Tarot Life Book 12: The Depth of Divinity

Tarot Life is a revolutionary way to change your life though the power of Tarot. In a series of 12 magical exercises, wi

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Tarot Life Book 12: The Depth of Divinity

Table of contents :
Authors Note:
About the Authors
The Divine
The Tarot Temple
Building a Tarot Temple
The Tree of Sapphires
Into the Kabbalah
The Key-Rites
The 10 Divinations
Divine Door 10: Malkuth
Divine Door 9: Yesod
Divine Door 8: Hod
Divine Door 7: Netzach
Divine Door 6: Tiphareth
Divine Door 5: Geburah
Divine Door 4: Chesed
Divine Door 3: Binah
Divine Door 2: Chockmah
Divine Door 1: Kether
Recommended Kabbalah Reading
Websites & Resources
Kindle Tarot Books & Series

Citation preview

TAROT LIFE BOOK 12 The Depth of Divinity

Authors Note: This is the concluding Month 12 of our 12-booklet Tarot Life series; you will require the previous Months 1-11 booklets to follow the sequence over the year. Most of the exercises in each booklet may be carried out as stand-alone pieces of self-discovery or re-purposed for use in daily, personal or client readings.

By Tali Goodwin & Marcus Katz

You are free to: Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

Contents WHAT OUR STUDENTS SAY … About the Authors Contents Introduction The Divine Chapter 1:

Building a Tarot Temple

Chapter 2:

Into the Kabbalah

Chapter 3:

The 10 Divinations

Chapter 4:

Divine Door 10: Malkuth

Chapter 5:

Divine Door 9: Yesod

Chapter 6:

Divine Door 8: Hod

Chapter 7:

Divine Door 7: Netzach

Chapter 8:

Divine Door 6: Tiphareth

Chapter 9:

Divine Door 5: Geburah

Chapter 10:

Divine Door 4: Chesed

Chapter 11:

Divine Door 3: Binah

Chapter 12:

Divine Door 2: Chockmah

Chapter 13:

Divine Door 1: Kether

Conclusion Bibliography Websites & Resources Kindle Tarot Books & Series

Marcus Katz, The Tarosophist & Tali Goodwin, TaliTarot

The Divine At first sight one would suppose this arrangement [of the Tarot] to be arbitrary, but it is not. It is necessitated, as will appear later, by the structure of the Universe, and in particular of the Solar System, as symbolized by the Holy Qabalah. This will be explained in due course. Aleister Crowley, The Book of Thoth, p. 3 In this booklet we will use the Jewish mystical system of Kabbalah as a map of the “divine”. As the word “divination” comes from that source, we must not be afraid to contemplate its meaning to ourselves. The Kabbalah has been utilized –as we will see later in this booklet – by many esotericists, and forms the basic structure for many of the major decks, such as the Waite-Smith and the Thoth. Rather than provide any prescriptive definition of the divine, though, we would rather ask you at this concluding gate to consider how the divine works in relationship to ten aspects of life. Find twenty minutes, and then shuffle and pull a card for each of the following questions: 1. Where does everything come from? 2. How does it all keep going? 3. How does it stay together? 4. What is love? 5. What is fear? 6. Where do I fit in?

7. What could I do? 8. What could I think? 9. What could I dream? 10. Where is everything going? When you have considered these questions and the cards that have answered you at this time, you might like to know that this sequence of questions is based simply on the “functions” of the Sephiroth in the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is the fundamental diagram of Kabbalah, and the Sephiroth are the ten aspects of the divine drawn as circles on the diagram. Each of those questions represents an aspect of the universe, as seen through the ten stages of the Tree of Life. Kabbalah teaches that the divine emanates through these ten “numerical emanations” (Sephiroth, plural, one of them is a Sephirah). In terms of this map, we must tread the way back to the divine by ascending up the Tree, going through each stage and answering each question. The answer to those questions, ultimately, is in the experience of the Divine itself. The Tarot, meanwhile, allows us to connect to that divine source through images – if everything is connected, then the Tarot is connected to everything.

