The Hexagram of the Kabbalah

Throughout the previous sections I have developed the mathematics using several different philosophies. In each of these the basic starting point is opposing properties. It is by a series of complementations of the harmonic oscillations of these opposites that produce the qualities and actions of the higher dimensions. When we compare Astrology to the I Ching, the I Ching to the alchemical process, the alchemical process to the Kabbalah, Astrology to the Kabbalah or any specific philosophy to another philosophy, we find similarities between the two. These similarities are not random coincidence, they are equivalencies in basic structure developed in antiquity either independently or by association. The terminology is different but the structures are comparable.

We also see symbolic diagrams in each of the philosophies. Astrology’s wheel chart, the I Ching’s hexagrams and in the Kabbalah, the Tree of Life. The picture on each Tarot card is a graphic representation of the meaning of that particular card. The Tree of Life gives a symbolic representation of the Sephiroth and the associations between each Sephira along with the hierarchy and divisions of the nature of G_d. The Astrological wheel gives a summative overview of planet’s positions, aspects, and major correlations in one diagram. The I Ching hexagram is a symbolic diagram of one of sixty-four generic situations. Symbolic notation plays a major part in understanding the mysteries.

In the section on the Natal Hexagram, I explained the process of obtaining a person’s I Ching Hexagram from an Astrological natal chart. This hexagram is also analogous to the one formed from Alchemy.

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The Kabbalistic Tree of Life also contains a hexagram. It can be found in the formative world. The Tree of Life is separated into four worlds. The first world is the archetypal world, the world of Emanation. This world contains the supernal sephira Kether, the Crown. The second world is the world of Creation. It contains the supernals Chokmah and Binah. The third world is the world of Formation which consists of the six sephiroth Chesed, Geburah, Tiphereth, Netzakh, Hod and Yesod. The world of formation is the spiritual connection to the physical world,and it is the first world below the Veil of the Abyss. It is the formative world and often called the Kabbalistic hexagram. The fourth world is the world of Fabrication; it contains the sephira, Malkuth. This is the physical world or the world of action.

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The process of change/creation begins in the world of emanation where (Kether) is the recipient of the primal substance from the infinite unknowable (Ein Soph – the infinite reservoir). These emanations, channeled through Kether, become the source of emanation to Chokmah in the world of creation. Chokmah takes these emanations and transforms them as such into a masculine seminal emanate which received by the feminine Binah modifies them and through the knowledge of Da’ath they take form. The result of these actions are seen in the world of formation. This form is then fabricated into physical reality by the action of Malkuth. This process is continuous. It is continually happening from moment to moment, and can be literally interpreted as continuous change.

The four worlds of the Tree of Life can be compared to that of a puzzle. In the world of emanation the raw materials are gathered and presented to the world of creation. The world of creation takes the raw materials and creates the several pieces of the puzzle. In this world the pieces are in random order. The world of fromation creates a template in which each piece of the puzzle has an ordered position. When each piece of the puzzle is in its proper position within the template it is then fabricated in the fourth world.

Accordingly, the human soul travels this same path. Its primal emanates are channeled from Kether to the world of creation. There, by the actions of Chokmah and Binah, the necessary components for the creation of the soul are formed. Once the components are formed, through the knowledge of Da’ath the soul takes form in the world of formation. Chesed gives the soul the qualities of faith, optimism, loyalty, confidence, wisdom and opportunity. From Geburah it obtains aggressiveness, assertiveness, passion, force, competitiveness, daring, anger, courage and strength. Tiphereth gives it will, pride, determination, vitality, recognition, purpose, ego and self-esteem. It acquires the qualities affection, pleasures, indulgence, sociability, creativity, talent and sensuality from Netzach. Hod gives it flexibility, adaptivity, rational thought, intellect, knowledge, learning ability, expression, skills and the way of the conscious mind. Finally, from Yesod the soul is equipped with inner character, feelings, instinct, intuition, reactions and emotions. After the soul has acquired these qualities, it is given a physical body in Malkuth.

Once the soul has completed its journey from Kether to Malkuth and has been given a life force it begins its journey back through the sephiroth from Malkuth to Kether. This journey is rocky and has many pitfalls. The end of this journey is death, the demise of the physical body.

When I discussed the similarities between the philosophies of Alchemy, I Ching and Astrology, I compared the three through the formation of a similar hexagram within the three. The qualities of each line of the hexagram can be found in the Tree of Life. The six sephiroth in the world of formation form the kabbalistic hexagram that is analogous to the Alchemical, I Ching and Natal Hexagrams discussed earlier.

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Let us take the Tree of Life and separate it into its trigrams. There are three distinct trigrams in the Tree of Life, the Supernal trigram, the Ethical trigram and the Astral trigram.

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The Supernal trigram is above the veil of the abyss and therefore is a emanative/creative action and not a formative action. The world of formation consists of the Ethical and Astral trigrams. The Ethical trigram is the upper trigram and the Astral trigram is the lower trigram of the I Ching and Astrology hexagrams. These two trigrams are the six lines of the hexagram. The upper trigram (Chesed, Geburah and Tiphereth) have the qualities associated with Jupiter, Mars and the Sun respectively. The lower trigram (Netzach, Hod and Yesod) have the qualities given to Venus, Mercury and the Moon, respectively. The upper trigram is considered an outer nature and the lower trigram is considered an inner nature.

