Aeclectic Tarot
Tarot Cards & Reviews Free Tarot Readings Tarot Books Tarot Card Meanings Tarot Forum

Male-female Heresy

  > Aeclectic Tarot Forum > Beyond Tarot > Kabbalah & Alphabets


 
beanu's Avatar
beanu  beanu is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 20 Feb 2009
Location: NSW Australia
Posts: 200
beanu 
Male-female Heresy


I'd like to bandy about a little heresy of mine regarding male/female attributions on the tree of life.

Traditionally, the tree of life spheres did not have male/female attributions, or even clear English one-word translations.They were just hebrew words that take books worth of text to explain.

Then, it picked up english translations, as appear in the Kircher diagram.

Eventually, male/female attributions were added, with Briah and the Boaz black pillar being female, and Chokmah and the Joachim white pillar being male.
Does anyone know who provided this addition?

Some of the reasons for this attribution I have heard are as follows:
The male phallus is external, hence in the light, hence white (unless its a black one )
The female vagina is internal, hence dark.
Also, the old-world assumption that wisdom is an attribute of kings and rulers, and rulers are men.
Binah is translated "understanding" which is taken as meaning "compassion - a female virtue.

My heresy is that this is back-to-front. I believe that Chokmah should be female, and Binah male. I also consider the possibility of Crowleys advice that the Pillars are not pillars, but rather snakes that wind about the tree like on a caduceus. This would facilitate a left-to-right swap of the male/female attributions of Geburah and Chesed. (not sure about this yet)

Reasoning:-
==========
1. Wisdom and Testosterone.
---------------------
With modern science, we realise that Testosterone plays a major part in maleness, and Estrogen in femaleness.
Furthermore, the effect of testosterone is to increase a tendency towards both aggressiveness and rash behavior. The aggression is generally understood, and I will not belabor that point. However the rash, or risk-taking behavior is relevant here. The behaviour of males in early maturity is well known to include risky feats of bravado. In the long-term, this is "wise" in that it enables males to go out and risk their lives in defense of family/tribe etc.
If they were wise, they would probably refuse to fight. i.e willingess to fight is a result of body chemistry, not wisdom.
On the other hand, the Female role can be seen as the desire to protect here babies, the future of her genetic line. Hence her choices are made on the basis of an overriding goal, and are rarely as risky as male behavior. Thus we can see the female correspondence to wisdom.
This is all summarised in the adage that "girls mature faster than boys"

In later life, as their testosterone levels drop, men may become wise, but this is not the fundamental, essental nature of male-ness.
Hence Chokmah/Wisdom should be female not male.


2. YHVH
--------
If we follow the lightning strike, and draw parallel to the tetragrammaton then
Kether = yod = Male
Chokmah = heh = female
Binah = Vau = son - male
and the others are the second heh - the "body" of the creation - daughter - female.

4. Geburah and Chesed
-----------------------
Kircher labels these Saturn and Jupiter respectively,
so no Male/Female clues there.

My personal belief tied to the concepts of the English translations of Severity and Mercy, especially when considered in the view of the "wisdom" of propagation of the bloodline, as before.

A Male may well fight until victory, while respecting the courage and prowess of his adversary, and so grant mercy rather than fighting to the death. The strategic problem with this is that the vanquished foe may return as a threat on another day. Complex codes of behaviour are needed around this to try to make it workable.
On the otner hand, a mother will tolerate no threat to her children. She will kill a defeated enemy to ensure it cannot return as a threat in the future, and may even insist on a program of eradication of similar threats.
e.g. snakes, spiders, rats, lions, tigers, sharks etc. Many species suffer systematic assualts, usually based on the nesting-instinct of the human female.
I believe this approach qualifies for the title of Severity.
This attribution also implies Crowleys Serpent/caduceus model, rather than the pillars model. ( See diagram later)


3. Netzach and Hod
-------------------
In Kercher's diagram, he attributes Netzach to Mars, and Hod to Venus.
However, some pathworkings I have done (Denning and Phillips) have Hod as fire, and netzach as water, which seems a reversal. Who has it right?
I have my own correspondences which seem to map the Art of Alchemy onto each. ( I won't go into these here unless asked or it becomes more relevant later).
The answer? I don't know. My latest theories would imply Hod as male/fire, but that's a prediction from my pattern, no an input into the analysis.