ILLUS. Tree of Life with the Sephiroth You can lay out your ten cards in order from top to bottom in the pattern of the Tree of Life given, and see if there are interesting comparisons between pairs of cards across the Tree, or in the three vertical Pillars, or between cards 1 and 10, etc.

We next deepen our study here by presenting the names of the Sephiroth and their spelling in Hebrew letters (transliterated into English). This is something we are going to use to conclude our Tarot Life and set the groundwork if you wish to enter the Tarot Temple experience in a following year. Sephirah





Crown, diadem, to surround, beseige, wait, encompass



Wisdom, experience, knowledge, intelligence, insight, judgement, science, midwife



Understanding, insight, prudence, reason, discernment



Knowledge, insight, wisdom, understanding



Mercy, grace, piety, beauty, good-will, favour, benefit, love, kindness, charity, righteousness, benevolence, to do good



Strength, power, force, valour, courage, victory, might, God, hero



Beauty, splendour, magnificance, ornament, honour, glory, boast



Victory, splendour, glory, truth, power, firmness, confidence, eminence. Duration, perpetuity, eternity, lasting, enduring. To excel, be superior, strength, blood, to be chief. Music-master, precentor, to sparkle, shine, win.



Glory, splendour, majesty, renown, ornament, beauty



Foundation, base, ground, principle, compilation



Kingdom, dominion, realm, reign

Table. Names of Sephiroth and English Transliteration & Translation.

So the Hebrew for Malkuth are the characters which transliterate to Mem, Lamed, Kaph, Vau and Tau. These are represented as M, L, K, V, Th and pronounced as “Mal-kooth” or “mal-khut”. The word means “kingdom” and it is the title of the lowest Sephirah, the one in which all manifestation is finalized, and is the world of activity. It is also furtherest from the divine source, Kether, yet at the same time, one and the same in divine union. This is the paradox of the paths – if everything is one, why do we feel separate? Before we continue, we will provide an optional Tarot Ritual, which you can perform with your new personal deck, or with any deck. [Advanced Students: It is based on the Tarot cards that correspond to the first letter of each of the Sephiroth, so is a shorthand ritual that brings the light down the entire Tree].

The Tarot Temple Building a Tarot Temple Each card is, in a sense, a living being; and its relations with its neighbours are what one might call diplomatic. It is for the student to build these living stones into his living Temple. Aleister Crowley, The Book of Thoth, p. 48 The following ritual is a short-hand way of working to draw the divine light down the Tree of Life. It requires:

A table/altar Incense, placed on the table to the south A candle, placed on the table to the east A Tarot deck, placed on the table to the north A cup or chalice with drink; water or wine, placed in west An active imagination! First we take the short-hand first letter of each of the Sephiroth, in order from Kether to Malkuth. We then use the meanings of the letters themselves and/or their Tarot correspondences to create ritual action.

So for example, Chockmah, the second step, begins with Ch, which corresponds to the Chariot card (strangely, another Ch word, in English – “just” a coincidence). So that is the step that we involve the movement around the Temple, based on the chariot as representing movement. In the first step, we took Kether beginning with K(aph) which means “hand” in Hebrew, so we used that as an action. As a result, our ritual accords with reality, and a vibration or resonance is established (one can picture it like this) which in turn creates change to occur in conformity with will – Aleister Crowley’s definition of “magick”. Here is the ritual: The Drawing of Light 1. Point Kaph; Point hand towards altar, palm up and state aim of working. 2. Point Cheth; Draw a circle about the Temple. 3. Point Beth; Elevate a chalice filled with wine and visualize light descending into it from above. Return it to the table.

This completes the first triad above the Abyss. The elevation of the chalice is symbolic of the creation of Da'ath, or 'knowledge', from the union of Chockmah and Binah.

