Carlo Suares: The Sepher Yetsira: The Twelve Simples

VERY LITTLE is said about the Twelve Simples, but there is enough to guide us in our study.

Upon examining them we see that two of them are not really simple, but contain, in embryo, opposition qualities reconciled by their twinship, and together operating in a single vital process. Resistance in them to the cosmic life appearing in the seven Doubles, as death, evil, etc., is put in motion and responds as an outer flow of energy, parallel, and in inverse direction, to the inner.

These two Autiot are Hhayt and Tayt. In its form, shape and dwelling Hhayt contains Cancer (Sartan), the Moon's two opposing qualities. Tayt forms Leo and contains the two opposing qualities of the Sun (see the Zodiac) in its dwelling.

The other ten are simple because they cannot be double. Hay, life, cannot have the quality of its opposite, death. Examined one by one, the same is true for all of them.

If we interpret their description in Verse I, and if we place ourselves again inside the spatial cube we can see them as diagonals. In a flow of endless energy they may be depicted thus:

Hay forms Aries in a flow from Mars to Venus (East-North).
Waw forms Taurus in a flow from Mars to Mercury (East-South).
Zayn forms Gemini in a flow from Mars to Saturn (East-Top).
Hhayt forms Cancer in a flow from Mars to Jupiter (East-Bottom).
Tayt forms Leo in a flow from Venus to Saturn (North-Top).
Yod forms Virgo in a flow Venus to Jupiter (North-Bottom).
Lammed forms Libya in a flo from Sun to Mercury (West-South).
Noun forms Scorpio in a flow from Sun to Venus (West-North).
Sammekh forms Sagittarius in a flow from Sun to Saturn (West-North).
Ayn forms Capricorn in a flow from Sun to Jupiter (West-Bottom).
Tsadde forms Aquarius in a flow from Mercury to Saturn (South-Top).
Qof forms Pisces in a flow from Mercury to Jupiter (South-Bottom).

We cannot see these diagonals and we cannot even imagine them, because they begin and end in the non-beginning and the non-ending, fathomless, infinite depth of directions. As currents of energy flowing from one infinite to another, they completely evade our space-time continuum. But in the case of the planets this is not so, because the currents flowing East-West, Top-Bottom, North-South pass through us in our consecrated position inside our cube. Mars-Sun, Saturn-Jupiter and Venus-Mercury are as threads and we as eyeholes. (By the way, that is the reason for them appearing to us as being double: for instance, a current flowing from the East (Mars) and after passing through us, is still coming from the East, but when we about-turn we call it West. The same is true of the West; when we look in front of us we say we are facing East.) It is difficult to grasp the fact that such one-way currents are dual psychologically. However, the impact of these three and the significance of their directions are important factors.

In each of these three binomials the interplay ot the two terms varies with the variations of their respective energies which can, as in a tug-of-war, sway the result in one direction or the other when dealing with any Planet we must always know whether it is formed by an unpointed or pointed letter, at the time when the horoscope is examined. Its energy must be evaluated accordingly. I have already said that the "contrary" characters must be read according to the code, Aut by Aut, and must not be accepted in their idiomatic meaning. No living body (as are the Planets) ever rejects the cosmic energy. Saturn formed by Bayt (pointed) is said to be dead, and Jupiter formed by Ghimel (pointed) is said to be evil. After many discussions with astrologers I decided that the unpointed Autiot express the inner flow of energy that permeates us most when we are asleep, and that the pointed ones refer to our activity during the day.

The Sepher Yetsira does not specify positions for the Planets in the Zodiac, so I decided to fix them according to the nocturnal and diurnal classifications given them by certain traditional astrologers. I put the unpointed in the nocturnal positions and the pointed in the diurnal, thus ...

