Martin Akakia – Cl. Galeni Pergameni Ars Medica, Quae et Ars Parva Dicitur, 1548.
Martin Akakia – Cl. Galeni Pergameni Ars Medica, Quae et Ars Parva Dicitur, 1548.
The Four Worlds are the comprehensive categories of Spiritual Realms in Kabbalah in the descending chain of Existence. The concept of “Worlds” denotes the emanation of creative Lifeforce from the Ein Sof Divine Infinite, through progressive, innumerable Tzimtzumim.
Atziluth (אֲצִילוּת), meaning World of Emanation. On this level the light of the Ein Sof (Infinite Divine “Without End”) radiates and is still united with its source. This supernal revelation therefore precludes the Souls and Divine Emanations in Atzilus from sensing their own existence. In Atzilus the 10 Sephiroth emerge in revelation, with Chochma (Wisdom) dominating, all is nullification of Essence to Divinity, not considered created and separate. The last Sephirah Malchut (Kingdom) is the “Divine Speech” of Genesis 1, through which lower Worlds are sustained.
Beri’ah (בְּרִיאָה), meaning World of Creation. On this level is the first concept of Creatio ex Nihilo, however without yet shape or form, as the creations of Beriah sense their own existence, though in nullification of being to Divinity. Beriah is the realm of the “Divine Throne”, denoting the Sephiroth configuration of Atzilus descending into Beriah like a King on a Throne. The Sephirah Binah (Understanding) predominates, Divine intellect. Also called the “Higher Garden of Eden”. The Highest Ranking Angels are in Beriah.
Yetzirah (יְצִירָה), meaning World of Formation. On this level the created being assumes shape and form. The emotional Sephiroth Chesed to Yesod predominate, the souls and angels of Yetzirah worship through Divine emotion and striving, as they sense their distance from the Understanding of Beriah. This ascent and descent channels the Divine vitality down through the Worlds, furthering the Divine purpose. Therefore, in Yetzirah are the main angels, such as Seraphim, denoting their burning consummation in Divine emotion. Also called the “Lower Garden of Eden”.
Assiah (עֲשִׂיָּה), meaning World of Action. On this level the creation is complete, differentiated and particular, due to the concealment and diminution of the Divine vitality. However, it is still on a spiritual level. The angels of Asiyah function on the active level, as the sephirah Malchut (fulfilment in Kingship) predominates. Below spiritual Asiyah is Asiyah Gashmi (“Physical Asiyah”), the final, lowest realm of Existence, our material Universe with all its creations. The last two Sephiroth of Asiyah channel the Lifeforce into Physical Asiyah.
Four Pentacles of the Moon – “Clavicula Salomonis”, (The Key of Solomon), 14th century.
First Pentacle of the Moon
“This serveth against all perils and dangers by water, and if it should chance that the Spirits of the Moon should excite and cause great rain and exceeding tempests about the Circle, in order to astonish and terrify thee; on showing unto them this Pentacle, it will all speedily cease.”
Second Pentacle of the Moon
“This being duly borne with thee when upon a journey…serveth against all attacks by night and against every kind of danger and peril by Water.”
Third Pentacle of the Moon
“This defendeth thee from all evil sources, and from all injury unto soul or body. Its Angel, Sophiel, giveth the knowledge of the virtue of all herbs and stones; and unto whomsoever shall name him, he will procure the knowledge of all.”
Fourth Pentacle of the Moon
“It serveth to have answers in sleep. Its Angel Iachadiel serveth unto destruction and loss, as well as unto the destruction of enemies. Thou mayest also call upon him by Abdon and Dalé again.“
The Bembine Tablet of Isis and Eliphas Levi’s Key to the Tablet.
The Bembine Tablet is a Key to the Ancient Book of Thoth. Although the scenes are Egyptianising, they do not depict Egyptian rites. Figures are shown with non-customary attributes, making it unclear which are divinities and which kings or queens. Egyptian motifs are used without rhyme or reason. However, the central figure is recognisable as Isis, suggesting that the Tablet originated in some Roman centre of her worship.
The diagram of Levi, by which he explains the mystery of the Tablet, shows the Upper Region divided into the four seasons of the year, each with three signs of the Zodiac, and he has added the four-lettered sacred name, the Tetragrammaton, assigning Jod to Aquarius, that is Canopus, He to Taurus, that is Apis, Vau to Leo, that is Momphta, and He final to Typhon. Note the Cherubic parallel – Man, Bull, Lion and Eagle. The fourth form is found either as Scorpion or Eagle depending upon the Occult good or evil intention: in the Demotic Zodiac, the Snake replaces the Scorpion. The Lower Region he ascribes to the twelve simple Hebrew letters, associating them with the four quarters of the horizon. The Central Region he ascribes to the Solar powers and the Planetary.