4. Point Cheth; Draw the double-cube of the quarters and crossquarters. You do this by visualizing cubes of light extending out of the faces of the table, above, below, and all four sides. Imagine a dice, and then getting six other dice and gluing each one to one of the faces of the first dice. Visualize these cubes as boxes of pure light. If you want to be more advanced, you can create them in your imagination as colored; white above, black below, red to the south, green to the north, yellow to the east and blue to the west. Activate the Quarters. You can do this simply by saying out loud, “I activate the power of the East …” [and focus on all the qualities of the East/Air energy that you know]. Repeat for the South/Fire, West/Water and North/Earth. We start in the East as it represents the rising of the sun. 5. Point Gimel; Light incense. You can optionally state “I light the fire of intuition” [Gimel corresponds to the High Priestess of the Tarot]. 6. Point Tau; Hold out arms in form of cross and visualize two pillars either side of you. To your left is a black pillar, to your right a pillar of light.

This completes the second triad above the Veil, which prepares the place of working.

7. Point Nun; You can now carry out a Tarot reading, write an Oath, create a sigil or perform any sort of magical working as appropriate. You can also simply sit and meditate or contemplate a piece of sacred writing, or writing on the Tarot. 8. Point Heh; Light candle in the East, visualize the light blessing your working and then drink wine/water. 9. Point Yod; When you are ready, hold your hand back over altar and slowly make a fist, visualizing the sealing of the working.

This completes the third and final triad, bringing about the actual conclusion of the ritual. That is to say, by the time a process has reached Yesod, it is virtually unstoppable, aside from perhaps the way in which it manifests. All that remains is to state that the Work has been completed.

10. Point Mem; Say; "I have entered by the Gate, I have Initiated my Will, I leave by the Gate".

You can now safely blow out the candle and dispose of any remaining water/wine. If you conduct this ritual in the same place over a length of time, you will notice – and others may – an increased sense of peaceful stability in the room. As one person once said, totally innocent of my magical working, coming into a room for the first time after I had conducted this working for several weeks, “Hey, I like what you have done – have you re-decorated?”

The Tree of Sapphires Into the Kabbalah So, now that we have seen a little of how we can use Kabbalah through Tarot and correspondences, why should we actually learn any more about the Kabbalah? It is usually seen as an extremely dense and diverse subject, and often associated with dry intellectual practice and obscure terminology. However, in actual practice it is an incredible way of learning to see the patterns of the Universe and engaging in structured mystical experience. It is so widely used in the Western esoteric initiatory system, through the Hermetic Society of the Golden Dawn which flourished in the 1890-1910 period, that its learning leads to a deeper appreciation of ritual, esoteric psychology, and Tarot, amongst many other subjects. In this section, originally published as one of our many “FastTrack” guides in Tarot-Town (also including Numerology, Astrology, Alchemy and more) we will introduce you rapidly to some of the key concepts of Kabbalah, point you in various directions of study, and give you an exercise to explore Kabbalah as part of your Tarot studies or in its own context. Do enjoy the discovery, and feel encouraged to continue your journey in this fascinating subject.

If you wish to explore the Kabbalah more fully, you might consider our online self-study Kabbalah Course which is available for only $12 at www.kabbalahcourse.com or purchase the Magician’s Kabbalah from that site by Marcus Katz, a detailed 142pp book (to be published Spring 2014). Key Concepts in Kabbalah The Kabbalah is an oral (spoken) tradition of Jewish Mysticism

The Kabbalah is a system of Jewish Mysticism that arose in the early first century at the same time as Christianity. There are many aspects of Kabbalah that are still debated by scholars, but it can be seen to play an important role in the western esoteric tradition, historically and in contemporary forms of magical practice. Although originally an oral tradition, a number of books were published and widely circulated between students and teachers throughout the early development of Kabbalah. The most important books (in Hebrew, Sepher) are usually seen as: Sepher Yetzirah


Sepher Bahir


Sepher Zohar


Kabbalah is a Hebrew word from the root meaning, ‘to receive’ spelt in Hebrew: HLBQ (read right to left)

Hebrew has no vowels, and the letter ‘Qoph’ (Q) is pronounced as a hard ‘K’, so when written in English, the word is often spelt as Kabbalah, Qabalah, Qabala, Kabbala, etc. It is often seen that Cabbalah relates to “Christian Cabbalah”, Kabbalah relates to “Jewish Kabbalah” and Qabalah relates to “esoteric or new-age Qabalah” but these are not rigid or consistent labels. Early Kabbalah involved Mystical Experience

