Category:The Kabbalah and the Jewish Grimoire Tradition

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The Zohar is an important source for Kabbalistic study
The Zohar is an important source for Kabbalistic study

Kabbalah is a term that, academically, only applies to a form of Jewish occult gnosis beginning in medieval Spain and Provence during the 12th-century, which is generally passed down among scholars. Colloquially, the term has become a catch-all for every form of Jewish occult and folk magic. This is not the case, however, as much Jewish magic comes under the category of non-religious Jewish and Yiddish Folk Magic.

There are three aspects to Kabbalah has three aspects: investigative, experiential, and practical. The seminal masterpiece of the Kabbalistic grimoire tradition is a gigantic, multi-volume tome, called “The Zohar," a Hebrew title which translates to “The Book of Radiance." Other books associated with the Kabbalah include "Sepher Yetzirah" ("Book of Formation"), "Pardes Rimonim" (The Garden of Pomegranates," and "Sefer Raziel HaMalakh" ("The Book of Raziel the Angel").

Since the 1990s, it has been observed and documented that Kabbalah spelled with a “K” generally refers to the Jewish Kabbalah, Cabala spelled with a “C” is often used to refer to the adoption of Jewish wisdom and philosophy by Christian theologians, and Qabalah spelled with a “Q” frequently refers to Jewish mysticism that has been accepted by Thelemites.

The mystical Tree of Life is a central concept of study among many kabbalists; each portion of it is said to symbolize one of the various conditions of human life
The mystical Tree of Life is a central concept of study among many kabbalists; each portion of it is said to symbolize one of the various conditions of human life
A seal from The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses
A seal from The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses


The Investigative Kabbalah

The investigative dimension seeks to reveal the hidden reality of the universe, developing within the student an understanding of the universe’s origins, its structure and method of function. This aspect of Kabbalah is concerned with acquiring secret and hidden knowledge regarding the nature of the universe, as opposed to mystical experience.

The Experiential Kabbalah

The experiential aspect entails a quest for the mystical experience of knowing and feeling. It encompasses philosophical metaphysical techniques of esotericism by which the practitioner acquires secret knowledge, as well as a school of mysticism in which the adherent experiences “devekut” or closeness to God. Its best known component is the Tree of Life, a diagram consisting of ten disks, called “Sephiroth" and the thirty-two intersecting paths which connect them. These ten attributes are how the “Infinite” or “Ein Sof," the precursor to God prior to His self-manifestation, is revealed to humankind. This school of Kabbalah makes extensive use of numerology and astrology. The Tree of Life layout has been linked by 20th century cartomancers to the designs of pip cards in several decks of fortune-telling tarot cards.

The Practical Kabbalah

The practical side of Kabbalah is the application of mystical power to affect change in both the celestial world and the physical world around us, through the use of rituals for gaining and controlling power. Within Jewish culture, speaking of "the practical Kabbalah" is tantamount to speaking of magic and witchcraft within the Jewish Tradition. It involves prayers from the Psalms for mundane advantage in matters of love, fertility, money, business, luck, blessing, cleansing, healing, personal power, wisdom, protection from evil, avoidance of accidents, safe travel, removal of curses, keeping off the law, winning court cases, exerting mental influence on others, cursing, getting revenge, and breaking up relationships. Additionally, the practical kabbalah includes mention of the means to create, summon, and control angels and demons in order to further God’s intention to uphold the good, to heal, and to subdue evil. The true master of the Kabbalah fulfills the human potential to be a co-creator with God.

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AIRR Readers & Rootworkers Who Perform This Work for Clients

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