SPRA DTzNIOVThA (SIPHRA DTZENIOUTHA); OR, THE
BOOK OF CONCEALED MYSTERY.
1. Tradition."The Book of Concealed Mystery" is the book of the equilibrium of balance.
[The word "Dtzenioutha" is difficult to translate, but I think its meaning is best expressed by the words "Concealed Mystery." I have explained in the Introduction the qabalistical meaning of the words "equilibrium" and "balance," § 29.]
2. Tradition.For before there was equilibrium, countenance beheld not countenance.
[By the two countenances are mean, Macroprosopus and Microprosopus. See Introduction, §§ 42, 47, 64, 65, 67. 73, and 77.]
3. And the kings of ancient time were dead, and their crowns were found no more; and the earth was desolate.
[The "kings of ancient time" mean the same thing as the "Edomite Kings;" that is, they symbolize worlds of "unbalanced force," which, according to the Zohar. preceded the formation of this universe. I have explained this also in the Introduction, §§ 41 and 56. This and the immediately following sections are supposed to trace the gradual development of the Deity from negative into positive existence; the text is here describing the time when the Deity was just commencing His manifestation from His primal negative form. Therefore, according to the qabalistical ideas, the universe is the garment as it were of the Deity; He not only contains all, but is Himself all. and exists in all.]
4. Until that head (which is incomprehensible) desired by all desires (proceeding from AIN SVP, Ain Soph, the infinite and limitless one), appeared and communicated the vestments of honour.
[This Head, which is here described as proceeding from the infinite and limitless One, the Ain Soph, is the first Sephira, the Crown Kether, otherwise called Arikh Anpin, or Macroprosopus, the Vast Countenance.
From this first Sephira the other nine emanations are produced. I have explained all this in the Introduction, §§ 38−57, in treating of the Sephiroth.]
5. This equilibrium hangeth in that region which is negatively existent in the Ancient One.
[By the expression "This equilibrium hangeth in that region which is negatively existent in the Ancient One," is meant that the other nine Sephiroth (which are equilibrated by their formation in trinities) are as yet not developed in the first Sephira. but exist within it as the tree exists in the seed from which it springs. By "the Ancient One", is intended the first Sephira, the Crown Kether, one of whose appellations is Autheqa, the Ancient One. From this Sephira, as I have before remarked. the idea of negative existence depends back towards the AIN.]
6. Thus were those powers equiponderated which were not yet in perceptible existence.
[These powers are the other nine Sephiroth, which are, as it were powers of the first Sephira; as soon as they are equated they become positively existent through correlation of force. The next two sections explain the manner of their equilibration while yet negative entities, or rather ideas ]
7. In His form (in the form of the Ancient One) existeth the equilibrium: it is incomprehensible, it is unseen.
[But the first idea of equilibrium is the Ancient One (the first Sephira, or Crown Kether), because it is the first potential limitation of the boundless light which proceeds from the Limitless One. That is, the central point of Kether is the equilibrium, because the balance does not yet exist, the two opposite poles which form the balance not being yet developed. We must not confuse these two terms, equilibrium and balance. The balance consists of two scales (opposing forces), the equilibrium is the central point of the beam.]
8. Therein have they ascended, and therein do they ascendthey who are not, who are, and who shall be.
[Therein (in the equilibrium of Kether) have they ascended (developed when they became positively existent), and therein (in the equilibrium) do they ascend (have their first existence), they (the Sephiroth) who are not (exist negatively). who are (then become positive), and who shall. be (exist permanently. because they we counterbalanced powers). This triple expression "are not, are, and shall be." also refers to the triple trinity of the Sephiroth.] (See Introduction. §§ 52, 64, 65 And 66.)
9. The head which is incomprehensible is secret in secret.
[This head Is Macroprosopus, the Vast Countenance, and is the same as the Ancient One, or Crown Kether. It is were, for therein are hidden the other potentialities.]
10. But it hath been formed and prepared in the likeness of a cranium, and is filled with the crystalline dew.
[The crystalline dew is the creative lux or Aur, AVR, proceeding from the Limitless One. The Mantuan Codex calls the skull or cranium the first, and the crystalline dew the second conformation of Macroprosopus.]
11. His skin is of other, clear and congealed.
12. (His hair is as) most fine wool, floating through the balanced equilibrium.
[The ether is the clear and insupportable brilliance of his glory. The hair is whitei.e.; spotless as woolto denote the utter absence of matter and of shell. The Mantuan Codex calls the ether the third conformation, and the hair the fourth, which latter it refers to the Sephira Netzach, victory.]
13. (His forehead is) the benevolence of those benevolences which are manifested through the prayers of the inferior powers. [The supernal benignity which transmits their qualities, powers and offices, to the lower Sephiroth (the inferior powers). It must be remembered that each Sephira receives from that which immediately precedes it, and transmits to that which next follows it. Thus, each Sephira is said to be feminine or passive as regards its predecessor, and masculine or active in respect to its successor. (See Introduction, §§ 43 and 51.) The Mantuan Codex calls this the fifth conformation, and refers it to the idea of the ninth Sephira, Yesod, foundation.]
