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13 Keys: The Might of Geburah

Author: Robin Fennelly [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: December 29th. 2013
Times Viewed: 3,578

The focus of these articles is not the Paths of the Tree, but some explanation of their energetic state and connective function from sphere to sphere is necessary. The 22 Paths that connect the Sephiroth act as conduits/ filters and refiners of the energies of the connecting spheres. The Spheres are the pure states of Being, and the Paths allow for the movement of energy between the pillars of Force and Form. On the evolved or “Middle” Path, they become the direct line that mirrors the adage “as above (Kether or the Divine) , so below” (Malkuth or Manifestation) .

For this series of articles, our inclusion of the Paths will be those of the Lightening Flash. The next Path of connection on ascending the tree is the 22nd Path connecting the spheres of Tiphareth and Geburah. The 22nd Path represents the synthesis of the strength of sacrifice and the clearing away of what would stand as obstacle to the productive result of that selective removal.

The Hebrew letter placed on this path is Lamed, meaning Ox-Goad. This is the stick that prods the Oxen to continue moving in the direction determined. In this sense we are prodding the solar energy of Tiphareth towards its completed state in the fires of Geburah. These fires are the tempering of the steel of our core state of being and to thus hone the blade that will render this state into its highest expression. Its element is Air and the planet of correspondence is Venus, expressed through the astrological sign of Libra. Air implies movement of the mind and creation of a determined purpose that is flexible and easily adaptable to whatever way the “winds” of mind may blow. The planet Venus expressed through the Air sign of Libra gives indication of the necessary balancing act that must be exacted as we move towards a place of refinement and release.

The Tarot card placed upon this Path is The Justice Key. The scales of Justice are swift and mighty in their determination and the resulting outcome is not always what was expected going into the process. Justice is the place of judgment that has been culled and finely tuned to create the space of informed mind and balanced action.

Keywords For the Sphere of Geburah

Free Will

The Energy of the Sphere

The Sphere of Fierce Justice and Swift Action

The sphere of Geburah is probably the most feared sphere on the Tree. It is also largely the most understood or misinterpreted as its energy is fierce in nature, accepts nothing less than change and exerts a force that is transformative. All of these actions being precisely what are needed for spiritual growth. If you understand the energy of Geburah and consider its polarized connecting sphere of Chesed (aligned on the Pillar of Mercy) , it is easier to see exactly why things must be as they are in the realm of Geburah.

On ascending the Tree and having moved from the harmony and balance of Tiphareth, and now arriving in Geburah we have come face to face with the need to exercise choice and free will. Geburah is the place of creating and employing discernment. Knowing when to push to the limits and how to engage the necessary resistance to the potent surge of creativity provides productive boundaries to create organized form from what has the potential to become chaos. It is through this process of movement, challenge, obstacle, push and friction that we have the greatest potential for growth of a greater free will that is of a higher frequency and is more spiritual in nature.

The fiery and dynamic energy of Geburah enlivens us with courage to see with more clarity. With that courage there is a necessary caution that arises as we continue towards building a space of strength from which we can exert the force and action that is needed. This is a space of wise caution that takes the form of reverence for that which is greater than yourself and uses only the necessary amount of force required to purge that which is a productive cutting away versus “ throwing the baby out with the bathwater”.

When we begin to trust our abilities to make wise decisions about what must be released and what lends itself to transformation we begin to take the first steps towards drawing on the guidance of our Higher Self. The SELF that is devoid of misplaced ego and guided by the merciful (Chesed) seeing of a bigger picture and thus, allowing that which must fall to the wayside do so with the strength of knowing it is for the greater good

The Radical Intelligence

“It is with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel or the more radical aggression of the soldier wielding the sword that the imbalance of disease or disharmony of unchecked (unrestrained) power is excised, reshaped and transmuted by the catalytic energy of Geburah.”

The sphere of Geburah is designated as the Radical Intelligence. By definition the word “radical” means:

1. of or from the roots; going to the foundation or source of something [as in a radical principle].
2. extreme; thorough [as in a radical change].
3. favoring fundamental or extreme change, especially in socio-economic structure.
4. (noun) a basic or root part of something.

If we think of these definitions in terms of intelligence or “knowing”, it is evident that in order to successfully change or modify something there should be a basic understanding (Binah) of the workings, principles and energies of that thing. Once these “knowings” have been established the excision can be made and healing and new growth are just ahead. This is also the point where response to the boundaries that have been created by this informed intelligence can be distributed either in the manner of what appears to be the extreme of what is currently held in place or with justified reservation.

