Qabala 101 - Part 2
This is Volume One Number 41
May 2, 2004
Several of you have asked which version of the
Sepher Yetzirah is the best. In my opinion, by
far the best commentary on the Sepher Yetzirah
is "Sefer Yetzirah - The Book of Creation In
Theory and Practice" (ISBN 0-87728-726-0) by
Aryeh Kaplan published by Samuel Weiser, Inc.
My review of this great book can be found at
The text I'm using can be read or downloaded at
We'll be reading Chapter One Section 2.
The number of spheres on the Tree of Life is said
to be ten and the name of these spheres is said to
be "Sephiroth" which basically means "emanation."
The Sepheroth are said to be "ineffable," which
means these emanations are too overwhelming or too
sacred to be expressed or described in words,
they are inexpressible. Yet we give each of them
one or more names and a number. Why?
Some commentators say the Creator instructed Adam
and those who followed Adam to give a name to
everything. Others claim it's for our convenience
as students of the Divine. Some think it's a
mistake to name and number the Sepheroth. My
feeling is we name and number them but we don't
begin to describe the power and majesty of these
sacred emanations. So we experience them.
As you read this second section, keep in mind the
Sepher Yetzirah is not a story, it's an outline
for lectures to be given by learned men - at the
time it was written only men were allowed to study
the Kaballah (Qabala) but today both men and women
lecture on the Qabala using this outline. That's
why, without any introduction at all, the second
sentence of this section talks about the paths
between the ten spheres.
There are twenty-two paths between the spheres
according to this outline. That was not always
true. In some of the older versions of the Tree of
Life, there were 18, 19, or 24 paths. There were
probably some other variations I don't know about.
But the authors are making an argument for
twenty-two paths by stating there are twenty-two
letters in the Hebrew alphabet.
These twenty-two letters are called "the
Foundation of all things." This means that
everything created is created on an individual
Tree of Life. Each person, each animal, each
plant, each rock, each part of each thing, each
organ, each branch, each bone, each mineral, each
and every cell is built upon the foundation of the
Tree of Life - a separate Tree for each thing. A
Tree for everything.
The twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet are
divided into three groups. The "Mother" letters
are assigned to Water, Air and Fire the three
elements before the manifestation of the fourth,
Earth. The seven double letters are assigned to
the seven planets of the ancients and the twelve
single letters to the twelve signs of the Zodiac.
The difference between single and double letters
is the double letters have both an unvoiced and a
voiced sound. I'll leave it to you to learn as
much as you want to learn about the Hebrew
language. In the meantime, have a great week.
Gnostic News is a publication of the Universal
Gnostic Church http://UniversalGnostic.com and Dr.
John Gilbert http://GnosticYoga.com Copyright by
John Gilbert and Universal Gnostic Church 2004.