"...they shall make me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show thee, even so shall ye make the form of the Tabernacle, and fashion all of the toolstherof..." Exodus 25:8,9
As a Kabalist in training, you must already know that much of the Western Mystery Tradition is derived from Biblical Scripture, and the oral tradition that supplements these writings and fills in the gaps for us. In the grade of Neophyte, the student is given the Hebrew Aleph-Beth to memorize, and much of our initiation is apparently Mystical Judeo-Christian in nature. In the grade of Zelator this becomes much more clear to the initiate.
Many of us were raised with these stories: Moses and the burning bush, the Jews being freed from their bondage in Egypt, the building of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, the wandering in the desert, the ten commandments etc. As many of you have already experienced, these familiar stories begin to make more and more sense as we uncover the symbolic language in which these stories are written: a language of numbers, tools, rites of passage, and alchemy which we learn through the first-hand experience of initiation. These familiar, obscure sounding stories all begin to point to and become reminders of the Universal Principals which operate within ourselves, within our lives, and throughout the Universe through all the Ages.
The Altar of Burnt Offering
The priest, once in the court, would approach the Altar of Burnt Offerings where he would make a sacrifice. The message here is that we cannot approach the Tabernacle, or Holy Place, if we still carry our impurities with us. You'll sometimes hear people say to leave your problems at the door of the temple. Chances are, each and every one of us have had the experience of attempting to do rituals while unwilling to let go of some thought or emotion that ties us to the mundane or to our lower nature. Often in such cases the ritual work is ineffective or even counterproductive. One useful analogy is that of the moutain climber. The higher we climb, the steeper the mountain gets, and the thinner the air as well. It is necessary to let go of some of our baggage every so often, otherwise we may not be able to continue climbing. This "baggage" would be over-scheduling or lack of exercise - or it could be something more difficult to let go of, such as an addiction, a bad relationship of some kind, a neurosis, an ideology, or any well-established pattern of behavior which is contraryto Universal Truth. Before you begin your daily rituals, you may find it useful to spend a few moments before the altar of burnt offerings in your mind's eye, to let go of those things that would hold you back and keep you from accomplishing your True Will. For those of you who've attain the grade of Zelator, you might place the Altar of Burnt Offerings outside of your entrance into your Temple in Malkuth.
The Laver of Brass
Between the altar of burnt offerings and the entrance into the Holy Place stood the Laver of Brass, wherein the priests washed before entering the Tabernacle. It was teh symbol of the Waters of Creation. Once we have let go of our impurites, then we must purify ourselves at the Laver of Brass. Take a moment to contemplate the meaning of this. The Waters of Creation are first mentioned in Genesis 1:2:
"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) moved upon the face of the Waters of Creation."
These are the same waters that we must cleanse ourselves in before we can truly enter into the Holy Place.
Given what you have learned thus far from the Western Mystery Tradition, including your knowledge of the Tabernacle and of the Golden Dawn temple, take a moment to visualize your own personal mental temple around you. Notice the meaning behind the symbolism about you and ponder its meaning. For those of you who have attained the grade of Zelator, take a moment to visualize your Temple in Malkuth. For those of you who have not, the temple in your mind is the beginning of this temple.
Some of us have the benefit of being able to attend regularly at a physical Golden Dawn temple, and many have visited such a temple at least once and can see it around you. Ask yourself if it is satisfactory to you. Ask yourself what it is for and how it can better serve that purpose. For example, a kitchen with only cupboards and a sink is fine, but isn't a kitchen with cupboards, a sink, a refrigerator, and a dishwasher an evern more efficient room in which to do what needs to be done?
Your Temple in Malkuth is an important aspect to your path. When you begin pathworking, you will being in your Temple in Malkuth. It will be as a doorway or portal onto the higher planes of the astral realm. Your Temple in Malkuth needs to be strong and steadfast, as well as pure.
It is also yours to create as you wish, within the parameters of good judgment. You may wish to place the Altar of Burnt Offerings and the Laver of Brass outside of your temple so ta tyou may purify yourself before entry. You may want to keep your temple simple, or perhaps even ornate and rich in symbolism. You may want it to be surrounded by a forest, a desert, or perhaps a cave. You may even want it to look exactly like the Golden Dawn Temple setting. You may want it to be a small stone clearing in a garden. With so many possibilities, it is important that you choose the appropriate setting in which you will feel most comfortable. The greater the time spent there, the more solidified your temple will become. This will translate into effective ritual work, and an increase in your astral skills.
Your Temple in Malkuth is your sacred space where no one can touch or see you. It is always there for you to enter and be able to do your rituals in total privacy. As the Master Jesus once said, "... When thou prayest, enter into they closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret..." Your Temple in Malkuth is this proverbial closet...