Tag Archives: tree of life

Tree of Life corporate organizational chart

Back in the 90s, I was involved in a corporate reorganization at a large regional Internet service provider. As part of that, I started to sketch out my ideas of how that reorganization would look in my division. The chart I created started to look a lot like the Tree of Life. So, I followed that idea until I actually had illustrated a full organizational chart, including management and c-level positions, and with formal and informal communication lines. A few years later I revisited the idea and refined it some more. I found myself thinking about it again recently, and so I offer it here as a curiosity, without further commentary.

isp-corporate-org-chart

William Blake and the Tree of Life

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews William Blake and the Tree of Life by Laura DeWitt James:

Laura DeWitt James' William Blake and the Tree of-Life from Shambhala

 

This slender collection of interlinked essays was originally published as William Blake: The Finger on the Furnace in 1956. The Californian author, about whom I have been able to discover very little, was evidently the founder of a small, initiatic “Blake Society” of three degrees, that convened for some years before her book was first issued (this per research by Keri Davies). It is easy to imagine the contents of the volume in hand serving as instructions to aspirants in such a context.

James quotes extensively from Blake’s prophecies, and it is never entirely clear what she asserts to be the formal connection (if any) between Blake and the Qabalah (sic). The spelling of the latter, and the fact that she cites no Jewish or secular scholarship to support her remarks about it, suggested to me that her own knowledge of it (which seems robust and largely accurate) was derived from occult sources. And indeed, in the final essay on “Sweet Science,” she does indicate occultist and Thelemite Charles Stansfeld Jones (under his byline of “Frater Achad”) as an important “student of the Qabalah” (110).

Although she addresses herself explicitly to the “beginner in Blake,” James’s exposition is dense and tersely allusive. She several times mentions grail symbolism, without going into much explanation of why such a matter should be of interest to the Blakean or the qabalist. In the longest essay, “Vertical Disaster: A Study of the False Tongue beneath Beulah,” she offers a fairly provocative set of claims regarding esoteric human anatomy.

I was in fact relieved that this book was free of the sort of wild biographical speculation that has characterized recent works on Blake by scholars of esotericism. James confines herself to the ideas, and terrific ideas they are. At the same time, this book will offer the most satisfaction to readers with some mystical aspirations of their own, and literary scholars are likely to find it somewhat frustrating. [via]

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Qabalistic Ritual Construction

Scott Stenwick has posted about the use of Aleister Crowley‘s Liber 777, which was built on Allan Bennett‘s Golden Dawn correspondences, for the construction of rituals over on Augoeides at “Qabalistic Ritual Construction“, and linked to the PDF of Liber 777 vel Prolegomena Symbolica Ad Systemam Sceptico-Mysticæ Viæ Explicandæ, Fundamentum Hieroglyphicum Sanctissimorum Scientiæ Summæ and Liber O vel Manus et Sagittae sub figurâ VI at the library.

“I’ve gotten a few questions via e-mail recently regarding the use of Aleister Crowley’s Liber 777 for the construction of rituals such as the various planetary rites I have posted on this blog. My old site was the home of the following article, and I’m reposting it here because the only way to link to it prior to now was to dig into the Internet Archives. Building rituals using Liber 777 is not nearly as complex as it seems at first when you pick up the book and flip through the tables. It is my hope that this article will lay out the process in more explicit detail and dispel some of that confusion.

Aleister Crowley’s Liber 777 provides a system of correspondences for the construction of magical rituals. It is based on the Tree of Life as found in Hermetic Qabalah, a synthetic system that originated in the Renaissance period and which combines the Jewish mysticism of the period with Christian and alchemical ideas and symbolism. Crowley’s correspondences probably began as a list assembled by Allan Bennett for use with the Golden Dawn system of magick, but Crowley expanded the tables so that they include more associations and are in harmony with the philosophy and principles of Thelema.” [via]

165×93

165x93
165×93, originally uploaded by Kyla Dawn Clay.

 

“We offer these 165-sixfold combinations of 93 in a purely numerical template. But these numbers may be substituted for any 26 letter simplex value system. This spreadsheet was put together in an ascending order but when read from right to left and from top to bottom, the Light descends. Notice that from these multiples the mystical or triangular numbers of the Sephiroth appear, Kether through Yesod.”

 

The Hermetic Library visual pool is a visual scavenger hunt for images of a living Western Esoteric Tradition. Images of your ritual or ritual space, images of sigils or tools, showing off your own library or special volume from the restricted stacks, sacred spaces and places, esoteric artefacts and installations, inspired paintings and people — these and much more are part of the culture and practice of magick. If you would like to submit your work for consideration as part of the visual pool, head over to the Hermetic Library visual pool or contact the librarian.

