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Date: Sat, 11 Jan 1997
From: Richard Patz
Elements of alchemical allegory in Exodus Chapter Two
The story of Moses begins with the Pharaoh of Egypt passing an edict
demanding the drowning of all newborn Hebrew males. To protect her son, a
daughter of Levi, takes her baby and places him in a papyrus basket coated
with tar and pitch.
The numerical value of "with tar and with pitch" (Ex.2:3) B-Ch-M-R V-B-Z-Ph-Th,
(2+8+40+200)+(6+2+7+80+400) is 745. Add one for Unity and it will be 746,
the number of Purification Th-M-R-V-Q.
"the baby" H-Y-L-D 5+10+30+4=49
"dissolve" M-V-G 40+6+3=49
The text then reads "her child she put among the reed along the bank of the
Nile" The word used for Nile in this case is Ha Jar "the River" H-Y-A-R
(5+10+1+200=216). As Aesch Mezareph points out 216 is the number "of Arjeh
A-R-Y-H, our wonderful Lion". 216 is also the numerical value of Geburah
G-B-V-R-H identified in Aesch Mezareph as the source of gold.
The sister watches what becomes of him (Ex. 2:4). At no point is the process
The basket is removed from the waters by the daughter of the Pharaoh. She
opens it and sees a "crying child". The value of "crying child" N-Aa-R
B-K-H is 347. This is the same number as "palanquin" A-Ph-R-Y-V-N (Cant.
3:9). In a sense, upon opening the vessel, the daughter of Pharaoh sees the
bridal carriage of the radiant and ruddy King whose head is of purest Gold
She names him Moses because "from the waters I drew him" (Ex. 2:10)
"from" M-N 40+50=90
Melek "King" M-L-K 40+30+20=90
"the waters" H-M-Y-M 5+40+10+40=95
Malkah "Queen" M-L-K-H 40+30+20+5=95
"from the waters" =185
"I am my lover's and my lover is mine." (Cant. 6:3)
A-N-Y L-D-V-D-Y V-D-V-D-Y L-Y =185
"I drew him" M-Sh-Y-Th-H-V 40+300+10+400+5+6=761
"leprosy" Tz-R-Aa-Th 90+200+70+400=760
The text reads: "and he became to her as a son" (Ex. 2:10) V-Y-H-Y L-H
L-B-N. The numerical value of this phrase is 148, the same as Netzach. We
have moved from Geburah to Netzach. Aesch Mezareph calls Gold at Netzach
"Gold shut up...to bring forth seed". Wynn Westcott suggests fine or
treasured gold, or gold either in the bowels of the earth or in a chemical
Moses grows to manhood. The story of his adult life begins with his killing
on an Egyptian man who had been beating a Hebrew. The text reads "he killed
the Egyptian and he hid him in the sand." (Ex.2:12)
The name Moses M-Sh-H (40+300+5=345) and the phrase "the Egyptian" H-M-Tz-R-Y
(5+40+90+200+10=345) are numerically equivalent. In a sense, Moses kills and
Moses then flees to Midian where he rescues the seven daughters of Reuel, a
priest of Midian, from some shepherds, and waters their flock.
"he watered" Y-Q-Sh 10+100+300=410
Metzareph "crucible" (Prov. 17:3, 27:21) M-Tz-R-Ph 40+90+200+80=410
Through his actions he comes to be given his Bride, Zipporah, a daughter of
the priest of Midian. She bears him a son: Gershom.
Gershom G-R-Sh-M 3+200+300+40 = 543
AHYH asher AHYH, "I AM who I AM" (God Self Identified) = 543
* * *
One further observation: I was struck by the reoccurring image of daughters. The
Alchemist in the above process is "a daughter" whether of Pharaoh or Levi.
The seven daughters of Reuel rescued by Moses. And finally the Bride is
referred to as "daughter".
The word "daughter" is B-Th (beth tau). In certain modern esoteric
literature the planetary correspondence for these two letters is
beth=Mercury and tau=Saturn. These two images appear together in Flamel's
Figures of Abraham the Jew.
The word Berashith B-R-A-Sh-Y-Th "In the beginning" (Gen. 1:1) is synonymous
with Creation. It can be seen as three words each inside the other, like
boxes. The central word is A-Sh "fire". The next word out is R-Y "moisture".
The outer word is B-Th "daughter". Creation is the union of Fire and
Moisture inside the Daughter.
