Long ago, I started a series of posts on the 231 Gates mentioned in the Sepher Yetzirah, the Book of Creation (or Foundation). I posted a summary, then the first three gates, in my LiveJournal, then took a break and never got back to then. A person approached me a few days ago, asking me what my thoughts were on the Samech/Lamed Gate. So I wrote up the following in the form of the three I had done before.
(The LiveJournal posts can be found at http://muninnskiss.livejournal.com/tag/kabbalah%3Agates.)
The 179th of the 231 gates is לס, Lamed Samech.
ל – Lamed – Ox Goad, Staff, Prod, Go Forward, Tongue, To Learn, To Teach, Secret Heart of Eve, Tower Soaring in the Air, Heart that Understands Knowledge
סַ – Samech – Prop, Support, Turn, Beginning, End, Endless Cycle, Equality, To Be Satisfied with Your Portion, Dependency, Support of Heaven by Earth and Earth by Heaven.
סַל, Cal – Basket (woven of rods)
בָּלַס, Balac – To gather figs, tend sycamore trees. [root]
סָלָה, Calah – To make light of, toss aside, to flout, reject, to weigh, balance, to be weighed. [root]
סֶלֶה, Celah – To lift up, exalt, Selah, a technical musical term probably showing accentuation, pause, interruption
סֻלָּם, Cullam – Ladder
סַל, Basket, is the heart of this gate. This is a round or oval basket woven of slender rods, or reeds, or rushes, tightly woven, a wicker basket woven tight enough to be water proof. Though it’s not the word used, this can be seen in the basket Moses’ mother placed him in. Samech is the supports the rods, the reeds, the rushes, that form the support for the basket, the outside of it. You can see Samech in the shape of the basket. Lamed is that which is inside the basket, hidden, the secret knowledge, the occult knowledge, the dark space within. And the hollow, round basket with a secret within is of course a Womb. While Mem is the Womb of Creation, the Womb from which the physical, the revealed, the manefest, comes from, Samech is the Womb of Wisdom, Womb of Understanding, Womb of Knowledge. Mem is the lower Womb, and Samech, pregnant with Lamed, is the upper Womb.
The meaning of a tower in the air, Lamed, and of the cycle of Samech gives us a tower, spinning without motion, which is the heart of Mystery.
Lamed (30) + Samech (60) = 90 which is Tzaddi. Tzaddi is the fish hook or to hunt, but the newer name, Tzaddik means righteous, and the Aramaic word means Chaos. Tzaddi is total, complete wisdom, but the wisdom below and the wisdom above, like Samech which the complete cycle, the the beginning and the end, which are one and the same. 90 is full consciousness, also complete and total, like the circle of Samech. In the Manna and it is Mem, water, everything we need to survive, complete and total. But when is a basket total and complete? When it’s full. So we come back to Lamed within Samech. 90 of course reduces to 9, which is Tet, the Good, Tov, serpent. We’ve all seen the cobra rising up out of the basket to the music of the snake charmer. The serpent is often associated with teaching of man. The most well known verion, or course, is the serpent teaching Eve and through Eve Adam to become like G-d (for good or for ill). Lamed is the teacher. And if you look closely, you will see that Lamed is a slithering serpent, and Samech is a curled one. The symbol from Greece of the snake, the Ouroboros, eating it’s own tail. Or Jörmungandr, the Midguard Serpent in Norse mythology, encircling the world.
The lesson of the 179th gate is creating a place for the wisdom, the understanding, the knowledge we receive. Create an outer support for an inner secret. Make the basket and it will be filled. And allow it to be filled. Listen, digest, take in the teachings that come to you and allow then to fill that space you prepared, the place where only you will know what fills it. And when it is full, when you’ve chewed it over, you will find the Mystery buried within.