esothemes

Reflections, revelations and proposals esoteric: Themes to elucidate the depths of human potential.

Month: June, 2019

Introduction to the Ten Sephirot Belimah

We have already examined the thesis statement of the SY, and have been introduced to the text in general. The twelve verses that follow are self-contained in their concise yet in-depth coverage that has laid the foundation of much of QBLH philosophy and modern Western occultism. The central theme of this portion of the SY is an esoteric process described by the first three words that begin seven of those verses: OShR SPIRVTh BLIMH. If we want to unravel the allegedly cryptic wisdom of this portion of the text, it is imperative we explore the meaning of the elusive entities known as SPIRVTh.

The advantage of using the Earliest Recoverable Text (ERT) is its liberation from layers of conception representing the crusty residues of centuries of editing. This streamlined version of the SY encourages exploration unburdened by the assumption that everything has to be coded in elaborate complication where ancient occultism is involved. Our own context of meaning- that of esoteric cultivation rather than religious exegesis- facilitates in validating this view. What appear, therefore, to be twilight languages and elaborate allegorical codes are simply descriptions of esoteric means and outcomes that are made clear when one has basic (even if only theoretical) knowledge in the subject matter. There is no need to complicate things with talk of “initiations” and “mysteries”. What we have in this particular text, in this aspirants view, is occult “trade talk”- not the encoded vocabulary of concealing knowledge from outsiders who would either persecute the holders of it or corrupt its principles.

In that sense, there is no need to concoct elaborate stories of creation and complex maps outlining the conceptions of this section to emphasize the religious element over that of inner alchemy. We can simply take the text at face value with but rudimentary theoretical knowledge of basics of contemplation and sensate visualization to come to our understanding. Namely, the ten sephirot belimah amount to steps or processes of esoteric cultivation; exercises where each builds on the previous to construct an elaborate subtle body from a core of established mystical communion, itself the result of extended practice in contemplation and inner focus.

Let us examine each of the three words of OShR SPIRVTh BLIMH, starting with the first term. At the basic level OShR is the word for the number ten. If we interpret it letter by letter, however, we get a sense of the qualitative tone of the word. The letter-signs describe a vision or well-spring; the glyph of Ayin being that of an eye or top-down view of a fountain. The other two letters denote authority (Shin.Resh), a person, divinity, or an awareness (head or mindset) that nourishes and sustains. Such a vision or eye or fountain can describe a revelation or some bestowed treasure, material or not.

The letter-by-letter interpretation may appear to contradict my statements about avoiding complications, but such an interpretation is neither cryptic nor does it complicate our understanding. On the contrary, it complements the immediate meaning and supports it. We will explore this in the next installment using a specific verse of the twelve as an example. Suffice it to say that the word for the number ten Shin as Sin, whereas the first pronunciation defines OShR in the sense of growing rich. Both versions give the sense of accumulation (ten fingers or generally of wealth). We use discretion when choosing to examine a term letter-by-letter. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, after all. Numbers and certain terms of esoteric import, however, demand a deeper level of examination. The words that follow OShR  are often mystified in Cabalistic thought. can keep all this in mind as we examine the other two words.

The word SPIRVTh is the plural of SPIRH, itself a noun form of the verb SPR, which we encountered in the first verse as well as being the title of the work. SPR as a noun means scroll or document. As a verb, the lexicon ascribes a list of meanings to the latter root, such as to account, to count, to reckon, to recount, to relate and to rehearse. SPIRVTh are therefore accountings, reckonings, relatings etc. In other words, the word, which is never found in the singular in any version of the work, is simply a product of keeping an account or relating something. I prefer to the word reckoning, as it conveys a more deliberate intent than a simple description. So far things are rather straightforward, and there is no need to examine the letter-by-letter meaning of the word or its root. The latter simply conveys the transmission of knowledge as patterns of information. The next word should also be straightforward. Yet it has not been taken that way in the traditions that referenced the SY as source material.

