The Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom


Translated from the Hebrew Text of Joannes Stephanus Rittangelius, 1642 :
which is also to be found in the " Oedipius Aegyptiacus " of Athanasius
Kircher, 1653 .

(These paragraphs are very obscure in meaning, and
the Hebrew text is probably very corrupt.)

THE First Path is called the Admirable or the Hidden Intelligence (the
Highest Crown): for it is the Light giving the power of comprehension of
that First Principle which has no beginning; and it is the Primal Glory, for
no created being can attain to its essence.

The Second Path is that of the Illuminating Intelligence: it is the Crown of
Creation, the Splendour of the Unity, equalling it, and it is exalted above
every head, and named by the Kabalists the Second Glory.

The Third Path is the Sanctifying Intelligence, and is the foundation of
Primordial Wisdom, which is called the Creator of Faith, and its roots are
AMN; and it is the parent of Faith, from which doth Faith emanate.

The Fourth Path is named the Cohesive or Receptacular Intelligence; and is
so called because it contains all the holy powers, and from it emanate all
the spiritual virtues with the most exalted essences: they emanate one from
the other by the power of the Primordial Emanation. (The Highest Crown.) 1

The Fifth Path is called the Radical Intelligence, because it resembles the
Unity, uniting itself to the Binah, 2 or Intelligence which emanates from
the Primordial depths of Wisdom or Chokmah.3

The Sixth Path is called the Mediating Intelligence, because in it are
multiplied the influxes of the emanations, for it causes that influence to
flow into all the reservoirs of the Blessings, with which these themselves
are united.

The Seventh Path is the Occult Intelligence, because it is the Refulgent
Splendour of all the Intellectual virtues which are perceived by the eyes of
intellect, and by the contemplation of faith.

The Eighth Path is called the Absolute or Perfect Intelligence, because it
is the means of the primordial, which has no root by which it can cleave,
nor rest, except in the hidden places of Gedulah,4 Magnificence, from which
emanates its own proper essence.

The Ninth Path is the Pure Intelligence, so called because it purifies the
Numerations, it proves and corrects the designing of their representation,
and disposes their unity with which they are combined without diminution or

The Tenth Path is the Resplendent Intelligence, because it is exalted above
every head, and sits on the throne of Binah (the Intelligence spoken of in
the Third Path). It illuminates the splendour of all the lights, and causes
an influence to emanate from the Prince of countenances. 5

The Eleventh Path is the Scintillating Intelligence, because it is the
essence of that curtain which is placed close to the order of the
disposition, and this is a special dignity given to it that it may be able
to stand before the Face of the Cause of Causes.

The Twelfth Path is the Intelligence of Transparency, because it is that
species of Magnificence called Chazchazit, 6 the place whence issues the
vision of those seeing in apparitions. (That is the prophecies by seers in a

The Thirteenth Path is named the Uniting Intelligence, and is so called
because it is itself the Essence of Glory. It is the Consummation of the
Truth of individual spiritual things.

The Fourteenth Path is the Illuminating Intelligence and is so called
because it is that Chashmal 7 which is the founder of the concealed and
fundamental ideas of holiness and of their stages of preparation.

The Fifteenth Path is the Constituting Intelligence, so called because it
constitutes the substance of creation in pure darkness, and men have spoken
of these contemplations; it is that darkness spoken of in Scripture, Job
xxxviii. 9, "and thick darkness a swaddling band for it."

The Sixteenth Path is the Triumphal or Eternal Intelligence, so called
because it is the pleasure of the Glory, beyond which is no other Glory like
to it, and it is called also the Paradise prepared for the Righteous.

The Seventeenth Path is the Disposing Intelligence, which provides Faith to
the Righteous, and they are clothed with the Holy Spirit by it, and it is
called the Foundation of Excellence in the state of higher things.

The Eighteenth Path is called the Intelligence or House of Influence (by the
greatness of whose abundance the influx of good things upon created beings
is increased), and from its midst the arcana and hidden senses are drawn
forth, which dwell in its shade and which cling to it, from the Cause of all

The Nineteenth Path is the Intelligence of the Secret of all the activities
of the spiritual beings, and is so called because of the influence diffused
by it from the most high and exalted sublime glory.