Letter           Planet           Zodiacal Sign                       Contraries in terms of energies

Vayt             Saturn           in Capricorn is nocturnal          (inner life)
Bayt             Saturn           in Aquarius is diurnal               (active life)

Djimel         Jupiter           in Pisces is nocturnal                (inner life)
Ghimel        Jupiter           in Sagittarius is diurnal             (outward assertion)

Thallet         Mars             in Scorpio is nocturnal              (Wise)
Dallet           Mars             in Aries is diurnal                     (uncontrolled)

Khaf             Sun               in Leo is nocturnal                   (fertile)
Kaf               Sun               in Leo is diurnal                       (burns away)

Phay             Venus           in Taurus is nocturnal               (potentiality)
Pay               Venus           in Libra is diurnal                     (mirages)

Raysh           Mercury       in Virgo is nocturnal                 (seed)
Raysh           Mercury       in Gemini is diurnal                  (selection)

Thav             Moon           in Cancer is nocturnal              (energy penetrates)
Tav               Moon           in Cancer is diurnal                  (energy springs forward)

These qualities, although but roughly described, can be further simplified in relation to the symbolic meanings of the directions in which The Sepher Yelsira places the Planets:

binomial       Mars: East, future
                     Sun: West, past

binomial       Saturn: Top, higher aspirations
                     Jupiter: Bottom, assertion of rights and duties

binomial       Venus: North, libido, sensual impulses
                     Mercury: South, outward activity

We can thus see that our future life must be organised so as to take into account what we have been in the past, and, reciprocally, we must carry our past into the future. If either the future or the past resists the other, Mars hardens and thrusts us into absurd adventures that do not correspond with what we are, or the Sun blocks the unresolved conflicts of the past (complexes, etc.) and destroys future possibilities. The same is true for the other two binomials. If our higher aspirations cause us to neglect our rights and duties, we lose our connection with the world, and if we over-emphasise our rights and duties, we become authoritarian and imperious, claiming high rank in the scale of faked religious values. More-over, our sensual impulses and outer activities need to fertilise each other.

With a clear, if elementary, view of the energies flowing between the seven Planets we can now reconsider the twelve Zodiacal signs described as diagonals of the cube. (The Moon's inner and outer flows are self-suilicient: they will be examined later.)

Whether we regard our bodies as extending to "the depth of beginning" and to "the depths of thc end" of the six directions, or whether we chose to tnakc a cube limited to our ordinary physical bodies. ov if wc stop trying to visualise the diagonals, the result will be the same.

I hope I have tuade it clear for the rcadcr that, when dealing with this astrology, we must follow the spatial cube and the Zodiac, omitting Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, as our purpose is simply to read The Sepher Yelsira. (However, here they are: Uranus retrograde in Scorpio, Neptune and Pluto in Gemini. In spite of their importance we will also omit the ascendent and the "Houses," because they are not mentioned in The Sephcr Yetsira.)

We can now follow in the Zodiac the formative Autiot of the signs, as cast by The Sepher Yetsira. It begins with Aut Hay (5), symbol of life, forming a cell Toleh (Aries) which initiates an organic movement (Lammed) giving birth to life (Hay). In brief, Toleh, is where all life begins.

Following the Zodiac, we now have Waw (6), the second named function of the cell, (1) the symbol of reproduction. It forms Shaur, called Taurus, often considered as having a very earthy copulative character. It is far from being so: Shaur (Sheen-Waw-Raysh) is the cosmic activity of Aur (Light): Aleph-Waw-Raysh, the Sheen being the active agent of Aleph, "The Breath of God." It is the actualisation of the mythical "Cosmic Bridal" of the two energies as one. Shaur, as such, is the cosmic androgyn.

Next, Zayn (7) forms an extremely interesting sign, Teomaim, in which Tav (400) and Aleph (I) in joint action (having united) fertilise the Waters, Maim, with Waw, Priority is given to Tav (the Aleph disguised as its own sanctuary). It will be emphasised in the next sign.

We now come to Hhayt, unstructured energy, forming Sartan (the female) Sammekh facing Raysh; then Tayt, (the cell, and Noun in tenninal). I'hat sign, the official residence of the double Tav of the Moon is, as is evident, an unsolved equation: we do not know how its formative Hhayt operates, for the clear reason that HHayt, unstructed as it is, cannot act but must be acted upon.

1. See especially "Tree" II published by Christopher Books, Santa Barbara, U.S.A., 1971 where I gave some biological notes based on the original Hebrew alphabet.

The life, Hay, that carried us from Arieh is no longer opcrating. Reaching Cancer we are at a dead-end. There is no real contradiction between the position of the Moon inside the spatial cube and its residence in Sartan, the diagonal East-Bottom. The Moon, formed by Tav (400-6), cannot be fertile through its 6 before it has realised that its number, 400, is none other than l, Aleph, where the two currents of energy are in a deadlock.

