H a d you ever thought of the Tree of Life as
a sex symbol? Its originators did. To them, it was a mathematical
glyph of the supreme sex act between God and God which created
life in the first place. Not an act between a God and Goddess, but
between the masculine and feminine polarities of one and the same
being. They did not suppose that God did this exactly as man would
have to, but the fundamental principles would be the same if man
truly were “in the image and likeness” of his Creator. Humans,
however, were twofold, man and woman, each of a double nature.
So God was seen as an androgynous being, combining both sexes in
itself yet superior to either as a pure spirit of life in which all living
creatures existed.

So far as we know, the earliest human concepts of a God
were matriarchal. God was the Great Universal Mother bringing all
life out of her inexhaustible womb. As male supremacy began to
take over tribal management, the concept of Father-God gradually
grew in importance until it first overshadowed and then finally
supplanted original Mother worship in many cultures, particularly
in the Middle East and among Semites whose religious codes have
been inherited by official Christianity. How God could produce a
human son out of the Virgin Mary without some form of sexual
intercourse is a mystery the Church has never fully faced since it
first thought of the idea. Virgin birth, or parthenogenesis, is a
biological possibility and involves reproduction by the development
of a single cell (as an ovum or ovule) without fertilization by union
with the opposite sex. An instance is recorded of one male twin
developing inside the other, but this was plain mutation with no
miracles involved.

Exactly why the official Church should maintain such
silence on the subject of temple impregnation or artificial
insemination by selected God-fathers is a bigger mystery than the
act itself. Humans supplied the seed, but it was God himself who
decided on the individual one which fertilized the female, therefore
the child was truly God’s. Such was the honest belief. Though the
priests could not have know the biological factors involved, they
could work out simple arithmetic. If seed from ten chosen men were
injected into a willing female, then one of this lot must be the
physical father, but which? Only God knew. Hence the custom of
counting the bloodline through mothers, and the need for ten males
to “make a minyan” or minimum number for divine worship in the
temple. Some supposed that all ten were the father, and good
qualities from each entered the child at conception.
Orthodox Semitism could accept the idea of God creating a
human woman out of Adam by the curious method of cloning a rib,
but they only saw a kind of secondhand creation in this in which
woman was not made directly in God’s image but in Adam’s, by
reflection. So it was considered a blasphemy among them to impute
any feminine aspects to God, and in banning images from their
temples, the Semites included mental images in that injunction as
well. God must not be seen as a living form, yet might be spoken of
in the masculine sense, except in the odd instance of the word
Elohim, a feminine word with a masculine plural suffix which has
caused so much argument among scriptural scholars.

None of this pleased mystically-minded people who could
not agree that any supreme spirit of life must be purely masculine in nature.
Commonsense alone made this an anomaly. They were apt to view the
Father-God concept in a somewhat suspicious light asbeing a “policy decision”
which put males in secure seats of
government and control of tribal affairs, in other words as a male
organized “takeover” which had succeeded from political and allied
angles in their spheres of culture if nowhere else. So if this fait
accompli could not be out-fought, it could certainly be out-thought.
That is exactly what happened. Behind the external male-oriented
official religion presented to the people as the will of their
rulers attributed to a God image of a nationalistic and political kind,
there grew up another sort of faith devoted to a God which could be
found by the people for themselves and in themselves, neither a
masculine nor feminine deity but both in one capable of conceiving
itself in the hearts and souls of those offering themselves to its spirit.

It was a God which could be equally invoked from a masculine,
feminine, or neutral approach. Hence the three Pillars of the Tree,
and a virtual return to a pantheon wherein all gods and goddesses
were only regarded as different aspects of the nameless spirit behind all of them.
Now it had been given a name—love.
Everyone must surely be familiar with the saying “God is
Love.” The original word used for love in that instance was AHVH
(Ah-Vah), “a breathing after.” You “breathed after” someone you
loved in the sexual sense. It was meant to be a poetic and idealistic
description of the quickened breathing during sexual excitement
where you “met your mate” in the true sense of mating for life.
You encountered your “other Pillar,” and between you, raised the
third. When you wanted God with the same intensity as when you
needed a sex partner, then that God would be with you, because you
would have to find that God or perish in the attempt. This was the
significance of the text. God itself must be your sex partner found
through the mediatorship of another human. This was the way early
mystics understood it. Their love affair with God was sexual in
every implication except physical, and some would have included
that as well.

–Wg Gray

Qabalistic Concepts: Living the Tree
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