We begin our story about the Cube of Space by referring to the Sepher Yetzirah, translated loosely in English to The Book of Formation. An attempt was made in this book to explain the creative acts of God through the use of numbers, letters and words. The author uses as the basis of his explanation the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, each of which has a number and word, or concept, attributed to it.
The form used to express this overall concept is a cube. This is a dot that manifests and extends in six directions, as in the six faces of a cube, to eternity. Needless to say, some have spent their entire lives discussing the ramifications of this teaching. It has been said that this Cube of Space is a beautifully detailed map of initiation that all souls will eventually follow.
In this discussion I will give you a brief outline of the elements that make up the cube. In the lessons on the Tarot cards I explained the tie between each Hebrew letter and each of the 22 Major Arcana Tarot cards. The Hebrew alphabet has three Mother letters, which reside and move in the interior of the cube. They represent the three elements of fire, air and water. The corresponding Tarot cards are Judgement for fire, The Fool for air, and the Suspended Man for water.
The Mother letters stand for equilibrated forces, those that bring balance and perfect harmony. The Fool moves from above to below within the cube. The Suspended Man moves from East to West within the cube. The Judgement card moves from North to South within the cube.
The alphabet has seven double letters. Each double letter is a pair of opposites and is spoken two ways. The double letters represent the seven planets. Each letter adorns a face of the cube, six faces in all, with one double letter at the center of the cube. The double letters stand for changeable forces. An example would be Beth which has the double meaning of life and death, or Kaph which has a double meaning of wealth and poverty. These would be extremes of the same polarity.
The faces of the cube are considered expressing a direction and therefore are named North, South, East, West, Above and Below. The letter in the middle of the cube is called the Center. North is the Tower, South is the Sun, East is the Empress, West is the Wheel of Fortune, Above is the Magician, Below is the High Priestess, and in the Center is The World.
The 12 edges on the cube are made up of the 12 simple Hebrew letters. The simple letters are attributed to the 12 Signs of the Zodiac. They also each represent a part of the human body. They are considered constant forces. Again, directions are used to define each of the edges. North-East is the Emperor, South-East is the Teacher, East-Above is the Lovers, East-Below is the Chariot, North-Above is Strength, North-Below is the Hermit, North-West is Justice, South-West is Transition, West-Above is Temperance, West-Below is the Deceiver, South-Above is the Star, and South-Below is the Moon.
I just know that you’re bleary-eyed by now! If you can find the time, you might consider making a large cube and place the Tarot cards on it, as mentioned above, then it would be easier to visualize. As we go over each face of the cube it will also be easier to follow, since we’ll only be dealing with the five Tarot cards involved on that particular face.
Please also think about that each of the 22 Paths on the cube is assigned a sound and color. God spoke the Word of Creation. The Word is made up of sounds. And sounds are identified by symbols called letters. Sounds are at different rates of vibration, as are colors, and so if you think about it, the use of vibration has the ability to both create and to breakdown that which has been created. The combination of the cards on each face create a particular vibration with which we interact.
So let’s move on. Our next step is to see how we got on the cube! Then we’ll take a look at the first place that we land on its surface, the West face. This has nothing to do with our concept of the planet earth and that we may live in the West and others may live in the East. Please leave that behind. The West face of the cube will be defined by the Hebrew letters located there and thus the Tarot cards that they represent.
So, according to the Cube of Space, just how did we get here? The story goes that our body is conceived on the Lovers card at East-Above and then it moves directly down to the universal mother, the Empress card, at the center of the East face. Mem is the letter of this card and its value is 40, referring to the 40 weeks that the child develops in the mother’s womb.
From there the child moves across to the center of the cube to the World, East to West via the Suspended Man within the cube. The Suspended Man is tied to the Empress by the umbilical cord of the child and is also joined to the World at the Center, by the invisible Silver Cord of Life, which starts at the Center and flows to the Wheel of Fortune on the Western face.
