13 Keys: The Kingdom of Malkuth
Article ID: 14946
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Robin Fennelly [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: July 15th. 2012
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In many studies of the Tree of Life the custom is to begin with the First Sphere at the top of the Tree- Kether- and work your way downward in understanding and grasp of the material. The rationale being to begin with the Highest and most refined of energies and concepts and form the basis of understanding from the perspective of the Creative Nature of the Source of All.
In this series of articles, we will be starting at the base of the Tree- the Tenth Sphere of Malkuth. We live in the manifest world. We are Spirit encased in physical matter, and as such have access to both the most refined and the densest of realities. By starting our journey in the place we call home and moving through its many levels- concrete physicality, elemental and spiritual levels existing within this plane of earth we have a very personal point of reference to carry us through as we move into those realms where even the most articulate and succinct of words barely touch the surface of understanding. And, so we begin, anchored in the reality of our plane of existence and ever aspiring upward.
“ Everything comes into Malkuth, and it is out of Malkuth,
out of our love for (and knowledge of) the physical world,
that we begin our journey”… Rachel Pollack (1.)
Keywords For the Sphere of Malkuth
The Physical Realm
The Place of Life and Death (beginnings and endings)
The Energy of the Sphere
The sphere of Malkuth is located both in the place of downpour from the realms of higher and more refined energy as well as the place of beginning towards ascension from the grosser, denser form of matter towards a more refined, evolved state of being. This is the sphere of the Elements (earth, air, fire and water) from which all things are formed and is, quite literally, the place of physical manifestation of the creative life force that has emanated down from the spheres above. This is the World of Matter, which is our home during this physical incarnation. Because it is familiar, concrete and continually present, there is often the tendency towards not fully recognizing and understanding its subtle qualities and energies. It is similar to the comfortable relationship in which you don’t always notice the person in as much detail or with as much appreciation as you had upon first interacting with them because you now assume you know everything there is to know.
Therefore the work of this sphere lies in discovering the Mysteries of the natural world. This exploration is achieved by establishing a connection with the material world and the alchemical elements comprised within. When we extend our being and consciousness into the “field” of collective consciousness and energetic being, we achieve a better understanding of the Laws of the Universe and how and by what forces they are governed, and are therefore able to express themselves.
Malkuth is the experience of being fully present in physical form, of connecting with all that makes us truly human and using that as the foundation upon which we rise on the planes to reach our higher consciousness by coming to “know thyself”. If successful in this pursuit, we can then begin the work of transferring that knowing into experience of everything else that comprises this physical world. It is through interaction with and extending our foundations of self in reaching out towards animal, mineral and plant- earth, sky and ocean that we use this wisdom gained as the catalyst towards higher realization and connection with that which is less concrete and tangible in its energy.
It is through the five elements that we can begin to build our Kingdom on earth and Malkuth is the place where we practice using and expressing more fully those parts of ourselves which are ever present but are not always acknowledged as tools to greater insight. The air we breathe, that fills our lungs and gives alertness to mind and thought-filled inspiration. The fires that warm us by Sun or inner quickening of desire and W/will that move us to action. The waters that heal and are contained within our bodies and planet earth, and allow the emotional intuitive self to be birthed. The Earth, which is our support, our strength and our constant companion as we move through this lifetime of experiences. And, the Spirit- that is ever present within each living thing, waiting for the greater work to be done, the connection to be made and the desire towards union to be acted upon. This is the place of Light that illuminates even the shadow self as we ascend on the Tree. These are the keys that unlock the greater mysteries of the Sphere of Malkuth.
Malkuth is the sphere of beginnings and forms the foundation upon which we open to Higher states of consciousness, thereby opening the Pathways for a Higher understanding of esoteric knowledge and its application. It is from this place we call “home” that the ascent on the Tree of Life is begun- rung by rung- step by step. It is also the place that holds the key to Death. We move beyond the physical form, returning once again to Spirit and in the final release of the physical shell we return it to its place of decomposition, matter, flesh, mineral and bone.
