Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition
No. 3, Vol 1. Autumnal Equinox 2002
The Tree of Life:
The Tree of Life, one of the most recognized symbols of the Western Mystery Tradition is more than just a symbol or graph to understand the Divine Emanations that created the universe in Kabbalistic thought. The Tree is used as a means to place the various Divine Names, planets, Archangels, Angels, and metals in a logical order so that we as magicians can understand the universe around us. Most of us have looked at the information that is ascribed to each of the sephiroth of the Tree of Life and thought what a daunting task it is to learn all that information, and many of the beginning magicians are frustrated with trying to remember which of the sephiroth relates to the Archangel Raphael lapr and which relates to the Sun.
So just what is the Tree of Life? Well, I think that one of the best definitions comes from Dion Fortune's The Mystical Qabalah:
It is a glyph, that is to say a composite symbol, which is intended to represent the cosmos in its entirety and the soul of man as it relates thereto; and the more we study it, the more we see that it is an amazingly adequate representation; we use it as an engineer or the mathematician uses his slide-rule, to scan and calculate the intricacies of existence, visible and invisible, in external nature or the hidden depth of the soul.
Ten circles arranged in a specific pattern and connected by a series of ten lines most often represent this glyph. The ten circles represent the Ten Divine Emanations, called the sephiroth (plural of the word sephira), and the lines symbolize Paths that connect the individual sephira to one another. The word sephira, literally means counting and is distinguished from the Hebrew word mispar, which means numbers. Even though the sephiroth are said to represent the ten basic digits, they are not numbers. In a more modern manner, the Tree of Life can be defined as:
The ten spheres or Sephiroth connected by the 22 paths of the Hebrew alphabet, form the Tree of Life (Otz Chaim), the central glyph of the Qabalah. The Tree of Life describes the steps between mundane consciousness (represented by Malkuth) and the divine (represented by Kether).
The basic form of the Tree of Life that is shown the most is as follows and depicts the ten spheres or circles (sephiroth) connected by the 22 paths of the Hebrew alphabet.
The Tree can be used as a means to catalog the various information that is found in the Hermetic Traditions, a filing cabinet that can be used to sort through this information. Each of the Ten Spheres can relate to a certain amount of information from the color of the particular sephiroth to the various gods of the world pantheons that relate to the sephira in question. In the following text, we will go over the basic information that is normally attributed to the Tree of Life in the Western Mystery Traditions, and discuss ways to remember these attributions.
Basic Information on the Tree
Each of the ten spheres has a name that directly identifies the sephira and the idea that this sephira represents. The various names of the sephiroth are derived from Scripture. The first three of the sephiroth are named in Exodus 31:3:
And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in Wisdom, and in Understanding, and in the Knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.
In the kabbalistic book, Sefer Yetzirah, this is explained as follows: the "spirit of God" refers to Kether, while "Wisdom" and "Understanding" refer to the next two sephiroth, Chokmah and Binah, as well as the hidden sephira Daath that follows these two sephiroth. The next seven sephiroth on the Tree of Life have their names derived from 1 Chronicles 29:11:
Thine, O Lord, is the Greatness, and the Power, and the Glory, and the Majesty: for all that is
Here all the names of the lower sephiroth are defined. Most of the time the first of the lower sephiroth is called Chesed (meaning Love), rather than Gedulah (meaning Greatness), and the next to the last sephiroth is normally called Yesod (Foundation) rather than Kol (meaning All).
This is how all of the Sephiroth of the Tree of Life are named starting from the top, closest to the Divine, to the bottom, the Physical Manifestation of Divine Will. Kether (Crown) is the topmost sphere, followed by Chokmah (Wisdom), then by Binah (Understanding), Daath (Knowledge), Chesed (Mercy), Geburah (Severity), Tiphareth (Beauty), Netzach (Victory), Hod (Splendor), Yesod (Foundation), and finally at the bottom of the Tree, Malkuth (Kingdom). Each of the sephira is numbered from one to ten, also starting at the top (Kether as one) and ending with ten at the bottom (Malkuth as ten).
