The biblical story of Jacob is an allegory of human evolution on our planet. And his experience at Peniel (Face of God) is linked symbolically with the transformation of the basic octahedron into the Holy Temple octahedron. All human beings eventually undergo this high initiation, called the ShM Initiation (or ‘Name’ Initiation).
Jacob’s name-change to Israel (YShRAL) symbolises the elevation of human consciousness from the sefirah Tifaret (Jacob) to the sphere of Da’at (Israel). At that time Da’at becomes integrated into human consciousness and the ‘covenant of the Unique One’ (BRYTh YChYD) is activated.
During the evolution of the octahedron the ShM Pillar becomes established as its central axis. This occurs as Jacob’s guardian angel (Tifaret, Kaf) releases his hold on the Shin and Maym pathways and allows them to fully merge together. Jacob as Israel (Da’at) then assumes control of the ShM Pillar.
The ShM Pillar empowers Israel to become consciously involved in the divine Work of Yetzirah (Formation). In other words, after reconciling the paths of Shin and Maym within his own microcosmic self, Jacob as Israel is able to consciously assist the Creator in the macrocosmic merging of Binah (Shin, divine fire) with Hockmah (Maym, divine Water). In doing so, Israel takes his first step on the new path of cosmic evolution.
Patrick Mulcahy, Sefer Yetzirah Magic
‘In the sun occurs a fission,
As Apollo’s heart is splintered,
So his endless shards of vision
Fall on Earth with light’s precision.
Raise the sparks, the golden letters
Formed into a code. The hidden
Aleph first, then Bet unfettered,
Shin, the flame and silent Ayin.
Yod He Vau He – now is coming –
Tet, Resh, Gimel, mem, Nun, Tsadeh,
Lamed, Samech, Khaf, Chet, Zayin
Feh, Peh, Dalet, Tav of Heaven.
Three within – the crown, creator –
Twelve then fixed upon the Seven.
Twenty-two from mother, nature;
Ten in mind divines eleven.
At a certain point in time – quite a long while later, it seemed – the size and volatile nature of the fire subsided until it was about the same height as me. It turned into a crown-shaped, three-tongued flame that I saw as Shin. I sat inside it, relaxing a little.
It was an interesting exercise and I spent a long time practicingsitting within the circling flames and watching the fiery heads of the tongues flickering. The tongues kept making a circle and I tried to ‘straighten them out’ into the usual Shin shape.
Eventually the fire/snow and then fire operation came to an end and I saw that dawn was breaking. It had come upon me unawares. The tribesmen indicated for me to follow them and began moving away from the fire.
There seemed to be quite a lot of men around by then and I noted that I’d been right in my assessment of their clothing: leather trousers and boots, woven woolen jerkins and hats, belts, practical but colourful clothes. The mood was still rather serious.
I was told to fall in line as we approached a triangular mountain, at the base of which I saw there was an entrance. More than just an opening or crevice, this resembled a large door. It was quite astonishing to see and I faltered for a moment. Did I really want to go in (I’d decided against going into mountains or caves prior to this experience) and would I get out again if I did?
I was told by my guide – a serious man of few words – to not be afraid.