This post is the ninth in a series highlighting each sphere in the Tree of Life. For additional background on the Qabala, see Guided Meditation: Introduction to the Tree of Life, Learning Qabala through story, Learning Qabala: Where to start?, and Qabala is queer, and it isn’t even sneaky about it.
Chokmah is the second sphere on the Tree of Life, sitting at the top of the “masculine” pillar, AKA the pillar of force or pillar of mercy. If you think of Kether as a light switch in the “off” position (all potential, but nothing happening), Chokmah is what happens when that light switch is flipped “on.” It’s an explosion of pure energy in every direction, unorganized and uncompensated. It’s not until Binah, the third sphere, where that energy has the potential for form.
Chokmah is about unending motion and expansion, like the universe following the Big Bang. It’s the burst of energy that can be a catalyst for change. Its energy is stimulating and energizing. It is pure force without form, boundaries, or anything to push against.
The explosion of energy concept is often tied in with the concept of fertility, and the energy of Chokmah can be likened to that of an unending orgasm. Though Chokmah is often compared to some giant cosmic phallus, people with penises are not the only ones capable of orgasm, of course. Orgasms can be generated by clitoral tissues, too, and your most important sexual organ is your brain, as sex experts are fond of saying.
But taking that one step further, I think using an ejaculation metaphor to describe Chokmah’s energy is imprecise at best, since ejaculation is seed moving in fundamentally one direction, from a container. It makes more sense to think of full-body orgasmic sensation as an analog to Chokmah’s energy: that every-nerve-is-on-fire, I-could-probably-power-six-cities-with-the-intensity-of-this-feeling excitement. That is Chokmah.
I’ll also reiterate that the energy of fertility is not limited to sexual procreation or sexual orgasm, as we’ve explored previously, but can also be the energy of creative pursuits. That outburst of energy you feel when you hit upon a great idea and want to make it into a reality? Chokmah energy.
In Hebrew, Chokmah means “wisdom,” as serves as a companion to Binah, which means “understanding.” The distinction between these two concepts, and the interplay between them, is worth meditating upon.
What makes Chokmah queer?
Last week I noted that I like to think of Chokmah and Binah as the “lesbian power couple” at the top of the Tree of Life, because both are feminine names in Hebrew. It’s not just the names, though. Chokmah is traditionally aligned with AllFather deities (Odin and Zeus, for example) and held up as a concept of Pure Virile Masculinity. However, looking at how Chokmah is depicted in the Bible gets really interesting.
In Proverbs, Chapters 3 and 8, Wisdom and Understanding (AKA Chokmah and Binah) are represented as feminine mythological figures, Wisdom being the consort of God who helped develop creation. “Hear how Wisdom lifts her voice, and Understanding cries out. She stands at the cross-roads, by the wayside, at the top of the hill.” The way in which Wisdom, Chokmah, is described mirrors the way in which we see things come into manifestation along the lightning flash path from Kether down to Malkuth: “I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. Then I was the craftsman at his side.”
Going beyond the Bible, the Greeks also personified Wisdom as a goddess, called Sophia. And the study of wisdom – philosophy – or philo-Sophia, means “the love of Wisdom.”
All this to say, there’s a strong argument to be made that the ultra-masculine, super-virile Chokmah is really an all-powerful goddess in drag.
As I mentioned last week, the experiences of Binah and Chokmah are the more meta, community manifestations of the Geburah and Chesed “coming out triangle” experiences; and in the case of Chokmah, we can sum up in just one word the bombastic expansion and celebration of wild energy of queerdom, and that word is Pride.
In Chesed, which sits directly below Chokmah on the tree, we explored the joys of considering our personal potential after coming out. At Pride, we celebrate that which we are, and where we have been, and where we could go. We celebrate the strides made for civil rights, and we join together to show the world we are unafraid of who we are, and that we are everywhere. At its best, the energy of Pride is effusive and exuberant, bursting with activity and new connections and joyful reunions. It’s colorful and wild and uplifting. I feel the energy of Chokmah when I am on the dance floor at Pride, twirling around in a wild outfit and face paint and glitter, reveling in the joys of feeling myself and everyone around me feeling themselves, dancing and sweating and singing along to loud disco music even though the speakers are too loud for anyone to hear me. I am in the moment, connected to my life force, and energetically connecting to those around me. It’s effervescent, it’s primal, it’s bliss.
Pathworking to experience Chokmah
Below is a recording and text of a pathworking to help you experience Chokmah. If you wish to subscribe to future pathworkings, you can do so on Soundcloud, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Welcome to the Chokmah pathworking, from Major Arqueerna. Please ensure you are seated comfortably and won’t be disturbed for the next ten minutes while you do this pathworking.
Close your eyes. Take three deep breaths, slowly, in and out. With each exhalation, let go any tension you find in your body.
Without opening your eyes, visualize the room around you. Now picture it filling with a gray mist, starting at the floor and working its way up to the ceiling, until the only thing you can see is grayness. As the mist dissipates, you find yourself in a field, sitting on a small, wooden platform colored olive, citrine, russet, and black. It’s night, and as you gaze up into the sky you see many stars, and the full moon. You feel drawn to a faint dot in the starry sky, which you know to be Uranus.
As you stare at Uranus, the platform you’re sitting on begins to rise into the air and move. You zoom toward the moon, breaking Earth’s atmosphere. You see a dark ring in the sky above you and you pass through it, which brings the full moon much closer in your sight. Then the moon disappears and you see the brilliant, bright sun, which grows larger as you zoom toward it, and then it, too, disappears. Behind the sun there is the planet Uranus, a hulking gas giant of light blue-green. You rush toward it, until you are surrounded by a pearly-gray mist.
When the mist dissipates, you find yourself in a space with no defined shapes, just very bright light that seems to come from everywhere. You feel…warm, and oddly fizzy, effervescent. The feeling builds, you feel hotter and hotter, and the vibration gets more intense, you feel like your whole body is vibrating at a super-high frequency. And then…you burst apart. Every molecule of you dissolves and you become pure energy, joining a rushing current of energy that is everywhere at once, swirling and moving incredibly fast. Enjoy this feeling, this chaos of non-stop movement, for a moment.
What does it feel like to no longer have form? To no longer have limits?
Does this experience have a message for you? Listen.
Slowly, you feel yourself begin to re-form, bit by bit, particle by particle. All the pieces of you rejoin into the whole that is you, until you are once again complete.
You find yourself sitting on the circular platform. The brightness surrounding you fades, and you are again surrounded by pearly-gray mist. When the mist dissipates, you are surrounded by the starry sky. You zoom towards the bright sun, then the moon, and finally down toward Earth. You break through the atmosphere, and soon you see the trees and the field, and the platform softly touches down onto the grass. You step off the platform, then look up at the fuzzy, tiny dot of Uranus in the sky, sending it a silent thanks for your experience.
Eventually, the air around you begins to fill with a pearly-gray mist, until you can no longer see the field. When the mist dissipates, you find yourself seated comfortably once more. Take a deep breath, wiggle your fingers and your toes, and when you are ready, open your eyes.
Thank you for listening to this pathworking from Major Arqueerna. If you enjoyed it, please take a moment to subscribe and share it with a friend. More content can be found at majorarqueerna.com.