If you are reading this on-screen, then I highly recommend that you print these charts out as you will find them a handy reference and I will be referring to them frequently throughout the remainder of my commentary. Take a few minutes now to familiarize yourself with them.
You will notice, in the first chart, that at the far left I have listed Bardon's letters and assigned corresponding Hebrew Letters (consonants) and vowels to the most of them. I derived these correspondences based upon the relationship of the later correspondences (such as the "Anatomy" and the Water Pole's "Element/Feeling") to those found in the Sepher Yetzirah (Short Version, per the Ravaad).
The first two letters of the list deserve some explaining. In Hebrew the Letter Aleph, commonly given in English as 'A', is a consonant and is actually silent in the spoken language. Aleph is ALWAYS accompanied by a vowel point and this is what makes it pronounceable. Some have argued that it was originally a consonantal vowel, but in regards to the Hebrew of the kabbalah it is always silent and strictly consonantal.
Each consonant has what is called a "natural vowel". This natural vowel is found in the word for each consonant. Thus with "Aleph", the word, the natural vowel is Kametz ("ah" as in "father").
But you will note that the second letter is Umlaut Ä, to which I have assigned the correspondence of the Hebrew vowel point Kametz (the natural vowel of Aleph). Thus both Aleph ('A') and Umlaut Ä, have the same essential sound in this context. But -- and this pertains to what I said earlier about each letter sound having the possibility of encompassing many different meanings depending upon the correspondences attached to it -- only at the level of their sound and legality do these two letters match. Each of their further correspondences are different. For example, the color of 'A' is light blue, but the color of Umlaut Ä is light brown. This is what differentiates between them, not their basic sound.
To assist you in differentiating between the two in practice, I suggest that you give the 'A' of Aleph the long 'A' sound ("a" as in "same"), and the Umlaut Ä of Kametz, the short "ah" sound proper to it.
A similar distinction belongs to the difference between the 'O' and the Umlaut Ö. To the plain 'O', I have assigned the Hebrew Letter Ayin. This also is usually a silent consonant which usually requires a vowel point to be spoken. At first I was uncertain where to assign the Ayin in Bardon's lettering, but based upon the later correspondences, the 'O' proved to be the correct assignment.
Some of the remaining letter assignments may seem illogical (such as 'C' with Tzaddi or 'W' with Qooph) but each of these was rectified based upon the match between Bardon's later correspondences and those of the Sepher Yetzirah. I will explain each oddity when I come to it.
At this initial stage however, these considerations of which of Bardon's letters match with which of the Hebrew Letters has little relevance other than as a guide to pronunciation or sound. There are no know sources for the color and initial Elemental regions of the Fire pole, within the corpus of Jewish kabbalah. Not until we come to the anatomical correspondences is there substantiating evidence from the kabbalistic literature.
You will note that the Elemental regions of the Fire pole seem to conflict with those of the later Water pole. Do not worry, this is not an error. This is merely due to the difference in level to which these two poles correspond. With the exercises of the Fire pole, the task is to begin the process of integrating these universal qualities into your own microcosm, but when you come to the exercises with the Water pole you will have already made some progress in this task of integration and thus you will be integrating at a new level.
Now, to get down to business. ;-)
The first exercise involves learning how to bind the color oscillation to the letter sound at a purely mental level. Remember, you must work tripolarly, which means that even though this is a purely mental operation, you must perform it with your whole being. Your mental body pervades both your astral and physical bodies simultaneously.
In practice this translates into the fact that you are to fill first the room, then the universe, and then your own body, with the light blue color as you mentally speak the letter 'A'. This simple operation must be mastered both deductively and inductively, similar to the work with the Elements, the Lights, and the Fluids in IIH.
Please note that at this stage you are not to give the color a specific shape. Granted, it does have color and thus, to a certain degree, form, and you do fill the room, the universe and your body with it, thus giving it some degree of shape. But make no mistake, this is different from what comes next.
What comes next, once you have mastered the deductive and inductive method of the above, is that you must now give it a specific shape. The actual shape is up to you, but generally a simple, condensed sphere is the easiest to work with. This gives the color oscillation some degree of astral density. This is an exercise in condensation.
Once you have mastered the above, you can then move on to the next letter and master its color oscillation deductively and inductively, first without regard to shape and then with a specific shape.
In each section, Bardon seems to list the Umlaut vowels in different places, In some cases they follow their whole vowels and in others, he places them at the end of the alphabet. In my charts, I have put them in an order that integrates the Umlaut vowels into a more natural order. It is best, especially with the Fire pole, to follow the order given by Bardon. Thus the letter 'B' would come next in this exercise.
Practice exactly the same regimen with each of the letters in succession. Master each one completely before progressing to the next. This integrates the universal qualities at a specific level of your microcosm and forms the foundation for all further work.
