If we persist through the initial haze of threatening elements against our petty selves, and our curiosity is piqued, we may come to realize that we are rereading the same basic material from different sources. If our thirst for greater truths and our zeal burns brighter within us for Return to the Father, merely reading others’ words grows frustratingly tiresome. However, to probe deeper calls for greater commitment to our Self. I am reminded of a particular quotation from C. S. Lewis:
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy,
the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
The Literal Qabalah is that deeper approach to the study and analysis of the enigmatic writings in their native languages. The fruits of the Literal Qabalah take us deeper into another world. Numbers, letters, words, phrases, and whole sentences in the Hebrew, Latin, and Greek Qabalah may be scrutinized to penetrate the deliberate, subtle and hidden nuances behind the outward script of sacred literature translated into the modern languages. The popular political/espionage writer, Thomas Clancy, recognized the translation difficulties between languages in his The Cardinal of the Kremlin somewhere with: "The concept didn't translate here. Just as words of one language never exactly, never quite correspond to those of another..." and, "...the Russians had at least nine ways of saying "street,' but the nuances were lost on Jack."
And so is it with the English Bible, where the nuances were lost by most translators. Many 'authorized' commentators of Biblical passages have derived their opinions from other English Bibles! The widely circulated King James Version of the Bible, for example, if not the worst, is at least one of the worst translations from the Hebrew out there purporting the supposed "Word of God". Countless humans around the world have suffered horribly from religions and their priests damning innocents to hell and worse.
So if we are drawn to peradventure into the Qabalah beyond the superficial explanations, reiterated again and again from one source or another, then we ought to seriously consider actually learning at least the rudiments of the ideas sequestered behind the Hebrew letters themselves. The sooner, the better. Devoid this learning tool we are left merely reading, and rereading, or listening to what others have to say about Qabalah from their own personal and perhaps biased vantage. Again, we end up parroting. Qabalah guides us to the Source of All. These other persons are not our Source. This is most likely the reason so many beginners with these investigations end it right here. We must work at it, just as we must work at anything we want from this world. Desire is key. Nothing comes to the lazy in whatever the quest. WORK at it?!?! YIKES!! I'm outta here!!! And so it is for most.
Gematria and the other tools of the Literal Qabalists is the primary reason fledgling students get no further than others’ thoughts and words about Qabalah. To be clear, gematria is merely the beginning with Literal Qabalah. On the other hand, it is enough to demonstrate tantalizingly what lies beneath the outward verbiage of sacred writings. Some revelations that might surface with this simplest of the tools may jolt our inner consciousness into an arena far more exciting. It is then that we come into the desire to learn all the other tools of the Literal Qabalist: Temurah, Notariqon, the Qabalah of Nine Chambers, Theosophic Reduction, Theosophic Extension, Theosophic Articulation are the more sophisticated and detailed tools. All these tools can be researched on the Internet. And, examples of all of them are defined and used throughout this site within the ARTICLES and GLOSSARY sections.
The Tarot pack is another very important tool with the studies in Literal Qabalah. Do not take this lightly. The Tarot deck is a medium. Like any book of words which communicate thoughts and ideas by means of alphabets, the Tarot utilizes symbol. Experienced Qabalists teach us that Creative Imagination is the foundation of Qabalah. Many, if not all, of the genuine manuscripts in Qabalah, Hermetics, Rosicrucianism and Alchemy are packed with colored illustrations of all descriptions emphasizing the importance of pictorial symbolism. If we are to advance to any worthwhile degree in this particular study we must learn to read and to interpret the medium of symbol. It is the language of the Universal Subconscious within the fourth dimension and the Fifth, Spiritual Kingdom. There are no words in those levels of Consciousness. Our various lettered vocabularies from this world’s languages are fabrications of the human intellect. All those fabrications cannot adequately explain the spiritual landscapes and circumstances beyond our three-dimensional, physical experiences. This is mainly the reason behind the cryptic writings and curious pictographs of the wily wisdom writers. They ALL would have loved to tell us exactly, if they but could. So they were reduced to alluding to the secret messages within pictures and number associations for those who persist in their desire to knowing those messages. These techniques, and a lot of meditation, are the only venues that will take us into the Hidden Qabalah.
The exoteric Tarot has suffered a great scoffing and criticism through its brief history. And rightly so for that matter. Thousands have reduced them to a mere fortune-telling medium, or a silly game deck. However, to those who have taken the time and effort to discover that behind the simple facade is a book, disguised as a pack of cards. The unique feature, moreover, is that the pages of this book are interchangeable. In addition, each of the twenty-two Major Arcana of Tarot is also assigned a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which are themselves hieroglyphic. This renders the ability of the proficient user to spell out certain words in various sacred writings like the Bible in pictorial symbolism. More on this under the 'קבלה, QBLH' and the 'Addendum' sections in the Index.
Few versions of the Tarot are actual, meaningful mediums toward the Hidden Qabalah. I recommend working with only three for starters: the Waite-Smith Tarot; the B.O.T.A. version; and Aleister Crowley’s Book of Thoth. There are two others that are not actually Tarot, and they are also more difficult with their use of symbolism and therefore more challenging: Solomon Trismosin’s Splendor Solis; and the Comte St. Germain’s Most Holy Trinosophia. If we can master interpreting the symbolism within the first three, then the next two might be worth the challenge. Also, some of the earlier packs from Europe, like the Tarot of the Bohemians, the French and the Italian packs are quite evocative, but contain some deliberate blinds. Once again, learn the meaning of and the interpretation of symbolism in the western tradition. The best way to accomplish this is to actually paint or color your own set of the Major Arcana.
Through the 1960s, 70s and 80s a flood of artistic Tarot versions saturated the ‘New Age’ marketplace. Some are quite creative and beautiful. Some merely copied in a more creative way the basic pictures within the first three mentioned above. Then again, some ‘way out’ versions appeared. While pretty to look at, most offer nothing more in genuine esoteric messaging than the five pointed out in the paragraph above. Stick with those. You will discover them most efficient over time. Some of the others may serve as supplemental.
As each of the Major Arcana is also assigned a letter, spelling out certain Hebrew words from the Bible with the correct Tarot key will evoke ideas and imagery simply not explicable in any of the languages of this world. The Hebrew letters themselves are hieroglyphs of imagery. Coupling these with the imagery symbolism within Tarot, when spelling out a word, catapults the personal consciousness into another realm. Many times we will not actually be able to explain what we have just realized. Try spelling out this most basic ideogram for yourself: אדם, M D A, as in Adam. Then rearrange the three pictures in a column, ‘A’ at the top, then ‘D’, with ‘M’ at bottom. Note the numbers of the Tarot keys and the letters. If we can grasp the suggestions behind the numbers, letters and pictures, the implications will go far beyond what all the exoteric religions have to teach about Adam of the Bible. With any success it will be quite difficult to explain what is realized to others who do not possess the “uses of the Qabalists.”