The Trees of Eternity

Jake Stratton-Kent


I was going to start this essay with a general re-statement of what has previously been written by English Qaballists on the Trees of Eternity. On reflection though such a rewrite would serve little purpose, and a fresh take is well overdue. Where better to start than with AL, where the term originates.

AL. I. 58. I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice.

AL. I. 59. My incense is of resinous woods & gums; and there is no blood therein: because of my hair the trees of Eternity.

AL. I. 60. My number is 11, as all their numbers who are of us. The Five Pointed Star, with a Circle in the Middle, & the circle is Red. My colour is black to the blind, but the blue & gold are seen of the seeing. Also I have a secret glory for them that love me.

Much information is given in these three verses, which establishes a context for the term Trees of Eternity.

Vs. 58: Note the promises, including certainty — suggesting a practical magical secret.

Vs. 59: Contrast the incense described with the incense cakes of AL III. Resinous woods and gums are used in Oil of Abramelin of course, but also in planetary magick, particularly rites of Sol, Venus and Jupiter. Qaballistic considerations may be involved in NO BLOOD, which has the same value as LET BLOOD. The double association of “no blood” with the hair of the Goddess, and Her hair with the Trees of Eternity suggests links between the rite and the nature of reality.

Vs. 60: The Five Pointed Star with its Red Circle suggests the Sun-Venus Pentagram and the Red Circle suggests its connections with Via Combusta and the blood of the moon. The black of night is in fact the blue and gold Body of Our Lady of the Stars, whose magical rites bring certainty and other gifts to Her initiates.

We have here a complex idea of several strands: firstly the promises, or magical desires. Secondly a transaction: a sacrifice which is no sacrifice. Involved in each is a physiological and astrological symbolism — and the idea of timing is inherent in both of them.

English Qaballa interprets II.76 as a description of the Trees of Eternity. The first 10 numbers and letters delineate a “Perfect Tree” which has a “Da’ath” but no “Malkuth”, the next 8 numbers and letters connect this Tree to the ‘Manifest Tree’ represented by the final 10 numbers and letters, which is the “Tree of Life”. The ToL would be a static system without periodic “interference” from the “Perfect Tree”. This interference occurs by means of the central section, which is associated with the 93 Current. That — briefly — is the structure of the English Qaballistic world-view or model.

For various reasons the Two Trees have certain numerical associations. These are derived from the relevant numbers and letters of AL.II.76. added to 93. Thus the Perfect Tree (4 6 3 8 A B K 2 4 A = 58 = HADIT) appears like this:

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While the Manifest Tree appears like this:

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Note firstly that the Perfect Tree has no Malkuth, since it is not “Manifest”, while the Manifest Tree has no Da’ath. This is doubtless why it is said that Da’ath is not a true Sephirah, since it is not a part of the Tree of Life or Manifest Tree but an intrusion from the Perfect Tree. Note also that several spheres on both Trees have the same numeration, suggesting interconnections between them. For example Malkuth and Geburah of the Manifest Tree are related to Da’ath on the Perfect Tree. Note that the Perfect Tree begins and ends with 97 = NOTHING, while on the Manifest Tree Kether and Tiphereth have the same numeration, suggesting (in Christian symbolism) that God the Father and God the Son are one God. This identity is also relevant to the Rite of Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.

It should be noted that Kether, Tiphereth etc. are not the true names of these Spheres (as opposed to Sephiroth), but are used for convenience since these terms are more familiar to many students. The true names of the Sppheres are English Terms from the Class A literature with the values attributed to the Spheres, and may be ascertained by personal research. The best guide in this is to examine the gematrias with thse values and choose the most fundamental ideas among them as one the keywords of the Spheres, then explore this ritually or in meditation.

A list of such titles could easily be compiled here but this approach will be more useful to the individual. English Qaballa is above all an experimental and non-dogmatic system, where collation and comparison of individual results determines what is known about the system. For the present it suffices to say that II.76. is the heart of the Class A; when read Qaballistically AL is a Commentary on the Two Trees.