What follows is a basic discussion of the Ten Sephiroth with some of their attributions and names as they relate to the Western Mystery Tradition. These names and attributions are normally memorized by the practicing magician and used to relate to various aspects of magick and knowledge. After a brief discussion of the basic information on the Sephiroth, then we will go over some additional information that can be placed on the Tree of Life.
Starting with the top of the Tree of Life, we begin with Kether (sphere number one), which is the closest to the Divine. Kether means the Crown, and relates to the top of the Tree of Life. There are also many additional titles of Kether; among these are Arik Anpin (meaning Long Nose in Aramaic), Aur Penimi (meaning the Internal Light), and Elyon (meaning Most High). Most of these titles are Aramaic and from the Zohar, a renowned book on the Kabbalah. These titles of Kether are not normally used to relate to Kether in the modern period, but were used at different times in several of the different esoteric schools that were found throughout the Eastern Mediterranean and in Spain. The color most used to represent Kether is Brilliant White, which comes from the Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn's attributions of colors as they relate to the Tree of Life. The Divine name of Kether is Eheieh (meaning I Am); and the Archangel of Kether is Metatron (meaning The Angel of the Presence), head of the Angelic Choir, Chayoth ha-Qadesh (meaning Holy Living Creatures), or the Order of the Seraphim.
Kether is also the sphere that contains all that was, is, or will be. It is the First Emanation and the sphere of pure spiritual being, the point of absolute Unity without division. As such one of the symbols of Kether is the Point, and a Point is often placed on the Tree of Life in Kether to represent this idea of Unity. It is also the place on the Tree of Life that contains the Source of All and the Highest Divine Essence that we can conceive. This Source of All is sometimes described as the Primum Mobile or the First Whirlings of Manifestation, a phase that correctly describes the action of the cosmic energy art the creation of the universe. This Primum Mobile is sometimes shown by the symbol of a swastika or fylfot cross, which is another of the symbols relating to Kether.
The next sephira that we come to as we come down the Tree of Life is Chokmah (sphere number two). It is the next closest to the Divine. Chokmah means Wisdom. Other titles of Chokmah are Ab (meaning The Father), Abba (meaning The Supernal Father), and Kochmah (meaning The Power of Yetzirah). The Divine name of Chokmah is Yah , and the Archangel is Raziel (meaning Secret of God), part of the Angelic Choir Ophanim (meaning The Wheels). The color of Chokmah in the Queen Scale of the Golden Dawn is grey.
Chokmah is the first sephira that develops a polarity and is placed at the head of the Pillar of Mercy, or the Right Hand Pillar. The energy of Chokmah is dynamic and outpouring, sort of a stimulator for the universe, relating to masculine principal. Some of the symbols that relate to Chokmah are The Line, and the Phallus. Also the Zodiac can be placed here to show the physical representation of Chokmah on the Tree of Life.
The next sephira that we come to on the Tree of Life is Binah (sphere number three), and means Understanding. Like Chokmah, Binah is the head of one of the Pillars on the Tree, in this case, the Pillar of Severity or the Left Hand Pillar. The forces connected with Binah as passive in nature and relate to the feminine. So like Chokmah, Binah has developed its own polarity, but a feminine one as opposed to Chokmah's masculine one. Other titles of Binah include Ama (meaning the Mother), Aima (meaning the Supernal Mother), and Korsia (meaning the Throne). The Divine Name for Binah is YHVH Elohim (meaning Lord God), and the Archangel is Tzaphqiel (meaning Contemplation of God). The Angelic Choir is the Aralim (meaning the Thrones or the Mighty Ones). The color of Binah in the Golden Dawn Queen Scale is black, and the scent associated with this sephira is myrrh or civit.
Binah is also the sephira that builds Form, another feminine function. To do this Binah receives the overflow of the dynamic or masculine energy built up in Chokmah and organizes it for the first time under the concept of Form. The concept of Form only exists at this point on the Tree of Life as a polarity, the basic capacity to build Form.
