By Alienora Taylor – our thanks to her for this… You can find her excellent book, Long Leggety Beasties, here.
At the start of this remarkable book, and referring, in this instance, to symbols, the authors wrote, ‘…reaching into the viscera of humankind,’ a phrase which struck me forcibly – and which, to my mind, encapsulates beautifully what Vasey and Vincent have achieved in their writing.
Part intellectual journey, part esoteric exploration, at all times eminently readable, this short book takes us on a voyage of discovery through the deep seas of The Tree of Life, symbolism, Tarot, planets/metals, numerology, astrology, psychology, and alchemy.
Centring upon the Great Work – a concept which can be understood both exoterically and esoterically – the chapters examine, in commendable depth and detail, the manifold connections contained within these two triangles, six sides and Solar middle point.
Starting with an overview of the historical context, the authors trace the importance of the symbol to mankind, from its manifestation in early caveman art right through to the present day. This link to our common mythology, our global history, is both warming and, in a sense, poignant. The hexagram can be seen to represent something we forget at our peril: That we are all one, are all part of the totality of experience.
Moving on to the history of, and many associations with, the hexagram itself, Vasey and Vincent provide a detailed analysis which is absorbing, moving and, in every sense, enlightening. They also, in this section, refute the demonic rumours with which it is surrounded – and, in so doing, make us think about our own prejudices and preconceptions, not just about the hexagram, but about symbols generally.
Polarity and the reconciling of opposites, Fire and Water, Man and God, ‘As above, so below’: Without wishing to spoil the pleasure in store, let me just say that all of these form a vital part of the equation. And, the further on one reads, the clearer it becomes that the hexagram is a key to connection rather than division: That it has the potential to unlock our Higher Selves.
I was enormously impressed with the sections dealing with the deep, and enduring, connections between metals, Planets and the individual Sephirah of The Tree of Life.
That reach into the gut was given a startling kick on page 41, with, ‘…we were created to create…’
So true – and, sad to relate, so easily forgotten in the often destructive tide of life – the above phrase is a salutary reminder of something at the heart of all human lives.
The second part of the book consists of practical exercises in the form of a series of meditations. I shall certainly be setting aside time in which to do these. They would, I feel, fit in well with any of the mainstream esoteric courses – and, for those not esoterically trained, would be of enormous value in terms of personal growth and relaxation.
The final two chapters are, in my opinion, extremely helpful. The overview of the Tree of Life Sephiroth is invaluable revision for those of us already familiar with the basics, and a clear guide for those who have not yet experienced them.
The detailed Qabalistic Cross chapter provides a clear framework for all meditation work, regardless of one’s individual religious beliefs.
The book’s cover is wonderful: The black background reminds us of mystery, the absence of light, the nothing before the world, whilst the orange-gold colour of the Hexagram speaks of warmth, fire, Sun, Solar strength and courage. The sub-title is extremely effective: 7 is a resonant and symbolic number; stars are always something to reach for and aspire to, and the word ‘Power’ is inevitably a brilliant hook!
I have now read the book twice, and fully intend to dip in again at the earliest opportunity. The combination of the authors’ writing skills, S.C. Vincent’s artistic talent and their wonderful visionary abilities make this a fascinating and thought-provoking read.
Alienora Taylor. 16.2.13