Location on the Tree: Base of Middle Pillar of Equilibrium
Malkuth sits at the base of the Middle Pillar (also known as the Path of Return) . This placement puts it in direct relationship to Kether (the Highest point of the Tree) and can be related to The Law of Correspondence (2.) , which is paraphrased thus: “as above, so below; so below, as above”. This is the reflection of the Higher Self and the Divine (Kether) looking down upon Its manifest form (in the place of Malkuth) and the physical being (Malkuth) looking upward and aspiring towards its Face of Divinity (Kether) .
All of the energies of the spheres that are above this place on the Tree have become finer in their qualities and all are directed downwards towards fruition in manifest physical form. That is not to say that each and every Divine thought or seed of creation becomes a manifest, tangible, living thing in the corporeal sense (Yesod could be thought of as one of the final sorting and filtering points that determines what remains held in the Divine realm or moves closer to physical reality. More on this sphere next month) . But, everything that we see of this physical world has had its seed of beginning in that which is intangible and born of the creative spark of inspiration and creativity.
The Briatic Color (s) of Malkuth: Black, Citrine, Russet and Olive Green
Each of the spheres is assigned four colors in accord with which of the Four Worlds that sphere’s energy is correlating to. In some readings you will find them identified by the nomenclature of a Royal Scale.
The King Scale, which correlates to the Divine World of Atziluth
The Queen Scale, which correlates to the Archangelic World of Briah
The Prince Scale, which correlates to the Angelic World of Yetzirah. This color is a combination of the King and Queen Scale colors of the sphere. In this way, you could think of Divinity (Atziluth) sending froth its Divine Messenger (Archangel of Briah) to command and guide the work to be done by the Angels (Yetzirah) that will extend into manifest creation (Assiah) .
The Princess Scale, which correlates to the Manifest World of Assiah. This color is the deepest hues and tones of the combination of the colors preceding it. This is also the densest form of those combined colors (often with flecks of light corresponding to the King or Queen scale colors) .
The Briatic or Queen Scale of colors are those most often used in beginning studies of the Tree. When you take a deeper look at the varied colors, both those of an individual sphere and the collective range of colors for all the spheres there are other keys to the dynamics of the spheres that can be gleaned. More about this in future articles.
The sphere of Malkuth is represented as a quartered circle; with each having its own color. These are the colors of the Elements and the Natural world. Black of the midnight sky, citrine of the sun-filled day- russet of the lead-filled blood of life and olive green of the fertile and earth covered flora. There are other attributions to the meanings of these colors; these are my own perceptions. Which, for me, change in accord with the work and the energy I am focusing on.
The Expression of Malkuth in the Four Worlds
Atziluth- The World of Archetypes- Deity
King Scale: Yellow
In Malkuth, this is exemplified by the archetypal energy of those Deity who are both of the properties of the earth (as in Ceres= grain) and its cycles of life and death. They encompass all that gives life: the quickening of birth... the first spark of creative idea, the catalyst- the initiator and the instigator. All Earth/Grain Gods and Goddesses would be honored in the sphere of Malkuth. Cernunnos, Stag Horned God of Beast and Land and Cerridwen who holds the mysteries of deep wisdom and the knowledge of the earth’s cycles are some who could be placed within this sphere. Demeter, Ostara and Pan would also hold their energies within this sphere. The Divine Archetype is one of mastery over the denser elements as a means of refinement toward the more subtle natures of these energies.
Briah – The Creation of a Concept- Archangelic
Queen Scale: Russet, Citrine, Black, and Olive
The Archangel, Sandalphon rules over the atomic structure of the Earth, its domains and all its forms. He also oversees the evolution of all species of life on earth and in turn guides the energies of the Ischim in stimulating that urge toward the divine nature. The dual nature of Sandalphon is reflected as Metatron in the Supernal sphere of Kether, and because of this expanse of reach is thought to be the tallest of the Archangels with feet planted firmly in the Kingdom of Malkuth and head aloft in the realms of Kether. His presence is felt rather than seen with his being the comforting thought or pang of conscience calling us to a place of positive action in support of our Higher Selves.
