I don’t know if this is just a quality of spiritualist work or of the spiritual world more generally, but every time I discover a set of domains into which spirits may be organized and understood, those domains multiply by a process of reflection and internalization. I can, for example, sort spirits according to their affinity for certain sefirotic patterns, but then I find within each of those sefirotic patterns the entire sefirotic pattern replicated. I have glimpsed a parallel pattern in the Enochian material, but I can’t speak too deeply on that and, well, I wonder how much of the Enochian material might fall into the spiritualist framework.
I bring this up because there is an adjunct to the kabbalistic paradigm that divides spirits in terms of their location in the upper world, the middle world, and the lower world. In traditional European thought, we can think of heaven, hell, and purgatory, each with their own coterie of angels. Those patterns can be described within the kabbalistic frame of the tree/coil of life, but can also be considered on their own terms. Not only do we find the sefirotic pattern reflected here, with each accorded a full tree of its own, but they also reflect each other. It seems perfectly sensible, for example, to talk about how each of the three domains manifest the three domains internally.
I do wonder if this has to do with the primacy of the lunar signs in the geomantic system, as if one of the secrets contained within its operation is the potency of the lunar world in structuring the world in general. I tend to associate the lunar with the realm of the saints and the saints with the restraint through which God is able to manifest creation, so perhaps what we find here, again, is the profound entanglement of every aspect of the world with every other aspect, like Leibniz’s monadological notions.
The threefold mysteries seem to run along a different line than the fourfold mysteries of geomancy, a weft to its warp, perhaps. Or, turning to Greek antiquity, we could consider Lucretius’s image of atoms pouring through the cosmos in parallel lines until through some tendency to drift they begin to collide and form substances, except here ‘the tendency to drift’ would be the attraction that holds between forces that participate in a common third.
Anyway, as the fourfold mysteries of geomancy give birth to the sixteen signs, the threefold mysteries give birth to nine sorts of affinity. I sometimes have a feeling that the 3 become 9 could become 81 and so on; I suspect that’s because each division is nothing more than an approximation of their interaction, not a true repetition of it. Keep that in mind–don’t get too dogmatic in the application.
Three of those nine mysteries are comparably ‘pure’ and stand at the center of two other mysteries in which their potency comingles with that of another of the two mysteries. For example, I suspect that the ‘underworld’ and ‘upperworld’ of much neoshamanic practice are essentially the comingled aspects of the pure created world (i.e., the underworld is creation as it mingles with hell, the overworld is creation as it mingles with heaven).
There are many sources here that could be considered, from Vedic medicine to Dante’s Divine Comedy to Mesoamerican cosmology, but the truth of it has to be found in pursuing the spiritual work. That entails becoming familiar with the specific spiritual tones most important to your spiritual work. Like Goldilocks, you need to find not just the right house, but the right bed (though, unlike Goldilocks. you might want to be mindful of the house’s owners, making friends with them rather than barging in and eating all their food. Unless you just want to be eaten by bears, unless you just want to be a bear’s skin rug.)
To do that, you need to have some sense of the spiritual essence of each of the three tones. I have a network of associations for each, but those associations are not universally applicable, so while I can and will share some of them here, it is really up to everyone to navigate this for themselves. Take advice where you can, but notice where it does and doesn’t seem to apply to you and your work.
One tone is constitutive and tends to hold things together as they are. I associate this with redness, with blood, with with sap, with creation, and with midday. This is the force through which created beings come into existence and the force through which they are preserved. The spirits tend to be connected to a demiurge, to faerie, to the angels that chose no side in Heaven’s war. One tone is liberative. I associate with with white, with cool water, with heaven, with the dawn. It is, for lack of a better word, a healing and miraculous tone, and the beings that manifest through it tend to be connected to the angels in Heaven and to the saintly forces. Here we find the archangels. The final tone is destructive. It breaks down forms and I associate it with black, with night, and with fallen angels.
The three tones become nine in part because they aren’t ever truly separate from each other. This is one of the hard truths of monotheism–at some level, all of these exist through the agency of God. They all have a place in God. That does not, of course, mean that they should be fostered indiscriminately. As already stated, this is about finding your place within the process, not attempting to lay hold of it all. They are, however, all necessary for proper spiritual health. The destruction of the dark tone is necessary for the liberation of the white tone, and at the center of this is the red tone itself. Heaven and Hell flanking Creation. The tower is always being built and always being torn down, the whole length churning creation.
There is a belief among some Muslims that everyone must pass through Hell on their way to Heaven, and this sort of model endorses that idea. The life we have must be destroyed in order that we may pass beyond into the next life. It is valuable to think of Dante’s Inferno in this light–while the spirits that it contains are the spirits of the wicked, whose deeds have trapped them in a form they cannot free themselves from, the devils are not necessarily evil, merely the angels to whom it falls to carry out the natural consequence of that. Or, if you prefer, consider the story of Job–temptation and trial have a place in spiritual life. So, too, though do joy and pleasure, lest we let our heart be twisted by sadism or masochism.