Q: What is Qesheth?
A: “…The Way of Illumination follows the Path of the Arrow which is shot from the Bow of Promise, Qesheth, the rainbow of astral colours that spreads like a halo behind Yesod. This is the way of the mystic as distinguished from that of the occultist; it is swift and direct, and free from the danger of the temptation of unbalanced force that is met with in either pillar, but it confers no magical powers save those of sacrifice in Tiphareth and psychism in Yesod.” Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah, VIII:15)
The Hodos Chameleonis has this to say (not quite as succinctly as DF): “Recall what was said unto thee in the Ritual of the Paths of the Portal of the Vault of the Adepti. ‘Therefore, by the straight and narrow path of Samekh, let the Philosophus advance like the arrow from the Bow of Qesheth. Now Qesheth the Bow is the Rainbow of Promise stretched above the earth, whose name is formed from the letters of the Paths leading from Malkuth. If then it be by the Path of Samekh that the Philosophus should advance to the knowledge of the Adept, turning aside neither unto the right hand nor unto the left, whereon are the evil and threatening symbols of Death and the Devil, he must have a perfect and absolute knowledge of the Bow, ere he can follow the Path of the Arrow. But the Bow is of brilliant and perfect colour, whose analysis and synthesis yield others of the same scale, and hence is this book entitled “The Book of the Path of the Chameleon” – that Path, namely which ascendeth alone through the force of Qesheth, the Bow….. “
Q: Why are there coloured Trees for some combinations, but not others, e.g. Atziluthic Sephiroth with Briatic Paths, but not Atziluthic Sephiroth with Assiatic Paths?
A: Tradition holds that for some work, movement between the Worlds requires polarity, and that Atziluth and Yetzirah are of positive polarity while Briah and Assiah are of negative polarity. Thus, when utilising Briatic Sephiroth, one can either travel ‘up’ one level on Atziluthic Paths, or ‘down’ one level on Yeziratic Paths. Requires personal confirmation. See W.E. Butler’s statement regarding how best to utilise this on the Travelling Paths and Worlds page.
Q: The colour is supposed to be ‘sky blue’. That doesn’t look like ‘sky blue’ to me.
A: Yes, that’s what I thought too. And when I thought that (for whatever colour I was working on at the time while making the Trees) I looked at the other choices available from my somewhat limited list of web safe colours and picked what seemed to me to be a more likely match. In some cases, I’ve still not made up my mind. Please do the same. I’m not suggesting that the images here on The Luminous Tree use the absolutely ‘right’ colours. See the pages under Colour Scales for some of the reasons why. Truthfully, an ideal outcome from sharing these coloured Trees of Life would be to get suggestions of hex codes that better represent what the astral colours really should be (and/or perhaps what the modern pigments should be for Yetziratic and Assiatic colours), thus eventually arriving at a definitive list of hexadecimal codes, RGB codes and Pantone numbers for each Sephiroth and Path in all 4 Worlds. Of course, ‘definitive’ is a bit of a pipe dream and someone would be bound to differ with whatever was decided — especially as the most important colours on the Tree of Life are the ones seen in the mind and/or when ‘rising on the planes‘.
Q: What are the white circles along the Middle Pillar?
A: You noticed those did you? In meditative work on the Middle Pillar, the points at which the Paths cross became more noticeable than usual. The circles are focal points at the ‘crossroads’ of Gimel/Daleth (13th and 14th Paths), Gimel/Teth (13th and 19th Paths), and Samech/Peh (25th and 27th Paths). Normally the two circles were coloured the same as the Paths, but I decided to keep them white in these graphics. Later versions of this site will colour them in and present more information about them.
On a related note, in A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism, Gareth Knight notes: “…Wherever Paths cross is an important point on the Tree of Life. Thus applied to the etheric vehicle of Man, the junction of the 27th and 25th Paths may be aligned with the SPLEEN CENTRE, the Centre which takes in force from the environment. Thus the Tower, the House of God, in this instance, symbolises the body, and the Fire of Heaven, the inflow of pranic force. In line with this attribution is the one of the titles of the Tarot Trump of the 25th Path, the ‘Bringer Forth of LIFE’, and also ‘Daughter of the Reconcilers.'” II:66 (20).