Sandalphon works with Uriel – Archangel of the earth Element, who in the realm of spiritual earth rules the Elemental Kings and controls the elements themselves. Additionally, Sandalphon is responsible for the vaster structure of the planet itself, devoid and independent of its life forms. This is the very core of the Earth and what properties and energies hold this planet in a manifest and cohesive form. In this way awareness of the connection of mundane activities and W/will to the Higher nature of the Divine is the lesson of Briatic Malkuth and the challenge set forth by Sandalphon in being responsible and responsive stewards of this planet.
Yetzirah- Forming the Image of the Concept- Astral/Angelic World
Prince Scale: Black - Russet - Citrine - Olive - Flecked Gold
The Angels of Malkuth are the Ischim- The Souls of Fire
The name "Ischim" is the plural form of the words for man (Ish) and woman (Isha) in their evolved states. Lighting a match to light a sacred candle is the act of the Element of Fire under the control of the Ischim who are in the care of Archangel, Sandalphon. This is the quickening process undergone by the seeker on the Path of spiritual evolvement. The meeting place where will and desire take hold to ignite the hunger for movement, change and transformation. These are the fires of a Kundalini awakening in Eastern spiritual practice and the ascension of the Uraeus in Egyptian alchemy. The Ischim are the sacred fires of the inner hearth, that once the flame is lit, burns as a beacon of Light eternally.
Assiah- Active/Material World- Manifestation
Princess Scale: Black, with rays of Olive and Yellow
Malkuth is the sphere of dominance in this world. Its energy is concerned with the direct experience of the Elements (air-fire-water-earth) and awareness of their Ruling Archangels and the enlivening work of The Ischim. The elements in this form are not just the physical representation but hold the keys to the deeper, esoteric meaning contained within each:
The Elements and their Ruling Archangels
The Archangel, Raphael, rules air and keywords of this element are: thought- mind- intellect
The Archangel, Michael, rules fire and keywords of this element are: desire-will-transformation
The Archangel, Gabriel, rules water and keywords are: emotion-intuition- the Divine Feminine
The Archangel, Uriel, rules Earth* and keywords of this element are: fertility- foundation-strength-the Sacred Masculine
The plane of manifestation is the place of Man as Divinity (the Fifth Element- Spirit) ; whose soul’s purpose is to gain mastery over the Elemental Worlds and evolve beyond the confines and limitations of bodies made of cellular material. Earth is the planetary ruler of this sphere and is multi-layered in meaning. It is the physical planet upon which we live, the energetic structure of the planet in relationship to the Universe and the energy of the element of earth as represented by strength, foundation and the building block.
The Spiritual Experience of Malkuth: Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel
The Spiritual Experience reflects the highest vision stimulated from its energies. It is the place of positive action and greatest potential in holding these attributes as the inherent and natural workings of the dynamics of the spheres and their larger interaction upon each other in the flow of emanation from the Source of Kether.
The Holy Guardian Angel is representative of one’s truest divine nature. The term is equivalent with the Genius of the Golden Dawn, the Augoeides of Iamblichus, the Atman of Hinduism and the Silent Self of Thelema. The Holy Guardian Angel is not to be confused with the Higher Self. It is outside of and on a higher plane than man in his highest form. It can be likened more to the interface or liaison between man in his Divinity and the Limitless All and it is through knowledge of and subsequent conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel that we form the continual stream of connection with our Higher Selves. In Malkuth, it is this vision and ultimate aspiration that moves us towards the energies of the spheres above. It is this yearning for return to the God Self that sets our foot along the Path of greater knowing and moves us beyond the physical limitations perceived.
Desire and will work in collaboration with one another and their product is the action that is taken, initially in the realm of our physical space. Action such as setting aside time to meditate, study or do ritual or devotional work awakens the subtle energies within to fuel that yearning to know the Higher states of your Being. Energy begins to flow in specific and purposeful ways which in turn open pathways that would normally have remained hidden and the beginnings of a dynamic circuit of dialogue is established. If we had not taken those first concrete, physical steps the Spiritual Self may have remained sleeping and dormant.
The Illusion of the Sphere: Materialism
The Illusion of the Sphere is the polar opposite of its higher vision. It is the trap that is created when imbalance and excess of the particular sphere’s energy is directed towards self-interest. This is the shadow nature of the energy, which needs recognition and awareness of its nature, but non-engagement in its action.
