Three Trees of Life


Old Kabbalist

An Old Kabbalist – from a commissioned portrait of Master Hilarion


1:  The Tree in a Group Process

Here below,  is a Tree of Life I painted for my friend “Actaeon” in 2004.  Beginning a new series of working groups in the Tree of Life, he decided to keep the Sefiroth for the time being, blank and white.   He called it a blank glyph for the teaching – for his students’ inner experience to furnish for themselves, and for himself also, to learn from them.   The teaching is two-way. Some of them had not studied Kabbalah previously.

As the teaching and sharing process entered the Tree of Life day by day, it was fascinating to observe how – spontaneously – the archetypes and laws of nature fell into place.

The idea is that we learn from our inner attention, creativity and relationships, far more than by the book.   So the Sefiroth – the Emanations – and symbols, were left open.

The group is an intimate and interactive one.  It travels up and down the Tree on an interior Journey.   It combines in a dynamic way, dream work, visualisation, yoga, chanting, Kabbalist teaching, therapy, healing and group sharing.  The aim is to integrate body, soul and spirit as a group vessel, invoking the holistic beauty of the Tree.  It addresses the wounds between masculine and feminine.  It is an oral teaching, and it refreshes and deepens itself perennially.  It is guided through the Tree of Life, and it is not written.

Tree of Life 2004 - blank teaching glyph

Tree of Life 2004 – blank teaching glyph


For this year’s Circle, Actaeon asked me if I felt able to paint in the Sefiroth, as the group is by now well established.  I did this over the weekend, using acrylic colours.  I listened – and danced – to the Pink Floyd  “Dark Side of the Moon“.   I had not done any painting for a while, and I was out of practice.   The contact awoke.

The Sefiroth “pictures” – see below – follow a visualisation process up the Tree of Life, for this particular group.   Malkuth is a garden, Yesod a cave and Hod is the library.  Netzach is a tree whose wood we enter.  Hod and Netzach represent our biological mother and father – the relationship dialogue.

Tifareth is the meeting with our Inner Teacher, in the triad of the Soul.   Gevurah is a fiery dragon;   Hesed is a pyramid of ice which melts in the heart and releases our nature towards compassion and forgiveness.  To it I added instinctively the Swan – Hamsa, the bird of Brahma.   The swan’s shape echoes that of Jupiter.   In Vedic astrology, Brahma is the deity of Jupiter, who is “Guru” – dispeller of the soul’s dark night.  In Vedanta, the swan is the cream of the milk.  Jnana, knowledge, floats on the lake of bhakti, devotion.

The non-Sefira Daat is a quantum leap, from Hesed (Love and Expansion) to Binah (Understanding).  As the Karmic knots which bind, are cut, the group journeys in the “chariot” or Merkabah.  Daat is the Greater Mystery behind the Tree and within each Sefira, where dimensions touch.

The darkness on which the Tree appears is En Sof – “without end”.  Binah is the womb of the Great Mother:  Hokhmah is the seminal Father, and Kether is the Holy One.

(My earlier post – – contains more detail.  See also The Seven Year Cycles on the Tree of Life.)

I used the traditional Queen Scale colours – the tones of the Sefiroth as perceived in Beriah, World of Creation.  The four colours in Malkuth – russet, citrine, slate and olive – are the elements: fire, air, water, earth.  At their centre is the Akasha-Tejas Tattva – red Mars triangle in Indigo Saturn oval.  The root and navel chakras when linked this way, and integrated, are a subtle key.  It rises into the heart from the heart of Earth’s core of solar energy. It opens the interior Gold of Alchemy.

The descending Water triangle in Yesod (personal) and the integrated Seal of Solomon at Tifareth (the Self), are self explanatory.

Tree of Life 2004 - with Sefiroth filled in, November 2013

Tree of Life 2004 – with Sefiroth filled in, November 2013

Unfortunately this painting is difficult to photograph – the colours don’t come through well.  I need a more sophisticated camera.  So here are the newly-painted Sefiroth, in close-up, to show their detail:  click on them to open the Gallery.


4 Jacobs Ladder for Actaeon

This is a Jacobs Ladder I painted for Actaeon in 2004.  It shows the Four Worlds – Emanation, Creation, Formation and Physical, as interlocking Trees of Life.  The divine thread on which they are strung, from heaven to earth, is known as the KAV – the centre axis.

