Three Paths of the Western Mystery Tradition
plotted to the Tree of Life
I. RESEARCH ("Hermetic Ray")
- left pillar of form, "Boaz"
- archetypal symbolic associations ramifying through:
- Binah- Information: study, taking on of information.
- Gevurah- Assimilation: digesting new information, integration, upgrading beliefs and symbol systems.
- Hod- Application: applying upgraded belief sand symbol systems to the cosmic worlds- spiritual, celestial, elemental, chthonic.
II. MEDITATION ("Devotional Ray")
- middle pillar of mildness;
- consciousness "rising/falling" through:
Keter- Intuition: timeless illuminations of consciousness which transcends thought, feeling and sensation.
Tifaret- Inspiration: packets of higher consciousness which can be unpacked as words, dialog with spirits, music, arts, or right action.
Yesod- Imagination: freely flowing picture-consciousness, having a mobile, vivid and meaningful symbolism.
III. CEREMONIAL ("Pagan Ray")
- right pillar of force, "Yachin";
- vital life-forces waxing and waning while flowing through:
Chokmah- Idea: archetypal thoughts of the divine mind, such as deities and archangelic beings, which are pointed towards cosmic creativity.
Chesed- Virtue: motivating moral qualities which arouse and direct righteous movement in thought, feeling and behavior in human beings.
Netzach- Power: elemental vitality and magical powers which humans may participate in by thinking into archetypal thought and/or feeling into moral qualities.
Dion Fortune was the creator of this model of Three Rays. Her model included a specifically Arthurian mythos as a vehicle of the Pagan, "Green" Ray; a mystical Christian mythos for the Devotional Ray; and a Kabbalistic-Hermetic-Astrological symbol set as vehicle of the so-called Hermetic or "Blue" Ray. Later writers expanded upon the Arthurian mythos to highlight the Celtic pre-Christian elements of the Grail story including the faery mythologies of England, Scotland and Ireland. Other writers appear to plant the Green Ray in various mythic pantheons related to underworld or chthonic imagery. My adaptation tries to focus away from specific mythologies and cultures, to a psychospiritual view of the functions of the Rays.