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Just finished this book at my cousin's house in Crisfield, relaxing on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for a week. As always, this is another very well written book by Ted Andrews. Ted is extremely knowledgeable about diverse modalities and he does not hesitate to provide step by step directions on the "how to". It seems like some authors write just enough to get you interested in their next book. Not Ted. The information he provides in his books is thorough, well written, easy to follow and easy to understand. This book is no exception. As a beginner into the Kabalah (which you will find spelled several ways), I found this book excellent. It provides a lot of detail.
I became interested in the Kabalah as a result of delving into various healing modalities, beginning with Reiki. I listened to a CD on the Kabalah by Rabbi David something, but it just gave some real basic overall theory, like "we are all one". It was true and good but not much info. I tried to pick up a class with the Rocky Mountain Mystery School but my schedule conflicted. Since I regard the books produced by Ted Andrews as always excellent, I thought I would give this a try, especially since I found myself beginning to use a few God names, by accident? Strange, huh? Especially since I do NOT have a Hebrew background. Now, after reading this book, I understand why I began using these God names.
If you have a sincere interest in moving forward in spiritual understanding, you will most likely be reading though most of this book over and over, because it provides information that you will probably reference over and over. I found myself developing my own chart for reference of the 10 God names corresponding to the Tree of Life explained in the book, the archangels who work with each sephiroth (level), the attributes of each God name (what qualities you work with for each), the color attributed to that level (black, white, etc.) and much other info. I assure you, I plan to work with this book. I probably will try again to pick up a class or 2 on the Kabalah. (I am also scheduled for a Silva class in August 07.)
To give you a better example of what's in the book: it teaches you how to understand the Tree of Life and how to work with each of 10 levels of the sephiroth. Let's pick one, and I think God will forgive me for saying his name in a review if it will convince those who need it to buy the book and progress spiritually. Jehovah Elohim is one of the 10 God names. Yes, you can just pray to God, but if you say Jehovah Elohim, it's more specific: kind of like calling me Kathy W. instead of saying "Hey, You". It's calling on a specific attribute of God. That level of consciousness is BINAH, which is "understanding" and the Archangel most closely associated with that level is TZAPHKIEL, and the lower order of angels is Aralim. You can seek assistance in "understanding" from these angelic beings. The related virtue is silence. The vice is avarice if the energy is out of balance. The "understanding" astrologically relates to Saturn-like influences. Saturn teaches us that through patience and time we can come to "understand" that which has been hidden from us. The linking musical note is "A". The related color is black and fragrances are myrrh and chamomile, and there is so much more information than I could ever put in this review.
Ted also explains about the principles of energy, thought and sound and how they are used. He explains several Kabalah exercises, and exactly how to do them. He also takes care to explain basically that you need to take care to work with the Kabalah with only pure intent and to progress slowly. That was the first and best advice I ever received when I began to work with spirituality and advanced energies. If you are not prepared to do that, forget this book and go read "Gone With the Wind" again cause you could be playing with fire--mainly because you could really get confused. It would be like enrolling in advanced Greek language studies before you had the introductory course, then getting real confused and frustrated. But, if you are ready to go forward with a pure heart, this book is a great one to have for your spiritual library.
The Kabalah is a book for a spiritual journey, part of YOUR spiritual journey. It's not a novel you just read once. You read it once, then begin to practice the concepts, meditate, and work with the levels of consciousness and energies. You seek to understand more, like a study course that never really ends.