4. Pagan gods.
--------------
In the pagan celtic traditions (or at least the modern revivals) the
Goddess is the triple goddess of Maiden, Mother and Crone,
and the God has a duality of goodness and harshness - symbolised by black and white. Hence it is the male deity who carries the black, not the female. Thus the black pillar or snake would be male.

The resulting M/F attributions on the tree look like:

......X
M-------F
|...........|
F-------M
|....X.....|
M-------F
......X
......|
......X

Which corresponds to Crowleys serpent/caduceus model.

In a Later post, I will explain the path that led me to this conclusion, which is the Tarot. But first I would like to get some feedback on the basic Kabalah.

B
Top   #1
kwaw's Avatar
kwaw  kwaw is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 29 Dec 2003
Location: Nr. Ephesus, Turkey
Posts: 5,400
kwaw 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
Traditionally, the tree of life spheres did not have male/female attributions,
Actually they did, and always have, often personified in terms such as father, mother, son, daughter, king, queen, bride, groom....etc, etc....and also through association with biblical characters, abraham, isaac, jacob, leah and rachel, etc, etc.
Top   #2
RLG  RLG is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 19 Mar 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 318
RLG 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu

4. Geburah and Chesed
-----------------------
Kircher labels these Saturn and Jupiter respectively,
so no Male/Female clues there.

B
According to Ovid, Saturn was castrated by his son Jove/Juppiter. This would make Saturn a 'feminine' god, having lost the essence of his masculine power.
Top   #3
ravenest's Avatar
ravenest  ravenest is offline
ravenator
 
Join Date: 02 Feb 2006
Location: NSW, Australia
Posts: 13,835
ravenest 
Feedback


Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
I'd like to bandy about a little heresy of mine regarding male/female attributions on the tree of life.
excellent - nothing like a little heracy!
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
Traditionally, the tree of life spheres did not have male/female attributions, or even clear English one-word translations.They were just hebrew words that take books worth of text to explain.
Ermmmm. they sorta do, as mentuioned above.
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
Then, it picked up english translations, as appear in the Kircher diagram.
Plus a LOT more, people add as they go along (I'm refering to 'western qabbalah').
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
Eventually, male/female attributions were added, with Briah and the Boaz black pillar being female, and Chokmah and the Joachim white pillar being male.
Does anyone know who provided this addition?