The next series of exercises with the Fire pole consist of invoking the color oscillation into the respective Elemental region of your body. First, as you mentally speak the letter 'A', you must evoke the light blue color directly into your chest. The 'A' in your chest must be condensed until it is almost bursting with the light blue color. Once again, this must not disrupt your normal breath nor may it cause inordinate muscular tension. These things are to be avoided from the outset.
Next, you must work with the 'A' deductively. That is to say, you draw the light blue color from the universe, into your chest region. For example you inhale the 'A' into your chest from the universe by the breath and then through a species of pore breathing. Here, it is not just through the pores of the skin that you inhale the light blue color, but with the entire chest itself. This technique is the same as that learned in the early Steps of IIH.
The next exercise is a bit more complicated. Here you must learn to project the light blue color outward into the universe. At first you fill the universe with the light blue color directly by exhaling it from your chest. Then you must condense it into a specific shape as before, but the difference is that in this instance it comes from your chest and is then condensed externally.
Once you have mastered all of the above with the 'A', you can then move on to the next letter. Each successive letter must be mastered in the same manner as the 'A' by following the exact same regimen of exercises.
Here, Bardon lists the Umlaut Ä as the next in order and the 'B' comes third instead of second. Again, I urge you to follow the order given by Bardon and not that given in my chart. It may not matter much in the end result, but Bardon did this for a reason, so it is wise to follow his lead in any case.
Here Bardon reminds the student that there should be attention paid to the thorough elimination of the letter's color oscillation at the end of each exercise. This is exactly the same advice he gives in IIH during the exercises with the Vital Energy, the Elements and the Fluids, and is based upon the same reasoning. Never neglect this step.
When all of the letters have been mastered in this manner, you will have reached the first discernible level of your kabbalistic practice. This marks a significant integration of the universal qualities of the letters into your microcosm, at least as regards the Fire pole.
The next stage of practice involves the infusion of each organ or body part with the color oscillation of the letters. This still pertains to the Fire pole, but here you are using the letters to directly influence the various aspects of the occult anatomy. In other words, here you are using the letters kabbalistically for the first time.
This is an important step in fully integrating the fire pole of the universal qualities into your own microcosm. This is just as transformative as the similar exercises found in IIH.
The following exercises require two basic things. Number one is a familiarity with human anatomy. In other words, you have to know the precise position of your own organs within your body. Anyone who has done the work of IIH will be familiar with this already and if you have not done the work of IIH then you have, plainly put, no business doing THIS work.
The second requirement here is a facility with the transference of consciousness, for you must be able to transfer your consciousness into each and every organ or body part of your own body. Now, strictly speaking, this is not JUST a physical operation. Granted, you do transfer your consciousness into your physical organs, but it is not only your physical organs that you are impacting and transforming. You are simultaneously transforming the mental and astral components of these organs.
If you compare the first chart with the second chart, you will notice that the "Anatomy" listings of the first chart equate to the "S.Y. Nephesh" listings of the second chart. At first this may be hard to discern, but if you compare the Hebrew Letters associated with Bardon's letters in the first chart, to the Hebrew Letters listed in the second chart, you will clearly see the commonality.
Here is where the similarity between what Bardon presents and that presented in the S.Y., first becomes apparent and important. In kabbalah the "Nephesh" is an important distinction and it does not mean "physical body". The Nephesh, which translates roughly as "breath filled soul", equates more closely to the Hermetic's astral body. Although it also pertains to the mental body, it more clearly points to the connection between the astral anatomy and the subsequent physical anatomy. Thus the present exercise focuses upon the physical organs and not upon the astral organs, but by doing so, the astral and mental organs are simultaneously effected.
The exercise begins with the letter 'A' and its light blue color oscillation. First you must transfer your consciousness, this time into just your lungs instead of your entire chest region. Then you must inhale the light blue color of 'A' from within your lungs. Which is to say, that you are not outside your lungs, breathing the light blue color into them, but rather, you are within your lungs themselves, drawing the light blue color into them from the outside. At first, this is done with the breath and then it is done through the sort of pore breathing I mentioned previously; i.e., with the whole body of the lungs themselves.
At first this is a fairly passive accumulation but once this has been mastered, you must then work at condensing the light blue color until it reaches a very dynamic state.
You must always remember that it is from within the organ itself that you are to work. This is different from the preceding exercise with the Elemental regions since in that exercise there is no actual transference of consciousness. In most cases, the Elemental Region has no direct relationship with the organ of the occult anatomy.
Once you have thoroughly mastered this exercise with the letter 'A', then you may proceed to the remaining letters, one at a time, and in the order given.
Since Bardon's letters match in an often odd manner to the Hebrew Letters, I will speak of each odd one in the order given by Bardon.
A = This corresponds to the Hebrew Letter Aleph. In the S.Y. and elsewhere, Aleph is always associated with the Element Air and thus, with the chest. Bardon simply extends this analogy to the lungs.