Early Jewish mystics in Palestine, during the first half of the second century, developed a visionary system which precedes the Kabbalah. There were two major trends or schools, namely the heikhalot (palaces) and merkavah (divine chariot) classes of experience, relating to the visions of the supreme halls of the divine, and the means of ascent to those halls - the chariot, as described by Ezekiel (1:4-26). These early versions of Kabbalah were far more akin to shamanistic practice than many realize, with ecstatic visions, vision quests, practice in remote places, etc. This was before the Kabbalah became a complex codified system of interpretations of the first five books of the Bible.

Renaissance Scholars introduced Kabbalah into the West

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-94) is credited as introducing Kabbalah into Europe. Pico also argued that Magic - ‘the perfect and highest wisdom’ - led to God in that it disclosed the wonders of creation by ‘assiduous contemplation’. He utilized specifically Kabbalistic concepts such as the four worlds (in Heptaplus) and classical Gematria(letter analysis and numerology) analyzing the first Hebrew word in the Bible, Beresit ‘in the beginning.’

llus. Gates of Light, the first published image of the Tree of Life (1516). It is actually Kircher’s later version of the Tree of Life from 1652 that is the more commonly used diagram - through the Golden Dawn.

In Germany, over 1400-1700, Khunrath, Reuchlin, Agrippa and Rosenroth picked up the threads of Kabbalah, Magic and Alchemy and published works which would form the basis of contemporary magical practice. Magicians have used Kabbalah as a map of the Universe

Eliphas Levi (1810 - 1875) suggested that there are three sciences: ‘the Qabalah, Magic and Hermeticism’. His definition of Magic was ‘the science of universal equilibrium’ and in this Levi made a new emphasis on the syncreticism of Magic, Kabbalah and Alchemy. He went on to define Kabbalah as ‘the mathematics of human thought.’ However, his understanding and presentation of Kabbalistic principles was often inconsistent! It was Levi who most popularly suggested that the Tarot – in the form of the deck of 78 cards – symbolized the ‘Keys of Solomon’ and as such corresponded to the paths of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. In this he led the way for Mathers, Waite, Crowley, Regardie and Fortune (all members of the Golden Dawn) in grafting Kabbalah to other traditions and creating the syncretic Western Esoteric Tradition. However it was The Comte de Mellet who first made this suggestion in publication, in his article included in Court de Gebelin's Monde primitifin 1781 . Kabbalah is a Model of the Universe and the Soul

Kabbalah is a system which is based on four worlds through which the Universe manifests in ten emanations. The four worlds are placed in descending order, or outwards order: Atziluth Briah

The world of emanation The world of creation


The world of formation


The world of action

These four worlds hold the manifestation of all creation through ten “numerical emanations”, which is the literal meaning of the Hebrew word Sephirah (plural Sephiroth) as we introduced earlier in this booklet. These are often drawn as the “Tree of Life” diagram, as spheres or circles, but they should be considered abstract concepts rather than solid objects. The Sephiroth have channels for the light of creation to manifest (and through which we can learn and ascend back up the Tree of Life) which are called paths. There are twenty-two paths corresponding to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. These are the same paths which are then corresponded to the twenty-two Major Tarot cards. The human soul is also seen in terms of these four worlds, with different parts of our being corresponding to different worlds or Sephiroth.

It is important to stress that Kabbalah states we cannot know directly the Sephiroth, because they are part of the divine emanation from the unknowable source, but we can deduct their activity and nature through the paths, through the letters, and of course through the Tarot. This is a philosophy of exemplarism, where the world and nature teach us as a living example of the reality from which all arises.