Likewise, Cancer being the diagonal which directly projects Mars into Jupiter, is always in need of help if the person deeply affected by that sign really wants to reach a higher state of consciousness. Mars is always immature unless it reaches Adam-Qadmon, the state of perfection. It is immature because it is ahead of us. When it falls upon Jupiter it will probably produce a "Jupiterian type," so set in performing its duties and asserting its rights in the concrete, material, everyday world, that such a person will never soar up, so to speak, unless through attachment to an ideal, or, rather, to someone embodying an ideal. In that case, the female Sartan could be of vital help and protection to a man who would otherwise be absorbed in his highest aspirations, to the point of losing connections with the world as it is.

In conclusion, Sartan filled with Tav, formative of the Moon, needs a new cell to fertilise it, but Tav can only blend with Aleph: the two opposite poles of energy must meet. So we come to Arieh, (Aleph, Raysh, Yod, Hay) meaning that Aleph gives existence (Yod) and life (Hay) to its cosmic container, Raysh. The name of that Arieh, meaninglessly called Leo, is, in fact, formed by Tayt, a cell, and is the residence of the purveyor of all earthly energies, the Sun.

So we realise that we have been carried from Toleh to the threshold ot Cancer by an archetype of life, Hay, forming Aries. and not by an existing life. Wc will now read the Zodiac in two other ways. starting frorn Arieh in two opposite directions. (The fourth reading will begin with Capricorn.)

To do so we take four steps (l, from Aries to Taurus; 2, to Gemini: 3, to Cancer; 4, to Leo) and enter the residence of the Sun. Four more steps in the same direction will take us to Sagittarius, where we will stop again. This is the itinerary of phyical energy emanated by the Sun. Four last steps from Sagittarius will lead us back to Aries.

The Sun's name in the Zodiac, Hhamah (Hhayt-Mem-Hay), will carry the physical life given by the Sun. But the unstructured Hhayt will retire to the Hhayt forming Sartan and, perhaps, arise as unconscious psychological energy, assuming one of the two qualities of the Moon. If it remains buried it becomes Abadot (slavery); if it rises and springs forth it is Memshelah (free, uplifted) and can begin its return journey, first encountering Gemini where it can make a choice between the two halves of Teomaim (Tav-Aleph, Waw, Mem, Yod, Mem). A person can choose to be the projection of the cosmic Tav-Aleph, pregnant with Waw, or to be Maim, the Waters. In the first case Shaur in this itinerary backwards with its many adventures, will be waiting until the soul, after a long and difficult journey, now backwards, now forwards, finds its rest in Meadim (Aries), where at last the East of future life will unite with the North of sensual impulses.

The obvious reason for this itinerary backwards is the fact that the evolution of the psyche comes from the dissolution of its structures. Physical life, on the contrary, depends upon maintaining and consolidating its structures.

Thus, accentuating the Tayt fornaing Arieh as a cell, energy flowing into the next sign, Betolah (Virgo) emphasises Yod forming that sign, symbol of actual existence. The natue BeIolah, so wrongly said to be Virgo the Virgin, is pregnant, and Kawkab in that residence is Zar' (seed).

The following sign, Mozenaim, forrncd by the organic movement of Lammed, is an ambiguous "balancc" (Libra) in which the weight of Aleph in the first three letters (Mem, Aleph, Zayn) and the weight of Yod in the last three (Noun, Yod, Mem) creates in Venus, the sensual psyche, whose residence it is, a state where dreams and imagination are mixed up with concrete reality. In that state of Venus, Aleph, the explosive producer of light (Aur) is projected into innumerable symbols and images. It is important to note that the Aleph comes from Mem, which can be read as Ozen (the ear) in Maim (the Waters). These Waters are very fruitful. This sign is the first diagonal (West-South) lit by the Sun. West-North, West-Top and West-Bottom will follow up to Capricorn. Here are ceaseless emanations from the Sun's four flowing currents, which are in diametrical opposition to the four currents flowing from the East (Meadim) in Aries to Cancer.