Ä = Here I have given the association of the vowel point Kametz. There are no anatomical associations to the vowel points given in the S.Y..
C = Here I have given Tzaddi as the Hebrew Letter. Though they don't match in a strictly phonetic sense, at least in American English [however, the letter 'C' is used in the phonetic 'tz' sense in the word "czar"], they do match in so far as their anatomical and Elemental correspondences. The designation "stomach" in the S.Y. is problematic due to the fact that the Hebrew word actually refers to an organ found in a cow. But, this has been determined by past sages to refer to the human stomach nonetheless.
E = I have given this letter the association of the Hebrew vowel point Tzere. Again there are no anatomical associations given for the vowel points in the S.Y..
F = Here I have associated the Hebrew letter Vav. If you have practiced the pronunciation of the letters as I suggested, you will see how these two sounds, the 'f' and the 'v', are identical. The only distinction is that the 'f' is pronounced only by the breath, and the 'v' with vibration of the vocal cords.
H = The S.Y. gives "right hand" instead of "right arm". There is no essential difference and this is a pattern Bardon follows -- hand becomes arm for Bardon and foot becomes leg.
Ch = Cheth has a guttural sound and is not formed at the teeth like the 'ch' sound is in English. Again, Bardon gives left leg and the S.Y. gives left foot.
I = This is the Hebrew Letter Yod. Bardon sometimes uses 'J' when he means to indicate Yod (such as in the Tetragrammaton) and this causes some confusion.
J = This is not the Hebrew Letter Yod. In Hebrew there is no direct phonetic corollary to this sound except possibly in the soft form of the Letter Gimel. But generally, the soft forms of the double, planetary Letters are not given a separate set of correspondences.
In terms of its Water pole correspondence (Water / Cold) and of its Earth pole correspondence (the legality of #400), it relates to the Hebrew Tav. I will mention more in this regard further on.
However, Tav does not relate directly to what Bardon gives as the anatomical correspondence. In the S.Y., Tav is assigned the Mouth, but Bardon gives Diaphragm (for 'J'). Yet if you make an esoteric leap of irrational logic, then it is fairly easy to relate these two since the diaphragm controls the breath necessary for the vibration of the vocal cords during speech, hence mouth.
K = The 'k' sound has two corollaries in Hebrew: the Kaph and the Qooph. The Kaph is given here for two reasons, one of which I will speak of further on and the second of which pertains to the match in anatomical and Elemental correspondences.
L = In the S.Y., Lamed is associated with the Liver and not the Spleen. For some reason Bardon switches the associations between Lamed and Nun. Whatever his reasoning, it works!
M = In the S.Y., Mem is given the association "Womb". In essence this matches Bardon's "hollow of the abdomen".
O = I have associated the Hebrew Letter Ayin here for two reasons. Number one, the Ayin is frequently given the "oy" sound and this is reasonably close to the 'O' sound. Secondly, the correspondences for Ayin found in the S.Y. match those attributed by Bardon to the 'O'.
Here again there is some confusion in the S.Y. in that the text refers to an organ of a cow. But this is equivalent to the human Esophagus, and the Esophagus is, for all intents and purposes, equivalent to Bardon's Pharynx.
S = Once again, the S.Y. uses a word appropriate to the anatomy of a cow. Many different interpretations of this have arisen over time but the one that makes the greatest sense to me, and which has proven itself in practice, is the gall bladder, to which Bardon agrees.
Sh = In the S.Y., Shin is the "Mother Letter" of the pristine Element Fire. In all of the Hebrew images of the Tree of Life, Shin is always the uppermost of the three horizontal paths, and is consistently associated with the head in human anatomy. Here Bardon gives brain instead of merely head, and this is, in fact, closer to the true significance of Shin than head.
T = Based upon the anatomical and Elemental correspondences, this is definitely Teth and not Tav. In Bardon's system of letters there is no phonetic equivalent to the Hebrew Letter Tav.
U = There is no direct equivalent of this letter among the Hebrew vowel points, so I have not assigned one. Nevertheless, I believe, based upon practice, that this is the equivalent of the vowel point Chirik, at least so far as its correspondences are concerned. In the case of each vowel point equivalent, the Water pole Elemental association involves the Akasha, and this is no exception.
W = This is perhaps the oddest attribution and the most difficult to comprehend. Bardon comments that the 'Q' sound is an equivalent of the 'K' and so he does not list it as a usable letter. But, he does list the 'W' which has no Hebrew equivalent. The clue is found in his particular spelling of "Quabbalah". One cannot pronounce this without inserting the 'w' sound, yet this is clearly not how is spoken in the Hebrew language. Thus for Bardon, the 'Q' infers the 'W'. In practice, the 'K' or Kaph sound is the equivalent of the Qooph, but the correspondences are quite different. Bardon's attributions for the 'W' match those listed in the S.Y. for the Qooph.