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 1997 12:30:45 -0500 (EST)
Regarding Richard Patz' post:
Your analysis of Ch. 2 surpasses anything which I had envisioned, and
seems to support my hunches about alchemical elements in Exodus. I will
commit as soon as possible your generous correspondences to my fledgling
dictionary, and eagerly await more of same. Thank you!
Two questions I would like to ask:
1) with respect to the "historical" underpinnings of both qabbalah and
alchemy, can we take a text such as Exodus (presumably originating, if
not actually written, around or before 1000 B.C.E., i.e. before David) as
challenging scholarly placement of the origins of both traditions to
Talmudic and Hellenistic periods respectively (somewhere between
300 BCE and the beginnings of the first millenium)? Or can we make
a simple appeal to allegorical "archetypes" present, as it were, "from
2) May I ask if the derivations reflect your own work with gematria, or is
there a source(s) which I should be aware of, i.e. Aesch Mezareph?
Thank you once again for such a delightful exposition.
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 1997 00:21:06 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz
Thank you for your kind words. And thank you for suggesting we look at
Exodus. I must admit I was quite surprised at some of the gematria
correspondences I found during this little project.
>1) with respect to the "historical" underpinnings of both qabbalah and
>alchemy, can we take a text such as Exodus (presumably originating, if
>not actually written, around or before 1000 B.C.E., i.e. before David) as
>challenging scholarly placement of the origins of both traditions to
>Talmudic and Hellenistic periods respectively (somewhere between
>300 BCE and the beginnings of the first millenium)? Or can we make
>a simple appeal to allegorical "archetypes" present, as it were, "from
Well, we might want to look at the history of the Masoretic Text. What
traditions of alchemy and literal qabalah that existed at the time was
written? And could they have had any bearing?
>2) May I ask if the derivations reflect your own work with gematria, or is
>there a source(s) which I should be aware of, i.e. Aesch Mezareph?
I've been doing work with gematria for nearly sixteen years now. Currently I
use The NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament, 4 vols., as Hebrew is
not my first language. And I have a small supply of lexicons, grammars and
one exceptional Hebrew-English concordance.
Crowley's Sepher Sephiroth includes a few addition and spelling errors -
Resh taken for Vau, that sort of thing - so while I might refer to his book
initially, I am not likely to use his entry unless I can verify it, either
in a reliable lexicon or in the Hebrew Bible.
Aesch Mezareph is a book I am currently reading. Hence the references in my
postings. I would love to share views and insights on it.
As far as Exodus chapter two goes, there are a couple of threads I would
like to pursue:
"seven daughters" - I would like to find an alchemical numerical equivalent.
300+2+70 2+50+6+400 = 830
Their father is called "Reuel" R-Aa-U-A-L=307 (chpt. 2) before Moses married
Zipporah and "Jethro" Y-Th-R-U=616 (chpt. 3) afterwards. I don't know why.
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 1997 19:08:08 -0500 (EST)
Richard's caveat about relying uncritically on "777" is well-taken.
I must confess I am still at a loss for historical evidence of either
alchemical or qabbalistic traditions alive and well at the time Exodus was
written. Yet surely their signatures seem undeniable...
Another one for the coals:
Richard mentions the value 90 as that of both "king" and "from" (I was not
aware of the second--what do you suggest it might mean?); it is also, to
the best of my knowledge, the value of "manna" (also spelled M-N), that
"fine, flaky substance" mentioned earlier. The value 90 is also the
letter-value of Tzaddi, the 18th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, whose
meaning is given as "fish-hook". Interestingly, the meanings of the
letters Mem (M = 40) and Nun (N = 50) are "water(s)" and "fish"
respectively, so there seems to be a definite relationship between the
three letters. Although some people debate the attribution of the 22
Tarot trumps to the Hebrew alphabet, and although among those that don't
one at least has vehemently asserted that "tzaddi is not the Star", by
mosr systems of correspondences, the trump attributed to the letter Tzaddi
is the Star, Key 17. The Sepher Yetzirah titles the path assigned to
Tzaddi "the natural intelligence", which gives a further hint that somehow
the artful manipulation of the water might provide the "hook" with which
to catch hold of the fish (which abide in the water). If we also look at
the keys corresponding to the letters Mem (Hanged Man) and Nun (Death), we
will receive obvious suggestions as to what this "water" might be, and
where we might find it. Key 17 then might refer both to how to "fix" it
once we find it, and also what to do with it.