Most commentators prefer the interpretation of BLIMH as the compound word BLI (without) and MH (what), interpreted as nothingness, or ineffable. Such a designation is likely at least one reason why the SPIRVTh have been mystified as worlds unto themselves rather than packets of knowledge (esoteric teachings). From the perspective of a concise text designed to convey advanced applications- as opposed to philosophical or religious abstractions- the paradoxical meaning is somewhat redundant despite the alluring Zen-like impression it conveys. The alternative interpretation of the word BLIMH parallels that of its preceding sister term. Namely, it is a noun form of the verb root BLM, meaning to restrain, to curb, to reign in. Literally, the term refers to muzzling. It is understandable that the former interpretation is preferred to the latter when mysterious Zen-like allusions are compared to a reference to some sort of bondage.

If we, however, look to the text itself- and this is obvious with the ERT- the fourth verse goes something like: “Ten Reckonings of Restraint: Restrain your mouth from speech; restrain your heart-mind from fantasy…” To those in the know, the reference is to the mental discipline necessary for successful contemplation. Certainly, a modern practitioner would think twice before associating meditation with muzzling the mouth and heart. The the necessity for at least a gentle curbing or reigning-in of the tendency to lose focus, on the other hand, is a necessity for anyone having attempted such a practice in any of its forms.

There is, moreover, the association between the concept of AIN and the ineffable. AIN is a term of indeterminate comprehension; one of those esoteric labels that asks for a deeper letter-by-letter analysis to its conventional meaning of negation. Interestingly BLIMH, AIN, and the standard expression LA are translated as terms of negation without much distinction between them. Something is lost in doing that, however, and that something is context. Rather than practicing simplicity we engage in a selective reductionism that ends up backfiring. Perhaps BLIMH does have a double meaning, emphasizing that the SPIRVTh are not things, even as it conveys some sort of reigning in. Regardless, in today’s QBLH we end up with circles forming a pattern that is either mapped on a human body like the cakras of Indian Yoga; or used to map anything and everything but what a straightforward interpretation would give: paths of wisdom as actual esoteric teachings.

In contrast, AIN is anything but a simple no or nothing. It represents a state of advanced contemplation, emerging from the practice of reigning in our common mental habits. This will be discussed in greater detail in subsequent installments regarding the twelve verses pertaining to the ten reckonings of restraining. Suffice it to say that of the aforementioned verses, the first six describe practices and fundamentals of contemplation that serve as a prerequisite for the actual ten steps or paths of advanced esoteric cultivation. This is where the text reference AIN, and where by rendering it as an esoteric term in itself instead of a simple negative, the meaning of the verses in the context of esoteric cultivation is much clearer.

To anyone familiar with such practices, it goes without saying that the intricate subtleties one must master for even the basic steps cannot be conveyed in a few lines, however concise or condensed. The “manual” that is the SY was more likely addressed to the teacher rather than the student; a kind of reference frame from which to elaborate for the special case of each individual. In addition, if a community of esoteric practice was under severe social stress- as in being under siege or some other form of acute and violent persecution- a few short verses may have been all that could be put into writing in the hopes that later generations could build upon that very basic foundation. This is mere speculation, of course, but not without some basis in the history of the period the original was thought to be compiled (the first or second century of the Common Era).

In the next installment we will organize the twelve verses of interest into three sections. This will facilitate the exploration of the particulars of the esoteric system our analysis will be revealing. The teachings are not limited to the ten accounts, and may constitute one of the earliest formal methods of internal alchemy on record for Western civilization. This wasn’t so much lost or repressed, but instead hidden in plain sight until the Earliest Recoverable Text extracted its core meaning from centuries of gloss.

Sepher Yetsira Verse One: An Occult Thesis Statement in Two Versions

The first verse of the SY (Hayman’s “Earliest Recoverable Text”) is a stand-alone thesis statement that links the ten SPIRVTh with the Hebrew AVTh-YVTh, the letters of the alphabet (properly known as “abjad”). Given, there no vowel diacritics and interpretation is dependent on context, and given the potential ambiguity regarding the spacing between letters in ancient non-canonical Hebrew writings, it is worth looking at more than one translation option. The verse below is transliterated directly from the (given) original. Its translation follows:

1.I. ShLShIM VShThIM NThIBVTh PLAVTh ChKMH ChQQ IH IHVH TzBAVTh BShLSh SPRIM BSPR VSPR VSP(V)R

I. IH of IHVH TzBAVTh, engraved thirty-two advanced applications of Wisdom in a triad of missives: by count and writ and account (rehearsed).