Some of the reasons for this attribution I have heard are as follows:
The male phallus is external, hence in the light, hence white (unless its a black one )
The female vagina is internal, hence dark.
I'd explain it a little different; white is light energy being reflected outward, black is light energy being absorbed. It is considered in many cultures, due, I assume, to the dynamics of fertilization (and others eg on the basest plane we could say that men are projecting out their egos and women always have to listen to it ( its a joke guys). But basically I think there are many reasons but all seem to be expressing aspects of the male female, posative negative, yin yang dance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
Also, the old-world assumption that wisdom is an attribute of kings and rulers, and rulers are men.
Binah is translated "understanding" which is taken as meaning "compassion - a female virtue.
I dont quiet agree that the understanding of Binah is taken as meaning compassion, it can but that isnt all. Daath 'gives' knowledge and we all know a little knowledge is a dangerous (or at least confusing) thing. It does not mature until many evolutionary lessons and inspiration are incorporated and lifted above the abyss. We take things in (receptive / female) and modify our knowledge to gain understanding of that knowledge. As the process continues we develop wisdom, the ability to act or make decisions with the knowledge modified by the understanding, this process is more active, wisdom, for me, suggests the outward result of applying the knowledge. I think the compassion manifests further down the tree at Jupiter and is balanced by Mars' severity, this is the realm in which the decisions are made ... the 'Senate' of the world or one psyche.
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
My heresy is that this is back-to-front. I believe that Chokmah should be female, and Binah male. I also consider the possibility of Crowleys advice that the Pillars are not pillars, but rather snakes that wind about the tree like on a caduceus. This would facilitate a left-to-right swap of the male/female attributions of Geburah and Chesed. (not sure about this yet).
There are actually three pillers, dont forget the middle pillar (Israel Regardie would spin in his grave over that one ) the 'snakes' are currents that can be activated which pass in and out of the outer pillars but 'spiral' around the central pillar, indeed, like the DNA double helix spiral (when viewed from the right angle). Think of it yogicaly in your own psychic anatomy; your body has a central meridum and two outer sides, left and right arms ears legs etc. The psychic currets flow up and cross over through the central chakras. Now the tree of life doesnt have chakras ... does it ... ? If one marks each sepiroth on the central pillar and then marks each point where a horizontal pathway crosses one has pretty much a ma-p of the chakra system. But it DOES cross over, the left brain contolls the right side of the body and visa versa.
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
Reasoning:-
==========
1. Wisdom and Testosterone.
---------------------
With modern science, we realise that Testosterone plays a major part in maleness, and Estrogen in femaleness.
Furthermore, the effect of testosterone is to increase a tendency towards both aggressiveness and rash behavior. The aggression is generally understood, and I will not belabor that point. However the rash, or risk-taking behavior is relevant here. The behaviour of males in early maturity is well known to include risky feats of bravado. In the long-term, this is "wise" in that it enables males to go out and risk their lives in defense of family/tribe etc.
If they were wise, they would probably refuse to fight. i.e willingess to fight is a result of body chemistry, not wisdom.
On the other hand, the Female role can be seen as the desire to protect here babies, the future of her genetic line. Hence her choices are made on the basis of an overriding goal, and are rarely as risky as male behavior. Thus we can see the female correspondence to wisdom.
This is all summarised in the adage that "girls mature faster than boys"

In later life, as their testosterone levels drop, men may become wise, but this is not the fundamental, essental nature of male-ness.
Hence Chokmah/Wisdom should be female not male.
I LOVE it when people update the traditions with new findings and modern science ... go for it! Not that I agree with your conclussions but the idea behind your investigation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
2. YHVH
--------
If we follow the lightning strike, and draw parallel to the tetragrammaton then
Kether = yod = Male
Chokmah = heh = female
Binah = Vau = son - male
and the others are the second heh - the "body" of the creation - daughter - female.
But tetragrammaton traditionanally (typo but I'll leave THAT one ) relates to the four WORLDS not the first four sephiroth ... I thought?
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
4. Geburah and Chesed
-----------------------
Kircher labels these Saturn and Jupiter respectively,
so no Male/Female clues there.

My personal belief tied to the concepts of the English translations of Severity and Mercy, especially when considered in the view of the "wisdom" of propagation of the bloodline, as before.

A Male may well fight until victory, while respecting the courage and prowess of his adversary, and so grant mercy rather than fighting to the death. The strategic problem with this is that the vanquished foe may return as a threat on another day. Complex codes of behaviour are needed around this to try to make it workable.
On the otner hand, a mother will tolerate no threat to her children. She will kill a defeated enemy to ensure it cannot return as a threat in the future, and may even insist on a program of eradication of similar threats.
An interesting idea but I've never encountered it before so you might run up against some protest with that one. You'd have to supply some examples or case studies to back it up I'd say.
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
e.g. snakes, spiders, rats, lions, tigers, sharks etc. Many species suffer systematic assualts, usually based on the nesting-instinct of the human female.
And here I was thinking that the rise of women towards eqauality would HELP the environment
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
I believe this approach qualifies for the title of Severity.
This attribution also implies Crowleys Serpent/caduceus model, rather than the pillars model. ( See diagram later)

