The Expanded Middle Pillar
by Simon Jester
Here is a more advanced meditation/exercise for students already familiar with the well-known Middle Pillar exercise. For those of you who need to learn the Middle Pillar exercise, watch the video I provide in the "Videos" section of this website. It will provide easy-to-follow instructions concerning how to perform this essential meditation. If you are already practicing the Middle Pillar exercise, and have gained proficiency at it, then the following will enable you to expand this practice and greatly intensify the energy gained from it. Merely refer to the diagram below and follow the instructions.
This is an exercise designed to blend the Qabalistic Sephiroth visualized during the regular Middle Pillar Exercise with the Eastern chakra points. Begin by doing the Qabalistic Cross and the regular Middle Pillar exercise. Visualize the Sephiroth of the Middle Pillar from Kether down to Malkuth, vibrating the Names of each sphere as you form them, and then circulate the light as usual. When the final circulation of light is completed, however, you will not end the meditation. You will continue by focusing once more on the Malkuth sphere and work back up the Middle Pillar, only this time you will visualize both the Sephiroth and the chakras in the following manner:
1. Malkuth—visualize this as a dark green light around your feet. (You may also visualize this as a sphere divided into the four quarters, which are colored olive, citron, russet, and black) Vibrate the Name “Adonai h'Aretz” three or more times while focusing on this sphere. Try to imagine a sensation of warmth and a gentle tingling feeling in the Malkuth sphere as you vibrate the Name.
2. Visualize a line of bright light moving up from the Malkuth sphere to the base of your spine. This is the traditional location of the base chakra (or Kundalini chakra) in Eastern Yoga, and it may be visualized as the lower back portion of the sphere of Yesod. Visualize this area glowing brightly with a pale purple light and imagine that you can feel a gentle tingle in the base of your spine. Vibrate the Name “Shaddai El Chai” three or more times.
3. Visualize a line of bright light moving up from the base chakra in the Yesod sphere to the area behind your navel. On the Tree of Life, this area corresponds to the intersection of the Paths of Peh and Samech and is the first of several highly important intersecting Path points encountered by initiates as they climb the Tree. (This is also the location where you symbolically place yourself when performing the Pentagram rituals.) Visualize a reddish sphere of light glowing at this place within yourself and vibrate the words “Peh-Samech” three or more times. In your mind, also visualize the Tower & Temperance Tarot cards which are assigned to these Paths and imagine a sensation of warmth (which is often reported as being like a feeling of hunger) radiating from this point.
4.Visualize a line of bright light moving upward from the sphere of red light behind your navel into the Tiphereth sphere in the center of your chest. The Tiphereth sphere now encompasses two chakra points: the solar plexus (or Manipura chakra ) and the heart (or Anahata chakra.) As in the regular Middle Pillar, visualize Tiphereth as a bright golden-yellow sphere that is very sun-like in appearance and somewhat larger than it is typically visualized. Imagine the solar plexus and heart chakra points as slightly brighter spheres of light within the yellow Tiphereth sphere. Three Names must be vibrated at this area. When you visualize the solar plexus sphere, vibrate “Adonai Yeshua.” As you visualize the encompassing yellow Tiphereth sphere forming, vibrate the Name “Yaweh Eloah v'Da'at.” And when you reach the heart chakra sphere toward the top of the Tiphereth center, vibrate “Yaweh Elhenu.” Vibrate each of these Names one or more times while imagining a feeling of warmth and a tingling sensation throughout your chest cavity. (See above for a diagram showing the positions of these spheres.)
5.Visualize a line of light moving upward from your Tiphereth sphere to a point of dark purple colored light that forms at the place where your throat and chest cavity meet. This is the intersection of the Paths of Teth and Gimmel and is another important intersection of Paths on the Tree. It marks the symbolic location where energies from the Worlds of Atziluth and Briah cross the Abyss and interpenetrate with the World of Yetzirah exactly where the forces of Chesed and Geburah are perfectly balanced. This place is also a part of Da'at. Conceive of Da'at as a large zone of influence that can be depicted as a circle centered in the area of the throat chakra. Da'at may be conceived as covering the whole area of the Abyss between the Supernal Triad and the seven lower Sephiroth. The lowest arc of the circumference of the circle representing Da'at is at the intersection of the Paths of Teth and Gimmel and the upper arc of the circumference is at the intersection of Daleth and Gimmel. (Refer to the diagram above to see the positions of these spheres.) Concentrate on the dark purple sphere of light where Teth and Gimmel cross, visualize the Strength and High Priestess Tarot cards, and vibrate the words “Teth-Gimmel” three or more times. Imagine a tingling sensation at this place in your lower throat.
6. Visualize a line of light moving upward from the Teth-Gimmel sphere to the center of your throat. Imagine a lavender sphere of light forming at this place and vibrate the Name “Yaweh Elohim” three or more times. Imagine that the tingling sensation is now at this place.
7.Visualize a line of light moving upward from the sphere at the center of your throat to the location slightly above and between your eye brows. This highly important point marks the intersection of the Paths of Daleth and Gimmel. It is also the location of the Ajna chakra—the place of the fabled Third Eye . Visualize a sphere of brilliant white light forming here and imagine that you feel the vibration of a high-pitched humming at this place in your forehead. Focus on the images of the Empress and High Priestess Tarot cards in your imagination and vibrate the words “Daleth—Gimmel” three or more times.
8. Visualize a line of white light moving upward from the brow sphere until it reaches a point a few inches above the top of your head. Imagine that a blinding sphere of light forms at this location and bathes your entire body in light and warmth. This is the Kether sphere which corresponds to the Crown chakra. Focus on the image of a crown and vibrate the Name “Eheieh” three or more times.
9. When you are done vibrating the Name of the Kether sphere, circulate the light just as you do in the Middle Pillar Exercise.
10. Conclude with the Qabalistic Cross in order to balance the energies.
The Expanded Middle Pillar provides a very powerful method of invoking and intensifying magical energy. With it, you will open all the major psychic and astral gateways within yourself and permit great forces to flow through them into your being. Consequently, the practice of this exercise should not be undertaken lightly, and I have known students who have reported intensified anxiety, irritability, insomnia or nightmares, and other emotional/astral flare-ups of an unpleasant nature when they have used it without sufficient preparation or attention to detail. As noted earlier, a proficiency with the standard Middle Pillar exercise is a definite prerequisite. As always, perform a reliable banishing ritual before doing any meditation designed to open oneself to astral energies, especially to the enhanced extent made possible by the Expanded Middle Pillar exercise. My own experience with this exercise has been very rewarding. It has helped to intensify and clarify dreams and other imaginal experiences, enhanced auditory and visual perceptions during rituals, provided extra energy for healing and other changes, and has sometime even produced physical manifestations of an uncanny variety.