In the name IHVH TzBAVTh the latter word is usually translated as hosts or armies. Generally, however, TzBAVTh refers to any mass of people or things; something like a system in modern lingo. The next step in our exploration is to look at the names in terms of their constituent letter glyphs. Yod-Heh, can be understood in that sense as “act of worship” or “the giving of joyful surrender” or “the branch of worship”. We may interpret the two-letter appellation even more literally within the verse as “the arm of worship engraved…]”. This is but a way of saying that a process of worship, divine surrender or a “living work” resulted in the concrete establishment (engraving) of thirty two pioneered paths of applied human potential (ChKMH).

It is no secret regarding the existence of traditions where seers and mystics reached states of inspired awareness. Through ritual, worship and esoteric focus, they were known to channel works of magic and mystical adoration. It is also no secret that where mystical states are concerned, the acts of worship and contemplation and their objects are a single experience. Thus, we may take YH to be a Divine Name, but in an occult context it is also an experience of mystic import, meaning divine communion from which the revelation was a natural outcome.

The aforementioned context extends beyond a single religion or culture when we consider mystic/esoteric revelation as part of the perennial human condition. At the same time, each culture holds its own unique expression, with different points of emphasis. We can speculate that the original text stretched the boundaries of religious canon, or even “borrowed” from a wider frame of esoteric knowledge beyond that of Torah-based culture. We can surmise that subsequent edits likely attempted to define it closer to that framework of understanding. It would be no stretch of logic, moreover, to conclude that the adaptation to religious canon was imposted at the expense of a wealth of esoteric wisdom held in the original- perhaps the earlier edits as well.

Such a discussion, however, is beyond the scope of this work, which is an experiment in exploring the context of esoteric cultivation for the “Earliest Recoverable Text”. I mention it to introduce the second rendition of the text. The transliteration alters as follows: We split the verse in two by adding a period at the end of IH. Then we arrange the letters of the divine name by changing the spaces according to our context. In this way, IHVH TzBAVTh is re-spaced as IHV HTzB AVTh. The resulting verse is:

1.I. ShLShIM VShThIM NThIBVTh PLAVTh ChKMH ChQQ IH. IHV HTzB AVTh BShLSh SPRIM BSPR VSPR VSP(V)R

I. IH (“An act of divine surrender”) engraved thirty-two advanced applications of mastery. IHV was the Sign-Bearer in a triad of missives: by count and writ and account (rehearsed).

As discussed, in the occult sense divine surrender and its object are one experience. This experience resulted in thirty-two beaten tracks or blazed trails of occult wisdom being carved (established). The words NThIBVTh PLAVTh are literally “hard to understand beaten paths”. They are innovations that mark new territory, extraordinary and sophisticated. In the context of esoteric cultivation I render this: advanced applications.

The second rendering supplies more comprehensive information regarding the text, something fitting for our chosen esoteric context of interpretation. The verse expresses concise economy of phrase the first version lacks. An instruction manual of alchemy or magic- or some form of contemplative cultivation- would likely contain cryptic allusions and turns of phrase. These would dissuade the uninitiated and draw the serious aspirant into deeper layers of understanding. Religious terms would then be included for reasons other than simple devotional propriety.

Just as the name IH may allude to divine communion, the three-letter name IHV has a specific role. It is the sign-carrier by expressions of counting, script and (rehearsed) description. I favor the translation involving IHV as the sign-carrier also due to the emphasis on seals, signatures and the power of the word in this work. The triple letter name IHV can be considered as a consonant substitution of vowels that are sacred and without written form in this tradition. The vowels of IHV are IAU, the primary vowel sounds of Semitic languages. Interestingly, IAU is almost identical with IAO (V- Vav- can substitute for an O or U sound), which is IAΩ in Greek gnostic tradition. Hence from this introductory verse we are exposed to the significance of practices that culminate in the next chapter. It is, moreover, no coincidence in this view that IHV in all its permutations is used to seal the directions of “Sanctified Space”, and hence hold the letters associated with those directions in place. Its mention here can easily be taken as a precursor to that important role.

