Let us now make a brief resume of our work, so as to keep in mind a clear conception of the various stages through which it has passed; but in order to show the progress that has been made in the solution of the Mysteries of the Holy Qabalah, we may look back a few years in order to see more clearly the results of the influence of the New Aeon and the rapid strides which have been made since its incoming in the year 1904 E.V.
In the year 1886, which happens to be that of the birth of the present writer, Dr. W. Wynn Westcott, Hon. Magus of the Soc. Ros. in Ang., translated the ancient treatise known as the “Sepher Yetzirah” into English, and read the results of his pioneer work before the Hermetic Society in London. In 1887 his work was published in a limited edition of 100 copies by Robert H. Fryar of Bath, England.
Commenting upon Verses 9-10-11 of Chapter I, which have been quoted in full in Chapter VI of the present treatise and which described how IHV looked above and sealed its height, below and sealed its depth, etc., Dr. Westcott gives the following diagrams together with the words, “Note the description of the Decad. First a tetrad is formed, then a hexad.” And that was all the explanation which seemed necessary, or was forthcoming, at the time. Not in any spirit of criticism, but, as stated above, in order to show the real progress which has been made, we should compare the simple diagram of the “hexad” with Plate B of the present work, and we can hardly fail to notice signs of genuine advance in Qabalistic thought during the last 37 years.
But the ancient Sepher Yetzirah itself, although giving a possible indication of this six-fold development as being present in the mind of the writer, or compiler, in the distant past, contains little that could be construed as an indication of the further development of the Idea in three-dimensional form as suggested by the present author. There is a verse in Chapter II which reads: “These twenty-two letters, the foundations, He arranged as on a sphere, with two hundred and thirty-one modes of entrance. If the sphere be rotated forwards, good is implied, if in a retrograde manner, evil is intended,” but it is doubtful if this can be thought to indicate the formation of the Dodecahedron and its infinite progression or expansion. Rather we are inclined to think we have taken a step not previously written of, or contemplated in any of the old treatises on the subject.
In May of last year (1922 E.V.), as the result of a series of Initiations of a very direct nature, dating particularly from June 21st, 1916, and developing on different Planes, December 21st, 1917, September to October, 1918, April 1921, etc., the present writer obtained a clue to a new intellectual conception of the Qabalistic Plan. It seemed that although the 10 Sephiroth were in proper order and arrangement, the “Paths” could be changed to great advantage, and this resulted in the publication of “Q.B.L.” or The Bride’s Reception, which was an attempt to show clearly the old methods, and contained the new ideas in the form of an Appendix.
Meanwhile, in April of this year, he was led to discover a much more harmonious explanation of the Keys of the Tarot when they were arranged on the Tree according to the Revised Order of the Paths. The results of this investigation have been recorded in “The Egyptian Revival,” to which I must refer the reader. I may say that this book seems an indication of the revival of the lost Universal Tradition of the Golden Age and explains the nature of the present Egyptian Revival in a reasonable manner.
This work led on to the discoveries recorded in the present treatise, which may be briefly summed up as follows:
The Tree of Life in its regular and simple form has been taken as the basis of our work, but the revised order of the Paths adopted, as the one which seems most reasonable.
It became apparent that the due proportions of the parts of the Tree had not previously been taken into serious consideration as of vital importance to the study of the matter. Examples of the designs of “Trees” in well known works on the subject, show great variation in this respect.
We discovered that the basis of the Tree was the Equilateral Triangle, the Vesica Piscis and the rectangle formed on its length and breadth. These were shown to have marvelous properties which have been sufficient to interest and impress some of the most learned and wise men of past history, and upon which the style of Gothic Architecture is wholly based. But the fact that the Qabalistic “Tree of Life” in its entirety partook of these same marvelous properties, came to use as a new revelation.
We found that the “Tree” was not fixed, but capable of indefinite expansion or contraction, so that it truly lived, and that all our “Ideas” and “Correspondences” based thereon, were similarly capable of indefinite progress, thus enabling the mind of man to expand or contract at will, without interfering with its balanced and equilibrated arrangement once the Plan of the Tree had become firmly rooted therein. We then discovered that, as indicated in the “Sepher Yetzirah,” this plan could be multiplied when arranged as an ever-increasing Hexagon, based upon the progression of SIX TREES reflected in the Height, Depth, North, South, East, and West. This we found to be the design of the naturally crystallized snowflake, and it gave us the means of filling all two-dimensional Space.
We further discovered that the Original Tree might be considered as a Prismatic Solid in Three Dimensions and that FIVE such prisms formed a perfect pentagonal figure when united. In other words the means of changing the Hexagram into the Pentagram is through a transition from 2 to 3 dimensions, as can be simply shown if we take a piece of paper, cut into a perfect Hexagon, or Hexagram, and then make another cut from one point to the center, as in the following diagram.
We shall find that this piece of paper will fold into a perfect Pentagon or Pentagram if we slide one half of the divided point “A” under the figure till it coincides with “B,” thus raising the center of the figure into the third dimension.
Four of these blocks of Five Trees were found to form a solid capable of progression in all directions so as to fill every dimension of known space, and the nature of the whole figure was found to be that of a perfect Dodecahedron or Twelve-fold figure, each side of which is a perfect Pentagon. Perhaps this represents the Tree in the Midst of the Garden having Twelve manner of Fruits. Each of the surfaces being Pentagonal, represents a Microcosm or Type of Man and may be attributed to one of the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac, Twelve Tribes, Apostles, Knights of the Round Table, etc.
At the Center of All is Malkuth, so that this is indeed the “Closed Palace of the Bride,” the secrets of which were promised as a reward to those who succeeded in interpreting the Mysteries of the New Aeon. This Prismatic and Crystalline conception of the “Tree” is perhaps the reward mentioned in Liber Legis of those who have passed the “Third Ordeal.” Chapter III states:
“63. The fool readeth this Book of the Law and its comment: and he understandeth it not.
“64. Let him come through the first ordeal, and it will be to him as silver.
“65. Through the second, gold.
“66. Through the third, stones of precious water.
“67. Through the fourth, ultimate sparks of the infinite fire.
“68. Yet to all it shall seem beautiful. Its enemies who say not so, are mere liars.
“69. There is success.”
But what of the ultimate sparks of the intimate fire? Who knows! There may be yet some further revelation before all is accomplished. But to my mind this refers to the Mystery of Hadit, the Concealed Center, the Lost Father, Who is the Core of every Star, and the Flame that burn in every heart of man. For, since the Universe is the Child of the Two Infinites, every point in space is equally the Center of the Whole, and the Spirit of God is in each of us, as an ultimate spark of the intimate fire.
But, in any case, we have progressed, and we have discovered a strange new interpretation of the prophetic words of “Liber A’Ash,” which states:
“This chain reaches from Eternity to Eternity, ever in triangles—is not my symbol a triangle? -- ever in circles -- is not the symbol of the Beloved a circle? Therein is all progress base illusion, for every circle is alike and every triangle alike!
“But the progress is progress, and progress is rapture, constant, dazzling showers of light, waves of dew, flames of the hair of the Great Goddess, flowers of the roses that are about her neck, Amen!”