THE DEVELOPMENT OF EGO CONSCIOUSNESS
colours for Malkuth on the Qabalistic Tree given by Gareth Knight
in A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism and Dion Fortune's
Mystical Qabalah are:
black rayed yellow
citrine, olive, russet & black, flecked gold
russet & black
the four worlds we will look at Atziluth as the highest world and
Assiah as the lowest. Thus the development of the ego would be from
Assiah to Atziluth. In the Assiatic world the colours of Malkuth
are black-rayed yellow. When a baby is born it comes into the physical
world in an egoless state. The child's mundane consciousness is
a blank slate on which the impressions of life will be written.
This is symbolized by the black colour. Also black is the colour
of Binah in Briah. The child's first impressions of the world are
through its mother (before and after birth). The yellow rays are
the Spirit which maintains and supports both mundane consciousness
and the physical body. As the child starts to mature it comes into
contact with the Yetziratic World. This is its own inner world and
the desires and needs can be identified. Then an effort can be made
to fulfil them. The citrine is a Yesodic colour and shows that the
child needs to be nurtured and to develop its imaginative and intuitive
faculties. The infant then starts to explore its feelings. The breast
feels good and so does sucking on it. Being left alone is painful.
many parents have had sleepless nights due to babies discovering
this fact? This is symbolized by the olive colour which portrays
Netzach (instincts, feelings and emotions) coming into consciousness.
the child grows it starts to learn mobility and verbal communication.
After a few years the child becomes a pupil at a school and the
years of education begin. Russet is the colour applicable to this
phase of consciousness and it symbolizes the Sephirah Hod (communication
and intellect). The fourth colour of Malkuth in Yetzirah is black
which in this world represents Binah the All Mother. This suggests
that good mothering (whichever parent does it) is crucial in the
balanced development of the child, especially on all the inner levels
circle of Yetziratic consciousness starts again at puberty, represented
by the citrine of Yesod which starts the full flowering of the adolescent's
Netzach with the onset of sexual feelings symbolized by the olive
colour. Late adolescent and early adult intellectual maturation
is again represented by the russet of Hod. And the Yetziratic wheel
spins on. This cycle can occupy the whole of a person's life. How
many elderly people have we met who still show this juvenile psychological
make-up of Malkuth in Yetzirah? Some people even regress back to
infantile psychology through senility. Thus for a lot of people
the upper worlds exist only in their unconsciousness.
I discuss the Briatic level of ego consciousness, I would like to
illustrate the common way that Western Qabalists draw Malkuth in
first symbol that struck me was the quartered circle: a sign of
unification and balance. The black quarter is at the bottom. On
the left is the russet quarter at the gate of the 31st path leading
to Hod. The citrine is at the gate of the 32nd path and the olive
quarter relates to the Sephiroth at the end of these paths. I think
and feel that the energies of these paths flow freely and with full
consciousness into the mundane consciousness of Malkuth. Thus the
person who can achieve this level of consciousness would be extremely
aware of him/herself.
the Briatic level of consciousness is opened, the person must go
through a crisis. Our Western mythologies support this fact: Christ
crucified; Odin hanging on Yggdrasil; the Mad Merlin of the Vita
Merlini; and the wounded Fisher King. For a lot of 20th century
people, the mid-life crisis can be the impetus to find themselves.
For men, it should be the start of raising into consciousness of
the Anima (their unconscious female Self). For women, it is the
acceptance of loss of fertility due to menopause and thus the integrating
of the Bearded Woman who is an aspect of Binah. The black is this
crisis and it is at the bottom of our diagram showing that Briatic
consciousness is achieved by passing through the Dark Night of the
Soul. In the lower worlds I likened the black to Binah; here it
is the awakened Shekinah (and it doesn't matter what sex the person
is) preparing to meet the Divine Bridegroom.
spiritual crisis when successfully resolved stops the cyclical pattern
of Yetzirah. The inner tides are subdued and brought into balance.
Thus the symbol of the quartered circle: this shows that the elements
are in harmonious conjunction within the consciousness and are working
at optimum levels in the Ego as represented by Malkuth. This is
the level of the Lesser Adept. The Greater Adept's mundane consciousness
is portrayed by the yellow of Atziluth. This symbolizes that the
person is living through the Individuality instead of being ruled
by the Personality. The person is consciously living according to
Divine Will or, to express it another way, this person is living
his/her Dharma. These are the great people of history, religion,
mythology such as Gandhi, Pythagoras, Merlin.
four levels of mundane consciousness are portrayed by the Four Worlds
of the Qabalah. Assiah is the consciousness of the infant and child.
Yetzirah is the consciousness of the adolescent and is a cyclic
one which can lead from puberty to death. The consciousness of Briah
symbolizes the mature human being who has mastery over the waking
consciousness. Atziluth is the illuminated consciousness of Incarnate
Masters and is the waking consciousness of those who willingly follow
above is one example of how to interpret the colours of the Sephiroth
and the paths. It is definitely not the only way the various colours
of Malkuth can be interpreted.
article previously appeared in the Spring 1992 edition of Round
Merlin's Table and is reprinted here with the kind permission
of the author. Ta, Chris!]