Of interest are the “tree missives” or means of expression. The last one in particular refers to the “rehearsed account”. This translates SP(V)R, where the V in parenthesis may or may not belong to the oldest recoverable text. The first two missives reflect Hebrew letters as pictograms with number values. They also reflect the ten numberings that express processes of unfolding esoteric empowerment. Number and description go hand in hand throughout the text. The third missive refers to practicing with the power of the word, in a prescribed manner. The reference to the prescribed power of the word is emphasized throughout the text, and is of paramount importance in the path of the SY. Speech in this context can be mental, vocal or sub-vocal.

The paths, themselves pioneered, and thoroughly tried and true, are not just quantified by the word for thirty-two. We can analyze the Hebrew word ShLShIM VShThIM for its qualitative revelation as well. ShLShIM conveys an image of two pairs of breasts with a shepherd’s staff between them, followed by the masculine plural suffix IM, which represents plurality and life-giving abundance. The result is strength in multiplicity and increase, such as a shepherd and the bounty of his flock. ShThIM, depicts nourishment (or penetration) of a sign (or representation dynamic) of the same abundant flows. ShTh is a word for foundation, while the conjunction Vav can be seen as the first word fertilizing and stabilizing the second. To reiterate, the letters of the word for thirty-two describe a great nourishing abundance fertilizing a foundation or base of multiplicity.

Interpretations such as the one above are helpful to expand beyond the conventional text meaning. A number is both a quantity and a description of a process. The skill set of the ten accounts and the twenty two symbols is meant to foster abundance and affirmation of life. It is an enhancing dynamic and not one meant to escape the world for a transcendent reality. This is true whether we interpret the text in terms of religious or occult standards. The plurality in this case can involve individual signs or whole semantic groups. Our interpretation is also coherent with the biblical covenant; a contract that involved adherence to a specific divine will in exchange for abundance and welfare for the faithful. The Covenant is a conception we will see mentioned more than once in the Earliest Recoverable Text.

The next post will commence the discussion of the ten reckonings or tallies. In this system these are ten steps of esoteric cultivation and accomplishment, including the preliminary practices necessary to make them work. The discussion will veer from the format of this post, with less emphasis on the interpretation of word and more on the meaning of the content in terms of esoteric accomplishment. Some key terms will be, analyzed for greater comprehension. At least that’s the plan at this point.

The Sepher Yetsira as a Manual of Magic

The Sepher Yetsira (SY for short) is a foundation text underlying QBLH wisdom, although technically not included in its corpus. The title is often translated as Book of Creation- or Formation- which gives the impression of a religious work. It is, in fact, described as such where Biblical Deity established creation via ten “sephirot belimah” (SPIRVTh BLIMH) and twenty two autyot (AVThYVTh). A simplest interpretation associates the sephirot to numbers from one to ten and the signs to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

The word yetsirah (YTsIRH), however, comes from a root meaning “to shape”, which does not imply creation ex nihilo, but the creation of form from a pre-existing medium. The image, according to the lexicon, is of a potter forming a pot out of clay, or a woodworker carving an idol from a tree limb. Divine creation, on the other hand, has no pre-existing medium. Either it is out of nothing, or from the nature of Divine Being Itself. The latter outcome leads to the divine identity of creation itself; a belief known as Pantheism.

The SY is a fascinating albeit cryptic text in all its redactions, as it has elements of alchemy, magic, mystical practice as well as the religious symbolism that made it such valuable source material for the later variegated works under the label QBLH. The text and endless commentaries on it are easy to look up these days, something I encourage the interested reader to do, for the sake of better understanding the underlying context of this exposition.

Suffice it to say, the original text was thought to be around 250 words- compared to the 1300 to 2500 word count of existing versions. New material was obviously added over the ten centuries leading to the oldest known copy to date. Our work does not involve the copies that I have examined quite thoroughly. It covers a different and rather novel territory. The verses of the text transliterated, translated and analyzed in this series of posts are extracted from a modern incarnation of the SY.

This was compiled through the extended scholarship of Dr. A. Peter Hayman as a sort of experiment to reconstruct what a version of the text during the Talmudic period might look like. The result is an SY more concise and streamlined than even the shortest canonical version, although Hayman insists on refusing to identify his work as a genuine edition of the Sepher Yetsirah. It is 850 words long, and stands in length between the speculated word-count of the original and the 1300 words of the shortest official text. That’s a difference of at least 450 words. Do these clarify or alter the originally intended context?

