The Tree of Life has been used as a blueprint for creation in various mystery religions throughout human history - most notably, the Jewish mystery religion known as the Kabbalah. In an overly simplified description, the Tree of Life is a diagram that explains the fundamental (yet divine) nature of reality. It is the above and the below: the macro and the micro. It is a reflection of divine essence in our physical reality. It is alive around and within each of us, connecting through energetic roots and allowing us to breathe as one: the collective. The pathways within the diagram (sefirot) represent how Spirit and energy travel in order to manifest itself from potential energy into physical matter. I have meditated on this material extensively and have to come to the conclusions (opinions) stated in this article.
At the bottom of the diagram (the top of the tree) is the Malchut (manifestation) node - this symbolizes the human body; the carnal and flesh. This is where ideas go from possible to actual. In other words, it is the physical, and, as such, is represented by the color brown here for the sake of symbolizing grounding, Earthy energy.
Technically, Malchut is the last node in the Tree of life, representing full fruition as all matter starts as unseen and untapped energetic potential within divine realms (the crown node at the top of the diagram / root of the tree.)
However, it may be difficult for logically minded thinkers to conceptualize something as abstract as an all knowing and ever present Spirit being trickling down around and into us like some divine waterfall. Because of this, I figured I would start backwards in an attempt to draw those who feel resistance to spiritual matters in with what is physical; slowly integrating the more abstract concepts as we go. I chose to do this because time, as we experience it, kind of works in the same way. We attempt to make sense of what we can immediately perceive with our five senses, within the guidelines of linear thought and space / time, then move forward into the realms of the unseen if we feel the call to do so.
Anyhow, it is important to note that despite the Malchut node being the last and most Earthly node on the Tree of Life, it is not an unspiritual one by any means. It is the farthest node from divine sourcing, but it is on the feminine polarity and is the only node that allows Spirit to birth itself into tangible forms on Earth.
Moving directly upward to the Yesod (foundation) node - an androgynous node, represented by the color green - we see that our foundation is tested through connection. Will we speak from the heart? Will we work in alignment with our most authentic self? Will we grow and be renewed through our connection to Source? These are the foundational principles on which Spirit, the ultimate Creator, built the world. Yesod acts as a transmitter between the vitality node above and the reality node below. More easily put, Yesod channels divine energy and Malchut receives it. It is through this meaningful dance of energies that human beings on Earth are granted access to spiritual experiences despite our Earthly limitations.
Moving north west on the diagram, we have the Hod (surrender) node - a feminine node, represented by the color orange. We are guided through this node to surrender. Can we accept what is? Can we break away from our innate desire for control and open our hearts up to divine will without resistance? Through surrender, we are restored with a sense of hope and purpose. This node guides us to deep introspection in order to realize that, as human beings, our physical and spiritual DNA may not hold the capacity to integrate both free will and divine knowledge into our beings without a sort of (spiritual) death and resurrection process occurring. We are granted free will because we are meant to discover that we don’t need it. That all of life unfolds in a beautifully orchestrated and intentional way, despite our Earthly perception which cannot logically fathom this truth.
To the east of Hod is the Netzach (victory) node - a masculine node, represented by the color purple. Through this node, we are guided to ask ourselves this: do we have the strength, endurance and peace of presence required to hold onto life, despite our hardships? Netzach tests the human spirit by putting challenges in our path that allow us to overcome our fear of death, failure and weakness. It activates our gift of sight and urges us to become the captain of our own life, allowing us to fall gracefully into the role of “leader,” so long as we focus our intent.
North east of Netzach is the Tiferet (harmony) node - an androgynous node, represented by the color yellow. It is the first node that taps into the more spiritual side of things - or, when the Tree is read correctly, the first node connecting Spirit to physical reality. This node balances the Chesed (loving kindness) and Gevurah (strength) nodes, which we will discuss in a moment. These two principles, loving kindness and strength, meet and integrate at Tiferet - allowing for divine temperance, balance and a nonjudgmental, unbiased perspective when considering what is beautiful in both life and spirit. Through Tiferet, we learn to face our shadows and actively work towards healing them by viewing ourselves and others through the lens of compassion, forgiveness and infinite beauty. Essentially, this node reminds us that we all hold divine coding within the structure of our DNA that makes us both a unique individual having a unique human experience while we simultaneously act as a direct extension of Source learning to understand itself through those human experiences.
