The Voltigeurs of the Tree of Death
Most esoteric students will be familiar with the concept taught by Jewish mystics, or Kabbalists known as the Tree of Life, or at least with the symbol of the tree. Some say it is a map of creation, or a map of consciousness, or a pathway to higher dimensions or a system of magic, or all of the above and more.
While the image and some basic understandings of the Tree have made it into the mainstream, a lesser known aspect of this concept is the obverse of the Tree. All things have a balance and the Tree of Life is no exception. It has its reverse, or shadow side as well. This dark aspect of the Tree is sometimes called the Tree of Death, though that might infer a separate and distinct matrix, when in fact these are but two sides of the same pathway.
Just as it is surmised that one may access other dimensions in the multiverse through those mysterious portals known as black holes, a portal exists that allows access to the underside, the chthonic trails of this tree. The Tree of Life is adorned with 10 “fruit”, the spheres of creation known as the Sephiroth. They are emanations of that which exists before creation. These range from Malkuth, the lowest sphere on the tree, (said to be where mankind currently exists following the fall from paradise) to the “Crown” known as Kether. (Note: There are various accepted spellings for these terms).
I addition to these 10 sephiroth, there is an 11th, hidden gate known as “Daath”. Daath, acting as a gate which can be accessed from either side of the Tree, belongs to both sides and neither. So, in some cases it is counted as a true Sephiroth, in other instances, it is not. Regardless, Daath is the portal to the Tree of Death, provided one has ascended high enough to gain access to it on the other side, on the Tree of Life.
The lower 7 Sephiroth on the Tree of Life are separated from the top 3 by the Abyss. This void is sometimes called the “Desert of Set”, the Egyptian God of Chaos and Disorder. While on the front of the Tree one follows pathways, on the dark side you will traverse through the tunnels of Set. Here you will find the Qliphoth, the opposite, yet balancing forces to the Sephiroth. The Qliphoth have been called the “Shells of the Dead”. The name means “Shell” or “Husk”. In Kabballistic teachings, the Qliphoth represent impure, as opposed to Holy, energies. They are necessary products of creation, however and they do serve a purpose. The seeds of creation, of holiness, are concealed within the shells of the Qliphoth on the obverse of the Tree. In a sense, they protect those seeds, even while limiting and obstructing their energies.
Those who may be considered adepts concerning the workings and exploration of the Tree of Death are known by some as “Voltigeurs” or “Vaulters” (Michael P. Bertiaux, La Couleuvre Noir). They are those who take advantage of the web-like tunnels on the other side of the Tree, spiritually leaping from level to level, able to bypass certain levels to gain access to higher ones. You are all familiar with the theory of wormholes in space and how their use may allow someone to travel extreme distances in mere seconds. The Voltigeurs apply the same theory when accessing different points upon the Tree. The energies which make such travel possible are said to emanate from the Goddess known to the Greeks as Hecate and to the Egyptians as Heqet/Hekt.
Heqet/Hecate is a frog-headed Goddess of Witchcraft, entranceways, necromancy and sorcery. She is also a Goddess of transformation just as frogs transform from the element of water to that of earth, being amphibious animals. The leaping frog is an apt symbol for the Vaulters, the Leapers, of the secret tunnels of Set.
I hope you found this interesting. For more information please see Kenneth Grant’s “Nightside of Eden” and the writings of Michael Bertiaux.