Hermetic Qabalah

While Qabalah is derived from the branch of mystical Judaism known by its alternative spelling of Kabbalah, this body of knowledge has been adapted over the last few centuries to the philosophies of Hermeticism. Today, Qabalah forms the structural framework for most practices in Hermetic theurgy as well as one of the theoretical pillars of the Art. This course provides experiential access to the precepts of Qabalah through meditation, ritual and pathworking (a form of guided meditation), and presents a variant of the Qabalistic Tree of Life that is based on teachings of the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn, a Thelemic, Pagan descendant of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Course materials

 We will discuss, briefly, the historical roots of the western esoteric Qabalah, which may be found in esoteric Judaism and in Neoplatonism. We will also touch upon the pre-Platonic philosophies that give the Hermetic practices the power that they possess within this tradition.

We explore meditative techniques which originate within the practices of Kabbalah (from Judaism) as well as those which were developed by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. These techniques provide the theurgist with the preliminary skills needed to delve more deeply within the roots of consciousness, and are a prerequisite for the more advanced visionary methods taught in the course.

We explore the place of the Qabalistic Tree of Life in the western tradition, including its use as a way to organize disparate systems of correspondences. These correspondences conceal a treasure trove of theurgic knowledge that, together with the chthonic visionary methods originating in shamanism, help to propel the theurgist into conscious communion with divinity.

The student is led through a series of pathworkings that explore the Tree of Life. A pathworking is a guided visualization whose purpose is to introduce the theurgist to symbolic realities that underlie the Tree in the Western tradition. It is unlike other forms of guided meditation in that it follows a strict sequence of imagery, whereas other forms are more free-form. The Western tradition includes both kinds of guided meditation, but pathworkings are almost unique to the Western system of magick.

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