North east of Tiferet is the Geburah (strength) node - a masculine node, represented by a dark orange color. Directly across from Geburah is the Chesed (loving kindness) node - a feminine node, represented by a light blue color. These two nodes work in tandem at Tiferet in order for us to successfully assert boundaries, say no when necessary and discern who or what is worth our time and energy. Through these nodes, we learn to hold ourselves accountable for mistakes while also being kind enough to ourselves when we fall short of our highest potential that we don’t get caught up on issues of the past. Here we learn not what we can get from life, no, but what we can give to life by remembering who the fuck we are and what our mission on this Earth is. Here, within the energy of Geburah and Chesed, lies a strategic and masterful blend of empathy, strength, discipline, creativity and willpower acting together to create an inner balance that has no choice but to radiate out and into the world, shifting the collective positively.
INTELLECT TRIAD North east of Chesed is the Da’at (knowledge) node - an androgynous node, represented by the color grey. Here, all of the nodes unite as one. Through the resonance of Da’at, that which is hidden, always reveals itself. Daa’at reminds us there is no place to hide because the light of Spirit never stops seeking out it’s creation. Spirit wishes to shine light upon us as an extension of itself, so we may as well lay our cards out on the table. Be authentic, and forthcoming about our intentions and what we seek to both give to life as a surrender offering and receive from the sacred Spirit in return for that sacrifice. Through this node, we remember that each of us, as sovereign individuals within the kingdom of creation, beat as one heart. It is only when we become conscious of this truth that we gain the ability to work in tandem / co-create with Source energy at will (within divine timing.) It is up to us to seek and perceive the light within each person, place and thing we encounter; even in the darkest of spaces - because in both the lightness and darkness, we discover the meaning of life and are given an unmatched wisdom that imprints our souls for the remainder of our lifetime and even after. We are guided to end the war between head and heart by holding space for both aspects of self. Simply put, Da’at is self mastery on all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
North east of Da’at is the Binah (understanding) node - a feminine node, represented by the color red. Here, ideas are fleshed out and brought to “life,” before being manifested into physical reality. Binah is also intuitive understanding brought on by sincere contemplation and deep thought. It is the womb where ideas are nurtured and grown, before being sent down the Tree (through the nodes we have already covered) and manifested into the physical at the manifestation node, Malchut. In the resonance of Binah, we tap into comprehensive energy that sees and understands all that transpires in life without question because here, we learn to accept and fully experience the feeling of receiving instead of shying away from it with guilt, fear or shame. Through this lesson, we simultaneously learn to give more of ourselves to others in service to the highest good.
Directly across from Binah is the Chochmah (wisdom) node - a masculine node, represented here by a dark blue color. This node acts as the first point of “real existence,” because, as we discussed earlier, thoughts are just potential energy waiting for an action to be taken within the Tree of Life that sets in motion the process of manifestation. This is the node that activates once those events have been confirmed in Spirit. Through this node, we come to trust our gut and intuition without question. Here there is a certain knowing that allows the process to continue infinitely and for forever. When negative thoughts or feelings arise, we learn to observe those thoughts and feelings by working through them without giving into them as a direct extension of ourselves. Instead, we can perceive intrusive thoughts, things, people and events in our lives as lessons to navigate through for the sake of highest good - a way to obtain wisdom that can then be passed down through generational DNA or word of mouth tales. In this node of Creation lies infinity - as divine wisdom existed long before “God,” created Earth. There is no boundary within natural law for a force as powerful as divine wisdom; therefore this energy cannot be measured - only experienced. The process of creation becomes “intelligible” at Binah.
Finally, we reach the top of the diagram / the root of the Tree of Life. The Keter (crown) node - represented here by a golden color. This is where it all starts. Long before a thought becomes a thought, it exists here in the eternal. Essentially, Keter is the Akasha of Abrahamic mystic religions - a living documentation of all that has been, is currently or will be in the future. It is the prophet, the prophecy and the gatekeeper of the sacred kingdom. Here, there is an infinite potential and limitlessness that is inconceivable to the human mind. It is where absolute compassion, complete unconditional love, utter nonjudgement and infinite wisdom coexist in and around all that is. The manifestation process both starts and ends here. It is both birth, death and rebirth. Keter is the unknowable and can therefore be considered pure consciousness.
There is plenty to learn from the mystery religions that allow us to take a deeper look at ideals within mainstream religions today that have been corrupted, and to face that corruption head on; bearing the sword of our own sovereign truth to clear the way. To simplify, manifestation is not a New Age concept that happens simply because we will it to be. Attempting to convince the masses that this is true is both manipulative and misleading. Manifestation is an ancient concept that requires a deep, unrelenting relationship with Spirit. That relationship allows us to remember who we are and tap into the parts of ourselves that were created to co-create. The Tree of Life serves as a reminder that things are more carefully orchestrated than they may seem. We are meant to surrender to the natural flow of the manifestation process - not attempt to control or manipulate it.