Introduction to Qabalah

The Qabalah is the foundation of the Western Mystery Tradition, just as the Yoga Sutras, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and other holy works are the foundations of the Eastern Tradition. In its entirety, the Qabalah is the great body of philosophy to be found in the religious texts of the Jews; including the Old Testament of the Bible, particularly the Pentateuch. It can also be seen in the vast complex of astrological, alchemical and occult symbology that has come down to us, as well as in the Rosicrucian and Masonic myth – including the Tarot, which is indigenous to the West.

According to tradition, the Qabalah is the revelation of God given to man in early times through the mediation of the Archangel most near to God – Metatron. Originally, it was considered so holy that it was reserved as an oral tradition, hence the name Qabalah, which means “mouth to ear”. However, from the twelfth century, part of it was written down, and became available to us through the translations of men like Picus de Mirandola, Knorr von Rosenroth and Cornelius Agrippa.

The tradition remained more or less secret owing to persecution of its adherents by the Christian Church and – later – owing to the derision and disinterest accorded to it by materialistic science and thought. Because of this enforced underground existence, the tradition of the West compares badly with that of the East when it comes to documentation of its sacred wisdom. Little was written comparatively and what was written stood a very good chance of being destroyed. Today we see the results of this in that many students of the occult derive their learning and inspiration from Eastern sources – mainly brought to the West through the efforts of Madame Blavatsky. Valuable as this line of tradition is, we feel that many Western Students would derive more satisfaction in being given the opportunity to study their native tradition.