PAUL FOSTER CASE
The twelve paragraphs immediately following are a condensed summary of the teachings of the Sepher Yetzirah and other Kabalistic works as to the esoteric meaning of the twelve simple letters of the Hebrew alphabet, together with certain other material not generally known. Each paragraph is headed by the name of a letter, as usually spelt in English, followed by a transliteration of the Hebrew spelling of the letter-name, in parenthesis, and the English letter, or letters, commonly employed for transliterating from Hebrew. In each paragraph the order of attributions is: 1. English or Hebrew letter-name; 2. Faculty or function symbolized by the letter; 3. Name of the Yetziratic Intelligence; 4. Name of the astrological sign; 5. Parts of body ruled by sign; 6. Color vibrations and musical tone. These attributions should be memorized, as should those of the mother and double letters already given.
Heh (HH); H or E. 1. Window; 2. Sight; 3. Constituting Intelligence, so called because it
constitutes creation on the darkness of the world; 4. Aries, the Ram, the first sign of the fiery “triplicity”, ruled by Mars, and the place of the Sun’s exaltation; 5. Head, brain and face; 6. Flame-red (C), the color of the mother letter Shin, and the double letter Pe (Mars).
Vav (VV); V, U or O. 1. Nail or hook; 2. Hearing; 3. Triumphant and eternal Intelligence,
the delight of glory, the paradise of pleasure prepared for the just; 4. Taurus, the Bull, the first sign of the earthy triplicity, ruled by Venus, and the place of the Moon’s exaltation; 5. Throat; 6. Red-orange, (C-sharp), blending the rays of Shin and Aleph, with the red ray of Shin predominating.
Zayin (ZIN); Z. 1. Sword, or weapon; 2. Smell; 3. Disposing Intelligence; It disposes
the devout to perseverance, and thus prepares them to receive the Holy Spirit. (Understand by “devout” all those who are self-dedication to living in harmony with cosmic law, and the “Holy Spirit” the creative energy of the Life-Power. Attach no theological significance to the words). 4. Gemini, the Twins, first sign of the airy triplicity, ruled by Mercury; 5. Shoulders, arms and lungs; 6. Orange, (D), blending equally the rays of Shin and Aleph.
Cheth (ChITh); CH. 1. Field, or fence; 2. Speech; 3. Intelligence, or house of Influence,
Thence are drawn the arcana and the concealed meanings which repose in the shadow thereof. (The “house” is the body, which is the “field” of the work in practical occultism. The “influence” is the influx of the universal Life-Power into a specialized personal form). 4. Cancer, the Crab, the first sign of the watery triplicity, ruled by the Moon, and the place of Jupiter’s exaltation; 5. Breast, chest and stomach; 6. Yellow- orange, (D-sharp), a blending of the rays of Shin and Aleph, with Aleph predominating.
Teth (TITh); T. 1. Serpent; 2. Digestion; 3. Intelligence of the secret, or of all
spiritual activities, (this is the knowledge of the Great Arcanum of the direction of the serpent-power); 4. Leo, the Lion, the house of the Sun, second sign of the fiery triplicity; 5. The heart; 6. Bright, pure yellow (E), the same as the ray of Aleph, which is somewhat intensified in the ray of Beth.
Yod (IVD); J, I or Y. 1. Hand, (in Oriental languages euphemistic for the lingum); 2. Coition,
(denoting the union of positive and negative in reciprocal activity on every plane, particularly “copulation”); 3. Intelligence of Will, Prepares all created beings, each individually, for the demonstration of the existence of the primordial glory. (Consider this sentence very carefully. It reveals an important secret of the ancient wisdom); 4. Virgo, the Virgin, ruled by Mercury, and the place of Mercury’s exaltation (These astrological attributions are keys to alchemical secrets); 5. The intestines, particularly the small intestines, where Prana in food is transmuted into bio-chemical energy; 6. Yellowish-green (F), a blending of the rays of Aleph and Mem, in which the ray of Aleph predominates.
