In the last few years, Qabala has become popular in the world at large as various celebrities such as Madonna and Elizabeth Taylor have begun their studies in a very public way. Qabala, Qabalah, Kabalah, QBL and Cabalah are all variations on the spelling of the same word. But just exactly what is it? The word Qabala literally means "From mouth to ear". It was originally an oral tradition and its first origins remain unknown. It is a 'wisdom' teaching and is seen as an essential means and framework for accelerating spiritual growth as a tool and a map of the Universe, the Macrocosm, and the Human Microcosm.

Qabala is a vital part of Western Mystery Tradition and has been called the Yoga of the West. It is especially suited to the mind of westerners as a means of understanding and accessing the Divine. Qabala is a map, a chart, a philosophy and a way of understanding our inner and psychological, spiritual selves.

The main symbol or glyph of the Qabala is called The Tree of Life. It's a Mandala, an archetypal symbol of wholeness common to many cultures. The eminent psychologist Carl Jung talked of mandalas and their spontaneous emergence in healing patients. The Tree of Life is a magical symbol like the diagram of a wiring circuit, only instead of electricity we are working with spiritual power and energy. We still don't understand exactly how electricity works but we are able to harness and make use of its power in the same way we seek to harness the spiritual force within us through the use of Qabala.

The Tree of Life is made up of 10 Spheres or Sephiroth (singular for Sepiroth is sephira) and one hidden Sephira, Daath, along with the pathways that link each Sephira to one another, allowing the current of Divine energy to flow up and down the Tree, manifesting both on the physical plane and the spiritual plane. In this series, we'll begin at the root of the Tree with the Sephira, MALKUTH.

Malkuth symbolizes the entire physical world and the 4 elements. The Yetziratic text calls Malkuth the "Resplendent Intelligience because it is exalted above every head and sits upon the Throne of Binah" meaning that Malkuth is the supreme manifestation of the form that was first conceived as a potential in the Supernal or archetypalWorld. According to Gareth Knight it is exalted above every head because it is the end result of the divine impulse into manifestation, the spiritual pattern made manifest in the physical world. This is why one of its titles is the Inferior Mother, in other words, it is the physical manifestation of the potential of the Great Mother, Binah. The word inferior has connotations of not as good as and this is not what is meant by the word. Read it as lesser, as in the daughter of Binah. This is another example of the necessity of looking beyond semantics when studying QBL.

The magickal image of Malkuth is that of a woman crowned & throned, this is the final Heh in the Divine name of God Yod Heh Vav Heh and this image is considered the Daughter of the Divine Mother. The God name is Adonai Malekh or Adonai ha Aretz meaning Lord of the Earth. The Planet of Malkuth is Earth and some of the titles of Malkuth are The Gate; The Gate of Death; The Gate of the Shadow of Death; Gate of Justice; Inferior Mother; Malkah the Queen and the Bride. The experience of Malkuth is the Knowledge of and Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel sometimes thought of as the Higher Self. Symbols are the Double cubed altar; the Equal Armed Cross; the Circle and the Triangle. Gods & Goddesses associated with Malkuth are all Earth deities such as Ceres, Demeter, Attis and Cernunnos.

The various titles calling Malkuth the Gate refer to the fact that the experiences of the physical world are things that we 'go through' - birth into this world; death which is a birth into another world; justice - karma that we incur and that we act upon on the physical plane.

The English translation of Malkuth is "The Kingdom" as in the kingdom of the body & the senses as well as the kingdom of Kether (the Sephiroth at the top of the Tree of Life) or physical manifestation of Kether, for Malkuth and Kether are reflections of each other. In Hebrew Mal means royal and Kuth means vulva, so the Royal Vulva is the Gateway of Manifestation of spirit into the physical, figuratively as well as literally.

The experience of Malkuth of the Holy Guardian Angel is the uniting of our true, higher, inner selves with our ego self. That moment of bliss when we know deep within that we are all creatures of spirit and united with all things - this is the "Resplendent" consciousness we strive to achieve in the manifest, mundane world of Malkuth.

The altar is a symbol of the transmission of pure energy into matter; the Equal Armed Cross shows the 4 elements which make up the balance of Earth, the 4 worlds, the 4 directions, etc; the Circle contains energy and represents the cycles of physical manifestation upon the Earth; the Triangle is the triangle of manifestation that magicians use to draw into physical form the energies which they contact.

Suggested Exercises to understand and experience Malkuth:

  1. Sit quietly and begin rhythmic breathing. Concentrate on each of your senses one at a time: See, really SEE the objects in the room, not only their physical form, but the energy which make them up; Feel the material on the chair or on your clothes; Listen to the everyday sounds around you or the magic of the music you have on; Taste some tea or fruit or whatever and concentrate on the experience; Smell the tea or fruit or concentrate on the smell of incense that you may be using. Be totally mindful of each of these experiences as you do them. Now close your eyes and remembering your experiences of your senses, extend your Sense of being into the room, encompassing all that is there, now outdoors, expanding further and further until you are extended out to the stars themselves. Breathe and begin to contract again bringing yourself again totally into your body.
  2. Play with the energy currents of your body. Create and play with a ball of energy between your hands. Concentrate on different parts of your body and feel them fill with heat. Become aware of your breath as energy - fill yourself with energy and let it cleanse and balance each cell of your body.
  3. Study the stories and lessons of an Earth deity, write an invocation to them, meditate on their symbols.
  4. Meditate on the Earth as sacred.

RITUAL WORKING FOR MALKUTH:

This working helps you to make contact with Elemental forces. Before the working choose a crystal or stone to represent Malkuth that you will charge with energy:

Air, sylphs - rhythmic breathing, enlarge the aura with each breath, become lighter and more expansive, allow subtle body to float comfortably on the vibrations of the bell. Commit to opening your awareness and being conscious of the interconnection of all life. Note any resistance you may have.

Fire, salamanders - concentrate on the heart, feel its beating, its rhythm. Become aware of the blood rushing thru your body, warming and feeding each cell. Let the head, feet, hands and spinal column heat up, imagining fire in each of these locations. Vow to use your energies actively to create the life you wish to lead. Now note any resistance you may have.

Water, undines - Take a drink of water. Water is Life. Feel it flowing down into your stomach, cooling you and soothing you. Feel it flowing out to each cell and beyond into your energy field, calming and cool. Intuit that you have access to the ageless wisdom, you are its heir, you have only to calm yourself, quiet down and allow the silence within you to speak. Listen to it now. Promise to use this quiet voice to aid in your decisions and actions. Note any resistance you may have.

Earth; gnomes - hold object brought in hands, close eyes and begin to breath energy into object while warming it in the hands. Fill with energy and offer this object to Gheb, the king of gnomes, to ground the intention of manifesting spirit into matter thru your work. Note any resistance you may have.

Stand, then walking slowly clockwise, drawing up energy from the earth, bring the energy up through your body and out your hands, filling your crystal with power, stamina, endurance and commitment. When the crystal is full, bring it up to your heart. When you are ready, begin intoning the word Malkuth and hold the crystal up to the sky then place it closely in front of you on the floor. Relax and allow any excess energy in your body to drain down into the earth. Leave the crystal on the floor over night to absorb additional energy directly with the earth.