If the SY was originally composed two millenia ago, it was most likely an oral teaching put to writing before vowel signs were introduced into Hebrew. As such, even the letter spacing of such a non-canonical text could be ambiguous. Interpreting the written word under those conditions, even for a native speaker, would be a guessing game without a given context upon which to base one’s discerning comprehension. With original context either lost or at the mercy of those opposed to it- highly likely given the tumultuous historic events of the period- the result would be anything but what the original author(s) would have intended. Understanding the esoteric meaning of the SY from the perspective of the existing genuine edits, therefore, restricts the context to that assumed or intended by the many editors of the text.

Then there is the Hayman experiment, which invites us to examine the material common to all edits. This in turn offers an opportunity to perform another experiment: to translate this “earliest recoverable” text of the SY under the context of esoteric alchemical cultivation practices and magical application. If the result is utter nonsense, the experiment is over. If, on the other hand, the discernment, interpretation and analysis of the text can extract from it a working esoteric methodology that can be tested, formalized and applied in a modern format…then we have something worth any additional effort to explore further.

One requirement for successfully applying esoteric context is an in-depth familiarity with the topic. Theoretical knowledge is insufficient for two reasons: a) it doesn’t begin to cover the nuances of occult reality to separate fact from fiction and workable tradition from media hyped speculation, and b) it tends to result in application that is nothing more than an intellectual exercise. Thus testing the methodology resulting from said interpretation of the text would be a waste of time at best. The oral tradition would likely reflect methods used by shamans and mystics the world over to this day, as opposed to the ceremonial type of magic and intellectualized practices predominant in modern QBLH.

That is not to say that esoteric cultivation is completely absent from the credited versions of the work. The well-known story of the Golem of Prague is a description of magic derived from the SY, which in that instance did serve as a Manual of Shaping (reality). The SY certainly advocates using the power of word, meditation and focus of will as well as breathing regulation and visual imaging. The Hayman version simply removes much of the gloss of later commentary incorporated as genuine text. What remains may not be the original, thought to be composed two millennia ago- out of an oral tradition dating back to the Patriarch Abraham. It may not even be in the precise likeness of any former- lost- version of genuine text. It is, however, still Sepher Yetsirah in terms of content.

Forthcoming posts will examine verses of the Hayman text in a specific format. That includes a transliteration of the Hebrew verse into Latin letters, followed by a translation, followed by commentary; the latter intended to clarify the translation and meaning of the corresponding verse. At the end of this text we provide a chart equating Hebrew letters to Latin equivalents for the convenience of those who wish to explore the forthcoming posts. For now my intention is to examine a verse or two per post, and to cover the first thirteen verses (out of forty-one), with the caveat that plans are subject to change, at least where the details are concerned.

The first is an introductory verse. The other twelve pertain to the OShR SPIRVTh BLIMH, whose meaning will be clarified in subsequent posts. When deemed necessary alternative word translations or clarifications are offered in brackets without italics. In the case of numbers and words with semantic ambiguity, such as divine names, we will resort to letter by letter analysis, based on the work of Carlo Suares and the letter glyph interpretations of Early Semitic. Combining the information with experience in esoteric methodology, we hope to extrapolate a system of inner alchemy (esoteric cultivation) and its application based on at least a portion of this earliest available text of the Sepher Yetsirah.

Aside from the Hebrew of Hayman’s extrapolated text, available in the public domain, the material provided here is original. Dr. Hayman himself did not translate his Earliest Recoverable Text into English, at least to my knowledge, but there is at least one public domain translation of this of which I am aware. The translation offered here diverges from that one, but isn’t completely alien to it. This is expected given the particular context involved in the work extrapolated here. Suffice it to say that, while the context employed is always that of esoteric cultivation, presenting a grammatically correct translation, as close to the given Hebrew as possible, while still maintaining contextual fluidity in English, has been top priority. All efforts are made to correct the inevitable mistakes that pop up now and again.