To return to "manna", then, although I am not sure what, if any,
connection there may be between the different correspondences described
above, it occurred to me some time ago that if we add 300 to 90, we get
the value of the Hebrew word for "oil" (Sh-M-N), i.e. the kind used to
light the seven lamps upon the golden candlestick, etc. We get there by
adding the letter Shin (Sh = 300), which is described as the "Holy
Letter", and whose meaning is "tooth" (that with which we break open food
to release its contents). 300 is also the value of the term "Ruach
Elohim" (R-V-Ch = 200+6+8 = 214, A-L-H-I-M = 1+30+5+10+40 = 86), which
translates usually as "the Spirit of God", the same one we see hovering
over the waters in the opening lines of Genesis. So as not to beat around
the bush, to me, given the Tarot image associated with Shin (Key 20,
Judgement, a symbol of resurrection and of the birth of the "king-child"),
and the fiery nature associated with the letter itself, it seems a plain
symbol of the result of successful raising of kundalini, the inner fire.
This kundalini is also portrayed "nakedly" in the image of Death (Nun),
where it seems plain that the dissolution of body parts precedes the
reaping of a stream of water, and that this is brought about by "working
the soil", i.e. from the "below". The Hanged Man represents the mental
attitude and practices which must be undertaken to work towards this end.
The "water" whose value is 90 is then the "manna" or "bread of life" which
we must break apart with our "teeth" in order to reveal its hidden fire,
so that the "oil" can be ignited to provide light (illumination?). In
that sense, might not the "manna" represent our natural starting-point,
viz. the 'first matter' (which in Genesis is evidently water)?
Lastly, if we add the letter H (Heh = 5 = "the", the deifinitive article)
to 390 we get 395, the value of the phrase "the heavens" (shamaim,
Sh-M-I-M), which is composed of the letter Shin (fiery in nature, as we
have seen) and the word "maim" (which means "water", "seas"). It is also
the value of the word "neshamah" (N-Sh-M-H), the term for the Higher Soul.
This allusion is interesting if only because it reminds us of the larger
phrase "fire of heaven" (esh-ha-shamaim = A-Sh H-Sh-M-I-M), which, aong
other things, is an old French name for Key 16, The Tower, an
unmistakeable image of the awakening of kundalini, which precedes the Star
in the series of Trumps. About the individual words A-Sh and Sh-M-I-M
still more might be said, i.e. they represent a coming together of the
most primordial forces in nature, since they are composed of the three
"mother letters" (A =aleph =Root of Fire =The Fool; Sh =Root of Fire; M
=Root of Water) plus the father of all the letters, yod (I or Y), i.e. as
a symbol of the I AM, the primordial consciousness. But to dwell
overly-long on these types of associations seems, in my expreience, to
blunt the initial delight which follows their discovery, so that, like
manna, we should not attempt to hoard our findings overnight, but remain
confident that they will appear once more, fresh, like dew.
I apologize for the unnecessarily protracted length of the letter.
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 10:03:47 -0500 (EST)
> From: Richard Patz
> Elements of alchemical allegory in Exodus Chapter Two
> "the baby" H-Y-L-D 5+10+30+4=49
> "dissolve" M-V-G 40+6+3=49
The value of "kokab" (K-K-V-B, 20+20+6=8), the name for the planet Mercury
(and the 8th sphere of the qabbalistic Tree) is 48, which we get if we
"add 1 for unity".
It is also the value of the term "gedulah" (G-D-V-L-H, 3+4+6+30+5), or
majesty, a title of the 4th sphere.
> "the waters" H-M-Y-M 5+40+10+40=95
> Malkah "Queen" M-L-K-H 40+30+20+5=95
95 is also the value of "madim" (M-A-D-I-M, 40+1+4+10+40), or Mars, also a
title of the 5th sphere, and meaning "powers", as in the Greek "dynamis".
> The text then reads "her child she put among the reed along the bank of the
> Nile" The word used for Nile in this case is Ha Jar "the River" H-Y-A-R
> (5+10+1+200=216). As Aesch Mezareph points out 216 is the number "of Arjeh
> A-R-Y-H, our wonderful Lion". 216 is also the numerical value of Geburah
> G-B-V-R-H identified in Aesch Mezareph as the source of gold.
Geburah is the usual title of the 5th sphere, associated with the planet
Mars. Paul Case also tanslates it as "trembling", i.e. another title
sometimes given is pachad, or "fear". He also makes reference to a verse
somewhere in either Psalms or Proverbs where it is said that "gold comes
from the north", the direction associated with the planet Mars.
