Tiphereth is the sixth sephiroth on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. The name Tiphereth is commonly said to mean “glory” or “splendour” and in Western Qabalism is known as the sphere of the sacrificed gods and the name is said to mean that of “Beauty.”
Qabalisticially, Tiphereth lays at the very heart in the centre of the Tree of Life. Much like the sun in the centre of our solar system is surrounded by, and connected to, sephiroth with key planetary attributions, Tiphereth is also associated with the Anahata, known as the heart chakra which also attributed to the sun. It may be no co-incidence that just below this bodily region lays the anatomical structure commonly called the solar plexus, which means literally, “the network of the sun.”
The Egyptian gods commonly associated with Tiphereth are:
1. The Egyptian God Ra. Ra being a solar god, he is often representative of the sun itself. Ra who “died” each night at sunset and journeyed under the world (or, “the underworld”) to be resurrected, or reborn, each morning.
2. The Egyptian God Osiris is also attributed to Tiphereth. Another solar godform, Osiris suffered an unfortunate fate at the hands of his brother Set and his 72 assassins (or by arch-baddie Typhon, depending on which mythology one follows). Ra was murdered and dismembered but luckily for him, he was subsequently mostly put back together by his wife and sister, Isis, who then and resurrected Osiris. I say mostly put back together for he was, rather awkwardly, missing his penis because that had been swallowed up by a large passing fish.
So these Egyptian gods are attributed for both their death and resurrective natures and also for their solar attributions.
Meanwhile, the Greek and Roman god Apollo is also assigned to Tiphereth for his healing abilities, his good looks and his solar nature. Remember, in Western Qabalah the meaning of Tiphereth is beauty.
Whilst he is not strictly a godform, the Buddha himself is attributed to Tiphereth for his beatific vision or the vision of beauty which is the magical power attributed to this sephira.
So to summarise, the key features of Tiphereth are: solar nature, beauty or beatific vision, healing, death and resurrection. There is no wonder then that the Christian cabalists quickly identified Christ as their god of Tiphereth. Christ’s ability to heal the sick, His beatific vision for humanity and ultimate sacrifice and subsequent resurrection.
Developing the Christian theme and inspired by the esoteric symbolism of the Rosicrucian’s, the masonic Rose Croix degree adopted the most perfect symbol of the mother pelican piercing her own breast in order to feed her young. Nested in front of a Calvary cross bearing a single red rose, this scene is enclosed within a compass and banner bearing the lettering, INRI.
For millennia within European alchemy, the rose was the ultimate symbol of perfection. And even today, perfected rose bushes can command enormous prices and the single red rose continues to be a symbol of true and perfect love.
Needless to say, Pelicans don’t really bleed to feed their young, but this used to be common mythology associated with the bird.
Anastasia Pineschi summarises the mythology thus:
“The standard pelican story begins with the mother pelican giving birth to a brood of young chicks. As the young grow, they become violent toward the parent that has selflessly cared for them, attempting to peck out her eyes and mutilate her. In anger she retaliates, striking her young dead, but after three days regrets her actions and pierces her own side with her beak. As she allows her blood to drip on the young, they revive and she dies, having made the ultimate sacrifice for her children.” (ref: https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/the-pelican-self-sacrificing-mother-bird-of-the-medieval-bestiary)
The banner reading INRI can carry several interpretations.
Most commonly, INRI is said to be an abbreviation of, “Iēsus Nazarēnus, Rēx Iūdaeōrum”, or Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews.
However, as more gnostic interpretation might have it, INRI can be interpreted as the Latin, “Igne Natura Renovatur Integra” meaning “by fire, nature renews itself.”
Or, we have the Hebrew, Iamin, Nour, Rouach, Iebeschal meaning “water, fire, wind, earth” I.e. the four elements as symbolised by the equal arm cross, or the upper aspect of the Calvary cross.
As previously mentioned, Tiphereth carries with it the magical power of the beatific vision and as the first step to acquiring this universal vision of Christ consciousness, one may wish to begin to imagine a little glow. It doesn’t have to be much of a glow, just the beginnings of one, in the heart or, or, in the solar plexus. When one begins to lighten up on the inside, this is the beginnings of a certain type of illumination. We become light-hearted. We become enlightened. We shine and glow from within.
Much like the sun at the centre of the solar system, we become the source of the light.
By Andrew T. Austin
acta deos numquam mortalia fallunt
(mortal actions never deceive the gods)