The anatomical attribute of Intestines is again one of those words in the S.Y. that actually describes an organ found in a cow. Consensus seems to lean toward this signifying the intestines in human anatomy and since this matches what Bardon gives, and has proven itself in practice, I feel quite comfortable with this rather odd seeming assignment of Qooph to Bardon's 'W'.
Z = The Hebrew Letter Zayin clearly matches with Bardon's 'Z'. However, Bardon lists "Heart" as the anatomical corollary. This is an error. I presume it is one of those little errors that pop up in any first-draft of a manuscript. Or, it could be a problem in the publication. Either way, the correct correspondence is the "Right Leg". This attribute is missing otherwise in Bardon's list, whereas "Heart" is already given to the 'Y/Umlaut U'.
At the end of the exercises of this Step, you will have mastered the Fire pole of the quadrapolar concentration, in its solitary form. As I said before, this Step will completely transform you at every level of your being. But this is not the final transformation along the way to becoming a true kabbalist.
STEP II -- Quabbalistic Incantation:
This Step concerns the second, Air pole of the quadrapolar concentration. As the Element Air corresponds to the acoustic sense, these exercises pertain to the musical note or tone appropriate to each letter.
There are those who question Bardon's assignment of notes to the letters. It is, of course, best if you check with a being of the zone girdling the earth and verify the note given for yourself. All I can say is that in my own practice I find Bardon's assignations sufficient.
Bardon uses a scale composed of 10 notes, some of which belong to more than a single letter. This matches with the Jewish tradition, but unfortunately there no longer remains any written text that explicitly states which note goes with what letter. Many hints remain but these are in a very obscure symbolic language and so there is uncertainty.
In Hebrew kabbalistic practice, there are not only notes associated with each letter (by way of the vowel points) but also a specific movement that accompanies each vowel's pronunciation. This however is not a part of the kabbalistic practice suggested by Bardon, but it does make for an interesting adjunct if you eventually wish to explore this additional dimension of kabbalistic utterance.
As Bardon points out, the tonal quality does not, in practice, have to be exact. It helps if you have access to a tuning fork or similar musical aid, but it is not strictly a necessity. Just take your natural highest note and your lowest comfortable note, and divide between them accordingly until you end up with ten distinct notes. This will suffice. However, if your notes are exactly pure and accurate, all the better. If nothing else, this will increase your confidence.
With the Air pole, the physical pronunciation (whispering and vocal vibration) becomes important and you will need to integrate the three modes into your practice. Begin working only with the mental utterance, reproducing the specific note in your mind as in the IIH exercises with the auditory concentration.
Then proceed to master the same through the whispering (breath only) mode of utterance. With whispering it is difficult to produce a variation of tone since this is normally a function of the vibration of our vocal cords. Nonetheless, I urge you to experiment with the shaping of your mouth as you whisper the letters. As anyone who has studied the vocal art of singing can inform you, the shaping of the mouth is important in the reproduction of tone. So, your tones may ultimately display only subtle differences in the whispering mode, but it is well worth the effort to learn the difference. This will also help guide you to the correct vocal pronunciation of the letter sounds. At any rate, when whispering the tonal quality is expressed primarily at a mental level.
Once the whisper mode has been mastered, you should begin working with the vibration of your vocal cords. This requires the reproduction of the correct mental tone, the issuance of breath as in whispering and the appropriate vibration of the vocal cords. In other words this is a combination of modes. Simply speaking the letters aloud will not have the same effect as uttering them mentally and with the breath simultaneously. This tripolarity of action is what makes them kabbalistically effective upon the physical plane.
In short, the solitary mental utterance is directly effective upon the mental plane. The whispering mode which combines the mental utterance and the breath utterance, is directly effective upon the astral plane. And the vocal utterance, which combines the previous two modes with the vibration of the vocal cords, is directly effective upon the physical plane.
The exercises of Step II are meant to bond together the color oscillation of the Fire pole and that of the tonal oscillation of the Air pole. The procedure is similar to that of the Fire pole in that you must master each letter's color and tone, both deductively and inductively, in the whole body, the Elemental regions of the body, and in the specific organs of the body. You must be able to give it shape and density in the same manner as you did with the color oscillation alone.
Bardon instructs that you may either master each letter completely, in all these ways, in succession; or you may master each separate task with all of the letters in succession. In other words, you can either master the 'A' in the whole body, and then the 'B' in the whole body, etc., and the move on to mastering the 'A' in the Elemental region, and then 'B' in the Elemental Region, etc. Or, you can master 'A' in the whole body, then in the Elemental region, then in the organ, and then move on the 'B'. Either way suffices though I prefer to follow the same pattern as the Fire pole exercises.
