I have been contemplating that sense I have that the ‘ideal’ tree of life is mostly a ghost or hologram of other trees, except for its middle pillar. That pillar is dominated by Tifaret and Yesod, sefirot linked to the Sun and Moon, respectively. Here I want to explore how the use of these prominent heavenly objects to symbolize Tifaret and Yesod provide an illuatration of how these spiritual forces operate within the unfolding pattern of creation.
If we think of God as producing the trees of life through emanation, the sefirot of Tifaret in each of emanation contains the generative potential of God. Each emanation becomes complex, manifesting an entire tree, through that generative potential. Visualize a pure white cloud of light. From that light descend eight sun-like spheres, each trailing a cord of gold that joins them to the white light. From each of those eight golden spheres, seven more emerge, gathering to form the diagram of the tree of life. The spheres furthest from the pure cloud of light shines down upon a darkness.
This distant sphere receives the golden light of the emanating sphere and is burned white, until it can reflect that golden light. Reflected, this golden light becomes silver and plays upon the dark surface beneath it, illuminating it and forming shapes gently within it. While the untempered golden light would surely blast the dark matter to ash, the final sphere’s interference ameliorates its force.
The Sun (Tifaret) of each tree emits a stream of creative force, which the Moon (Yesod) modulates. The lunar then projects that creative force into dark matter, bestowing upon it a vital clarity that it lacked. Yesod plays a key intermediary role, selecting those vessels capable of receiving the distilled golden light. That distilled light is the spark that defines our spiritual self and what this visualization suggests is one way that we can imagine its trajectory from God to the creation of our subjectivity. At each step, the spark is distilled and stripped of its full divine force. Subjectively, we often experience this as a sort of punishment, but viewed more objectively we see in this process the restraint of God that permits creation in its diversity to exist.
Described as the Moon and Sun, Yesod and Tifaret are the defining principles of God’s emanation, taking precedence over the other six. Mercy and Wrath derive from them and become the organizing features of the tree of life diagram, dividing the remaining six spheres between them. Wrath acquires its true meaning as the direct action of the Will of God, which destroys because it seeks to manifest without moderation. Mercy manifests as the restraint exercised by God which allows creation to exist on its own terms. This is one of the esoteric meanings of statement’s like “God’s love exceeds God’s wrath.”
The Moon’s associations with the passage of time elaborate upon this. Not only do its cycles help track time, but the way in which those cycles appear to us mirrors our experience of time. The waxing of the Moon mirrors the growth into maturity and its waning mirrors the passage into death; through Yesod, we realize that time modulates the force of the solar-divine will. Time disperses the action of the will, spreading its weight out over a sequence of moments. Yesod can also act as a prism in space, scattering the solar ray so that it manifests within different parts of creation simultaneously but separated by greater or lesser distance.
This clarifies the relationship between the divine spark that seems to be ‘ours’ and its source in God. It comes to be ‘ours’ only through a lengthy process of mediation. The realization of that does not erase that distance, but it makes it possible to consciously employ those channels to communicate with forces at each point of reflection and work toward a purer connection between God and the dark world into which the light is received.