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Geburah - Full Text

An introduction to the nature of Geburah

Geburah is the fifth sphere on the Tree of Life diagram. It is most commonly known as the sphere of severity, but it is also known as the sphere of justice, judgment, strength and will.

Situated directly below Binah on the pillar of severity, Geburah shows the contractive and negative energy of Yin drawn down into the Briatic world.  It is the sphere of war and destruction.

When regarding Geburah as the sphere of Will it is necessary to make the distinction between the positive and negative aspects of Will, which are in actual fact quite different things. The positive will is most exemplified in the sphere of Chokmah, and belongs in general to the Pillar of Mercy; positive will is the will for something, best expressed as an ideal, for example, the will to love, or the will for equality. This will is the psychic energy of the ideal, positive and creative. Negative will, exemplified by the sphere of Geburah, may be better thought of as a kind of determination; it is the will which stands against something, which holds true to an established course and resists temptation, which removes obstacles and overcomes adversity. As a faculty of the soul it is independent of any particular ideal towards which it is employed.

Tree of Life pendant
Five metal ring Ana becoach ring
Tree of Life pendant
Five metal ring
Ana becoach ring

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By the Artist - David Weitzman

Negative will is a manifestation of purity, and the palace of Briah associated with Geburah is Hekel Zakuth, The Palace of the Purified. In many systems, from Buddhism to Christianity to Islam, it is through the cultivation of purity, in meditation and prayer, extreme discipline, or through other methods, that the aspirant ascends to the spiritual understanding of Binah and the supernal spheres.

The severity and judgment of Geburah is the polar opposite to the mercy and compassion of Chesed. One should not make the mistake, however, of thinking that the energy of Geburah is somehow bad or undesirable. The energy of Geburah is negative, but this negative energy is just as essential to us as positive energy is. As the sphere of justice and judgment it is the action of this sphere which stands against injustice and evil, seeking to destroy it. Without judgment, justice is impossible. Without the strength to stand up against evil, goodness destroyed. Without the negative energy of Geburah all activity would become impossible, each thing being as good as each other – we would simply sit in a golden haze of indifference and wait for death. The transcendental morality of Geburah is energy, or action. Lethargy, indifference and moral weakness are the enemies of this sphere.

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