In the middle we see above, the Sun, marked Ops, and below it is a Solomon’s Seal, above a cross; a double triangle Hexapla, one light and one dark triangle superposed, the whole forming a sort of complex symbol of Venus. To the Ibimorphos he gives the three dark planets, Venus, Mercury, and Mars placed around a dark triangle erect, denoting Fire. To the Nephthæan triad he gives three light planets, Saturn, Luna, and Jupiter, around a light inverted triangle which denotes Water. There is a necessary connection between water, female power, passive principle, Binah, and Sephirotic Mother, and Bride.
Ancient signs for the planets were all composed of a Cross, Solar Disc and Crescent: Venus is a cross below a Sun disc, Mercury, a disc With a crescent above and cross below, Saturn is a Cross whose lowest point touches the apex of the crescent; Jupiter is a Crescent whose lowest point touches the left hand end of a cross: all these are deep mysteries. Levi in his original plate transposed Serapis and Hecate, but not the Apis noir and Apis blanc, perhaps because of the head of Bes being associated by him with Hecate. Note that having referred the 12 simple letters to the lower, the 7 double must correspond to the central region of the planets, and then the great triad A.M.S. the mother letters representing Air, Water, and Fire remain to be pictured, around S the Central Iynx, or Yod, by the Ophionian Triad the two Serpents and the Leonine Sphynx. Levi’s word OPS in the centre is the Latin Ops, Terra, genius of the Earth; and the Greek Ops, Rhea, or Kubele (Cybele) often drawn as a goddess seated in a chariot drawn by lions; she is crowned with turrets, and holds a Key.
Julius Reichelt – Astrological Sigils, 1673.
According to Weill-Parot, the concept of having astrological images on sigils is exclusive to the Christian Latin West. Albertus Magnus proposed the creation of a type of talisman whose power rested completely in natural causes, excluding illicit forms of necromantic magic. This ‘natural magic’ included the use of sigils with astrological images that would contain the astral power of the planets.
Principles of sympathy and antipathy governed the preparation of astrological sigils made of metal. The Sun was astrologically and alchemically associated with gold, so a gold sigil would be struck with a picture of the Sun (usually when it was at its strongest influence, during the vernal equinox) or an astrological sign ruled by the Sun, such as Leo, so the wearer was protected from the malignant influence of the heavens.
Several of Reichelt’s sigils were designed to work by sympathetic principles. Sigils 1–4 and 6–8 were sigils of the Sun in astrological house of Leo. The obverse of sigils 2, 4 and 6 also displays the sign of the ‘heart of the lion’ cor leonis, which is Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation of Leo, as well one of the brightest stars in the night sky. The cabalistic symbol for Regulus is engraved on the obverse of sigils 1, 2 and 7.
The sigils’ astral power could be further enhanced by incorporating scriptural quotations and the names of Biblical prophets. Inscribed on sigils 1, 2, 4 and 6 is the common apotropaic formula “Vincit Leo de tribu Iuda, radix David” from Revelation 5: 5, a reference to the biblical David and to astrological Leo. Similarly, some of Reichert’s sigils were inscribed with words from the Gospel of John: “Verbum caro factum est”, causing demons to flee before the power of ‘the Word made Flesh’.
Inscribing the names of angels on sigils was also thought to be efficacious, a tradition begun in the thirteenth century by the increasing influence of Jewish cabalistic texts such as the Sefer Yezirah and the Sefer Razi’el. The texts claimed that the ‘secret names of the God and the angels provided the means by which the powers were called down into the sublunar levels of the cosmos’, and hence used an intricate and often bewildering angelology in ritualistic magic. In sigils 1 and 7, ‘Verchiel’ is inscribed. Verchiel was invoked as the angel of the month of July, ruler of the sign of Leo. Verchiel (here called Zerachiel) is also governor of the Sun and grants powers of the intellect, language, learning and mathematics.
Several of Reichelt’s sigils also bear geometrical characters of triangles, circles and lines, which he realized represented the ‘intelligences and demons’ of the planets based on numerical associations made with the heavenly bodies derived from the rules of cabala. There is also a magic square or grid of numbers engraved on sigil 10, devoted to the planet Mercury. For early modern philosophers, mathematics and magic were intimately connected. From his doctrine that the elements of the body were mingled in geometrical proportions, and that the soul’s elements combined numerically, Agrippa determined that the derived geometrical and numerical figures had peculiar corporeal and spiritual powers.
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa – Anatomiae Occulti, “De Occulta Philosophia”, 1533.