Serving the ideals of the Rosicrucian Movement

Kabala Library

Greek Kabala Series

Greek Kabala Part 11

by Jack Courtis

Our society has a current concern for gender equality and non-specific gender roles. The problem becomes clear when we examine the inner journey and realise that it has gender-specific experiences, all of which must be dealt with. This is not a popular point of view.

Step 2 - Mercury

The second masculine step is the letter e (epsilon) attributed to Mercury and connecting Foundation to Victory. This is the second chakra according to the Greek scheme. More correctly, it is the second chakra to be activated. The Greek name for Mercury is Hermes. This immediately alerts us to the hermetic writings because at the time of Christ, they were the intellectual foundation for the gnostic interpretation of Christianity and are now the foundation for the western esoteric tradition. Mercury is attributed to high intellect and hence on the Tree of Life, this path connects appropriately, Foundation with Victory; but victory over what? Once more let us turn to the Apocalypse at 2:8-11 in the Letter to Smyrna:

  1. To Smyrna
  2. speaks the first and the last
  3. I know your works
  4. and the blasphemy
  5. fear not
  6. hear what the spirit says
  7. he that overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.

Our "works" are the foundation of our spiritual life and they are truly a blasphemy if we do not live to the highest standard. Have you practised the 12 disciplines lately? But if we "overcome", that is if we have victory, we shall not be hurt by the second death. Victory over whom, and what is the second death? We must overcome precisely this path. As men we must overcome our intellect because it is a limitation and barrier. It prevents vision, inspiration and imagination. The intellect is a foundation upon which these other faculties are built. What is the price of failure? The second death.

Our society avoids this issue because it has no answer to it. We are told that we are all saved from death and have eternal life by doing nothing more than simply believing and having faith. What then is Christ saying to the church at Smyrna? What is the second death? If it is true extinction, then victory over it is obviously important but the old theology tells us nothing about how to "overcome" it. A deep understanding of the Tree of Life tells us that we can overcome provided we conduct our lives with disciplined action. We must have every human experience and we must go on all the inner journeys. We have the Foundation, so let us go to Victory.

Step 3 – Venus

The third masculine step connects Victory to Greatness. It is attributed to h (eta) and Venus. The key to Victory is the proper balancing of the intellect of Mercury with the desire nature and sexuality of Venus. Truly this leads to Greatness because our desire is the powerhouse that energises our intellect, while the intellect directs our desire. Note carefully that desire without intellect is out of control, while intellect without desire is sterile. This is the third chakra to be activated on this journey. The experience is described in the Apocalypse 2:12-17 as the Letter to Pergamos:

  1. To Pergamos
  2. speaks he with the two edged sword
  3. you have kept my faith
  4. but I have a few things against you
  5. repent
  6. hear what the spirit says
  7. he that overcomes shall eat hidden manna and receive a white stone and a new name.

Christ has a two edged sword and even though we have kept the faith that the Church has taught us, he still has a few things against us. This does not sound like the meek and mild Jesus of the old theology. He demands yet another repentance, yet another fundamental change in our nature. Once is obviously not enough. But this transformation leads to Greatness on the Tree of Life because we shall eat hidden manna, receive a white stone and a new name. All of this deserves detailed explanation and the writer of these articles has published this elsewhere. At present let us note that a new name is the external evidence of an inner transformation.

It is now clear that having faith is simply not enough. We must transform ourselves and we must do it repeatedly. But what else would we expect on the inner journey? Observe however that this constant need for change is not required on the feminine journey. The female path is a smooth flow. It has an internal continuity and consistency. One stage flows into the next, almost effortlessly. By contrast, the male journey requires frequent upheaval. Do you still think that men have it easy?

Step 4 – Sun

The fourth masculine step connects Greatness with Power and is attributed to i (iota) and the Sun. It is the fourth chakra to be activated and interestingly, coincides with the Hindu and Buddhist systems, in that their fourth chakra is attributed to the Sun. The point is that the Greek system is to be understood not as indicating the position of a chakra, but rather as the order of activation of that chakra. The distinction is subtle but important. For a description of the experience we go to the Apocalypse 2:18-29, as the Letter to Thyatira:

  1. To Thyatira
  2. speaks he with eyes like flame
  3. I know your charity, faith and patience
  4. but you allow Jezebel to seduce my servants
  5. I will kill her children
  6. to he that overcomes I will give authority and the morning star.
  7. hear what the spirit says

Christ has eyes like flame and he will kill children. Again, not very meek sounding. Even charity, faith and patience on our part are not enough to please Him. But if we overcome, we shall receive power in the form of authority. Indeed by a further transformation we shall achieve the Power that comes from Greatness. The Tree at least, operates with a logical consistency. It is we on the masculine journey who have to constantly overcome our inner nature and continuously transform it.

Jezebel is the personification of everything about our society that seduces us into a "feel good" life style. The children to be killed are our own desires, thoughts and actions that prevent our personal transformation. Does this sound ruthless? Yes it is. Is this what you expected? No it isn’t, but you stand to gain the morning star. It is the sign that heralds the rising of the Sun. It is a reference to the correct activation of this chakra. Is that desirable? If you don’t do it, you cannot proceed.

One final point. The numerical value of i (iota) is 10, the number of spheres on the Tree of Life. There is something about this particular transformation that encapsulates the entire Tree. All steps on the masculine journey are important but this one is vital. Hence the emphasis upon overcoming the products of the "feel good" society.

Are you feeling tired and weary, getting discouraged and wondering whether any of this is worth the effort? That’s good because it gets worse.


Just a reminder; in each Letter to each church we are told to "hear what the spirit says". The numerical value of the first and last letters/vowels of the Greek alphabet A W (alfa + omega) is 1 + 800 = 801, which is the numerical value of Peristera , the Greek word for "dove". The dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. In our understanding of the Tree of Life, small details like this are important.