Is this Biblical or Occult?

Diagram of the Tree of Life in Portae Lucis (1516). Public Domain.

The roots of Occultism in the West are deeply intwined in the study of the hidden, secret & sacred things which are written in the Bible, but this is something that most people just don’t appreciate. Most people want a clear distinction between what is “Occult” and what is Biblical, even though to make a distinction is to deny that which is occulted in the Bible. More than a few people have asked me: “Where did I get this?”(after studying the Seven Palaces) and “Is this Biblical or Occult?” But there isn’t an “either/or” answer to that question. It is both. The question is malformed in ignorance.

The chart called the “Seven Palaces” is older than the Bible. It is an ancient map of creation, made from all the things that were thought common to human experience – Day, Night, Life, Death, Food, Desire, Birds, Animals, the Soul, etc. There were 22 of these corresponding to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The Seven Palaces were preserved at the heart of Kabbalah – and hidden within a riddle of the Sepher Dtzeniouthia. It is the source of the far more well-known Kabbalistic chart called the “Tree of Life.” It is biblical because the scribes who wrote the Bible knew of it and used it as a reference for Genesis 1-2, among other things, and it is occult because it was hidden, and searched for by Jewish, Christian, Islamic and other occultists.

To study the Bible thoroughly, a person needs to first give themselves an education in the types of hidden knowledge that was known to the writers of the Bible, so that they do not misinterpret the intended meanings of its writers. To study that which is secret and sacred makes you an occultist.

Ironically, many a ritualist or magician in today’s world are not occultists, though that is the section of Amazon they browse for their books on magick, or they are occultists in the sense of searching for the sort of hidden spiritual transcendence that cannot be communicated in words; the mystic. But to those religious people who are willing to embrace the occult in the Bible go the greatest rewards of their study: true understanding of the intended meanings of its writers.

Why would anyone ever study the Bible without knowing these things? It is like… trying to read hieroglyphics without taking advantage of the breakthroughs in decipherment afforded to us by the Rosetta Stone – effectively doing a Kircher. Kircher couldn’t read hieroglyphics but he thought he could, and wrote whole books of “translations” based on what he thought they said. Kircher is now a symbol of all that is absurd and fantastic in the story of the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs. He was a lousy occultist. He didn’t have the keys so he made things up. But how are modern biblical scholars with an aversion to occult studies any different?

The Seven Palaces. Photo Credit: Bethsheba Ashe.
About the Author
Bethsheba Ashe is the creator of the popular online Shematria Gematria Calculator, and a member of the American Cryptogram Association as well as being the current Grand Master of the Sanctum Regnum. She has spent the last seven years in research into the formal system of gematria, culminating in the publication of her most recent book "Behold! The Art and Practice of Gematria" which is available at Amazon, Lulu and other outlets.
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