Sunday, 13 December 2009

Four Pentacles on the Tree

In Feri, we work with Pentacles as energetic concepts and meditational tools. The two most widely known are the Iron and Pearl Pentacles (which can be found in The Spiral Dance by Starhawk...). However, as Veedub has written, each of the three souls has a Pentacle, with the Iron corresponding to the Fetch/Vivi and the Pearl to the Talker/Emi. However, since I will be discussing Qabalistic concepts I thought it appropriate to use the Hebrew names for the souls. The first soul is the Nefesh, which is what we term the Fetch or Vivi. The second soul is the Ruach, which is what we term Talker. The Godsoul is the Neshamah and above this is the collective Godsoul, the Chaya.

Each soul contains a Pentacle of energies, as does the physical body. Two of these pentacles contain shadows (Qlipoth) of excess and absence, which is to say they are unbalanced. They are the Iron Pentacle and the Pearl Pentacle, which correspond to our Nefesh and Ruach respectively. However, there is a healthy range between the Iron Pentacle and its shadows, as there is with the Pearl Pentacle. We all fall somewhere along this continuum. The trick is to discover when we have strayed into the Shadow Pentacles.

I was originally taught that the Iron Pentacle was the only pentacle that had shadows, because the Pearl’s energies cannot be twisted. Granted, I don’t think that the concepts of Love, Knowledge, Wisdom, Law and Liberty can be twisted as such, but they can be abused or dealt with in an unhealthy manner. Therefore, I have created shadows of excess for the Pearl Pentacle (I found the shadow of absence on Veedub’s site). I have termed the excess of Pearl the Bruised Pentacle and the absence of Pearl the Shell Pentacle.

In Qabala, the Tree of Life has three columns or pillars. The middle pillar is the pillar of balance or equilibrium and it is on this pillar where the Iron, Pearl, Elemental and Personal Pentacles reside. The two pillars either side of this central column are the pillar of severity (excess) and the pillar of mercy (absence). The shadow Pentacles are placed on these pillars.

The physical body corresponds to Malkuth, which is on the middle pillar, and there is no room on either side of this Sephirah for the two shadow pillars. Therefore, the Elemental Pentacle contains no shadows of excess or absence because they are purely physical and would exist and interact without human influence. Although our reactions or thoughts on each of the elements may fluctuate the essentially remain pure.

Equally, our Personal Pentacle that corresponds to Upper Sephiroth of Kether, Binah and Chokmah, and cannot be twisted. Our Neshamah cannot contain shadows– it is the divine part of us that knows better than our conscious and subconscious. Nevertheless, two out of the three Sephiroth are placed on the Pillars of Severity and Mercy because I think we can be two ascetic or ignorant of our divine Nature. But, essentially, this part of us is alway pure.

The Nefesh corresponds to the lower Sephiroth of Yesod, Hod and Chokmah (Foundation, Splendour and Victory) and it is on this level of the Tree where the Iron Pentacle is placed. The Ruach corresponds to the central Sephiroth of Tiphareth, Geburah and Chesed (Beauty, Strength and Mercy) and the Pearl Pentacle is placed on this level of the tree.

How you use the above information is up to you. If you indeed use them (especially the Bruised and Shell Pentacles) please let me know how you get on.

1 comment:

  1. I would actually argue that the Pillar of Mercy is excess, and the Pillar of Severity is absence. I say this because the Pillar of Mercy is about unlimited giving, so to live in it is to give too much, to give in excess. The Pillar of Severity is likewise about unlimited restraint, so to live in it is to have an absence of giving. This paradigm works well with the Pearl Pentacle, which is outward facing.

    Also, there's a fifth soul in Kabbalah, the Yechidah. It's the highest soul and is the Divine Spark (a term I know Victor used, but I don't know if he used it the same way I do). It is Kether, with the Chiah (or Chaya or Chayah) being Chokmah, and the Neshamah being Binah. Older Kabbalah just had three souls, so the Neshamah can be said to be made up of the Yechidah, the Chiah, and the Neshamah.

    ~Muninn's Kiss