14. His eye is ever open and sleepeth not, for it continually keepeth watch. And the appearance of the lower is according to the aspect of the higher light.
(Were the eye to close (the directing thought Divine to be abstracted from the Sephiroth), the whole universe would give way, for its mainspring would be withdrawn. Because the appearance (development) of the lower (nine Sephiroth) is according to (dependent on) the aspect (ruling thought) of the higher light (Kether, the first Sephira). The Mantuan Codex terms this the sixth conformation of Macroprosopus, and refers it, as in the case of the fourth conformation, to the primal idea of the Sephira Netzach, victory.]
15. Therein are His two nostrils like mighty galleries, whence His spirit rushes forth over all. (The Mantuan Codex adds that this is the seventh conformation, which refers to MLKVTh, Malkuth, or "the kingdom," the tenth emanation or Sephira of the Deity.)
[The creative spirit, or the "breath of life."]
16. (When, therefore, the Divine law beginneth) BRAShITh BRA ALHIM ATh HShMIM VATh HARTz, Berashith Bera Elohim Ath Hashamaim Vaath Haaretz: "In the beginning the Elohim created the substance of the heavens and the substance of the earth." (The sense is: Six members were created, which are the six numerations of Microprosopusviz., benignity as His right arm; severity as His left arm; beauty as His body; victory as His right leg; glory as His left leg; and the foundation as reproductive.) For instead of BRAShITh, Berashith, "in the beginning," it may be read, BRAShITh, Bera
, "He created the six." Upon these depend all things which are below (principally the Queen, who is the lowest path, or the bride of Microprosopus, and all the three inferior worlds.)
(The view which the Siphra Dtzenioutha here follows out is that the beginning of Genesis describes not only the creation of the world, but the development of God, for it considers the universe as the outward and material expression of the power of the thought Divine. Microprosopus is as it were the reflection of Macroprosopus, for as Macroprosopus has six principal titles. so is Microprosopus composed of six of the Sephiroth. (See Introduction, §§ 42. 47 and 77.) ShITh, Shith, is the Chaldee form of the Hebrew ShSh, Shash, six. The queen is Malkuth, the tenth Sephira. The three inferior worlds are Briah, Yetzirah, and Asiah.
See Introduction, §§ 57−60.]
11. And the dignity of dignity hangeth from the seven conformations of the cranium. (This is the beard of the venerable and Ancient One, which is divided into thirteen portions).
(The Ancient One is the first Sephira, Macroprosopus. as I have before remarked. The beard, in continuation of the symbolic representation of the head. is divided Into thirteen portions, which answer by Gematria (see Introduction, § 11) to the idea of unity. For AChD, Achad, unity, yields the number 13 by numerical value.]
18. And the second earth came not into the computation. (That is, the kingdom of the restored world, which elsewhere is called the Bride of Microprosopus, came not into the computation when the six members were said to be created. Or otherwise, when in Genesis iv. 2 it is said in another way, "And the earth," that earth is not to be understood of which mention hath been first made; since by the first is to be understood the kingdom of the restored world, and by the second the kingdom of the destroyed world), and this is elsewhere said.
[The kingdom (of the destroyed world is that of unbalanced force, (See Introduction. §§ 41 and 56, and also note Section 3. foregoing.) This refers to a period prior to the development of the Sephiroth. and must therefore be referable to the Edomite kings.] 19. And it hath proceeded out of that which hath undergone the curse, as it is written in Genesis v., 29, "From the earth which the Lord hath cursed." (The meaning is: That the kingdom of the restored world was formed from the kingdom of the destroyed world, wherein seven kings had died and their possessions had been broken up. Or, the explanation of the world, of which mention is made elsewhere, proceedeth from the kingdom of the destroyed world.)
[These seven kings are the Edomite kings before mentioned in Section 3.]
20. It was formless and void, and darkness upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of the Elohim vibrating upon the face of the waters. Thirteen (these words, from "it was formless" down to "of the waters," are thirteen in the Hebrew text of Genesis) depend from the thirteen (forms) of the dignity of dignity (that is, the beard of the Macroprosopus, or first formed head).
[I have before remarked that the number thirteen expresses unity. The author of "The Book of Concealed Mystery" here argues that the very number and order of the words in the Hebrew text refer to certain forms of the Deity. The terms "face of the deep" and "face of the waters" bear a striking analogy to Macroprosopus and Microprosopus, the Vast and the Lesser Countenances. In this sense the "face of (from) the deep (abyss)" is the countenance formed from Ain Soph, the Limitless One; namely. the first Sephira the Crown Kether.]
21. Six thousand years depend from the six first. This is what the wise have said, that the world shall last six thousand years, and it is understood from the six numbers of Microprosopus. But also the six following words give occasion to this idea: VIAMR ALHIM IHI AVR VIHI AVR, Veyomar Elohim Yehi Aur Vayehi Aur: "And the Elohim said, Let there be light, and there was light."
