a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Kabbalah History

To: (nagasiva)
From: (hara)
Subject: Kabbalah History
Date: Fri, 9 May 1997 14:48:37 -0700 (PDT)

49970509 AA1  Hail Shaitan!  

I thought you might find this interesting, especially the bit quoting
sources on Kabballah's history.  it does appear that there are at least
some Jews who disclaim Kabbalah's association as 'the mysticism of
Judaism', they claiming to have something more central and/or older.


>From: Jason!!! 
>Newsgroups: alt.satanism,alt.religion.wicca,alt.pagan,talk.religion.misc
>Subject: Jantsang, Willson, and Kabbalah

[most omitted]

On Wed, 7 May 1997, Adam D. Willson wrote:
> On Wed, 7 May 1997, Jason!!! wrote:

> > > True, they can be wrong. Where do you think the Jews got the kaballa from?
> > > I am telling you they didn't just fabricate it out of thin air & you'll
> > > find proof of this in other cultures. The Abrahamic Jews "borrowed" the
> > > kaballa from pre-Jewish cultures & used it to interpret their own beliefs.
> > 
> > They got the Kaballah from themselves, Adam, whatever nonsense occultnik
> > crap you may have read.
> Not true. This is _explicitly_ contradicted by Myer (himself a Jew).

And this Myer fellow is precisely who I had in mind when referring to
"occultnik crap." That he was a Jew makes no difference whatsoever.


> > > The Kaballa was around in _oral_ form primarily.
> > 
> > It was not yet in _any_ form, particularly. Before you start babbling
> > about the origins of the Kaballah, perhaps you should check other sources
> > besides this Myer.
> Most other sources agree with this, oral traditions are fairly common.
> Plato was around in oral form before he got written down.

Most other sources agree with this, eh?

From _Dictionary of Jewish Lore & Legend_, edited by Alan Unterman (a

KABBALAH (Hebrew for 'received tradition') General term for the mystical
tradition but, more exactly, those esoteric teachings which first began to
emerge in Southern France and Spain in the 13th century. Kabbalist claim
that their tradition came from Moses at Sinai together with the torah.
Kabbalah may be seen, however, as a development of the earlier mysticism
of the Maaseh Bereshit and the Maaseh Merkovah, based on the teachings of
the Sefer Ha-Bahir."

And from the _Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion_, edited by
Werbowsky and Wagoder, also Jewish:

KABBALAH (from the root qbl [receive]), tradition as defined from the
point of view of the recipient. From the point of view of those passing it
on, it would be masorah, the exact equivalent of the English 'tradition.'
The term originally referred to tradition in general, but especially to
halkhic rules for which there was no explicit scriptural warrant and which
were therefore said to be a "kabbalah" from Moses on Mt Sinai. The new
type of exoteric theosophical teaching that appeared in the twelfth and
thirteenth centuries in Provence and northern Spain was at first simply
called secret or hidden teaching, but before long it came to be designated
as Kabbalah. Its terminology, symbolism, and conceptual structure are
better described as a form of esotericism rather than mysticism, though
elements of the latter are also present and sometimes even prominent. The
first literary expression of this new teaching, the Zohar, soon
established itself as the authoritative and canonical kabbalistic text.
The Kabbalah became the dominant form of Jewish mystical theology and was
subsequently, and erroneously, identified with Jewish mysticism as such.
At first cultivated in closed esoteric circles, it later spread more
widely and, especially after the sixteenth century, gradually came to
dominate popular belief and religious practice. This development was
abbetted by the increasingly messianic character of the later Kabbalah.

......The origins of this system and the historical and geographical
reasons for its emergence in twelfth-century Provence are still obscure.
Certain similarities with gnostic doctrines of late antiquity are
suggestive, but there is no evidence of their secret, "underground,"
transmission, and no convincing explanation for their surfacing at that
time and place. None of the explanations offered (e.g., as a reaction to
the excessive philosophical rationalism of the period) adequately accounts
for the phenomenon. 


> > > But now you are confusing ideas here. God=Elohim, "lower
> > > worlds"=sephiroth, not necessarily anything good or bad about them just
> > > emanations on the Tree of Life.
> > 
> > There is an alternate term for the anti-Sepiroth, the demonic realms of
> > impurity which were seen as twisted mirrors of the higher realms. I forget
> > what it was, but I'll look it up when I get the chance.
> Please do, I've never heard of it.

Sitra Ahra is the general term, and first appears in the Zohar, as evil
counterparts to the ten Sefirot....


> > question is a rather blatant bastardization of the story of Satan's
> > rebellion and fall into the "lower world" - which "lower world" being
> > irrelevant, in this instance - he was *cast*, according to YOUR QUOTE from
> > the Zohar above, he didn't descend willingly.
> I am not sure what the point of that is. So what?

The point, moron, is that the Zohar quite explicitly treats Satan in the
same sense that traditional Christianity has, as a rebel against God, and
evil, and that the Zohar, and kabbalist tradition in general, could hardly
be considered "Satanic."


more from Jason (another post):
the Kabbalist literature
conveys essentially the same moral code as traditional Judaism and
Christianity, and essentially the same view of Satan and evil which is
found in Christianity and apocolyptic Judaism. YOU have been claiming that
the Kabbalah is a "Satanic" or "dark" tradition, despite the fact that a
good part of the Zohar, and of Kabbalist literature in general, is devoted
to detailing the evil of Satan/Sammael/Leviathan and his demon servants,
THE KLIPPOTH, from "Hell," or in this case, SITRA AHRA, the "reverse"
"left-hand" Sefirot.

SITRA AHRA (the other [ie left,] side), kabbalistic term used to in the
Zohar and subsequent literature to designate the realms of the powers of
evil. The author of the Zohar coined the term following the structure of
the divine worlds, described in Ma'amar 'al ha-Atisilut ha-Sema'lit
(Treatise on the Emanations of the Left) by R. Yitshaq ben Ya'akov of
Castile in the second half of the thirteenth century. Rabbi Yitshaq was
the first kabbalist to suggest that the powers of evil existed as a
countersystem to the divine emanations (sefirot); Samael and Lilith
represented its male and female elements, respectively. In the Zohar, this
notion was developed into a full-blown demonic mythology in which the
sitra ahra attempts, sometimes succesfully, to captivate the Shekhinah
(tenth and last sefirah) and seperate her from her husband, the sitra
di-qudusha (the side of holiness, ie the right side). Later sitra ahra was
used to indicate any satanic or evil entity. In the Zohar it is the tree
of death, because in its form of the primeval serpent in the garden of
Eden, it succeeded in turning the tree of knowledge into a tree of death."

        - The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races