The Kabbalah (Heb. קַבָּלָה) is at the very heart of most Western mystical traditions. Although officially a part of the Jewish tradition, many other groups in the West have been influenced by the Kabbalah’s profound teachings. Today, many scholars of comparative religion are intrigued by the similarities between the Kabbalah and other mystical texts in both the West and the East. People involved in the New Age movement, as well as people interested in practicing magick, all look to the Kabbalistic texts for insight and guidance.
Kabbalists believe in one God, called Ein Sof (Heb. אין סוף), that was once pure immaterial mind. Over time, this God decided to concretize itself inside matter in order that it might better understand itself. Thus, we are all reflections and emanations of God. The sages tell us that we all have the potential to realize God’s unity within ourselves if we give ourselves over to the intensive internal spiritual practices outlined in the Kabbalah.
At the heart of most Kabbalistic teaching is the “Tree of Life” (Heb. עץ החיים). This important mystical symbol is used to teach students about the nature of the universe as the Kabbalists see it. The tree is broken into ten spheres, known as Sephirot (Heb. סְפִירוֹת), which are all interconnected. The top three spheres are called the Supernal Sephirot and are thought to exist in the ideal non-materialized world, while the bottom seven exist in the physical plane. The left pillar of the Tree of Life represents the feminine, and the right pillar represents the masculine. The middle pillar represents the union of father and mother.
There’s a great deal of profound wisdom people have been able to extract simply by studying the Tree of Life in great detail. One way people in the modern world can study the wisdom of the Kabbalah is to visit a local Kabbalah Centre. The Kabbalah Centre International was established in 1984 to bring the teachings of the Kabbalah to a larger audience. The teachers at the Kabbalah Centre assume no prior knowledge of the Jewish tradition or Kabbalistic texts from their students. All these teachers ask from their students is as willingness to learn.
Over the past few years, the Kabbalah Centre has gained worldwide notoriety. Many celebrities have frequented various Kabbalah Centre locations, including Madonna, Britney Spears, Ariana Grande, and Mick Jagger. There are currently Kabbalah Centres in the USA, Europe, Israel, and the Americas.