The sephira Daath , meaning Knowledge is really a non-sephira or an invisible sephira. It is also known as the Abyss and is below Chokmah and Binah, between the other sephiroth of the Tree of Life. It is also on the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life between Tiphareth and Kether. This invisible sephira has no attributions of Divine Name or Angelic Choir, and is often not shown on some representations of the Tree of Life.There is still some information that is relevant to Daath. Daath is produced from the conjunction of Chokmah and Binah, which are Wisdom and Understanding. It is in this invisible sephira Daath (Knowledge), which Chokmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding) combine with what is known as the Beautiful Path (Tiphareth). This is the concealed or hidden concept that which pervades the whole emanation. Another way to say this is that without Knowledge, the student can not have Understanding and Wisdom, as Knowledge helps to better understand a situation or thing, and to give the student a better opportunity in making the wise choice.
The next sephira that we come to is Chesed (sphere number four), the meaning of which is Mercy. This sephira is sometimes referred to as Gedulah (meaning Greatness). Chesed is considered the First Sephira of the Microprosopos, the manifested universe. This is the place where the energy that is Formed in Binah is given a more concrete form. The Divine name associated with Chesed is El , and the Archangel is Tzadqiel (meaning Justice of God). The Angelic Choir is Chasmalim (meaning Brilliant Ones), while the color in the Golden Dawn Queen Scale is blue.Chesed is often referred to as a cohesive intelligence. This is because Chesed contains all of the holy powers, or energies that it has received from the Supernals, the top three sephira of the Tree of Life. It is in Chesed that the unmanifested power is gathered and the process of manifestation begins without diminishing the Divine Emanations on their way to materialization in Malkuth.
Next on the Tree of Life we come to Geburah (sphere number five), meaning Severity. There are other titles for this sephira and they include Din (meaning Justice), and Pachad (meaning Fear). Geburah (Severity) is the polar opposite of Chesed (Mercy) meaning that an extreme is reached through harsh action. The Divine name associated with Geburah is Elohim Gibor . The Archangel of Geburah is Kamael (meaning Severity of God), sometimes spelled Khamael or Camael, while the Angelic Choir is the Seraphim (meaning Powers), and the color linked to Geburah in the Queen Scale of the Golden Dawn is scarlet.
As can be seen in the previous two sephira, Chesed and Binah, the polarities of masculine and feminine are reinforced. Just as the energy of Chesed is the same as Chokmah on a lower level, Geburah has the same energy as Binah, but also on a lower, more manifest level. At this level of the Tree the masculine and feminine traits of the Divine energy and of each sephira is becoming more and more apparent, with Geburah seeming harsher than Binah on the masculine side of the Tree.
The next sephiroth that is on the Tree of Life is Tiphareth (sphere number six), meaning Beauty. This sephira occupies the middle of the Tree of Life and is prominently seen on all the drawings of the glyph. Other titles of Tiphareth are Zauir Anpin (meaning Lesser Countenance), Melekh (meaning King), Seir Anpin (meaning Bearded Countenance), Ben (meaning The Son), and Ish (meaning The Man). Tiphareth is directly below Kether on the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life. The Divine Emanations or Energies are mixed in this sephira from Kether, Geburah, and Chesed, and are perfectly balanced. The Divine name of Tiphareth is YHVH Eloah va-Daath (meaning Lord God of Knowledge). The Archangel is Raphael (meaning God's Healing). This is the more common Archangel linked to Tiphareth, but sometimes the Archangel is given as Michael . The Angelic Choir is the Melekim (meaning Kings). The Golden Dawn gave the color of Tiphareth in the Queen Scale as gold.
This is the sphere of harmony between the Mercy of Chesed and the Severity of Geburah, the perfect balance between the aggressive and benevolent energies of these two sephira. Because it is in a direct line with Kether, Tiphareth mirrors the purity of Kether, but in a more manifest level.
