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What is Qabalah?

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Question What is Qabalah?


I've never heard of Qabalah before coming to this site. However, I am very attracted to a deck and in one of the reviews I read, it says that it tends to follow Qabalah. So, I have two questions. (just for the record, I'm looking at the Cosmic Tarot by Norbert Losche)

1. If a deck "follows" (not sure of the right word here) the qabalah "way" then how necessary is it to understand or "practice" qabalah? Sorry if my words and questions seem so naive, but I think my next question will explain why that is.

2. What in the world is qabalah? (Or can it be explained in simple terms?)

I looked around at the site and only saw numbers related to words that I've never seen before, and a bunch of "tree of life" posts. What IS the "tree of life" or how can I begin to learn from a beginners point of view on what qabalah is?

smiles, ok so that's 3 questions.

Thanks in advance for all your help.
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Sagittarian, let me offer you the link to Colin Low's Kabbalah FAQ which can tackle the last question at least.

http://www.digital-brilliance.com/kab/faq.htm

Also
http://www.webcom.com/hermit/tree/tree.htm
http://www.crystalinks.com/kabala.html

are some good examples of the Tree of Life.

~LAS
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In relatively simple terms, Qabalah stems from the Jewish mystical tradition. In about the twelfth century in what is now southern France, amongst the independent Cathar region, a strong school of thought developed which eventually resulted in both an earlier and quite small text (the Sefer Yetzirah) be deemed very important, and a new book(let) being published (the Bahir). Not much later, another very influential book was published in Spain (the Zohar), again forming the textual foundation of what began to be known as Qabalah.

Not much later, some Christian esotericists thought that conversion of the Jews could be made by especial considerations from this 'deeper' source, and a number of influential Christians then began to use aspects of this tradition - at times better informed than at others. Given that they usually wrote in Latin, various transliterations of the Hebrew term occurred, resulting in variations of spelling (is the first letter - Kof - of the Hebrew word - QBLH - the equivalent of the Latin C, K or Q? hence Cabala, Kabbalah, Qabalah).

Much later, note was taken (in the late 18th century) of the number equivalence between Hebrew letters (22 of them) and the number of cards in the Major Arcana. These were correlated in an influential way by Eliphas Levi (a Frenchman of Christian origin, despite his better known Hebrew rendition of his name) in the mid-1850s, which was in turn taken up by (amongst others) the foundation members of the Golden Dawn.

Most (but certainly not all) 'Qabalistic' Tarot correlations tend to arise from this development, where two things are of central importance: the letter correlations with the Major Arcana and the glyph of the Tree of Life. As this rather abstract Tree also has, according to some, particular arrangements upon which the letters may be placed (again, there are various renditions), it 'follows' that cards can also be placed thereon. The most popular version of this letter attribution and glyph of the Tree is the one given by Kircher, and adopted by the Golden Dawn.

Hope this rather long-winded post helps somewhat...
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thank you both very much!

Laurel, the first site link that you gave helped tremendously in breaking it down enough to understand what is going on. THANK YOU!

I haven't visited the other sites YET...smiles.
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This link may interset you :-)

http://64.176.11.226/tarot/tarot028.html
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Cool Nice place to start


Very interesting! Guess I've got a bit of reading to do!
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For anyone interested in starting this study group up again, I would like to bring your attention to an excellent resource. Click here for Kabbala #1 - What Is Kabbala?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilts_knave
For anyone interested in starting this study group up again, I would like to bring your attention to an excellent resource. Click here for Kabbala #1 - What Is Kabbala?
I would love to be part of a study group, that would be perfect as I just posted a thread regarding studying kabbalah
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I just picked up a Navigators deck that someone had given me a while back and I find myself wanting to learn the symbology of the Kabbala as I learn the deck. I'd certainly be interested in following a study group. Did I miss the beginning?
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No, you didn't miss anything. If you follow the link above the says "Click here for Kabbala #1 - What Is Kabbala?", you will find some Threads that are linked together (see the Threads links at the bottom of each initial post). I had stopped at the 6th one in the series due to lack of interest.
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