Revised: August 2019
Ruach (pronounced roo-ah), spelled with letters רוח in Hebrew, is a complex Qabalistic term representing a plethora of ideas. It cannot be dealt with at length here. Many texts explore some of its implications, one of the better being Isaac Myer’s Qabbalah - The Philosophical Writings of Avicebron. No one book or author, however, can adequately convey its full meaning. A simple translation is Spirit, but many Qabalists commonly call it the Life-Breath.
In alchemy it is understood as the Quintessence. It is also equivalent to the eastern Prana. In Hermes' summation, “The wind carries it in its belly,” hints Ruach borne upon and within the atmosphere. Esoterically, accomplished Qabalists teach that it is Mezlah “carried by the wind” but rooted in Chokmah. Mezlah, however, is brought into the field of manifestation from AIMA within Binah, the Gate, or the Black Crow. Its gematria associates it with ideas of Whiteness and Purity. Spelled out with the images of the Tarot we may understand that by RUACH the solar force, with all the ideas expressed by letter Resh and the Sun Key (therefore, Tiphareth and Christ Consciousness), works its way into the Field of personality (letter Cheth) through the agency of Intuition, the letter Vav and all its implications.
Whatever Its many names this Power from the Three Supernals rushes downward into the six that comprise Ben, The Son, the seat of Ruach and the Lessor Countenance, centered in Tiphareth. Tiphareth is also associated with the letter VAV (ו) in יהוה. Qabalists maintain רוח is a composition of the six (6) spheres on the Tree: Chesed, Geburah, Tiphareth, Netzach, Hod and Yesod. All these six subdivisions of Ruach express qualities and potencies of yours and my spirit working through our personalities. When we become ‘aware’, it is discovered that this whole composition, Qabalists teach, is the instantaneous Omnipotent Imagination of the realized Adept, the King in Tiphareth.
Ben, the Son, is the Christ within each of us. When we have completed our Road of Return and realized final conscious re-union with the Christ Consciousness, we automatically inherit all the Powers represented by the 6 spheres below the Supernals, as they are already intrinsic within Tiphareth, the Son’s union with the Father level of Consciousness. The essence of the six spheres are within us presently, of course. However, the purity within those essences are very distorted by our current activities while we are in our separative states. It is when we become mature into realizing who and what we actually are that these pure essences will manifest through our reconstituted personalities.
The above grouping of the ten spheres into 3, 6 and 1 would also separate the ten spheres into the idea of three, which we may equate with the Three Alchemical Principles, thus: The Triune One-God: Kether, Chokmah and Binah would be the equivalent of Universal Mercury; the next 6, inclusive within Ben, בן, the Son, would be equivalent to Universal Sulfur; and sphere 10, Malkuth, the equivalent of Universal Salt. Malkuth, sphere 10, is the point at the end of the 31st Path of Tav (ת). Saturn is assigned to this letter and Saturn implies completion. When anything is ‘completed’ it has come to ‘rest’, with the potential of a new beginning. That ‘new beginning’ is the regenerated consciousness of an Adept.
Other schools of Qabalah analyze the Tree in this manner. The Three Supernals (a grouping of three differing modes within One Thing) is called Arik Anpin, אריך אנפין, the Greater Countenance, the Large or Long Face, or Macroprosopus. This is One God, The Father, but within Its unity reside three distinct aspects or modi operandi: Omni-Intelligence (Omniscience), Omni-Animation (Omnipotence) and Omni-Substance (Omnipresence).
Then, the six below Binah are grouped together as RUACH or Zeir Anpin, זעיר אנפין, the Lesser Countenance, the Small or Short Face, or Microprosopus. This is the One Son, Ben (בן), The Christos, or Grand Ego of all humanity. Inherently within The Son are all the qualities represented by these six spheres. Qabalists also instruct that Ruach (the 6 as 1) acts as a link between the Divine Soul, Neshamah, in Binah with the Vital Soul, Nephesh, in Yesod. Ruach is equated with the ‘Spirit’ in Mankind.
Then, in the tenth sphere, Malkuth, is גוף, guph, the Body wherein all of the above reside. You and I and all humanity share all the virtues of RUACH save in a much lessor degree. Once more, we erroneously believe these virtues to be ours, personally, because they feel so intimately personal. That is our collective fundamental faux pas, and the reason they are so immaturely, even grossly, expressed through us.
Successful reunion with the Christ, Krishna or One Ego within us by whatever spiritual discipline, East or West, utterly destroys the erroneous belief along with the idiotic personality expressing the immature qualities. We then, as One within the Christ, will express fully all the virtues and powers of all elements in the Tree and finally behave in the mature Manner of the Just, exactly as the Master Jesus had prophesied for us.
Finally, as many schools of Qabalah and the genuine teachers of its fundamental tenants declare, each Sephira is actually identical with the other nine. The whole tree, the ten spheres and the twenty-two paths, is but ONE POINT or sphere. As a fourth dimensional image, the fabricated diagram with its separate elements of spheres and paths were man-made, produced for the possible comprehension of our intellectual apparatus. They declare this in another manner with the dictum that all ten spheres are within each sphere simultaneously.
This by no means is adequate description, or even practical information for the reader. I apologize. RUaCh’s essence is intuitively distilled from a thorough understanding of all the spheres in all Four Worlds. This is a meditation adventure of years and volumes. Should we ever come to that level of profound understanding we would still fail to express these influences with mere written words as so many, including myself here, have attempted.