The Magic Of Golden Dawn









    The nature of Chokmah is pure, dynamic force and its evolutionary function, following on from the equilibrium and static of Kether, is the prime movement. If Kether is conceived of as the first point of manifestation, then Chokmah is the movement of this point into a straight line - a thrust towards manifestation. It is the force behind the form of Binah, the next Sephirah after Chokmah. These Three barely tangible Supernals are ultimately beyond human conception and understanding and can only be approached through symbols or metaphors and as always when working with the Tree, to understand them not as separate elements but in relationship to each other. A basic principle of evolution Cosmic, Universal and Individually can be seen here. After a phase of equilibrium and stability (Kether), "space moves" (Chokmah) and then once its limits are reached it, organisation into form (Binah). The process begins afresh after the assimilation of experiences in this phase is complete and the urge towards manifestation begins again.

    The three Supernals are very much connected to polarity, balance and sex in their purest forms. Chokmah is the male, positive, dynamic energy and its symbols include the Lingam, the Greek Phallic symbol, the Standing Stone, the Magicians Wand all portray the idea of  something upright and an implement of thrusting force in contrast to the containers, receptacles, Cups of Binah. The union of Chokmah and Binah is the prime cosmic orgasm mirrored below by male and females on the physical plane and the activity through which life is created and evolution continues its slow, plodding progress. The Pagan religions reflected this in their systems which included both Gods and Goddesses. So, male Gods would relate to Chokmah, female Goddesses to Binah and their mating and ultimate union to Kether. Their offspring is said to be Daath. Unfortunately, it is difficult to fit orthodox Christianity easily in here because of the emphasis on a male, patriarchal God whose characteristics slide more easily into Chokmah rather than Kether. 

    If we look around us (and if we think about it!) we can see that all physical objects contain elements of Force, Form and Balance. An arch, for example, is a form, built by the energy/force of people in such a way that it stays upright, is balanced and therefore fulfils its purpose. The form, force and balance all have the correct proportions and quantities. However, eventually a crack develops and over a period of time, if no repairs are done, it will collapse. Everything will eventually disintegrate, decay and die which is why Chokmah sits at the top of the right hand column - the Pillar of Mercy (Force) and gives life, and Binah is considered to be Severe - because she is both the receptacle and destroyer of  the form of life.  Even non-physical objects such as lightning, electricity have these three elements although the form element in lightning is only briefly seen and electricity to all intents and purposes is as close to invisibility as one may come, there is almost intangible form to it. A plant contains force, form and balance in correct proportions if we look after it properly. However, if we fail to water it, it soon droops over - its balance is not maintained, if we overwater it we can damage its roots and it can die - its form disintegrates and if we neglect our garden Chokmah together with Netzach run riot and have a field day!

    Polarity is probably the most important concept to keep in mind when studying the Tree, along with inter-relationships between the Sephirah and the fact that we are dealing with quantities and proportions. Kether, Chokmah and Binah are the purest experiences portrayed on the Tree. Chokmah is as we have seen pure male and pure positive dynamism but only when seen on the plane of Atziluth, the plane of pure spirit. In Assiah, the Physical World, Chokmah energy is negative as can be seen in the Tarot card system where its numbers are the two's and the divinatory meanings are not pure dynamism, but are rather "powers in equilibrium" eg the two of Swords is the Lord of Peace Restored - Chokmah has equilibrated the destructive element of the Swords, temporarily at least. Polarity pervades the Tree and the further down the planes we come, the more vivid and complex it becomes because the whole of the evolutionary process is continually differentiating. Two fascinating issues in the world today and the way humanity is evolving are sex and race when viewed from the background of the Qabalah.

    People have almost reversed completely the Victorian attitudes towards sexual matters and the Chokmah energy may be freely expressed by women (in their careers, women managers) while the Binah energy is more freely expressed by men (acceptability of men visibly crying on TV!). This also demonstrates the important point that phases of history will also change their overall polarity in general, en masse. The issue of race is also especially interesting to esotericism, because with the world becoming smaller, the increasing number of inter-racial marriages, the cultural characteristics of the various races are changing fast and with it. Subjects that need to be meditated upon are how these changes in the world affect us and our attitudes as esotericists and the way forward in future, in conjunction with the statement: "It is inadvisable for us to play tricks with our type, racial or physical, and we should always accept it as the basis of our operations, and choose our methods accordingly" There is much room here for further discussion and rumination, in general this statement holds up for this day and age but maybe in two hundred years time it might not !?. One of the symbols which might be used towards understanding polarity is the Caduceus. This symbol consists of a rod (Chokmah) with two Serpents, one black, the other white spiralling around it four times, their faces meeting at the top. The spirals and four cross-over points indicate the alternating polarity which pervades manifestation


The Spiritual Experience of Chokmah

   The full Spiritual Experience of Chokmah is the Vision of God face to face. It is an experience which again we could not survive in human consciousness and form. Whereas the spiritual experience of Kether, Union with God, is subjective, the vision of God face to face indicates that the spiritual experience of Chokmah is an objective one. A partial experience of Chokmah may occur when we have a powerful upsurging of energy, when we zoom around doing this and doing that, or we might experience during periods of meditation feelings of complete power and that we are a God or Deity. The virtue of devotion which is assigned to Chokmah might be important in this respect to make sure we don't submit to feelings of pride and arrogance here. The feeling of devotion immediately implies devotion to something other than our own selves.Quotes from Dion Fortune's "The Mystical Qabalah"

    It may seem strange to uninstructed thought that the title of Mercy should be given to the male or positive Pillar, and that of Severity to the female Pillar; but when it is realised that the dynamic male type of force is the stimulator of upbuilding and evolution, and the female type of force is the builder of forms, it will be seen  that the nomenclature is apt; for form although it is builder and organiser, is also the limiter; each form built must in turn be outgrown, lose its usefulness, and so become a hindrance to evolving life, and therefore the bringer in of dissolution and decay which lead to death.

    It is this outdriving of unorganised, uncompensated force which is Chokmah, and because Chokmah is a dynamic Sephirah, ever outflowing in boundless energy, we do well to look upon it as a channel for the passage of force rather than a receptacle for the storage of force.

    We see it in the spread  tail of the peacock and the iridescence of the neck of the dove; but we also hear it in the yowl of the tom-cat and smell it in the stench of the he-goat.

    Force embodied in form, and form ensouled by force, is signified by the Illuminating Intelligence and the Inner Robe of Glory

    In addition to this it must be remembered that what is positive on the physical plane is negative on the astral plane; it is positive again on the mental plane and negative on the spiritual plane, as is indicated in the twining black and white serpents of the Caduceus of Mercury.

    When the channel is free from obstructions the down-rushing force can swing round the nadir and become an up-rushing force which can be directed to any sphere or turned into any channel that is desired; but, like it or not, it will be a down-rushing force before it becomes an up-rushing one, and unless our feet are planted firmly on Elemental Earth we shall be like bursting wine-skins.

    By understanding it, and knowing how to avail ourselves of the potentialities it affords, we can raise our natural powers far above their normal; we can use our environment as a thrust-block; we can look for the potent Chokmah-force in books, our racial tradition, in our religion, in our friends and associates; from all these we can receive the stimulus that fecundates us and makes us creative mentally, emotionally and dynamically.


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