After Tiphareth, we come to the sephira Netzach (sphere number seven), which means Victory. Netzach is the lowest of the sephiroth in the Right Hand Pillar or the Pillar of Mercy. It is in Netzach that the balanced forces of Tiphareth continue on towards manifestation in Malkuth. This energy can be expressed in art, dance, music, and poetry. The Divine Name of Netzach is YHVH Tzaboath (meaning Lord of Hosts). The Archangel name is Haniel (meaning Grace of God)of the Angelic Choir Elohim (meaning Gods), and is also called the Order of Principalities. The Golden Dawn assigned the Queen Scale color emerald green to Netzach.
Netzach is a dynamic energy or force that inspires and drives us. It is the reflection of the fiery energy of Geburah, but at the level of human personality, but is tempered by the balancing forces of Tiphareth. This way the fiery energy becomes desire and emotion. Netzach is the counterbalance of Hod.
The sephira after Netzach is Hod (sphere number eight), which means Splendor. Hod is sometime translated to mean Glory. This sephira is at the bottom of the Pillar of Severity and symbolizes the intellectual, rational part of the brain, as opposed to the emotions that are represented in Netzach. The Divine Name linked to Hod is Elohim Tzaboath (meaning God of Hosts). The Archangel is Michael (meaning Who is as God), and the Angelic Choir is the Beni Elohim (meaning Sons of Gods), but is more often referred to the Archangels. The color associated with Hod by the Golden Dawn in the Queen Scale is orange.
The energy in Hod is a lower form of the energy in Chesed, but balanced by the forces in Tiphareth. In Hod the emotions and instincts of Netzach take on form and become action. This sphere is a counterbalance to Netzach because without the emotions of Netzach, the rational intellect of Hod is uninspired. Likewise, the emotions of Netzach need the discipline of the intellect provided in Hod.
After Hod, we come to the sephira Yesod (sphere number nine), which means Foundation. It is sometimes referred to as Tzadiq-Yesod-Olam (meaning The Righteous is the Foundation of the World). This sephira is directly below Tiphareth on the Middle Pillar. The Divine Name of Yesod is Shaddai El Chai (meaning Almighty Living God). The Archangel is Gabriel (meaning God is my Strength), and the Angelic Choir is Kerubim (meaning Angels). The color given to Yesod in the Queen Scale by the Golden Dawn is violet.
Yesod is the sephira on the Middle Pillar that contains the two completed forces of Hod and Netzach. Yesod is a basic building block on which further developments can be built. In many aspects, Yesod is much like a fully formed fetus in the womb. It is here that a new era begins and the old one ends.
The last of the sephiroth on the Tree of Life is Malkuth (sphere number 10), which means Kingdom. Some of the additional titles of Malkuth are Malkah (meaning The Queen), Kalah (meaning The Bride), Shekinah (meaning The Divine Presence), Shar or Throa (meaning The Gate), and Betulah (meaning The Virgin). It is in Malkuth that the Divine Will or energy is made manifest to the Physical World. The Divine Name is Adonai ha-Aretz (meaning Lord of the Earth). The Archangel of Malkuth is Sandalphon (meaning Co-Brother), while the Angelic Choir is the Eshim (meaning Flames). The Queen Scale color given to Malkuth by the Golden Dawn is different from the other sephiroth in that Malkuth is divided into four different colors divided by an "X". The top part of the "X" is colored citrine; the right, olive; the bottom, black; the left, russet.
Malkuth is the final receptacle for the combined energies of the Tree of Life. Where the other spheres are basically kinetic and mobile, Malkuth is stable and inert, and unlike the other sephira, it is not part of a triad. Malkuth is the Physical World around us, the Creation of the Divine.
Advanced Information on the Tree of Life
The above information is the basic concepts and images that relate to the various sephiroth of the Tree of Life. In this section, we will discuss some different things that can be placed on the various sephiroth and on the paths of the Tree of Life. Some of these ideas will be the gods and goddesses of the various pantheons of the world, the Tarot, the Hebrew alphabet, and other lesser-known attributions. This part of the discussion on the Tree of Life will not cover every aspect of what is attributed to the various parts of the Tree, but will give an idea as to what can be placed where on the Tree.
