The Tree of Life is formed from 32 paths: ten objective paths known as the
sefirot and 22 subjective paths that connect pairs of sefirot together. Each path has a number,
with paths 1-10 being the sefirot themselves and the remaining paths being numbered 11-32. The Tree of Life is shown above
with the subjective paths highlighted. Judaic Kabbalah often employs a Tree with a slight
variation in path placements, but esoteric tradition is fairly consistent in presenting the Tree as above.
There is a natural tendency to view the Tree as a series of discrete objects rather than as the unified, undifferentiated
whole it actually is, and the paths allow us to begin the process of reintegrating the Tree by exploring the relationships
between pairs of sefirot. A thorough understanding of two sefirot and the path between them creates a new unit of understanding
that can then be put together with other such units. A solid grasp of the sefirot is required before any path may be usefully
meditated upon and followed, and a path is realized through study, visualization, empathy and guided meditation. Thorough
knowledge of the sefirot linked by the path and the correspondences of the path itself are an important part of this process.
The 22 paths numbered 11-32 correspond to many things, the most notable of which are the 22 letters of the
Hebrew alphabet and the 22 cards in the Major Arcana of the
Tarot. The 10 paths numbered 1-10 (the sefirot) are embodied in the
Minor Arcana of the Tarot when the Tree is considered in the Four
Worlds. The Tarot and the Kabbalah discusses the relationship between the 78 cards of
the Tarot and the Tree of Life, and includes a diagram showing the attributions of the paths.
It is up to serious seekers to explore for themselves the values, characteristics, uses and implications of the paths. Important
attributions of all 32 paths are available here: click on the relevant sefirot in the Tree of Life above for details of paths
1-10, and follow any of the links below for information about individual paths from 11-32.
It should be noted when viewing the properties of the paths that a few occultists change some of the attributions. In particular,
Aleister Crowley transposes the Emperor and the Star, so that the Emperor
corresponds to tzaddi, and the Star to heh. This in keeping with the Thelemic teaching of Crowley's
Liber AL vel Legis (The Book of the Law), where it is written "All these old letters of
my Book are aright; but Tzaddi is not the Star" (chapter 1:57).