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The Mystical Qabalah


Facsimile of the 1935 Edition. The Qabalah is the traditional mystical system of Israel. It also forms the basis of medieval magic. This title deals with the work of the modern Qabalists as a contribution to the psychology of mystical experience, and also throws much light on the nature of primitive religion and the Mystery Cults. Dion Fortune's Mystical Qabalah remains a classic in the field. She explores all aspects of the Qabalah, whose disciplines include the esoteric sciences of astrology and tarot and forms the basis of the Western Mystery Tradition. Her thorough explanation of the Tree of Life, which lies at the heart of Qabalistic teaching, provides a key to the practical working of this mystical system for both novice and initiate.




The Mystical Qabalah


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3. It may be asked why it is that the Western nations should go to the Hebrew culture for their mystical tradition ? The answer to this question will be readily understood by those who are acquainted with the esoteric theory concerning races and sub-races. Everything must have a source. Cultures do not spring out of nothing. The seed-bearers of each new phase of culture must of necessity arise within the preceding culture. No one can deny that Judaism was the matrix of the European spiritual culture when they recall the fact that Jesus and Paul were both Jews. No race except the Jewish race could possibly have served as the stock upon which the new dispensation was to be grafted because no other race was monotheistic. Pantheism and polytheism had had their day and a new and more spiritual culture was due. The Christian races owe their religion to the Jewish culture as surely as the Buddhist races of the East owe theirs to the Hindu culture.


11. This ancient mystical tradition of the Hebrews possessed three literatures: the Books of the Law and the Prophets, which are known to us as the Old Testament; the Talmud, or collection of learned commentaries thereon; and the Qabalah, or mystical interpretation thereof. Of these three the ancient Rabbis say that the first is the body of the tradition, the second its rational soul, and the third its immortal spirit. Ignorant men may with profit read the first; learned men study the second; but the wise meditate upon the third. It is a strange thing that Christian exegesis has never sought the keys to the Old Testament in the Qabalah.


12. In Our Lord's day there were three schools of religious thought in Palestine: the Pharisees and the Sadducees, of whom we read so frequently in the Gospels; and the Essenes, who are never referred to. Esoteric tradition avers that the boy Jesus ben Joseph, when His calibre was recognised by the learned doctors of the Law who heard Him speak in the Temple at the age of twelve, was sent by them to the Essenian community near the Dead Sea to be trained in the mystical tradition of Israel, and that He remained there until He came to John to be baptised in the Jordan before commencing his mission at the age of thirty. Be that as it may, the closing clause of the Lord's Prayer is pure Qabalism. Malkuth, the Kingdom, Hod, the Glory, Netzach, the Power, form the basal triangle of the Tree of Life, with Yesod, the Foundation, or Receptacle of Influences, as the central point. Whoever formulated that prayer knew his Qabalah.


16. The organised temporal force of the Church availed to drive all rivals from the field and destroy their traces. We little know what seeds of mystical tradition sprang up only to be cut down during the Dark Ages; but mysticism is inherent in the human race, and although the Church had destroyed all roots of tradition in her group-soul, nevertheless devout spirits within her fold rediscovered the technique of the soul's approach to God and developed a characteristic Yoga of their own, closely akin to the Bhakti Yoga of the East. The literature of Catholicism is rich in treatises on mystical theology which reveal practical acquaintance with the higher states of consciousness though a somewhat naive conception of the psychology thereof, thus revealing the poverty of a system which does not avail itself of the experience of tradition.