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Building the temple of Tiphareth

wands06 [1]

As of writing, May 2008, the Kabbalah meditation group continues and we’ve now been working weekly for over a year, developing a consistent practice and learning a lot as we go.  Our attitude is relaxed and flexible, primarily because the aim of the group was always to provide a space of grounding and recharge for a group of active magicians whose work in other areas can be complemented by this regular co-creation of sacred space.  During the first year we have worked the bottom of the tree, most recently working the Death and Devil paths, gradually building up paths as we go, adding layers of symbolism and becoming intimate with the tree.  We have now completed the QShTh or ‘rainbow’ and have already touched Tiphareth but the time now comes to begin to build Tiphareth.

When we began we worked the temple of Malkuth, giving us a strong grounding place from which to explore.  The temple was perhaps the most vividly drawn and the one we spent most time in since we would often begin and end a journey by entering and exiting through Malkuth.  Now the same process is to be done with Tiphareth, building it as a vivid ground from which to begin exploring the upper triads of the tree.

Whilst we use the Dion Fortune text, Mystical Qabalah, as the ‘book’ on the altar space and the ground of the associations we use, the temples are built intuitively, from hints and encounters and spontaneity.  To a large extent this ends up being something that comes from my imagination as I work the paths myself and then share what I’m doing in the pathworking, so I’m aware that there’s probably a huge idiosyncracy in the way in which we work.  At present this seems unproblematic, since this first ascent of the tree aims to install it into our consciousness in a way that enables it to be built upon in future and the tree feels strong enough to sustain any idiosyncratic presentation, at least one that comes from an intuitive response.  The overwhelming nature of the tree and its associations is something I encountered before and in this project there was an unconscious avoidance of any necessity to install a ‘correct’ tree and the emphasis was on ‘what worked’, what enabled people in the group to work the path, visualise strongly and connect intimately.  cups06 [2]

The temple of Tiphareth, then, is being built as a Golden Castle with a Child of Light at its heart.  In our previous approaches we came through the path of  Temperance and the working would involved a scene in which we fired a bow and then became the tip as it flew through the air, before landing in Tiphareth.  Now I wanted to install a direct path into the castle, in the same way that we have a direct path that goes into Malkuth.

… you walk along a gravel path, through a line of trees that lead to a open grass park, with people playing and relaxing on a sunny day.  You feel the crunch of the gravel under your feet, hear the sounds of the people in the distance.  As you come to the end of the path and move onto the grass, feeling its soft bouncy texture, you feel the warmth of the sun on your face.  You continue towards the Golden castle in front of you towards a doorway.  The door to the castle is on the corner of two walls, with the Castle itself imagined as a hexagon.  You ask Raphaels’ permission before entering the door and once within there are the Malachim, white robed figures moving to and fro along a pathway around the walls.  Within the temple there is a courtyard, at the centre of which is a space of light, bright white light with hints of gold and pink.  You move towards the light until it overwhelms your eyes and surrounds you in its presence.  Gradually shapes become visible as your eyes adjust to the light, though everything is still surrounded by the bright light.  In the centre of the space a child sits on a cushion, behind them a tall crowned man stands.

swords06 [3] You move towards the child and sit on a cushion next to them.  They place a hand on your chest and rest your hand on theirs and as they do a flow of light can be felt moving into and through you, filling you up, flowing into your body, filling your feet, your hands, your whole being.  The child slowly withdraws their hand, as do you and then they rest it gently on your forehead and offer you pents06 [4]a vision.

The child stands and offers you their hand. You stand and the child leads you, hand in hand, to the the right, where there is a door marked Death.  The child then turns about and walks to the direct opposite side of the space and another door appears, this time marked Devil.  Finally the child leads you back to the centre and you face the crowned man. Around the feet of the man and underneath the cushion the child was sitting on are rose petals.  Behind the man there are five doors, too distant to make out any marking as as yet.  The child lets go of your hand and sits down again, saying goodbye.  You turn to leave, walk back the way you came and find yourself once more in the courtyard with the Malachim, one of whom opens the door and nods goodbye, smiling as they do so.  you leave the Golden Castle, making your way across the grass, onto the gravel path and back to this world …

6 wands – victory, 6 cups – joy, 6 swords – earned success, 6 pentacles – material success