Simple Shortcut When Ascending the Tree of Life

There are shortcuts to things in life, though shortcuts are not always the best or cleanest way to get things done. Yet when you’re starting from a low point and want to get to a higher point, rather than practicing the same old techniques in drudgery until the slow accretion of effort pays off years later with achievement, or its opposite of a shortcut to the trophy that is devoid of mastery, it’s probably better to use both practice and the occasional shortcut to make your empowerment work faster.

The ascension of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life is the purpose of many magickal orders. While I have no grand techniques for preparation for initiation, and initiation itself (the LBRP or the Abramelin Operation still work as they should!), I have an “all-of-the-above” approach to magick, and believe that cross-pollination has interaction effects. Hence, the shortcut: sigils.

Sure, you may already know about sigils, but why not create a sigil to enable old-fashioned initiation? Sometimes we don’t think to put “new wine into old wineskins,” but we do it all the time, we just don’t think of it that way. Meditation is used in concert with being a good person, magick is used in concert with meditation, and sigil magick can be used in concert with Tree-of-Life magick.

The technique itself is rather simple: create a sigil with the intent along the lines of “I initiate into [name of sephirah, e.g., Yesod].” Charge it, don’t obsess about it, then continue going about your normal efforts to initiate into that same sephirah. What you should find (as I did) is that new techniques to initiate into a sephirah appear, or that your current efforts accelerate. I myself used sigils to assist with initiation into Binah, Chokmah, & Kether.

Get creative and clear with your intent, and don’t be afraid to iterate: “I deepen my initiation into [name of sephirah]” and “I complete my initiation into [name of sephirah]” are wise additional sigils to fire off after you surmise that you have succeeded in your initiation into a given sephirah. You must still do the hard work, but the hard work should pay off more quickly.


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Planets ruling Sephiroth on the Tree of Life

Perhaps it’s Uranus transiting over my natal sun right now that’s inspiring me to write a bit about the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. For beginners, I’ll just mention that the Tree of Life is an interesting model of consciousness. Based on the mythical tree in the book of Genesis (from which one could eat and live forever), the Kabbalistic Tree of Life (often abbreviated as ToL) metaphorically explains how divine energy can move from the heavenly to the earthly.

Most sephiroth on the ToL are considered to be ruled by celestial aspects or by the elements; the tenĀ sephiroth, or spheres (i.e., of consciousness/spiritual states) on the ToL and their respective rulers are:

  1. Kether, “The Crown”
  2. Chokmah, “Wisdom,” ruled by the Zodiac
  3. Binah, “Understanding,” ruled by Saturn
    (Da’ath, “Knowledge,” is considered to be a false sephirah; in some traditions it’s also thought to be all sephiroth at once, though I find this unhelpful and somewhat incorrect)
  4. Chesed, “Mercy,” ruled by Jupiter
  5. Geburah, “Strength,” ruled by Mars
  6. Tiphareth, “Beauty,” ruled by the Sun
  7. Netzach, “Victory,” ruled by Venus
  8. Hod, “Splendo(u)r,” ruled by Mercury
  9. Yesod, “Foundation,” ruled by the Moon
  10. Malkuth, “Kingdom,” ruled by the four elements

The rulership of these sephiroth differ from the astrological essential dignity of domicile, which holds that planets have greatest effectiveness in zodiacal sign (e.g., Aries, Taurus, etc.): the Sun is strongest in the royal sign of Leo, the Moon in the nurturing sign of Cancer, etc. There are further essential dignities including

Sephirothic rulership, however, is less about what brings the planet strength, but rather what brings the sephiroth completeness. The Splendor of all the possibilities of form to be made in the physical world is brought to completion by Mercury, which can flow from idea to idea, configuration to configuration. The Triumph of any given form, moreover, is brought to completeness when it is in fact a pleasurable one (for what is the point in Victory without the thrill?).

One consideration is whether to re-assign the planets Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto to the final two sephiroth. From personal experience of the higher sephiroth, my judgment is not to do so. Uranus, the planet some folks consider to rule Chokmah, is commonly considered among astrologers as a “wild card” planet and a rebellious planet. My experience of Chokmah (“Wisdom”) is that it provides an individual insight into an optimal approach to reality. Wisdom is an optimal means to govern one’s life because it is an incorporation of an undeniable aspect of nature, which can be succinctly declared in a Law. Rebellious Uranus doesn’t seem to fit this idea, though one could argue that the newly declared Law is a necessary reflection of a previously unseen aspect of reality.

Nonetheless, more fundamental to my judgment is the contrast between Binah (“Understanding”), ruled by Saturn, the greater malefic and Lord of Time, and Chokmah. Binah occupies the top of the pillar of Severity on the ToL, while Chokmah occupies the top of the pillar of Mercy (ascending the Middle Pillar of Mildness is often considered a standard goal of the Kabbalah). Saturn reflects the need for discipline and patience, and brings Binah (often described as all possibilities and thus bringing the initiate the Vision of Sorrow) to completeness by imposing its cold order and a logical connectivity of these possible states into a coherent flow (eliminating–bringing death!–to nearly all of them!). If feminine Binah is ruled by the Lord of Time, then masculine and protruding Chokmah, it follows, should be ruled by Space itself. Space and time being essential aspects of the universe, the Zodiac seems like the superior choice of ruler.

What rules Kether, the Crown? As you might guess, I don’t believe it is ruled by either Neptune or Pluto. My argument is that it lacks formal rulership, except that it is existence itself, which does have limits. Therefore, I would argue that perception rules Kether–reality perceives itself, no matter what, and therefore perhaps the best way to put it is that the Divine rules it, for the Divine is the Complete Perceiver, and initiates into Kether may partake of the perception of the Divine.

Some scholars suggest that the Biblical Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil are the same tree. Eating of the Crown this Tree, I can tell you that the answer is yes: as I put it when first scrying the Enochian Aethyr of LIL: “This is the End of Death.”

Enochian initiation into Chokmah, Kether, Ain Soph Aur, & Ain Soph

Jason Louv contends that Enochian is a means to initiate into the Kabbalistic sephirah (sphere of consciousness) of Binah. The final seven Aethyrs, he argues, reveal the final to sephiroth of Chokmah and Kether, but these lock up if one has not initiated into these sephiroth. In my experience, this is absolutely true.

It is possible to request the Enochian angels show you how to initiate into these sephiroth and thus enable full visions when you scry the last seven Aethyrs. Assuming you have successfully scried through ZID, you should have begun the initiation into Binah and thus be ready for the following sephiroth. The process is long, but it is started very simply. What you do is make the normal call to the Aethyrs (“MADRIAX DSPRAF ___,” where the blank is filled in with the name of the Aethyr) and then substitute the Enochian word for the name of the sephirah (rather than the name of the Aethyr).

So, to initiate into Chokmah, you would use the word for “the secret wisdom,” ANANAEL. After making the call, follow the instructions of the angels and you will begin the initiation process. The same can be done for Kether (the highest sephiroth) as well as Ain Soph Aur and Ain Soph. I have tested this technique on three of the following four (once again, do not make this call until you have successfully scried through ZID–that itself should be challenge enough):

Chokmah (Wisdom): ANANAEL (Secret Wisdom).

Kether (Crown): MOMAO (Crown)

Ain Soph Aur (Limitless Light): MAOFFAS OLPIRT (Measureless Light)

Ain Soph (No Limit): MAOFFAS (Measureless[ness]).