> The text reads: "and he became to her as a son" (Ex. 2:10) V-Y-H-Y L-H
> L-B-N. The numerical value of this phrase is 148, the same as Netzach. We
> have moved from Geburah to Netzach. Aesch Mezareph calls Gold at Netzach
> "Gold shut up...to bring forth seed". Wynn Westcott suggests fine or
> treasured gold, or gold either in the bowels of the earth or in a chemical
> closed vessel.
Another title associated with Netzach is Nogah, the Sphere of Venus
(N-V-G-H, 50+6+3+5 = 64). 64 is also the value of "deen" (D-I-N,
4+10+50), or "justice", yet another title assoc. with the 5th sphere. So
here we have another connection between Geburah (5) and Netzach (7).
From above we have a similar connection between Chesed/Gedulah (4) and Hod
(8), and if we look at a diagram of the Tree, we see that the 4-8 "axis"
and the 5-7 axis intersect at the point of the central sphere, Tiphareth,
sphere of the Sun. Their combined values also both add up to 12 (4+8 =
Perhaps this is just pulling rabbits out of a hat...
> The name Moses M-Sh-H (40+300+5=345) and the phrase "the Egyptian" H-M-Tz-R-Y
> (5+40+90+200+10=345) are numerically equivalent. In a sense, Moses kills and
> buries himself.
345 is the "reflection" of 543, which is the value of the phrase "I AM
THAT I AM" (A-H-I-H A-Sh-R A-H-I-H, 1+5+10+5 = 21 1+300+200 = 501
1+5+10+5 = 21, 21+501+21 = 543). But I am not sure we can do this...
> Gershom G-R-Sh-M 3+200+300+40 = 543
> AHYH asher AHYH, "I AM who I AM" (God Self Identified) = 543
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 12:36:19 -0500 (EST)
On Sun, 12 Jan 1997, Alchemy e-mail wrote:
> The word Berashith B-R-A-Sh-Y-Th "In the beginning" (Gen. 1:1) is synonymous
> with Creation. It can be seen as three words each inside the other, like
> boxes. The central word is A-Sh "fire". The next word out is R-Y "moisture".
> The outer word is B-Th "daughter". Creation is the union of Fire and
> Moisture inside the Daughter.
This seems to be a pregnant phrase. I had not thought to approach it in
the above way before. It is interesting that the concepts of moisture and
fire should be related. The pictorial images of Keys 18 (Moon) and 19
(Sun) suggest this, i.e. the flaming "yods" which somehwo water and
nourish the sublunary realms. Also, the word for "sun", shemesh (Sh-M-Sh,
300+40+300 = 640) shows the waters (maim) concealed/contained within the
fire (shin). Similarly, the word for fire, "esh" (A-Sh) also consists of
two 'mother' letters, the ones signifying air and fire. In the term
B-R-A-Sh-I-Th, it appears as if the fire-air (A-Sh) has driven apart the
waters, or moisture (R-I), as it is said that God divided the waters to
create the heavens and the earth; all this in turn is somehow contained
within the "daughter" (B-Th), i.e. the bride, or Malkuth (the 10th sphere,
the kingdom, this world).
Anyway, the phrase B-R-A-Sh-I-Th contains the word "rashith", the literal
word for "beginning", and in qabbalah we are told that the universe is
manifested by the rashith ha-galgalim (R-A-Sh-I-Th H-G-L-G-L-I-M = 1032),
"the beginning of the whirlings". The word G-L-G-L (66) means "wheel", or
"water-wheel", or "whirl-wind", and is also the name of one of three
different towns near Jericho. Perhaps interestingly, the word G-L-G-L-Th
means "skull, head", and the astrologer Dane Rudhyar suggests that the
crucifixion of Jesus Christ at Golgotha, "the place of the skull", is a
metaphor for the coming together of the soli-lunar currents (they
literally cross) at the center between the eyebrows.
I couldn't help but notice today, then, that the derivatized form
G-L-G-L-I-M, presumably meaning "whirlings", has the same value (116) as
the Hebrew word for "alchemy" (A-L-K-I-M-I-H, 1+30+20+10+40+10+5 = 116).
But enough numerology...