[By an exegetical rule of numbers, not so often employed as the others. simple numbers or units signify divine things; numbers of ten, celestial things; numbers of a hundred, terrestrial things; and thousands signify the future, what shall be in an after−age. Hence are the "six thousand years" deduced from the six first words, which also are said to refer to the six Sephiroth of whom Microprosopus is formed; the idea of six being extended into as many thousands, to symbolise that number on the plane of a future age.]
2:. The seventh (the millennium, and the seventh space. namely, the Kingdom), above that One which alone is powerful (i.e., when the six degrees of the members denote mercies and judgments, the seventh degree tendeth alone to judgment and rigour). And the whole is desolate (that is, the Kingdom, MLKVTh, Malkuth, in the higher powers, is the antitype of the sanctuary, and like as this is destroyed, so also the Schechinah, or Kingdom, is itself exiled) for twelve hours (for the Hebrews include all this time of their exile in the space of one day). Like as it is written: "It was formless and void, &c." (for from the word "it was formless," down to "upon the faces of," are twelve words in the Hebrew text of Genesis.)
[By the same rule, the millennium is deduced from the seventh word. The seventh space here means Malkuth, the kingdom, or the queen, which together with the six of Microprosopus, makes up the seven lower Sephiroth. (See Introduction, § 77, further, for the idea of the balance of mercy and judgment.)]
23. The thirteenth (that is, "of the waters," HMIM, Hamim, which is the thirteenth word) raiseth up these (that is, as well the sanctuary which is above as that which is below) through mercy (since the water symbolizeth that measure of mercy through which judgment and punishments are mitigated), and they are renewed as before (for the six words follow afresh, as in the beginning the six members are enumerated). For all those six continue and stand fast (they are the members of the Microprosopus, and are not as his bride, and from them is the restitution), since it is written BRA, Bera, "created" (which hath a sense of permanence), and then it is written HIThH, Hayitha, "it was" (which also is a phrase of permanence and not of interpolation), for it is very truth (plainly, therefore, the kingdom perished not, although it might be formless and void, but it retaineth hitherto the essence).
[Mercy and judgment are opposites, and from the side of judgment comes the execution of judgment, which is destruction.]
24. And at the end of the Formless and the Void and the Darkness (that is, at the end of the exile this saying shall have place: Isa. ii. 11). And the Tetragrammaton alone shall be exalted in that day (that is, in the time of Messiah).
[The Tetragrammaton (see Introduction, § 67) comprehends the whole ten Sephiroth, and consequently expresses their three trinities of balanced force also; consequently, when the Tetragrammaton appears, the formless and the void and the darkness disappear, and form, fulness, and light replace them.]
25. But there are excavations of excavations. (The excavation is the receptacle, like that which is hollowed out, or carved out, like a cave, or any other receptacle. Therefore all receptacles are inferior with respect to the superiors, among which the "shells" hold the last place, which here are described, which are) under the form of a vast serpent extending this way and that. (Concerning this serpent the author of the "Royal Valley" speaks thus in his "Treatise of the Shells." The fragments of the receptacles, which have fallen into the world of Creation, of Formation, and of Action, therein exist from the Outer; and judgments are more consonant to these, which are called profane, and have their habitation in the middle space between the Holy and the Unclean. And from the head is formed that great dragon which is in the sea, and is the sea−serpent, which is, however, not so harmful as the earthly one. And this dragon hath been castrated since his crest (or membrum genitale), together with his mate, have been repressed, and thence have been formed four hundred desirable worlds. And this dragon hath in his head a nostril (after the manner of whales) in order that he may receive influence, and in himself he containeth all other dragons, concerning which it is said: "Thou hast broken the heads of the dragons upon the waters" (Ps. lxxiv. 13). And here the idea or universal form of all the shells is understood, which encompasseth the seven inferior emanations of the queen after the manner of a serpent, as well from the right as from the left and from every side.)
[The excavation or receptacle of a Sephira is that quality whereby it receives the supernal influence from that which immediately precedes it; hence each Sephira has a double quality of receiving and of transmitting, which passes through the four worlds in each which the Sephiroth exist, though in gradually decreasing light.
(See Table subjoined.) The "shells," Qlipoth, are the demons, in whom again is a form of the Sephiroth, distorted and averse. This great dragon which is here described is evidently identical with the leviathan of Job. He is the executor of judgment, the centripetal force, the old serpent ever seeking to penetrate into Paradise; finally, in a more exoteric sense he is Satan and the devil, the accusing one. In the Sepher Yetzirah, a most important qabalistical book, he is called Theli, ThLI, the dragon. Now, by Gematria. ThLI = 400 + 30 + 10 = 440; and if we "repress his crest"i.e., take away the first letter, which is Th, Tau,¤00, there will remain LI = 40 = M, Mem, the water. The "400 desirable worlds" are the numerical value of Th, and signify the power of the Tetragrammaton on the material plane (See note to section 21, foregoing). There is much alchemical symbolism contained in the "Siphra Dtzenioutha." The "Seven Inferior Emanations" of the queen, are the seven lower Sephiroth viz., Chesed, Geburah, Tiphereth, Netzach, Hod. Yesod, and Malkuth; or Microprosopus and his bride, the king and queen. Shells," Qliphoth, are the evil spirits.]
