THE SUPERNAL TRIAD
by Theresa Ibis
The supernal triad is very much like the Celtic trinity knot; there are three aspects, yet they are all interwoven such that the three are one and the energy flow between them is unbroken. While there are three aspects, they occur simultaneously with Kether being the initial spark, Chokmah being the flame that extends out, and Binah like the holder that contains the flame, allowing its light to emanate out but not its destructiveness.
Binah is the womb from which all souls are born, Chokmah the energy that the soul is made of, and Kether the idea of the soul within the Monad itself. In fact at the level of the Supernal Triad, Kether is the self-realization of the Supreme Being that emanates from En Sof, Chokmah is its Living Spirit and Creational Force, and Binah is its Supernal Soul Body through which the Spirit may interact with the lower realms of creation. The soul has always been associated with a feminine energy by Kabbalists as well as many other traditions. Similarly Binah is the Supreme Feminine Archetype, while the Spirit, Chokmah, is the Supreme Masculine Archetype and Kether, the Supreme Union Archetype. Chokmah and Binah are El and Eloha, the creator God and Goddess of this system, together in Divine Union and balance they are Elohim. Kether, however, is neither masculine nor feminine, it just is. The god name associated with Kether is EHEI (Eheyeh), which means “I Am” or “To Be”.
The supernals are the “3 mothers” associated with the Hebrew Letters Shin (spirit/fire), Aleph (air), and Mem (water), which are also the 3 mother rays of Amon Ra: numbers, letters, and sounds that are used to write the name of God, from which all creation comes. The third ray, Binah (Mem), being the one from which all other rays and creational energies are birthed or emanated out from. We see this in the Kabbalah by the path that the lightning bolt or ‘flaming sword’ takes as it carries the creational energies down from source to Malkuth. Binah is the last of the supernals that it enters before coming into the lower realms. Thus, Binah is the closest of the supernals to the world of form, hence it is the original archetypal form, whereas Chokmah is the original archetypal force. These roles of form and force can also be explained through the beginning stages of creation.
Before the beginning of creation there was only En Sof. En Sof was everything, yet no-thing, everywhere and nowhere, all potential but nothing manifest… At this stage En Sof does not even know it exists and has no concept of creation. And then a contraction occurs. En Sof contracted within its own being and from this withdrew from an infinitesimal point. This point became the center and it was a void. But even in its state of void, it still contained the memory of the essence of En Sof that previously was there. This center point of all existence is called the Shekinah by some Kabbalists – the feminine aspect of En Sof. In the very instant that En Sof contracted and this void was formed, so too did the infinite capacity of En Sof move to fill the void, for there can be no place that is not one with En Sof. As the energy of En Sof moved into this infinitesimal point it became a concentrated and intensified spark of light. This spark of light is Kether (the Center Point of the Universe). In the same instant, the intensity filling this point became so great that there was an outward explosion of light and energy moving in all directions. This dynamic expansion is Chokmah (the Big Bang and the photons/energy of light). But the influence of the feminine aspect to define the space and allow for creation was still present as a reflection of the Shekinah, and this influence served as a vessel for the energy to pour into and then subsequently be channeled through towards manifestation. This vessel or womb that channels and directs the light is Binah (Primordial Matter, which leads to Gravity, which is an attractive force that draws things into form). Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2 can be related to the supernal triad, where E is Energy, whose essence is derived from Kether; c is the speed at which light travels outward from its source, which is Chokmah; and m is the mass of matter, which can be likened to Binah. The union of matter and the speed of light (mc2), Binah and Chokmah, releases an extraordinary amount of energy (sourced from Kether) that can be used for creation below the Abyss.
Thus the light flows on across the Abyss, through Daath, and on to Chesed then down the rest of the Tree until it finally reaches Malkuth. But it is Chokmah that generates the life force energy that enlivens the process of creation, while Binah is the womb that holds the egg that, once impregnated by Chokmah’s life-giving seed, becomes the vessel that gives birth to the other 7 sephiroth.
Geometrically, these initial stages of creation are represented by nothing (En Sof), the empty/black point (Shekinah), the full/white point (Kether), the line (Chokmah), and the triangle (Binah). Thus Binah is also the foundation of the entire Supernal Triad, whereas Kether is its root/source, and Chokmah its life force, and En Sof is the unseen/unknowable essence that flows through all of it. The triangle is the first form created and thus it is the primary key to the powers of heaven (the square and circle being the other two keys).
The supernals are in a realm that is beyond the human mind, thus any discussion of them can only be limited to metaphors and symbolic language. And because they are all just three aspects of a unity, it is difficult to say anything about any one of them alone. To say anything at all is to define, separate, and limit, thus not a true representation of the supernals. And yet, often in books these are the three parts of the Tree that are given the most attention – perhaps because they are the furthest from what we are acquainted with and hence the most mysterious and alluring. But truly, the only way to come to know and understand the supernal realm is through direct experience, which is the purpose of the ascension up the Tree of Life, which culminates in the crossing of the Abyss. This ascension brings one the vision of seeing God “face-to-face” – the inner and outer God. This experience may only be a momentary glimpse, but even that is enough to change your life, and it will give you the experience through which wisdom and divine light may illuminate your entire being.