I am the Tree of Life: a Kabbalistic reflection for Tu B’Shvat

The etymology of the Hebrew language fascinates me!

The words compress themselves until they reach a three-letter root, and when they unfold from that root, they form new fruit-words that blossom into a similar and complementary sense.

I will give an example to make it clear:

Tree = Etz
Bone = Etzem

Etz could be perceived as structure, the bony system of our physical structure and our Tree of Life, our spiritual structure.

The Tree of Life is a diagram known in the study of Kabbalah, used by Kabbalah for the correct understanding of the forces that govern the external and internal universe of our BEING.

According to Kabbalah, reality presents itself in 10 dimensions – represented by the 10 sefirot. They function as channels through which the Light of the Infinite World reaches the Physical World, nurturing everything that exists, including our souls.

Each sefirah, like a filter through which the energy that manifests in a different way passes, without ever losing its essence.

In the study of sefirot, we will find different associations, such as divine attributes, body parts, planets, among many other references, in order to establish an interdependent relationship between all these elements of creation.

Sefira comes from the root Mispar, which means number, and every number is a measure that gives value. Thus the Sefirot of the Tree of Life of our soul are measures, they are attributes like love, certainty, wisdom, discipline, balance, permanence, refinement and many others that we will explore next.

Keter was the first sefirah, the first recipient; this sefirah is beyond our physical reality, being the potential state of all things. The crown is above the head and precedes every thought, being the Source from which all things arise and where they will return to after completing their cycle of existence in Malchut.

Malchut is the dimension of the physical world, of the tangible aspects of reality; the only sefirah where matter seems to exist. At best, we can only perceive something close to 10% of the whole reality – a number that gives a measure for our limitation.

In the body, Malchut represents the feet and the mouth, the World of Action, connecting different aspects of our physical existence, such as walking, sleeping, eating, working, dancing, speaking, acting etc. 

In Malchut there is a desire to receive, as it is the most distant point from the Source, hence the feeling of something lacking, this desire is vital and moves us.

To overcome this desire, one must exercise observation and reflection, contemplative behaviour, where through our calm and assertive attitudes we become proactive co-creators of all reality. Tools such as meditations and prayers are capable of bringing about spiritual transformations to reach the spiritual energy of the higher worlds.

The desire to receive for a kabbalist must be linked to the desire to share and so it comes to flow.

Developing the virtue of humility and a sense of worthiness makes us recipients of what we need to receive in order to evolve.

Experience the peace and inner prosperity that the energetic crossing of the vortexes of our Trees of life emanate, thinking about how we can take this wisdom to all those we love.

Sandra Strauss is the creator of “Kabalah of the Home” approach, writer, Kabbalah teacher and founder of Engenharia da Alma school.