Lamed (LMD); L. 1. As a noun, “ox-goad”, but the same three letters (LMD) spell a verb
meaning “to instruct”; 2. Work, or action (very nearly the same as the root-meaning of the Hindu word Karma, and implying that all real knowledge must be perfected through work, or as the bible says: “Faith without works is dead”). 3. Faithful Intelligence, because spiritual virtues (understand by “spiritual virtues” various differentiations of the Life-Power, for strictly speaking, the “virtue” of anything is its ability to effect some specific result) are deposited and augment therein, until they pass to those who dwell in the shadow thereof; 4. Libra, the Scales, second sign of the airy triplicity, ruled by Venus and the seat of Saturn’s exaltation; 5. The kidneys; 6. Pure green, (F-sharp), the same as the ray of Venus, a color in which the rays of Aleph and Mem are equally balanced.
Nun (NVN); N. 1. As a noun, “fish”, and as a verb, “to sprout”, to grow; 2. Motion, or
change; 3. Imaginative Intelligence. “The ground of similarity in the likeness of beings who are created by agreement after its aspects.” (This passage will be explained in a later lesson); 4. Scorpio, The Scorpion, ruled by Mars; 5. The reproductive organs; 6. Greenish-blue, (G), a blending of the rays of Aleph and Mem, with Mem predominating.
Samekh (SMK); S. 1. Prop, support, (some say “tent-peg”); 2. Wrath, or anger (here
referable more particularly to Rajas, and akin to the Greek Thumos, desire or appetite); 3. Tentative Intelligence, or Intelligence of Probation or trial, because it is the first temptation by which God tests the devout (Here again, beware of theological interpretation); 4. Sagittarius, the Archer, ruled by the planet Jupiter (Kaph); 5. The thighs; 6. Blue, the same as the mother-ray, Mem, (G-sharp).
Ayin (OIN); O. 1. Eye, but the same three letters (OIN) spell a noun meaning “a
fountain”. 2. Laughter, or mirth (usually caused by incongruity); 3. Renewing or renovating Intelligence, for thereby God renews all which is capable of renovating in the creation of the world; 4. Capricorn, the Goat, ruled by Saturn, and the place of the exaltation of Marss; 5. The knees; 6. Blue-violet, sometimes called “indigo”, blending the rays of Mem and Shin, with Mem predominating, (A).
Tzaddi (TzDI); Ts, Tz. 1. Fish-hook; 2. Meditation (which lets down a hook into the sea of
subliminal consciousness); 3. Natural Intelligence, whereby the nature of everything found in the orb of the Sun is completed and perfected. (Man is the highest of created beings on earth, summing up the evolution of all other modes of expression of the Life-Power, and through meditation man comes into harmony with the intelligence of nature, is thus completed and perfected, and in this way completes and perfects the nature of all things). 4. Aquarius, the Water-bearer, ruled by Saturn; 5. Legs, from knees to ankles; 6. Violet, an equal blending of the rays of Mem and Shin, (A-sharp).
Qoph (QVP); Q. 1. “Back of the head”, “knot” (location of the medulla oblongata, which
forms a knot on the spinal cord near the nape of the neck. It controls many functions which make it directly responsible for the maintenance of bodily life; and these functions, now instinctive, were once willed, so that many are our inheritance from the ages of animal evolution); 2. Sleep (during which the body is repaired and the medulla keeps the necessary vital functions going; while in these periods of bodily rebuilding are brought about those subtle changes of cell-structure which constitute the physical expression of the “ripening” already referred to in these pages); 3. Corporeal Intelligence; it informs, (this is an obsolescent usage of the verb “inform” meaning “to enter into form as”) every body which is incorporated under all orbs and is the growth thereof. Compare this last phrase with what is said in Sect 2 of this Paragraph); 4. Pisces, the Fishes, ruled by Jupiter, and the exaltation of Venus; 5. The feet, governed by Pisces, and thus, in the symbolic sense, all instrumentalities of progress, the means of following the path of evolution; 6. Violet-red (B), a mixture of the rays of Mem and Shin, with the red predominating.
Get yourself a few horoscope blanks, such as are used for casting nativities. Or divide a circle into twelve equal segments. Write the data given in the twelve preceding paragraphs in these segments, and you will have a valuable diagram of the meaning of the simple letters. You will notice that the segments opposite each other always show complimentary colors, as Lamed, green, is opposite to Heh, red; Zayin, orange, is opposite to Samekh, blue, and so on. If you know anything about astrology, the study of the color values of the various aspects will bring out some interesting details.
