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Filipes;; "Hebrew" TOL...some questions

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Pelops  Pelops is offline
Join Date: 06 Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Filipes;; "Hebrew" TOL...some questions

This is my first post so I'll give a quick intro:

I've been dabbling for the last 3-4 years or so in a mystical mish mash, have recently decided to utilize a laymen's knowledge of Tarot/Kabbalah for creative persuits, have been extremely frustrated and overwhelmed and getting too obsessed in research when perhaps I shouldn't.


I have been going over for some time and have found the information at times helpful and at times frustrating. The one thing that I do take from it pretty seriously is the association of the letters with metaphysical concepts splattered over this webpage:

Also, as a decision after facing the multitude of all-imperfect-in-some-way attributions of letters to the tree and trying to create my own (with mem, sheen, and aleph spewing from kether...which seemed to make sense to me as these are elementals (and my reasoning went, therefore more fundamental than singles/doubles and therefore should come from Kether...anyhow...) I made a decision (or at least I think I did) to use what has come under my understanding as the traditional Hebrew layout of the Kabbalah seen here:

My question is:

On this tree and with the metaphysical properties associated with the letters on the page, the utilization of Beth, Gimmel, and Dallet at the "top" of the tree makes complete sense to me as a container of circumstances that needs to be before Heh comes from Kether...however...after Tipharet it would seem to make more sense to me to align Kaf, Lamed, and Mem in a similiar (albeit not EXACTLY similiar, but still "containeresque") way with Mem where it is and Kaf and Lamed on opposite sides like Gimmel and Dalet up top...this would seem to set up the circumstances for Noun to come from Tipharet like Heh exploded from Kether. Also, this seems likely supported by what I understand to be Jacob's Ladder, where Kether in one world is the Tipharet of the World above.

Any help here would be appreciated...

I had a reason to mention Filipes in the title, but it now eludes me. Of course his Tarot attributions and those at (Suares' from what I can tell) are dissimiliar...and I feel a friction there,,,I like each for different reasons. Perhaps if some of you could share your views on these two systems it may spark some of my own thinking into motion.

By the way, I really enjoy this forum. I have particularly enjoyed the posts of kwaw, filipes, jmd, and venicebard (whom I wish had a website or at least an extended posting on his musings of the older alphabet's relationship to everything - that's a request, venicebard).

Top   #1
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jmd  jmd is offline
Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 8,502

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There are a few different kinds of possible questions tha could perhaps be separated out.

On the one hand is the correlation between Hebrew letters and the Atouts of the Tarot.

The is totally incorrect when it titles its table as 'Native Positions of the Tarot According to the Sepher Yetsira'. The Sefer Yetzirah has no mention, implicit nor explicit, of Tarot.

Further, the correlations it proposes are another variant amongst many. Mark Filipas's suggestion is a very straightforward (and I would claim very sensible) correlation of the Marseille-type pattern, in order, with the Fou at the end, against the natural order of the alphabet.


The second question that can be teased out is where (if anywhere) the Hebrew letters may be placed on the Tree of Life.

Here, if one takes the primacy of the Sefer Yetzirah as important, it could be noted that they are claimed to be placed in a circle (or circles, or spheres) - not on any so-called linking paths.

To be fair, however, there are versions of the Tree of Life that are themselves circular, and it could be viewed that by placement of the letters on the adjoining circles, an equivalence to 'paths' results. Also, it can be noted that some Kabalists also place the letters on a variant of the Tree of Life that also has 22 'paths', presented differently the the GD-preferred Kircher version.

The version you show is only one amongst many, and is no more 'traditional' than the other versions. I am here pointing out also that at times the word 'traditional' is used incorrectly to infer 'universally accepted' or 'the true one' - the version posted is certainly not 'universally accepted' by Jewish Kabalists.


With regards to the third point, of beginning a process of letter correlations whereby the mother letters are seen as directly emanating from Keter, there is first a presumption of a Tree of Life model that is either of the Kircher form, or at least having a triple 'path' linking it to three other Sefirot (usually Hockmah, Binah and Tifaret).

This has, in my view, as much to recomment it as any of the other suggestions I have seen. What would be useful is to see, from that, how the other letters 'progress', or what characterises the doubles, for example.

For example, it could be that the seven doubles (using the Kircher model of the Tree of Life) all emanate from Tifaret (the top line already used for one of the mothers).

This would leave the other twelve lines to cater to the twelve single letters.
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Pelops  Pelops is offline
Join Date: 06 Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 9


Agreed that oversteps its bounds with that statement, and that is hardly an isolated incident in the overall content of the page.


I apologize for the use of the word traditional...I in no way intended the implication of superiority, I had run into it far more often than others, so I considered it more standardized, and had also come across information that that particular attribution was older. Older and more accessible led me to use traditional, perhaps incorrectly. No superiority-slight was intended.


If I intend on going the route of the mother letters coming from Kether I have my own considerations about the other letters that conflict with your suggestion. However, the point is well taken, and it's obvious how individual this all becomes.

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I may in the future post a version of my own letter attributions to the tree to see if I am standing on solid ground (that is, not correct or incorrect, but at least able to make a convincing argument to support the attributions).

Thanks again-

Top   #3
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kwaw  kwaw is offline
Join Date: 29 Dec 2003
Location: Nr. Ephesus, Turkey
Posts: 5,400

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Grid of 10 rows/circles & 22 columns/radii

There are 55 emblems among the pips in each suit, and 4x55=220, or 10x22:


♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣ ♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠
♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♥♥ ♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠ ♦♦
♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♥♥♥ ♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠ ♦♦♦
♣♣♣♣♣♣♣♥♥♥♥ ♠♠♠♠♠♠♠ ♦♦♦♦
♣♣♣♣♣♣♥♥♥♥♥ ♠♠♠♠♠♠ ♦♦♦♦♦
♣♣♣♣♣♥♥♥♥♥♥ ♠♠♠♠♠ ♦♦♦♦♦♦
♣♣♣♣♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ♠♠♠♠ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
♣♣♣♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ♠♠♠ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
♣♣♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ♠♠ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦


These can also be modeled as 220 gates on the concentric circle model mentioned elsewhere; which we can relate to the symbolism of Jacob's ladder, with its ascending and descending Angels, and also the (ptolomaic) celestial spheres through which the soul was said to descend and ascend on its journey and which we can find numbered in the middel ages from both outside in and inside out:

Sphere of:

Prime Mover 1 10
Fixed Stars 2 9
Saturn 3 8
Jupiter 4 7
Mars 5 6
Sun 6 5
Venus 7 4
Mercury 8 3
Moon 9 2
Sub-lunary elements / Earth 10 1

The 10x22 grid could thus be identified from its row/circle, and its column/radius by the 22 trumps 0-21. This is just one method, you can of course take the principle and adapt it to suit whatever your own secularly fixed set of preferences are; or consider that the elements of each cell are the variables of a process in constant states of change.

In the 22x10 grid, like the concentric circle model, there are 220 cells/gates interlinking each column/path with each row/sphere/sefiroth _ so any attribution you care to make requires no defence from that standpoint (that each path, column, radius is connected to each sphere/sefiroth).

Such a model or construction as above we may note could be made by a Christian of the middle ages without reference to 'cabbalah' at all

Top   #4



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