Written: November 17th, 2017 | Edited: 20th March 2019
I just realised I have not written anything on here in about 4 months. Well, you know what Magick is like. Every now and then you’re thrown into a state of chaos and forced to figure things out in order to move ahead, both in life and along the path of mysticism.
Anyway, let’s get to today’s topic: My 10 week long journey, traversing up the Kabbalistic Tree of Life in the Plane of Assiah.
What is Assiah?
There are four planes of existence, and most systems of magick acknowledge this. There’s many variations, and lots of different perspectives of course, but in Ceremonial Magick we classify them according to the four elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire.
Each element corresponds to one of the four Planes of Existence: Assiah (Physical plane), Yetzirah (Astral plane), Briah (Archetypal, or Etheric plane), and Atziluth (Creative plane).
This is a very complicated topic, and an entire book could be written about it (check out Israel Regardie’s The Tree of Life), so don’t get upset if I simplify things quite a bit for the sake of convenience.
Assiah is the name of the first world, and corresponds to the element of Earth. It is the plane of material reality and matter. Put simply, this world in which your body exists, that you currently inhabit and are full conscious of.
The screen on which you read this, and the material it is made of, is part of Assiah. Not just matter, but your family bonds, personal relationships, your career, wealth and psychical well being, are also part of Assiah. From the fundamental particle, to everything you can physically perceive in the Universe, as well as any bonds or attachments you form to material reality, are part of Assiah.
And when it comes to the Magician, the part of him that anchors him to Assiah, is his physical body, and extends to his personal, subjective reality, aka his ‘Kingdom”, or Malkuth, the 10th Sephiroth.
This diagram is mixture between Hebrew and Japanese (Shinto/Buddhist) cosmology I found. They are very similar.
Now, each of the four planes corresponds to one of our four bodies, or vehicles. No doubt you’ve heard of people learning to use their astral body, which new agers dub as “light body”, and sometimes even using their etheric body. It’s interesting how many beginner spiritualists enthusiastically dive into these higher worlds, without focusing on the first, most crucial one: the physical one.
Malkuth corresponds to the GD Grade of Zelator, and it is during the first phase of this grade that one builds his body in Assiah. It is essential that one master his body, and gain a certain degree of mastery before going much further. Even if you don’t follow the GD system, it’s never too late to revisit something simpler. I like to think that it doesn’t matter when we do stuff, as long as we do them.
In this post, I want to talk about each sphere. The exercise basically involves entering each Assiatic House, of which there are 10, each corresponding to a Sephiroth in the Tree of Life. You meditate on each house for a week. During this process, your earthly qualities are brought out, and you’re forced to face them, as they reintegrate into your body, now awakened. Sometimes it’s pleasant, sometimes not. But it’s all worth it at the end.
Olam Yesodoth |Earth | The Elements
Olam Yesodoth is Hebrew for “Sphere of the Elements”, and corresponds to Malkuth in Assiah. This was the very first week and I did not know what to expect. The way I see it, Olam Yesodoth corresponds to the Physical Body and the base physical feelings and desires. It is also as low as a man can go on the Trees. We magicians are used to dwelling somewhere in Yetzirah and Briah, so falling to Assiah can be rough. You must make your way to Yetzirah once again, and re-live all of the material stages of development, which as you may know is the “lower” or “baser” nature of man.
Perhaps it has to do with learning empathy as well. Suffer like those on the lower rungs, those still in Assiah, and perhaps you will see what motivates and drives them, and why you cannot understand them. But, it is also a realisation and acceptance of your own lower nature, and how you’re also human at the core.
After all, each human being in reality spans from Malkuth in Assiah to Kether in Atziluth. He is just not fully aware of this yet.
During this first week, I just lost all will to do anything. I was exhausted, tired and bored. Everyday, i’d come home and just sort of lie on the floor, until I could eat and sleep. I watched some videos, but mostly I just wanted to sleep. It was as if the very vitality was sucked from me. This is how I used to be before I got into spirituality, and I had forgotten how being tired all the time even felt. I’d gotten out of the habit of sleeping during the day, so I never actually did so this time. This week was lazy and uneventful. I shudder to think that many people do live like this on a daily basis. (But the age of Aquarius is starting to I am certain it shall end. It already is starting to appear visibly in society)
Levanah | The Moon
Levanah is the Hebrew name for the Moon, and corresponds to Yesod in Assiah, which corresponds to the genitals and one’s libido. So, what do you think happened?
Let’s just I had a heightened libido during this week, and I took care of it however I could. It was like being a hormonal teenager, or a pervert. Another week of nothing, just realising how perverted one’s mind can be, and how easy and tempting it is to give in to complete lust.
