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SY - Sealing the Cube

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:28 pm
by Poimandres
Here is a short and rather effective practice taken directly from the first chapter of the Sefer Yetzirah. This serves a a general banishing and purification rite. In many ways it mirrors the pentagram and hexagram rituals of lodge magic traditions (i.e. the LRP and LRH of the GD, OTO, etc.) in that it establishes the practitioner as the sacred center within the six dimensional cube of space.

In particular this works quite well when use in conjunction with the Solomonic circle of the Lesser Key since it originates from the same root tradition of the divine names around the circle.

A few points regarding the Sefer Yetzirah. This is likely the oldest Kabalistic text in existence and is also the strangest since it stands somewhat independent of the biblical tradition and of other works of Jewish mysticism like the Zohar. It is not a mystical exegesis or a philosophic pondering on the Old Testament, but rather it is a distinctly cosmological and magical text. This is apparent in the way it was written; in many cases the grammar resembles the imperative. Most commentaries read the text in the third person, “He combined”, “He sealed”, and “He formed”, and thus understand it as a cosmological account of creation. However, these passages can also be read as “combine”, “seal”, and “form” as if the author were giving direct magical instructions.

[Choose] three letters from among the Elementals
And [set\ them in His Great Name
and with them, [seal] six extremities.

[Seal] “above” and faced upward and seal it with YHV.

[Seal] “below” and faced downward and seal it with HYV.

[Seal] “east” and faced straight ahead and seal it with VYH.

[Seal] “west” and faced backward and sealit with VHY.

[Seal] “south” and faced to the right and seal it with YVH.

[Seal] “north” and faced to the left and seal it with HVY.

Gra Version, Sefer Yetzirah 1:13

A few additional notes:

While "sealing" the extremities, I contemplate the vastness of a line that extends infinitely to the cardinal point while I vibrate the letter. From my practices, I've found two effective ways by which to vibrate the letters. The first is to simply name the letter - Yod, Heh, Vav. The second is to use the vowel sound (as discussed by Leanora Leet), Yod - I, Heh - A, Vav - 0. When the second method is used the permutations revolve around the divine name IAO which may align better to those of you focusing on Hermetic or Gnostic traditions.

Additionally, there are many versions of the Sefer Yetzirah with slightly varying instructions as to which permutations of the tetragrammaton to use for each direction.

Here is a chart showing the variances:

I use the Short Version attributes as I feel that it clearly defines each axis with a letter (i.e. Yod is Up/Down, Heh is East/West,and Vav is North/South).