3. Netzach and Hod
-------------------
In Kercher's diagram, he attributes Netzach to Mars, and Hod to Venus.
However, some pathworkings I have done (Denning and Phillips) have Hod as fire, and netzach as water, which seems a reversal. Who has it right?
no one has it right we just have ideas, some more sensible, appealing or traditonanal (I've adopted it now) than others. I think they are coming from different spaces. Elemental attribution is usually localised. I've had this argument before where people insist a 'traditional' qabalistic association has validity over a localised one. "We are not following the forces of the environment it is a qabilistic attribution" (in relation to elemental directions) I fully realise these directs and elements ARE a tradion on a 'higher plane' but if one examines it and the four winds or four rivers and looks at the geographical placement of the tradition originally (eg, Mediteranian Sea to the west hence damp or wet winds) it either relates to the local environs or the fixed or mutible or .... whatever comological signs or constellations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
I have my own correspondences which seem to map the Art of Alchemy onto each. ( I won't go into these here unless asked or it becomes more relevant later).
The answer? I don't know. My latest theories would imply Hod as male/fire, but that's a prediction from my pattern, no an input into the analysis.
Seems pretty close to my attribution of male / air.
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
4. Pagan gods.
--------------
In the pagan celtic traditions (or at least the modern revivals) the
Goddess is the triple goddess of Maiden, Mother and Crone,
and the God has a duality of goodness and harshness - symbolised by black and white. Hence it is the male deity who carries the black, not the female. Thus the black pillar or snake would be male.
I wouldnt go there. Its starting to fall apart (more, some would say). Firstly you are being selective as you admit; " (or at least the modern revivals) " We are talking qabbalah dont forget, its a bit of a mixed metaphor - there are MANY traditions where its seem different ( and some migth even make a better case for your ideas). You say "the God has a duality of goodness and harshness - symbolised by black and white. Hence it is the male deity who carries the black, not the female. " But he also carries the white, the female isnt carrying white now ... see how that's a 'fudge'? People will pick you up on that.
Top   #4
beanu's Avatar
beanu  beanu is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 20 Feb 2009
Location: NSW Australia
Posts: 200
beanu 

Thanks all,

looking into some of Kwaw's references a bit, it seems that the old hebrew attributioons f male female are more oriented towards top/bottom, rather than left/right. Male at the top, and female at the bottom.
(I will need to read more, but thats the first impression)

I should qualify that I am mostly interested in left-right attributions of sex.



Ravenest,

I do realise there is a middle pillar, but being halfway between male and female (in a left-to-right sex attribution) and so doesn't add anything to the discussion.

One of my books (would have to dig it out to get a reference)
has the "spheres" as 40 concentric circles, 4 sets of 10, for 4 worlds, ten spheres in each.
Unlike the modern systems, the elements are not "in parallel",
but come one after the other
(more like the four worlds - attributions to the tree, than four parallel trees.
I can't remember exactly how the tetra-whatever fits onto this,
but I think it was one set of 10 rings per letter of the name

Which is also different to my interpretation.
Top   #5
kwaw's Avatar
kwaw  kwaw is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 29 Dec 2003
Location: Nr. Ephesus, Turkey
Posts: 5,400
kwaw 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
Thanks all,

looking into some of Kwaw's references a bit, it seems that the old hebrew attributioons f male female are more oriented towards top/bottom, rather than left/right.
There is that aspect, but also the left / right (left side - feminine, right - masculine) gender aspect is also old and traditional, can be found for example in the zohar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
One of my books (would have to dig it out to get a reference)
has the "spheres" as 40 concentric circles, 4 sets of 10, for 4 worlds, ten spheres in each.
A concentric circle model is also very old; following the instructions in the SY leads to a model of 10 concentric circles. Place the letters around the outer circle and draw a line from one letter through the centre to its opposite letter gives you 220 points of intersection, in accordance with one old kabbalistic school which gives 220 gates instead of 231.
Top   #6
Bernice's Avatar
Bernice  Bernice is offline
Denizen of the Coalsack Nebula
 
Join Date: 07 Dec 2007
Location: Central England
Posts: 3,901
Bernice 

Quote:
Beanu: Binah is translated "understanding" which is taken as meaning "compassion - a female virtue.