26. His tail is in his head (that is, he holdeth his tail in his mouth, in order that he may form a circle, since he is said to encompass holiness). He transferreth his head to behind the shoulders (that is, he raiseth his head at the back of the bride of Microprosopus, where is the place of most severe judgments), and he is despised (since in him is the extremity of judgments and severities, whence wrath is the attribute of his forms). He watcheth (that is, he accurately searcheth out and seeketh in what place he may gain an entry into holiness.
And he is concealed (as if laying traps; since he insinuateth himself into the inferiors, by whose sins he hath access to the holy grades, where the carrying out of judgments is committed to him.) He is manifested in one of the thousand shorter days. (Numbers are called days, and numbers of the inferior world short days; among which tens are attributed to the factive, on account of their decimal numeration; hundreds to the formative, since they are numbers of the light of their author, and draw their existence from the tens; but thousands to the creative, for the same reason. But that dragon hath about this his. most powerful location, whence, if a defect occurreth only in one numeration of that system through the fault of the inferiors, he is immediately manifest, and thus commenceth his accusations before the throne of glory.)
[Here is the origin of the well−known symbol of a serpent holding his tail in his mouth, like a circle the serpent of Saturn. The reason that he raiseth his head behind the shoulders of the bride (Malkuth) is because he is. so to speak, not only the executor of judgment, but also the destroyer; destruction as opposed to creation, death as opposed to life. For the whole Sephiroth are represented as being the balance of mercy and justice, and the tenth Sephira is especially of the nature of justice, as also is Geburah. the fifth. He is concealed, because he is not called into action till justice requires him. The term "decimal numeration" of course refers to the ten Sephiroth. The presence of the serpent when revealed, is an accusation, because it shows that the balance is destroyed; just as in a watch, if one of the wheels be injured, irregularity is at once manifested. Now, life, when it consists of birth into another form, necessarily implies death in the previous form. The throne of glory is the Briatic world.]
27. There are swellings in his scales (that is, like as in a crocodile; because great in him is the heaping together of judgments). His crest keepeth its own place (that is, there is in him no further power of hastening to things beyond in the Outer). [There is in the destroyer no "hastening to the outer," because he is centripetal and not centrifugal.]
28. But his head is broken by the waters of the great sea. (The great sea is wisdom, the fountain of mercy and loving−kindness; which, if it sendeth down its influence, judgments are pacified, and the hurtful power of the shells is restricted); like as it is written, Ps. lxxiv. 13: "Thou hast broken the heads of the dragons by the waters."
["The waters of the great sea," are the influence of the supernal mother, Binah, of whom Malkuth is the reflection. But Binah receives the influence of Chokmah. See Introduction.]
29. They were two (male and female, whence the text of the Psalm speaketh of the dragons in the plural number; but when the plural number is given in its least form, two only are understood). They are reduced into one (for the female leviathan hath been slain, lest they should seek to multiply judgments). Whence the word ThNINM, Thenanim (in the before−mentioned passage of the Psalm), is written in a defective form (purposely to denote that restriction).
[I may refer the reader to the Talmud for further information regarding Jewish ideas of the Leviathan.
Thenanim is written in a defective form, because the letter I of the plural is omitted. Written fully, it should be ThNINIM, instead of ThNINM.]
30. (But it is said) heads (in the plural number, for the purpose of denoting a vast multitude, as well of species as of individuals in that genus); like as it is written, Ezek. i. 22: "And a likeness as a firmament above the heads of the living creature." (Where also the word living creature, ChIH, Chiah, is put in the singular as a genus of angels; and heads in the plural for the purpose of denoting species and innumerable individuals.)
["Thou hast broken the heads of the dragons (Thenanim) by the waters." It must be remembered that this dragon is said by the author of the "Royal Valley" to be the king of all the "shells" or demons. Now, the demons are divided into ten classes. corresponding to the ten Sephiroth, but in an averse form, and are called in the book, "Beth Elohim," the "impure Sephiroth." The heads of the leviathan (cf. the Lernæan Hydra which Hercules slew) are probably these. Compare the description of the beast in Revelation.]
31. "And the Elohim said, let there be light, and there was light." (The sense may be sought from that Psalm xxxiii. 9) where it a written, "Since He Himself spake, and it was done." (First, therefore, is commemorated) the Path HVA, Hoa, (that is, the mother of understanding, who is called ALHIM, Elohim, near the beginning of the verse. "And the Elohim said." She also is called HVA, Hoa , in the words of Psalm xxxiii. 9, on account of her truly secret nature) is alone (as well with Moses as with David). The word VIHI, Vayehi, "and it was done," is also alone. (As if the six members were considered separately, seeing that V, Vau, occupieth the first place in the word VIHI, Vayehi.
[This statement, that the supernal mother symbolized by the word Hoa, He, seems at first sight at variance with the statement in another place, that Hoa represents Macroprosopus. But the letter H in the Tetragrammaton symbolizes the supernal mother, and this is also the initial letter of Hoa. And again by Gematria (see Introduction) Hoa, HVA = 5 + 6 + 1 = 12, and the digits of 12 1 + 2 = 3. And 3 symbolizes Binah because she is the third Sephira. "Seeing that V, Vau, occupies the first place in the word VIHI," because V stands for the number 6. See Table of the Alphabet, &c., in Introduction.]