The first thing that we will look at on the Tree is the placement of the Tarot. As we know the Tarot is divided into two separate groups called the Arcanas, these being the Lesser Arcana which consists of fifty-six cards of the four suits and the Major Arcana which consists of the twenty-two cards of the trumps. The fifty-six cards of the Minor Arcana are arranged Ace through King in the various sephira, while the twenty-two cards of Major Arcana are arranged to one of the twenty-two paths of the Tree. The Golden Dawn developed this form of attribution of the Tarot to the Tree of Life. In the case of the Princes and Princesses, I have also included the common value attributed to these Tarot cards. This can be seen in the following chart.
In the Color section of the above chart, the KS refers to the King Scale of the Golden Dawn and the QS to the Queen Scale. The different scales help to show the distinction between the Sephiroth and the Paths.
Other attributions can be made to the Paths of the Tree of Life. This can be seen in the following chart. The attributions can be placed on a drawn version of the Tree of Life to better show their placement if the student wishes.
Next on the Tree of Life we can study the various world pantheons as they are placed on the Tree. The gods of these various pantheons are placed in the different sephiroth as they relate to each sephira, i.e. Venus (Roman) and Aphrodite (Greek) may be attributed to Netzach. These can be seen in the following chart.
The Celtic pantheon can be placed on the Tree of Life in a similar manner as above. It can be seen in the following chart derived from article, The Incomplete Mythological Pantheons of the Golden Dawn by Pat Zalewski.
Methods of Remembering the Information
The above two sections of this article deal with some of the information that can be placed on the glyph of the Tree of Life in the various positions. Some items can be placed in the Sephiroth, other on the Paths. The question is how can we as students of the Western Mystery Traditions remember all these diverse attributions as they relate to the Tree of Life. There are a couple of methods to accomplish this.
First of all, rote memory can be used to remember all the attributions of the Tree of Life. This can be done is a couple of different manners, or a combination thereof. Simply memorizing each Sephira, Path, and attribution that corresponds to the appropriate place on the Tree of Life through study of the various charts. Another method maybe to draw out multiple glyphs of the Tree of Life and place all the numerous related material in the corresponding location on these glyphs. This is a great manner to learn the information as it relates to the Tree of Life. There is a drawback to this particular method though, and that is that you will have a notebook full of drawings of the Tree of Life that you will have to go through over and over again. This can be a difficult process for the student.
Another method is one that promotes memory and is an old Hermetic method for remembering multiple and complex items. This can be a magickal method, if you will, to remember these items and other things as well.
Ars Memorativa (the Art of Memory)
Nowadays, surrounded as we are with dozens of ways to make up for the weaknesses of human memory, there is one thing that is still easy to forget: that life wasn't always quite so simple. In the Middle Ages, most of our modern methods of collecting and storing information hadn't even been imagined.
So, just how did a magician of the Middle Ages remember all the information that was required of him to know. Well, he used a method of mnemonic recall to sort through all this information. The mnemonic method of Art of Memory held a special place in the practicing magician's repertoire. The Neoplatonic Philosophy of the Renaissance gave memory and the techniques mnemonics a vital place in the Great Work. This interpretation of memory gave rise to new understanding of the Art, turning what had once been the practical way of storing information into a meditative discipline calling on the powers of the will and imagination.
One of the questions is just how did this form of mnemonic recall come into being. There is no exact knowledge as to how this occurred, but there is a classical legend as to the origins of this method of Art Memory.
The poet Simonides of Ceos, as the tale has it, was hired to recite an ode at a nobleman's banquet. In the fashion of the time, the poet began with a few lines in praise of divinities - in this case, Castor and Pollux - before going on to the serious business of talking about his host. The host, however, objected to this diversion of the flattery, deducted half of Simonides' fee, and told the poet he could seek the rest from the gods he had praised. Shortly thereafter, a message was brought to the poet that two young men had come to the door of the house and wished to speak to him. When Simonides went to see them, there was no one there - but in his absence the banquet hall collapsed behind him, killing the impious nobleman and all the dinner guests as well. Castor and Pollux, traditionally imaged as two young men, had indeed paid their half of the fee.