In conclusion I want to note that what I am describing has been a project of translation, commentary and practice involving several years’ labor overall- since 2012- although involvement was not continuous. It has been a challenging labor of love, empowerment and incredible meaning for me. Even more incredible is that the fruits of cultivation extend to horizons I could not have predicted, and which have only begun to reveal their implications in relation to other areas of esoteric interest. Perhaps this work merits more formal publication and other venues of sharing. Such a thing is demanding, in terms of time, energy and overall commitment, and asking for compensation is not where I’m at with this- at least not at this time. I have therefore chosen to explore, examine and explain the implications of the first thirteen verses, which describe a profound, concise and complete system of cultivation. This will be the topic of a number of posts to come. Thereafter, we shall see.

Hebrew Transliteration Scheme

Below is a chart of the transliterated Hebrew alphabet. This will be used in the posts on the Sepher Yetsira or wherever words in Hebrew are involved. Hebrew text is written right to left, while the transliterated version is written from left to right as in English. Transliterated Hebrew will be written in bold and English versions of Hebrew words (not transliterated, as well as directly translated text) will be rendered in italics. These words abide by a rather loose phonetic scheme rather than the transliteration format offered below.

Hebrew

Transliteration

Hebrew

Transliteration

Hebrew

Transliteration

Aleph

A

Yod

I

Qof

Q

Bayth

B

Kaph

K

Resh

R

Gimel

G

Lammed

L

Shin

Sh

Dallet

D

Mem

M

Tau

Th

Heh

H

Nun

N

Vav

V

Sammek

S

Zain

Z

A’ayin

O

Cheth

Ch

Peh

P

Teyth

T

Tsaddi

Tz

Blog Reboot: New Path, New Material and Getting Occult Issues Out of the Way

Welcome to a new beginning; a reboot that in principle is the first and last for this blog. In practice, who knows? All I can say is that my intention is to be consistent from now on. I have tons of cool material to back my claim, and the passion to make it stick. In fact, one of the reasons I have been on “hiatus” is because I have been busy working on pathways of occult possibility and immersed in testing and refining theory into practice.

So far, this blog has been about esoteric themes in a rather general and theoretical sense; about principles and points of view. I consider the latter important in esoteric cultivation. Often emphasis is on the mechanics of practice, to the detriment of the meaning of the main current of what works and why in such matters. In addition, many practitioners have been jaded by compromised if not crushed ambitions as their journey wore on. This is, in my view, especially true of twentieth century ceremonial magic (aka “magick”), in its many popularized offshoots of the light spectrum and its right vs. left psycho politics. Indeed the modern media- meant to be a refreshing font of elucidation and enlightenment- has ended up a quagmire of processed bullshit, tart, bitter and sugar-coated in its marketed variety.

As a trained and published scientist- PhD in experimental physics- I attest that occultism is not an empirical field of knowledge and experience. You can explain some occult phenomena with the existing scientific models, stretched to the breaking point of theoretical speculation, but still within the realm of possibility. You also use reason in occult practice, just as you should in science. However, an occultist does not employ the (empirical) scientific method, even though it may appear that way due to the rigor and attention to detail both types of theory and practice demand. There is no such thing as “occult science”, in my view. Science reveals objectified models of “what” and “how”. The occult is concealed in functional ambiguity, starting from one’s own fundamental sense of “why”.

Word-play aside, a notable difference between the two is that science is about objective perception and thinking, even in its most arcane-like theoretical manifestations, while occultism is about subjective experience, even when it is shared. This is why it is also known as “esoteric” (internal) and “meta-physical” (beyond physical objectivism). One can practice science and occultism separately, or used scientific models in occultism. One can use esoteric skills in scientific exploration as well, but that does not make it scientific practice. Occultism is not quantifiable, after all, and that is the hallmark of the scientific method- hand in hand with objectified mentation.

The above are topics of interest to me, but will not be part of the reboot of this blog. I bid them a fond farewell with this summary, and am moving to the next step. This involves expressing the products of several years of exploration, and refinement without second guessing or debating the good, the bad and the ugly of it. Not to mention refining is ongoing, and nothing is absolutely written in a diamond hard medium. The process, in other words, is far from reaching its conclusion.