32. Then are the letters inverted, and become one. (If, namely, in the word VIHI, Vayehi, the letters I, Yod, and H, He , be placed in front so that it may read IHVI, Yahevi, it maketh one Tetragrammaton, which exhausteth the whole Divinity. But since these belong to the mother, from whom arise the judgments, hence this tetragrammaton is here written in retrograde order, which mode of writing is referred by qabalists to the judgments, on account of the nature of averse things; whence this ought to be written in this way: IHVI, Yahevi, IHV, Yeho, IH, Yah, I, Yod. But since in the path of understanding those judgments themselves do not exist, but only their roots, while in itself this path is only pure mercy; hence the retrograde order is inverted, in order that it may be posited entire in this manner as at first): I, Yod, IH, Yah , IHV, Yeho, IHVI, Yahevi.
(But it is not written in the usual manner, IHVH, Yod, He, Vau, He; because the word is derived from VIHI, Vayehi, whose metathesis is here discussed. And nevertheless the letter) which is last (namely, I, Yod, which is put in the place of the last H, He, in the ordinary form of the Tetragrammaton, denoteth), the Schechinah (or the queenly presence) which is below (that is, a path of the kingdom, namely, MLKVTh, Malkuth, the tenth and last Sephira); like as (in the other instance) the letter H, He, is found to be the Schechinah.
[The reader will be utterly unable to follow the reasoning in this section. unless he reads carefully what I have said in the Introduction concerning the Literal Qabalah under the heads of Notariqon and Temurah, to which therefore I refer him. Any four−lettered name is of course a tetragrammaton, but this term is especially applied to the word of four letters called by biblical translators Jehovah. It must be remembered that the natural course of writing Hebrew and Chaldee is from right to left, and that when it is written from left to right, it is said to be written "backwards," "in retrograde order," or "averse." By the "path of understanding" is meant Binah. the third Sephira. Schechinah is of course the Divine Presence manifested in the path of Malkuth. I have explained in the Introduction the meaning of the term "path" as employed in the Zohar.]
33. But in one balance are they equiponderated. (The balance denoteth the male and the female; and the meaning is, that the fetters I, Yod, and H, Heof which the former is masculine and referreth to the path of the foundation; and the latter is feminine, pertaining to the queenare interchangeable; since whilst the equilibrium existeth there is an intercommunication between them, and they are joined together as one. Add to this that the queen is also called ADNI, Adonaï, wherein the letter I, Yod, bringeth up the rearguard of the army, as it were; because also it is accustomed to be called the Lesser Wisdom.) And the living creatures rush forth and return. (This is what is said in Ezek. i. 14 concerning the living creatures, which it is accustomed to be said concerning those letters of the Tetragrammaton, which sometimes hold the last place and sometimes the first; as when I, Yod, rusheth forth unto the last place, and when it returneth unto the beginning again; and so also the letter H, He. Likewise, then, also the living creatures are said to rush forth, when the Tetragrammaton is written with the final H, He, because then the whole system of emanatives is exhausted.
But they are said to return when the Tetragrammaton is written with the final I, Yod, so that the sense may be collected in such a manner as to return from the last path of the queen into the penultimate of the foundation, which is designated by this letter I, Yod.
[I have defined "balance" in the Introduction, § 29, which see. The "path of the foundation" is of course Yesod, the ninth Sephira, while the queen is Malkuth, the tenth. Yesod is therefore the connecting link between the Microprosopus and the bride. The letter I "bringeth up the rearguard as it were" in the name ADNI, Adonai, because it is the last letter. Ezek, i. 14: the Qabalists by the term ChIVTh HQDSh, Chaioth Ha−Qadesch, the Holy Living−Creatures, understand the letters of the Tetragrammaton. With regard to the "letters of the Tetragrammaton, which sometimes hold the last place and sometimes the first," the following are two examples−namely, as in the form IHVI, Yod, He, Van, Yod, the letter I, Yod, is both at the beginning and end of the word; and in the form which is more usual IHVH, Yod, He, Van, He, the letter H, He, is in the second and last place.]
34. Like as it is written: "And the Elohim saw the substance of the light, that it was good. (Here a reason is adduced from the proposed text itself, showing how the last letter of this form of the Tetragrammaton, namely, I, Yod, may be said to symbolize the bride, since God himself might behold in that light the path of conjunctive foundation, which the word "goodness" pointeth out; but when the foundation is in the act of conjunctionthat is, under the idea of communicating goodnessthere then is the bride. But also that the word "goodness" denoteth the foundation is proved from Isa. iii. 10, where it is said, "Say ye unto the righteous man" (that is, to the path of foundation, because the first man is said to be the foundation of the world, Prov. x. 25),,that it shall be well with him." Therefore, then do they ascend within the equilibrium.