10 Things to Further Your Study

Buy and read the Way of Kabbalah by Zev ben Shimon Halevi. This is one of many contemporary takes on Kabbalah, and influential in my own work. Refer to the Zohar [there are different versions in English, often over many volumes, you may need to shop around for a good set] and the Origins of the Kabbalah by Gershom Scholem for the core of Kabbalah. Buy The Kabbalah Decoder by Janet BerensonPerkins which is a great introduction. It may be out-ofprint, but is worth finding second-hand if you can. Read the Sepher Yetzirah, particularly the titles of the paths. The one used by the Golden Dawn was translated by W. W. Westcott. Learn the names of the Sephiroth, their meaning, their attributions and the correspondences of the Tarot Majors to the paths. Apply everything, see everything in relationship to the model you are learning. Practice analysis and synthesis of other systems (i.e. Tarot) using the Tree as a guide. Learn basic symbology, particularly biblical (see Hidden Wisdom of the Holy Bible by Geoffry Hodson, which is from a Theosophical perspective). Discuss with others – Kabbalah is an oral tradition.

When you are ready, practice letter permutation meditations (see Meditation and Kabbalah by Aryeh Kaplan) which is a good practice for Tarot readers.

The Key-Rites The 10 Divinations Having looked over the basics of Kabbalah, in this final section we will provide the ten divinations to take your personal deck into the depths of divinity. These ten methods are based on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, as we have briefly introduced in the previous section. You do not need to know anything about Kabbalah to use these spreads, nor do you need to have fashioned your own deck from the previous gate – although those two factors will obviously provide the most powerful and personal experience of what follows. You can perform these readings within the ritual we have given earlier, over a period of ten days. You can alternatively simply use these spreads as methods for yourself or clients with any deck.

Divine Door 10: Malkuth Consider the question: To enter the depths of the divine, how does my present situation show me where I am already closest? Shuffle your deck and take out 10 cards. Arrange them in a Tree of Life pattern. Consider the cards in answer to the following aspects of your question, starting from Kether, the top position and first card: 1. What is the simple truth of my situation in terms of divinity? 2. What should I do? 3. What is the lesson I should demonstrate to others? 4. What must I push? 5. What must I repel? 6. Where is the moment in which my centre is truly divine? 7. What must I stop repeating? 8. What must I learn? 9. What is the illusion that I must go beyond? 10. What should my world be if I hold the simple truth?

If you (or a client) are conducting this as a gated spread, then you should take these cards and consider them, and perform at least one significant decision or activity, or modify your behaviour based on this reading before entering the next door. If you only allow one day for each door, this will create a more intense and effective practice.

Divine Door 9: Yesod Consider the question: To enter the depths of the divine, how can the Tarot teach me to dream? Shuffle your deck and take out 9 cards.

At night, shuffle those 9 cards and turn them up one at a time, making a story out of them. Repeat this several times before sleep.

Record your dreams or simply note if there are any mood changes, sudden insights or intuitive senses the following day.

You can repeat this exercise throughout the other Doors.

Divine Door 8: Hod Consider the question: To enter the depths of the divine, where does my thinking get in the way? Shuffle your deck and take out 8 cards. Take the top two cards and place them next to each other as a pair. Repeat this for the other cards, placing each pair below the other until you have 4 rows of 2 pairs.

Make notes as to what conflict exists between each pair.

Then consider how you have projected these conflicts into the pairs, and what significance does that have for the question of this door.

Divine Door 7: Netzach Consider the question: To enter the depths of the divine, how do I open my heart? Shuffle your deck and take out 7 cards. Arrange them in a triangle, of 1 card, followed underneath by 2 cards, followed by 3 cards. Place the final card to one side, face-down.

Read the cards as follows:

1. The activity in which you can reach the divine heart. 2 + 3. How you can come together with others in divinity. 3 + 4 + 5. How your personal history affects your heart.

Turn over the final card only once you have interpreted the others in some detail or consideration.

The final card is:

“What is the message from the divine to my heart?”

Divine Door 6: Tiphareth Consider the question: To enter the depths of the divine, how do I come to myself most truly? Shuffle your deck and take out 6 cards.

Arrange them in a triangle, with 1 card at the top, then 2 cards below, then 3 cards at the base (as Door 7).

