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Two hopefully quick alphabet questions

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Dave's Angel  Dave's Angel is offline
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Question Two hopefully quick alphabet questions


Hello everyone

I haven't been here for a while, I've been beavering away devotedly at my own stuff (well I say devotedly - blushes). I've run up against two random things that I'd appreciate some pointers on.


(1) Alternate version of the Tree of Life.

Somebody posted a diagram of it here a while back. There's the "standard" version of the Tree which I find in pretty much every book, where they've ordered the paths methodically going downwards from Kether. Then there's another one - and I've been limited Googling it because I don't know the name of this version - where the mother letters match the horizontal paths, the doubles match the verticals, and the other letters are on the diagonals.

What I am trying to find is some sort of resource (book? website?) that goes a little into why / how a particular Hebrew letter matches a path. For example I've found Israel Regardie's Garden of Pomegranates very useful because for each path it explains what the path is about, what the letter symbolises and hence why the two go together. Ideally I'd love a book that does the same thing with this other version of the tree.

Can anyone point me in a good direction? Thanks.


(2) Greek alphabet and Gnostic Aeons

I know the Greeks made a bit of a thing about how there were seven planets and seven vowels, and matched each vowel to a planet. I've got Edwin Allen Hulse's "The Key of it All" books (thank you Ross) and I've come across a section where he states that the Gnostics took the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet, added I-E-S-O-U-S to the end to make 30, and then compared that to the thirty Gnostic Aeons.

The thing is, Hulse gives a table with the Aeons going down one column, and the letters of the alphabet down the other, matching one Aeon to one letter. Did the Gnostics actually take it this far? Because I've found Hulse's work less than reliable many times, and from what I've read, it seems to me that they only went as far as making the number of letters match the number of Aeons - IE it was never a correlation of a letter to an Aeon.

Again, can anybody point me to books or websites that would clear up my uncertainty?



Thank you very much in advance.
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cardlady22  cardlady22 is offline
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Lurianic Tree?


I just ran into this version after purchasing Stephen Skinner's The Complete Magician's Tables, which mentions 5 arrangements.

http://www.kheper.net/topics/Kabbalah/Ari-tree.html (Isaac Luria)
http://www.kheper.net/topics/Kabbala...icKabbalah.htm has links to some other sites, but I don't know if they go into exactly what you were asking.
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Dave's Angel  Dave's Angel is offline
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Hello cardlady, thank you for these links.

I knew of the website and diagram already, but while I was noseying at the site again, I saw the link on one of the pages to "Lone Star Kabbalah". This site has a sidebar with a brief discussion of how each of the letters relate to their path on the Lurianic tree, and it was just what I was looking for.

Thanks again,

DA
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Hi Dave's Angel,

I'm glad Hulse has proven suggestive, if not entirely useful to you. He is unreliable - has to be checked in every assertion. The text hardly ever makes clear where he gets this or that from.

The alphabet + IHSOYS attribution to the Aeons is such a case. He seems too sure of it to have made it up, so all we can do is look at the sources he cites in the bibliography (and do our own digging around too).

For instance, he says that King's "The Gnostics and Their Remains" details the thirty Aeons. This text is online (in the public domain)
http://www.sacred-texts.com/gno/gar/index.htm

but I haven't found any such listing in that one (yet). Maybe some other will turn it up.

I've looked at the index entries for Aeons in Bentley Layton's "The Gnostic Scriptures" (Doubleday, 1987), which contains the biggest selection of primary texts in translation that I know of, along with introductory essays and notes, but I haven't found a list there.

I'll keep looking, interesting question. Thanks.

Ross
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Cool


Stuff for the other way to look at Ets Chaim: http://www.abardoncompanion.com/Book231/preface.htm

aka Gra Tree, as opposed to Luria Tree.

Note the number of paths connecting Malcuth.

(full parent index: http://www.abardoncompanion.com/Book231/index.htm)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Umbrae
Stuff for the other way to look at Ets Chaim: http://www.abardoncompanion.com/Book231/preface.htm

aka Gra Tree, as opposed to Luria Tree.
You know, that is a very luring view (replacing the -a of Luria with -ng). But I have a bone to pick with it, based on Da'at, the pseudo- or quasi-Sefirah omitted in the Gra but present in Kabbalah.