When the tonal oscillation has been fully integrated with the color oscillation within your microcosm, you will have come one more step toward your goal of a true kabbalistic utterance. This act will once again completely transform your whole being. Although this time the transformation may not seem as dramatic as was the Fire pole transformation.
The integration of each of the four poles obliterates all of the dross from your being. It's as if you are within the Alchemist's crucible, being purged by the fire and transformed into the purest Gold.
STEP III -- Aqua Vitae Quabbalisticae:
This Step introduces the third pole of the quadrapolar concentration, namely that of Water and sensation or feeling. You will note that for the most part, the Elemental attributions of this pole do not match up with the Elemental regions of the Fire pole. There are very valid esoteric reasons for this, the primary of which is that these two poles represent very different aspects of the universe. Fire and Water are, after all, polar opposites. So please do not fret over this seeming inconsistency for it is no inconsistency at all.
The Elemental correspondences here are of an interesting derivation and they match exactly the S.Y. in all but one case (and there it is a tangential match). All three Hebrew Mother Letters, A-M-Sh (which correspond to the three pure, kabbalistic Elements), match exactly their S.Y. attributes. Five of the planetary Letters, B-D-K-P-R, match to the Elemental significance of their zodiacal signs of rulership. The Letter G (Gimel) which corresponds in the S.Y. to Jupiter (per Ravaad), is not associated with the sign of its rulership, but with the sign and Element of its exaltation. The Tav (Moon) has, as I mentioned previously, no phonetic corollary in Bardon's letter system. However, if one takes it as the symbolic equivalent of Bardon's 'J', then the Elemental correspondence matches the zodiacal rulership of the Moon. And Bardon's equivalents of the twelve zodiacal Hebrew Letters (H, V, Z, Ch, T, I, L, N, S, O, Tz, Q) match with their sign's Element.
The zodiacal and planetary correspondences for the Hebrew Letters are found in the second chart, under the heading "S.Y. Eternity". In the S.Y., the word for "eternity" is "Olam". This word is often translated as "Universe" but in my opinion this is an oversimplification of its essential meaning. Literally, it translates as "the whole span of time" or "eternity". This is laid in contrast with the word commonly translated as "year" which means literally, "the measured passage of time". The attributes designated by "eternity" concern the universal attributes symbolized by the seven philosophical planets, the Elements and the zodiacal signs. The attributes designated by "year", on the other hand, pertain to the universal qualities of the seven days of creation, the seasons, and the lunations or months. These are meant as levels of the same philosophical thing and do not pertain to their physical corollaries.
With the Water pole you will find that some of the letters pertain to more than a single Elemental feeling. The only consonant that has this double attribute is 'C' or Tzaddi (Fire and Air). Three of the vowels (Umlaut Ä, Umlaut Ö, and Y/Umlaut Ü) combine Akasha and Earth. The Akasha as a solitary factor pertains to the remaining two vowels ( 'E' and 'U').
The practice of the integration of the Water pole is similar to that of the Air pole except that this time there is the addition of the appropriate feeling. Thus with the letter 'A', you must utter it with the color oscillation of light blue, the tonal oscillation of G, and the feeling oscillation of ease, all at the same time. However there is a difference between the exercises of this Step and the last two in that you do not yet work with the Elemental regions nor the organs of the body. In other words, you will be working only with the body as a whole and with the external space and universe.
Here it is good to master each letter completely (i.e., deductively and inductively, in the whole body, the room and the universe) before moving on to the next letter. Likewise, it is wise to follow the sequence given by Bardon.
Once this pole has been mastered with all of the letters in the manner given above, you are then prepared for the next Step which also pertains to the Water pole. The next Step however, employs the letters tripolarly and in a kabbalistic manner, similar to how you used them monopolarly and bipolarly within your organs in order to transform your being. Only in the next Step you transform yourself by way of the Water pole's Elemental regions instead by way of the organs.
In the following I will be noting the rationale behind the Water pole's Elemental attributions. I will go through the consonants one by one. I will not address the vowels since there are no S.Y. corollaries given for these.
A = Aleph, the Mother Letter of Air.
B = Beth / Saturn, which rules Capricorn, an Earth sign.
C = Tzaddi / Aquarius, an Air sign.
D = Daleth / Mars, which rules Aries, a Fire sign.
F = Vav / Taurus, an Earth sign.
G = Gimel / Jupiter, which is exalted in Cancer, a Water sign.
H = Heh / Aries, a Fire sign.
Ch = Cheth / Cancer, a Water sign.
I = Yod / Virgo, an Earth sign.
J = No Hebrew phonetic corollary, but in practice this equates symbolically to the attribute of Tav. Therefore, J = Tav / Moon, which rules Cancer, a Water sign.
K = Kaph / Sun, which rules Leo, a Fire sign.
L = Lamed / Libra, an Air sign.
M = Mem, the Mother Letter of Water.
