At he heart of the Kabbalistic philosophy is the Tree of Life. It shows ten Sephirot or emanations, which represent the creation of the Universe. (Actually, there are 11 Sephirot – but we will address that in due time).
Sephirot is a plural noun of the singular Sephirah, which, translated from Hebrew means manifestation or emanation.
The Most important thing to understand is that these Sephirot are not located in place or time. These are States of consciousness – both collective and individual consciousness, following the mystic principle: As above, so below.
The Sephirot start their progress at the top and zig-zag their way to the bottom.
As stated above, Sephirot represent different states of manifestation. Each Sephirah is, in turn associated with a cosmic body, which it rules. Perhaps more importantly, we need to recognize that the whole tree is made up of pairs of opposite Sephiot. One active and dynamic (positive), the other receptive and formative (negative). Positive and Negative are not judgement calls, in this case, rather descriptions – sort of like electrical polarities. Each Sephirah on the tree has qualities ‘balanced’ by its opposite. In this tug-and pull method the pairs bring into being a third Sephirah – which is greater than the sum of the two. And so it goes.
Furthermore, each Sephirah has a specific characteristic which is either female or male. We need to ensure we don’t confuse these with the gender characteristics – these are mere descriptions of the qualities of manifestation that the human mind has the tendency to associate with gender.