I imagine this is the path that leads to hedonism. Usually, somewhere along that line, people get “saved” by religion or spirituality. I’m one of those people who got into magick early, so I have little experience with such feelings, except as a younger teen, and that’s my only reference point.
Kokab | Mercury
Now, things started to get kind of interesting.
Kokab is the Hebrew name of Mercury, corresponding to Hod in Assiah. This, I feel, must correspond to the digestive system and food habits. During this week, I suddenly had stomach problems, like acidity and aching. See, when I was younger, I used to have this problem perpetually. Then, it sort of improved as I got older and stronger, but now it was suddenly back, and I was forced to take a long hard look at my diet.
Ever since I became a magician, I decided to eat healthy, but I never REALLY did. I quit meat, and cut down on junk food, but I still sort of cheated and ate some shit. During this week, it ALL went. Anything and everything: cafeteria snacks, soft drinks, sugar, chips (or crisps), most biscuits, juices, and processed food. I began to prefer Sattvic food (look it up), and boy, was it great. I didn’t quit delicious food, I just quit the stuff that’s bad but pumped full of enough chemicals to make you think it’s “delicious”, when it’s really just addictive.
My health, body and energy levels improved dramatically, and I ended up saving a lot of money too. It’s strange when you realise how much we actually need to eat, and how much we actually eat. Two balanced meals a day is actually enough, along with fruits and nuts at certain times. Everything else, I see as an occasional luxury. Although, I still drink coffee, the holy nectar : )
Black of course. And home brewed, like it should be. None of that instant 280 g of sugar per cup bullshit (we got Starbucks in India. Not the biggest fan). I’m not saying be a vegan, but all religions and spiritual practices recommend a certain kind of diet, from the ancient Egyptian priests to New Age gurus, from the frugal yogi to the rich Mason. They aren’t just all saying mumbo jumbo meant to keep you from happiness, trust me. Eat clean, pure and high vibration foods as much as possible. It’s worth it. After some time, you won’t even miss that can of coke you drink daily.
Nogah | Venus
Nogah is the Hebrew name of Venus, corresponding to Netszach in Assiah. I can’t actually tell which part it corresponds to, and my best guess is going to be the stomach.
You ever skip a meal or two? Or just go hungry for a day? You start to feel sort of sad, or depressed, or have pessimistic thoughts, and you’re not sure why. Nothing severe, just sort of a negative feeling, that disappears immediately after you eat a nice meal.
Well, it’s because your brain runs on Glucose, and without that, your moods get erratic. Furthermore, low blood sugar is known to cause depression. Well, for that reason or some other, this week I got depressed. Severely.
Like REALLY depressed. People keep pointing out that simply being sad is very different from real depression. Well, what I felt was more like real depression. I wasn’t sad, really, nor was there any particularly negative thoughts. I just couldn’t find the motivation to do…anything at all.
I simply could not get myself out of bed in the mornings. I didn’t feel like playing games, or reading, or even watching a movie. It took everything I had just to do my daily ritual. I couldn’t enjoy anything. At times, I even felt energetic, and motivated, but couldn’t channel it into anything, or be happy doing anything. In fact, not just happiness, I couldn’t even feel angry, or sad, or emotional. It was just dark, and empty. Made me understand what it would be like to have no purpose in life, and no reason to live. It was desolate.
I also had a SEVERE crisis of faith. In magick, in the Divine, in the Self. I didn’t want to continue. Just give up, and become a nihilistic atheist. What if all this was a sham? What if all my prior success was just one big coincidence? What if nothing had meaning after all? What if I was just going mad?
Update (2019): This crisis of faith was basically me passing through Paroketh (The Veil) in Assiah. This lies above Hod/Netszach, and below Tiphareth.
But this was promptly restored. I ended up reading a Hindu blog about the lack of faith. Hinduism approaches the idea of faithlessness very differently than, say, Christianity, so I ended up feeling reassured after that. It doesn’t condemn you for not having faith, but assures you that you need to stay true to yourself, but also tells you rather sternly that no one will save you but you, so get your shit together and figure it out. At the very least, it says that whatever you’re feeling is true and real, that you’re not just “wrong” for these feelings. It says if you’ve ended up an atheist, then it’s better to be one than force faith. At the same time, if you choose to be faithful, then you have to find that yourself. Anything else would be empty.
Go find your salvation, or accept your life. Whatever gives you satisfaction. Don’t worry about what any scripture says, since ultimately your life is yours. Just as Arjuna had to go face a war, and do his duty as a warrior. Krishna was with him throughout, but never raised his weapons, though he was the Lord of the Universe.
No one saved Arjuna. No divine miracles were performed, none of his sins were pardoned. There were no Gods on his side, and no angels singing in the sky. The future for him, looked bleak and bloody. But still he fought, and won.
All he was given was a sermon, and a vision. And the he rode out to meet his fate.
