Right & Left Pillars
By V.H. Fra. S.A.
Dr. William Wynn Westcott
As confusion is found to exist with regard to the Right and Left Pillars of the Sephiroth on the Tree of Life in relation to the right and left sides of a man, and as to the phases of the Moon—you must note:
That in every diagram and picture, the right hand side of the observer is next to the Pillar of Mercy—Chokmah, Chesed, and Netzach; while the Pillar of Severity is on the observer's left hand. Yet when you apply the Tree of Life to yourself, your right side, arm, and leg represent the side of Strength and Severity, Binah, Geburah and Hod, and your left side refers to the Pillar of Mercy. So that when you look at a diagram, you are looking, as it were, at a man facing you, that your right side faces his left. His Merciful side forms the right hand Pillar in front of you, so that it is as if you looked at yourself in a mirror.
Just as the man looks at you, so does the Moon look at you and so you say that the Moon in her increase is on the side of Mercy, the right hand pillar of the Sephiroth; and in her decrease, the crescent is on the left hand Pillar of Severity.
A Diagram, then, is a picture of a Man or the Moon facing you. The Temple Pillars are similar:
Black Pillar Severity Left North
White Pillar Mercy Right South
Black Pillar Boaz Stolistes
White Pillar Jachin Dadouchos
That is, the white Mercy or Jachin Pillar is on your right hand as you approach the Altar from the West and from the Hiereus. (See Chronicles II. iii, 17.) “And call the Name on the right hand (of him who enters) Jachin, and the Name of that on the left, Boaz.”
Now Boaz = Strength, Seventy, Binah, Black Pillar, and Jachin= White Pillar of Mercy.
So in making the Qabalistic Cross on your breast it is correct to touch the Forehead and say Ateh—Thou art; the Heart—Malkuth; Right Shoulder, yeGeburah; left shoulder ve-Gedulah, and with the fingers clasped on the breast say, Le, olahm, amen!
Issued March 26, 1893