The detailed map burst into life in the centre of my mind's eye. Narrowing my focus, I zoomed in to the lowest sphere, at the base of the schematic. After all, it was where I was, blindfolded by the dark, in a room, thick and loamy, smelling of fresh tilled earth.
The sphere gave off a dull sheen. A dusty citrine quarter shone at the top. To its left, my right, gleamed an olive region. Balancing that, was a deep russet. Capping the bottom of the sphere, was pure darkness, darker than the night my soul stood in.
Gazing hard into the sphere resulted in the hues becoming more solid. That wasn't going to help me find my way to entering the path that lay above it. It was vital to move from the sphere to the path to make my ascension.
As I released my focus, the sphere became transparent. Within it, I glimpsed a beautiful, youthful, sorrowful looking woman. Upon a cubical stone, made in parts of wood and granite, she sat, with a blind gaze, as if a hologram. Long, black hair cascaded in loose waves halfway down her back. A voluminous dress shrouded her. Bare feet rooted into the soil at the base of her throne.
Stepping forward into the sphere the colour melted around me. "Ouch," I whispered. A dusky orange briar patch caught my astral form, the energetic body I was using to navigate this realm. Streamers of energy that made up my right hip dissipated from my limbs. I realised then that the dangers of this path-working were to be as real as any in our physical world.
Skirting around the thorny barrier, I realised that the best way to see into this realm was to keep my gaze soft. Objects were more visible from the corner of my eye, rather than directing my vision head-on. With care, I continued around the outer edges of the sphere.
A giant root grabbed at my ankle. I stumbled, falling to the earth. Looking up, I saw the most marvellous, incredible tree. It stretched upwards such a long way, its trunk passing up through the now opaque boundary of the sphere. I was well within the sphere of Malkuth now.
The shape of the trunk drawing my attention. It was dense, coloured with multifaceted shades of brown, from light tan to dark oak. Spreading my arms wide to gauge the circumference, the tree mirrored me. Crackling accompanied the tree's movement, as two great wings spread from the base. Beautiful emerald green vines dangled like fringe from the backs of these limbs. They brushed the hard-packed earth at the base, undulating in the breeze that came from nowhere.
A vibration, golden and bright, rippled forth from its centre into my body. The power of it lifted me from my fallen position. Information unfolded into my mind. Words passed without speech. I recognised the language of angels. They do not speak words, but frequency.
"Sandalphon?" I queried. The response: the vines curling and uncurling between my body and the trunk. Again, a vibration, this one more of an azure-cyan blue colour trickled into my mind.
The mighty tree dissolved. Brambles parted further. I gained entrance into the courtyard of Malkuth.
Tiny gnomes were crossing the courtyard, in an industrious way, to and fro. They would appear, move to a spot, and disappear. I was unsure of what they were doing, but whatever it was, they were busy.
A tug at my calf drew my attention from the scene. A light brown gnome, naked but for fur, stood there, gesturing. When our eyes locked, it backed away from me. I thought I had scared it. As I tried to reassure it, it smiled at me, shaking its head. Then, it motioned for me to follow it.
We moved through the courtyard on a path that appeared somewhat haphazard. The area seemed clear. It wasn't until I got within proximity of objects, that they became visible. Even then it was visible only if I did not look direct at things. All manner of trees and plants, none a species of the earth, occupied the spaces. Seedlings that sprung into being from thin air, grew downwards. They sprouted branches and leaves the closer they got to the ground. Flowers grew sideways, into each other, entwining in the most delicate of patterns. Petals, multi-hued, geometric shaped, melted into their partner plants, becoming a hybrid species.
While I followed this fay creature, I found that a diagram formed in my mind from every place my feet traced. The layout was astounding. I recognised the Hebrew letter Aleph and Daleth as the path I trod. When that thought flew into my mind, the eyes of the gnome and myself met once again.
With a wink and a nod, my guide disappeared. Bewildered, I walked forward, only to pause at an invisible barrier. I moved to the right, thinking that I needed to trace out the Hebrew letter Nun. Again, a barricade forced me to stop.
A frustrated sigh escaped from my lips. The tension in my physical body penetrated into the astral. My concentration slipped. The realm I occupied became vague. Counting to 4, I inhaled, held my breath, and released it for 4. The mystical world became solid again. Awareness of my physical body dimmed.
A different map appeared in my mind's eye. That was when I remembered, Hebrew is backwards to my native language. This time I moved to where the start of Nun should be. Sure enough, I acquired the path.
With a riveted concentration that surprised even me, I delineated both Nun and Yod. Eyes stayed closed the entire time. It was too distracting otherwise. Once I completed the curlicue that finished Yod, I found myself face to face with the seated woman.
Upon close inspection, she seemed to share the same facial features as me. I moved around, from side to side, trying to look at her, rather than through her. Shooting my hand forward, to see if I could touch her, it passed straight through the image. The impression stayed immobile. Wondering if her throne was of similar substance, I directed my hands towards the cube. That was solid.
Exhaustion begged my attention. Without thought, I placed myself upon her throne, assuming her posture. The response was powerful.
Energy in layers unravelled itself in my psyche. It was as if I had become the mistress of the sphere by alighting upon her seat. The entire realm became clear in my mind. A diagram of epic proportions made itself clear. I saw every tree, flower, plant, the entire bramble boundary, every gnome and every path ever taken by a gnome. The energy released by every living being in the realm left a signature.
"Adonai," I murmured. "Adonai, Adonai, Adonai Ha Aretz."
The woman smiled. The joy she exuded flowed throughout my entire being.
The image of a harlot, scant clothed, entered my mind, buried before the altar I sat on. The earth parted, and the harlot, once so disparaging, became transformed. It was the power of the divine name that enabled this. The woman lifted herself from the ground, shook off the dirt, and obtained the throne of Malkuth.
That was when I realised, both women were me.
An indigo coloured gateway appeared before the throne. In an arch above the opening, the letters XXI crowned it etched in bright white. Beyond it, I could see nothing. Nothing but waves of energy distorting the sphere I was in.
I stood up. From there, I gazed once more upon my surroundings. The images of the women were not visible. My time there; finished. I strode through the opening and walked into my body.
Daylight streamed through the thin blinds of the quarantine hotel room. A stiff body greeted me. The smell of fresh roasted coffee permeated from beyond the door.
It was time to have breakfast and go to bed. Tau would need investigating when my mind had processed the path-working of Malkuth. All that mattered now, was I procured the first path on the Tree of Life.