I was wondering today what significance along alchemical/yogic lines there
might be to the notion of "bread" and "wine" in both the New and Old
Testaments? Someone suggested that bread is "white", and represents
flesh, while wine is obviously red, but I would hesitate to make such a
convenient association. It seems nevertheless that both are symbols of
the artful intervention of human agency in the manipulation of natural
materials to produce otherwise "un-natural" materials (or, in the case of
wine, to accelerate/direct/purify their natural development). Both
involve the process of fermentation, which in turn implies an organismal
growth process. The notion of "distillation of spirits" is plain with
wine, as well as its universally-acclaimed effects. Similarly, in earlier
times the leavening of bread must have seemed an extraordinary process,
and brings to mind the comparison of the "kingdom of heaven" (the one we
are told to seek within) to natural substances capable of growth, i.e. the
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 21:33:23 -0800
From: Belle Hall
I never dreamed that Inner alchemy group would move so quickly away from
psychology/universal soul ideas to cabala. And yet somehow I did know.
Although I am floundering with the"how" you get the cabala (numbers are
NOT my love) I do not question for a moment the "why". I can plainly see
that it is important and am grateful that several of you are
knowledgeable and so willing to share.
If I missed it just ignore me, but did we establish the connection with
EXODUS itself? Could you-in-the-know please tell me the origin of that
word? Granted the traditional meaning is the Israelites departure from
Egypt. Exodus seems to indicate from the Greek word exodos--
a going out / a way out as hodos is way.
Maybe I was wrong. Should we examine a bit of Genesis to see where we
started before we examine our way out? I'm probably scratching myself out
in left field again, but I thought I'd ask. By all means do
not stop the surge going on here. But maybe when it is
appropriate you could backtrack a bit.
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 1997 13:31:07 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz
>Richard mentions the value 90 as that of both "king" and "from" (I was not
>aware of the second--what do you suggest it might mean?);
I was impressed by "from the waters"(90+95) = "king"(90)+"queen"(95).
>it is also, to
>the best of my knowledge, the value of "manna" (also spelled M-N), that
>"fine, flaky substance" mentioned earlier.
Interesting point. In Exodus 16:31 Manna is described: "It was white (L-B-N)
like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey."
To feed this back into Exodus chapter two, the daughter of Pharaoh opened
the basket which was covered in tar and pitch - I presume coloured black.
Inside she saw the "crying child". When he grew older "he became to her as a
son". The phrase "as a son" L-B-N is the same spelling for the word "white"
L-B-N used above. So we could add that after the black phase in the sealed
basket or vessel, Moses became "white" to the daughter of Pharaoh.
* * *
>the phrase "the heavens" (shamaim,
>Sh-M-I-M), which is composed of the letter Shin (fiery in nature, as we
>have seen) and the word "maim" (which means "water", "seas").
Genesis 1:1 says: "In the beginning Elohim created the Heavens and the Earth."
As you have pointed out "heavens" Sh-M-I-M is fire and water. If we look at
the word "Earth" A-R-Tz we see the letter Aleph (air) and the word itself
So we can read "In the beginning Elohim created the Fire and the Water, the
Air and the Earth."
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 97 18:46:24 UT
From: Mike Dickman
If you can, have a look into the stuff I mentioned by Suares and PoncÚ... It
aint much, but it's sure in hell intriguing...
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 13:50:38 -0500 (EST)
> From: Belle Hall
> I never dreamed that Inner alchemy group would move so quickly away from
> psychology/universal soul ideas to cabala. And yet somehow I did know.
> Although I am floundering with the"how" you get the cabala (numbers are
> NOT my love) I do not question for a moment the "why". I can plainly see
> that it is important and am grateful that several of you are
> knowledgeable and so willing to share.
Thank you Belle--I had actually begun to worry that maybe others were
being put off by the recent "surge" in gematria, and that maybe the whole
thing was just sort of meandering without a specific objective.
> If I missed it just ignore me, but did we establish the connection with
> EXODUS itself? Could you-in-the-know please tell me the origin of that
> word? Granted the traditional meaning is the Israelites departure from
> Egypt. Exodus seems to indicate from the Greek word exodos--
> a going out / a way out as hodos is way.
Well, as you correctly point out, "exodus" does in fact stem from the
Greek, i.e. probably from the Greek version of the O.T. (the Septuagint).
The Hebrew name of the book, as with "Genesis", stems from the first few
words of the actual text, in this case "Now these are the numbers...",
which refers to the detailing of the number of Israelites which had come
to be living in Egypt at the time of the account.
> Maybe I was wrong. Should we examine a bit of Genesis to see where we
> started before we examine our way out? I'm probably scratching myself out
> in left field again, but I thought I'd ask. By all means do
> not stop the surge going on here. But maybe when it is
> appropriate you could backtrack a bit.