(That is, these two letters, I, Yod, and H, He, mean one and the same thing. Or, again: But behold, how in balanced power ascend the letters of Tetragrammaton. That is, how those letters agree when in conjunction, which before were standing separated in the word VIHI, Vayehi.)
(The "path of foundation" is of course the ninth Sephira, Yesod, which is the sixth member of Microprosopus (see section 16, foregoing). and typifies reproductive power. Malkuth is the queen. We must remember that in the Tetragrammaton, IHVH, I, Yod, is the father (who is not Macroprosopus, though he is implied therein. as the top point of the Hebrew letter Yod is said to symbolize him); H, He, the supernal mother; V, Vau, the son (Microprosopus); and H, He, final, the bride (the queen). And this is their proper order. Other variations of the Tetragrammaton, therefore, alter the position of the letters with regard to each other their normal and correct position being IHVH.]
35 (Whilst the spouse, Microprosopus) was at first alone (he was standing by, whilst the letter V, Vau, occupied the first place, then was he separated from his bride). But all things returned into the unity. (That is, not only were father and mother conjoined into one, because the two letters, I, Yod, and H, He, were combined; but also the Microprosopus returned to his bride, whilst V, Vau, was placed next to I, Yod, in the Tetragrammaton, IHVI, Yahevi. For) V, Vau, descendeth (when in the word VIHI, Vayehi, "and it was done," it occupieth the first place; but in the proposed metathesis it descended into the third place, in order that it might be IHVI, Yahevi). And they are bound together the one to the other (male and female, V, Vau, and I, Yod, the path of beauty and the queen), namely, I, Yod, and H, He (by which are shown wisdom and knowledge, father and mother), like unto two lovers who embrace each other. (By two lovers are understood either V, Vau, and I, Yod, onlythat is, at the end; or I, Yod , and H, He, togetherthat is, at the beginning).
[The "path of beauty," or Tiphereth, the sixth Sephira, is sometimes represented by V, Vau, and therefore sometimes stands for Microprosopus by itself; it is really the central Sephira of the group of six Sephiroth which compose him. The numerical value of Vau is 6.]
36. (Now the author of the "Siphra Dtzenioutha" hasteneth to the latter explanation of these letters, I, Yod, and V, Vau; and concerning V, Vau, he saith): Six members are produced from the branch of the root of his body. (The body is Microprosopus; the root of the body is the mother, who is symbolized by the letter H, He; the branch of the root is the letter V, Vau, enclosed and hidden within the letter H, He; and from that very branch were produced the six membersthat is, the entire letter V, Vau, now having obtained the head.)
[The mother here mentioned is of course the third Sephira, Binah. The six members of Microprosopus forming the entire letter Vau in an allusion to the numerical value of that letter being 6.]
37. "The tongue speaketh great things" (see Dan, vi. 8. And by the tongue is understood the foundation namely, the letter I, Yod, joined with his bride; the speech is the marital influx flowing forth from the bride; for the queen is called the word; but the great things are the inferiors of all grades produced.) [The inferiors of all "grades" or "paths" are the Sephiroth in the inferior worlds.]
38. This tongue is hidden between I, Yod, and H, He. (For father and mother are perpetually conjoined in ISVD, Yesod, the foundation, but concealed under the mystery of Daath or of knowledge.)
[The conjunction of the letters V and H at the end of the Tetragrammaton IHVH is similar to that of I and H at the beginning.]
39. Because it is written (Isa. xliv. 5): "That man shall say, I am of the Tetragrammaton." (The word ANI, Ani, I, when the discourse is concerning judgments, pertaineth to the queen. But whensoever mercy is introduced it referreth to the understanding, like as in this place. In order that the sense may be: The supernal path, which is called I, or the understanding in act of conjunction with the father, is for the purpose of the formation of the Tetragrammaton, and this is one conjunction between the father and the mother for the constitution of the six members.) And that shall be called by the name Jacob, IOQB, Yaqob. (To call by name is to preserve; and another conjunction of father and mother is introduced for the purpose of preserving the Microprosopus, which is called Jacob.) And that man shall write with his hand, "I am the Lord's" (To write belongeth to the written law, or the beautiful path, and the same also signifieth to flow in. "With his hand," BIDV, Byodo, is by metathesis BIVD, Byod, by I, Yodthat is, through the foundation; in order that the sense may be, it may be formed from his influx, so that the Tetragrammaton may be written with I, Yod, as we have
above said.) And by the name of Israel shall he call himself. He shall call himself thus in truth. (For the conception of the Microprosopus is more properly under the name of Jacob, whose wife is Rachel; and his cognomen, as it were, is Israel, whose wife is Leah.) [The understanding is Binan, the third Sephira, which is referred to the supernal H, He, The "beautiful path" is Tiphereth, the sixth. The foundation is Yesod, the ninth. It is the final Yod, I, of the form of the Tetragrammaton IHVI, which is referred to Yesod, and not the initial, which belongs to Chokmah, the second Sephira, the Father.]