Continuing our way we come to 'Aqarav (Scorpio) where the fruitfulness of Mozenaim reaches its climax, under the formative Noun, archetype of manifested life. This existential culmination is contained in the name 'Aqarav (Ayn-Qof-Raysh-Vayt), where the Ayn (70) testifies that the process of creation has achieved its cycle. It therefore states that the cosmic Aleph, Qof, has permeated its universal container, Raysh, to the point of penetrating the archetype of all single containers, Vayt. Thus the name 'Aqarav is formed as a completeness in which Meadim, whose abode it is (Meadim in unpointed Thallet), finds all the elements of wisdom. But beware! 'Aqarav, that sign of perfection, is one of the most dangerous places to stop in. The dramatic opposition between the diagonals in the psychological part of the Zodiac (seen as the four eastern diagonals) and the physical side (the four western diagonals) can literally murder someone in Scorpio who receives its flow of energy before attaining the psychological ripeness required by Meadim (Mars, East).

Such a person would, as Abel (whose real Biblical name is Hevel, meaning vanity), be destroyed by the simple presence of Cain (whose name begins with Qof, the cosmic Aleph). Likewise, 'Aqavav, driving Qof into thc body (Vayt) can be suicidal for those whose Meadirn is not ready, psychologically, to receive it.

The following sign, Qoshet, whose three cosmic letters (Qof-Sheen-Tav) are so impressive, is actually formed by the female sex, Sammekh, and is, almost ironically, Tsedeq (Jupiter's) abode. In this sign Tsedeq is formed by the pointed Ghimel, indicating that it is resistant to its own residence. This residence also, with its fiery, cosmic Aleph, its active "Breath," Sheen, acting upon Tav, apparently contradicts its formative Sammekh. This sign, although diametrically opposed to Gemini (as seen in the Zodiac), is in conjunction with it. In the two preceding signs we saw the West-South of Libra opposed to the East-North of Aries, and the West-North of Scorpio opposed to the East-South of Taurus. Here in Sagittarius we see West-Top in combination with the East-Top of Gemini flowing towards Saturn. And the next sign, Capricorn, is flowing MJest-Bottom in alliance with Cancer's East-Bottom, towards Jupiter.

Sagittarius and Gemini have a quality in common: both force a choice. In Sagittarius, Tsedeq (Jupiter) with its structurising Tsadde and its resistant Dallet opposing their struccures to Qof, paralyses it and does not allow it to carry its impulses through Sheen to Tav. (The inscription of Qoshet and Tsadde in the Zodiac is eloquent.)

An immature Jupiterian type will automatically usurp the power of Qof and introduce it into his female, psychological struclures. He will be ambitious to attain the highest possible position comensurate with his capacities. If he can, he will become a king, an emperor, a high Priest.

The mature psyche will cross the threshold and enter a new life with Capricorn, where the blessed Shabatai is alive.

With this, we re-enter the Zodiac thnough its fourth door, and in four steps complete the twelve Steps atound the Zodiac, back to Hay and Toleh.

Superficially, we can accotnplish this by reading the formative letters in order: (70) forning Saturn opens every possibility; Tsadde (90) forming Aquarius destroys and builds structures: Qof (100) forming Pisces gives birth to the perfected man. They can also be read according to their names: Ghcdi is a symbol of the birth of organic life; its Ghimel (3) originates a movement; its Dallet is the response to it; its Yod (10) is the symbol of existence. Continuing, we see the same process in Deli, with its functions in inverted order: Dallet. the response, engenders Lamnmed (30), the 3 of Ghimel brought into actual existence, and then Yod again. Finally comes Daghim (Fishes) signifying proliferation of organic life.

Only adequately evolved psyches can enter these signs because Shabatai, living in Ghedi, is none other than "sanctification of the Seventh Day," a symbol whose realisation, considering the average state of human consciousness, is very far away. It is a state of endogenous life and action, a focusing of cosmic energy in unity and in its essential duality. We do not meet the living Shabatai on this route from the Sun to Sagittarius, but it comes suddenly, as an unseen world of unknown dimensions. Yet, in my experience, it can enter us after our psyches have freed themselves from time, as a one-way current flowing from past to future through the present.

When such freedom occurs, history appears as a gradually unfolding psychological projection, like a story unfolding as read and turn the pages of a book: the whole story is already there.