N = Nun / Scorpio, a Water sign.
O = Ayin / Capricorn, an Earth sign.
P = Peh / Venus, which rules Taurus, an Earth sign.
R = Resh / Mercury, which rules Virgo, an Earth sign. [According to Dieter Ruggeberg, the correspondence for 'R' is missing from the manuscript, but if one checks with the next Step you will find the proper attribution.]
S = Samekh / Sagittarius, a Fire sign.
Sh = Shin, the Mother Letter of Fire.
T = Teth / Leo, a Fire sign.
W = Qooph / Pisces, a Water sign.
Z = Zayin / Gemini, an Air sign.
STEP IV -- Quabbalisticae Elementorum:
With the last Step you learned the rudiments of the final pole of the three-sense concentration. These are the first three poles of the quadrapolar concentration, the fourth pole not being a type of sensory concentration, per se (the fourth, Earth pole is covered in the next Step).
Yet this Step is, in many ways, an extension of the last. It seeks to integrate the three-sense concentration into your microcosm and transform you yet again. That Bardon placed this Step separate from the last should give you some indication of its importance.
This is the transformational work of the Water pole. It transforms in a manner similar to the initial transformation of the Fire pole (i.e., by way of the Elemental regions), but here, the Elemental regions are of a different nature. If you have not gone through the transformation of the Fire and Air poles, then the transformation of the Water pole will not take.
The work of this Step is similar to the work with the Elements in the regions of the body as given in Step Four of IIH. Here, this Elemental balance is achieved kabbalistically instead of with the accumulation of the Elements directly. If the IIH balancing work has not been accomplished then this work here will not only be impossible, but actually quite dangerous to your well-being.
The work of this Step can be extended further than Bardon indicates. You can, once you have mastered the rudiments, treat it in a similar manner as the IIH exercise of Elemental balancing and fill each region with a letter and retain it until all four regions are similarly filled. This is even more balancing than the IIH exercise. You can even take it so far as to invoke all of the letters relevant to each region and retain them. This gives an entirely new dimension to the exercise, but should not be attempted until such time as this Step is completely mastered. Of course, at the end of each exercise the letters should be dismissed and one should never walk around with the letters filling the Elemental regions for prolonged periods of time.
In the IIH, Step Four exercise, the student begins with the Earth Element and works upwards through the regions, ending with Fire. In other words, the student begins with the solid foundation and layers ever more ephemeral substances upon this until the Fire itself dances at the top, firmly anchored by what lies below it.
The exercises here however, approach this from the opposite angle, by beginning with the Fire region and working downward. This effects a sort of descending condensation instead of an ascending liberation. Without having first achieved the transformation that the ascent brings, the descendant transformation is impossible, for it has nothing to descend into.
Kabbalistic creation is essentially a downward matter of the descent of force into form. The exercises of this particular Step are crucial to the learning of this sort of creative descent. They also establish a certain structure within your own microcosm that is essential to the ability to create in a kabbalistic manner.
Yet even with the completion of this Step you will not possess all of the abilities necessary to work with the first key, since this is only 3/4 of the quadrapolar concentration necessary for this work.
Unlike the Fire pole exercises with the Elemental regions, this exercise requires the transference of consciousness. In other words, here you must transfer your consciousness to the relevant region and perform your exercise from there. This is not an exercise where your consciousness fills your whole body and you condense the letter and direct it to flow into the relevant region.
Unlike the exercises with the bodily organs, you are not to go through the letters in an alphabetical order. The reason for going in alphabetic order instead of working through the organs in descending order, was to avoid inducing too great a congestion of the blood in the areas of your body. But that is not an issue with this Step's exercises. You are not to work with the three-sense concentration in your individual organs -- this is not safe.
The exercises of this Step begin in the Fire region -- the head. Each of the letters associated with the Fire region are to be mastered, one at a time, before moving on to the next, Air region, etc. In the four true Elemental regions, you must work both deductively and inductively, but in the Akasha region, you work in neither manner since the Akasha cannot be accumulated.
The order of work is not alphabetic even within the Elemental group of letters. Bardon gives a very specific order of the letters that must be followed exactly. Thus the order for the head region is: Sh, S, H, D, K, T.
Please note in Bardon's explanation of this region's letters that he makes reference to the difference in each letter's sound: 'S' and 'Sh' as "hissing sounds"; 'H' as "hot breath"; 'D' as "expansive"; and both 'K' and 'T' as "explosive". These instruction relate directly to the nature of how these letter sounds are formed mentally and in the mouth.
Each letter must be mastered in the mind, the breath, and the vocal vibration modes. Also each letter must be uttered with the three-sense concentration and in the manner of the tripolar action (mentally, astrally and physically, simultaneously). Thus the first letter of the Fire region, 'Sh" must be pronounced in its color oscillation (blazing red), its tonal oscillation (C), and its feeling oscillation (heat), simultaneously -- at first in the mind only, then whispering, and finally, aloud.