To the three fiery signs, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are assigned the three primary colors, Red, Yellow and Blue. The three earthy signs, Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn, each show a blending of two primary colors, with a predominance of the lower vibration in each instance. The three airy signs, Gemini, Libra and Aquarius, show the equal blending of two rays, even as their astrological symbols are pictures of balanced forces. The three watery signs, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, show a blending of two primary colors, with the higher rate of vibration predominant. All these details are significant, and should be thoroughly fixed in mind.
Note also the colors of the planets ruling, and exalted in each sign. Aries is ruled by Mars, and the Sun there is exalted, so that this sign, itself Red, is the vehicle of the influence of the Red and Orange rays. Directly opposed to it is Libra, whose ruler, Venus, has the Green ray, complimentary to the Red of Mars, while the Blue-violet of Saturn, exalted in Libra, is complementary to the mingled rays of Mars and the Sun in Aries. The Green of Venus, ruling Taurus, has its compliment in the red of Mars, ruling Scorpio. The yellow of Mercury, ruling Gemini, has its compliment in the Jupiterian Violet of Sagittarius. The mingled influences of the planets ruling and exalted in Cancer produce a Blue-violet, with Blue predominating (since it is the color of the ruler of the sign). Opposed to it, in Capricorn, is a mingled influence, also combining the fundamental rays of Red and Blue, but with Red predominating, since the Red ray of Mars combines with the Red in the Blue-violet of Saturn. The ruler of Leo is the Sun, with an Orange ray, to which the Blue-Violet of Saturn, ruling the opposite sign, is not the true complement; but the colors of the Sun and its sign, Orange and Yellow, blend into Yellow-Orange, which is complementary of
Saturn and Aquarius. Finally, the Yellow of Mercury, ruling Virgo, is exactly balanced by the Violet of Jupiter, ruling Pisces. To read all these details may sound confusing, but if you will make the diagram I have mentioned, you can follow what I have just given you more easily.
Bear always in mind the fact that you are not learning these
things just for the sake of acquiring curious information. Nor object primarily the formulation of a philosophical system. As seed-thoughts germinate in your consciousness, they will, to be unfold a philosophy, but that is not all. The ultimate goal is application, use, conscious expression of the laws of life and light in your every-day thoughts, words and deeds. All men are subjects of the Kingdom of the Spirit, for the laws of the Life-Power are immutable, and cannot be broken. A few, in generation, are free citizens of the Kingdom, who have won the right to that designation because they know and are able to demonstrate that the Law itself proceeds from THAT which is identical with the real, most innermost self of every human being. Not because hey accept a creed, not because they believe a dogma, not because they have absorbed a mass of facts from books and teachers, are they granted citizenship. Only because they know, and can demonstrate, that a man who has ripened into a true likeness of the ONE Source of all things, is truly the depository of the power of God.
To know these laws of light-vibration, and their tonal and astrological correspondences, is to possess means for strengthening those phases of character and temperament, which need building up, and a means for toning down anything unduly emphasized in your horoscope. One skill in applying these laws can minimize the so-called “evil” influences of adverse planetary aspects, and strengthen the good influence of benefic aspects. Let me caution you, however, against experiments of this kind at this stage of your studies. In due course you will be taught just how to use these vibratory forces. Your present task is, so to say, to learn your notes.
In conclusion let me remind you again that the three preliminary rays, represented by the mother-letters, the seven planetary rays, and the twelve rays corresponding to the signs of the Zodiac, are really the sum total of all things, visible and invisible. Vibration is the substance of all things from a grain of dust to a chain of worlds. Everything has its note. The pitch of that note may be so low that we cannot hear it, or too high for our ears to catch; but there is no break anywhere in nature and everything that exists has a fundamental vibration which can be raised, octave by octave, until it corresponds to some note of the scale you have been given in these lessons. Therefore is my title justified by the text, for in these scales of color and sound are the keys to every possible form of manifestation, even as the Sepher Yetzirah teaches: “The twenty-two letters which form the stamina, after having been appointed and established by God, He combined, weighed and changed them, and formed by them all things which are in existence, and all those which will be formed in all time to come.” (Chapter II. Sect. 2. Kalisch’s Translation.)
Another interesting text: Elias Rubenstein – The Western Path of Occult Science and Initiation