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With these characteristics in mind let us compare the Sun, Moon and Ascendant to the Alchemical Soul, Spirit and Body of the Alchemists using the symbolic Tree of Life as a backdrop.

Consider the main triad in Astrology, the Sun Sign, Moon Sign and the Ascending sign. The aspects and transits consistently alter the effects of these three, but looking at the natal chart alone, which is a permanent symbolic representation, these three qualities describe the individual. It can be deceiving though, because at times the person you think is a Scorpio may in reality be a Cancer or any of the other eleven signs. More often it depends upon your position in that person’s inner or outer circle. If you are in that person’s inner circle of friends, you probably see this person everyday or have some contact or dealings with him/her on a daily or weekly basis. Within the confines of the inner circle you will see this person as his/her Sun sign. You will see the person’s soul nature, the inner core or true self. This is the quality of the alchemical soul. On the other hand, if you are in that person’s outer circle, where you may only see this person once a month, once or twice a year you will see this person as his/her Ascending sign, or the projected nature. This is the quality of the alchemical body. The Moon sign is the alchemical spirit quality. This is inner character, feelings, instinct, intuition, emotions, etc., the driving force of the mind.

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In the Tree of Life, the sephiroth Chesed and Tiphereth form the astrological Sun sign. This is a combination of the planetary properties of the Sun and Jupiter. Therefore, we have will, pride, determination, vitality, purpose, ego and self-esteem combined with vision, faith, optimism, loyalty, opportunity and confidence. Positive and negative variances of these qualities are the elements of the Sun sign. These elements are distinct qualities of one’s inner core or soul nature.

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The Ascending sign is formed from the sephiroth Geburah and Netzach and has the planetary properties of Mars and Venus. Here we have the inverse properties of severity and overcoming. Mars is aggressive, assertive, forceful, energetic, courageous, competitive, daring, passionate and strong. These qualities combined with those of Venus, sociable, creative, artistic, sensual, affectionate, indulging, talented and pleasurable are the elements of the projected nature or the Ascending sign.

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Hod and Yesod have the planetary properties of Mercury and the Moon. These properties are the elements of the astrological Moon sign. We have learning ability, knowledge, adaptiveness, objective rational thought, communication, intellect, skill, flexibility and the conscious mind combined with inner character, feelings, instinct, intuition, emotions and reactions. All the elements for one’s spirit nature.

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Not only can the planetary influences of the sephiroth in the world of formation be applied to astrology and alchemy, they also can be used for the delineation of the I Ching hexagram. Line one of the I Ching hexagram is Hod (Mercury), line 2 is Yesod (Moon), line three is Netzach (Venus), line four is Geburah (Mars), line 5 is Tiphereth (Sun) and line six is Chesed (Jupiter).

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We can also associate the major arcana of the Tarot to the lines of the I Ching hexagram. The Fool, the Magician and the Empress are the paths between the supernals Kether – Chokmah, Kether – Binah and Chokmah – Binah respectively.. These are outside the realm of the hexagram, but the High Priestess is the path from Kether to line 5 (Tiphereth, the middle line in the upper trigram).

The Chariot is the path from Binah to line 4 (Geburah), The Lovers’ path is between Binah and line 5 (Tiphereth), the path between line 6 (Chesed) and Chokmah is The Heirophant and The Emperor is the path between Chokmah and line 5 (Tiphereth).

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Strength is the path between line 6 (Chesed) and line 4 (Geburah). The Hermit is the path between line 5 and line 6 (Tiphereth & Chesed), Justice is between line 4 and line 5 (Geburah & Tiphereth) and The Devil is between line 1 of the lower trigram and line 5 of the upper trigram (Hod & Tiphereth).

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Death is the path from line 3 to line 5 (Netzach & Tiphereth) and Temperance is between line 2 and line 5 (Yesod & Tiphereth). Line 2 and line 5 are the rulers of the lower and upper trigrams. Judgment is between line 1 (Hod) and Malkuth and The Lightning Struck Tower is between line 1 and line 3 (Hod & Netzach).

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The path between the corresponding positions of line 1 of the lower trigram and line 4 of the upper trigram is the Hanged Man (Geburah & Hod), the Wheel of Fortune is the path between line 3 and line 6 (Netzach & Chesed), the Universe card is the path between Yesod and Malkuth or line 2 and Malkuth and the Star is the connection between line 2 and line 3 (Yesod & Netzach).

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The last two cards of the major arcana are The Sun and The Moon. The Sun is the path between line 1 and line 2 (Hod & Yesod) and The Moon is the path between Malkuth and line 3 (Netzach).

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So far I have shown the similarities that exist between Alchemy, Astrology, I Ching and the Kabbalah. The one main truth is that the universe does not operate differently to suit each different philosophy. There is one and only one true way or tao. The universe is ordered. This order is governed by one set of laws and this set of laws does not change from philosophy to philosophy. Each different philosophy is just a explanation of one of several different parts of the whole. The Kabbalah, Astrology, I Ching and Alchemy each have a common root and structure. Each one concentrates on a different area of the structure and adds a different perspective and a different approach to understanding the mysteries as a whole.

Author: Charlie Higgins

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