The ninth sephirot represents Self Reflection; it’s a sort of spiritual funnel that gathers all that came before it, from the top of the Tree of Life, and assembles it into what will become Reality in the tenth sephirot below it.
In the realm of Earth (or, Material Reality), 9 symbolizes a reflection upon the harvest that was recently gathered–looking upon all that has been sown and consequently gained.
It’s a celebration of the journey to this point, and a wonderful reminder to practice gratitude for all that we have.
Judgment crosses sephirots 8 to 10.
It moves us from a sense of willing submission to the absolute completion of a new Reality, built upon what has come before.
It is the essence of being taken forward to some Ultimate Conclusion, without our say in the matter. Still, the sephirot 8 implies a purposeful Action to submit on our part;
it is this purposeful action of Submission (8) that is our say.
Both Judgement and the Moon lead to the same place (10: a conclusion of cumulative Reality). But they bypass the filter of 9, so they arrive on different sides of the same Reality.
Sometimes we welcome this emotionally, sometimes we fight against it, although it is our Action of Submitting (8) ourselves to another that allows it. The Ultimate Reality awaiting us at 10 is still where we are being taken.
Likewise, 8 to 10 is a mirror reflection of 1 to 3 (The Magician)…
The Magician takes the pure inspiration he’s been given and applies deductive reasoning… he amplifies and magnifies this knowledge to where he can reconstruct it and use it for his own purposes.
With Judgment, we hold back, Submit to circumstance and observe Reality unfold on its own.
Adaptation and growth are all around me now. I must look inward and trust my subconscious, don’t look to the past for answers, and remain in the present.
Set your mind on things above…
- The Star starts at the Supernal Triangle, on the Pillar of Action and Creation…
- …crosses the Great Abyss (the point at which subconscious interactions with the Source crosses into Intent)…
- …and ends on the Pillar of Mildness in the Ethical Triangle, where we form our interpersonal intentions.
(See “Segmenting the Tree of Life“…)
Bridging from sephirots 2 to 6, the Star is the pathway that takes a spark of inspiration (some knowledge bestowed upon us directly from the Universe), and then, without any further thought or deductive reasoning (simply mirroring that spark), we use that inspiration to balance and filter our Intentions.
“Reconnecting your soul to the divine.”
Thus, this arcanum is thought of as the embodiment of Hope–when we base our balanced intentions upon the spark of inspiration we are looking to. And, in this manner, our Intentions are balanced because we are setting our sights on the “divine”, as opposed to merely reacting to our physical surroundings.
I wanted to share an inspiring Tarot Tale I received today…
At this moment in my life I’m going through a lot of mental turmoil, for various reasons, a lot of it medical… but there is a light on the horizon. 😉
My cards today reminded me of the nature of Thought and suggested an alternative approach. I used the 5-card spiritual progress spread…
- Where I am right now: Cruelty (9 of Swords)
- My central lesson: Defeat (5 of Swords)
- Influences encouraging growth: King of Earth
- Influences against growth: Truce (4 of Swords)
- What I should do: Virtue (3 of Wands)
So right now I seem to be stuck in constant self-reflection on my own Thoughts. (Which is definitely true.) :p There needs to be new inspiration (sometimes from outside myself) breathed into my mind to free me from the never-ending cycle. Thus, the need for mental Defeat.
This 5 of Swords can mean Defeat of the querent by others (or themselves), or the querent is perhaps poised to defeat others… either way it’s a mental defeat of ideas and thoughts–a loss of Ideals–and it friends on the context of the spread.
For me, it’s definitely speaking to a need to lose my own current ideals. Therefore, Truce among my own thoughts is not going to help me grow past this.
Notice what is supposed to help me grow, however: allowing my Fire of ambition to feed upon and reshape my physical Reality (King of Pentacles), being careful of course not to utterly destroy my surroundings with too much flame…
And then we come to “what I should do”: Virtue. Recall that Binah is the growth of deductive reasoning about an element to the point that we are able to construct a framework of understanding upon which we further build that element’s journey. So the recommendation here is to focus on my Ambition (my Fire) to the point that I’m able to interrupt my current state of mind with a newly built framework of values, based on my ambition. This offers a way to break my cycle of self-cruelty in thinking.
As often happens, a “bad” card isn’t necessarily a bad thing for us, but instead can clear the way for us to move forward. 🙂
The concept of the third sephirot of Binah can be expressed as “davar mitoch davar” — understanding one idea from another idea. Binah multiplies the original seed of an Element to the point that a framework of Understanding of that element is built. (Source)
Framework of Understanding is the key point I want to focus on today.
I have to admit– I LOVE researching a topic in-depth if it relates to an awesome project I’ve got going… 😉 I need that thrill of creating something amazing to drive me into researching a topic inside and out!
Here’s a fun aside for you, to give an example from my current life: I am in the middle of researching a multi-faceted look at India during the Emergency as well as studying the epic of the Ramayana… all for the purpose of creating my first opera!!! I am super stoked!!!
(PS: I highly recommend this book I stumbled on, if you’re interested in reading a complete and lyrical retelling of the epic poem…)
What occurred to me today is how research works to create a framework upon which a new Reality (of knowledge) is built.
Continue reading “Featured Sephirot: Binah”
The Hierophant (or sometimes known as The Pope, or Shaman) lies along the branch connecting 2 and 4, on the Pillar of Creativity or Assertiveness. He crosses the Great Abyss:
The Abyss marks the point at which subconscious interactions with the Source crosses into Intent — how we decide to use this knowledge in regard to our dealings with others.
So we can think of this Major Arcana as representing an establishment or codification of our own values — these are based upon a simple reflection of received inspiration from the Source (without any extra reasoning), that can then be passed onward to others in order to bring a community together.
But remember, the Hierophant can only reach as far as the Intentional and Interactive Plane. What each individual does with that shared Intent (bringing it to the Triangle of Action) is up to them.
I am continually fascinated by the Major Arcanum, The Devil — he seems to show up in a lot of my daily spreads. 🙂 It’s taken me a while to finally get a better grasp on what he typically means in my life…
The Devil branches from the 6th sephirot to the 8th on the Tree of Life. This indicates a few important aspects of his character:
Another way to think of Hod (sephirot 8) is the allowing of chaos to occur while we simply observe it; we submit and watch it unfold. Or, if 7 represents the raw energy needed to make things happen in our lives, 8 represents the physical form we assign to the Ineffable Energy in order to better connect with it and call upon it for practical use.
So I have come to understand my friend, The Devil, as an archetype of submission to my Shadow Self. (Notice in the imagery of Baphomet the presence of male and female, animal and human…indicating that we are All at all times…)
Coming from a place of Balanced Interpersonal Interaction, the Devil is the name we give our nature when it releases itself from dogmatic control and we submit to our gut instincts. We experiment and see what happens, without apology. Notice the two children, one chained and the other holding the chains– we are in control of our own selves. Though we may feel chained by circumstance, this card reminds us that it is we who hold our own chains…
Ultimately, when the Tree guides us through 8 via the Devil, to the 9th sephirot of Self-Reflection, we find ourselves walking in the Sun… the two children of our nature have broken the chains that bound us and found even greater liberty than we’d had before.