40. That man shall say, I am the Lord's; he descendeth. (That is: that very conception of the word I, which is elsewhere attributed to the supernal mother, forasmuch as in her agree the three letters of the word ANI, Ani, I; namely A, Aleph, is the highest crown; N, Nun, is the understanding itself, in its fifty celebrated gates; I, Yod, is the foundation or knowledge of the Father; but in this instance it is attributed to the lowest grade of the lower mother, and now is ADNI, Adonaï, without the D, Daleth, D, or poverty, but filled with the influx, and is ANI, Ani.) And all things are called BIDV, Byodo (that is, all these things are applied to IVD, Yod, concerning which this discourse is.) All things cohere by the tongue, which is concealed in the mother. (That is, through Daath, or knowledge, whereby wisdom is combined with the understanding, and the beautiful path with his bride the queen; and this is the concealed idea, or soul, pervading the whole emanation.) Since this is opened for that which proceedeth from itself (that is, Daath is itself the beautiful path, but also the inner, whereto Moses referreth; and that path lieth hid within the mother, and is the medium of its conjunction. But whensoever it is considered in the outer, when it hath come forth from the mother, then is it called Jacob.)
[The reader is referred to the Introduction for the names, &c., of the Sephiroth. Nun in its fifty gates refers to the numerical value of the letter N, which is 50. The "lower mother" is of course the final H of the word IHVH, the "bride." Daath generally symbolizes the conjunction of the second and third Sephiroth.]
41. (And herein IHV Yod, He, Vau, differeth from the whole name and from all the four letters. Now, he turneth back to the other portion of the fournamely, IHV, Yod, He, Vauand saith:) The Father resideth in the beginning (that is, that the letter I, Yod, which is the symbol of the wisdom and of the father, in that part holdeth the first place, like as in the whole system; since the crown nevertheless is hidden, and is only compared to the highest apex of the letter I, Yod). The mother in the middle (for the letter H, He, which is the symbol of the unformed understanding and the supernal mother, holdeth the middle place between I, Yod, and V, Vau, even as in the supernals she is comprehended by the Father from above, and by the Microprosopus, which is her son, she is covered from below, in whom she sendeth herself downward into the path of Hod, or of glory.) And she is covered on this side and on that (by the two, father and son). Woe, woe
unto him who revealeth their nakedness! (Since this can be done by the faults of the inferiors, so that Microprosopus loseth this influx, whereby he is of so great power that he can seek to enshroud his mother; for that covering is the reception of the supernal influx, and the capability of transmitting the same to the inferiors, which cannot be done if the mother be uncovered and taken away from the Microprosopus, as the Israelites did when they committed the sin of the calf.
[IHV is of course the Tetragrammaton without the final H. It is interesting to note that in the qabalistical work called the "Sepher Yetzirah," this trigrammatic name is used instead of the Tetragrammaton. The crown which is hidden is Kether, the first Sephira, or Macroprosopus, who is AHIH, and is therefore not openly shown in IHVH. The path of Hod is the eighth Sephira. The father and the son, by whom the mother is enclosed, are of course the letters I and V in the word IHV. With regard to what is said regarding the Israelites when they committed the sin of the calf. I imagine that it is intended to intimate(a) That the calf was a symbol of ALHIM, Elohim, not of IHVH; for the Israelites had said, "Make us Elohim to go before us." (b) That this name, "Elohim" is applied to the feminine portion of the Tetragrammaton HH. (c) That therefore the force was unbalanced which they adored, and that it would have been just as wrong to adore IV alone.)
42. And God said, let there be MARTh, Maroth, lights in the firmament of the heaven. (Now he hasteneth to the third part of that quadrilateral name, namely, to these two letters IH, Yod, He . But by lights are understood the sun and the moon, the beautiful path and the kingdom or bride. And herein the sense is this: although usually by these two letters are accustomed to be understood the Father and the Mother, or the wisdom and the understanding, yet in this place the supernal lights are wanting, like as the word MARTh, Maroth, is written in a defective form; and the meaning is proper to be applied unto the firmament of the heaventhat is, to the foundation, extended and prepared for marital conjunction; for the spouse is called the heaven, and the member of the treaty is the firmament, like, as, therefore, the two last paths in the whole name IHVI, Yod, He, Vau, Yod are designated by the letters V, Vau, and I, Yod, so likewise these in this portion of the square are designated by the letters, I, Yod, and H, He.) The husband hath dominion over the wife (since it is not written by V, Vau, but by I, Yod, which is the symbol of the member of the treaty, and herein denoteth the actual combination with the female): like as it is written (Prov. x. 25): "And the just man is the foundation of the world." (By this saying he illustrateth his meaning; because by the letter I, Yod, is understood the fundamental member by which the world is preserved in existence.)
(If the reader refers to the Introduction, he will there find in the Table showing the operation of the Sephiroth in the four worlds. &c., that in the world of Asiah the sun is referred to Tiphereth and the moon to Yesod.
Furthermore, the circumstance of certain words being written defectively or redundantly is commented on in the Introduction, § 15. The term "square," or "square name." is sometimes applied to the Tetragrammaton.
The phrase "member of the treaty" probably alludes to the symbolism of circumcision. In this sense, I, Yod, in the path of Yesod, the ninth Sephira, has a symbolical phallic signification.)
