avatars 😮  

Kircher was certainly influential but not a real qabalist, in the Jewish tradition anyway;

an early member of a long line of cultural appropriators, bending their system to fit his own agenda.

The saddest thing that resulted, IMO, was the atrocious Tree of Life that the Golden Dawn foisted on a few generations of would-be qabalists and magicians. The Tree of the ARI, or even the GRA, makes a lot more sense.

 

Litlluw

RLG

Ahah, so we do!

Well, I tend to think arguments against Hermetic Qabalists for appropriating Jewish culture are about as sound as the same arguments against, say, Radiohead for appropriating African-American culture - one really needs to take it up with Mirandola and Elvis, respectively 😉

But yes, I think too often the price of excessive syncretism is that you lose the depth and nuance of the systems you're trying to stitch together - the GD system seems very neat and tidy but once you start seeking to understand Qabalah as any more than a "conceptual filing cabinet" as Regardie puts it (apparently without irony), it quickly starts to unravel. The worst part is perhaps the revised letter to path assignments, which ignores Sefer Yetzirah completely in favour of simple alphabetical order. 🤦‍♂️

I just wish it was easier to get hands on affordable critical translations of traditional Kabbalistic texts - other than Sefer Yetzirah, there's not much out there. I would love to read Cordovero's Pardes Rimonim (from whence the layout popularised by the HOGD originates) or Vital's Etz Chaim (the primary Lurianic text), but I'm not ready to commit to learning 16th century Hebrew!

Ultimately though I think any search for the "true" arrangement is unlikely to bear fruit, given that the Tree is a symbolic representation of divine principles which transcend human understanding - an attempt to "eff the ineffable" as it were, and every Sefira is regarded as containing every other Sefira after all. Different arrangements of the Tree highlight different relationships between those principles. Lurianic Kabbalah even has a word for that, partzufim, and I understand there are about eighteen different partzufim specifically enumerated by Luria. If you really want to make your head explode, this video illustrates how they all fit together - don't say I didn't warn you.


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Shiva
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15/05/2020 6:37 am  
Posted by: @threefold31

Tree of the Life

Whoa!  Those are some interesting spreads.


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threefold31
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15/05/2020 1:46 pm  
Posted by: @fraterphoebus

The worst part is perhaps the revised letter to path assignments, which ignores Sefer Yetzirah completely in favour of simple alphabetical order. 🤦‍♂️

I just wish it was easier to get hands on affordable critical translations of traditional Kabbalistic texts - other than Sefer Yetzirah, there's not much out there. I would love to read Cordovero's Pardes Rimonim (from whence the layout popularised by the HOGD originates) or Vital's Etz Chaim (the primary Lurianic text), but I'm not ready to commit to learning 16th century Hebrew!

Ultimately though I think any search for the "true" arrangement is unlikely to bear fruit, given that the Tree is a symbolic representation of divine principles which transcend human understanding - 

 

Dwtw

I agree that the letter/path situation is oversimplified. And I'm with you on finding some critical translations. I learned some Hebrew after a decade with a Jewish partner, but not enough to go spelunking in those old tomes!

I agree there isn't one 'true' arrangement. But reading Kaplan makes me think that a likely scenario is that while expanding on the number mysticism of Pythagoras and the Tetraktys, someone discovered the neat fact that a symmetrical array of 10 circles has 22 connecting paths.

Once that door was opened, then variations to suit particular uses and/or interpretations started being generated, and we get the variety of Trees seen in the literature. I'm mostly a Lurianic kabbalist when it comes to that, but enjoy examining other arrangements to see what they have to offer.

 

Litlluw

RLG

 

PS - I was about to change my avatar anyway 😎 


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Shiva
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15/05/2020 7:00 pm  

I happen to (immediately) like the ARI Tree ...

image

The idea of Malkuth suspended like a yo-yo or a pendulant pendulum is in line with the concept that three triads do the work, and the result is constantly showing upon the (3D) screen in the Malkth Cinema.

It is sometimes overlooked that Malkuth is a result.

 


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Jamie J Barter
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16/05/2020 12:04 am  
Posted by: @shiva

I happen to (immediately) like the ARI Tree ...

Yes; this one has six (two extra) Paths across the Abyss.  But it would also appear to have no direct linkage between the Physical Kingdom (Malkuth) and either Intellect (Hod) or Emotion (Netzach).

Posted by: @shiva

It is sometimes overlooked that Malkuth is a result.

And Kether "after another manner".

Norma N Joy Conquest


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Shiva
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16/05/2020 2:15 am  
Posted by: @jamiejbarter

no direct linkage between the Physical Kingdom (Malkuth) and either Intellect (Hod) or Emotion (Netzach).

True. Perhaps this is why people try to run their (physical) mouth without putting their brain in gear. From what I read in the news, there is no connection between Malkuth (hard matter) and mental applications ... only with Yesod ("what I want.").

 


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threefold31
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17/05/2020 5:31 am  
Posted by: @jamiejbarter

Yes; this one has six (two extra) Paths across the Abyss. 

 

Dwtw

Yes, which means it has an actual path for the Lightning Flash, unlike that other Tree...

In the upper hexagon (all paths from Tiferet up),

is an inverted pentagram with 5 paths whose letters = 187

and 8 other paths whose letters = 418.

 

Litlluw

RLG


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Shiva
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17/05/2020 6:46 am  
Posted by: @threefold31

Yes, which means it has an actual path for the Lightning Flash, unlike that other Tree...

And it also demonstrates (by the flash path) that there is a connection between the samadhi state and the NOM (Normal Operating Mind), a connection the Theos (Theosophists) claims to exist.

Although the NOM is set aside during samadhi, how is it that this NOM has memories after the trance, and can write about it? The mystery comes in because that flash path requires the abadonment of the NOM, and that's the part nobody can figure out.

 


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threefold31
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20/05/2020 12:20 am  

@shiva

 

Dwtw

In that context, it's interesting that the path in question is the letter Qof,

whose name means 'back of the head'.

Spelled in full, it equals 186, which of course is 2 x 93

and can thus represent Agape/Thelema.

 

Litlluw

RLG


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Shiva
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20/05/2020 2:59 am  
Posted by: @threefold31

whose name means 'back of the head'

It is interesting that "the back of the head," specifically way down low, at the base of the skull, is where The Abyss is anatomically located.

 


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The HGA of a Duck
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21/05/2020 7:02 am  
Posted by: @shiva

NOM (Normal Operating Mind)

NOM - OM = NAA

NOM - NO = NAY


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The HGA of a Duck
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23/05/2020 9:06 pm  

@fraterihsan

Good, someone got it. 🙂 


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Markus
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04/07/2020 7:44 pm  

I see! I must find a copy of Oedipus Aegypticus at some point; I understand it was both a) very influential on later thought and b) almost entirely spurious, being pre-Rosetta stone, so it would be interesting to see how much of his speculation has survived through to modern traditions.

The works of Kircher are currently being reprinted and published by Olms. The website of the publisher is in German, the works of Kircher are in Latin. See here. 

 

Markus


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