This post is the tenth and final 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.
We began at the end, and we end at the beginning. The highest point in the Tree of Life is actually the root of all that the Tree becomes.
Kether is the first sphere on the Tree of Life. It represents the ultimate unity and potential of all things, and the source of everything expressed in the Tree.
Kether is the beginning before the beginning, the moment before the first spark of creation. It is the source of all, but the source of all is inert potential. Kether is like a strand of DNA into which the whole universe is encoded. It is the roadmap, or organizing principle, of what that thing can become. This is part of why we say “Malkuth is in Kether, and Kether is in Malkuth.” Malkuth is the manifested potential of Kether.
To put it another way, Kether is a jump drive containing the file of a movie. Looking at the jump drive in the palm of your hand is not the same as watching the movie, yet the movie is still contained within it.
From a geometric perspective, Kether is a single point. Chokmah is two points, which become a line and imply motion. Binah is three points, which become a shape and imply form.
The experience of Kether is one of absolute unity, peace, nothingness, and stillness. It is not, however, perfection. It is potential for all — for good, bad, and everything in between. It is everything that could be, and everything that will not be, all bundled up together. It is everything and also nothing, as the sphere that is the opposite of manifestation.
What makes Kether queer?
As Kether contains the potential for all, it therefore includes the potential for both manifested and unmanifested genders, sexes, and sexualities. In that regard, Kether is the queerest of the queer, containing the potential for queer identities we can’t even conceive of. (“If you manifest all of me, I shall become queerer than you can possibly imagine,” says Obi-Wan Kether.) It is all genders, all sexualities, all sexes possible: the ultimate pangender, pansexual being.
And yet, Kether exists before energy and before form, and therefore it exists before the concepts of formulated gender or sexuality. In this way, we can see Kether as a purely agender, asexual being. Kether, by itself, emanates all three pillars and sends down the energy that creates the spheres that follow it. In other words, in creating the tree below it, Kether reproduces asexually.
The experience of Kether, which sits atop the pillar of balance (AKA the nonbinary pillar) is “everything and nothing,” “both and neither” — and in this way, Kether also resonates as nonbinary.
All this to say: Kether is everything and all possibilities, and yet it is also the absence of expression or identification. Frankly, I can’t think of anything queerer than that.
Pathworking to experience Kether
Welcome to the Kether pathworking, from Major Arqueerna. Please ensure you are seated comfortably and won’t be disturbed for the next fifteen 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. The sun is high overhead, and you feel the heat as you smell summer grasses and listen to the insects. You are conscious of, but cannot see, the gas giant Neptune, far in the distance in the sky above.
As you gaze around the field, the shadow of the moon passes over the sun. The platform beneath you begins to rise straight in the air, towards the sun occluded by the moon. You race upwards, feeling the platform firmly beneath you, knowing you are not in danger of falling. You see a dark ring in the sky above you and you pass through it, and the moon seems to jump much closer in your sight after you do. You zoom closer and closer to the moon, and then suddenly it seems you pass through it, and the sun is now blindingly bright on your face and fiercely hot until you pass through it as well, and now you soar through space towards a brilliant blue planet: Neptune. You get closer and closer…and suddenly you begin to slow down, and you feel as though you are fading out of sync with your body. Your vision becomes fuzzy and distorted. You hear ambient, distorted sounds and you feel as though you are passing through a thick membrane. And then, just as suddenly, the sensation stops, and you continue to hurtle toward Neptune. Once the planet fills your view, you are surrounded by a dazzling, bright mist that seems like it’s made of diamond dust.
You wait for the glittering mist to dissipate, but…it doesn’t. You feel your senses expand, you feel your edges become diffuse, and you feel pieces of yourself dissolve into the glittery mist.
The mist – and you – begin to coalesce, all the pieces pulling together, condensing, getting tighter, and denser, until everything becomes a single, bright, impossibly tiny dot in a dark void. There is no sound. There is no sensation.
All is one.
The entire tree is there, but it is inert.
There is no breath.
There is no heartbeat.
There is no movement.
All is potential, and it is overwhelming how much there is that is not in this place that is not a place, this time that is not a time.
You are zero. You are the pause before the inhale. You are the DNA of the universe. You are the moment before the spark, the moment before the Big Bang.
You can feel yourself expand, becoming pure energy, every piece of you flying out in a different direction, swirling and rushing.
Then you feel that energy forming into a pattern, something resembling you.
You become aware of time passing. You can see the outline of yourself forming. You become aware of your potential, the things you could become.
You become aware of your limitations, of the things that hold you back.
You have a moment of feeling perfectly in balance, an equilibrium between your potential and your limits that is your ideal self.
You are suddenly filled with passion, with momentum, with primal energy.
You are suddenly filled with knowledge, and you remember your name.
You remember that all this is happening within your imagination. You see the forms of many things, including the wooden platform you rode earlier.
And then you are surprised to find yourself sitting on that platform, back in the field where you began, the sun bright overhead, the sounds of small animals and insects in the air, the smell of fresh greenery abounding. You feel yourself firm on the earth.
Take a moment to appreciate that which you feel, that which you see, that which you hear.
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.
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