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

(1) Touching the Hem, (2) Seal, Stone, Garden

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Liszt Legende, St Francis de Paules

A link –

I follow Elene’s blog.  After doing my writing this morning, I came downstairs and found her latest post in my email.  For me, it develops my earlier post Maestro – Some Views of Liszt (11 August).   It includes downloaded sheet music, transcripts of Rosemary Brown being interviewed and writing down the music, and another poignant recording of the Liszt/Rosemary Brown Grubelei – composed in two time signatures simultaneously – and other music.

The philosophy, the open quest and the music itself “touches the hem of the robe” or reaches hand to hand … a discovery from in between dimensions, which scholars find hard, but friends can find.


Today I am writing about ways of drawing near; beginning with my Kabbalah studies.

Here are Paul Foster Case and Anne Davies, the founders of the Builders of the Adytum.  Anne took over the work after Paul died in 1950.  I follow their correspondence courses.


A few technical points first – like notes on a music stave.  Learning to hear them inwardly, takes practice.  Gematria, numerology and notations are ways of expressing the ineffable in shorthand.   We have to let them penetrate the clever mental fence, and be assimilated.  (Assimilation is alchemy.) Then they become meditations – alive, joyous  entities, in conversation and in the worship.

Each Hebrew letter has a numerical value, and as a hieroglyphic language, its use forms a music, a supra-conscious resonant lattice.  So I read:  the Hebrew YESODOTH (plural of Yesod, the personal-ego sphere on the Tree of Life) is a noun meaning Foundations.  RZI YSVDVTh is “the secret foundations”.   These letters add up numerically to 703, the extension of 37 (sum of numbers 0-37).  37 is the number of YChIDH the One Self.   The personality is a seed of the Self.   The Tree of Life has 10 Sefiroth, the sum of 7 and 3.

The (alchemical) Stone, EBN when the final N is given its full value (700), is also 703. E is Aleph whose value is 1, and B is Beit, 2.

Again, the garden, hebrew GN, is 703:  so we have in Tarot the Stone on which the pregnant Tarot Empress sits, in her garden (see earlier post, “Dove“.)  She broods it like an egg.  703 has the TEN Sefiroth of the Tree of Life infolded; the Law of seven and three:  menorah and trinity.

Here is the code:  the secret foundation is the seat of the unborn yet eternal and undying Self.  The numbers roll free into sensation and blends of flavour.  The oak tree dreams inside the tiny acorn.  Each one bears a billion acorns.  No human technology can break into this principle.  It lays surface waste to it for a time, but it cannot alter the principle.  It can copy, it can build a hologram, but not create.  The photonic lattice which projects the hologram is – must be! – beyond our long monkey arms’ reach.

tree in stone, and avocado seed

Creativity is co-creation – nothing other.  I am not creative.  I am able to form a vessel.   When just a whiff of Godcosm creates through here, there is bhakti.   I use the “Secret Dakini Oracle” a lot for readings – just three cards usually.  The first one placed in the middle is the present, then the past (left) and future (right) of this moment.  The quality of this moment reveals a picture story, like Lyra’s alethiometer in His Dark Materials.   The subconscious stores images, and responds with them:

Dakini Oracle 30.9.12

Briefly:  God pours his veiled ladies onto the lingam in the shrine.  They blossom as flowers, nature’s sex organs.  The Stone and the Garden are symbols of Yesod’s reproductive power.

Tree of Life as a formal garden (1989)

Try to recall:  this is what I truly am – these mysteries in full.  And you.  The Greater Mysteries are not written or explained, because they are plain as daylight on my nose.   Carry the Child.  I am the reproductive power of the universe:  pause to reflect.   I, you, we all are;  I am here this moment, with all this oak potential in the soul as seed, and in the organs which have finished harvesting, but do their time.

Chakras on the Tree:  Hod and Netzach – the arms and hands – are also the solar plexus, seat of memory management and the emotive nature.

The core of the cosmos is total peace.

In Kairos – cosmic or “present” time – the wheels very slowly turn.   Kairos as the galaxy, moves through Chronos.   Its seeming slowness travels in fact far, far swifter than the whirl of Chronos… as Hermes Trismegistos himself suggested, when he said to Tat, you can’t keep up with me.   Chronos is local, linear, planetary time.  The business of time and standing still, is  subjectively relative, like being in a train with the distant landscape slowly circling at different speeds.   Some parts move backward, some move forward.   It is like looking out to sea, where different currents move through each other – a great woven wicker fluidity.   The idea suffuses BENEVOL through veins and blood vessels – a gladness.  My body – when not trapped in the mind’s say-so – likes it.   My mind cannot quite grasp it, but is willing not to try.   The Doppler shift moves centrifugally, faster than we can conceive.   And yet I am its centre, its out-welling or emanation.   That is why we cannot conceive it, because you are too, and so is Venus and so is Jupiter, and so is each atomic particle in the Andromeda constellation … and so on

When a balloon is blown up, every single point on its surface stretches and expands away from other points.  Yet life in our tiny time provides a surface tension, to interpret consistently … as it does for the creatures we cannot see through.

