This post is the fifth 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.
Tiphareth is the sixth sphere, and is the central point of balance on the Tree of Life. It sits on the pillar of balance (AKA nonbinary pillar) at the halfway point between Kether and Malkuth.
Many Qabalists focus on “sacrifice” as the key aspect of Tiphareth, but I would argue that Tiphareth’s core concept is one of balance. Sometimes balance is achieved by subtracting that which doesn’t serve, of course. But sometimes moving or reconfiguring something, or adding something new, brings balance. It’s not all about sacrifice, all the time.
Balance isn’t a fixed state, however. Circumstances change and mandate we be flexible and adapt in order to stay in a state of balance. Tiphareth is, after all, a higher reflection of Yesod, the moon, where we learn flexibility and fluidity.
Tiphareth’s corresponding celestial body is the sun. The sun brings vitality, integration, shines a light on truth, and facilitates healing. Healing, after all, is about restoring balance, whether physically or emotionally.
Where Tiphareth shines is in helping you become the best, most optimal you that you can be at your current stage of life. Life is full of choices, and while we’re confined to linear time and corporeal form, we cannot effectively be and do all the things we or others want us to. We must prioritize, and choose, and the energy of Tiphareth can guide us to set priorities and make choices in a way that brings us into better alignment with our potential while maintaining our health and well-being. It is not about perfection; it’s about balance, and it’s about what is right for you.
What makes Tiphareth queer?
Tiphareth is part of what I’m calling “the coming-out triangle” composed of Tiphareth, Geburah, and Chesed. Each connect with different aspects of the process of coming out as queer. Tiphareth’s part of that puzzle is the joy you feel acknowledging your own truth. Geburah and Chesed, which will be covered in future blog posts, are about the parts of yourself and life that change when you come out.
Before somebody comes out to themselves, it’s common to feel like something isn’t right, something is out of alignment: an existential “itchiness” or “abrasiveness” of sorts. Many experience this as dysphoria surrounding their body, clothing, or appearance.
The flip side of this experience is the euphoria that happens when you are able to express your inner truth outwardly, aligning your external self to how you understand yourself inwardly, when it just feels right. This feeling of perfect harmony is a Tiphareth experience. You are sacrificing the ideals of what you are not (Geburah) to embrace the truth of who you are (Tiphareth) and the possibilities of who you can become (Chesed). You are bringing your internal and external selves into harmony. Coming out to yourself is, fundamentally, a healing experience. (Coming out to others…can be more difficult. More on that next week.)
Pathworking to experience Tiphareth
Below is a recording and text of a pathworking to help you experience Tiphareth. If you wish to subscribe to future pathworkings, you can do so on Soundcloud, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, and Spotify.
Welcome to the Tiphareth 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. It’s high noon, and the sun is bright overhead in a cloudless sky. Insects are buzzing all around and you feel the heat of the sun on your face.
As you gaze around the field, it suddenly becomes shrouded in shadow. It’s an eclipse. 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, growing hotter and hotter as you zoom closer to it.
A golden mist surrounds you, and you find yourself inside a golden, hexagonal hall. The windows are set with crystal prisms, casting rainbows on the floor and walls as the light streams through them. The walls appear to be hammered gold, the floor comprised of golden hexagonal tiles. You can hear the haunting melody of a choir harmonizing a beautiful song in a language that is unfamiliar to you. You smell incense wafting in the air. There are comfortable couches covered in rainbow throw blankets and pillows surrounding a fire pit in the center of the hall, and tables laden with food around the edges of the room.
This is a place of peace, and harmony. You feel as if weeks of stress have simply melted off you, and you are able to simply BE. You are conscious of your breath, and your heartbeat.
“Hello,” says a voice near you, and you turn to see a person with a shining, golden light surrounding them. They are wearing a golden robe over a simple white tunic. They invite you to sit on one of the couches with them, and you oblige. Glasses of cool water are set before you to drink.
Your host asks you to take a moment to really feel the energy of the space. You take a deep breath and listen to the music of the choir in perfect harmony, smell the incense, and feel soft warmth on your face from the light streaming in from the windows. You realize you feel deeply at peace, and very much present in the moment. Everything feels right, and balanced. You smile.
Your host nods. “This feeling of peace and balance isn’t limited to this place,” they say. “It lives within you. There are many ways to access it when you need to – through breath, through meditation, through focus. Tell me, how do you bring small moments of peace into your day-to-day life?” they ask. Answer them.
Your host nods. “Have you given thought to what your Great Work is, your higher purpose on this plane?” they ask. Answer them.
Your host continues. “It becomes easier to access these feelings of peace and balance when you are leaning into your purpose, when you are doing your Great Work, when you are living your truth. I want you to think on these things in the days to come,” they say.
Your host then makes a gesture in the air, and into their hand appears a shiny, golden coin. They hand it to you, and it feels cold and heavy in your hands. The coin is intricately designed with an image on either side that reflects your Great Work. What do you see?
Your host says the coin is yours to keep, and to consider. You thank them, and they lead you to the back of the room where you see an alcove containing the platform you rode in on. As you step onto the platform, the soft golden light surrounding your host seems to expand to fill the room, and to surround you as you stand on the platform. You are once again aware of the deep peace and balance of this place. You close your eyes to take it in, and when you open them, you no longer see the hall, but are surrounded by golden mist, which dissipates until you see the stars and the moon in front of you, growing larger and larger until it seems you have passed through it, and then you see the Earth again, far in the distance. You pass through the dark ring in the sky once more, and the Earth grows much larger, and soon you are descending back to the field where you started. You step off the platform, and as you do, the eclipse ends, and the field is bathed in sunlight once more.
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.