Psychosynthesis from Problems on the Path of Return by Mark Stavish, M.A. in Vol 3 No 1 of Caduceus.

“How one makes these attempts at parallels between the Tree of Life and psychological models such as presented by Psychosynthesis is somewhat arbitrary. Exact matches across the board rarely occur. Function is what designates similarity, and function in Kabbalah is often a matter of perspective more than anything else. Several models exist for placing the Worlds on the Tree as well as their psycho-spiritual functions. The models put forth by Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi are quite different from the generally accepted Golden Dawn models of the psyche. However, since it is these models, derived from interpretations of late 19th and early 20th century British occultism that most students are familiar with, it is their designations of the Worlds and Sepherotic functions that will be applied.” [via]

Psychological Effects of Pathworking from Problems on the Path of Return by Mark Stavish, M.A. in Vol 3 No 1 of Caduceus.

“The effects of pathworking are to greater or lesser degree well documented. Once the basic concepts of what each sphere represents in terms of psychological elements on the Tree of Life is understood, then the links which they form are realized either through ritual, mythological metaphor, meditation, or a combination of the above. However, in the rush to realize magical powers, altered states of awareness, celestial beings, and interior worlds, one of the most significant and important facts of pathworking and all magical work in general is often overlooked.” [via]

Egyptian Magic in Egyptian Magic by Florence Farr.

“We may now perceive dimly how the Egyptians conceived the seed of the Tree of Life-Eternal to be implanted in the heart of each man or woman born on earth; how it can wither and fade; how it can be cultivated until the man becomes either an Evil Demon or a God.” [via]

Tree Of Life With Tarot Cards

 

The Hermetic Library visual pool is a visual scavenger hunt for images of a living Western Esoteric Tradition.

Images of your ritual or ritual space, images of sigils or tools, showing off your own library or special volume from the restricted stacks, sacred spaces and places, esoteric artefacts and installations, inspired paintings and people – these and much more are part of the culture and practice of magick.

Anthropocene

The Economist [also] online has recently added a couple articles from their recent issue about the impact of humans on the planet, and the suggestion that we might be moving into an Anthropocene Age, an age of man.

“Rather than placing us still in the Holocene, a peculiarly stable era that began only around 10,000 years ago, the geologists say we are already living in the Anthropocene: the age of man.” [via]


Of course, this reminds me of the human centered philosophy of Thelema, and the works of Aleister Crowley, not the least of which is Liber OZ, Book 77, of which a key statement is:

“There is no god but man.” [via]

Then again, one thing that seems to me to be missed when most people talk about this is that with privilege comes duty, but in these articles about a speculative Anthopocene Age there is effort to make clear the responsibility that entails for human actions on Earth.

“The Anthropocene is different. It is one of those moments where a scientific realisation, like Copernicus grasping that the Earth goes round the sun, could fundamentally change people’s view of things far beyond science. It means more than rewriting some textbooks. It means thinking afresh about the relationship between people and their world and acting accordingly.” [via]

Thinking fresh can be a great idea, and this is definitely a secular as well as scientific example of the reversal of not just a way of thinking but also a way of acting.

“For centuries, science has progressed by making people peripheral. In the 16th century Nicolaus Copernicus moved the Earth from its privileged position at the centre of the universe. In the 18th James Hutton opened up depths of geological time that dwarf the narrow now. In the 19th Charles Darwin fitted humans onto a single twig of the evolving tree of life. As Simon Lewis, an ecologist at the University of Leeds, points out, embracing the Anthropocene as an idea means reversing this trend. It means treating humans not as insignificant observers of the natural world but as central to its workings, elemental in their force.” [via]

The notion that humans are a kind of elemental force should have resonance with anyone who’s studied esotericism, and the notion of the fifth power of the sphinx, the power to go, as an initiatory power; which in turn can be corresponded to the fifth element of the Western elemental model. This in some ways brings the story full circle by turning the secular and scientific notion of a new Anthropocene Age toward the scientific illuminism which is part of a New Aeon current. In an Anthropocene Age it might quite clearly follow that the age is one of rapid change due to instability in the way the world works; but, that can be an advantage, like the inherent and intentional instability of modern fighter aircraft in order to increase maneuverability, that merely is part of the increased opportunity for the advancement of the human race as part and participant in the world, seen and unseen, human and more than human.