Shamash | The Sun
Finally, in the 6th week, I left the lower spheres behind and entered Shamash, the Sun, corresponding to Tiphareth in Assiah.
The Sun corresponds to your Heart, and what is in it. This is where the Self is.
This was a great week. It’s difficult to put into words, but this week I was at my creative best, and I put in a lot of work. The desire to succeed and produce something good, to improve my skills and let the Higher Genius flow through, became very strong. And so, I ignored everything else, and I put in the work. This week jump-started the main goal of the Zelator grade: that of mastering the element of Earth. Now that the lower nature had been overcome, every week from then on brought more positives than negatives. This was when I felt better again. Christ has been resurrected.
Maadim | Mars
This was an intense phase. Maadim, as you can guess, is Mars, corresponding to Geburah in Assiah. The energies of this week were so strong, that their influence remained with me long after the week was up, and even after the entire exercise was up. Eventually, they faded, but they left a permanent impact upon my beliefs and opinions, which I don’t think will ever go.
Maadim is fiery and intense, and thus, deeply connected to your religious, political and social beliefs and opinions. Even though we magicians should be depolarised, we’ll always have some subjectivity, and certain leanings. Maadim polarised me to a immense degree, but due to this, it changed my thinking. Or rather, helped me think for myself rather than simply be led on by whatever was told to me by any side.
I wouldn’t say it put anything new into my mind, but brought out and laid bare what was already there. In a way, it forces you off the fence, and makes you take a stance in life, and after the week was over, I was much more certain of where I wanted to be in life, and even after I centered and grounded myself later, these things became a part of me, because they resonate with me deeply, though I never realised this before.
I wouldn’t say I, or anyone else is forced to submit due to social norms. Rather, we’ve accepted certain norms from birth, and never truly questioned them, or how we feel and think. Imagine North Korea: most of the world’s actually just a milder version of it. We were taught certain things were good and accepted, and we shunned everything else so strongly we never gave them a chance. For me, entering the occult was part of stepping out of the firelight.
A majority of the people are stuck in such a state of indecisiveness and neutrality, making it easy to sway them to either side, with enough incentive.
I remember, one night I didn’t even sleep, because I was too agitated at my own thoughts, and how far they could go. At the same time, I also recognized an intense hate, and maniacal rage. I understood, for the first time, how The Nazis must have thought and felt as they unloaded their rage onto those whom they deemed to e responsible for their suffering. Though I understood this, I couldn’t help but be swayed by it, and it would be long before I would calm down.
Nonetheless, it is important to understand this inner monster that is Mars. Only by understanding it, can you control it and use this energy to constructive ends. Interestingly, this is not only how the tyrants felt, but also the heroes. Both Hitler and Churchill. Same energy, just depends on where you direct it.
Anyway, i’m much more sure of myself now, and much more confident.
Update (2019): Ultimately, these feelings would stay with me for the next year and a half, and then it would take another 6 months before I could call them “resolved”. I thought everything could be fixed by having a logically coherent political ideology. But humans aren’t “logical”. We’re too complex, reality is too fucking complex.
India was having quite the political crises at the time, and I was too willing to take sides.
I never did anything physically, but mentally I went DEEP. But eventually I went so deep, that an abyss opened up in my belief systems. Suddenly everything collapsed, and I realised the futility of it all. This was partly shown to me by higher forces. They showed me the sheer intricacy of this system and society we have built over 2.3 million years, and our place in the cosmos.
Maybe it was just be transitioning from the idealism of my teen years to the realism and practicality that marks adulthood. But at least I gained the ability to think for myself. I was freed from the fear of social conformity.
Tzedek | Jupiter
Tzedek is the name of Jupiter, and corresponds to Chesed in Assiah. Now, bear in mind that the energies of Mars were still very active and strong.
Tzedek rules our ability to be reasonable and think clearly. Just as Maadim is the Right Shoulder, the force and power behind our dominant hand, Tzedek is the Left Shoulder, the hand of mercy and receiving. I calmed down somewhat. I believe all that really happened is that I was able to see the OTHER side of every argument. I didn’t agree with it, but I could somewhat relate to and appreciate other opinions. At the very least I felt a bit more merciful. During this period I just stopped and began to reflect, looking upon the long, long road ahead of me. The Golden Dawn self initiation is no joke after all. It’s not quick or easy.
I also became confident and my opinions became set in stone, after being tossed up and rapidly changed in the chaos of Maadim, they were cemented by Tzedek. At the same time, I was made to come face to face with my out of control tendencies I started to not enjoy any sort of mindless indulgence anymore.
The paths from Tiphareth to Geburah, and then to Chesed also represent overcoming the Shadow. This was all aspects of my Shadow I’d discovered. You could say this was a period when I became less hedonistic and much more disciplines, and almost monastic.
