When the Sefirot are first presented in the Tanya (the classic text from the first Lubavitcher Rebbe) they are called Three Mothers and Seven Doubles. The Three Mothers refer to the three higher Sefirot Keter, Chochmah and Binah (Crown, Wisdom and Understanding). The Seven Doubles refer to the seven lower Sefirot Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod and Malchut (Love, Strength, Beauty, Victory, Majesty, Foundation and Kingship).
This picture and Kosmic Chambers share an influence from the amazing art of M. C. Escher and are both based on the Sacred Geometry that is expressed in the order of the Twenty-two Hebrew Letters according to Sefer Yetzirah.
This design is also reminiscent of Celtic Knots. Look at the center of this picture and see how inside the central ring are Three Shins in the primary colors - yellow, blue and red (going clockwise from the top). Here, as in my picture Kosmic Chambers, the two outer 'arms' of each Shin is shared with its neighbors.
This picture and 'Kosmic Knots' (another new picture on this website) were drawn about the same time in the early 1990's. The originals are small, and the design was produced using a pencil, compass, straightedge and then inked and colored with watercolors.
The design of this picture is based on the Geometry used in my picture 'The Holy Palace' and derives from the order of the Twenty-two Hebrew Letters according to Sefer Yetzirah - Three Mother, Seven Double, and Twelve Simple Letters.
An old friend of mine who is an expert in astrology (among other things) was visiting and explained some aspects of astrology I was not familiar with by sketching out a small diagram that was the basis for this painting.
I included in this chart (from the outermost circle and going inward) the names of the Jewish months and human aspects associated with them, from Sefer Yetzirah;
whether this sign is cardinal, fixed or mutable (the first, middle or last month of the season); the names of the astrological signs;
The following quote is from the very beginning of Sefer Yetzirah.
These are the Hebrew words that can be seen surrounding
the Tree of Life diagram in this picture:
"With Thirty-two Mystical Paths of Wisdom
God (Yah...) engraved and created His Universe
with Three Sepharim:
with Sefer (letters),
with Sephar (numbers)
and with Sippur (a story).
The Twelve Simple Letters are
Heh ה, Waw ו, Zayin ז, Chet ח, Tet ט, Yod י,
Lamed ל, Nun נ, Samech ס, Ayin ע, Tzadi צ, Kof ק.
Their foundation is
speech, thought, motion, sight, hearing, action,
sex, smell, sleep, anger, taste, and laughter.
The foundation of the Twelve Simple Letters
Heh, Waw, Zayin, Chet, Tet, Yod,
The Seven Double Letters are Bet ב, Gimel ג, Dalet ד, Kaf כ, Peh פ, Resh ר, and Tav ת.
They direct themselves with two pronunciations.
Their structure is thus both soft and hard, both strong and weak.
The Seven Double Letters Bet, Gimel, Dalet, Kaf, Peh, Resh, Tav -
their foundation is Wisdom, Wealth, Seed, Life, Dominance, Peace and Grace.
The Seven Double Letters are in speech and its opposite.
The opposite of Wisdom is Folly,
Three Mother Letters are Mem מ, Shin ש and Aleph א.
Their foundation is the (right) hand of merit, the (left) hand of liability,
and the tongue of decree that balances between them.
Three Mother Letters Aleph Mem Shin are a great mystical secret,
covered and concealed with six rings.
Out of them came Air, Water and Fire.
From them are born Fathers.
And from the Fathers, descendants.
Three Mother Letters Aleph Mem Shin -
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