“The soul is the mediator between the divine and the human dimensions of our being. Learning to develop and deepen our dialogue with our soul and our connection with the sacred takes knowledge, skill, application and love for the images that are released. In this way, we learn to live a life rich with meaning and purpose.”
Kabbalah: Connecting with the Sacred
The Jewish Kabbalah is a major field of mystical theory and practice and an important influence on Western Astrology, Alchemy, philosophy, art, literature and architecture. The Kabbalah has roots and connections with Egyptian and ancient Middle Eastern esoteric teachings. Along with Shamanism, Taoism and Tantra, this discipline is an essential area of study for all students of wisdom.
The study component of this workshop focuses on two main areas:
1: Examining selected passages from the first few chapters of ‘Genesis’ and revealing some of the esoteric teachings, interpretations and personal values concealed in this important creation myth. We will explain the basics of the formal Kabbalah’s ‘map’ of the 10 ‘sefirot’, the energy centres that Kabbalah proposes are the blue print for the universe as a whole and apply to man as the microcosm of this structure.
2: Understanding the necessity of ritual ceremonies generally, and the New Year ceremony in particular, for the well-being of the soul. Referencing different New Year ceremonies from diverse cultures and especially the ancient Sumerian ‘akitu’ ceremony, we explore the processes and practices for the annual ‘end of creation and rebirth of the world’. This will equip you in a practical way for your own work in this high point of your soul’s annual cycle. In addition, we will look at several of the other important annual ceremonies and ritual times that all commentators from antiquity to modern times consider necessary for the well-being of the soul.
The applied or practical side of this gathering will be daily meditation practice, based on the breath-movement-chanting processes developed by Avram Abulafia, a 13th century mystic and prominent ecstatic Kabbalist. We will explore the intention and practice of prayer, ritual cleansing in different situations, 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 in a very powerful way. This is also an excellent preparation for the High Holy Days cycle that follows soon after the course. This workshop is only open to those students who have done some previous work and who are willing to dedicate several days to sustained sacred practice. You will be given texts to work from on your arrival and other personal preparations will be emailed to you prior to your arrival.
5 days. Residential. Homework. Preparation.