43. I, Yod, therefore irradiateth two. (That is, the letter I, Yod, in this square of the Tetragrammaton hath a double sense of influx, forasmuch as in the first instance it signifieth the father who illuminateth the mother; and forasmuch as in the second instance it signifieth the Microprosopus, or rather his treaty, which illuminateth the kingdom.) And (again in another manner) it shineth (that is, and also hath a third signification, whilst in the complete name it constituteth the last letter), and passeth on into the woman. That is, and denoteth the bride of Microprosopus, as is shown above, because it is put in the place of the last H, He, of the Tetragrammaton IHVH; like as also it hath the same power of signification in the connection of the names of existence and domination in this manner, IAChD, VNHI.)
44. (Now he turneth to the last part of this square, which is I, Yod, alone, and saith), I, Yod, remaineth one and alone (in order that it may show that all flow out from the one single letter I, Yod, which is in the form of a point, yet partaking of three parts, concerning which see elsewhere; yet in this place denoting only the woman, or the kingdom, wherein are contained all the supernals.).
[Yod at the end of the Tetragrammaton denotes the synthesis, the circular movement by which the end returns to the beginning. In the secret qabalistical alphabet known as the "celestial alphabet," Yod is represented by three circles at the angles of an equilateral triangle with the apex uppermost. Malkuth, the tenth Sephira, of course receives the influx of all the other Sephiroth (see Table showing the reception and transmission of the Sephiroth in the four worlds.]
45. And then (if now the Tetragrammaton be not considered in the manner just described, but in this manner of instituting the square, IHVI, IHV, IH, I, then Yod also is in a certain sense solitary, but in a plainly contrary sense. For it ascendeth in its path upwards and upwards. (That is, it doth not so much receive the higher sense, in order that it may denote the beautiful path or the foundation; but the highest, that is, the father or the wisdom.) The woman is again hidden. (That is, in this instance, the former meaning by which it denoted the bride of Microprosopus, namely, the last letter of the above−written form of the Tetragrammaton, ceaseth in itself.)
(This is in the converse manner. The letter I no longer signifies the bride when it ceases to be the final letter of a Tetragrammaton.]
46. And the mother is illuminated (that is, in the second part of the ordinary averse Tetragrammaton, which consists of the letters IH, to the letter I, Yod, which hath the signification of the father, is added the letter H, He, which is the mother, and because these two are combined by themselves, hence that luminous influence is denoted wherewith the understanding is imbued by the supernal wisdom); and is opened out into her gates (that is, if these two letters be bound closely together, then out of the dead the pentad originateth the number 50, by which are denoted the fifty gates of the understanding; these are said to be opened because the letter H, He , is last and unprotected, not being shut in by any other succeeding letter.)
[This is taking the letters Th separate from the rest of the Tetragrammaton, but themselves conjoined. And as I = 10 and H = 5, these two conjoined (multiplied together) give N = 50. And these are the fifty gates or properties of the understanding. These are opened, because in the word IH, Yah, the letter H is last, not being shut in, as by VH in the Tetragrammaton IHVH, or V in the trigram IHV.]
47. The key is added which containeth six, and closeth its gate. (That is, in the third part of this averse form, which is IHV, the letter H is not altogether the last; but V, the third letter of the Tetragrammaton, closeth it in on the other side, whereby are denoted the six members of the Microprosopus, superinvesting the six members of the mother in such a manner that her last gate, which is the path of glory, HVD, Hod, is closed, and combined with the remainder, which areBenignity, Severity, Beauty, Victory; drawing their existence singly out of the decad.)
[In the Trigram IHV, V may be called the key. because it closeth the fifty gates symbolized by IH, by coming next to H, so as to close or shut in that letter between itself and I. By "the decad" is meant the ten Sephiroth, which are symbolized by the numerical value of I, which is 10.]
48. And it applieth to the inferiors and to this part. (Or, as others read, "it applieth to this side and to that."
Now, the discourse is concerning the fourth part of the square, where the name is complete, whether written as H or as I in the last path; so that, nevertheless, the bride of Microprosopus may be added. Therefore on either side hath Microprosopus a connecting link, for he superinvesteth the mother from the supernal part, so that he may receive her into himself as his soul; and he also again is covered by his bride from the inferior part, so that he in his turn may himself become her soul.)
[The bride, the inferior H, He. is said to be a reflection of the mother, the supernal H, He, in the Tetragrammaton: just as Microprosopus is said to be the reflection of Macroprosopus.]
49. Woe unto him who shall open her gate! (The gates are said to be paths through which influence rusheth forth; they are said to be closed, because, on the other hand, too much influence cannot be taken away from the inferiors; wherefore the members are said to be overshadowed by the members, so that the light may diminish in its transit. But when those very concatenations and cohibitions of the lights are separated by the sins of the inferiors, no influx can come into the universe in a proper manner.)
[Following out the symbol of the equilibrium in the Sephiroth, the sin of the inferior paths would be the introduction of unbalanced force. The reader will at first find a little difficulty in following the reasoning of these last few sections, but after reading them over once or twice, their meaning will seem clearer to him.]