There are many tales like this throughout Greek literature, but the above has an added moral to the story. When the rubble was cleared away, the bodies were too mangled to identify those whom had been killed. Simonides recalled to memory the order in which the guests were seated as he had last seen it, thus identifying the dead, and according to legend, he founded the first classical Art of Memory.
This framework continued in the classical world, through Hellenistic Greece into the Roman schools of rhetoric. There was a bit of difference between the Greek and the Roman version in that the Romans taught their students to memorize large buildings according to certain rules dividing the building into specific loci or places, then marking every fifth or tenth loci with a specific mark.
The next step came after the fall of the Roman world and the coming of Christianity. The Christian monk had to memorize great deals of material and to be able to recite them from memory. They used the same methods as were practiced in classical Rome.
With the disintegration of the Roman world, these same techniques became part of the classical heritage of Christianity. The Art of Memory took on a moral cast as memory itself was defined as a part of the virtue of prudence, and in this guise the Art came to be cultivated by the Dominican Order. It was from this source that the ex-Dominican Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), probably the Art's greatest exponent, drew the basis of his own techniques.
So now that we have looked at a bit of the beginning and history of the Art Memory, how do we apply it to the Tree of Life and the information that can be filed using the Tree of Life? Bruno's method is a dizzying complex combination of ideas, images, and alphabets, which require a great deal of mnemonic skill to begin with. First let us look at an example of the method that Bruno gave us in his De Umbris Idearum (1582), the high-water mark of the Hermetic Art of Memory.
the traditional image of the first decan of Gemini, a servant holding a staff, could stand for the letter combination be; that of Suah, the legendary inventor of chiromancy or palmistry, for ne. The decan-symbols are part of a set of images prior to the inventors, establishing the order of the syllables. Put in one locus, the whole would spell the word bene.
At first glance, the above system is very complex and would give the best magician a hard time trying to remember all the little details that are involved. But it is subtler than meets the eye.
The method has a great deal more subtlety than this one example shows. Bruno's alphabet included thirty letters, the Latin alphabet plus those Greek and Hebrew letters which have no Latin equivalents; his system thus allowed texts written in any of these alphabets to be memorized. He combined these with five vowels, and provided additional images for single letters to allow for more complex combinations. Besides the astrological images and inventors, there are also lists of objects and adjectives corresponding to this set of letter-combinations, and all these can be combined in a single memory-image to represent words of several syllables. At the same time, many of the images stand for ideas as well as sounds; thus the figure of Suah mentioned above can also represent the art of palmistry if that subject needed to be remembered.
Now let us look at a more modern example of Bruno's method that will shed more light on how to use the Art Memory.
To make sense of these strange techniques, it is useful to look over the shoulder of a student of the Art as he begins the construction of a set of memory places and images.
The above example sheds a little more light on just how to use the method of Art Memory to recall various ideas, thoughts, and images. There is a discussion by John Michael Greer in his paper Ars Memorativa: An Introduction To The Hermetic Art of Memory, which I would like to share at this point. Greer discusses a modern method for applying the above mnemonic methods. He uses the idea and imagery of gardens and gazebos to catalog an assortment of ideas and knowledge. He calls this method The Garden of Memory. The diagrams mentioned in the following article do not appear with the Internet version of this article that this information is taken from.
The Garden of Memory is laid out in a series of concentric circular paths separated by hedges; the first four of these circles are mapped in Diagram 1. Each circle corresponds to a number, and has the same number of small gazebos set in it. These gazebos -- an example, the one in the innermost circle, is shown in Diagram 2 -- bear symbols which are derived from the Pythagorean number-lore of the Renaissance and later magical traditions, and serve as the places in this memory garden. Like all memory places, these should be imagined as brightly lit and conveniently large; in particular, each gazebo is visualized as large enough to hold an ordinary human being, although it need not be much larger.