Location on the Tree

Strategically placed at the center of the Middle Pillar of Severity, Geburah receives the downpour from Binah and the upward striving of Hod’s energy. If we equate Binah with understanding and Hod with reason, we can think of Geburah as being the central activator that takes in both streams of emanation, transforms them through its creative and disruptive action and renders them useable. This is the “tough mother” who takes into consideration the logic of her child’s folly and the empathy from having traveled the same road herself and finally from a place of ultimate love does what is necessary in whatever way s necessary to make this lesson a remembered one. And depending upon the severity of the action, thus to, the extremes that may be taken on her part will be in the form of both judge and juror.

So, if we look at the scenario outlined above, you may wonder where choice and free will come into play. If we consider Geburah and the energy it receives on the diagonal path through Tiphareth and emanating from Netzach, we see the end release of these prior potent energies. Netzach is the place of desire in its stages of initializing the energy needed for action upon what we desire. I equate it to some degree with the raw need for something, the will to claim that something perhaps just becoming to come into play and the necessary steps leading up to the resolved achievement of that desire are still in the planning stages.

If, however, we move that initial will up into Tiphareth we gain more insight and illumination or light on what is the object of our desire, and because information is being gathered from a variety of sources (remember Tiphareth stands as the central receiver of all of the spheres’ energies) w now have many choices about how to proceed. As this desire moves forward into the realms of Geburah, the need to organize and reform and toss aside those options that are not viable, mix and match those that are and then pare it down again becomes the imminent need. This process is one that calls upon the individual’s strength and will to make these choices as well. And, when the final agreement as to how to proceed is made, action and movement may take hold and choice and free will are the parents of what has been created.

(Revisiting) The 8 Paths of Intersection

The previous article about Tiphareth gave clue to the interactions of the eight crossing paths that form a common connective point at the heart of Tiphareth’s energy. Add the equation of the dynamics of Geburah and we see that release and loss are always part of the equation in any endeavor that has goal of manifest product. It is also the needed dynamic for those endeavors of spiritual working and evolution. What we leave behind becomes the glue of support and learning that informs all other actions. Take some time again to review these energies and how they work each upon the other.

Yesod - The creative image board from which conclusion can be formulated.
Hod - Decoding of Symbols, Metaphor and the Illusions of Yesod and communication.
Netzach - The Intelligence of the Heart or combination of pure thought and compassionate grace.
Geburah - The necessary release and rebirth.
Chesed - The broader perspective and keen discernment.
Binah - The womb that gives form to what is formless.
Chokmah - The first impulse and creation towards duality.
Kether - The infinite Source that both begins and ends the process.

The Briatic Color of Geburah: Vibrant Red

When we see the color red, we feel rejuvenated and stirred to action. Red is the color of our life’s blood when it has been acted upon by air/oxygen and moves as fluid running through our bodies and sustaining life. Red is also equated with anger and aggression. When we hear the phrase "seeing red" it generally has a negative connotation and we make great effort to avoid whoever we perceive is in that state of mind and emotion. Interestingly, red is also the color of passion. The imagery of excitement and sexual arousal has provided the cosmetics companies with multi-billion returns.

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 Expression of Geburah in the Four Worlds
Atziluth- The World of Archetypes- Deity
King Scale: Orange

The Supreme Lord of Life
Deities of Power, War and Avenging Energy
Deities of the Forge and Creation Through Destruction

In the sphere of Geburah, Atziluth is exemplified in the archetypical energy of those Deity who provide the impetus to push us through challenge and release to the place of inevitable change and growth. These are the Deity that cut away, force us to face our darker nature and exert their power and strength when we feel the most vulnerable. The irony is that most of these Deity are also directly responsible for the process of rebirth; for it is after all, that from the fields of decay and destruction, new life finds a way. If it were not for the compost of manure and rotting plant and vegetable matter, the beauty of Spring’s flowers and succulent life sustaining fruits and vegetables could not be grown. In this aspect these gods and goddesses are not only the destroyers but also those of fertile insemination.

There is another component to this change that is exemplified through the energy of those Deity most closely tied to the fires of the Forge. They take what has been melted down and transformed into a rarified state and from that point of heat craft something that is enduring and may then be used to finish the work of cutting away that was begun.

Briah – The Creation of a Concept- Archangelic
Queen Scale: Red/Scarlet
Khamael- “The Burner of God ”

The Archangel Khameal is often called " The Burner of God" and acts to assist in the process of acquiring – through release- the skills and tools needed for transformation. He is known as the Angel of Justice and Severity. There is a certain justice that occurs when things are let go that serve no useful purpose beyond that of serving to fuel the fires of unjust power. The process in which this is done is often severe in nature, but despite the disruption, discord and potential chaos, what ultimately is birthed is a new sense of being and a changed perspective of focus that is of better service to the ongoing process. Khameal, with the aid of the Seraphim directs this process.

