Tz, Tzaddi, צ


       Letter Tzaddi, צ, transcribed as 'Tz' or 'Ts,' contains numeration 90 and means 'fish-hook.' Numeration of the whole letter-name צדי is 104, and spelled out in plenitude צדי דלת יוד, TzDI DLTh YUD, equals 558. Tzaddi is one of the 5 letters that takes a final form at the end of a word, ץ, and holds numeric value 900. Qabalists assign Tzaddi to the Star Tarot Key, and on the Tree of Life to the twenty-eighth path connecting Netzach (Desire Nature) to Yesod (Automatic Consciousness). This path is called שכל מוטבע, Saykel Motebah, the 'Natural Intelligence' and transports the Heavenly Dew originating in the Three Supernals, down the Tree and through our Desire Nature into the Vital Soul. The Dew is then influenced by our personal desires, coloring (or tincting) our automatic responses to conditions and circumstances. If desires are imperfectly expressed, they manifest as situations that enslave. Commenting on Tzaddi in the Book of Tokens, Dr. Paul Foster Case informs us that the function of meditation is associated with the Natural Intelligence, and "That the universe owes its existence to the Creator's perpetual self-recognition." Self recognizance is meditation. When we meditate we are sharing in a natural, macrocosmic exercise. Indeed, meditation is the beginning, middle and end of the work. Paracelsus advises in the Alchemical Catechism:

"Quest: By what indication may the artist be assured that he is in the right road at the beginning of his work?

Ans: When he finds that the dissolvent and the thing dissolved are converted into one form and one matter at the period of dissolution.

Q. How many solutions do you count in the Philosophic Work?

A. There are three. The first solution is that which reduces the crude and metallic body into its elements of sulphur and of living silver; the second is that of the physical body, and the third is the solution of the mineral earth.

Q. How is the metallic body reduced by the first solution into mercury, and then into sulphur?

A. By the secret artificial fire, which is the Burning Star."1


       "Secret artificial fire" is meditation, turning within (toward the Universal Solvent). Paracelsus makes his point with use of “in the right road.” The "Burning Star" and "fire" are Tzaddi and meditation. When the miner has proceeded far enough within, Isis, the female personified in the Star Tarot Key, lifts her veil. She reveals to the happy recipient a vast ocean of Living Limitless Light, אין סוף אור. This is the "Helper," the Holy Spirit of which Jesus spoke in John 14:26: "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." When contact is finally granted the blessed recipient, we have that Helper with us eternally. Indeed, He teaches all things, and we all will remember all that Christ said to us during His time with us on earth. And, alchemically speaking, this reduces a metallic body of the preponderance of Salt, and turns sulfurous desires toward the Mercury mode in our Copper, the desire nature. We purify our desires, or dissolve them, to discover the one form and matter, AIN SUPh AUR. This is the end of the Black Stage and the beginning of the White Stage (see STAGES IN THE ART).


       Now our automatic consciousness (Yesod), holding habit patterns, is purified somewhat of negative, old influences. We experience a turn-around. We begin to feel early effects of the Universal Medicine in our circumstances as we fare for the better. Understanding deepens, outlook improves, the world opens Book 'M' to reveal its characters, and our bodies grow healthy. On the Cube of Space, Tzaddi is posited at South-Above. This marries the face of Mercury (Above) with the Sun on the South face. Meditation blends our 'personal' conscious mind with the watery/fiery consciousness of the Sun. Jacob Boehme is quoted by Dr. Franz Hartmann:

"The sun is not very different from water, for water has the quality and essence of the sun. Without that the water would not receive the light of the sun. Although the sun is a body having a form, nevertheless the essence of the sun is also in water, but not manifest. In fact, we recognize that the whole world is all sun, and the locality of the sun would be everywhere if God would want to ignite it and cause it to become manifest, for all existence begins in the light of the sun."2


       Paracelsus preceded Jacob Boehme by almost a century. Boehme never studied Paracelsus. Yet both understood what is meant by Paracelsus' answer to the first question above with “dissolvent and the thing dissolved are converted into one form and one matter.” Meditation, and the symbol of Tzaddi and the Burning Star, is the acidic dissolvent. Refer to VINEGAR.

Back to Glossary

1 Paracelsus, Theophrastus, Alchemical Catechism. Edmonds, WA: Alchemical Press, 1983, pg. 21.

2 Hartmann, Dr. Franz, The Life And Doctrines Of Jacob Boehme. New York: Steinerbooks, 1977, pg. 169.