Tree of Life & Shadow

Back to the Qliphoth biz! Some time ago I wrote here about these ‘shadow forces’ of the Tree of Life ( As it happened, the subject quite persistently kept calling my attention, so I gave it some. Read more about it, made comparisons between different systems, thought about therapy (a lot) and different kinds of questions, slept over it. What follows here is a result (not the result), a combination of the qualities of both the 10 Sephiroth and the 10 Qliphoth. This is probably very unorthodox to start with, to the best of my knowledge these two systems are kept separate – and probably for a good reason. Then again, what would a Fool know about reasons.

The Tree of Life and Death (c) Timo Ketola. Visit his website at

First version of this spread had two cards for each 10 position, one for Sephiroth and one for Qliphoth, so 20 cards altogether. I feel that any spread using 15 cards or more is starting to go on the excess side, so I decided to simplify it by bringing the total number to 10. More importantly, as my goal was to combine the qualities of Light (Sephiroth) & Shadow (Qliphoth) in this spread I thought, “why keep separate cards for the sides, why not have just one and combine the sides in that”.

I deal the cards from top to bottom (Kether – Malkuth) but read them in the reverse order, from Malkuth to Kether (where I see a nice analogy to the whole Sephiroth/Qliphoth thing). If Shadow Work is your thing, and you’re not uncomfortable asking yourself uncomfortable questions, then try this spread and see what happens. Pair of words after the ‘axis part’ is meant to point at the themes relevant to the pairing before the axis. Try to see beyond the mere descriptions, use symbolical thinking (or feeling, or whatever is your strong function)
Caveat: this spread tends to be quite in-your-face.

Card 10. Malkuth (Kingdom) / Lilith (The Queen of the Night)
How to unify reality and chaos, axis of growth – stasis.

Card 9. Yesod (Foundation) / Gamaliel (The Obscene Ones)
How to unify illumination and repression, axis of support – vampirism.

Card 8. Hod (Glory) / Samael (The Poison of God)
How to unify rationality and madness, axis of freedom – censorship.

Card 7. Netzach (Victory) / A’árab Zaraq (The Ravens of Dispersion)
How to unify emotions and Shadow, axis of desire – annihilation.

Card 6. Tiphareth (Beauty) / Thagirion (The Disputers)
How to unify self and potential, axis of identity – mass (mind).

Card 5. Geburah (Severity) / Golachab (The Burners)
How to unify change and stability, axis of adjustment – suffering.

Card 4. Chesed (Mercy) / Gha’agsheblah (The Smiters)
How to unify strength and insecurity, axis of belonging – separation.

Card 3. Binah (Understanding) / Satariel (The Concealers)
How to unify understanding and ignorance, axis of intuition – blindness.

Card 2. Chokmah (Wisdom) / Ghagiel (The Hinderers)
How to unify wisdom and will, axis of faith – illusion.

Card 1. Kether (Crown) / Thaumiel (The Twin Gods)
How to restore the Tree (unify God/Satan), axis of unity – anarchy.


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