“The KAV, or middle column line of Divine presence that permeates Existence, makes up what is seen as the fifth ‘Great Tree’.  (11 Sefiroth, Malkuth to Kether). Together with the forty Sefiroth of the four Trees, they make the Fifty Gates spoken of in some texts.”

Zev ben Shimon Halevi, The Path of a Kabbalist

The Four Trees superimpose through Tifareth at each level.  In the real Universe, all phenomena interpenetrate.  The vision of the Four Worlds was described by the prophet Ezekiel;  it has been rendered in various ways, and can be interpreted concentrically.   Through the shells of Earth’s crust, the forces of nature, seasonal cycle and human growth … the Tree’s sacred geometry lends itself to the Flower of Life in any direction.

At that time, I did not want to label the Sefiroth, or cover the diagram with descriptions and words, but to let my thought remain in colour and be silent.

the tree in flower of life ja


On the left is a template.  The arrows show that we ascend AND descend the Lightning-flash:  as above, so below.  On the right, the Tree for Actaeon’s group process begins in Malkuth, with the Zodiac signs corresponding to the planetary positions on that day.  This horary chart on the Tree gave us subtle data of the group dynamics, and whether to emphasise feeling or the intellect.  With Cancer ascendent, the feeling nature predominates, and is given space to find its tempo.  With Scorpio at Tifareth, Hod and Binah, hidden wounds are likely to come to light, for healing.


A tree in Devon - Malkuth, showing three paths from the base

A tree in Devon – Malkuth, showing three paths from the base



2:  An Applied Tree of Life

Halevi teaching

Readers of Zev ben Shimon Halevi’s books will appreciate the way he – a practical Capricorn philosopher, with Moon in Gemini – applies the Tree of Life to hundreds of situations and developments in everyday life, in government and in history.  His drawings demonstrate how the principle works.

Here is a typical example.  My fellow student Jonathon gives monthly Astrology classes.  In one of them, he showed us on the Tree, the process of a buyout he is involved in, in the business world.   It had just reached completion.  It was fascinating to hear him explain and demonstrate the pattern of thesis and antithesis, agreements and setbacks since 2008, through the global financial crisis:  the delayed but timely exchange of contracts, after a period of reflection:   the accurate realisation of the whole.   He was in awe, himself.

Here is my drawing – a copy of what Jonathon showed us on his screen.

A Tree of Life showing the process of a business merger in financial services, over a period of some years - the process down the zig zag lightning flash from Kether (conceiving the project) to Malkuth (completion).

A Tree of Life showing the process of a business merger in financial services, over a period of some years – the process down the zig zag lightning flash from Kether (conceiving the project) to Malkuth (completion).



3:  An Astrological Landscape

A good way perhaps, to landscape your own!

A painting of Christopher’s chart on the Tree – An inspiration perhaps, to visualise and landscape your own!

He has:  Malkuth in Virgo (the whole lower landscape with its Companions), Yesod and Hod in Capricorn, with the goat and rock strata, Netzach in Scorpio – (where still waters run deep), Tifareth in Sagittarius, Gevurah in Virgo, Hesed in Taurus, Binah in Aquarius, Hokhmah in Virgo and Kether in Scorpio.


Friendship in Winter

Friendship in Winter



As I “sister” alongside Actaeon’s group work, the theme emerging there, is:  to begin – always and again!  to heal deep wounds of the Mother, the feminine – in our ancestors, our daughters, sons and brothers, and in life right now.  Scorpio, with the leaves turning brilliant and sinking into the ground, is a time of concentration.  There is no end to taking the Light into the shadow.

woman unveiled





My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2013. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address

6 thoughts on “Three Trees of Life

  1. What a beautiful explanation and exploration! I don’t even understand the Kabbalah well, but this was fun to read despite that hole in my knowledge. There is a beautiful artistry here that is deeply profound.

  2. Pingback: Mysteries of Master R – Part 8: Three Trinosofia paintings | Aquariel

  3. I don’t think that these trees thought. I think your mother is human. The link must be recovered. I think it’s too. So much compassion (then here) so much glory (then here) so much of the world (then here). Ten hells. It’s just some perspectives. It can be good apprehended.It’s human, intellectual and divine. It’s complex and easy to return the good sense for you of the ten hells. Good trip. It was too much horrors for you. Refounding all that. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.