This is, as you can imagine, a difficult operation when you consider the fact that you're also tossing in the factor of a transference of consciousness.
To further complicate things, Bardon reminds the student that the tree-sense concentration must be maintained during the dismissal of the letter that has been invoked. I would add to that this concentration must be maintained throughout the entirety of the operation, as must the tripolar action. If, during the operation, you lose track of this double triplicity or of your transferal of consciousness, then you must at any cost reestablish it before you dismiss the letter. Otherwise, you will not completely dismiss the letter and will, in this way, cause yourself harm.
When all the letters of the Fire region have been mastered, then you may move on to the Air region or Chest. The order of letters in this region are: A, Z, L. Remember, you must master each individual letter completely, in all three modes, before progressing to the next.
When the Air region has been mastered, then you begin with the Water or Abdominal region. The order in this region is: M, N, W, J, Ch, G.
Next follows the Earth region from the coccyx down to the tips of the toes. The order here is: I, O, F, R, B, P.
Next follows a double region -- the Fire and the Air regions, conjoined. This means that you must transfer your consciousness into the region from the top of your head, down to the bottom of your chest. Thus the feeling is one of heat and ease joined together -- you do not work with one Elemental feeling and then the other. The letter for this double-region is 'C. This particular letter sound is an explosive (like the 'T') that hisses (like the 'Z').
The next region is that of the Akasha, specifically the plexus. This however is a bit of a misstatement since in reality what is meant is the "depth point" described in Step Five of IIH. While the plexus is the physical corollary of this depth point, it is the true depth point to which you must transfer you consciousness. If you merely transfer your consciousness into the region of your plexus, you will not be able to achieve the true manifestation of these important letters. Once you transfer your consciousness to your depth point, you fill your whole body with the relevant letter.
These specific letters are very important. Each of Bardon's letters that pertain to the Akasha are vowels and correspond to the Hebrew vowel points. Here, as with the Hebrew language itself, the vowels are what tie the consonants together and empower them for true kabbalistic speech. In other words, without the Akasha you attain nothing. This does not mean that with each kabbalistic utterance you must adjoin a vowel, for in many subtle, esoteric (i.e., unexplainable) ways the vowels are implied in the utterance of a letter. What I mean to say here is that without the true integration of these Akashic vowels into your own microcosm, true kabbalistic speech is impossible.
The letters of this (solitary) Akasha region are 'U' and 'E'. They both have Akashic colors. The 'U' is a shiny black that reflects a violet tinged light, while the 'E' is so dark a violet as to be almost black in appearance. The main difference is that the 'E' is an absorptive black and the 'U' is reflective. In this region they both exhibit a violet nature.
The final three letters are bipolar in that they pertain to both the Akasha and the Earth Element. Essentially, they are manifest qualities of the Akasha. The trick with these letters is to once again transfer your consciousness to your depth point, but this time you will fill only the Earth region with the letter. You will not be able to accumulate these either and you must work with them in the same manner as the solitary Akasha letters. The letters of this region are the three umlauts: Umlaut Ö, Umlaut Ü (Y), and Umlaut Ä.
Once you have completely mastered each of the 27 letters, you may then experiment with the Elemental balancing I suggested earlier. I recommend you employ the first letter of each region (Sh, A, M, I), then both of the solitary Akashic vowels (U & E), and finally, the dual Akasha/Earth Umlaut Ä. Once all seven letters are formed within you, retain them for a few seconds and then thoroughly dismiss them in their reverse order.
At the close of this Step Bardon states: "These exercises make man achieve the perfect consciousness of the micro- and macrocosm, which in the Orient is often called the 'nirvi-kalpa-samadhi'." This is very much the case but I must say that this alone does not empower one to use the first key in a truly kabbalistic manner. What lacks here is the fourth pole of the quadrapolar concentration so essential to kabbalistic utterance. This fourth, Earth pole is the subject of the next Step, at the end of which one will be completely fit for the practice of the first key.
STEP V -- The Ten Quabbalistic Keys:
Although Bardon does not explicitly state it anywhere in KTQ, this Step concerns the fourth, Earth pole of the quadrapolar concentration. The first three poles are easily related to the senses but the fourth pole is not. Yet this is a sense, just not a sense in normal terms. Or, more accurately phrased, this must become a sense.
The fourth pole concerns the perception of the universal legality as expressed by number. Each of the universal ideas upon which the creation is founded can be expressed by the numbers 1 through 10. Thus the attainment of this final pole of the quadrapolar concentration involves the integration of these numbered ideas into one's own microcosm to such as degree that one can immediately perceive the universal ideation underlying each idea, event and thing.
