Da’ath

A commenter has asked me twice to weigh in on Da’ath and what one might expects if one were to, well, go there.

Golly.

For those of you who don’t play Q-ball, let me just explain.  There are ten Sephiroth, or emanations of deity.  They are numbered, conveniently, one to ten, and leaving aside the Hebrew for now they are:

1.  Crown

2.  Wisdom

3.  Understanding

4.  Mercy

5.  Severity

6.  Beauty

7.  Victory

8.  Glory

9.  Foundation

10.  Kingdom

But then there’s an eleventh, called Da’ath, or knowledge.  The thing is, da’ath isn’t listed in any of the traditional books on the Qabala, and the Sefer Yetzirah even goes out of its way to point out that there are ten sephiroth and not nine, ten and not eleven (which sounds like a Monty Python sketch but isn’t).

So what do we do with Da’ath?  Why do we need it at all?  I don’t.  But some people like to put it there because of geometry.

Okay, get yourself a compass, the kind with a pointy bit and a pencil.  Remember those from school?  When kids used to stab you with it?  Yeah, it has another use.  Draw a circle.  Now, on the edge of that circle, draw another circle.  Make a chain of four of those, and circle the intersections.  See a familiar pattern, you Qabalists you?  But wait, where’s Malkuth, and what’s that extra sphere there?

That extra sphere is Malkuth.  It’s also Da’ath.

To see why, it might help to understand the word Da’ath.  Da’ath means knowledge, as in “The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” that gets Adam and Eve evicted from their party pad.  It also is the root word for the verb “yada’” which means “to know” and, when used of a person, “to have sex with.”  Seeing some links, here?

So what’ll you see if you try to go to Da’ath?  Hard to say.  If you buy the Bible, you’ll see an angel with a firey sword which flasheth every way.  I’ve tried going there: I saw nothing.  Dust, mostly.  The rest of what I saw was clearly my own wishful thinking.

But if you want an angel and so forth, try Sandalphon.  After all, he’s the angel of Malkuth, and Da’ath really is just the place where Malkuth used to live.

3 Responses to “Da’ath”

  1. Most intriguing! You might want to specify the “top edge” of the circle. lol.

    I have to admit I never considered Da’ath as the shadow or placeholder of Malkuth. I like it.

    (My Qabalah is not what it should be. I need to resume study.)

  2. Was wondering if you knew more about the historical development of Qabala and when the tree structure first appeared.

    The drive for symmetrical completeness strikes me as a bit Pythogorean. The structure with Malkuth moved back looks like a Vesica Pisces with the 6-fold points marked out. 10 is better than 11 because it is one of the triangular numbers (specifically laid out as a Tetractys) and 11 is prime.

    When I look at some drawings of the tree it looks like it should be three dimensional (specifically hexagonal close packing of Sephiroth or with two cubes where you can’t see the last vertices behind Da’ath and Tiferet). And if you wanted to make a segmented display (like the old LED displays in digital watches) for Futhark it looks like the tree. What do you want from an engineer? ^_^

    Is there more to “to know” than intercourse?

    So is Da’ath missing because Adam and Eve ate it all up?

    • OK I know I am being a complete dork but I can see a Qabalistic bed time story with the line:

      This Sephiroth is too hard, and this sephiroth is too ineffable. But Da’ath is just right – nom nom nom. (yada yada yada?)

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