What is Kabbalah? and Other Kabbalah Practice Frequently Asked Questions
There are many misconceptions and misunderstanding about Kabbalah teachings and practice. Get answers to Kabbalah frequently asked questions from Kabbalah expert yvette Soler. Find information about the practical and esoteric aspects of Kabbalah, the history and origin of Kabbalah, and the rituals, tools, and techniques used in Kabbalah in this Kabbalah FAQ article.
QUESTION: I thought Kabbalah was part of the Jewish religion.
ANSWER: While Jewish Kabbalah is probably the most recognized study of this mystical tradition, Kabbalah is independent of religious thought. We owe much to the Jewish scholars for preserving the knowledge and creating a system for passing in on, a deep appreciation we should always remember. In Hebrew, the word Qabalah means tradition. It is derived from the root Qebal which means to receive. This hidden meaning refers to the oral tradition of Qabalah – transmitted from mouth to ear, teacher to student. When it is translated into English, there are many different spellings: Kabbalah, Cabala, or Qabalah depending on the tradition of the writer.
Kabbalah provides a key to the interpretation of the Spiritual Teachings, the hidden meanings of the scriptures. The Kabbalah studied by the mystery school traditions has incorporated much deeper knowledge and is commonly defined as the Hermetic Kabbalah.
The Kabbalah was said to have been taught by God to the Angels in Heaven. It contains the creation of the Logos as well as the key to union with Source. Perhaps the most important area of study in the Kabbalah focuses on the Tree of Life. The Tree is the soul of this tradition. It is the basis for meditation exercises, inner visions, associations with other systems, cosmology and anthropology. Understanding the Tree, we can understand the system of initiation used by most of the esoteric schools. This is because the tree represents the ideal balance of the aspects of human personality and the relationship of Man to God - a blueprint to who we are today, what we have within us and what we can become tomorrow.
QUESTION: Do I have to be Jewish to understand or use it?
ANSWER: No. There are many different paths within the Kabbalah landscape. While some follow religious thought, there are many others that use esoteric practices to get you to the same place. It is important to find the path that feels right to you.
QUESTION: Is Kabbalah about spells and curses and witchcraft?
ANSWER: Not necessarily. While you can construct rituals based on Kabbalah and, through the Tree of Life, you can find associations to the tools of other philosophies, there are many that study Kabbalah without every broaching these areas. Kabbalah gives you the tools to understand yourself fully so you can eliminate the subconscious and use all the physical and non-physical energies at your disposal for the greatest good. As a Kabbalist, you would know that using the power of the Universe to deliberately hurt another would only bring you harm.
QUESTION: What does it mean to use "angels, planets and the elements?"
ANSWER: Through the Tree of Life, we learn that there are archetypal energies that make up the Universe. An easy example of this would be the Greek Gods. Zeus is the great masculine energy, the father of Wisdom and Action. His wife, Hara, is the great feminine energy, the mother Contemplation and Understanding. Aphrodite, is the goddess of romantic love in the Garden of Beauty. In Kabbalah, these same energies are known as Chokmah, Binah and Netzach, respectively.
Just as you can tie Greek mythology to Kabbalah, you can tie Kabbalah to angels, planets and the elements. Each association brings a greater richness to your ability to work with these energies. When you are looking to Understand of a given situation, you can call upon Hara to bring you some missing knowledge or you can ask the Aralim angel choir to illuminate the path. Each will get you what you seek in their own unique way.
QUESTION: From what I know about Kabalah, it sounds very esoteric. What is the "practical' part of practical spirituality in Kabbalah?
ANSWER: As with many philosophies and traditions, there are millions of lines of text you can read to uncover the nuggets of wisdom and reach new levels of personal understanding. And while many choose to walk the introspective, passive path, there are just as many that are looking for active, practical ways to bring desired energies into daily life.
As an example, imagine you have a situation at work where your co-worker is doing something you don't understand. You don't know if it is good or bad for the business because you don't understand it. You have tried everything you can think of to understand why he does what he does, but you just can't figure it out.
Here are two practical, Kabbalistic aids to Understanding your co-worker's actions:
These two small things, done separately or together, will channel the energy of Understanding and lead you to clarity on your co-worker's actions.
QUESTION: Can Kabbalah help me with my money problems?
ANSWER: Absolutely. Working on multiple levels, Kabbalah holds a mirror up to your inner world, showing you where you have created blocks and are in need of internal house cleaning. Once your obstacles have been identified, you can develop personal strategies to eliminate the roadblocks and transfer that energy into positive areas of your life. Study of Kabbalah will teach you the building blocks of the Universe, which can be used to eradicate barriers and create an easy plan that will lead you to monetary abundance.
QUESTION: Can Kabbalah help cure diseases?
ANSWER: The Tree of Life is within us, representing our physical, emotional and spiritual body. Each sphere represents a part of the body, both internally and externally, as well the emotional links created. Learning these correspondences will show you the source of your illness and reveal techniques for healing. From medicinal herbs for tinctures to musical tones for music therapy, the associations provided by the Tree of Life will equip you with a multitude of tools from which you can choose the best treatment for preventing and curing disease.
QUESTION: I've lived most of my life without using Kabbalah. Why do you think it will help me now?
ANSWER: Kabbalah not only provides a window into your inner self, it also provides you with the ability to create tools for personal development and empowerment. Its study will fill your toolbox with knowledge and problem solving techniques that can be applied to all areas of life, including the physical, emotional and spiritual, furthering your spiritual awakening. The more you know about yourself, the more empowered you will become.
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