It seems beyond doubt that the 'straight' version of Sefirot arranged in triads (i.e. the conventional Tree, which I take as that of the Yetzirah world) was originally . . .

- 1 -
3 - 2
- 4 -
6 - 5
- 7 -
9 - 8
-10-

. . . and not . . .

- 1 -
3 - 2
- 6 -
5 - 4
- 9 -
8 - 7
-10-

. . . wherein number has to 'jump levels' and 'back up' (4 jumps one level, 6 backs up a level, 7 jumps 2 levels, 9 backs up one, and 10 jumps one).

To me, the essence of the teaching of the 'breaking of the vessels' in Lurianic Kabbalah is that Sefirot 4-9 each descend one step, leaving 10, which cannot, squeezed down into the lower half of the step it was on.

The meaning behind it is apparently that the original pattern of 1 producing male and female as aspects of itself is altered (below 3) into male and female coming from perceived separation to produce neutral unity (potential offspring), with the first such triad producing only what is sought (i.e. one offspring, agreed upon by both sexes) but the second producing a divided or paired offspring (i.e. in which male and female do not agree on the result). It becomes, in other words, an utterly reliable map of emotion's interplay with both the sexes and the sexless.

Also, I feel confirmed in the above opinion by several indications arising from deeper analysis of Kabbalah, the most important of which is this:

(A) As the first ten spokes of the 12-spoke wheel of time, the Sefirot begin in up, 4 is straight out (called Lovingkindness in both the Bahir and Zoharic tradition), 7 is straight down (called Holy Palace in the Bahir), and 10 is straight in or within (the Kingdom), completing the conversion of ain ('naught', associated with 1-Keter) into ani ('I', associated with 10-Malkut).

(B) The three tetrads ('crosses' of 4 signs, in their primordial sense) generated by the first three signs of that wheel signify, respectively, the upright or neutral (cardinal), the male or what leans forward, and the female or what leans back in response. The male and female have been renamed 'fixed' and 'mutable' in astrology (probably in hopes all males would get vasectomies), where male and female now refer, respectively, to the macrocosmic and microcosmic hexads (hexads based on the vertical axis, which extends forever, and the horizontal axis, which is limited to the body because going out from the body it must bend with earth's curvature to remain horizontal, making it no longer an axis but a curve).

(C) Therefore, when the wheel is spun and the Atzilut world's spokes become the angles or forms of the Yetzirah world (where the Great Work is to be performed), those in the manifested or lower half are carried by that spin to the next sign, which shifts the second cardinal to male, the second male to female, the second female to cardinal, and so on.

[Edited to add:] Oh, and the relevance of Da'at to all this is that it is simply the fourth sign (straight out towards other, the Lovingkindness of Atzilut) after its abandonment by the number 4, which has been carried (along with man's lovingkindness) by time's maelstrom to the fifth sign (end of fourth angle) and become male. It is called 'knowledge' (da'at) because it is straight out -- 'the straight dope' -- a direction we humans no longer see with our eyes, our view distorted by thoughts arising from the seeking of self-knowledge in everything but oneself.

One final note: if there is merit to the Lurianic approach, meaning mothers-to-horizontals, doubles-to-verticals, and simples-to-diagonals, then I see it as one of two 'correct' (i.e. actually handed-down) versions, the other being the letter-path (but not trump-path, of course) correlation used in Hermetic Kabbalah, for reasons I have stated elsewhere. But I don't see the reasoning behind Luria's distribution of the simples, nor do I accept his allocation of the doubles necessarily, though at least he keeps voiced stops opposite unvoiced equivalents.
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I should add that if there are two 'correct' versions, then perhaps the Hermetic one is the one that molded nature to her present form (which is logical), hence the Tree of descent, with the Lurianic version, since Lurianic Kabbalah calls it the 'tree of return', being the one by which man might 're-ascend' (i.e. in order to restore the original true or 'straight' version . . .

- 1 -
3 - 2
- 4 -
6 - 5
- 7 -
9 - 8
-10-

). This, of course, opens up an entire can o' worms, one which I might find appetizing had I time (and I may someday).
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