Tree of Life

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The Tree of Life is a tool used to categorize and organize various mystical concepts, and is central to the teachings of Aleister Crowley and the Qabalah. At its most simple level, it is composed of ten spheres, or emanations, called sephiroth (sing. "sephira") which are connected by twenty two paths. The sephiroth are represented by the planets and the paths by the characters of the Hebrew alphabet, which are subdivided by the five elements, the seven classical planets, and the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

Within the western magical tradition, the Tree is used as a kind of conceptual filing cabinet. Each sephira and path is assigned various ideas, such as gods, cards of the Tarot, astrological planets and signs, elements, etc. Within Thelema, the seminal book which defines all these correspondences is Liber 777 by Aleister Crowley, although there have been other influential writers on the topic, including Israel Regardie and Eliphas Levi.

Parts of the Tree of Life

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The Negative Veils

Sephiroth (Emanations)

There is also the "false" sephira, Daath, or Knowledge.

The Paths

There are 22 paths that connect the ten sephiroth. They are named according to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

The Veils

The Pillars

The vertical columns of the sephiroth form three "pillars":

The Triplicities

Above the physical world of Malkuth, there are three sets of three sephiroth:

The Four Worlds

The Parts of the Soul

The Correspondences

The defining feature of the Tree of Life as it's used in Thelema is the correspondences. The general idea is that all the concepts found in a sephira or path have essential ties with each other. Many of the correspondences are from the Jewish Kabbalistic tradition, although there are many that were added on by members of the Golden Dawn and also by Aleister Crowley. The following is a list of conceptual groupings of all the various columns found in the seminal collection of Qabalistic correspondences, Crowley's Liber 777.

  • The Key Scale—not really a correspondence, but the numerical organizational tool of the Tree.

See also

Document Source

  • This page was originally sourced from Thelemapedia. Retrieved May 2009.