The Twentieth Path is the Intelligence of Will, and is so called because it
is the means of preparation of
all and each created being, and by this intelligence the existence of the
Primordial Wisdom becomes known.

The Twenty-first Path is the Intelligence of Conciliation and Reward, and is
so called because it receives the divine influence which flows into it from
its benediction upon all and each existence.

The Twenty-second Path is the Faithful Intelligence, and is so called
because by it spiritual virtues are increased, and all dwellers on earth are
nearly under its shadow.

The Twenty-third Path is the Stable Intelligence, and it is so called
because it has the virtue of consistency among all numerations.

The Twenty-fourth Path is the Imaginative Intelligence, and it is so called
because it gives a likeness to all the similitudes which are created in like
manner similar to its harmonious elegancies.

The Twenty-fifth Path is the Intelligence of Probation, or Temptation, and
is so called because it is the primary temptation, by which the Creator
trieth all righteous persons.

The Twenty-sixth Path is called the Renewing Intelligence, because the Holy
God renews by it all the changing things which are renewed by the creation
of the world.

The Twenty-seventh Path is the Active or Exciting Intelligence, and it is so
called because through it every existent being receives its spirit and

The Twenty-eighth Path is called the Natural Intelligence; by it is
completed and perfected the nature of all that exists beneath the Sun.

(This Path is omitted by Rittangelius: I presume by inadvertence.)

The Twenty-ninth Path is the Corporeal Intelligence, so called because it
forms every body which is formed
in all the worlds, and the reproduction of them.

The Thirtieth Path is the Collective Intelligence,
and Astrologers deduce from it the judgment of the Stars and celestial
signs, and perfect their science, according to the rules of the motions of
the stars.

The Thirty-first Path is the Perpetual Intelligence; but why is it so
called? Because it regulates the motions of the Sun and Moon in their proper
order, each in an orbit convenient for it.

The Thirty-second Path is the Administrative Intelligence, and it is so
called because it directs and associates the motions of the seven planets,
directing all of them in their own proper courses.


1. The Highest Crown is Kether, the First Sephira, the first emanation from
the Ain Suph Aur, the Limitless Light.

2. Binah, or Understanding, is the Third Sephira.

3. Chokmah, Wisdom, is the Second Sephira.

4. Gedulah is a synonym of Chesed, Mercy, the Fourth Sephira.

5. Metatron, the Intelligence of' the First Sephira, and the reputed guide
of Moses.

6. This word is from ChZCh, a seer, seership. Chazuth is a vision.

7. This word means" scintillating flame."

The ³Thirty-two  Paths of Wisdom," refer to the Ten Sephiroth and the
Twenty-two letters, each supplying a type of divine power and attributes. In
my Introduction to the Kabalah will be found a diagram showing how the Paths
from Eleven 'to Thirty-two connect the several Sephiroth, and are deemed to
transmit the divine influence. Some teachers of Occult Science also allot
the Twenty two Trumps of the Tarot Cards to the Twenty-two Paths.

[These notes were by Brother W. Wynn Westcott, 1887. The _32 Paths of
Wisdom_ were published originally as additions to the first Latin
translations of the _Sepher Yetzirah_. The _Sepher Yetzirah_ is perhaps the
first text to mention the ³32 paths², and this in the first verse: ³In
thirty-two Mysterious Paths of Wisdom did Jah, the Jehovah of Hosts, the God
of Israel, the living Elohim, the King of Ages, the Merciful and gracious
God, the Exalted One, the Dweller in Eternity, most high and holy--engrave
his name by the three Sepharim--Numbers, Letters and Sounds.² SY 1:1. This
is a profound text, read it in modern translation, as the older ones are
markedly inferior. Also note the number ³32² in Hebrew is LB (Lamed and
Beth)--the last and first letters of the Torah. This forms the word ċLaibı,
the Hebrew word for the heart of man.  -S.A.F.]