Revised: October 2019
Genesis 2:11 שם האחד פישון הוא הסבב את כל ארץ החוילה אשר שם הזהב׃
English: “The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold.”
Commentary: From the division at the ‘four heads’ in verse 2:10, this is the first. Pishon, highlighted red in the verse above, is actually pronounced pi-sown, based on the vowel points in the Hebrew. Its letters some to 446, and from the gematira notes of Paul Foster Case he states that Pishon is “related to fire”, but does not elaborate, I believe, due to the copious obscure Qabalistic associations, some of which will be presented here. By breaking down the word Qabalistically some evidence appears to support the ‘fire’ conjecture. The first, middle and last letters of the word are related to fire. Peh (פ) symbolizes Mars and is illustrated as the Tower Tarot Key. Shin (ש) symbolizes the fire element and is assigned the Judgement Tarot Key. The last letter (ן) Nun-final is assigned the Death Tarot Key, Scorpio, ruled by Mars again. Aside this, the Hebrew word for ‘death’ is מות, mavet, summing to 446, with Pishon and with the Death Tarot Key and Mars’ rulership. However thin these associations might seem for the skeptic, it is true nevertheless, that all the clues consistently lead the conscious mind to the fire element, and nowhere else. Furthermore, the first reduction of 446 is 14, the number of the Temperance Tarot Key assigned to Sagittarius, mutable fire, while the second reduction sums to 5, Hebrew letter Heh (ה), in turn, assigned to the Emperor Key attributed to Aries, wherein Mars is exalted.
There is more to be gleaned from the gematria and temurah of Pishon. Do this for yourself if you are serious with understanding.A skeptic would judge the above as forcing conclusions from very loose connections, and I would agree, initially. We must look closer with the rest of the sentence which presents considerably more.
Analyzing the verb in the sentence fleshes out the proposition considerably. The verb הסבב, hasobeb, has been totally mistranslated upon closer inspection. Literally it is defined as ‘to surround, to encircle, to encompass, to rotate, revolve, whirl’. Now, for translators and interpreters who are prone to transliterating terms word for word this might have proved worrisome, because this would have made the ‘land of Havilah’ an island. So to adjust this problem and make it fit the narrative that all this is an actual, physical location, all manner of different verbs were substituted. In modern translations we find ‘winds through’, ‘flows through’. ‘skirts through’ the land. There were definite, individual verbs in Hebrew to express ‘winds, flows, skirts’ and similar terms in other translations. And to be fair, a couple translations do use ‘around’ after the verb, as ‘flows around’ and ‘winds around’. But there still remains a subtle difference.
The difference is revealed to the Literal Qabalist with the word החוילה, ‘the Havilah’. And, like the many elements surrounding ‘The Garden’, Havilah, as a ‘land’ (or an ‘island’), cannot be located. There is a map of sorts on the Internet that positions Havilah in four different locations in and around Saudi Arabia, which would be quite a distance from the alleged ‘four heads’ back there in that supposed ‘Garden’. The Qabalist, focusing on Havilah would at once perceive the root of the word. From the gematria notes of Paul F. Case we find:
“ChVL is the root of the name ChVILH (59), ‘The land of Havilah where there is Gold.’...ChVL, חול, khool. ‘sand’. The root of the noun is a verb spelled with the same letters meaning, "to turn round, to twist, to whirl." [Job 29:18]. The birth of the alchemical First Matter is in the sand (mineral kingdom). Alchemist call this their Phoenix – a spiral twisting motion directly connected with sound and thought...As a masculine noun ChVL means ‘sand’, on account of the whirling pillars of sand familiar to all desert dwellers, which are the source of tales about Genies.”
Seasoned Qabalists knew back then as they do now that the Creator ‘twists’ Its Fiery Essence of the First Matter with a whirling cone-shaped rotation prior to the ‘bursting forth’ in physical space. Hence the khool metaphor of ‘the whirling pillars of sand’, and the verb הסבב, hasobeb. Pishon is a metaphor for the first, ‘fire’ element spinning off from the ‘Four Heads’ of the Primal Water. Elsewhere, in the Forty-First Dictum of the Turba Philosophorum one philosopher exhorts:
“I notify to posterity that the rotundrum turns into four elements, and is derived out of one thing.”
Rotundrum, ‘revolving’ sums to 112 by the Latin Cabala Simplex, equaling Prima Materia and יהוה אלהים, Jehovah Elohim, the combined Divine Name of powers symbolized by Chokmah-Binah discussed in Verse 2:8. Rotundrum, Prima Materia, is that ‘river’ which watered the ‘Garden’.
Finally, in verse 2:11 is the adverbial clause, אשר שם הזהב, translated above as: “...where there is gold.” However, the last word, זהב, zahab, ‘gold’, has a definite article Heh (ה) before it... 'the gold'. This is a specific. Otherwise the readers are led to believe that there be actual cashes of gold in that physical place called ‘Havilah’. It is no wonder searchers for Havilah want to find it! Here is what a Literal Qabalist understands concerning ‘the gold’. It has nothing to do with the physical metal (Au). Again, from the gematria notes of Paul F. Case:
זהב, zahab, ‘gold’. Solar energy, the alchemical "gold", first matter and medicine. The gold of enlightenment, the philosophical gold which represents perfect verified truth (see 200, 440). Aesch Mezareph, [The Purifying Fire] a Qabalistic alchemical treatise, says that when זהב is written alone, without any qualifying adjectives "It is referred to Geburah, because gold cometh from the North." This is a reference to Job 37:22 where the original has זהב for the word translated "fair weather" in the English Bible. North is assigned to Geburah, the sphere of Mars. Like the Latin Aurum, which meant originally "the burning thing," זהב signifies primarily "That which shines." as a verb זהב means "to glitter like gold."
The letters of זהב, zahab, sum to 14 with reduction to 5, the same as the Temperance Tarot Key mentioned above in the first paragraph. Geburah, positioned on the North side of Tree of Life is the Sphere of Mars, and the seat of the Creator’s Volition, most imperfectly expressed though us. Mars and Volition are both symbolized by Fire, which has its initial root in the second sphere, Chokmah. The ‘gold’ supposed in ‘Havilah’ is actually the Primal Fire, the Virgin Sulfur within Chokmah. For the very ardent aspiring to this Art, a thorough explanation of the ‘fire’ element related to Chokmah, and most especially to Pishon, please refer to FIRE and VIRGIN SULPHUR in the GLOSSARY section of this site.