THE MYSTICAL QABALAH
By Dion Fortune
Dion Fortune's classic, The Mystical Qabalah, explores all aspects of the Qabalah, including the esoteric sciences of astrology and tarot, which form the basis of the Western Mystery Traditions. It provides a key to the practical working of this mystical system for both novice and initiate alike.
Very few students of occultism know anything at all about the fountain-head whence their tradition springs. Many of them do not even know there is a Western Tradition. Scholarship is baffled by the intentional blinds and defences with which initiates both ancient and modern have wrapped themselves about, and concludes that the few fragments of a literature which have come down to us are medieval forgeries. They would be greatly surprised if they knew that these fragments, supplemented by manuscripts that have never been allowed to pass out of the hands of initiates, and completed by an oral tradition, are handed down in schools of initiation to this day, and are used as the bases of the practical work of the Yoga of the West.
The adepts of those races whose evolutionary destiny is to conquer the physical plane have evolved a Yoga technique of their own which is adapted to their special problems and peculiar needs. This technique is based upon the well-known but little understood Qabalah, the Wisdom of Israel.
It may be asked why it is that the Western nations should go to the Hebrew culture for their mystical tradition? The answer to this question will be readily understood by those who are acquainted with the esoteric theory concerning races and sub-races. Everything must have a source. Cultures do not spring out of nothing. The seed-bearers of each new phase of culture must of necessity arise within the preceding culture. No one can deny that Judaism was the matrix of the European spiritual culture when they recall the fact that Jesus and Paul were both Jews. No race except the Jewish race could possibly have served as the stock upon which the new dispensation was to be grafted because no other race was monotheistic. Pantheism and polytheism had had their day and a new and more spiritual culture was due. The Christian races owe their religion to the Jewish culture as surely as the Buddhist races of the East owe theirs to the Hindu culture.
The mysticism of Israel supplies the foundation of modern Western occultism. It forms the theoretical basis upon which all ceremonial is developed. Its famous glyph, the Tree of Life, is the best meditation symbol we possess because it is the most comprehensive.
It is not my intention to write a historical study of the sources of the Qabalah, but rather to show the uses that are made of it by modern students of the Mysteries. For although the roots of our system are in tradition, there is no reason why we should be hidebound by tradition. A technique that is being actually practised is a growing thing, for the experience of each worker enriches it and becomes part of the common heritage.
It is not necessarily incumbent upon us to do certain things or hold certain ideas because the Rabbis who lived before Christ had certain views. The world has moved on since those days and we are under a new dispensation but what was true in principle then will be true in principle now, and of value to us. The modern Qabalist is the heir of the ancient Qabalist, but he must reinterpret doctrine and reformulate method in the light of the present dispensation if the heritage he has received is to be of any practical value to him. 7. I do not claim that the modern Qabalistic teachings as I have learnt them are identical with those of the pre-Christian Rabbis, but I claim that they are the legitimate descendants thereof and the natural development therefrom.
The nearer the source the purer the stream. In order to
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