The Mother letters
 

The Mother Letters

The mother letters are:

א מ ם ש
Alef Mem Shin

These letters are mothers because they are primary: א is the first letter of the Alef-Bet, מ is the middle, and ש is next to last. (ת, Tau, isn't used here because it is one of the double letters.)

Being primary, they are the forces that create space: א is the up/down axis, מ the east/west axis, and ש the north/south axis. They are creators, representing logical principles:

  • Shin (ש) is thesis, first principle. It represents the right pillar, Mercy
  • Mem (מ) is antithesis, contrary principle. It represents the left pillar, Severity.
  • Alef (א) is synthesis, balancing principle. It represents the middle pillar, Mildness [1].

Sefer Yetzirah says this quite clearly at the beginning of Chapter II: The three mother letters A, M, Sh are the foundations of the whole; and resemble a balance, the good in one scale, the evil in the other, and the oscillating tongue of the balance between them.

These also represent both Hebrew and alchemical elements: Shin is fire, sulfur; Mem is water, salt; and Alef is air, mercury. We are further told that these letters are the roots of the letters YVH of the Tetragrammaton, יהוה: Yod derives from Mem, Heh from Shin, and Vau from Alef.

The relationship between the mothers, doubles, and singles isn't obvious in the Tree as we are taught to view it. However, the logic becomes much more apparent in an alternate layout you can see in the Gra tree. The mother letters are horizontal paths communicating between the left and right Pillars; the double letters are forces holding the Sephiroth on the individual pillars apart from one another; and the simple letters communicate between adjacent Pillars.


Read more about:

Alef-Bet | Sefer Yetzirah | letter classes | double letters | simple letters


[1]In the order of their emanation from the Divine, we see that Alef (א), synthesis, is the first Emanation, proceeding from the First Thesis, Ain, and its antithesis, Ain Soph. From Alef emanates a second thesis, Shin (ש), which in turn generates its antithesis, Mem (מ).
[1]In the order of their emanation from the Divine, we see that Alef (א), synthesis, is the first Emanation, proceeding from the First Thesis, Ain, and its antithesis, Ain Soph. From Alef emanates a second thesis, Shin (ש), which in turn generates its antithesis, Mem (מ).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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An Interactive QabalahThe Mother lettersSeven of Swords A Brief Introduction to QabalahNepheshSix of Swords Kether, the CrownNeshamahFive of Swords Chokmah, WisdomThe Veil of ParokethFour of Swords Binah, UnderstandingPermutations of the NameThree of Swords Daath, KnowledgeThe Three PillarsTwo of Swords QliphothThe ProfaneAce of Disks Chesed, MercyReflectionKnight of Disks Geburah, StrengthRuachQueen of Disks Tiphareth, BeautySefer Yetzirah, the Book of FormationPrince of Disks Netzach, VictorySeverityPrincess of Disks Hod, SplendorThe simple lettersTen of Disks Yesod, FoundationWhat is a Soul?Nine of Disks Malkuth, KingdomThe SoulsEight of Disks AlefThe Supernal TriadSeven of Disks BetThe FoolSix of Disks GimelThe MagusFive of Disks DalethThe PriestessFour of Disks HehThe EmpressThree of Disks VauThe EmperorTwo of Disks ZainThe HierophantAdjustment ChethThe LoversAeon TethThe ChariotArt YodAdjustmentThe Chariot KaphThe HermitDeath LamedFortuneDevil MemLustThe Emperor NunThe Hanged ManThe Empress SamekhDeathThe Fool AyinArtFortune PehThe DevilThe Hanged Man TzaddiThe TowerThe Hermit QophThe StarThe Hierophant ReshThe MoonThe Lovers ShinThe SunLust TauThe AeonThe Magus The Qabalistic WorldsThe UniverseThe Moon Atziluth, ArchetypesAce of WandsThe Priestess Briah, the CreativeKnight of WandsThe Star Yetzirah, the FormativeQueen of WandsThe Sun Assiah, the ActivePrince of WandsThe Tower The court cardsPrincess of WandsThe Universe The AcesTen of WandsHebrew alphabet transliterations The KnightsNine of WandsThe Triads The QueensEight of WandsThe Qabalistic Veils The PrincesSeven of WandsThe Name of Names, YHVH The PrincessesSix of WandsAlef The TensFive of WandsAyin The NinesFour of WandsBet The EightsThree of WandsCheth The SevensTwo of WandsDaleth The SixesAce of CupsThe double letters The FivesKnight of CupsGimel The FoursQueen of CupsHeh The ThreesPrince of CupsKaph The TwosPrincess of CupsLamed The 32 Paths of WisdomTen of CupsMem The AbyssNine of CupsThe mother letters Adam Kadmon, the Body of GodEight of CupsNun AlchemySeven of CupsPeh The Alef-Bet in Space and TimeSix of CupsQoph The Ari TreeFive of CupsResh The Astral TriadFour of CupsSamekh The double lettersThree of CupsShin The Ethical TriadTwo of CupsThe simple letters the Flash of LightAce of SwordsTau The Gra TreeKnight of SwordsTeth The 72 Hidden Names of GodQueen of SwordsThe Tree of Life The Tree of LifePrince of SwordsTzaddi The Hebrew alef-bet letter classesPrincess of SwordsVau MercyTen of SwordsYod MildnessNine of SwordsZain The Presence of the Most HighEight of Swords