Yetzirah- Forming the Image of the Concept- Astral/Angelic World
Prince Scale: Bright/Flaming Red
The Angels are the Seraphim or “The Fiery Serpents”

The Seraphim are regarded as being of the highest Order and are most closely associated with the work of the Archangel under whose guidance and direction they fall. They represent the highest level of judgment and punishment. Symbolically, their Sound is represented by a cord of condensed flame (called ‘fiery serpents’ by some) that is constantly coiling and in motion. The Seraphim bring the intensity of heat and direct the focus of Archangel Khameal’s transformative energies to burn away what is no longer needed. One of the functions is to remove the useless clutter within our mental and spiritual realms, to make ready for the final release of the human ego as connection with the Divine is pursued.

Assiah- Active/Material World- Manifestation
Princess Scale: Red Flecked with Black

The energy of Mars is that of being the corrector of Imbalance- the equalizer. It is the energy behind War to bring an end to war, simply because sometimes that is the only way to override a power that is being misused. Anger, aggression and assertiveness are often viewed in our society as being inappropriate and negative behaviors. However, if there was not the fueling of the energetic fires of anger towards the atrocities of child abuse, female mutilation and other social injustices- these injustices and ill-used power plays would go unnoticed and unchanged. The fiery light of Mars shines brightly and brings into the heat of the flame that which needs transformation.

The Spiritual Experience of Geburah: The Vision Of Power

The spiritual vision of Geburah is one of power. The immediate response to the word "power" is usually one of awe and feeling as though something great has been won or achieved. It also usually has the connotation of being superior or exerting will over someone or something. These qualities in and of themselves are not necessarily negative of their own accord, but become of a less than higher nature if infused with over-inflated and self-indulgent ego. The energy of Geburah in its pure and true sense is one that commands awe and most importantly- respect. Respect for the strength and courage needed to be the ultimate "down-sizer" and awe at the newly formed creation that is its result. This action does bring us to a superior place.

Superior in that its energy is that of refined higher spiritual essence and the one we have exerted will over to achieve this great vision is our Lower Mind and spiritual self that is driven by the needs of the human ego and personality devoid of spiritual insight. It is with reverence and awe that we hold in mind any of the energies of the sephiroth and it is with the grace of the Divine and the upholding of our higher state of being that we are then able to fully claim the mantle of Power.

The Illusion of the Sphere: Cruelty and Needles Destruction

When the reformative energy of Geburah takes hold, it is not always easy to determine when we have crossed the line from constructive criticism and egging on towards reaching your fullest potential to harsh words of no value and tearing down an individual's self worth. These are some of the pitfalls of the Geburic energy when it is not truly aligned with that which is for the highest good. The power one can exert over another and the Pygmalion complex is an alluring one that does much to feed the ego and baser personality of the one in charge. The danger in this is even more potent in that often the person issuing what they believe to be of support and encouragement, albeit in a negative way, may actually believe that they are doing so in the best interest of the one who is receiving this negative outpour.

Knowing when and how far to go with critiques and judgment is the hardest lesson of this sphere; but once those boundaries have been established one can truly say that justified harshness is to better the situation.

The Magickal Image: “A Mighty Warrior in His Chariot”

The image that is attributed to the sphere of Geburah is that of a mighty warrior in his chariot. In synchronicity, the Tarot card - The Chariot - connects the spheres of Geburah and Binah by way of the 18th Path. This Path is attributed to water, the zodiac sign of Cancer and the Moon. The Chariot stands as connection to the Fire of Geburah and the Root of Water contained within Binah, The Great Mother whose womb of life creates worlds. It is within the catalytic energies of these waters that the spark of fire or creative effort pours forth. It is through the dedicated action of exerting control over those parts of ourselves that need reigning in and tempering that the transformed newly forged self may appear.

Personal Study: The Living Tree-Journaling

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 article, as we focus on the sphere of Geburah this exercise is intended to make you more aware of the subtleties between desiring something to be released and the unconditional need for its release. We often confuse desire with need and vice versa, allowing the one to be the excuse for the other when we subconsciously want to cling to that undesirable thing.

Facing Your Place of Release:

Write a brief metaphorical story or essay relating the conflict between the need to release and cut away and the desire to remove obstacles and challenges that you would still fiercely wish to cling to. Read through this writing as you would any “story” accepting what is truth and what is embellishment to make the story more interesting. Look at those embellishments and connect with what feelings present, if any about how relevant they truly are to the final outcome and the facts of what you have written. Close your journal and allow these thoughts to move through you and make note of what resonates more clearly. Extract these points of clarity and meditate on what transformation they have brought to the original conflicting feelings and ideas and how they serve to unify and strengthen the newly created whole.

Additional Resources:
The URL below directs you to supplemental resources to enhance this series of articles. Included are corresponding images and other features.


Robin Fennelly

Location: Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania


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