Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Book Review: A Garden of Pomegranates

A Garden of Pomegranates is a classic work about Qabalah and hermeticism. This edition by Chic and Sandra Cicero is an updated version with additional material about pathworking, which I'll get into in more detail later. Now what is Qabalah and why should you care? Qabalah is first and foremost a symbol system, and you should care because the symbols are symbols of different aspects of the universe. If you know about the principle of correspondence, you'll see that the symbols are also about different aspects of yourself.

The most important symbol in Qabalah is the Tree of Life, which is covered by chapters 3 and 4 of the book. The Tree of Life is a compound symbol composed of ten circles called "sephiroth" (covered in chapter 3) and twenty-two lines called "paths" connecting the circles (covered in chapter 4). Attributes of and correspondences to each of the sephiroth and paths are given in the book, along with an explanation of each.

Now let's talk about pathworking, the subject of the second half of the book. This is really about practical application of the information given in the first half of the book. The way this information is applied is by vignettes about each path containing relevant symbolism. To try a pathworking, you would either record the vignette and replay it while relaxing with your eyes closed, and visualizing the events given, or have a friend read it aloud to you. The pathworkings start at Malkuth at the bottom of the tree, and proceed up to Kether at the top. By the time you get to the top of the tree, the symbolism and related myths will become part of you, burned into your subconscious mind.

This book is ideal for those who have read Chicken Qabala but still find The Mystical Qabalah to be intimidating.

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