The Ethical Triad
The Ethical triad

Among the Tree's many divisions are three triads, each composed of three Sephiroth. These triads interweave with the various worlds, and map to five souls.

The second of these triads is the top triad of Yetzirah: Chesed, Geburah, and Tiphareth, referred to as the Ethical or Moral triad. This group is what we think of as our active consciousness.

This is also the fire Triad, whose ruling influence is the Sun. (A Triad's ruler, its governing influence, is the Sephirah in the middle pillar.) It is an active Triad, being both a builder (Chesed, Jupiter) and a destroyer (Geburah, Mars) plus the apprehension of the Divine (Tiphareth, Sun). About this Triad, we are told:

The union of the three primary emotions of the heart, chesed (72) gevurah (216) and tiferet (1081) equals 1369. 1369 is a square number (the square of 37), a sign of perfect interinclusion in Kabbalah (where every part of an object reflects all of its parts, as in a hologram).

The Triads are divided from one another by veils. Above this Triad sits the Abyss, separating it from the Supernals; and below it sits Paroketh, holding it apart from its lower subconscious.

You can think of this triad as the active principles — apt, since we already noted that this is the conscious, separate from the subconscious. This being so, it relates in some way to the right pillar, Mercy. Its base is Tiphareth, the Sun. Of the four elements, it aligns with fire (will) and air (intellect).

There is some confusion here if you follow the Jewish method[1] of assigning letters to paths. There, the mother letters bind the left and right pillars together. There are only three traditional Hebrew elements, and they associate with the mother letters in their capacity as the principles of thesis (fire), antithesis (water), and synthesis (air). In that system, this middle Triad associates with Alef (א), air — which, while consistent with the Soul Ruach (whose name means breath or spirit), is rather at odds with our view of this Triad's attribution as fire principles.

Those of you familiar with Robert Pirsig's Metaphysics of Quality might think of this Triad as social patterns. These are the rules we construct for the purpose of dealing with others, and the stories we tell ourselves that let us make sense of and choose how to investigate the universe we inhabit.

[1]Methods, actually; there are two major schools, as taught by the Ari (Rabbi Isaac Luria) and the Gra (the Gaon of Vilna).
[1]Methods, actually; there are two major schools, as taught by the Ari (Rabbi Isaac Luria) and the Gra (the Gaon of Vilna).
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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 BalanceThree of CupsShin The double lettersTwo of CupsThe simple letters The Ethical TriadAce of SwordsTau the Flash of LightKnight of SwordsTeth The Gra TreeQueen of SwordsThe Tree of Life The 72 Hidden Names of GodPrince of SwordsTzaddi The Tree of LifePrincess of SwordsVau The Hebrew alef-bet letter classesTen of SwordsYod MercyNine of SwordsZain The Presence of the Most HighEight of Swords