Bardon saves this fourth pole till Step Five of KTQ because it pertains to the Earth Element. In other words it is what ties the other poles together as is the nature of the Earth Element. Even so, the learning of the ten numbers should actually start years prior to picking up KTQ. The reason is that it literally takes years to effectively integrate the numbers into one's perspective to a sufficient degree for kabbalistic speech.
It is difficult to explain the manner in which the integration of these numbers is so important. I suppose the simplest way to put it is that the numbers give structure. From this structure, all else flows and multiplies itself unto infinity. No matter how complex a thing may be in its final, most dense manifestation, it can still be resolved back to its original idea or number. By doing this with a thing or an idea, you connect yourself with the universal structure and thereby gain access to a specific level of influence over the created thing.
Without this cognizance of the universal ideas represented by the numbers, there is no inner connection to the essential structure and thus no possibility of true kabbalistic speech. To utter a letter without cognizance of the ideation underlying it is not true kabbalistic utterance and will have little effect.
Kabbalistic numbers have absolutely no relationship to the currently popular fad of numerology. These numbers are not used for mantic purposes, instead they are like a filing cabinet where you categorize things by number. In other words, they are analytical tools for increasing one's understanding.
In the Hebrew kabbalah, the science of the relationships of numbers is called "gematria". It is not absolutely necessary that you learn this science (but it doesn't hurt) since this mostly concerns the analysis of Hebrew words. Much of what passes for gematria is actually just a mental exercise of a dubious nature.
What is important is that you inculcate these ten universal principles into your consciousness and build a clear structure with them. They must become not only conscious, but also subconscious aspects of your own mentation.
Bardon repeatedly states that it is not necessary to study the Jewish kabbalistic cosmology, but here I must respectfully disagree, especially since so much of Bardon's quabbalah is based upon the Sepher Yetzirah. I think this is an especially wise study when it comes to the ten numbers and the universal structure they imply. So I personally recommend to you that you study kabbalah, and furthermore, that you begin your study early on as it takes years to grasp even the rudiments at a level suitable for kabbalistic utterance.
Bardon offers a brief outline of the significance of each of the numbers from 1 through 10. This certainly does not suffice for practical application and will undoubtedly require further study on your part. One of the best tools for gaining an understanding of the numbers is a small ditty provided decades ago by Paul Foster Case in his book titled "The Tarot". This is a series of 11 brief statements pertaining to the numbers zero through ten, titled "The Pattern on the Trestleboard". [A trestleboard is a table upon which the mason would put the architectural plans for the structure being constructed.]
Here, Case lists eleven numbers instead of just ten. This is handy since the canticle for zero helps one to understand the significance of the multiples of ten. In other words, if you combine the meaning of 'zero' with the meaning of 'one' you receive the deeper significance of 'ten'. However, the ancient way of signifying numerical values in the Hebrew system does not include the use of the zero and thus the value 'zero' is not a part of kabbalistic speech -- zero is not considered to be one of the universal ideas pertinent to the manifest creation.
At any rate, here is the text of "The Pattern on the Trestleboard":
THIS IS TRUTH ABOUT THE SELF:
0. All the power that ever was or will be is here now.
1. I am a center of expression for the Primal Will-to-Good which eternally creates and sustains the universe.
2. Through me its unfailing Wisdom takes form in thought and word.
3. Filled with Understanding of its perfect law, I am guided, moment by moment, along the path of liberation.
4. From the exhaustless riches of its Limitless Substance, I draw all things needful, both spiritual and material.
5. I recognize the manifestation of the undeviating Justice in all the circumstances of my life.
6. In all things, great and small, I see the Beauty of the divine expression.
7. Living from that Will, supported by its unfailing Wisdom and Understanding, mine is the Victorious Life.
8. I look forward with confidence to the perfect realization of the Eternal Splendor of the Limitless Light.
9. In thought and word and deed, I rest my life, from day to day, upon the sure Foundation of Eternal Being.
10. The Kingdom of Spirit is embodied in my flesh.
I would recommend that you commit these eleven statements to memory. Take them one at a time and over a span of several days build each one into your memory. Once this is achieved and you can recite the eleven statements by heart, then begin meditating upon each one. When you are faced with a certain task or problem, go through these eleven statements and contemplate their significance in regard to your concern. This will not only inculcate them more deeply into your mind, it will also provide you with significant insights into your concern.
The numbers relate to the Sephirot of the kabbalah thus:
0 = Ain Soph Aur = "Limitless Light"
1 = Kether = "Crown"
2 = Chokmah = "Wisdom"
3 = Binah = "Understanding"
4 = Gedulah = "Mercy" or "Loving Kindness"
5 = Gebruah = "Severity" or "Justice"
6 = Tiphareth = "Beauty"
7 = Netzach = "Victory"
8 = Hod = "Splendor"
9 = Yesod = "Foundation"
10 = Malkuth = "Kingdom" (or, just as easily, "Queendom")