by Mark Stavish, M.A.
for The Wyoming Valley Society for Esoteric Studies
Published by kind permission of Mark Stavish of the Institute for Hermetic Studies
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © Mark Stavish, M.A. 1999
Edwin Howland Blashfield -The Angel with The Flaming Sword 1893
The Technique of "The Flashing Sword" is among one of the most common methods known to qabalists, and yet, one of the least commented upon. Like many esoteric practices it lends itself to a great deal of sophistication, and can be introduced to beginning students as a practical mnemonic devise for learning the basics of the Tree of Life, up to a method for releasing the "Secret Fire" or Kundalini in each of us.
The Flashing Sword
The Flashing Sword represents the original descent of Divine energy, or Mezla, during the act of creation. Once this act was accomplished, the energy began to rise back again, towards its original source, and this became known to qabalists as "The Rising Serpent". Together, they form a symbolic glyph of the entire creative process and are well known to hermetic students.
When this process of creation is imagined as part of ourselves, we take on the role of creator, and created. The Lightning Flash of creation goes through us, and we become re-created on a subtle and interior level. When this energy returns to its source, we are lifted ever so slightly higher on the Path of Return. Our psychic centers, corresponding to the spheres on the Tree, are awakened and brought into harmony with each other, and we become the Adam Kadmon, or Original Human, before the so-called "Fall". In short, since are in our daily life already "Fallen", by performing this and other esoteric exercises, we take on the role of redeemer of ourselves and creation, or that of Christ.
Visualize a sphere of light above your head. Make it so intense that its center point appears black. Concentrate on this sphere for several minutes. Watch it pulse and grow brighter, hotter, and more intense with each breath. Imagine a ray of light coming down from it piercing the top of your head, or crown area, where the skull bones come together. Feel the ray enter into the center of your head filling it with brilliant, intense light. Feel a ray of this light move over to the left temple, filling the entire left side of your skull, brain, and face with light. After a minute or two, imagine the ray of light moving over to the right temple, filling it with light. Meditate on this for a minute or two. Pause now, and visualize these three brilliant spheres of light, the crown, left temple, and right temple, connected by three rays of light from their center points, forming a triangle, with a brilliant point of light in their center. Let grow and fuse into a single sphere of brilliant light.
Let a ray now pass down from right side, to your left shoulder. After a minute or so, let the ray of light continue towards your right shoulder. Then, to your heart area, below the sternum, and after a minute or so, to your left hip. The ray continues across to your right hip, and then to your pubic bone. After a minute or two of meditation, it continues to the center of your feet. As if you were standing in a brilliant ball of light. You can also imagine the energy continuing to the fiery center of the earth.
Each sphere should be brilliant, bright, warm, and vibrant. The lines connecting them should be a brilliant blueish-white color, with sharp, clear edges.
You may end your meditation at this point, or if you feel the energy is too intense, a sense of drowsiness, or heaviness, withdraw the point of light from your feet and reverse the light, taking the spheres with you, back to Kether, and to the starting point above your head. Let that light then fade to black.
After your acquire competency in this technique, add the Queen’s Color Scale to each sphere. Later, add geometric forms (polygons preferably) as well.
Perform the same as version one. Then, after reaching Malkooth, your feet, imagine a brilliant green serpent, with red-gold highlights, and an intense sense of heat, rise up through each sphere, taking its energy with it, all the way to Kether. Visualize it’s hood, like a cobra, fanning out and overshadowing you in its power, protection, and wisdom. Imagine both the downward flow of mezla, the sword of light, and the upward power of the serpent combined. Hold this image and let it fade. If the energy is too intense, reverse the serpent back to Malkooth, and then the sword back to Kether.
Same as version one, but vibrate the names for each sphere, in order of highest to lowest (Divine Name-Archangel- Angelic- Mundane) for each sphere. Meditate on absorbing the energy of the sphere for a minute or two, then move on to the next.
Same as Version Three, but add the Rising Serpent, and vibrate the names from lowest to highest as you reach each sphere.
Same as Version One, but vibrate the names in special groupings. Giving one week to each grouping. This method is taken from The Philosophers of Nature, "Fundamentals of Esotericism Course" and is based on the principles of alchemy.
Week One - Divine and Archangelic Names together. This is the Sulphur, or soul of the sphere.
Week Two - Angelic and Mundane Names together. This is the Salt, or material matrix of the sphere.
Week Three - Archangelic and Angelic Names together. This is the Mercury,or the energetic component of the sphere, linking the Sulphur and the Salt, or spiritual and material expressions of the sphere.
Week Four - Vibrate Group One, then Group Two, and the Group Three together.
The following exercise is taken from The Philosophers of Nature Qabala Course, Lesson 64. A large mirror is required for this exercise. Candles are placed at foot and shoulder level. The candles should not be visible in the mirror. The work area (oratory) should be dark. Perform four-square breathing. Imagine sphere of light above your head. Imagine it in the mirror. Feel it penetrate your head. As you exhale, see and feel it fill your skull with light. ‘See’ this in the mirror as well. Continue with the descent of light, seeing it reflected in the mirror. When you reach Malkooth, see, feel, smell, all the images of the fertile earth. Feel as though the energy pours through you, vivifying your ‘earth’. Then, at that moment, feel the sudden upsurge of powerful, violent, volcano like energy rushing up, as if a tree were growing at sudden speed taking you with it in its branches. This force moves straight for your cranium. Now, the small sphere above it, enlarges to enclose your entire head. around your face will be a brilliant white halo. The allegory used is that your head is the Sun, and your feet the Earth. If you like, you can also visualize the first Hebrew letter of the name of each sphere in the sphere during the descent. That is Kaph for Kether; Heh for Hod; Mem for Malkooth; etc.