Every generation of Qabalists has the obligation and the opportunity to add to the treasury of knowledge and understanding of the Tree. In order to do that, you must understand the Tree in a way that makes sense to you. The best way to approach this is to make your own Tree.
The first Tree I created was to help me better understand and visualize the correspondences between the Tarot, Astrology, and Qabala. I used Adobe InDesign and mocked up the Tree, and then put the corresponding Tarot cards and astrological symbols on the various paths and spheres. I then printed it on a giant poster via an online print-on-demand shop, and as I worked with the Tree I wrote stuff on Post-Its and stuck them on the poster. All of that is still on my wall, and I still refer to it now and again as I work with the Tree. (If you want a copy of this to print yourself, I’ve made it open-source – it’s best printed as a 3×5-foot poster.)
The second Tree I created was a Steven Universe Qabala! I was bingeing the show at the time and kept thinking about how various characters aligned with the spheres. I ended up commissioning an artist (Megan Willis, who is amazing) to draw the characters in the spheres, so I could print it and hang it on my wall. (I also made a mug out of it. Print-on-demand is amazing.)
Putting the Tree into terms I understood, into a framework that was my own, helped me deepen my relationship with the Tree. I highly recommend this activity for anyone who wants to continue their Qabala study. Here’s how to do it!
Notebook, pen (or graphic design program on your computer, if you want to be fancy)
Google images of the Qabala, or refer to the ones found around this blog.
Draw the Tree of Life glyph on a piece of paper. Write the names of the spheres. If it’s helpful, add keywords near the spheres to help you remember their meanings and correspondences.
Spend some time thinking of what the Tree and the individual spheres mean to you. Add color and designs to the Tree. Don’t overthink it – do what feels natural.
If you’ve got a particular favorite TV show or movie, think how those characters might fit in with the Tree (even if you can’t think of ones for every sphere, it’s still worth the effort!). Hint: Action/adventure/fantasy films and shows with lots of characters tend to work particularly well here, as they tend to lean on classic archetypes.
If you’re an herbalist or like working with crystals, think about which herbs or stones would align with each sphere, and why. (There are traditional alignments for each and they’re worth studying, but your own interpretation is also valid!)
I recommend working on this over a period of a few days or weeks. Come back to it, see if your ideas have changed or shifted, or if you have more to add.
I’d love to see what you come up with, by the way. Feel free to reach out to me and show me your Tree!