The Four Threes The Four Queens
□ The Supernal Mother
□ The Organizer and Compensator
□ The Dark Sterile Mother; the Bright Fertile Mother
Symbols: The Yoni, the Triangle, the Cup, Heh Planet: Saturn Color: Black
In Binah is a thick darkness which yet veileth the Divine Glory in which all colours are hidden, wherein is mystery and depth and silence, and yet, it is the habitation of the Supernal Light. There is the Supernal Triad completed. And the Sphere of its Operation is Shabbathi, or rest, and it giveth forms and similitudes unto chaotic matter and it ruleth the sphere of action of the planet Saturn. And Jehovah Elohim is the perfection of Creation and the Life of the World to Come. And its Archangel is Tzaphqiel, the Prince of the Spiritual Strife against Evil, and the Name of the Angels is Aralim, the strong and mighty Ones who are also called the Order of Thrones.
The key symbol of Binah is the Yoni, or female generative organ, indicating that this Sephira is the energy from which all life emerges. It is the Great Womb, the Supernal Mother to which all religions make reference in some
Two questions generally arise when first considering "sexuality" as it is philosophically described in these upper realms of the Tree of Life. The first relates to the fact that the primary female Sephira, Binah, stands at the head of the Pillar of Severity, while the primary male Sephira, Chokmah, is at the head of the Pillar of Mercy.
This fact reflects the Qabalistic definition of maleness and femaleness as qualities, rather than as static characteristics, as well as the ultimate bi-sexuality of the Soul. In the Supernal Triangle, maleness is pure outgoing energy, merciful in that it is unrestricted; femaleness is a limiting quality, and thus severe. Moving down through the Tree of Life on the Pillar of Severity we find that Geburah destroys, while Hod again builds up (anabolism and catabolism). And on the Pillar of Severity we find that Chesed builds up while Netzach has destructive qualities.
The second question which inevitably arises throughout the Tree of Life is the extent to which there is an interchange of masculine and feminine deities as we know them. Although the key God figure of Binah is Isis, the male Gods Saturn and Chronos are also attributed to it. Moreover, at the base of the Pillar of Severity, beneath Binah, we find the male God Mercury in the Sephira Hod. At the base of the Pillar of Mercy we find the female Goddess Venus in the Sephira Netzach. The answer is that our concepts of gender are insufficient to describe the subtle polarities and interchanges of energy in the Universe. Aspects of a female deity often best describe aspects of a primarily masculine Sephira. Moreover, it will be appreciated that the Pantheons with which we are most familiar in the West are anthropromorphic. We have created the Gods in our own image with a certain fundamentalistic, though comforting naivete.
Binah is restriction. It is the will to form, a discipline imposed on the pure force of Chokmah. At the same time it is the Great Sea from which life emerges, a concept implying a primordial Unconscious. Water had always been viewed by poets and philosophers as harboring the deepest mysteries of our existence. Indeed, in the Mundane Chakra, theories of evolution propose that life, as we know it, may have emerged from the sea.
The image of dark and deep waters is a very profound one which, as it rises in our consciousness, cannot help but affect us in some curious way. As the Golden Dawn knowledge lecture states: "In Binah is a thick darkness which yet veileth the Divine Glory in which all colours are hidden, wherein is mystery and depth and silence, and yet it is the habitation of the Supernal Light." In this sense, Binah is described as the Outer Robe of Concealment, an idea which might most readily be understood by considering the extent to which our physical forms conceal our inner realities from others.
In the sense that Binah is the giver of life, she is the Bright Fertile Mother. But in the sense that she restricts and disciplines (in effect, is the first lawgiver), she is called the Dark Sterile Mother. This duality is also found in Yesod (the Moon), which reflects the light of the Sun into Malkuth. The Moon is represented both by Diana and by Hecate. One is the obverse of the other, bright and dark.
Throughout the Sephiroth and the Paths, the qualities of Binah and Chokmah are given different names, depending on their degree of density, i.e., their placement on the Tree of Life relative to its completion in Malkuth. Thus, we may speak of Isis in Binah, or on the Path of THE EMPRESS or THE HIGH PRIESTESS. Or we may discuss Venus, Diana, Hecate, or even Ceres in other Sephiroth, knowing that these are aspects of the same Divine Energy. The Jah of Chokmah and the Jehovah Elohim of Binah wear many robes throughout the Universe.
One of the most important attributions of Binah is Chronos, oldest of the Gods and called "Father Time." The concept of time is highly restrictive, and appropriately related to Binah. Time measures the process of aging, the migration from birth through life, toward death, which is the ultimate result of the gift of life which passes through Binah.
Binah, Understanding, is called the Sanctifying Intelligence, and the "Parent of Faith." It may be taken to represent the structure underlying established religion of any sect, without which a "church" could not exist. Students of the history of art may recall the iconographic theme where the Mother Mary is shown as a large figure within a church, but where it is understood that Mary is the church, in all of its organization, structure and sanctity.
But Binah is called the "Parent of Faith," rather than faith itself which is belief. Binah is the discipline of organization behind faith. Reason, science and intellectuality, all disciplines of organization, are the fullest development of the Binah energy, found in Hod at the base of the Pillar of Severity. Intuition, feeling and artistic creativity are the ultimate product of the energy of Chokmah, found in Netzach at the base of the Pillar of Mercy.
Continue reading here: The Threes
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