At the same time The Fool, your higher Self, descends from above within the cube and units with the World at the Center where it once again takes on a new mask, represented by the World card, and arrives, via the Suspended Man, on the West face at the Wheel of Fortune. The attribute of the Suspended Man is reversal. So by the time you arrive at the Wheel of Fortune you have completely forgotten your past, and your Inner Self. You are now ready to experience all of the spiritual potentials, that are actually hidden from you, just as you incarnate into this physical plane of existence.
Many of the ancient sages would write how difficult it was to progress on the Great Work because they had to “start basically from scratch” each time they reincarnated. Though it would get much easier to progress with the more effort made each life time, and their ability to see beyond their current life became a reality, still a very long life became a goal of many in order to reach a level of spiritual perfection beyond this physical plane.
So, now you’ve arrived at the West face! The West consists of the Wheel of Fortune in the center. Below it is the Deceiver, your next stop. The next card after the Deceiver that you will visit is Transition at the South-West edge. And, sorry to say, most don’t get past Transition before they have to reincarnate again.
If you are able to get past Transition, then you move to Temperance at the West-Above edge. As you can see, you are making a circle around the West face. Your last stop on the West face will be your fifth stop at Justice at the North-West edge. From there you will travel on to the North face.
So let’s take a look at what’s happening on the West face. Each face has a theme, particular obstacles to overcome, habits to change. A big part of your effort on the West face is just to get off it before you die! The Wheel of Fortune is your first stop, where your destiny, or karma is attached to you when you arrive.
Your second stop is the Deceiver. Here you are fully asleep to your inner Self. All you see is all there is. You are chained to this deception, though at any time you can lift the chains. A review of this card would be in order. You are unaware of your real nature. It is this sleep that promotes every level of violence in the world, setting soul against soul. You are blind to the truth of the world; the living body of Light that joins us all.
If you are unable to wake up just a little bit, Transition awaits. Our inner lives, the most important aspect of living, is ignored or neglected. Through the third step at the gate of Transition you return to the dancer in the World at the Center of the cube and assume a new identity to travel the path of the Suspended Man once again through the Wheel of Fortune on the West face.
When at some point you begin to question the meaning of life and begin to have an overwhelming desire to commune with your inner Self, you will be able to advance to Temperance, the fourth step on the West face. This test on the path of spiritual awakening is passed by acquiring the ability to see the blindness caused by all of the outward pleasures and distractions of the material world. Here you will find the Archangel Michael to help you along your way.
Your tendencies toward selfishness and indifference will be overcome by compassion for the human condition and your fellow man. Up to this point we have no idea that life has any real meaning, incarnation after incarnation. But we need both the Deceiver and the Angel in order to move along our spiritual path. Again, a review of the Temperance card is in order at this point. Without the suffering, resistance and pain we would not turn within for help. If you desire to pursue a spiritual path, the Angel will help guide you.
Temperance is the verification card. The theories you have come up with so far need to be verified by experience. Application is the only way that you’ll know the truth, if you’ll know if something works. You have to be practical. You are beginning to transform your personality. It’s not all talk. You are realizing and beginning to live and govern your life by a new set of rules that sets you apart from most of your fellow man. The object of tempering is to impart strength. And you will need it to stay the course.
The direction of North-West is the last step on the West face. This will also become the first step of the Northern face. This is the gate to the North and Justice will bar you from it if you aren’t ready. Justice is the card of equilibrium and action. Here you begin to learn the principles of polarity. The Kybalion states:
“Everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degrees; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled. To destroy an undesirable rate of vibration, put in operation the Principle of Polarity and concentrate upon the opposite pole to that which you desire to suppress.”
Faith is necessary to accomplish the Great Work. Without it you can do nothing. You must have confidence in the principles by which you operate. Begin to study the lives of those who have gone before you on the Path. Use discrimination in your activities. Remember to use the sword.
And also remember, your first task is to get off the West face of the Cube of Space!