Paul Foster Case wrote: Mental imagery, resulting from the creative male life-force streaming from the stars to Binah on the Tree of Life, is both cosmic and personal.   Holiness dawns.   It IS holy.  These ideas and feelings bring about a let-down reflex of “Lord, thou art God.”

dandelion Flower of Life

I dreamt I had a pet or daemon, a creature the size of a large water-rat, with long fur, yellowish and black, and the sweetest toothy snarl.   I called him Stoat, and he loved me too, and I cuddled him to my breast.  But whenever I got out of a car or something, I forgot him, and then searched for him, “Stoat, Stoat!” in anguish.   He should stay in my pocket.  I should stay awake and watch him all the time.  Street and traffic life is full of danger, and he squeals and cries.

What do I have with me, like that?   Many years ago, at the ruined fort at the end of Brean Down, a little stoat looked out of his hole among the rocks and grasses:  I saw him, and I wondered what he saw.  A conundrum:  what is the difference between a stoat and a weasel?  Answer – you can weaselly tell the difference, ‘cos a stoat is totally different!  

The stoat is a little insight or paradox I treasure, and keep forgetting or losing.  His universe – the way he sees Brean Down for instance – istoatally different from mine;  the inclusive totality of God.

menorah rose

Paul Foster Case wrote:  “Gestation is the outworking of mental patterns in the mother’s subconscious, modified by the qualities transmitted at conception from the father’s ancestral line.”

This is marvellous to ponder, from experience!

The months of gestation impress the entire history of animal evolution on the foetus.   The foetus holds a little branch, the ongoing delta of the DNA, umbilically.

It is “the baton” again.   The relay is not through one lineage, but billions in a moment, cross-purposing, porpoising, each one as significant as all the others, as all the other vesica-crescents in a stretch of sea:  the fish, the ripples.

Through the red sea, detail

“The highest spiritual healing is direct application of the cosmic life-force, controlled by mental imagery.”  The organising and expression of mental imagery seems to me essential.  It regenerates awareness of the stock.  It touches the collective, a circle of hands.  It assists the specialities and professions.   I DO feel the life force flowing through and out of me into the day.   Paul Foster Case describes it;  the sensation is familiar.   Stone of the wise?   The Stone and the Garden – the Tree:  seven and three.

Seven and Three

“Thy faith has made thee whole,” said Jesus to the man who touched his garment.  An instantaneous healing is recorded in the New Testament, but what we do NOT know, is how the healing held.  It is likely the recipient got the Light of Damascus on that day, and walked, and his sores fell off, and the scribes wrote it all down;  but he fell back into his temporal condition as the revelation faded.   However, what Jesus said is true.  Faith is an illumined glimpse of what we are holistically in the whole, through space and time.   One such glimpse is enough to work transfiguratively through the heavy waters and spades of a lifetime.  One who received it, one who has touched the hem, may go on suffering from disabilities, but he or she has shifted; the ground is never the same again.

Solomon’s lily in earth




Part Two – Seal, Stone, Garden

I have to add some more, today.  I dreamt about another child animal, this time a young seal.  I met a workman carrying it along the street, and offered to take over.  The seal was heavy, but cooperative and affectionate, and produced a pair of little dragon legs for me to grip.

Seal script in the rocks on Eigg

Dion Fortune in Moon Magic says they work with a flower in the east, and in the west we work with a tree, and we should sit with a straight spine for a while each day, for the mercury to rise.  I’m afraid I don’t.  But the straight stem is implicit.   Walk tall:  what do I seek?  – an unfurred pipe:  integrity.

This is the basis of all esoteric and occult work – the integrity with myself … draws together its own.

Mercury is serpentine, with the Staff of Hermes – the caducean snakes.  The mercury heals when it is an ankh.  Quicksilver trembles up the rod, and a seal is not unlike a snake.  A seal is those wonderful veinous wave patterns in the rock the sea has made.

Such thought is a mountain spring, refreshing and subtle:  a cool kundalini.  The confection of the Philosophers’ Stone is this (caduceus) – and it is the Stone and the Garden.  The living Stone is a river:  water flows – the snake, river, stone, the eye.

Ojas is “the illuminating or bright” – the sublimated seminal-sexual energy.   The manner in which a man and woman touch each other, is contained and continent.   The creative and the sexual root and thought, are one and the same.   Venus goes into Virgo today.  A secretary is a SECRETary!