Two of the three signs we are considering now must therefore be read along what I call the psychological direction, beyond Aries, to Pisces. Thus Pisces assumes the dimensions of a two-thousand-years-Era, said to have begun with the psychological event called "The Birth of Christ," and to be ending now with the coming of Aquarius. Just as Qof forming Pisces is an appropriate symbol for Jesus, Tsadde, forming Aquarius, is a symbol of perfect womanhood. (Abraham aged one hundred -- Qof -- and Sarah aged ninety -- Tsadde -- are the allegorical, fruitful human beings: they give birth to Isaac.)

Tsadde, forming our coming Era, is also, as we have seen, the symbol of all structures. Deli diametrically faces Arieh, the Sun's residence fortncd by the diagonal North-Top (Venus-Saturn), whereas its own diagonal is South-Top (Mercury-Saturn). Twelve thousand years of sensorial aspirations towards Shabatai to the activity of Mercury, the mythological messenger of the gods. Twelve thousand years of structures will fall to pieces, and with the gradual awakening of womanhood new structures will be allowed to build a new world. With the ending of Pisces the Scriptures are already fulfilled, although most people are unaware of it. Organised religions will have to re-discover the Sacred Fount of Knowledge, or else they will be more and more petrified. Their rituals will be adopted and accommodated more and more to the customs, creeds and superstitions of primitive communities. They will lose all their original significance.

Helped by the consent of Jupiter, the powerful drive of Pisces (diagonal Mercury-Jupiter) will force its way through the dead Saturn of Aquarius. It will be an era of great hopes, but of great strife, destruction and conflicts. The human or, rather, pre-human mass, as a result of proliferation where conditions are at their worst, will be in a state where it will be impossible to live, while the rich, technically highly evolved part of the world will destroy itself in all respects, so that its life also will become impossible.

Aquarius will be an Age of difficult transition before humanity really meets Shabatai, living in Ghedi, whose diagonal West-Bottorn (Sun-Jupiter) will join its diametrical Cancer with its diagonal East-Bottom (Mars-Jupiter). Then, perhaps, the Cosmic Nuptials may be celebrated on Earth: either humnanity will be worthy of such a blessing, or be in conditions more or less similar to those of the Deluge, or to soxue prehistorical glacial Era, with no one to witness it.

Readers who have followed my circuit, step by step, around the Yetsira's Zodiac will have realised that the first requirement is a knowledge of the original code of the Autiot. If one is not willing to go into it, heart and soul, The Sepher Yetsira and its Zodiac should be left alone. Many people toy with Astrology as an objective scale of references. There are even coin-in-the-slot machines which are supposed to give you your character.

It is essential to realise that this Zodiac deals with our innermost eligious relationships to cosmic energy. We can verify it as we are our own best witnesses, by reading our own horoscope. It can be very useful.

Here is mine (12 May 1892) with Kawkab and Tsedeq in Toleh. When I consider seven dots on my photo-copy of the Zodiac -- seven planets which happened to receive me at birth -- in one all-embracing panorama, I see my whole life, as it was set out and as it completed its programme. I see why I was born and why at that particular place; why I had to wait so long for the unfoldment of an extremely difficult inner purpose. I see that I was able to pass successfully through the many tests that are called Initiations, because I was without fear or apprehension.

None of my Planets were in their residences. The Moon, having deserted its abode for the benefit of Nogah, had gone to 'Aqarav, in exact opposition to the Sun which was occupying Nogah's place in Taurus. Shabatai in Betolah was pointed towards Tsedeq, in conjunction with the diametrically situated residence of Tsedeq in Daghim, while Meadim was waiting in Deli for the dawning of the new Era.

How could J not announce the second coming of the Rabbi called Jesus; how could I not be in that Coming, inside it, as it is already being enacted? If I am "programmed" to live my 84th year, the cycle will be complete, and I will either die or becorne "someone else" (84=7 X 12) at my 84th birthday. Thus i have verified the truth of that Zodiac to my satisfaction. Readers could have no better proof of the Zodiac than to let it testify to their own horoscopes. They will understand that it can and must reveal what is inaccessible to every other kind of astrology: the thorough and explicit investigation of its purpose or vacuity, its conquests or defeats, the meaning of a lifetime.

The reading of the Zodiac cannot be made externally, mechanically. It requires the reader to be qualified, just as a cleric is supposed to be qualified in matters of religion. But the astrologer in the Holy Qabala cannot receive that qualification from anybody. He must always keep in mind the ever-perfect command:

"This, above all; to thine own self be true."