Within the Qabalistic Tree of Life, the energy of the sphere of Geburah is one of the most feared of the spheres. It is the nature of the surgeon wielding the scalpel that will excise, albeit painfully, what is no longer productive or useful for the health of his patient. It is the love a parent who turns her child in to the police for having committed a crime, knowing that this is the only lesson that will ultimately ensure that the child will not die a needless death from his behavior. It is the love that will walk away from an unhealthy relationship, broken hearted and abused, so the suffering of a cruel love will no longer hang heavy.
In order to understand the nature of this sphere you must have a bit a knowledge about the Tree itself and the other spheres that form the greater whole. The subject matter of the Qabalah is one that many pagans do not easily gravitate towards, either deterred by the sheer mass of its scope or feeling that this particular overlay of system has no reference to the purely magickal systems. Although, rooted in the Judaic mystical system the Kabbalah(spelling is Judaic form)/Qabalah (spelling used to distinguish as Western Hermetic overlay) this construct of energy, thought and working is a suitable companion to any magickal system. The sheer fact that a statement such as that can be made offers testament to the enduring scope and permanence of its application over a broad and diverse spectrum. Within the Tradition to which I belong, The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, the principles of the Qabalah are strongly and consistently used throughout all of our covens and the enhancement to the magickal workings and rituals is undeniable.
Qabalah Boot Camp- Just the Basics:
The Qabalistic Tree of Life describes the descent of the divine into the manifest world, and methods by which divine union may be attained in this life. It can be viewed as a map of the human psyche and of the workings of creation, both manifest and un-manifest. Some of its components are:
10 Sephiroth (Spheres) each having their own specific energetic signature and action and having a Hebrew and English name of assignation. (Geburah ‘s name is Might)
22 Paths that connect the spheres and act as the synthesizing conduits of connection
3 Pillars of Application of that energy (Geburah is the middle of three spheres on the Pillar of Severity)
4 Worlds of Action– Each of the spheres exists in each of the four worlds and has a slightly different emphasis of intent depending on which of the worlds is acting upon it.
The Qabalistic story of the creative action of manifestation from the Source of All/Godhead down to the realm of physical and manifest form can be described in this way:
In the beginning there was nothingness- the absence of substance and form (Ain) ; and as the nothing became aware of itself it also realized the limitlessness nature (Ain Soph) of its being. This realization expanded and with more awareness came the birthing of limitless light (Ain Soph Aur) . This limitless light felt the urge to create- and from it emanated Divine Intelligence – Kether. All things needing balance- in its wisdom Kether split and from this source of being the remaining 9 spheres became emanations of the varied permutations of light, knowledge, mercy, severity, beauty, love, glory, imagination and finally rest in the Kingdom of Earth- Malkuth.
10 Sephiroth (spheres) of Emanation
The Sephiroth are States of Being and act as vessels to contain the Divine energy that spills forth from the God-Head or Crown of Kether (being the highest expression of the Divine) down into Malkuth, the densest and manifest physical world of Man. The spheres at the top of the tree are lighter and finer in energy – more transparent and expressive of pure Light. As we descend down the tree each sphere gains more density- less clarity of brilliance of light until we come to rest in the earth plane of Malkuth. Each sphere has both an English and Hebrew name and countless correspondences attributed to each. These are keywords only.
Sphere 1-Kether – The Crown- The Crown of Attainment- the ‘Cause of causes”- the unknowable- The Mystical Consciousness
Sphere 2-Chokmah– Wisdom- The Word of God- true Will untainted by the material nature- The Radiant Consciousness
Sphere 3-Binah– Understanding- The Great Sea- absolute belief- The Sanctified Consciousness
Sphere 4-Chesed– Mercy- Majesty- The place of greater awareness and pure compassion-The Settled Consciousness
Sphere 5-Geburah- Might – Strength and Justice- excision and the necessary cutting away- The Rooted Consciousness
Sphere 6-Tiphareth– Beauty- Sacrifice- the receptive place of the flow of emanations from Kether- The Transcendental Influx Consciousness
Sphere 7-Netzach– Victory- The Beauty of Nature- The Hidden Consciousness
Sphere 8-Hod– Glory- Splendor- the sphere of science and craft- the analytical nature and communicative learning- The Perfect Consciousness
Sphere 9-Yesod– The Foundation- sphere of the subconscious- the Lunar Gates- dreams and illusion – the astral – The Pure Consciousness
Sphere 10-Malkuth– The Kingdom- the plane of physical existence and manifest reality- the elements and all of manifest Life- The Scintillating Consciousness
Back to Geburah
This is a poem I wrote about the energy of Geburah and gives a hint to the potency and dynamics of this sphere.
I sit shivering in the dark
Eyes closed and all of my being
Filled with fear that I will
Lose my most valued possession.
Flame and heat surround
Yet the air is dense with
Energy that moves like
Cold steel wielded by a
What I cling to so fiercely
I have long ago outgrown
But the comfort and safety
Provided are like soothing
Ointment on wounds that
Have yet to be opened.
I want to be free of these chains
I want to be whole
What I carry are bits and pieces
Of my own folly and the thought of
Excision sends me into retreat.
As reason gives way to desire
And understanding stands at the
Threshold with outstretched hand
I rise from this place of cowering
I open my eyes to see what lay
Ahead and a cold dark hand
Grasps my own as I look into
The eyes of myself.
The only demons I have to fear is what
Lay within the spectre of my shadow
With the single act of embrace
All that is to be discarded
Falls from me
I am Free.
I am strong and what I had
Feared losing the most
Has only been transformed
And forged anew
The dark gives way to light and
I step forward to greet the
When we call upon the energy of this sphere we are asking for refinement of transformation and change to occur at the deepest levels of our being. We are trusting that the things that must be purged will produce positive result and we are allowing the organic flow of Geburah’s fiery nature to cleanse and cauterize what has been rendered into new form.
For this week, read through the poem several times and see what images, thoughts and feelings are projected in the reading. Make note of all you experience and in next week’s article I’ll discuss more of how the “tough love” of this sphere can be applied and become part of your spiritual practice.
Geburah’s Might: Practical Application of Its Energy
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