And another thought, helpful to me and maybe to you:  when I work at this level, I slow right down.  My metabolism changes, like a river in a deep wide bed, to a different order of time and breath.  Small wonder later in the day, there is metabolic fatigue as this tempo collides with frets and scurries of my surface mind: depressions and undone housework.   Look at water:  it moves over itself at different levels.  Our mind is no different.  Observing and respecting this principle, adjusting my pace to the cycles and tides, is not easy, but it keeps me in good enough nick.

I am told when I am deep down, that most disease is due to pushing ourselves beyond the appropriate tempo for the situation.  Unconscious stress and well-meaning obligation clings to and clogs an engine like blind bits of dirty oil, overlooked.  In time it turns to grit and blocks the wheels.

To respect and pace myself to the given tempi is just as essential in the long run, as the right food and vitamins.  Those are no use, when the Spirit is slack or disengaged.

To diet sensibly doesn’t come easily.  Though I like salads and greens and curries, I am not a veggie, and I eat rich dairies, eggs and chocolate.  These deposit what the acupuncturists call “phlegm”;  and similarly with my Sun in Capricorn and full moon in Cancer nature, I digest life rather intensely.  As physique and psyche interweave, I HOPE the inner work clears my body as we go along.  The field is electro-magnetic.





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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

Para-Olympic … Beyond Olympus

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This photo, on yesterday’s London Metro, says it all.  And so – surprisingly – does a TV commercial for strongbow pear cider! – an archer pulling back the string, lets go.

“Para” is a latin root, meaning placing beside, which also suggests beyond or outside the norm.  Many of our words – parable, parabola, paralysis, paradox, paradise – carry this meaning.

A Poem:  Coda

This my poem 
a seeding dandelion clock 
is a globe upon a stalk 

and every where 
I blow, the once 
upon a time it tells. 
                                       Poems of Eclipse, 2000

Mandala sphere of every whereness – the point of being.  Consciousness, inward as outward, dives into the heart infinitely, all ways.

A wikipedia image

Here is Margaret Maughan who lit Tom Heatherwick’s Torch of Time on Wednesday:  as the mandala rises from flower to stem;  from petals to stamens. 

The golden thread of the dandelion clock runs through all our waters and strings all our beads.

A few impressions of the festival –  a woman sings Handel in pure voice.   The new Olympian whose legs were blown off in the July 05 bombings tells:  the fate was her destiny.  She would not, could not be without it.  Clare Balding replies: fate is what you are born with, destiny is what you do with it.  An unlegged abseiler brings the torch down into the stadium on spider’s thread;  and Stoke Mandeville veteran Margaret Maughan lights the Para-Olympic Flame.   A Grail Cup emerges through inverted umbrella curves of light.  From above, I see the stadium – a concentric flower – it is a trembling drop in the pool.  In the beginning, with homage to the big bang and bosen higgs’ particle of Life, Stephen Hawking invites us to be curious;  towards the end, Alison Lapper’s huge pregnant figure bears the fruit.   Shakespeare’s Tempest is an enquiring child.    The disabled are flying in the interior cosmos, to roam and freely rove.   The simple images are very powerful.  There are as many human cells in the brain, as stars in our galaxy.  Each individual sitting on the tube is a galaxy.  Neuron threads inside my head encircle our world four times.


Yesterday – I wasn’t feeling well, and needed to open my eyes – I walked from Amersham to Great Missenden, and met this gentleman:

… he might be looking down into the Olympic stadium:  how soft his long neck is.   And there is an eye, a vesica pisces, a forming, becoming a sphere …

Further along the lane … Inside the saxon/norman church of St John the Baptist in Little Missenden village, this early medieval fresco has been uncovered:

… and isn’t that an olympic torch he bears in his right hand?

This morning I read:  “The Self is the good shepherd of the parables, and none of the sheep, the human personal expressions, is lost forever.”

Isn’t St Christopher, though carrying none other than the Child, the good shepherd?  That is “the me” on his shoulder, and my full potential is the Christ.   (a good way to handle/heal my sore stiff neck – on my left shoulder, just like St Christopher’s, and softly without hurry, like the swan:  walk glide tall.)  Christopher bore his burden across a flowing torrent, rocks and water, human strife, disability, to the sands.

In Greek mythology, the hero Jason did too.  His burden was an angry old woman, she clung around his neck and scolded him;  and he set down at the far shore, none other than Hera, the Goddess of the Hearth.  Patience.

Para means “beyond” or “to one side of” – as in parabola (para beside, bola to throw) … parable, compare … paralysis (para beside or derange, lys loosen) … paradox (contrary to received opinion) … paradise (the disus or greek paradeisus is a park or pleasure ground. Reflect also on other words – paraglide, paraclete, parallel …

I and you and every one of us has some disability or pain of life.  A Para-Olympian through her or his damaged and disabled frame, pain and courage, achieves something which is beyond Olympus.  Thus their extraordinary inspiration to us all.  Thank you.  Thank you.

Hemisphere perfection:  A photo from Friends of Charles Darwin




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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.