The system given by Greer above can be very helpful in remembering items for each of the sephira of the Tree of Life. If you apply the idea of Circles to each of the Sephiroth and place within each of them the corresponding gazebo of the appropriate color. Then you can begin to file the information that relates to that sephira. As an example, we will look at the First Circle of the Garden of Memory and apply it to Kether, the first sephira.
The idea that the First Circle relates to the Monad, or to the One, which is the number of Kether, helps a great deal here. Also, by looking at the color of the Garden, which is White and the white and gold trimmed Gazebo we can think of the Queen Scale color of Kether and to the closeness of the Divine. In this case Eheieh (I Am) is the Divine Name, this again alludes to the Monad. The Geometric Symbol of the Point is also reflected in the Monad. The images of the Archangel Metatron can be placed either on or in the Gazebo, along with the Angelic Choir. The path in the First Garden to the Gazebo can be made of Diamonds, the Stone associated with Kether. This path can be lined with flowering Almonds, the Plant associated with this sephira. An image of a Crown, the Tool linked to Kether can also be in the Gazebo, or if you like an image of God wearing a Crown can be seated in the Gazebo. To represent the idea of the First Whirling of Creation (Planet), perhaps a swirling mass of Ambergris (Scent) incense smoke before the image of God wearing a Crown.
The next step would be to move on to the Second Circle and Chokmah, filling in the various images to fit that particular sephira, and then on to Binah and the rest of the Sephiroth of the Tree of Life.
The Paths on the Tree of Life can be done in a similar manner by imagining them as garden paths with plants, animals, images and letters that connect the Ten large gardens of the sephiroth. An example might be Path Number Thirty that connects Hod and Yesod.
Perhaps the Path can be imagined as having a gate like the tarot card The Sun XIX, with the Hebrew letter r in the center of it as an Orange path leads to the next Garden. Sunflowers border the path with a bright Sun overhead. Along the path a Lion plays. On the Orange path is a Bow and Arrow made of Crysoleth.
This is just an idea of how to incorporate the method given by Greer in his Garden of Memory in our study of the Tree of Life. Can you think of other images to use to better remember the different groups of information assigned to the sephira of the Tree?
The Tree of Life is a valuable glyph for cataloging the various ideas, images, and knowledges associated with the Western Mystery Traditions. There are several ways to place this information on the glyph of the Tree and several ways to recall that information. The one that is best for the student of the Western Mystery Tradition, and particularly the Hermetic Arts is completely up to the student in question. How many ways can you find to use the Tree of Life as a source of information and a filing cabinet?
We can use the modern storage devices of paper, disk, or computer space as a neat filing cabinet to catalog and remember the information in this article. This works best for something like rote memory where the ideas, images and correspondences are dryly recited and remembered through repetition.
The other method is to use a method is to use a tradition that relates to the Western Mystery Traditions. In this case, one that relates specifically to the Hermetic Tradition. The older system given by Bruno is a bit complex and can be confusing to the modern practioner. The Garden of Memory presented by John Michael Greer gives the modern magical practioner the means to easily remember the numerous images, ideas, and knowledges connected to each of the sephiroth of the Tree of Life.
It also has its practical side. The methods of the Art of Memory work so much better than ordinary rote memorization, that even a little experience with the Art can make a startling difference. Anything from shopping lists to class notes can be remembered quickly and efficiently, and you aren't likely to leave your memory at home when you go to take a final exam! So sit yourself down, close your eyes, and start putting to use this popular Medieval practice.
Which of them that the student and practioner chooses to use is completely up to the individual involved. Maybe the use of our mind to better remember may make us better magical practioners. Try these methods to recall the diverse amounts of information that can be stored on the Tree of Life. See what works best for you.
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 The Golden Dawn attributed a certain color scale to each of the sephira and paths of the Tree of Life near the end of the 19th century. There are four different color scales that they used, the Queen-scale, the King-scale, the Princess-scale, and the Prince-scale. These scales relate to the Four Kabbalistic Worlds. The scale most seen is the Queen-scale.