Fair enough! I read somewhere this weekend that "the alchemists" often
considered the opening account in Genesis (or "In the beginning",
BRAShITh) to hold all of the key elements of their doctrines, much as the
Emerald Tablet is seen to encapsulate the essence of the work. Without
necessarily probing back that far just yet, we should recall that Joseph,
the son of Jacob/Israel, is left to die in a pit by his brothers and taken
away to Egypt, where he gains recognition by interpreting Pharaoh's
dreams, and rises to prominence, eventually sending for his family so that
they can partake of his good fortunes there. Halevi, a popular
present-day writer on kabbalah, sees this is as an allegory for the
incarnation of the soul/consciousness in the physical/material world
(typified by Egypt, which in Hebrew signifies "narrowness" or "bondage"),
as a result of the allure presented by worldly success, etc. Exodus,
then, represents the "going out from" materiality of consciousness once
the original covenant with God (i.e. that we are citizens of "Israel",
spiritual by nature, a "nation of priests"--no ethnic favoritism is
intended here!) is recalled. Halevi feels that the original, spiritual
condition of the soul (i.e. in Eden) is "forgotten" as a result of
sojourning in the physical (the donning of garments of fig leaves), as
evidenced by the statement in the opening lines of Exodus that there came
to be a new Pharaoh in Egypt, one which had not known Joseph. In Halevi's
scheme, Joseph represnts the "Ego" drawn into incarnate existence, but
obviously "astral" in nature, as evidenced by his "coat of many colors",
and his ability to interpret dreams; Pharaoh represents the "materialist"
frame-of-mind which enslaves us to our apparently endless and fruitless
labors (making bricks without compensation, living just to work) and which
resists with ever-hardening heart when the call to leave Egypt is heard.
Cast in this vein, I think the general plan of Exodus speaks for itself as
the prototype of the archetypal "journey". What becomes interesting is
the individual elements such as that Moses, the figure which leads the
Israelites out of Egypt, is himself born in Egypt, etc. Doubtless we risk
reading too much into different parts of the account if we come to it with
a series of pre-conceptions, but somehow I think there is a lot which can
be plumbed here. One thing which I find curious is that, before he dies,
at the end of Genesis, Joseph foretells the coming of a liberator which
will lead Israel out of Egypt, and ordains that his bones be taken from
Egypt when the time comes to leave. I can't help but feel that there must
be some hidden significance to these "bones of Joseph", but I haven't been
able to put my finger on it thus far.
Anyway, assuming that we will continue to discuss this story in the weeks
to come (hopefully), I'll leave it at that for now.
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 17:06:56 -0600 (CST)
From: George Leake
>From: Belle Hall
>I never dreamed that Inner alchemy group would move so quickly away from
>psychology/universal soul ideas to cabala. And yet somehow I did know.
>Although I am floundering with the"how" you get the cabala (numbers are
>NOT my love) I do not question for a moment the "why".
Again, I apologize for taking so long to respond
One side of the question to look at here is grasping the "what". In other
words, what cabala. There are several distinct varieties. There's the
original, tied to the Jewish faith (and even within it there's apparently
conflict between pre and post-Lurianic varieties; I defer to Gerschom
Scholem for further explanation, let me know if you need references to
texts), then there's an early pseudo-Christian version which Frances Yates
hints has its roots in Lull (again, let me know if you want references),
then there's the modern Western magical tradition, centered more or less
around the Golden Dawn.
Some even suggest certain variant spellings in reference to which variety
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 17:00:49 -0600 (CST)
From: George Leake
>> The word Berashith B-R-A-Sh-Y-Th "In the beginning" (Gen. 1:1) is synonymous
>> with Creation. It can be seen as three words each inside the other, like
>> boxes. The central word is A-Sh "fire". The next word out is R-Y "moisture".
>> The outer word is B-Th "daughter". Creation is the union of Fire and
>> Moisture inside the Daughter.
>This seems to be a pregnant phrase. [edited for brevity]
Sorry I'm joining this late - for what its worth, I've also heard of
comparisons between Berashith to the first word of Beowulf, Hwaet! Hwaet
has some claim as ancestor to the word WHAT, but also it has a bit of a
HARK quality - but actually beyond that according to one scholar here in
Texas. I don't know how radical of a translation of Anglo-Saxon this is,
but she asserts that HWAET is also an urging for the listeners to awake.