Esoteric accomplishment is meant to result in wisdom, which implies cultivating the understanding and skill to affect reality without a material medium, to affect events, to affect minds and bodies (including one’s own of course), to affect destinies, and to reach levels of awareness that encompass a maturation of all- relatively speaking- one’s existence truly is. Technically, maturing in such wisdom will transform an individual into a boon for the world as well as themselves. That’s how it’s supposed to be, in my view at least.

In practice, the ideal is not congruent with the real, even taking into account the exceptions. Namely, esoteric exploration and its application is not one thing. There are many paths, and every one of them requires commitment and making space in one’s life. It doesn’t mean you either give up everything or don’t bother trying. It means, consider your returns to be a function of your investment in terms of commitment- energy, time and one’s own sense of self. Also consider that truly empowering esoteric cultivation results in deep changes in the psyche, that must be faced along with every nook and cranny of former self being exposed at some point. The changes tend to also pop up as events in one’s personal life, but also in the stage of the world at large. The latter is still a reflection of one’s true (greater) psyche- far more than just the workings of a little brain, no matter how complex and miraculous it is touted.

I used to be concerned about sharing information that might affect the recipients of it in ways they don’t understand. I now know that life in general does this; that most of us grow and change, evolve and devolve in directions we do not or cannot foresee let alone choose consciously. At a deeper level, however, there is more going on. Any opportunity to make that deeper level conscious and work in it and with it; recognizing it as a layer of one’s own existential identity, is something to be pursued by those who know where their interests lie.

Thus I have decided to organize specific information, regarding specific topics and practices that I have structured, explored and refined for personal application. Make no mistake; this is not a teaching of any sort. It is more a thought experiment in occult possibility. Herein I will share information on Esoteric Alchemy (Eastern and Western), Hermetic themes, Solomonic conjuring, Runes, Yoga/Tantra and other topics of occult interest. There is much ground to cover, so I may not be as thorough as if I were actually teaching the material. This thought experiment will present basics without claiming a thing, but expressing in a fashion of “as if it were true”. Even the well-read armchair occultist, if not the reader of populist literature will recognize most of the themes I plan to share. There is the Sepher Yetsirah (Book of Shaping) for starters, and the Yoga Aphorisms of Patañjali, and the “Goetic Art” of the Lesser Key of Solomon. There is also some interesting restructuring of Geomancy, Runic script and Taoist binary symbolism (such the Hexagrams of the Yi Ching) fused into a single system of symbol magic and contemplation.

The material is anything but purist, but not purely eclectic- made up or the product of media fantasy- either. It is an expression of basic esoteric principles I have tested over the years and continue to refine through all the opportunities and challenges life offers me. My experiment is in sharing it without expectation, or desire for some sort of payback or even recognition. Frankly there is no need, because the material does not lend itself as second hand information. Unless one works with and owns the material something will likely backfire. The reason is that its all tied to deep existential forces, sentient and impersonal that are not objective. Thus, like the quantum systems populist new age mystics like to use as examples, the observer cannot step apart from the observed.

Note I am not saying I need to authorize anything. This is an experiment so there are no guarantees, and free of the luxury of being credited, aside from the content originating from some sort of established tradition, and adapted to my own disposition and needs. It is simply that I consider real occult knowledge to be interactive, and not simply a dead pattern of information. I would say the stories of occultists having “bad endings” or hard lives have roots in a variety of causes. Some are as they should be; challenges of growth. Others are expressions of folly that can just as easily be avoided with a bit of caution and common sense. I don’t believe any occultism is more dangerous than the attitude of the one involved in dabbling or trafficking in it.

All that being said, we start the new material with my translation of the Hebrew text Sepher Yetsirah. This is no canonical text, but a modern experimental version, compiled from existing edits by Dr. A. Peter Hayman. He calls it The Earliest Recoverable Text, but by no means considers it anything but an exercise in scholarship rendering a possibility of such a text. It is, in my view, a useful attitude for an aspirant of esoteric cultivation to have toward such a work. The aim of my translation was also an experiment to answer a question: How well does the information in this text fit in the context of a manual of occult accomplishment? Is the manual of “Shaping”- or “Creation/Formation” if one prefers- a manual of magic? If so, what are its secrets? Suffice it to say that I have yet to see an interpretation of this work quite like the one I have rendered. So stay tuned, and we shall begin the beginning about which we elaborated in this post…next time.