This post is the first 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 begin our journey in Malkuth. To understand the realms beyond physical existence, we must first understand our own plane, which is both our foundation and a reflection of the realms beyond. “As above, so below,” as they say.
Malkuth is the tenth sphere, depicted at the bottom of the Tree of Life, and represents the powers of manifestation. It is everything that ever was, is, and ever will be on this physical plane. It also includes the subtle, psychic aspect of matter, as well as the overworld and underworld – the planes that include those who have previously had physical existence (ancestors) or have an analogue in physical existence (the fae, nature spirits).
Many mainstream religions teach that the earth-plane is evil and we must elevate our consciousness beyond it. Unfortunately, focusing on transcendence at the expense of existence hurts both our ability to function on this plane and our spiritual evolution. While contact with other realms and planes can help us spiritually develop, ultimately our spiritual development happens here, in our bodies and minds and souls on this plane.
That said, we don’t need to go beyond this plane to find divinity, as all spheres are divine. And moreover, Malkuth is actually a tangible reflection of the most unmanifest of spheres: Kether. That which is possible in Kether is manifest in Malkuth. “Malkuth is in Kether, and Kether is in Malkuth” describes the relationship between these two spheres. In the physical, there is the spark of the eternal. In the eternal, there is the potential and reflection of the physical. And within the manifest realm, divinity is within everything.
Another way to describe this relationship is a partnership of two equal rulers. The magical images of these two spheres describe such a relationship: Kether is seen as a king, viewed in profile, and Malkuth is portrayed as a young queen, crowned and throned.
What makes Malkuth queer?
Malkuth sits on the pillar of balance, AKA the nonbinary pillar that stands between the “masculine” and “feminine” pillars on the tree. As the representation of all that is manifest, Malkuth includes beings of all genders and sexualities. As a sphere, it’s the ultimate pangender, omnisexual sphere, because it represents all things and all beings that have existed, do exist, and will exist.
Much like every queer story is unique, and often includes themes of feeling alienated from mainstream culture, Malkuth is unique and separate from other spheres on the tree: It’s the only sphere devoted specifically to manifest reality, and is apart from the three triangles in the tree: supernal (Kether, Chokmah, Binah), ethical (Chesed, Geburah, Tiphareth), and magical (Hod, Netzach, Yesod).
And it’s colorful, too: Sitting beneath the gorgeous, pride rainbow of the spheres above it, Malkuth is the only sphere with multiple colors assigned to it (citrine, russet, olive, and black). Malkuth just can’t help letting that freak flag fly!
Pathworking to experience Malkuth
Below is a recording and text of a pathworking to help you experience Malkuth. If you wish to subscribe to future pathworkings, you can do so on Soundcloud, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Welcome to the Malkuth 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 standing in a grassy field, with a gray, roiling sky above you, heralding a storm to come.
You feel the wind in your face, and the air tastes faintly of metal. You watch the tall grasses around you whip back and forth in the wind. In the distance, you see a treeline, with a path leading into it. You decide to seek shelter before the storm arrives, and set off through the field towards the path. Thunder begins to rumble in the distance as you step into the woods.
You follow the path, listening to the anxious buzzing of insects and the thunder getting louder as you walk purposefully onward in hopes of finding some kind of cave or building before the rain starts. The trees begin to get denser and your path gets darker. And then you see something strange – branches bent into an archway over the path, just ahead, and beyond the archway, there is…pure darkness. You feel uneasy but decide to press on, and when you get to the archway, you hear a friendly young-sounding voice, bidding you to come inside.
You take a deep breath and step through the archway, and are surprised to feel warmth and see sunlight streaming through windows on the other side as you step into a comfortable, but small, throne room made of gray stone. You smell roses in vases all around you, as well as the warm fire burning in the hearth on the wall to your left. There are several children sitting on fluffy cushions in russet, olive, citrine, and black around the stone floor, playing games with blocks and cards. Then you see a modest throne made of rough branches covered in thick blankets and cushions in the middle of the wall opposite you. Nobody is sitting on the throne, however, and you look around to see if you can tell who called to you from the archway.
“Hi,” says the bright voice of a young adult to your right, and you turn to see a grinning, fresh-faced twentysomething wearing a modest crown made of twigs shaped into little X’s, and richly attired in russet, citrine, olive, and black velvet. Their bright eyes are friendly and kind. They welcome you to their throne room, and thank you for visiting as they bow to you. You return the greeting and thank them for their hospitality. They reach for a tray heaped with brightly-colored fruit and offer you some. You take a piece of fruit and take a bite, closing your eyes briefly as its juices burst in your mouth. It is the sweetest, most perfect fruit you’ve ever had. You finish eating it, wiping a bit of errant fruit juice from your chin bashfully as your host just smiles and offers you a bowl of warm water and a towel, then leads you through the maze of children to a heavy wooden door to the right.
The next room is much larger, and features a giant rug featuring the Tree of Life glyph. More children are in this room, playing some complex game sort of like tag as they skip along the paths of the glyph on the rug in various directions, and cheering when someone reaches Malkuth. Your host smiles and explains the children are playing a game called “Manifest.” They explain the goal is to make it from Kether to Malkuth, passing through all the other spheres on the way so they can be manifested into the physical realm.
Your host then takes your hand and looks into your eyes. “You have been given a gift,” they say. “The gift of living on the physical plane. You have the opportunity to do and learn so many things. Tell me, what kinds of things do you love to do, and what are you learning right now?” Answer them.
Your host then asks, “How do you experience the beauty of the physical world? How do you keep your eyes open to the wonders that surround you, even during difficult times?” Answer them.
Your host then asks, “How do you keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed by responsibility and focus on the things that matter most?” Answer them.
Your host thanks you, and asks you to continue thinking about your answers in the days ahead. They encourage you to remember to be present in the moment as often as you can, to fully taste your food, fully smell the flowers, fully feel the textures you encounter, and give yourself gratitude for the things your body allows you to do.
“Remember, divinity is within everything,” they say, as they lead you back into the throne room and return you to the archway. You can see nothing but darkness on the other side, but this time, you are not afraid of what you may encounter when you step through. You thank your host and bid them farewell, and they smile and bow in kind. You turn to step through the archway, and are surprised to find that you are back on the path in the woods, but sunlight is streaming through the leaves and there’s no hint of storm in the sky.
As you walk along the path, you notice all the different sounds of various bugs and birds and animals scurrying around, and smell an array of flowers and greenery around you. You admire the way the sunlight dapples your path and glints upon the wing of a bird that soars beneath the trees. You reach down to touch the wild clover growing alongside the path, noting how soft and smooth the leaves feel.
Eventually, you return to the field, and instead of a strong wind, you feel a gentle breeze and sunlight on your skin, and smell the loamy earth and grass. You breathe deeply, feeling the air fill your lungs. 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.