Read as follows:

1. What is my authentic self? 2+3. How does this separate itself into many parts? 4+5+6. What behavior most keeps me in those parts?

If you are following these as a gated spread, then the following day should include some remedial behavior based on the reading, avoiding being “broken down” into a separate and non-authentic self.

Divine Door 5: Geburah Consider the question: To enter the depths of the divine, what should I face? Shuffle your deck and take out 5 cards.

Arrange them in Pentagram, starting with card 1 at the top and working clockwise.

Read the five positions as follows:

1. What resource do I have hidden to face the fear? 2. What emotional state do I need to face fear? 3. What passion is mine most truly to overcome any fear? 4. What behavior is my best to enter the divine in love? 5. What is the thought on fear that the divine holds for me?

Divine Door 4: Chesed Consider the question: To enter the depths of the divine, how do I open to love? Shuffle your deck and take out 4 cards.

Arrange them in a two pairs, one above the other, as a square.

Contemplate the four cards but say nothing.

Try to think nothing.

Just contemplate them. And open.

Divine Door 3: Binah Consider the question: To enter the depths of the divine, how do I let go? Shuffle your deck and take out 3 cards.

Lay them in a line, left to right.

Create a sentence of them in sequence as a mantra, in answer to the question.

If you are following this as a gated spread, repeat the mantra/affirmation as often as possible the following day before conducting the next spread.

Divine Door 2: Chockmah Consider the question: To enter the depths of the divine, how do I return? Shuffle your deck and take out 2 cards.

Lay them out next to each other.

One is the path of your return, the other is the path of distraction.

We do not give here which is which – you will have to know.

Divine Door 1: Kether Consider the question: To enter the depths of the divine, how do I take the final step? Shuffle your deck and take out 1 card. It is finished.

Recommended Kabbalah Reading There are many books describing the development of the Kabbalah through the Renaissance, its introduction to the esoteric traditions of Europe and from there it’s integration into modern occult theory and practice. For a wide and scholarly overview, I would refer you to Kabbalah (Scholem, G.) pp. 8-86. The most popular introduction to Kabbalah as it was seen by the Golden Dawn and similar western mystery schools is that written by Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah (Fortune, D.) pp. 13-18. I would particularly urge you to read Chapter III, The Method of the Qabalah, and Chapters XVIII and XIX, on Chesed and Geburah. Although many of the ideas may be unfamiliar to the newcomer to Kabbalah, Fortune’s work has a habit of unfolding itself over time. A key point in my teaching is to emphasize the concept of emanation as a key idea to unlocking the heart of Kabbalah. This concept is at the root of the tree and it is useful to start to contemplate it from the beginning of your studies. There is a useful extract and notes to the Zoharic commentary on “In the beginning…” in The Essential Kabbalah (Matt, Daniel C.) pp. 52-53 & 173-176 (notes). This book can also provide a useful source of quotes for study, clarification and meditation, and is organized into essential themes of Kabbalistic thought.

There are two modern introductions to Kabbalah, being The Elements of the Qabalah (Parfitt, W.) and The Principles of the Qabalah (Jayanti, A.). Both cover in readable brevity the basics of Kabbalah from a modern perspective. I find the Jayanti book to be lighter, whilst Parfitt’s book takes a more practical tone. Another popular modern book is A Kabbalah for the Modern Age (Gonzalez-Wippler, M.) although I find this one is quite dense and perhaps is more useful as a reference guide later on in your studies. Finally, I should point out a final book which is a useful guide at the introductory stage of your studies, namely A Kabbalistic Universe (Halevi, Z.) There are many other books by this author, and all are interesting reading, but this one makes a good introduction text to his writing style and approach. I have found his work on Psychology and Kabbalah and Group Dynamics and Kabbalah (School of the Soul) to be particularly fascinating. Although there are now more works on Psychosynthesis and Kabbalah, (A Psychology with a Soul by J. Harding) and probably a lot more in group theory to be discovered through Kabbalah.

Bibliography Waite, A. E. Pictorial Key to the Tarot. London: Rider, 1974