When we become trapped in the desire and quest for accumulation of “things: we amass wealth but this wealth is built upon that which serves no Higher purpose. Conversely, there is also no need to live a life of austerity to reach the place of Spiritual enlightenment. Embracing all that the physical realms have to offer and tempering it with balance and using just what is needed- giving back that which is received in a way that is of benefit to all, as well as honoring your own needs (not wants) hold you in a place of Light where you can more fully remain open to the abundance of the Universe- without being consumed by the glamour of wanting that which is illusory at best and the heaviest of chains at worst.
The Magickal Image: “A Young Woman Crowned and Throned”
Each of the spheres has attribution of an image assigned to its energy. The images that are evoked hold keys to the inner workings of the sphere’s dynamics and stimulate new pathways of connection for those who meditate upon the image presented.
This is Gaia as the maiden. She is ripe and full of the potential of creation, transformation and exploration of self-knowledge. The crown is that of Divine Kingship, having come fully into her mastery and control of the key components of earthly realm and the ability to rise above to see more clearly the work at hand and the continued spark of Life that needs maintaining. The throne is constructed through acknowledgement of strength, foundation and remains held ever within the central pillar of balance serving as not only the seat of contemplation but also, the Gate to the Higher realms of understanding.
Personal Study: The Living Tree, Journaling and Meditative Focus
The suggestions in this section are meant to open your awareness and understanding of the particular sphere in ways that are physical in action and viable in result. This month we focus on Malkuth:
Connecting with the Elements: This set of exercises is intended to make you more aware of the elements in their physical form that are ever constant. Try to engage all of your senses: smell, sight, sound, taste and touch.
Rainy Day- take a walk during a rainy day. Note the feel of the rain on your face and skin. Observe the puddles and the effect the water has on the dirt, grass or pavement.
Out at Noon- On a sunny day, go outside as close to noon as possible. Sit or stand and bask in the sun’s light. Take note of the warmth on your skin- the heat on your body. Observe the shadows that are formed when the sun’s light is shaded under tree or canopy of cover. How does the richness of light and color fade or intensify?
Windy Day- go outside on a windy day. Make note of the feel of the wind on your body. The direction and flow of pattern you feel moving against you. How do the trees respond that are around you? Do you notice any weave of pattern as the wind blows across the grass?
Opening to Your Senses:
Tasting- choose a sampling of foods that provide a variety of taste- hot- cold- sweet-spicy- sour- herbal- acidic, etc… Taste each food and fully engage in the experience. Make note of how your body responds to the various sensations and flavors. How does the food smell? Observe the texture. Don’t forget to cleanse your palette between each with water.
When we journal we are engaging in a process that is a concrete, visual and very physical expression of what we have experienced. Additionally, the act of taking the time to put to pen (or keyboard) the treasures of information we come upon as we meditate, join in ritual or simply observe about our surroundings can imbue all of our studies with the grounding effects held at the natural core of the experience and remind us of our physical state and being that works collaboratively with our Divine Selves.
Observing Your World:
Select an activity that you regularly and routinely do such as walking or driving (safety first, please) to work or school, a class you attend, your favorite coffee shop, etc. For at least one full week each day make a note of one thing new that you observe that you never noticed before. It can be something as trivial as noting how long a light takes to change or something more covert such as the first bud of a flower or plant. Each day try to “see” something new. Becoming more aware of the little details that cross your path each day, you become more aware of the interconnectedness of all things. What affect you may or may not have on that minor detail, or how it may effect you in ways you were unaware of previously. Write down each of these observances and add to their detail and information as new things present.
A Simple Walking Meditation:
As you walk slowly sense your body through your feet- heart – hands swaying gently at your sides, etc… Then, shift the focus to what your senses are experiencing- sights, sounds, smells, etc… Try this in both a natural and urban setting. Note the differences. Try to become aware of the pure physicality of the location and your connection and response to that physicality.
1.Pollack, Rachel, The Kabbalah Tree: A Journey for Balance and Growth.
2.The Kybalion, http://www.kybalion.org/kybalion.asp?chapter=VIII
Additional Links and Resources: The link below contains supplemental resources to enhance this series of articles. Included are Pathworkings, images and graphics and other features.
Copyright: All rights reserved. R. Fennelly
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