Shabbathai | Saturn
Shabbathai is Saturn! It corresponds to Binah in Assiah. This corresponds to the Right hemisphere of the brain. It rules intuition, subjectivity and creativeness. The sacred feminine, the subconscious, and Chaos.
With this, I crossed the Abyss (not the big one, but just the “Abyss” in the context of this 10 week exercise. A part of me crossed a part of the Abyss, you could say) and enter the Supernal Triad in Assiah.
This was a strange week. I felt the prevalence of of two emotions: agitation and lethargy. I’d get easily riled up and angry over stuff, especially the news. The Maadim energies were coming back.
For some idiotic reason, I also got the idea of pulling all nighters to work, as Saturn also rules over hard work and rigour. However, every time I tried, I’d always end up falling asleep anyway and waking up tired and annoyed. It’s not like I haven’t stayed up before, but during this time I just couldn’t.
I worked hard though, on all my work, and it felt good. The rigour and pain taught me much, and to accomplish things after giving it your best just feels so much more rewarding, and your work naturally gets better. However, it also brought with it just a tinge of sadness and loneliness…
If I was to use one word for this week, it would be “internal turmoil”, but it was all for the better. By the end of it, I’d made a habit of avoiding any and all agitating and polarising stuff. I had developed a dedication to more important things in life, and all other things just became less important, especially things that simply to satisfy the Ego. My opinions did not change though, but the obsession was over.
Mazloth | Neptune | The Zodiac
Now we enter the great Sphere of Chokmah, to which Mazloth corresponds. This sphere rules over the Zodiac, as well as the planet Neptune. It is the Left hemisphere of the brain, and thus, it is divine logic, higher intellectual thought, the conscious, and Order. The sacred masculine.
This was a good week. I became wiser, and calmer. The Maadim energy finally began to subside and balance out. I began to prefer positivity, and things with higher value.
I felt much, much less drawn to negative, weird, and sensational things. Despite having previously thought I knew the “truth” in Maadim, I now realised that I could take nothing for granted. The rabbit hole goes very, very deep. I mean, I began to read some of the actual history and literature about my own country, and it’s leaders, including Gandhi.
Man! Imagine finding out that you’ve been blatantly lied to, through every imaginable medium, from school textbooks to movies, about every aspect of your culture and society. It’s not a pleasant thought. And this brought with it, a new sense of nationalism. The kind that everyone swears they do not have, or shun, until they actually start looking at stuff objectively. It brought to light both good things and bad things.
Not the lowly, shitty “nationalism” that involves claiming the achievements of your ancestors and finding scapegoats that you can blame. Not the kind that make you insist that anyone who doesn’t see things your way is “anti national”. No, more of an understand of where you’ve come from, and how many sacrifices have been my by your ancestors. I began to think about what it all meant, to belong to a place, to call it your home, and also what responsibility that might bring. What are we meant to do, by “belonging” to a nation. What does it mean to love one’s “Motherland”, or to hate it’s “enemies”?
But. as Buddha said “All is Illusion”.
My country is just one example. I began to develop a habit of looking “deeper” into things, to understand and perceive reality with an objective mind, and learn to follow my gut and intuition.
I had new ideals to strive for. Real ideals.
Rashith ha Gilgalim | Uranus | The Pole Star
You’d think the Crown, the sphere of Kether, would be some kind of amazing, revolutionary phase. Rashith ha Gilgalim corresponds to this highest sphere. It means “The Great Swirlings”, refering to the Pole Star, and the stars that circle around it, as well as Uranus, the Father of Thought.
It rules the Pituitary gland (master gland). Unlike what I imagined, this week was fairly mundane. I had a bitcoin mining craze for a day or two, until realising my GPU wasn’t really fit for it. I went and bought some new clothes.
By the end of the week, I had normalised again. All the energies the past 10 weeks had brought settled down and began integrated. I became whole again.
It felt like I was no longer swayed and controlled by the forces, but instead that all these new forces and energies I had discovered and been exposed to had become tools in my arsenal, reserved for when needed.
As I returned to being a mundane fellow, I knew I had changed internally, and irreversibly. I had become a wholly new person, one who had awakened every earthly force that existed withing him.
Thus, I ended my journey up the Tree of Assiah, and prepared for the rest of the grade of Zelator. There was still a long road ahead.
I follow the self initiation methods given in the book Kabbalah, Magick and the Great Work of Self transformation, by Lyam Thomas Christopher. It’s probably the most popular around right now for those who want to self initiate using the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn tradition. Highly recommended if you’re serious about magick and spirituality.
Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed reading that, and would like to read more of my work. In that case, why not follow my blog?
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Well, that’s all for now. Do check out some of my other writings, you’ll probably find something useful. You can also follow me on Instagram @WhiteRavenMagus
Until Next time.