Ravenest: I dont quite agree that the understanding of Binah is taken as meaning compassion,........
I'm with Ravenest. Also consider the full implication of the word "comprehension" when applied to Binah.

Bee
Top   #7
beanu's Avatar
beanu  beanu is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 20 Feb 2009
Location: NSW Australia
Posts: 200
beanu 

The Myer-Briggs personality system has a Thinking vs. Feeling axis.
Its about how people bake decisions, based on rationality or on emotions

It is particularly interesting because 75% of males are Thinking
and 75% of females are Feeling. One of the few strong gender biases.

OF course, this is in conflict with the Female = understanding, or comprehension, or knowledge etc. attribution.

I guess I tend to interpret Understanding as compassion, because it is easier for me to internalise that way.

Also, the tree is usually mapped onto the body by stepping into it backwards, with the Black pillar being the right side of the body and the white pillar being the Left side.
However, this is in contrast to the tradition (european?) of seating the male to the right, and the female to the left. (royalty and thrones etc.)
Also terms like sinister and dexter, etc. imply the dark side is the left side.

Perhaps the people (mordern occultists - OTO) who say you should back into it have it wrong?

I have to accept that historically the black column is female,
but I just plain think they got it wrong.
Too many non-masculine thinking nerd-types (like me)
claiming the attributions they associate with as male. ;-)
Top   #8
ravenest's Avatar
ravenest  ravenest is offline
ravenator
 
Join Date: 02 Feb 2006
Location: NSW, Australia
Posts: 13,835
ravenest 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beanu
Perhaps the people (mordern occultists - OTO) who say you should back into it have it wrong?
AHEM!
One can do either, it depends on the mode of working, the same way one can go 'up' or 'down' the tree.
One can back into it and 'become' the Tree or stand in front of it and absorb the energy (thats not right but i cant think of a another simple way to explain it).
And it has been an issue in some OTO groups, specifically in the workings of EGC (Gnostic Mass) where the temple has the two pillars and a priest and a priestess and some Rites of Eleusis, where the officers are placed according to Seophirothic arrangement with sex and colours sometimes seeming to be at odds with the norm (or "ya got it wrong" - as someone once declared from the audience ).
Top   #9
beanu's Avatar
beanu  beanu is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 20 Feb 2009
Location: NSW Australia
Posts: 200
beanu 

Well, at least I'm not the only one confused then.
I did attend a Gnostic mass once, but didn't shout anything out.

Nasty cough there. Hope your fingers get over their cold soon. ;-)

An alternative approach to my dilemma would be to consider the lightning strike to be left-right reversed, with respect to the tree. i.e that the path should be Kether Binah Chokmah etc.
Are there any similar controversies about this?

B
Top   #10




 


 


Tarot Cards & Reviews Free Tarot Readings Tarot Books Tarot Card Meanings Tarot Forum
Aeclectic Tarot Forum Links
· Tarot
· Tarot Special Interest
· Beyond Tarot
· Forum Library

Aeclectic Tarot Categories
· Angel Decks
· Dark & Gothic Decks
· Goddess Decks
· Fairy Decks
· Doreen Virtue Decks
· Beginner Decks
· Cat Decks
· Pagan & Wiccan Decks
· Ancient Egyptian Decks
· Celtic Decks
· Lenormand Decks
· Rider-Waite Decks
· Marseilles Decks
· Thoth Decks
· Oracle Decks
· List All Decks
· Popular Tarot Decks
· Available Decks
· Tarot Books
· What's New

Copyright © 1996 - 2019 Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Contact us.