Anyone have a source for this Tree diagram?


Waite Tree of Life

It's from Waite's Doctrine and Literature of the Kabalah, 1902. I was wondering if Waite came up with it himself or if he got it somewhere else. Anyone seen it before? I can't find anything in the book that explains it. What interests me about it is the placement of Daath directly in line with Binah and Chokmah.


It might be taken from a German book (no native English speaker would have transcribed יסוד as Jesod, would he?). I didn't find it in Sholem or Herrera, and it's not shown in Roob's collection of esoteric depictions. It's weird, only lines and words, and the placement of Daath...

Lazarus Goldschmidt's translation of the Sepher Yetzirah: Sefer Jesirah, das Buch der Schöpfung, uses a simple diagram like that on its title, but with Hebrew writing and without Daath. I wonder how the etz is depicted within the book - answer, on page 20, like that.


Waite uses Jesod throughout the whole book. He might have gotten it from some book or author he read so that's a good clue. :)


Fwiw, 'Jesod' (rather than Yesod) is the spelling used by Blavatsky in "Isis Unveiled"... first published in 1877.


Waite's Doctrine and Literature book is published by The Theosophical Publishing Society so there could be a possible link. Thanks for another good lead. :thumbsup:


Is it possible it was just the way the printer/engraver interpreted the angle of the lines for ease of printing, knowing that people would autocorrect it themselves?


Crowley also spells it "Jesod" in various places (e.g.: The Vision and the Voice; Konx Om Pax), as does Westcott (another Theosophist as well as one of the founders of the GD). In the latin of the Kabbala Denudata by Christian Knorr von Rosenroth and others, which is a source text for much Golden Dawn material (and sections of which were translated by Mathers*), also spells it "Jesod":

In THE SECRET TEACHINGS OF ALL AGES in the section of the Tree of the Sephiroth by Manly P. Hall it is also spelt with a J.

So the spelling does not neccesarily denote a German or a Theosophical source. The letter Yod/Iod/Jod is variously transcribed as Y, I or J.


* Mather in his translation however (the Kabbalah Unveiled) transcribes ISVD as Yesod.


Thanks for the great info kwaw.

If Waite was its author, I doubt it's an oversight on his part as he was a great stickler for detail. It must reflect his thinking at the time. I can see how it's theoretically possible the publisher might have misinterpreted Waite's original, if it wasn't exactly clear. Then again it could be from some obscure resource to which Waite had access.


Then again it could be from some obscure resource to which Waite had access.

In a note to a paragraph discussing "doctrinal resemblance between Sufi and Kabalist concerning the latent state of Deity" Waite references two works by Friedrich August Gottreu Tholuck (Sufismus, sive theosophia Persarum pantheistica and De Ortu Cabbalae).

Not sure whether it's relevant, but might be a lead. (The phrase "Latent State of Deity" in relation to Ain Soph appears to be unique to Waite, or might be a lead to an obscure source.)


I found a copy of Sufismus, sive Theosophia Persarum Pantheistica at Internet Archive but it didn't have any illustrations. The text is all Arabic and Latin so I have no idea what it says. I couldn't find the other one. That's a good lead though.

This could turn into a bit of a wild goose chase. At least I know it's not a well-known diagram or someone would've been able to identify it, or I would've found it via web search.