The Qabalah: Secret Tradition of the West Paperback – Dec 28 2004
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
From the Back Cover
Papus (Dr. Gerard Encausse 1865-1916) was one of the great occultists of France, and was instrumental in developing and popularizing Eliphas Levi's earlier suggestions of a link between the Hebrew alphabet and the twenty-two trumps of the tarot. The Qabalah, first published in 1892, is particularly valuable because, along with his original theoretical explorations of the Qabalah, it also contains his complete translation of the Sepher Yetzirah, Eliphas Levi's famous Ten Lessons on the Qabalah, Rabbi Drach's important and rare treatise, The Qabalah of the Hebrews, and an extensive Qabalistic bibliography. This book gives a concise and valuable introduction to the sacred science of the Hebrews, and thus to the esoteric teachings of Christianity.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Papus includes huge quotes from other occultists, most notably Eliphas Levi. Levi gives high praise to the Catholic religion and encourages initiates to continue practicing the religion they were born into. Of course, he also says that Osiris and Jesus represent the same thing.
The author's real name was Gérard Analect Vicent Encausse. Papus was a name taken from a book by Eliphas Levi.
Anyway, the book really is quite interesting if a bit difficult to wade through. It doesn't help that some of the diagrams are still in French.
The first part of the book consists mostly of letters from other authors which you can read later.
I think maybe pages 74-91 were put there to scare off the casual reader. This section is quoted from somebody called Sedir. (Sédir was a pseudonym for Yvon Le Loup - a member of Fabre des Essarts's Eglise Gnostique Universelle together with Papus as well as the Ordre Martiniste.) Sedir's writing is very difficult to understand. You could easily read that whole section and not have any idea what you read except to know that the worthy Qabalist is somebody advanced in years, with knowledge in all manner of subjects, and who posesses "absolute purity".
I would recommend skipping directly to page 92 (the beginning of part 2) where Papus begins his actual introduction to the topic.
Of course, the included translation of the Sepher Yetzirah is a big selling point, but I must confess I haven't gotten that far yet.
The large bibliography was another selling point, but it is of course outdated as this is such an old book. I had to laugh at his comment on Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled: "Confused compilation of French writers on the Qabalah. - No orderly method." I thought this was funny for two reasons. First of all, because Papus undoubtedly knew Blavatsky, and secondly because some are likely to think this accurately describes at least 1/3 of his book as well.
I'd give the book three stars for being hard to understand except that so many other books on the topic seem to be nothing but fluff. So, at least the book provides a lot to chew on and doesn't try to overly simply a complex subject.
However, if you're interested in Jewish Qabalah without the westernal occultism, you'd better look elsewhere.
What seems to be missing, in my opinion, is any sort of practical use for this information. He does a so-so job of summarizing the basic principles of the Qabalah (talking about the esoteric and exoteric aspects, discussing basic philosophical issues), but it seems to be a lot of gentleman lecturing without anything of true value to be gained.
If one wants to learn about the Kabbalah, it is difficult to go wrong with Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. The Kabbalah is, after all, so strongly located within the Jewish tradition that to extricate it seems to destroy much of the system. Rabbi Kaplan was an intellectual, a scholar, and an actual practicing Kabbalist.
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Christian Books & Bibles
- Books > Education & Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > Publishing & Books > Bibliographies & Indexes > History
- Books > Education & Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > Publishing & Books > Bibliographies & Indexes > Literature
- Books > Education & Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > Publishing & Books > Bibliographies & Indexes > Religion
- Books > Literature & Fiction
- Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Supernatural
- Books > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Sacred Writings > Kabbalah
- Books > Religion & Spirituality > New Age
- Books > Religion & Spirituality > Occult > Alchemy
- Books > Religion & Spirituality > Occult > Magic
- Books > Religion & Spirituality > Occult > Spiritualism
- Books > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Atheism