Tarot and the Kabbalah: Lesson Two

By Gary Meister, CTM

Let’s look a little more closely at the Tree of Life this time. In order to understand the Kabbalah we need to understand the Tree. 

An important note, here: the Kabbalah does not personalize God (although it does offer many names for the Creator, to be used in ceremonies). In its teachings, the Creative Force is far above the concept of personality.  So, in the interest of being true to the Kabalistic teachings, I will be referring to It in non-personal ways during this course.  I’ll be referring to It as Creative Force, Infinite Intelligence, The All, The One, and so on.  Just know I am referring to the entity many of us call God, or Allah, or Brahma, or whatever you choose to call this Great Power.

First:  The Sephiroth.  These are the ten spheres of the Tree of Life. Sephiroth is a plural word for sephira, the singular form. For the purpose of this course, I’m going to get away from using traditional Hebrew words; I will, from this point on, refer to them as spheres.  (Interesting how close the words sephira and sphere come to each other, linguistically.)

Okay, according to the Kabbalah, these ten spheres are the building blocks of the Universe—very much like atoms.  These are the ten stages involved in all creative works, whether the Creation of Everything by The One Force, or the creation of a project you create from beginning to end, to the creation of the atoms of the air we breathe.  

These are the spheres (I’m using English titles, rather than Hebrew, for clarity):

I Crown (Potential)

II Wisdom (Intention)

III Understanding (Belief)

IV Mercy (Compassion)

V Severity (Rules & Laws)

VI Beauty (Harmony)

VII Victory (Victory)

VIII Splendor (Intellect)

IX Foundation (Emotion)

X Kingdom (Manifestation)

Before I start traveling down the tree—to make things easy for you—I’m attaching a study card to run with all the lessons. It will have all the meanings you need for this course (providing, of course, you decide to use my meanings). That way I won’t have to use up precious space in these lessons to keep reminding you of the meanings I’m using. 

Sphere I, The Crown:  At this point, in creation, there is nothingno-thing. There is awareness but nothing to be aware of!  This is the very beginning of  the Creation of Everything.  Nothing but limitless awareness with nothing to be aware of.  Can you imagine the colossal loneliness?

This unlimited Awareness is aware of the need to create in order to alleviate this loneliness, and its potential to do so.  And this is where it all starts…

We will put all four Aces in this position on the Tree of Life and give them the meaning Potential.  At least that’s what I’m using.  If I draw an Ace of Cups (relationships, etc.) in a reading, to me it will mean: there is the potential for a new relationship.  What will it mean for you?  You’re the reader.  Hmmm:  Seems I’ve heard that somewhere before

Now: Sphere II is named Wisdom.  Awareness has grown to the point where it is beginning to understand that It needs to create! It is acquiring Wisdom.  It knows, now, that It must form an intention in order to create anything. This is the same all along down the line, from the Top to the bottom. Without Intention, there is no incentive to create—and no power behind the creation.  We put the four twos in this sphere and give them the meaning Intention.  Or, of course, whatever you want to make them mean.  

(I’m not going to keep repeating that with every card; just understand that you have the right to have the cards mean whatever you want them to mean. You are the reader and you’ll be working with your own subconscious mind. I would recommend, though, that you keep the meanings close to mine in this course, so it will all hang together.)

Anyway, if I were to draw the Two of Swords in a reading—since Swords is the suit of thoughts, ideas and attitudes—I would say it means you need to develop a strong intention to follow through with your new ideas.  What would you say if you drew the Two of Pentacles—money, financial and material things?

Sphere III, Understanding: The Creative Force has now reached the Understanding of how to begin this creative process.  It has become Aware, but had nothing to be aware of. It developed the Intention to create something to focus the Awareness upon. It now Understands that the most important step in this (or any) creation is to Believe that it can be done.  We hear a lot about the Law of Attraction, recently, since the movie and book, The Secret, became such huge hits.  Well, Belief is the main ingredient in putting that Law to work.  Infinite Intelligence Understood that too. It Believed that it would create a new universe—and It did!  And—by Itself, and through us—It has continued to do so.  Creation never stops!

The same goes for us in our own creations on the material plane. Before we can bring about anything, we have to believe we can do it. Believe we can and we can! Believe we can’t and we CAN’T! It’s that simple. And, taking all the way back to a baby’s development… If you watch how many times a baby tries to do something until he finally gets it right, you’ve got to know he believes he can do it. Otherwise he’d become discouraged and give up long before the accomplishment was achieved. Belief ~ an absolute necessity!

We give the sphere, Understanding (Belief) to the Threes. In a reading, if I were to draw a Three of Wands (imagination, creativity, intuition), I might say: “Either you have or will soon have a very creative idea come to you.  Write it down, so you won’t forget it; this is a good idea!  Now: study it and develop an understanding of all it entails. When you’ve done that—if you decide to go ahead with the idea—believe in your ability to bring it about. You can do it, but only if you believe you can!

Sphere IV, Mercy:  Now: Universal Creative Mind became Aware of Itself. It developed the Intention to create something. It Believed It could do it! Now it was necessary to develop Compassion (Mercy on the Tree of Life) for both that which was being created and the Creator.

Because Universal Mind is Intelligence, everything It creates from Itself (for there is no other substance with which to form the created) must be intelligent to some degree. Being intelligent, these creations have the propensity to make mistakes. The Creator must have Compassion for the created because the created is an integral part of The Creator. And—The Creator must have Compassion for Itself, because the mistakes of the created could be thought of as mistakes of The Creator Itself. Compassion = Mercy, without it we could not function.

All the Fours go into Sphere IV and will carry the meaning, Compassion. What would you say to you client (or yourself) if you were to draw the Four of Pentacles.

Your assignment for this month, if you choose to accept it, is to separate all the Aces, Twos, Threes and Fours from the deck and work with each card using the meanings in the lesson and on the study card. These are just the Minor Arcana cards; we’ll deal with the Majors when we get to working the Paths.

Have a great month!

Bright Blessings,

Gary Meister, CTM

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