Our soul is the mediator between the divine and the human dimensions of our being. Learning to develop and deepen the dialogue with our soul and our connection with the sacred takes knowledge, skill, application and a love for the images that are released. In this way, we learn to live a meaningful and nourishing life.
Kabbalah: Connecting with the Sacred
The Jewish Kabbalah is a major field of mystical theory and practice. It has influenced the development of Western medicine, science, astrology, art, literature, philosophy and theology. The Kabbalah tree shares roots with Egyptian and other Near Eastern teachings and has branches that connect with Islamic and European philosophies. Along with Shamanism, Alchemy, Taoism and Tantra, this discipline is an essential area of study for all students of esoteric wisdom.
The Kabbalah workshop varies each year and examines different source material from the Bible, primary Kabbalistic texts and other writings.
The study component of this workshop focuses on two main areas:
1: Sacred Texts: Examining selected verses from the creation myth of ‘Genesis’ and explaining some of the hidden teachings and personal values concealed in these texts; revealing some of the mystical dimesions of the ‘letters of creation’ in the Aleph-Bet; and utilising the Kabbalah’s teaching of each person as a microcosm of the universe, to investigate some human experiences and challenges, as viewed from a mystical perspective.
2: Ritual Living: Understanding the structure, meaning and necessity of the yearly cycle of ritual ceremonies, and the New Year in particular, for the well-being of the soul. Referencing various New Year ceremonies, especially the ancient Sumerian ‘akitu’, we explore the processes and practices for the annual ‘end of creation and rebirth of the world’ ritual. This will equip you in a practical way for the high and low points of your soul’s annual cycle, and better inform you for all time-bound ceremonies.
The applied or practical side of this gathering will be daily meditation practice, based on the breath-movement-chanting techniques developed by Avram Abulafia, a 13th century mystic and ecstatic Kabbalist. We will explore the intention and practice of prayer, blessings, ritual cleansing in different situations, feasting, fasting and sacred study as some of the aspects of our daily practice as we learn to deepen our lives.
So we will live, for these few days of the workshop, in a dedicated temenos. This quiet retreat is an opportunity to renew and strengthen your connection with the sacred. During the workshop, we have a day fast that marks the start of a three week cycle of reflection and we break our fast together. We explore the relevance of such rituals, and dedicated times for joy, sombreness, forgiveness, abandonment, destruction and renewal as part of our general cycle of service. This particular ritual also allows for a better preparation for the High Holy Days that follow two months after the course. This workshop is now a mandatory part of the A3 study course and it is also open to those students who have done some previous work and who are willing to dedicate several days to sustained practice. You will be given texts to work from on your arrival. Other practical matter and personal preparations will be emailed to you prior to your arrival.